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50 Nights in 2010 but Downgraded From Platinum to Gold (Resolved)

50 Nights in 2010 but Downgraded From Platinum to Gold (Resolved)

 
Old Apr 2, 11, 6:13 pm
  #1  
formerly v88matta
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: 9C
Posts: 71
Unhappy 50 Nights in 2010 but Downgraded From Platinum to Gold (Resolved)

I have tried for the longest time to avoid posting my experience here as I wanted to give enough time for Starwood to find a proper resolution. But since they have failed to do so, I am going to share my story with the rest.

I am platinum member with Starwood and in 2010 I had reached 49 nights by December 31st (including double stays promo and overlapping q4 promo from 2009).

On Dec 31st, I stayed at the Westin Harbour Castle. However they never credited my account with a stay/night credit. As a result, I received an email on Jan 18th saying that my account was being downgraded to Gold. On Feb 2nd, I contact the platinum desk and explained my situation. I spent over 2 hours on the phone fighting my case but the platinum agent kept on insisting that I did not regain status for 2010. I asked her to manually count the stays but she refused to do so. She kept on basing her arguments on the number her computer was telling her.

Before ending our conversation, I asked her to have a supervisor look into it and call me back. I also asked her to put it in writing that I did not qualify b/c I knew it was not true. She sent me an email saying that I didn't maintain status and she sent me a master list for all my stays.

After I received the list, I called back and spoke to someone else and told them to calculate it manually including the bonus and the promotions but they said they've already looked into and I don't qualify.

I never received a call back from a supervior as I had requested. My status hasn't changed yet from platinum to gold so I thought OK, maybe someone caught up and got it fixed. I was wrong, b/c when I checked in to the Westin Mexico on March 14th, they had me as gold.

I had just flow in from Europe and was up for over 24 hours when I checked in around 12. I had just arrived to Mexico on vacation for 3 days and I wanted to spend some time in the sun.

I asked the hotel to contact customer service and I fought my case yet again for over 4 hours that day (all in the lobby). It was a horrific experience being transferred through different departments and chanels. I was being ridiculed in front of everyone and I had the impression that the agents weren't taking my request seriously. I spent alot of money with starwood in the past year and 100% of my stays are leisure only. I am very loyal to them and platinum meant alot to me.

Finally, I was able to reach someone who was able to track down the issue down to a computer glitch. According to him, b/c of the fact that the Westin Harbour Castle wasn't able to credit my night on the 31st, the computer erased all the rest of the nights that were counted due to a promotion (nights advance and double nights) so the agents weren't able to see it.

No one was proactive to look beyond the number on their computer screen and nobody gave me the benefit of the doubt until that moment. The agent apologized and said that his priority was to have my account fixed and since it was saturday, he was going to contact me back on monday to discuss proper compensation due to all the inconveniences.

My status was updated but I have never heard back from anyone. Not even an official apology. Today, I called and asked about that agent and I was transferred to a supervisor who offered me 1000 starpoints for my troubles. She went up to 5000 starpoints but I think it's completely ridiculous. I stressed on the fact that I spent alot of time fighting for something I earned hard by spending alot of money in the first place but she thinks the problem has been fixed and thus I don't deserve anything else.

I am fed up with this attitude and had quite a bit of other negative experiences recently (5x500 platinum amenity have not posted yet this year / specific issues at property level and other).

Overall 2011 is not a good year for me and starwood. I hope that by sharing my experience with you, you can share what you think about it.

I believe they have a great loyalty program but fail to deliver customer service wise big time.

Thank you for reading and I hope you have a great day!
roadtoyul is offline  
Old Apr 2, 11, 6:21 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 681
Unfortunately v88matta, the system let you down.
This can happen at any time to any loyalty tracking system.
Correctly you pointed out the flaw and it has since been corrected.

Now you need to "build a bridge and get over it".
Take the points, move on and enjoy your next stay
aussiechris is offline  
Old Apr 2, 11, 6:44 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 223
tl;dr: SPG messed up, then fixed the problem. After you further complained, the offered you 5K starpoints for the inconvenience. You are still unhappy.

While it certainly was not a good situation, it seems like an honest mistake and it all worked out well in the end.

What exactly do you want SPG to do?
rearview is offline  
Old Apr 2, 11, 6:53 pm
  #4  
formerly v88matta
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: 9C
Posts: 71
When we mess up as consumers, companies charge us and they think it's right.

When companies mess up, I usually let it go but when they mess up that big and it cost me alot of my time and lots of efforts, I expect them to make it up. Especially since I spend alot of money with them.

Although I don't have a particular number in mind but a higher starpoint compensation would seem as appropriate. I felt insulted when she initially offered 1000.

My experience on vacation in Mexico was partially ruined due to the fact that I had to spend my day at the lobby fighting to regain my status. I still had to pay for my stay at the hotel and the supervisor thinks 1000 starpoints is reasonable????
roadtoyul is offline  
Old Apr 2, 11, 7:11 pm
  #5  
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Why would you think you don't have to pay for a stay at a hotel because the SPG program made, and then corrected, and error your elite status?

The whole "ruined my vacation" rarely flies with me. If you chose to waste hours on vacation fighting over a hotel program status, (you didn't "have to") that's your choice.

You're insulted by 1000 points, don't think 5000 points is enough, put you don't know what you actually want. What do you expect SPG to do, keep guessing? Figure out what would make you happy, let them know, settle it, and move on.

Or move your business to the perfect program. Let us know when you find it.
CPRich is offline  
Old Apr 2, 11, 7:25 pm
  #6  
formerly v88matta
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: 9C
Posts: 71
If the SPG made an error on your status and you were declined benefits that you would have expected (meaning complimentary breakfast/suite upgrade), are you trying to tell me that you won't feel that your vacation is going on an off start?

If so, please let me know how you're able to be so indifferent. I know what I want. I want proper compensation, as to the what it is consists of, I am flexible. I was willing to accept something around 15000 points. I did not ask them to guess, I told them what they offered was unacceptable.

If I spill coffee on someone's shirt, I will pay for their dry cleaning. If I spill someone's drink in a club, I will buy them another drink. If the hotel messes up on such a level, I expect them to make it up to me. In this case, I gave them a call to let them know how I felt about it.

Last edited by roadtoyul; Apr 2, 11 at 7:26 pm Reason: Misspell errors
roadtoyul is offline  
Old Apr 2, 11, 8:06 pm
  #7  
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Put in the same position as the OP, I wouldn't be thrilled with the situation. (though I wouldn't have spent 30 seconds dealing with it on vacation - ridiculous)

That being said, as stated upthread, it's time to build that bridge and get over it.
fireworksboy is offline  
Old Apr 2, 11, 8:18 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: SFO
Posts: 2,581
I would not be very happy. Especially if it involved not getting the benefits of Platinum membership (and for the sake of this thread, let's not get into you may or may not get upgrades, etc.)

Did SPG mess up somehow? Yes, as the OP documented in the first post.
Could this somehow transpired differently? Yes.... hmmm, Starwood Lurker I and II comes to mind . I have found that Platinum Concierge has been very good on the first level of the call. Very seldomly do i need to go to a supervisor to get things done. But, YMMV.

As for dates, i would not have waited until Feb 2nd to call about this. Would have called the minutes i got the email about the downgrade on Jan 18th.

As for the 5k points, is it enough? i'm not sure.
myperks is offline  
Old Apr 2, 11, 8:58 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
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Move on and take the 5K points. You shouldn't have let it ruin your vacation. Next time a stay doesn't post in 2-3 days, take immediate action and file a missing points complaint. You should also have already done that with the Platinum points amenity - why did you let 5 of them pile up in the first place? Another suggestion is to get a screen print on December 31 each year of your activity for the year.
DCBob is offline  
Old Apr 3, 11, 1:05 am
  #10  
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Originally Posted by DCBob View Post
Move on and take the 5K points. You shouldn't have let it ruin your vacation. Next time a stay doesn't post in 2-3 days, take immediate action and file a missing points complaint. You should also have already done that with the Platinum points amenity - why did you let 5 of them pile up in the first place? Another suggestion is to get a screen print on December 31 each year of your activity for the year.
I could not agree more. And I believe you not only made the mistake to wait too long but you also made the mistake to do it over the phone. The miraculous word is "writing". Writing even an emals makes everything by far easier. Chatting to an agent hours on the phone - in particular if such agent is clueless, helpless or willingless - is nothing but a waste of time. What I would have done it to send them a list of my stays, with the "promonights" clearly marked and I am pretty sure, this would have been dealt with in a day or so. And do you really expect this agent will explain the matter your told him/her in two hours to a supervisor? It is simply a mistake to believe that all complex matters can be solved with a call centre agent on the phone
Flying Lawyer is offline  
Old Apr 3, 11, 6:58 am
  #11  
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Originally Posted by v88matta View Post
My experience on vacation in Mexico was partially ruined due to the fact that I had to spend my day at the lobby fighting to regain my status.
Your vacation in Mexico was "partially ruined" because you chose to ruin it. You "had to spend" the day in the lobby fighting with Starwood and/or the hotel management? No, you chose to spend your day that way.

I'm PLT, as you can see. When I am not upgraded, I have a choice. I can choose to spend hours in my room online, checking availability to see if there are suites available for upgrade, then fighting with hotel management for the suite I believe that I'm entitled to, all the while getting more and more aggravated. Or, I can choose to stay in a regular room and enjoy my stay doing what I went for. Guess which one I choose?

Life is neither perfect nor infinite. Enjoy what you can while you can. Don't get bogged down and waste your time on things which, in the long run, don't really matter all that much.
Dr. HFH is offline  
Old Apr 3, 11, 7:17 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Since the OP asked for our views, I have to say I agree with most of the other posters.

Yes, the system screwed up. And, yes, the poster was inconvenienced. Now it's been fixed. Points were offered as compesentation - and accepted, I gather. Now it's time to move on.

In the future, my advice is don't wait so long to track down missing points. No question in my mind the OP needs to take a little bit of the responsibility for this too.

.... happens. So deal with it. The world isn't perfect. If it was, I might be in Mexico myself right now...

Cheers,
Flews is offline  
Old Apr 3, 11, 12:14 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 2,370
I will bite?

Why did you spend 4 hours on the phone in a lobby on this? Seriously! Is the 'entitlement" of whatever you were going to get worth wasting that much of a three day vacation? REALLY? And you were being "ridculed" and everyone knew it? Did they have this on speaker phone?

I realize SPG was wrong, but exactly how many fits are you willing to throw over this. You have been made whole. Case closed it's time to move on. Sorry!
Orange County Commuter is offline  
Old Apr 3, 11, 3:20 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
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My two cents....I have been SPG Platinum for many years now and complimentary breakfast is not a benefit (unless it is new). If there is a club lounge, a contintenal-like (sometimes more sometimes less) breakfast is served (but even Gold gets that) and a few hotels will comp you the breakfast buffet in their restaurant for being platinum. Suite upgrades are also based 'upon availability at check-in' - upgrades are not guaranteed for Plat, you should not expect them. (someone else touched on this and this has been discussed a lot in this forum). Rather than phone, I usually run straight to the business center and send an email to SPG Plat CS...they have come through ~90% of the time.
AG.

[QUOTE=v88matta;16149406]If the SPG made an error on your status and you were declined benefits that you would have expected (meaning complimentary breakfast/suite upgrade), are you trying to tell me that you won't feel that your vacation is going on an off start?.......QUOTE]
alfagirl is offline  
Old Apr 3, 11, 3:38 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
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Originally Posted by alfagirl View Post
If there is a club lounge, a contintenal-like (sometimes more sometimes less) breakfast is served (but even Gold gets that) and a few hotels will comp you the breakfast buffet in their restaurant for being platinum.
(bolding mine)
hmmm... you might want to read up on gold benefits (or lack of) again...
myperks is offline  

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