Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Hotels and Places to Stay > Marriott | Marriott Bonvoy > Starwood | Starwood Preferred Guest
Reload this Page >

Advice Needed, Hotel Breach of Contract - W New York - Union Square

Advice Needed, Hotel Breach of Contract - W New York - Union Square

Reply

Old Mar 13, 15, 8:05 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: New York City
Programs: American Airlines Executive Platinum, Marriott Rewards Platinum Premier Elite
Posts: 910
Advice Needed, Hotel Breach of Contract - W New York - Union Square

Hi guys,

I have an issue with the W New York - Union Square that I need help with. I contacted corporate around 1pm today with an e-mail similar to what I'm writing below, but didn't receive a response. Any suggestions on what to do?

The W New York - Union Square has engaged in deceptive marketing practices, making material misrepresentations in their room descriptions, that if not rectified will cause significant damages—the exact amount of these damages is currently unknown.

On August 14, 2014, I made a reservation for the Extreme Wow Suite for my birthday at the W New York - Union Square checking in Saturday, April 25, 2015 and checking out Sunday, April 26, 2015. At the time the room description had the following verbiage:

“Magnify your stay with a full view of Union Square Park’s greenscape, winding paths and cobblestone accents from the wraparound couch in this thoroughly redesigned marvel. Make it your own with an interchangeable wall unit whose functions range from a DJ booth to a dining table for six. Host a sizeable gathering thanks to the separate living room’s ample seating and entertainment center with a 55-inch flat screen television. When the party’s over, escape to the Jacuzzi. (1,000 Square Feet / 93 Square Meters)”

I subsequently made additional reservations for surrounding rooms that are both connecting and non-connecting to the suite.

Over the past week, I have been in contact with a representative of the hotel, (redacted), who is responsible for, among other things, supporting the needs of the property’s guests.

I informed Ms. (redacted) of my intention to have a small gathering in the suite and requested a tour of the suite. Ms. (redacted) complied with my request on Wednesday, March 11, 2015, and informed me that the party would be possible, in addition to offering a number of suggestions on how the suite could be used. Ms. (redacted) also accompanied me to the hotel’s restaurant and bar where she offered me several drinks to continue to discuss plans for the party.

Subsequently, I sent out a number of invitations to the party at the W to my friends and family.

On Friday, March 13, 2015, Ms. (redacted) sent me a message via e-mail informing that the property would not be able to host my party and “this type of setup would not comply with our property's nonparty policy”. Additionally, the hotel’s marketing manager changed the description of the room on the hotels website to remove verbiage to suggest that the suite could be used for parties. I found an original version via Google’s web cache and have pasted it above.

After an e-mail with the info above was sent, I was told that I would need to commit to a $5,000.00 F&B requirement, when the Insider had told me on Wednesday that she could help me source outside food and even suggested a few places. She had also told me to reach out with any special special requests "Please feel free to reach out to me for Whatever/Whenever...really!" and that she would make sure that I would have a really awesome party.

What would you do if you were me?
donotblink is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 13, 15, 8:12 pm
  #2  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,720
Originally Posted by donotblink View Post
Hi guys,

I have an issue with the W New York - Union Square that I need help with. I contacted corporate around 1pm today with an e-mail similar to what I'm writing below, but didn't receive a response. Any suggestions on what to do?

The W New York - Union Square has engaged in deceptive marketing practices, making material misrepresentations in their room descriptions, that if not rectified will cause significant damages—the exact amount of these damages is currently unknown.

On August 14, 2014, I made a reservation for the Extreme Wow Suite for my birthday at the W New York - Union Square checking in Saturday, April 25, 2015 and checking out Sunday, April 26, 2015. At the time the room description had the following verbiage:

“Magnify your stay with a full view of Union Square Park’s greenscape, winding paths and cobblestone accents from the wraparound couch in this thoroughly redesigned marvel. Make it your own with an interchangeable wall unit whose functions range from a DJ booth to a dining table for six. Host a sizeable gathering thanks to the separate living room’s ample seating and entertainment center with a 55-inch flat screen television. When the party’s over, escape to the Jacuzzi. (1,000 Square Feet / 93 Square Meters)”

I subsequently made additional reservations for surrounding rooms that are both connecting and non-connecting to the suite.

Over the past week, I have been in contact with a representative of the hotel, (redacted), who is responsible for, among other things, supporting the needs of the property’s guests.

I informed Ms. (redacted) of my intention to have a small gathering in the suite and requested a tour of the suite. Ms. (redacted) complied with my request on Wednesday, March 11, 2015, and informed me that the party would be possible, in addition to offering a number of suggestions on how the suite could be used. Ms. (redacted) also accompanied me to the hotel’s restaurant and bar where she offered me several drinks to continue to discuss plans for the party.

Subsequently, I sent out a number of invitations to the party at the W to my friends and family.

On Friday, March 13, 2015, Ms. (redacted) sent me a message via e-mail informing that the property would not be able to host my party and “this type of setup would not comply with our property's nonparty policy”. Additionally, the hotel’s marketing manager changed the description of the room on the hotels website to remove verbiage to suggest that the suite could be used for parties. I found an original version via Google’s web cache and have pasted it above.

After an e-mail with the info above was sent, I was told that I would need to commit to a $5,000.00 F&B requirement, when the Insider had told me on Wednesday that she could help me source outside food and even suggested a few places. She had also told me to reach out with any special special requests "Please feel free to reach out to me for Whatever/Whenever...really!" and that she would make sure that I would have a really awesome party.

What would you do if you were me?

I would await a reply from corporate.


Do you honestly think that your are their number one priority and that they should stop what they are doing and get back to you before they even try to get in contact with the hotel so as to understand your complaint?
NJUPINTHEAIR is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 13, 15, 8:25 pm
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: New York City
Programs: American Airlines Executive Platinum, Marriott Rewards Platinum Premier Elite
Posts: 910
Originally Posted by NJUPINTHEAIR View Post
I would await a reply from corporate.


Do you honestly think that your are their number one priority and that they should stop what they are doing and get back to you before they even try to get in contact with the hotel so as to understand your complaint?
To answer your question: I think any guest that is Platinum and spends thousands of dollars every year should be a priority. I would have hoped for a response between 1PM when I sent the e-mail and 5 PM; but I would find a response on Monday acceptable.
donotblink is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 13, 15, 8:35 pm
  #4  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Atherton, CA
Programs: UA 1K, AA EXP; Owner, Green Bay Packers
Posts: 21,690
You really expected a reply to a random email within a few hours late on Friday afternoon?

If you need an immediate answer, you need to phone and reach someone.

It is pretty annoying that they reneged on their agreement with you.

But, frankly, I'd avoid any hotel which lists rooms in juvenile terms like "Extreme WOW Suite."

Hope your party goes well!
Doc Savage is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 13, 15, 8:39 pm
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: New York City
Programs: American Airlines Executive Platinum, Marriott Rewards Platinum Premier Elite
Posts: 910
Originally Posted by Doc Savage View Post
You really expected a reply to a random email within a few hours late on Friday afternoon?

If you need an immediate answer, you need to phone and reach someone.

It is pretty annoying that they reneged on their agreement with you.

But, frankly, I'd avoid any hotel which lists rooms in juvenile terms like "Extreme WOW Suite."

Hope your party goes well!
You're right. I think my anger probably clouded my expectations. I'm usually not a guestzilla, but I really don't like it when a property does a complete 180 on something major like this.

Thanks, for your well wishes, I hope I have a party to even throw. I made an appointment to talk to the folks at the W New York - Times Square, where I've had parties before. They want more than my original price for the W New York - Union Square, but less than their current estimate.
donotblink is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 14, 15, 2:33 am
  #6  
Hyatt 10+ BadgeFour Seasons 5+ Badge 2019 FlyerTalk Awards
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: SYD
Programs: QF WP (OWE), VA PLAT, EY GLD, SPG PLAT, Hyatt DIA, Hilton DIA, Hertz PC
Posts: 6,469
Basically the Sales Manager decided they didn't just want your room revenue. They wanted guaranteed F&B for your event.

Frankly, I would look at cancelling all reservations and hosting your event somewhere else like the St Regis or even non SPG Andaz 5th Avenue or the Premier Suites of the Grand Hyatt.

Alternatively, drop that $5k at a cool NY restaurant.

I get it's inconvenient for all your guests, but do you really want to give them a cent?
m0hamed is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 14, 15, 3:15 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Posts: 2,061
Back when I worked at Disney World in Central Reservations, we were required to immediately stop talking and transfer any guest that threatened legal action against the company. Even if you didn't mention a lawyer, your FT post did include the term "breach of contract" as well as a mention of "significant damages". If you used those terms in your complaint to Starwood, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that your complaint got routed to the legal department.
writerguyfl is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 14, 15, 3:48 am
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: BOS/UTH
Programs: AA LT PLT & 4.28 MM, QR PLT, SPG LT PLT
Posts: 11,444
Originally Posted by donotblink View Post
The W New York - Union Square has engaged in deceptive marketing practices, making material misrepresentations in their room descriptions, that if not rectified will cause significant damages—the exact amount of these damages is currently unknown.
I love it when non-lawyers make conclusory statements about the legal ramifications of what someone has allegedly done to them.
Dr. HFH is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 14, 15, 7:36 am
  #9  
2019 FlyerTalk Awards
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Toledo, OH but Washington DC will always be home.
Programs: Starriott Plat, Avis Presidents Club, Whatever Airline is going where I want to go
Posts: 1,498
I'm with writerguy. I worked customer service jobs all through high school/college/part of law school...some as management, some as a regular line employee and at all of the places I worked we had a policy that if a customer threatened legal action or started using terms like "damages" that we immediately referred the customer to corporate's legal department and could no longer directly address the customer's concerns.

So that may be the cause of some of your delay.

I'd just move my business. They've shown they don't want your business so I'd find a different hotel that does and reward them. I'd also tell all my friends, and post in the property's master thread to warn others away.



Originally Posted by writerguyfl View Post
Back when I worked at Disney World in Central Reservations, we were required to immediately stop talking and transfer any guest that threatened legal action against the company. Even if you didn't mention a lawyer, your FT post did include the term "breach of contract" as well as a mention of "significant damages". If you used those terms in your complaint to Starwood, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that your complaint got routed to the legal department.
dcstudent is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 14, 15, 7:47 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 937
To reiterate what was said above--I personally wouldn't use 'legal' terminology in such correspondence (and I'm a lawyer). This does suck, though. I'd take my business elsewhere.
trouble747 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 14, 15, 9:33 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Programs: SPG Plat 100, Hyatt Diamond, National EE and bunch of other mid-tier status
Posts: 455
I agree do you really want to do business with a hotel that treat you this way?

I would nevertheless escalate up the corporate level and see if they can help you with negotiating rates at one of the other Ws that are closer to what you were promised at this property.
zerolife is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 14, 15, 11:06 am
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: New York City
Programs: American Airlines Executive Platinum, Marriott Rewards Platinum Premier Elite
Posts: 910
I certainly do not want to do business with the hotel at this point, however, I typically plan these events several months in advanced, and my options are very limited at this point. Maybe the W New York - Union Square should walk my reservation to another Starwood property that can accommodate me.

In regards to the legal terminology, I genuinely feel that they made material misrepresentations to attract my business, only to bait and switch on me. Since I wrote the OP, the hotel has reached out, they wanted to know if I'd be interested in renting out the hotel's nightclub, which normally goes for $10,000.00, but they'd be willing to give me for $5,000.00. I told them that I'm not at all interested in the nightclub, which is IMO a much less intimate space and too large (not to mention expensive).

However, you guys make a very good point, in the future, I should use softer terminology.

As a gesture of goodwill, and to form a settlement that would work for all parties, I offered to commit to $1,000.00 F&B minimum. They told me that $1,000.00 would likely be to low, because they have union agreements, but that they would run my offer my the GM, and that I should hear back next week.

Assuming I don't come to a settlement that involves a NDA, I'll be sure to report back to let you guys know how things went.
donotblink is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 14, 15, 11:52 am
  #13  
2019 FlyerTalk Awards
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: California
Programs: Hyatt Whateverist, Starwood LTP, Marriot Platinum (SPG merge)
Posts: 2,115
Originally Posted by trouble747 View Post
To reiterate what was said above--I personally wouldn't use 'legal' terminology in such correspondence (and I'm a lawyer). This does suck, though. I'd take my business elsewhere.

I agree with both of you, but I prefer your helpful and non-insulting approach.
JackE is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 15, 15, 11:30 am
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: New York City
Programs: American Airlines Executive Platinum, Marriott Rewards Platinum Premier Elite
Posts: 910
Quick Update

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to let you all know that someone from Executive Consumer Affairs at the Starwood corporate level reached out to me today to apologize for my recent experience.

They want to set up a call for tomorrow to discuss my experience and the needs for my celebration in more detail.

I'm really quite happy that they've responded, take the issue seriously and want to resolve the issue.
donotblink is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Mar 15, 15, 12:17 pm
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: YVR
Programs: AC E75K 2MM former 14-year SE; UA MP Silver; Marriott Bonvoy Lifetime Titanium Elite
Posts: 26,469
Originally Posted by donotblink View Post
Hi guys,

I have an issue with the W New York - Union Square that I need help with. I contacted corporate around 1pm today with an e-mail similar to what I'm writing below, but didn't receive a response. Any suggestions on what to do?

The W New York - Union Square has engaged in deceptive marketing practices, making material misrepresentations in their room descriptions, that if not rectified will cause significant damages—the exact amount of these damages is currently unknown.

On August 14, 2014, I made a reservation for the Extreme Wow Suite for my birthday at the W New York - Union Square checking in Saturday, April 25, 2015 and checking out Sunday, April 26, 2015. At the time the room description had the following verbiage:

“Magnify your stay with a full view of Union Square Park’s greenscape, winding paths and cobblestone accents from the wraparound couch in this thoroughly redesigned marvel. Make it your own with an interchangeable wall unit whose functions range from a DJ booth to a dining table for six. Host a sizeable gathering thanks to the separate living room’s ample seating and entertainment center with a 55-inch flat screen television. When the party’s over, escape to the Jacuzzi. (1,000 Square Feet / 93 Square Meters)”

I subsequently made additional reservations for surrounding rooms that are both connecting and non-connecting to the suite.

Over the past week, I have been in contact with a representative of the hotel, (redacted), who is responsible for, among other things, supporting the needs of the property’s guests.

I informed Ms. (redacted) of my intention to have a small gathering in the suite and requested a tour of the suite. Ms. (redacted) complied with my request on Wednesday, March 11, 2015, and informed me that the party would be possible, in addition to offering a number of suggestions on how the suite could be used. Ms. (redacted) also accompanied me to the hotel’s restaurant and bar where she offered me several drinks to continue to discuss plans for the party.

Subsequently, I sent out a number of invitations to the party at the W to my friends and family.

On Friday, March 13, 2015, Ms. (redacted) sent me a message via e-mail informing that the property would not be able to host my party and “this type of setup would not comply with our property's nonparty policy”. Additionally, the hotel’s marketing manager changed the description of the room on the hotels website to remove verbiage to suggest that the suite could be used for parties. I found an original version via Google’s web cache and have pasted it above.

After an e-mail with the info above was sent, I was told that I would need to commit to a $5,000.00 F&B requirement, when the Insider had told me on Wednesday that she could help me source outside food and even suggested a few places. She had also told me to reach out with any special special requests "Please feel free to reach out to me for Whatever/Whenever...really!" and that she would make sure that I would have a really awesome party.

What would you do if you were me?
I didn't realize a birthday party was classified as a conference!
F&B requirement... unbelievable.
yyznomad is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread