SPG Ambassador worth it?

 
Old May 30, 2018, 10:34 am
  #151  
 
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Originally Posted by yyznomad
Have you asked for a new ambassador?
No, I have never requested a new ambassador. The program is really of limited use to me and the few times I tried to get benefits from it (i.e. my fiance's birthday) I was underwhelmed and left more disappointed.

I was more curious if the new status quo for the program is getting a response from another ambassador (not an out of office reply) and assigned a customer service reference number for a follow-up in 5-7 business days. That sounds more aligned with the current Marriott Platinum program. It may be just my particular ambassador seeing as I have not heard from them since November
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Old May 30, 2018, 10:44 am
  #152  
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Originally Posted by longtimereader firstimeposter
No, I have never requested a new ambassador. The program is really of limited use to me and the few times I tried to get benefits from it (i.e. my fiance's birthday) I was underwhelmed and left more disappointed.

I was more curious if the new status quo for the program is getting a response from another ambassador (not an out of office reply) and assigned a customer service reference number for a follow-up in 5-7 business days. That sounds more aligned with the current Marriott Platinum program. It may be just my particular ambassador seeing as I have not heard from them since November
I get a response from "another" ambassador if it is after business hours for my ambassador. The following business day, my has ambassador responded by then. It's been like this for years, and the response time from my ambassador is very reasonable (within 24 hours (not including weekends and holidays), but usually within a few business hours), IMHO.
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Old May 30, 2018, 12:38 pm
  #153  
 
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Originally Posted by yyznomad
I get a response from "another" ambassador if it is after business hours for my ambassador. The following business day, my has ambassador responded by then. It's been like this for years, and the response time from my ambassador is very reasonable (within 24 hours (not including weekends and holidays), but usually within a few business hours), IMHO.
This has been my experience as well that's why I was surprised when I had a response from another Ambassador during normal business hours saying someone from customer service would reach out to me in 5-7 business days. I sent the note yesterday morning and still no follow-up from my actual ambassador.
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Old May 31, 2018, 5:12 pm
  #154  
 
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Was SPG 100 but last year stoped staying at 80 something nights and stayed with Hilton to secure renewal of Diamond with them. This year I'm already at 75+ nights so I will go for spg 100 without any doubt.

My experience was the same as the one here : 2/3 days to get an answer, during week end and nights, the messages was not automatically treated by other people in the team, most of my requests was related to restaurant and night life tips, booking hairdresser, barber or other services and she always failed (answered too late or provide list of places that is not up to date or copy-past from trip advisor).

I really prefer the service and support I have from the "regular spg platinum support"... they answer in less than 1 hours 24/24 and always follow up.

I think Marriott should be more clear about what ambassador is about, what is the purpose. Because if it's booking and helping for some missing points, it's indeed useless.

I will go back to 100 in august or September I think and I'm curious to see how marriott will manage it. Let's hope for the best, with more clear description of the benefit.

PS : I'm pretty sure they use a CRM with scoring anyway.
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Old May 31, 2018, 5:17 pm
  #155  
 
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For people travelling extensively like us I hope marriott will provide a 24/24 ambassador service covering the 3 big time zones without gap : US / EUROPE / ASIA at least. This would be amazing to get one ambassador per zone to always get someone you know and who know you available.

This was my biggest frustration, I was `90% of the time in another time zone so they moved me to this time zone, but my travel planned too me to an other one, etc.
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Old May 31, 2018, 5:30 pm
  #156  
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Originally Posted by frenchft
For people travelling extensively like us I hope marriott will provide a 24/24 ambassador service covering the 3 big time zones without gap : US / EUROPE / ASIA at least. This would be amazing to get one ambassador per zone to always get someone you know and who know you available.

This was my biggest frustration, I was `90% of the time in another time zone so they moved me to this time zone, but my travel planned too me to an other one, etc.
I suspect that with the additional $20K requirement, the ambassador service will be this and more... at least mirroring what my ambassador did/does for me, at a minimum.

Even if not, those in this cohort will demand it, and in a way, I think rightfully so.
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Old May 31, 2018, 6:37 pm
  #157  
 
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So if you had 100+ nights but less than 20K spend in 2017 in SPG, will you transition to PPE + Ambassador on August 1 or just PPE? Not clear from the email that was sent out today.
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Old May 31, 2018, 6:47 pm
  #158  
 
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Originally Posted by longtimereader firstimeposter
Has anyone else seen this service go completely downhill? I haven’t heard from my Ambassador since November (not even when I requalified in December) and finally emailed them today regarding a rather serious issue with a hotel. My Ambassador did not even respond, someone “helping them today” responded with a reference number and told me I would get a response in 5-7 business days.

I’ve had the ambassador service for 4 years now and have never been impressed but this is a new low.

I've been Platinum 100 for 6-7 years. Had a couple of great ambassadors in that time and I was really happy wih the one assigned to me from 2014-2016 until she moved on from Starwood. Her replacement never made much of an effort - no more random gifts in the mail, holiday greeting cards, invites to SPG events, not even an email when I requalified for ambassador service. Previous ambassadors got to know my preferences and contacted me prior to trips with local suggestions and to check if I needed anything arranged. Now I pretty much only make contact to sort out missing point/stay credit issues.

Thought I'd give it another shot for a special occasion though - I have a big birthday coming up end of June for which I booked a few rooms for friends and family over five days at a property abroad and wanted to organise a few activities and restaurant bookings. Reached out to my ambassador a month ago with requests, and first contact was positive as she correctly noticed that the trip was over my birthday (I hadn't mentoned this) and made all the right noises about ensuring that it would be a special occasion.

Then...nothing. I mailed again mid-May to give her a nudge and she replied that she'd get back to me by end of that week. Another two weeks later, still nothing. I've given up and am making arrangements directly with the hotel, restaurants etc.

I don't know if this is a reflection on my specific ambassador or a downturn in the programme in general that just happened to coincide with getting her assigned to me. I could request a different ambassador (which I once did a few years ago with a good result) but I guess my expectations have been lowered past the point of caring.
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Old May 31, 2018, 9:31 pm
  #159  
 
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First - do any of you fill out the survey they send out to us every year? They take those very seriously. My first year I was completely underwhelmed like some of the stories here. I filled out the survey and was critical of the program and the head of the program reached out to me, set up a time to talk with me and changed my ambassador. During that process I told them my expectations and asked if I was off base or inline with their intended benefits. I also had the benefit of co-workers that had Ambassadors that did some nice things for them so I had data points to compare.

I had to go through 4 Ambassadors to get the one I have now. This one has been great and we've been together for two years. Of course I have minimal requests for my business travel but she does call ahead, especially at a new location (I usually prompt her letting her know it's a new property for me) When it comes to vacations or even if Mrs. Deac83 is traveling on business with me she works with the hotel to get the upgrades and usually sends a welcome gift. I've gotten great suite upgrade in prime locations there is no doubt that she is making these happen.

We mostly communicate by email and if it's during her normal work hours I usually get a response within the hour. This past week we traded a few emails in one day regarding an up coming trip. If it's after hours it gets dumped in the general pool for the most part.

At the same time I have reservations next spring for a vacation and she's already mentioned it too me, so I know she does keep tabs on my plans.

I also don't pepper them with lots of requests or have crazy requests, I focus mostly on getting upgrades on big vacation trips. They will arrange restaurant reservations through the hotel, which I've done and they completed but I really only do that if there is a language barrier and/or I can't book it online. I only have them make reservations for me if there is a problem getting one set up.

I don't consider them my personal assistant but some one that knows what my business and vacation travel needs are and watches my back and can make the experience better overall.

I was Marriott Plat Premier (i.e. top 2%, by invitation only etc) for more than 5 years and found benefits to that were completely random with no rhyme or reason.
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Old Jun 1, 2018, 3:28 am
  #160  
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Perhaps the value of ambassador post-merger is to have a direct line to support w/ Marriott, since right now you have no way to contact a support email. Their phones lines are atrocious, and I'm not convinced they ever respond to emails.
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Old Jun 4, 2018, 5:02 am
  #161  
 
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Cool

Originally Posted by deac83
First - do any of you fill out the survey they send out to us every year? They take those very seriously. My first year I was completely underwhelmed like some of the stories here. I filled out the survey and was critical of the program and the head of the program reached out to me, set up a time to talk with me and changed my ambassador. During that process I told them my expectations and asked if I was off base or inline with their intended benefits. I also had the benefit of co-workers that had Ambassadors that did some nice things for them so I had data points to compare.

I had to go through 4 Ambassadors to get the one I have now. This one has been great and we've been together for two years. Of course I have minimal requests for my business travel but she does call ahead, especially at a new location (I usually prompt her letting her know it's a new property for me) When it comes to vacations or even if Mrs. Deac83 is traveling on business with me she works with the hotel to get the upgrades and usually sends a welcome gift. I've gotten great suite upgrade in prime locations there is no doubt that she is making these happen.

We mostly communicate by email and if it's during her normal work hours I usually get a response within the hour. This past week we traded a few emails in one day regarding an up coming trip. If it's after hours it gets dumped in the general pool for the most part.

At the same time I have reservations next spring for a vacation and she's already mentioned it too me, so I know she does keep tabs on my plans.

I also don't pepper them with lots of requests or have crazy requests, I focus mostly on getting upgrades on big vacation trips. They will arrange restaurant reservations through the hotel, which I've done and they completed but I really only do that if there is a language barrier and/or I can't book it online. I only have them make reservations for me if there is a problem getting one set up.

I don't consider them my personal assistant but some one that knows what my business and vacation travel needs are and watches my back and can make the experience better overall.

I was Marriott Plat Premier (i.e. top 2%, by invitation only etc) for more than 5 years and found benefits to that were completely random with no rhyme or reason.
you mean Marriott ambassador is even worst than SPG...??
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Old Jun 4, 2018, 5:04 am
  #162  
 
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Originally Posted by dmbfan222
So if you had 100+ nights but less than 20K spend in 2017 in SPG, will you transition to PPE + Ambassador on August 1 or just PPE? Not clear from the email that was sent out today.
As I understood :
- `100+ nights this year with spg (based on spg T&C) >> ambassador in 2019 (starting when reached in 2018)
- 100+ nights this year (SPG + Marriott) without 20K spending >> platinum 75
- 100+ nights this years (SPG + Marriott) AND 20K >> ambassador in 2019 (starting when reached in 2018)

Am I right?
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Old Jun 9, 2018, 5:59 pm
  #163  
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Originally Posted by frenchft
As I understood :
- `100+ nights this year with spg (based on spg T&C) >> ambassador in 2019 (starting when reached in 2018)
- 100+ nights this year (SPG + Marriott) without 20K spending >> platinum 75
- 100+ nights this years (SPG + Marriott) AND 20K >> ambassador in 2019 (starting when reached in 2018)

Am I right?
My ambassador said that it depends on whether I merged the accounts (i.e. that merging will be a distinct step you take once, just like linking was before).

If I merge accounts, then new requirements apply (100+ nights combined, $20k spend required). If I don't, then I can qualify based on old requirements (100+ nights SPG only, no spend, but Marriott nights don't count)
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Old Jun 9, 2018, 8:49 pm
  #164  
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Originally Posted by helvetic
My ambassador said that it depends on whether I merged the accounts (i.e. that merging will be a distinct step you take once, just like linking was before).

If I merge accounts, then new requirements apply (100+ nights combined, $20k spend required). If I don't, then I can qualify based on old requirements (100+ nights SPG only, no spend, but Marriott nights don't count)
I am confused. What would be the purpose of merging then? Might as well leave unmerged, get 100 nights SPG and not worry about spend. Otherwise, if merged you would not renew AMB despite 100 nights if you don't reach $20k?

What your ambassador said is contradictory to the wiki, question A9:
Official announcement See how our three loyalty programs will become one in August
"Any members that stay 100 nights at legacy SPG brands or 100 nights plus have $20,000 USD in eligible spend, across all 29 brands by year-end 2018, will retain their Ambassador for all of 2019. "

There is nothing in the wiki about merging or not merging, whatever "merging" is supposed to mean. I thought everybody would be forcefully merged on August 1st anyway so I am not clear on what is this distinct step that your ambassador is referring to.
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Old Jun 9, 2018, 9:10 pm
  #165  
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The purpose would be to be able to count the Marriott nights towards status in exchange for also having to meet a spend requirement. I'm on the edge where it's unclear whether it'll be easier for me to do $20k spend or stretch to 100 without counting Marriott. (Unlike last year where I easily cleared 130 SPG only, I'm spending a lot more nights at Hyatt and Marriott this year)

My ambassador explicitly said it was dependent on whether I choose to "merge" accounts later. This is a sample size of one, so it could just be a misunderstanding of the plans. Just reporting my data points.
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