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What benefit do front line staff get from not providing you benefits?

What benefit do front line staff get from not providing you benefits?

 
Old Jan 30, 07, 3:45 pm
  #16  
Company Representative - Starwood
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Austin, Texas
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Originally Posted by kevinsac View Post
......? Why waste my time, play games, not offer what is supposed to be available to me as a Plat, decline my request for a specific room......only to be given that specific room 40 mins later? It's either inadequate training, intentional poor customer service (which I doubt, from what I have seen of most Starwood staff around the world), or a do-not-care attitude. More than anything, I venture to bet the latter, since the computer has popped up with a room number and that's the easiest way to deal with it.
I know it may seem like that sometimes, but nine times out of ten, the front desk manager has un-pre-blocked someone else's room to get you what you really wanted since he is more empowered to do so. But, James would probably be a better source for what could explain this kind of situation.

Now, if it was a hotel that I knew we had problems with in the past, then I might be more willing to climb onboard the conspiracy band wagon, but this particular hotel we get very few member complaints about.

Sincerely,


William R. Sanders
Customer Service Coordinator
Starwood Preferred Services

[email protected]
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Old Jan 30, 07, 4:04 pm
  #17  
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I'm sorry, William. I was just ranting.

You know from my other posts that I seldom ask for an upgrade (for reasons stated above) and I am usually a big cheerleader for SPG; I know that Starwood has amongst the best staff in the entire travel industry.

I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt (and the powers of a Front Desk Manager) to this event, which, at the time, seemed like a frustrating run-around.

Sorry.
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Old Jan 30, 07, 4:08 pm
  #18  
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Originally Posted by kevinsac View Post
I'm sorry, William. I was just ranting.

You know from my other posts that I seldom ask for an upgrade (for reasons stated above) and I am usually a big cheerleader for SPG; I know that Starwood has amongst the best staff in the entire travel industry.

I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt (and the powers of a Front Desk Manager) to this event, which, at the time, seemed like a frustrating run-around.

Sorry.
Hey, no reason to apologize to me. I just wanted to insert that there was a possibility that the circumstances weren't as damning as they might appear to be.

Contrary to the opinions held by some who participate here, we appreciate everyone being willing to give their point of view. It only helps us to get better in the long run.

Sincerely,


William R. Sanders
Customer Service Coordinator
Starwood Preferred Services

[email protected]
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Old Jan 31, 07, 1:10 am
  #19  
cxn
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
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Dear SPG/Starwood,

I really do like larger rooms. Do I need a suite when traveling for Business? No, not always. But I also dont want to be put into the smallest room at the Hotel.

What I really want, is to be able to get an upgrade when I travel with my family on Points. I dont want to feel that by using points, I am being treated like a second class citizen. I spent many MONTHS in hotels earning those points.

Because of my second class citizen points status, I actually cut my travel in half with Starwood. From over 100 nights -> 50 nights.

Thanks,
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Old Jan 31, 07, 8:53 am
  #20  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Toronto
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I think undertrained staff are afraid of making mistakes...

...so they fall back to saying no when they do not know what they are suppossed to do. I've spoke to many staff over my years and the overwhelming consensus is they dont want to get in trouble for giving away something they should not have. To me this is a training issue pure and simple.
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Old Jan 31, 07, 10:10 am
  #21  
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Originally Posted by HomerJ View Post
...so they fall back to saying no when they do not know what they are suppossed to do. I've spoke to many staff over my years and the overwhelming consensus is they dont want to get in trouble for giving away something they should not have. To me this is a training issue pure and simple.
Could very well be at the root of the problem where there is one. Turnover at the front desk of hotels, regardless of affiliation, is probably the highest of any hotel-related position and that makes it hard for extensive training to catch up to new hires.

Sincerely,


William R. Sanders
Customer Service Coordinator
Starwood Preferred Services

[email protected]
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Old Jan 31, 07, 11:20 am
  #22  
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
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Starwood hotels are famous for the old well, for tonight we will put you in room such and such, but tomorrow we can move you. That has happened to me more than not in the past.

Off topic: The worst offender for nasty front desk behavior is the Fairmont Kea Lani. The front desk looks and behaves as if you shot their mother. Never a smile, never an aloha. You can bring them gifts of gold and they still snub you. The concierge ladies are the same way. You feel as if you are bothering them. As a matter of fact we had $500 in gift certs that we were supposed at the Kea Lani, but we sold them on E-bay for $400. We really don't frquent other Fairmonts.

Last edited by svenskaflicka; Jan 31, 07 at 11:24 am Reason: addition
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Old Jan 31, 07, 12:31 pm
  #23  
 
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Originally Posted by svenskaflicka View Post
Starwood hotels are famous for the old well, for tonight we will put you in room such and such, but tomorrow we can move you. That has happened to me more than not in the past.

Off topic: The worst offender for nasty front desk behavior is the Fairmont Kea Lani. The front desk looks and behaves as if you shot their mother. Never a smile, never an aloha. You can bring them gifts of gold and they still snub you. The concierge ladies are the same way. You feel as if you are bothering them. As a matter of fact we had $500 in gift certs that we were supposed at the Kea Lani, but we sold them on E-bay for $400. We really don't frquent other Fairmonts.
Surely this is better than 'We don't have a suite for tonight, so you can't have one for your entire stay'?
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Old Feb 1, 07, 11:25 am
  #24  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Las Cruces, NM
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My experience supports Starwood Lurker on point #3, "the smoking/bedding preference in your originally-booked reservation do not match those of an available suite" -- but the experience has been with Hilton.

I book double queen rooms since they are usually larger. I typically stay at least a week at a time and appreciate the extra space. Even when staff and management at a couple Hilton properties wanted to change me to a corner King, the software makes it darn near impossible. Have had it happen when booking a King and the larger double queen was available.

If you're looking for a conspiracy , look to the folks at HQs developing software that doesn't support the corporate frequent stay programs.
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Old Feb 1, 07, 12:51 pm
  #25  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Originally Posted by jmd4211 View Post
Surely this is better than 'We don't have a suite for tonight, so you can't have one for your entire stay'?
I'm really getting spoiled by SPG on FlyerTalk.

First, we get William, who's definitely the best lurker on FT. Now, I see multiple posts from an intelligent front office employee.

In poker terminology, SPG is the nuts!
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Old Feb 1, 07, 1:31 pm
  #26  
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My experience is that politeness counts. A lot.

I once checked out of an upgraded room (at 7 AM), and listened as a Platinum member demanded that sort of room, screaming at the clerk that he was entitled to one because he was Platinum. The clerk just kept repeating that there weren't any available.

I'm reasonably sure that if the guest had been polite, the clerk would have said that there aren't any clean yet, but one was just checked out of, and he'd have it cleaned as soon as the maids showed up; meanwhile, have a free breakfast on the hotel.

On the opposite side, being polite and undemanding (when a room wasn't available for early check-in) got me upgraded to the Waldorf Towers on a Priceline stay.
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Old Feb 1, 07, 1:34 pm
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Starwood Lurker View Post
I'm not James, and he is certainly welcome to elaborate on what complexities he has in mind further, but - from looking into these things in the past - here is my perspective:

1) the suite you are seeing online or are asking about from the Customer Contact Center may not be a standard suite.

2) the hotel's open sell status is set to allow over-booking and the suite that you and the Customer Contact Center are seeing really isn't available.

3) the smoking/bedding preference in your originally-booked reservation do not match those of an available suite.

4) the suite may not be available for your entire stay.

5) the suite may be legitimately in open sell status; however, at the time you arrive, it is not available for occupancy because another Platinum member exercised his option to stay until 4 PM.

There is not a doubt in my mind that some properties withhold the benefit for whatever reason and we always follow up on such instances when they occur and are reported to us, but 95% of the time I've reviewed the situation, it falls within the five previously-mentioned categories and this leads to a misperception of the circumstances.

Sincerely,


William R. Sanders
Customer Service Coordinator
Starwood Preferred Services

[email protected]
This sounds awfully similar to a post in thelobby.com. Is William plagerizing... himself?

Then again, this topic has come up so many times he probably had the response saved away for the frequent rehashing.
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Old Feb 1, 07, 1:40 pm
  #28  
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Originally Posted by PTahCha View Post
This sounds awfully similar to a post in thelobby.com. Is William plagerizing... himself?

Then again, this topic has come up so many times he probably had the response saved away for the frequent rehashing.
LOL. Actually, the one in The Lobby took a lot of time to put together and this post was cranked out in less than five minutes from memory. But, I guess the more often it comes around, the easier it is to remember.

Sincerely,


William R. Sanders
Customer Service Coordinator
Starwood Preferred Services

[email protected]
Starwood Lurker is offline  
Old Feb 1, 07, 2:25 pm
  #29  
 
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Two things IMO:
1. They curry favor with their managers.
2. They don't have to punch anything into the computers which clearly takes up valuable time.
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Old Feb 1, 07, 2:37 pm
  #30  
 
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I believe DINGO (immediate post prio to mine) is close to hitting the nail on the head.

Time spent changing the room assignment may have merit here...but more likely:

When he says they avoid offering the complimentary upgrade to "curry favor" w/ managers *IN ADVANCE OF* being begged to do so, I have a personal theory that their managers tell the front desk personnel to: ..."upgrade the customer, elite or not, only if they complain at the front desk; otherwise, whatever the room assignment, made by whomever the morning of arrival for all rooms, stands. Yes, we understand and know spg rules on this issue, but until they complain, or if they aren't a VFC (very frequent customer), do nothing until they complain. If we can sell the upgrade or suite, we would prefer to do that".

This is my personal theory of what's on the mind of the front desk clerk. A complimentary upgrade happens so infrequently to/for me in my (admittedly limited) travels that I cannot believe it is a random event or inadvertantly overlooked by the front desk. As so, so many complain all across these threads (and not just starwood) that , again, I can't believe they are inadvertant oversights...it gets O L D begging for what is rightfully earned by virtue of the earned status one has. So, I don't believe the front desk personnel are so much trying to curry favor from their manager...as they are likely following their managers' tacit if not explicit instructions to "protect the better room inventory" except for special reasons (again, a "VFC" would be one of these) in hopes of selling it.

Quite the cynical view, I know. I don't disagree.

I executed a so-called matress run in my locale NOV/DEC '06...staying at the same three properties several times in a compressed period...as a PLAT, often arriving very late or very early, when it would have taken no extra effort to bump me to any sort of "upgrade", I got none. Not a single time. Once, the hotel was less than 20% full by the front desk clerk's own admission...it was Thanksgiving holiday...and not even a mention of "would you like a better room Mr. ILUVCITIBANK was offered ? It was enlightening to me. Completely violated the spirit of "best standard available room at time of check-in for elites" (PLATs especially) policy.

Last edited by ILUVCITIBANK; Feb 6, 07 at 1:36 pm
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