Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Discontinued Programs/Partners > Starwood | Starwood Preferred Guest
Reload this Page >

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, 1:38 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Posts: 326
What benefit do front line staff get from not providing you benefits?

With the exception of a directive from upper management, why are front line staff sometimes difficult in providing you your earned benefits? In other words, why are there huge threads on frequent guests not getting the benefits as promised?

It almost seems like a collusion effort with platinum benefits, lack of upgrades etc being systematic? Not only for SPG but for all hotel chains? My specific question is:

What motivates front line staff to provide sub-standard service specifically by denying you of your benefits?

Mike
mikeinseattle is offline  
Old Jan 30, 07, 1:44 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Los Angeles
Programs: UA PLT (MR Gld; Hertz PC), AA 2MM, Bonvoy LT GLD, GP Plt, Mets fan.
Posts: 5,057
They sell the logo products on the side, to supplement their outrageously high salaries.

They gather the entire staff (who aren't responding to your late nite calls) into one room and watch all the free movies that PLTs dont want.



You're assuming, of course, that this is anything more than poor employees and/or poor training...which may be unwarranted.
CO FF is offline  
Old Jan 30, 07, 7:07 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Pasadena,Ca.,US.
Programs: AA, Delta, United, SPG plat, Hyatt dia
Posts: 7,115
I think it is a top down sort of thing.If management looks upon elites as pains versus gains that disdain seeps down the ranks.
If management makes the staff know that we are to be valued rather than loathed then it becomes a competition for the staff as to who has treated elites the best.
bigguyinpasadena is offline  
Old Jan 30, 07, 7:08 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 72
Originally Posted by CO FF View Post
They sell the logo products on the side, to supplement their outrageously high salaries.

They gather the entire staff (who aren't responding to your late nite calls) into one room and watch all the free movies that PLTs dont want.



You're assuming, of course, that this is anything more than poor employees and/or poor training...which may be unwarranted
.
I don't know that people are 'motivated to provide bad service'. Like in any walk of life, errors can be made, and oversights can occur. Certainly a training issue can be a problem.

Also, hotel guests often cannot see the whole picture, as they do not have all of the information available about a particular scenario. Upgrades, for example - so many factors for a hotel to consider,when the only information a guest can see, or for that matter is interested in (understandably so, of course) is their own booking.

I can only speak for myself, and my own property when I say that, when it comes to Plats and Golds, if we can, we will. Same in every SPG property I ever worked in.
jmd4211 is offline  
Old Jan 30, 07, 8:24 am
  #5  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Potomac Falls, VA
Programs: AA Plat 2MM, MR Gold, Avis Pref
Posts: 41,108
My guess is sometimes for one reason or another that they (front desk person) just doesn't like you

Maybe you wore the wrong color shirt, wrong logo, you came in full of your self, you were rude, anything.. they just don't like you or your attitude and just decide within themselves that they are not going to provide you anything more than they want to provide you.

It could be that simple
TrojanHorse is offline  
Old Jan 30, 07, 9:00 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: 33,000 feet
Programs: aa exp and ck, spg plat, hz pc, dl life gld, marriott life plat, others
Posts: 553
Simple laziness. The system pops up a room when you check in. If you force them to look for the best available room, it is more work.

I agree that the behavior is so widespread that it cannot be explained simply by lack of training or the bad luck of hitting the worst employees in a hotel.
eightmillionmiler is offline  
Old Jan 30, 07, 9:08 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 72
Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
My guess is sometimes for one reason or another that they (front desk person) just doesn't like you

Maybe you wore the wrong color shirt, wrong logo, you came in full of your self, you were rude, anything.. they just don't like you or your attitude and just decide within themselves that they are not going to provide you anything more than they want to provide you.

It could be that simple
Could be that simple, but unlikely. All I can say is that there are many complexities that can, and do occur that can mislead people into thinking that they are being undersold, when this is not the case.
jmd4211 is offline  
Old Jan 30, 07, 12:06 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: (not Montana. Nor is my name really Helena, nor am I female)
Programs: Delta, USAirways, Starwood, Priority Club, Marriott, Amex
Posts: 2,557
Originally Posted by bigguyinpasadena View Post
...If management looks upon elites as pains versus gains that disdain seeps down the ranks.
I believe it was the famous hotel manager, Eliza Doolittle, who said, "Disdain their gains, they mainly are just pains."
Helena Handbaskets is offline  
Old Jan 30, 07, 12:47 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: New York, NY
Programs: UA - Global Services 1MM; Marriott - Ambassador, Lifetime Titanium; Hertz - President's Circle
Posts: 1,584
James, could you give us some more insights into the complexities? Personally, it's difficult for me to understand why I hear so often that no suites are available for my stay when the web or a call to reservations tells me otherwise.
vandalby is offline  
Old Jan 30, 07, 1:01 pm
  #10  
Company Representative - Starwood
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Austin, Texas
Programs: Marriott Employee Level
Posts: 31,593
Originally Posted by vandalby View Post
James, could you give us some more insights into the complexities? Personally, it's difficult for me to understand why I hear so often that no suites are available for my stay when the web or a call to reservations tells me otherwise.
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]
Starwood Lurker is offline  
Old Jan 30, 07, 1:03 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 72
Originally Posted by vandalby View Post
James, could you give us some more insights into the complexities? Personally, it's difficult for me to understand why I hear so often that no suites are available for my stay when the web or a call to reservations tells me otherwise.

Can be a discrepancy between our Front Office system and Central inventory, can be that the suite you see online is exempt from the SPG upgrade procedure, can be that the suite that you see is for some reason un-useable, can be that we have a suite available for the duration of your stay, but not necessarily the same one for the duration of your stay, can be that you foresee an allocation issue, and keep a suite back in case it is needed.

Just a selection of possibilities - if it were the case that it was just the case of pressing an extra button, as an earlier poster suggested, then I may find myself out of a job!
jmd4211 is offline  
Old Jan 30, 07, 1:32 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: All Over - Gathering No Moss
Programs: SPG Plat, HLT Honors, DL PLT but missing NWA terribly.
Posts: 435
I think most front desk clerks are all sadists and masochists. They enjoy watching you suffer almost as much as they enjoy getting screamed at by those same people denied their benefits.

I've always made a point of being friendly with those working the front lines, especially at hotels that I spend a lot of time in. And in most instances it pays off with an upgrade. I also ask questions when I get to know staff members well, and have asked them about upgrades etc. The answer I always get is there is always more people to upgrade than there are rooms to upgrade to - especially during the week. And while there is a set upgrade report they get each day, they do have flexibility, hence my successes.

I have also been told that upgrades are usually done early in the day, however they will give away a previously held upgrade to mollify a particularly insistent guest. Or a particularly pleasant one.

But I don't honestly think there is a grand conspiracy to systematically deny SPG cardholders of their benefits. Anymore than I believe anyone enjoys giving substandard service.
Rolling Stone is offline  
Old Jan 30, 07, 1:57 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 72
Originally Posted by Rolling Stone View Post
I think most front desk clerks are all sadists and masochists. They enjoy watching you suffer almost as much as they enjoy getting screamed at by those same people denied their benefits.

I've always made a point of being friendly with those working the front lines, especially at hotels that I spend a lot of time in. And in most instances it pays off with an upgrade. I also ask questions when I get to know staff members well, and have asked them about upgrades etc. The answer I always get is there is always more people to upgrade than there are rooms to upgrade to - especially during the week. And while there is a set upgrade report they get each day, they do have flexibility, hence my successes.

I have also been told that upgrades are usually done early in the day, however they will give away a previously held upgrade to mollify a particularly insistent guest. Or a particularly pleasant one.

But I don't honestly think there is a grand conspiracy to systematically deny SPG cardholders of their benefits. Anymore than I believe anyone enjoys giving substandard service.

Harsh, but certainly a bit of common coursesy would never do you any harm...
jmd4211 is offline  
Old Jan 30, 07, 3:19 pm
  #14  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: new york, ny, usa
Posts: 13,537
Originally Posted by jmd4211 View Post
keep a suite back in case it is needed.
i've never had a huge issue with suite allocation. i know that over a two year period ending last year, i practically lived in starwood hotels for extended stretches and rarely saw suites. but, there were legit reasons and i was fine. the properties treated me well, regardless. i am not a huge "suite guy" unless i am traveling with a significant other/friend and a little extra room might be nice. when i am alone, i could care less.

the reasons listed by william and james are all legit. the one i highlighted in quotes above is probably the only one most platinums would have an issue with.
fly co to see the yanks is offline  
Old Jan 30, 07, 3:37 pm
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Sacramento
Programs: UA 2MM/GS; SPG Lifetime Plat; MHC Lifetime; Tar Heel forever; and I "Dig the Pig" at Piggly Wiggly
Posts: 12,098
I've never been one to espouse a conspiracy theory -- Bill and Hillary got what they deserved -- but I have often wondered why a proffered benefit is often "withheld."

Many times, I only stay one night. An upgrade to a suite is nice, but if I am at the property for only 10-12 hours, I would rather it be held for someone who can appreciate it more and take advantage of the added space. The 500-point amenity is quantifiable and important to me .... and is something which almost always gets offered without having to ask for it.

But the few times when I have been at a property for a longer period of time, or if I am on holiday and want the room to use as a haven for relaxation, then I will gladly take an upgraded room. And I nicely will ask if an upgraded room is available for Plat members.

Recently, I was at the 4 Points DC. Three hours business, 4 nights at the property. I told the staff that I was glad to be back at the property (hint!); I actually like that property for my purposes of being in town. I asked for a specific room, in which I stayed last time. I suggested that I did not need a suite, but wanted a "larger" room. He offered a club floor room, which I declined.....size was more important than club floor, since I already get the amenities and access. He assigned a "nice" room. When I got there, I was surprised at the small size....I had never seen such a small room at this property. I called down, asked nicely for a larger room "such as 928 or another corner room", was re-assigned to a "really nice room on the Club Floor," which turned out to be identical to the first room.

Long story short.....went to Front Desk again, asked nicely, he told me that no other rooms were available, which, for a long weekend, I was beginning to realize might be true. Just then, the Front Desk manager came over, asked if he could help.....saw that I was a repeat guest and welcomed me.....and then asked if I liked the room I was in last time, because it was available the entire weekend.

...? 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.
kevinsac is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: