Terrible Customer Service, Terrible terms for point redemption, everything difficult.
Dear Marriott Customer Care,
I did not want to become a part of Marriott Bonvoy.
I did not want to forfeit my Starwood Preferred Guest account.
I did not want my beloved Starwood Preferred Guest American Express to begin to charge me an annual fee.
I found no use for the terrible one-night certificate proffered to me to assuage the painful cost of that horrible annual fee.
I had no desire to stay at any Marriott property- I was a Starwood Preferred Guest because I loved Starwood properties, their loyalty benefits, their excellent customer service, and their simple, streamlined, easy system of rewarding customers generously for being faithful guests.
And yet, I was stuck with you. I reluctantly gave you a chance and found that all of my fears of associating myself with your brand have been realized; your customer service has proven itself unresponsive, impotent, and unsatisfying.
On May 20th of this month I made a reservation at the Marriott Desert Springs Villas II. The Customer Service Representative was helpful and tried to reserve the room type for the dates that I required: I was explicit in wanting to reserve a King Suite from June 21st to June 25th, 2019. Of course, I wanted to maximize my use of my rewards points mixed with cash- she guided me in the most efficient way to do so. We arrived at a conclusion where I would obtain a reservation of the King Suite on June 21-24 using points for the night of the 21st but paying for the rest of the reservation with cash. This was an amenable solution to me.
I was clear that I desired to use the free night offered to me via my Starwood American Express card; since your company has begun charging for the use of this credit card I needed to find some value for this new fee now charged me. This seemed like the perfect opportunity since I rarely stay at Marriott properties. My agent said that I could apply the free night certificate to a King Studio on my final night, June 24th-25th but that she would request that I be upgraded to a King Suite since my other nights that were reserved were all in a King Suite. She explained that this was a request which would be answered by someone calling me within the next few days. It seemed like a small request and so she was confident that if I could not receive a complimentary upgrade, the property would figure out some way to upgrade using an appropriate amount of points.
Days passed and I never received the call which was promised. Finally, after 14 days, on June 4th, I received an email from Sarah Gilbert from an address called "internet customer care." She mentioned that I had problems with my reservation and that some mixture of cash or points was making my reservation untenable: she asked if she could call me. She requested the ideal times to call and I responded with a range of times as well as mentioned one particular time which we could confirm as an appointment. I cleared my schedule and waited for her call.
I never heard from Sarah Gilbert again. Never.
I called your customer care line on June 11th, afraid that my reservation was in jeopardy since Sarah Gilbert seemed to be implying this, yet not responding or reaching out the rectify the situation. After 2 hours on the line, Aja, Alicia, Shirley and a host of well-meaning CSR's confirmed that they believed that my reservation for June 21-24 never was made for the room type I requested: instead of a King Suite, the reservation was for a King Studio. And instead of simply the last night of my reservation being under a request for an upgrade, the WHOLE reservation had a request for an upgrade. The last point of consensus was that it would cost me great amounts of additional points (more than 100K more) or great amounts of extra cash (over $700) for this miscommunication to somehow be rectified. I was aghast at the miscommunication. Your CSR's agreed that the initial charge of about 40k + travel certificate + about $300 for the four nights now ballooning to either a charge of over 150K points or over $900 was shocking and they said that they would seek some sort of resolution. However, first they said, they were going to alert Sarah Gilbert who had emailed me earlier. They wanted Sarah to offer me some way to rectify the situation: perhaps for a smaller charge of 20k points I could be upgraded to the King Suite for all nights and the whole erroneous booking, the non-responsive email and phone exchange and the hours on the phone could somehow be brought to a satisfactory conclusion. "Let's wait for Sarah to call you," they said. If she didn't call me within 24 hours, they stated, it would be considered a massive breakdown in customer service and they would refer me to the highest levels of customer service and correct the situation to my satisfaction.
I waited 24 hours. Sarah Gilbert never called. I emailed Sarah Gilbert. She still did not call. I received no email, message or other communication say
Marriott Status: Gold
Lifetime Status: No Lifetime Status