Well this is the Marriott

November 24, 2009

Sometimes loyalty schemes confuse me. Last week in San Jose I switched hotels. For several years I have been using the Hilton, this year for a change I went to the Marriott. The hotel costs were met directly by the conference organisers. On checkout I noticed that my overnight stays had not been credited to my Marriott rewards card, only the costs of room service one night. Challenging this I was told it was Marriott policy not to credit nights unless paid directly by the card holder. Now, in the best part of decade (and earlier that week in Monterey) the Hilton had never operated such a policy nor any other hotel group in my experience. I mentioned this and received so sympathy, just a rather snooty Well this is the Marriott.

I raised it on the web site thinking there must be some mistake, but James White of Marriott Customer Care had little sympathy. He started by saying I had come to the wrong place (well all I did was use the contact button on the rewards web site) and then pointed me to the on line terms and conditions. Now I freely admit I do not spend a lot of time reading such documents and was reminded of that passage in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy where the demolition notice on Arthur Dent’s house is located n a filing cabinet in the darkened cellar behind a sign that says, “Beware of the Leopard”. Net effect, no credit.

Now I can see no reason for this, its normal at conferences and the like for the overnight charge to be met directly. Either way, for anyone else in the same situation who reads this blog you now know just how petty minded the Marriott reward scheme is. Suffice it to say that no more of my 230 overnight stays per year will go their way. My apologies to the Hilton for my lack of appreciation for their service over the years.

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