Do I have any recourse when Marriott cancels a confirmed reservation?
Here is my very disappointing situation: As a loyal Lifetime Gold Marriott member for many years and SPG Amex (now Bonvoy) for a long time, I get the following email less than 24 hours before I was scheduled to arrive for a week’s stay (spring break vacation with the wife and 3 kids) telling me that a reservation I booked 30 days previous through the reservation desk with a human being:
"Due to unforeseen circumstances, we regretfully need to inform you that we are unable to accommodate your reservation at the Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort and Spa, arriving on April 17, 2019. We are in the process of finding alternate accommodations for you. Once again, we apologize for any inconvenience and we appreciate your patience and understanding. Upon receiving the message, please contact our Front Office Manager [removing name] at 561-340-1700 regarding your accommodations.”
After spending multiple hours on/off the phone with the Front Office Mgr, he had no remorse or compassion, no explanation of how this happened, no potential resolution/offer to compensate, and no plan for rebooking me into another property. “I'm working on it” is all I could get out of him. He could not have cared less and was completely unable to help me. I found it very interesting that they sent an email (not even a phone call) at 5:30 pm after all of the executives have gone home. Oh and btw Front Desk Manager let it slip that they found out about this issue IN THE MORNING!!!
I was frantically looking for additional properties online, one of which I found that was available (the Oceana Palms down the street). I even called reservations to confirm availability, which they said was indeed available. However, the Front Office Mgr claimed he didn’t know how that can possibly be true since his people checked and that was not the case. Beside being to be stuck with $3k in airline tix and a very disappointed family they did very little to help. By 9pm (less than 12 hours before my flight from the Northeast) he calls back with an option for a level 4 hotel where they would pay for 1 night. Keep in mind I had booked a level 6 using 240k points. As this was a much lower quality property, not at all what we had planned for a family vacation and would now cost us cash instead of points, we declined. I understand mistakes happen and if they would have contacted me this morning when the error was discovered it would have at least given me more than a few hours to try and arrange alternate accommodations. The sheer lack of compassion and willingness to try to and correct the situation was incredibly disappointing and from what I understand we were one of about 40 reservations cancelled by this property the day before arrivals.