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registering Marriott gift cards - pointless? impossible?

Question asked by miss_lathbury on Nov 18, 2013
Latest reply on Mar 6, 2014 by jdubtrey

I'm newish here, so apologies if this is in the wrong place. I've been frustrated over the past few days, trying to register Marriott gift cards purchased through Great Lakes Scrip (a fundraising program in which Marriott and other vendors donate a percentage of the value of cards bought through the program to non-profits). I'm venting and hoping that maybe some Marriott higher-up will read this and give a hoot.

 

Until recently, I had a gift card account, separate from my Rewards account, with a different password tied to my Rewards email address. I could register cards, see balances and when each card was used, etc. Not anymore. Now if you go to https://gifts.marriott.com/consumer/main/home.py there's no log-in to an existing account. You're invited to create a new account, but can't use the email on the old account (which is the one I want to use!) You can waste a fair amount of time trying to register cards to your existing account, because NOTHING on the site indicates that you can't.

 

I called GIGC (1-800-442-6132) to register the cards (as per the the back of the card). Not a fun experience. The automated voice starts off by asking for the number on the card whose balance you want to check - no other options offered. Um, no, Marriott - I am calling to register a card. I know what the balance is. But I rattle off a number, and after telling me what I already know, the voice offers to assist in another area. So I ask to register gift cards. Yadda yadda, assisting other customers, will be answered shortly, yadda yadda.

 

A bored rep answers with "This is Bored Rep" and then ... silence. I work in customer service. You're supposed to say "How can I help you?" Five words, Bored Rep. The exertion won't kill you. She is not interested in my woes and can barely force herself to tell me that the gift card page is down for maintenance, there's no way to access my old account, and if I want to register the cards, I need to email the card numbers and PIN numbers to Marriott using the email address tied to the previous account. It is apparently impossible for Bored Rep to register the cards for me over the phone - God knows she didn't offer. Goodbye, Bored Rep, and I hope your day gets more interesting.

 

I try again. The automated voice asks for a number but I tell him that I want to register cards instead. This time I get a more helpful rep. She says that the page is indeed down for maintenance and it may be months before it's back up. Apparently, personal information was on the site that shouldn't have been. She doesn't know why the website is so poorly designed/mysterious about how to access the old account. She tells me that reps have asked higher-ups for a note of explanation on the site about the change, but no one has responded so far. She shared a very helpful piece of info with me - registering the cards doesn't really make a difference in whether the desk clerk can/will be willing to use them. I have run into Marriott clerks who look at gift cards as if they're rectangles from a galaxy far, far away. I assumed that registering cards would make it easier for desk clerks to use them, but nope. If you keep a record of the card numbers and PINs, you can get cards replaced if they're lost or stolen. Why register them at all, I wonder?

 

So, Marriott higher-up, what the hell? Why not just state outright on the website that you can't register cards using your old account anymore? Why have the GIGC automated voice lead off with a question that not every customer wants answered, and make us wait to see if we'll be invited to ask the question we actually need help with? Why not respond to what your reps tell you the customers are asking about? Why not make sure that desk clerks are competent and agreeable about using gift cards, instead of acting as if they're a major pain or flat-out not knowing what to do with them? And maybe get a little caffeine into Bored Rep - she needs help.

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