I have been a very loyal member of both the Marriott Rewards and SPG programs and have earned Lifetime Platinum Elite Status in both programs prior to the merger, staying literally years at their properties over the last decade. In addition to this I also have a Marriott Rewards Visa that for a fee has provided a yearly reward of a one night stay certificate for category 1-5 hotels. Mine was issued recently and specifically indicated, with no corrections or stipulations, that it was once again for a category 1-5 hotel. I attempted to use this certificate tonight to meet my daughter at the Westin property in Memphis while she drives across the country and I have the opportunity to take time out of my busy travel schedule (Which includes stays at both Marriott and Sheraton) to spend a day with her. After spending two hours on the phone being bounced from various Marriott and SPG representatives, including supervisors, they informed me that they changed the rules and my certificate was actually only good on category 1-4 hotels or a category five up to 25K points. Interesting thing is that the description of this certificate did not change until I was directed to combine my accounts, which I would not have done had I know that the outcome would negatively impact the certificate.
Instead of doing the right thing by one of their most loyal customers they basically indicated it is out of our hands and I would need to spend my points to book the hotel or pay the rate. The certificate would not be honored in its' original form of issuance. I suggested in order not to alienate a long standing customer I suggested that they honor the original issuance of the certificate, category 1-5 without stipulation, or rescind the certificate and credit those points to my account with an additional 10K points in order to book the room that was requested. Nobody at either SPG or Marriott had the power to make it right with the customer. It reminds me of the high profile incidents experienced by airline travelers and how Southwest far exceeds its competitors by giving power to the front line team to make the correct decision to honor their mission and values. It is unfortunate that organizations of this stature, during a merger that has not been entirely smooth and actually disruptive at times, can't see fit to do the right thing.
It is very disappointing to say the least but since I have status for life I will slowly work down my very large point balance but will begin to re-establish my loyalty to the Hilton brand for my extensive business travel needs. Thank you to the Marriott and SPG associates that attempted to make this right tonight but were not provided the tools required to address a clear lapse of customer service. marriott hq marriott hotels marriott rewards credit cards marriott_spg westin hotel