Recently I have an interesting experience with a Luxury Collection Property.
Have a travel plan that is likely but not certainly. Accidentally booked a 'member pre-paid rate' instead of a 'member rate', as I was getting tired late night at the time of booking. Next day when I double checked the reservation, figured out it was a mistake. Therefore tried to contact hotel and at least swap off to a flexible rate.
1. Called Marriott Platinum, agent said she could not do anything, asked me to contact to hotel directly
2. Contacted hotel, the agent said she could not do anything (front desk?). Transferred me to SPG/Marriott reservation agent again.
3. Agent tried to reach out to hotel management on my behalf. Seemed no one picked up. Agent submitted a request for cancel without penalty due to booking error (well within 24 hour window, although Marriott may not have such a policy, even worse than United airlines who beat you up from that perspective).
Sometime that evening, I received an email stated the stay was cancelled (I was driving and did not check my email till midnight), with cancellation number "000000000"? Well, this is interesting, I assume only someone inside can write a cancellation code like that.
Based on email records, 4 hours later after the cancellation email, a hotel manager reached out to me said the penalty will be collected. Wait... what? Seriously? I understand you are trying to make money. But seriously, really willing to push that hard to make profit over nothing?!
I assume no one would pay over $300 to be bullied immediately by such a "prestigious" resort. (Look, it is a "Luxury Collection"!)
After few rounds of email exchange (only 2 emails exchanged). First stated that it was a miscommunication not a scam, asked me if I want to reinstate the reservation (thanks, I will travel to Phoenix, but not staying at this property. $300 buy you good hotels in Phoenix anyway). Then sent me a form "request for refund subject to hotel's review and approval". (And potential reason for refund: either you are critically ill, or your close relatives are critically ill, or someone is dead.)
Well..... at least I am not requesting refund for any of those reasons.