Just want to share with you what happened to me during a recent stay at the JW Marriott Hotel Kuala Lumpur and would like to remind everyone (especially myself) to check your credit card balance right before checking out a hotel.
Summary: during a recent (late March 2019) stay at JW Marriott KL, Malaysia, I was charged twice but have not been refunded as of May 10, 2019. After waiting for a response from Customer Support of Marriott for 3 weeks, I reached out to the Hotel Manager directly via email and received a promise that a refund will be issued but may take 4 weeks to proceed.
Full details (super long):
January 9, 2019 – I made a reservation at marriott.com for a stay of 5 nights (from March 24 to March 29) at JW Marriott Hotel Kuala Lumpur. I used my credit card to guarantee the room.
March 23, 2019 – I was scheduled to fly from Edmonton, Canada to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with connections in Vancouver and Hong Kong; however, my first flight to Vancouver was delayed so I knew I would not be able to catch my connections and arrive in Kuala Lumpur on March 24. Therefore I called the Customer Support of Marriott (1-800-535-4028) around noon in Edmonton time (about 2AM on Sunday, March 24 in KL time) and asked the agent to inform the hotel that I will arrive on March 25 instead and please keep my room. The agent told me that she will send a note to the hotel and also re-sent me the reservation confirmation.
March 24, 2019 – a charge of MYR 3,190.75 (total amount for the entire 5-night stay) was put on my credit card that was used to make the booking. I was NOT aware of this charge until April 7, 2019.
March 25, 2019 – I finally arrived at the hotel around 3PM. At check-in, I was told that my preferred room type was not available, as the hotel was fully booked. I was offered to be transferred to Ritz-Carlton for the same rate but I declined – I was then put in a room with 2 twin beds instead a king bed. In addition, I was told that I could be transferred into a room with a king bed on Wednesday, March 27 if I would like.
March 27, 2019 – I informed the hotel front desk that I didn’t need to transfer into a room with a king bed. I didn’t have time to do it.
March 29, 2019 – I checked out around 8:20AM. The staff helping me check-out presented me a bill for 4 nights. I asked her if it should be for 5 nights but she told me that I checked in on March 25 so it would be for 4 nights. I then signed the bill and presented my credit card for payment. After putting in the PIN for my credit card, I was asked if I would like to make the payment in Malaysian or Canadian currency. I chose Canadian and it was C$904.42 in total. I DID NOT know that the hotel already charged me for my entire stay (of 5 nights) on March 24, 2019 and the bill I was presented had a different room rate.
April 7, 2019 I found out that my credit card was charged twice (2 times) for the same stay.
April 8, 2019 – I contacted the Customer Support of Marriott (1-800-535-4028) and pointed out that I was charged twice for the same stay. I was told by the agent that they will contact the hotel and if I don’t hear back by Friday, April 12, I should call again. I then wrote a brief email to the Customer Support at Marriott.com
April 10, 2019 – I received a response from Josh Allaire at email@example.com but she did not provide any meaningful update.
April 12, 2019
April 24, 2019 – I called the Customer Support of Marriott (1-800-535-4028) as I was surprised that there has been NO response at all. After getting connected to an agent, I was transferred to a supervisor at the call centre, who then told me that she has escalated this case and I should hear back within the next 24 to 48 hours.
April 26, 2019 – I called the Customer Support of Marriott (1-800-535-4028) as it’s been 48 hours since my call on April 24. The agent who answered the call told me that she was going to provide me with a name and contact info and suggested that I should contact that individual directly. The agent also refused to transfer me to a supervisor.
I then emailed Mr. Yannick Gregory Mauchle, Hotel Manager, JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask for help. Mr. Mauchle responded after 11 hours and asked Mr. Reza Shahgholi, Front Office Manager (email@example.com) to respond.
April 27, 2019 – Mr. Reza Shahgholi emailed me saying that he will get on this case on Monday, April 29
April 28, 2019 – Mr. Reza Shahgholi emailed me saying that he will raise a refund of RM3190.75.
May 8, 2019 – Alessandro S. from Guest Experience Assistance Team emailed me saying: “I am contacting you from Marriott Case Resolution services. Firstly, I would like to apologize for our delayed response.
I hope your issue at JW Marriott Hotel Kuala Lumpur has reached a positive conclusion. Please let me know if I can help you with anything else regarding this case.” I then responded that it had not been resolved and forwarded the last response I received from the hotel.
May 10, 2019 - Alessandro S. from Guest Experience Assistance Team responded saying “I am contacting you from Marriott Case Resolution services. I have been informed that the hotel contacted you directly. Please let me know if I can help you with anything else regarding this case.”
Here is what has happened and I am still waiting for my refund. After spending so much time (calling Marriott, going through all those questions with a robot before being able to speak to real people, being put on hold, writing these emails, etc.) on this case, I am really really really tired of contacting Marriott again. I am disappointed, frustrated and really angry about what has happened. I first thought it was a human error by accident and it should be sorted out and solved right away. I understand I am not an elite member of Marriott so the hotel or the group does not care about my case at all; however, I am simply asking the hotel to correct a mistake that was made.
I wonder why my room rate was RAISED to MYR 638.15 (the rate I was charged on March 29 when checking out) when it says MYR 550.13 when I made the reservation?
I only came across this insiders.marriott.com this week so I would like to share my experience with you. After reading through some of the complaints and reports posted by other guests, I am still counting myself quite lucky that the hotel manager actually responded but let’s see if I would get my refund eventually.
Thanks for reading and I hope none of you have to experience what I am going through...