Having PP status for 8 years running, I just received the email below as I have not stayed at a Marriott property in almost two months after having 92 paid nights through August 11, my last stay.
There are several reasons why I have not stayed at Marriott in the last two months, but mostly because I have PP status AND LT-P status and there is so little difference (800# for PP) between the two statuses that there is little incentive to keep spending my travel dollars at Marriott. In the meantime, I have earned Diamond status in the HiltonHonors program and am thus far, very pleased with my hotel experience (free breakfast for Diamond, a 2 year old Garden Inn, internet speed approaching 8-Mips, etc.) I haven't looked back. Even though there is a brand new (4 weeks old) SpringHill Suites within walking distance of my client, I am willing to drive 2+ miles for the amenities and daily status recognition at the HGI.
There is a hyperlink button for taking a survey (I will take the survey this evening and post an update).
UPDATE: As promised, I took the survey and here is the survey in its entirety:
Once I submitted, the following page popped up:
Thank you for completing the survey.
We're sorry that your experience with us did not meet your expectations. We truly value your opinion and will use this information to improve our properties and help ensure that all future stays with us exceed your expectations.
UPDATE #2: Received this e-mail within 2-3 hours after completing the above survey:
Dear Mr. (Pingreeman),
Thank you for taking the time to respond to our online survey. Your feedback is very important and greatly appreciated.
I sincerely apologize that you do not feel your Platinum Premier status has been recognized properly. As a Platinum Premier member of Marriott you are guaranteed free breakfast in the concierge lounge; however, free room upgrades or upgrades to suites are not guaranteed. Free upgrades are offered to our Platinum Premier members based on availability at check in.
If there is a specific hotel that you did not offer you an upgrade based upon availability at check in, please reply to this email verifying the date and location of the incident. This information will be passed on to our Customer Care office for further review.
Thank you for your valued loyalty and continued patronage.
Elite Loyalty Special Services
NEXT STEPS: I plan to take up Alta's suggestion and write a reply, but not about a single hotel or single experience, but rather a overall CHANGE IN POLICY to allow PPs and other uber-stayers the RIGHT to have the best available room INCLUDING SUITES at least once a year (that one week where I am not travelling on business) when I wish to take my wife and kids somewhere special with special accommodations and special treatment (and if that means changing the policy form a parking lot/ocean view upgrade to a suite - then give me the $#!@^#& SUITE) to make up for 200+ nights a year I have to spend away from my family feeding dollars to Marriott via paid hotel rooms while my kids have a music concert, football game, school play, or school awards, etc. I have to miss or where my wife could use some "relief" with me cooking a meal or doing some housework, or driving the kids to/from school functions and friends.
Better suggestions, anyone?
UPDATE #3 - though rather long and wordy (I had a lot to say), here is the e-mail I sent:
Dear Elite Loyalty Special Services,
I decided to take you up on your offer to provide additional feedback which I hope is brought to the attention of senior management. If senior management is not made aware, then I feel my reply was a waste of time.
I think it is important to begin my reply with some perspective of the type of loyalist who has decided to abandon the Marriott program. Since you reference in the subject line my MR account number, I would appreciate you reviewing my activity over the past few years. You should notice that I have been consistently averaging over 175 PAID nights a year for at least the last seven years and that this year, I was on pace to break 175 again. These numbers do NOT include rollover nights but actual PAID nights. Please also notice that I have nearly 2,000,000 Marriott points banked and that I have achieved Platinum Premier status for eight years running. I believe at this point, you must be convinced that I am an uber-loyalist to Marriott and that I spend approximately half the year, every year in Marriott hotels. Perhaps now, my comments will have even more relevance to this email reply invitation.
If you still have my survey reply available, I would appreciate you also rereading my comments. The key phrase of my comment was “when using points on vacation . . . why does a one-time Marriott cash-paying customer get better upgrades that someone like me?” To rephrase, a non-Marriott loyalist who spends one week at a resort by paying cash for his room/suite gets a better opportunity for the finest room/suite than someone who lives half the year in Marriott properties trying to use points.
In your reply you state the obvious terms and conditions I have read and reread a hundred times, i.e., “free room upgrades are not guaranteed.” This is fine with me during half the year living in Marriott hotels when travelling on business; I do not expect to be guaranteed a room upgrade and never assumed a suite upgrade, as per the terms and conditions. However, these same terms and conditions apply to resorts and spas that ONE WEEK OUT OF THE YEAR WHEN I WISH TO TAKE MY FAMILY ON VACATION, I cannot get an upgrade to a suite!
You ask if there was a particular hotel that did not offer the upgrade on availability – 51 weeks out of the year, I don’t care and I wouldn’t even consider complaining. The other 1 week out of the year when vacationing with family, I DO CARE. In fact, I care so much about the terms and conditions cited above, that I am done with Marriott. As a diamond member of Hyatt (yes, I do stay in other hotels, so in actuality, I am in hotels 240 out of 365 nights a year), I am given four suite upgrades that I can use ANY time, even when cashing in points for vacationing with my family. Last year, I used 1 of the 4 suite upgrades – on vacation. The other 3 expired as I do not need suites during business travel and wished the hotels to have a cash customer pay for the higher priced accommodations.
So what is the bottom line?
Four times in the last seven years I have cashed in Marriott points for my family vacation, I have been “upgraded when available” to include moving up two floors (floor 5 was considered an upgrade over floors 1-3), given a poolside view (versus a parking lot view but would have preferred ocean view), put on the concierge floor (rather than given a suite), given a room closer to the main entrance (versus one near the garbage dumpsters out back). Also, with the exception of a handful of resorts, there is no opportunity to use MORE POINTS to guarantee a suite. I would gladly spend more points if the option were available throughout Marriott’s 3984 properties! But alas, your terms and conditions usurp any hopes of treating my family on the heels of Marriott Loyalty. [It should be noted that one year, I cashed in Hyatt points and one of their free suite upgrades; the other two years, I cashed in Hilton points: one year I was given a complimentary suite (no charge) the other year used extra points to guarantee the suite].
I believe Marriott Rewards better take a hard look at their competition such as Hyatt who offers guaranteed suite upgrades to their highest elites or Hilton that offers the ability to guarantee a suite on points. Consider amending those terms and conditions – perhaps instead of giving away a practically useless Category 1-4 free night certificate, consider issuing a one-week suite certificate to be used any way the recipient desires – including in combination with points that one time a year when on a family vacation.
Lastly, and for the record, just to show you that I continue to travel but simply do not stay at Marriott properties, here is a copy/paste of my recent Hilton activity. Note the start date – August 14, three days after checking out of my last Marriott property AND in the same city!