Sunday is Compensation Clinic day and this time we feature a case from The Stones, Autograph Collection Hotel in Bali where I had troubles with certain room features including the air condition.
This was my first stay at The Stones and overall just the second staying at an Autograph Collection hotel from the Marriott family of hotels.
You can access The Stones website here.
Since we were hotel hopping a little bit while in Bali I decided to give the Stones a try since I heard some good things about the property that got me curious about the concept the have there.
I was able to secure a decent rate at this location which was about $140 tax included. As a Marriott Rewards Platinum member I was entitled to an upgrade as well as breakfast in the restaurant which was included in my rate anyway however.
Upon arrival I was impressed about the professional flow of procedures at the front desk. We were also upgraded to one of their suites overlooking the swimming pool area. All rooms feature a generously sized balcony which also accommodates a large bathtub that can be curtained off to prevent other guests from watching you tubbing. It was actually really nice. The problems started in the evening.
First the light system wasn’t working properly and it was impossible to shut off all the lights. Even a housekeeping employee couldn’t figure out how to resolve this issue. We ended up disabling two lamps manually and left a third on.
After a few hours (around 2am) I noticed the room was still unusually warm. The Air Condition was not in proper condition either and the max temperature you can cool the room down to was 24.5 degrees Celsius. I usually sleep at 19-20 degrees at max. Before you say the this is common for the tropics such as Bali: Wrong. All other hotels were able to provide proper air conditioning (and one can assume other units at The Stones as well).
The next morning I mentioned this to the Director of Rooms who came by during breakfast (one of the best hotel breakfast buffets I have seen in quite some time by the way). I said I’d be in touch later regarding this as we planned to leave the hotel in the afternoon. When I asked for her again an hour before checkout she was nowhere to be found even after waiting for 25-30 min.
When departing nobody mentioned anything at the checkout, just when loading the baggage into our drivers trunk someone came and said the supervisor had arranged a complimentary transfer. This was at no point mentioned and we have our personal driver anyway who we like and pre-booked. Why come up with this out of the blue?
A week after being back home another issue developed as the stay wouldn’t post to my Marriott Rewards account. I called their hotline and after an hour on the phone the CSR said they had the second guest as the main Guest, obviously not matching my account. The reservation was always under my name and a second name was never even added until we arrived and the associate asked for our passports, then probably added her name to the registration. It took over an hour to get all of this resolved.
I opened a case with Marriott Customer Service and requested 30,000 Marriott Rewards points to be added to my account, equaling a complete refund for the one night in points. They replied a file was opened and the hotel needs to reply which they never did. Two weeks later I called back and a supervisor promised to resolve the issue within 48 hours and then contact me afterwards which never happened.
The next time I called I requested a Supervisor right away and asked her to escalate the matter. She sent me an email with the contact information for Mr. Marriott’s Office of Consumer Affairs, the highest level of Customer Service within the company:
… Mr. Marriott’s Office of Consumer Affairs can be reached, Monday through Friday, 7:00 AM until 5:00 PM, Central Time, at the following telephone numbers.
Marriott, Renaissance: 800-621-0999
Courtyard, Fairfield Inn, Springhill Suites: 800-422-0728
Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites: 800-422-5560
This office is the highest escalation point within the Marriott organization.
Thank you for choosing Marriott.
Guest Experience Supervisor
Marriott Customer Care
I never got any reply from them after I talked to the lady on the hotline who duly noted my complaint. However at some point the requested 30,000 Marriott Points showed up in my account. Ironically again with a very strange posting title.
I didn’t ask any questions and was happy this case had finally been resolved after way too much time and energy invested into this complaint. It might be that they transferred the 30,000 into a wrong account first and then transferred them over? Who knows…
I feel that one night refund is a fair outcome for this. They could have either refunded points or cash but of course I feel that points have far greater value especially when you redeem them them as part of a Marriott Travel Package as I just did (270,000 MR for 132,000 United Miles + 7 nights at a Cat 1-5 Hotel).
The only unfortunate thing is that it seems to be totally chaotic on the Marriott side as far as structure goes where often the left hand doesn’t know what the right one is doing. Of course it’s a big company but this experience was extremely frustrating. This could have easily been resolved at the property even before checking out but local management seems to have no interest in handling any complaints and duck away. They didn’t even reply to the requests from Customer Care and I think that tells you all there is to know.