SPG members that qualified for Platinum status for the 2014 membership year in 2013 were sent a gift for double Starpoints for a month or 35% off of a maximum of 5-day award at category 1-6 properties (read more here).
Some members have had a problem signing up for the offer due to missing emails, registration deadlines that were not mentioned on the email and non-working email links.
Here’s a copy of SPG chat log that a LoyaltyLobby reader forwarded me. I have changed both the names of the reader and the SPG agent:
CHAT AGENT: has entered the session.
READER: Hello, I have contacted your customer relations team now 3 times because I was not able to select my Platinum Qualification gift due to a broken link in the email. I finally want to select this Discount award respectively get the difference of 2000 Points back for the award reservation I made.
CHAT AGENT: Thank you for using SPG Platinum Click-to-Chat, my name is Courtney.
CHAT AGENT: I’m happy to assist you today.
CHAT AGENT: To confirm, are you speaking on the Welcome to Platinum 2013 gift
READER: I think so yes
READER: I’m trying to resolve this for 3 months now
CHAT AGENT:.: Thank you. And when did you receive the email for the award?
READER: Please check the open files, I was asked in February to forward the emails etc to SPG
READER: I did all this and never heard back from them
CHAT AGENT: Thank you for providing this information. And when did you receive the email for the award?
READER: I dont know this goes on forever now
READER: Probably after requalification I would assume or shortafter [sic]
CHAT AGENT: I do show you last emailed us on May the 13th, and show a response was sent to you back that day. Do you mind holding one moment while I further review this for you
READER: I have not received any response
READER: Only the acknowledgement email with Reference number
CHAT AGENT: I apologize you were unable to view this. I do show this was sent. I would recommend reviewing your spam or junk folder as sometimes this may be forwarded there, depending on your email provider.
READER: I know how to check my email and i’m looking at it right now. There is no response.
CHAT AGENT: I can confirm what was stated in this email, that we are unable to retroactively enroll you for the 35% award as this was a 2013 promotion. You can enroll for the the Double Starpoints, and select either May 1, until May 31, 2014 or June 1, 2014 until June 30, 2014.
CHAT AGENT: For which month would you like to register for?
READER: It was not a 2013 promotion, It displayed I can choose any month up to June 104 [sic]
READER: But it resulted in an error message in the final step. So either they finally fix this or I will lodge a complaint with the attorney generals office in california.
READER: It’s insane that they email me a reward to requalify as platinum and then pull off such a nonsense. I promised them I will not book any more says with starwood and I didnt obviously.
CHAT AGENT: I do apologize for any confusion, however, I can confirm we are unable to register for the 35 percent off award any longer. We can register your account for the Double Starpoints award, either for May or for June.
READER: I dont book any more revenue stays with Starwood. I want the gift i was promised after i spend 25 stays with starwood last year.
CHAT AGENT: Mr. Reader, while I can understand your frustrations, I can confirm that registration for the 35 percent off award has closed. We are unable to extend or process this for you. We can register your account for the Double Starpoints award.
At this point the reader was frustrated and ended the chat, also leaving less than perfect feedback and comments to the chat feedback inquiry. The following message was then received less than a day later:
Email from eCommunications supervisor:
Dear LoyaltyLobby reader,
Firstly, may I apologize for the disappointment you have expressed regarding the Welcome to Platinum gift. It was never our intention to cause you further distress and to this effect, I will personally endeavor to offer an amiable resolution.
Although I am not able to register you for this past offer as the system will no longer allow access, I would like to offer you 10,000 Starpoints as a gesture of apology and to restore your faith in the Starwood Preferred Guest program. I hope you will accept these Starpoints in the spirit in which they are intended.
LoyaltyLobby reader, if you would be so kind as to reply back to this email and advise if you will accept this offer, I will have these Starpoints expediently deposited into your account.
We appreciate your patronage to Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide since 2001. We know you have a choice when you travel and hope we can welcome you again in the near future.
The reader only asked for 2,000 points back but the SPG supervisor gave 10,000 points instead? Certainly the chat agent could have just issue 2,000 Starpoints for the inconvenience and the case would have been closed without the drama.
Offering a Platinum requalification in 2013 was a nice thing for the SPG to do and I hope that this continues in 2014. I am planning to use my 35% off award certificate in June or July (deadline for use is July 31, 2014).
The implementation of notifying eligible members and registering for the offer could have been better, however. Also, SPG should have had the selection deadline on the email sent to qualified member.
For me, the SPG has always done the right thing in the end. I would just hope that the SPG Platinum chat agents would be able to think outside of the box and make things right without having to escalate possible issues.