Compensation Clinic: SPG Platinum Qualification Gift Selection Problem & Ambassador Upgrade

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A LoyaltyLobby reader sent me an email last week that he had decided to contact SPG for his missing Platinum Qualification gift after I wrote about the issues surrounding it (access here).

Compensation Clinic SPG PLT Qualification Gift

This case has a very good resolution as the reader ends up getting an Ambassador status that he otherwise would have missed.

Reminder that you can email me about compensation cases that you have had with travel providers and I’ll feature one on every Sunday.

Reader’s email to SPG

I was trying to select my Platinum Welcome offer as per the email below. However, the link was broken and I cannot make the selection.  I contacted the CS via online chat but she told me the gift was expired (screenshot attached). I read the email and there was no mention of expiry date. As I am a loyal SPG member and business traveler since 2006, I hope you can look into and resolve this matter peacefully. Otherwise, I will cancel my upcoming bookings and take legal action.

Platinum eConcierge Reply:

Thank you for contacting Starwood Preferred Guest. I hope this email finds you well.

I am happy to assist with your SPG Welcome to Platinum gift inquiry. First, I would first like to thank you for your loyalty to Starwood Hotels & Resorts as well as to the Starwood Preferred Guest program. In reviewing your account, it has become clear to me you have taken strides over the past years to stay with us, and your passion for our program is impressive.

My colleagues and I pride ourselves on the SPG program and attempt to ensure every member’s experience with us is a positive one, however, registration for your gift can only be completed on our website via the link sent to you in your original email. Now that the site has expired, gifts can no longer be selected and cannot be manually reissued. Please accept our apologies for any disappointment this may cause.

Please know, the comments and suggestions we receive are taken seriously. They tell us what we are doing right, what we are doing wrong, and how we can improve. Your willingness to share your thoughts is greatly appreciated and all your comments have been thoroughly documented in a formal corporate customer service file. Your reference number for this matter is: (removed). Your comments will be reviewed internally within Starwood Hotels & Resorts and the appropriate action will be taken to ensure we are moving forward in our continued effort for improvement.

Should you require additional assistance, simply reply to this email. If you prefer, you may chat with us online or we can call you.

Reader’s reply to SPG:

I understand the gifts cannot be manually reissued  but your IT department should be able to fix its incompetency. I want to point out the website or email did not mention the expiry date of the platinum welcoming gift AT ALL. As a member, I assume I am eligible to select the month of earning double points or redeem hotel room at a discount anytime I wish as long as my platinum membership is in effective. I was frustrated as I was given a welcoming offer but SPG suddenly took the gift off shelf without given me any advance notice.

As I am foreseeing I will be staying in the Luxury Collection Shanghai during 13-19 June and will make other bookings for June 2014 as well , I am now giving SPG a notice of my selection of using the double points gift in June 2014 in writing. Due to the SPG’s negligence of not specifying the selection deadline to the qualified member in the email and is causing me a loss of the SPG points for all my upcoming stays in June 2014, I reserve the legal rights to claim the loss of the double points I am entitled to earn during all my stays in June 2014.

As a loyal platinum member, I hope SPG could do the right thing in the end.

Supervisor Reply:

Thank you for the opportunity to follow up with you.  I do sincerely apologize that your concerns have not been fully addressed and the further disappointment this has caused.  Please allow me to address your concerns.

I do appreciate your feedback regarding the welcome offer you received and will certainly be providing this to our Starwood Preferred Guest Loyalty and Marketing team for future offers.  I am sorry if all of the terms and conditions, including expiration for the gift were not clear.  In recognition of this and of your loyalty, I have added your request for Double Starpoints for June 2014 to your Platinum account. Once your stays post, please allow 7 to 10 days for these to post to your account.

In reviewing your account, I also noticed that you stayed with us for 99 nights last year.  That is a tremendous accomplishment.  I did notice that two of your stays at the W  in December 2013 were not correctly posted to your account.  I have now credited these stays for December 9-13, 2013 and December 13-15, 2013. This brings your total number of nights to 105 for the year.  Congratulations on becoming eligible to receive a personal ambassador, Mr. LoyaltyLobby reader.  Your new ambassador will be contacting you this week to introduce themselves.  If you have any other questions or concerns in the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out to me personally. Have a wonderful week.

Conclusion

The SPG really did a terrible job of letting members know that there was a deadline for choosing the Platinum qualification/re-qualification gift as there was nothing indicating that there is on the email that was sent to eligible members.

I am glad that the SPG supervisor was able to fix this for the reader and found 6 nights that had not properly posted to his account and made him eligible for the Ambassador service. SPG does usually do the right thing at the end but it really shouldn’t be this difficult.

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