This week the Compensation Clinic case comes from my friend’s recent stay at the Sheraton Miami Airport Hotel.
You can access Sheraton Miami Airport Hotel & Executive Meeting Center website here.
READ MORE: Compensation Clinic: Four Points Bangkok
Here’s what happened:
I stayed there for only one night and it was one problem after another…
First, they upgraded me to a lovely 2-floor suite, which is their standard Platinum upgrade when they have it available. However, I found a relatively large bug in the kitchen closet and asked to changed rooms. They had no more suites available so they gave me a PUR room (basically a high floor standard room with an air purifier in it).
Second: Then when trying to leave the PAID self-parking, I couldn’t get out. They programmed my key to use to get in and out access but it didn’t work, and nobody answered when I called for help. How can no one answer!?! I had to wait for another car and then just follow it out!
Third: In the evening I went to the lounge to get a few snacks and chill there but it was closed for cleaning. When I asked when it will re-open I was told within a few hours but definitely by the morning. So I couldn’t even use the lounge!!!
When I mentioned this to the manager when checking out, I was offered 4000 SPG points. I didn’t think that was much compensation but I guess it was alright, so I accepted. FYI this is a Cat 4, so a free night would be 10k points.
Now next problem is… They take forever to post! I contacted SPG online to see what the wait could be after waiting 10 days for the points to post. SPG got in touch with the hotel and got back to me that the 4k points should post within 7 days.
I then wait 10 days, and there are STILL no points! I then get back to SPG and request 8k points, because this hotel CLEARLY is trying to not provide their promised compensation! SPG get backs to me the same day that the hotel is posting the 4k points today. I go back to SPG and say it shouldn’t take 3 requests to have promised points post! SPG says I have to deal directly with the hotel if I want to get 8k points.
I call the hotel to ask to speak with a manager and get a vm. I leave a detailed message and do not get a call back. 5 days later I speak with the MOD, who tells me that they promised 4k points but never said WHEN those points will post. They deny what SPG said about the points taking a week and say that SPG promised that and not the hotel. When asked if taking 1 month seems reasonable to him, he said of course and that there is no timeline for when they promised it would post. They never guarantee a posting date. I told him that I disagree that with his comments and I will gladly not return to his hotel where clearly nothing can be guaranteed.
The SPG customer service is weak when it comes to resolving issues that the hotel is not willing to fix. Luckily, most of the Starwood hotels are good on the promises they make, but obviously there are exceptions such as this Miami Airport Sheraton.
Why promise compensation unprompted if the hotel is then not willing to actually post those to the guest’s account? Starwood customer service is then passing the buck to the property that is not willing to acknowledge the issue first.