Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) has had chat function available for its Platinum members (maybe for others too) for quite some time. I wrote a piece about this benefit back in 2011 (access here).
When I was checking SPG50 (50% off of rack rate award) for three Starwood properties in New Caledonia, I couldn’t believe what the response time was. It took 50 minutes for the SPG rep to initiate the chat.
You always get a short survey after each of these chat sessions and I indicated that the service from the rep had been good, although the response time was not.
These short surveys are read and someone from the customer service department replies to them. I received the email below within couple of hours.
I like the fact that SPG has this chat available. If I need to check something and I would prefer having written response (take a screenshot – the chat is gone after you exit it), I use chat or email.
Once I had trouble registering for some SPG partner promotion with Delta or Northwest and signed up for it using the chat. The bonus miles never posted and the Platinum desk claimed that I had never signed up.
I forwarded the chat with the email response from the Platinum desk by certified mail with a return receipt to SPG and had the miles post in due course.
At the end, the SPG50 rates either were not available or higher than other rates available at the time. They can occasionally make sense at the more expensive properties.