This weeks Compensation Clinic-case from a reader’s case at the AC Hotels in Palau De Bellavista in Girona Spain (where I was in present as well).
You can access Marriott’s web page for guarantee’s here.
Marriott Rewards Platinum members are eligible for number of guarantees that I have covered here on LoyaltyLobby number on times (most recent here).
One of them is Platinum Arrival Gift where members can choose between F&B amenity or number of points. The front desk clerk needs to ask this at the time of checking in. They cannot assume that you either always choose the points (and choose them for you unprompted) or the F&B amenity.
If they fail to ask, you need to exercise this guarantee before you check out. The property probably tries to discourage you to ask for the cash and tries to play dumb like what happened here.
The platinum member here had been mostly staying with SPG but had matched his Marriott account to Platinum months ago. He was not actually aware of this guarantee at all. I let my friend to check in first and noted to him later that the check in agent had never asked his Platinum arrival gift choice (she did ask mine) and that he should claim his $50 at the time of checking out.
And the drama to collect the $50!
The hotel first claimed that they had no knowledge of this Platinum arrival gift arrival guarantee and played like it did not exist. They claimed they could just deposit the points and all would be good. No! My friend had showed them the web page from Marriott’s website showing them how the guarantee works!
I came to check out at this time and had a word with the front desk as well. The agent claimed that it was easy to miss that the member was Platinum because it only briefly flashes on their screen. I asked why they don’t do the key packages at this specific location during the overnight shift and attach the Platinum arrival gift choice firms like most other properties do? Then they made it sound like they are really not part of Marriott at all, although they had the Marriott sign at the front desk.
The manager was having a chat on the backroom probably trying to find a way out of paying out the guarantee.
Turns out this was like the second time someone had exercised the guarantee in more than a year. The manager claimed that it was a mistake by the front desk agent as the system clearly shows the Platinum guest and claimed “human error”.
They printed out the sheet showing the payment amount in euros, gave the cash and off we went.
This property was really trying to drag their feet and not pay this Platinum guarantee.
Perhaps they should just better organize their front desk for Platinum guest arrivals by making those key packets in advance like what I suggested?
And you might wonder what we were doing in Girona this late in the year? We had a dinner at the El Celler de Can Roca that had been reserved like 10 months prior. Well worth a visit.