Reader Question: How To Escalate A Customer Relations Case With Marriott Hotels After Property Doesn’t Respond?


Today we received a Reader Question about an issue she had with Marriott Hotels and their consumer affairs department which simply forwarded a complaint to the offending property that chose to not respond positively to her complaint.

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The customer relations departments of most hotel chains are relatively useless these days when contacting them as all they do is forwarding the file opened to the property where the problem initially occurred and asks them to reply to the guest which is often done in a lackluster fashion.

Here is the email from our reader:

Dear John / Sebastian,

I’m a Marriott silver member and six months ago went on honeymoon including staying 5 nights at a Marriott hotel in Brazil [name withheld on readers request]. Despite the note that it’s our honeymoon the hotel assigned us a room with two bed for the first 3 days of our stay claiming they were sold out. Other hotels upgrade honeymoon couples, here they get downgraded! The quality of the breakfast was also not up to very high standard and the rooftop pool was dirty.

I contacted Marriott customer care both via email and phone listed on their website. I was told they they have opened a file and asked the hotel management to respond. Indeed I received a reply from the front office manager who is the same person I talked to more than once. No refund was offered and neither did he acknowledge any wrongdoing. Marriott’s reply to this was that it’s up to the hotel management how to handle such matters.

What else can I do? Help!

This sounds like a truly horrible experience for something that should be a memorable trip. We book branded hotels with names such as Marriott because we expect that brand standards be upheld even at international locations.

In this case I suggested the reader to contact Mr. Marriott’s Consumer Affairs Office to have a look into the matter.

For anyone curious you can contact said office as follows:

Mr. Marriott‘s Office of Consumer Affairs

10400 Fernwood Road, Bethesda, MD 20817, Phone +1 – 301 380 3000

I personally had very decent experience with Marriott Customer Care over the years and only involved that office twice when things went sour at a hotel. It’s pretty much the nuclear options when anything else has failed to provide a proper result.


This is the highest authority at Marriott Hotels so I suggest to only use this point of contact when other methods of regulating the case have failed or are unlikely to bring any result.

I don’t get the point of hotel consumer affairs departments who take a complaint and then brush it off to the property to reply. Chances are that the guest has already dealt with the hotel and didn’t achieve anything (as in this case). In other cases the guest simply doesn’t want to deal with the hotel anymore which is why the contact to customer relations is preferred. I usually add to complaints that I don’t want any more correspondence with the property and that all communication has to go through customer relations