Marriott & SPG Program Merger Two Weeks Later (Report Your Issues!)

60 Comments

It is now two weeks since Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest programs were merged (SPG was moved to Marriott’s platform).

Starwood & Marriott Merger Disaster

You would think that Marriott had ensured that the move had been as smooth as possible but actually it seems to be quite the opposite. The merger was rushed when the platform was simply not ready and now members (and soon Marriott’s numbers) are suffering from the consequences.

You can access Marriott’s website for combined program here.

READ MORE: Marriott Rewards Rate & Bonus Points And Miles Promotions

Here are issues with my account:

1. Transactions

I have had two stays after merge date. One of them has posted to the account (points) but is not visible on the stay history.

2. Consumed Nights For 2018

The moving of my account from SPG to Marriott reduced (wrongly) the year to date night count from 71 to 61. This hasn’t been fixed and there is no ETA per my Ambassador when this is corrected.

This will affect the Choice benefits at 75 nights and whether I will requalify for the Ambassador this year or not.

General issues:

1. Your24

Can only be requested over the phone. This used to be available using the app or over the website.

2. No Blackout dates

Doesn’t appear to be working for Marriott properties. Marriott used to advertise no blackout dates that only meant that there are no corporate set blackout dates but properties can have them for months at a time.

The same standard room available for sale = available using points that was valid at SPG is now in the Marriott T&Cs too.

3. Former All Suite SPG Properties

When Marriott Rewards announced the combined award chart, they made huge hoopla that for the first time the all suite SPG properties would be incorporated too. Guess what? They are not available for bookings (most of them) at the category 7 prices. “System Issues”…..

4. Some Members Cannot Access Their Accounts

A reader contacted us (read more here) that he had not been able to access his Marriott or SPG accounts after combining them and Marriott/SPG customer service was of no help at all.

5. Points In Limbo

Members have also reported that points have “disappeared” when combining accounts. I would assume that they will finally show up days later.

6. Not All Reservations Show

Some reservations are still missing from member accounts or maybe only shown on the app or on the web.

7. Points Not Returned

When a member cancels an award reservation, the points are not returned to the account instantaneously (it can take days). Some readers have commented that they have hundreds of thousands of points in limbo when they would need to rebook other awards but simply cannot.

8. Lifetime Status

Marriott members that had met the Platinum Premier lifetime status, were upgraded/shown it instantaneously. SPG members were not.

Marriott also removed the lifetime points tally from the account that is required for those that are qualifying using the legacy Marriott rules until the end of the year.

9 Travel Packages

I have already written several pieces about the mess that Marriott found itself due to not providing adequate advance info about their planned mapping that was extremely unfavorable for the members.

Marriott relented a bit but members still have issues collecting their refund or applying them to Starwood properties.

Conclusion

I have already said it million times. The timing of this program merger made no sense at all from the technical point of view because it is more than obvious that they were not ready. Most of these issues that are still unresolved shouldn’t have been there, the accounts were merged and it is already two weeks down the road.

The head of Marriott Rewards said last week that they have fixed 99.9% of the issues. It is fifficult to believe when looking at the list above. Obviously, they need to put lipstick on a pig and their bonuses are probably dependent on how well this mess is moving forward. Some members have moved (especially those that cannot access their accounts) and have started to book other chains.

Deloitte was assisting Marriott on the loyalty program’s strategic issues. I believe that Accenture is behind this tech implosion….

If you enjoyed this article, get our blog updates for free!

Previous articleReader Question: Orbitz/Expedia, South African Airways & SA Airlink Mess
Next articleIHG Rewards Club Americas (North/Central/South) 20% – 30% Off Stays Through December 29, 2018 (Book By September 16)

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE