NYT: “Marriott’s Merger of Hotel Rewards Programs Tests Members’ Loyalty”

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New York Times yesterday run a story about Marriott Rewards and SPG related merger issues that come no surprise to any of our readers as we have covered them all previously.

Starwood & Marriott Merger Disaster

NYT readers have had the same issues with hour long wait times reaching agents, missing stays and points, trouble combining accounts and complete meltdown in customer service.

Here’s an excerpt from New York Times (read more here):

“Typically, I’ve always been pleased with the Starwood level of customer service,” said Shane Farmer, who estimated that he used to spend 60 nights a year in Starwood hotels for his job in the health care industry. “They’re always polite and well versed in the policies. I haven’t experienced any of that since the merger.”

Mr. Farmer said he had run into complications trying to merge his Marriott Rewards and SPG accounts and spent more than an hour on hold on a dedicated customer service line for platinum-level members.

“It was a stark change when Starwood had the platinum line and they answered on the first or second ring,” he said.

While the spinner in chief claims:

“We ended up bringing over about four billion records from the Starwood technology systems,” Mr. Flueck said. He described the merger as 99.9 percent successful, though he acknowledged that it still left millions of customer records in limbo, some for weeks before they were resolved.

Conclusion

Glad to see that the New York Times decided to cover this Marriott Rewards and SPG merger disaster that is still continuing. I still cannot believe that Marriott didn’t bring in or hire competent team to do it.

There are still members whose accounts are in limbo and not resolved regardless what Mr. Flueck claims. I doubt that his claim that 99.9% of active issues/accounts are resolved. Obviously, if you move 90 million dormant accounts with no activity, there shouldn’t be issues with them.

This integration of SPG accounts to Marriott Rewards platform has been a complete amateur hour.

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