Reader Email: Marriott Rewards Award Disaster & Customer Service Of No Help!

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A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us an email about maddening situation with legacy Starwood award reservation to which the points were withdrawn for the second time and Marriott Rewards customer service couldn’t have been less helpful.

Four Points by Sheraton Salt Lake City Airport.

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Here’s the email from the reader:

The agent said this is the first time this has ever happened. One day before my recent hotel stay in Salt Lake City (which I booked for 2,000 SPG points before the merger), I was charged an additional 17,500 Marriott points. It was an obvious mistake as they charged me both the rate when I booked it in August from SPG plus the new point total.

I called to complain and the agent acknowledged that is what had happened, but what was frustrating was that there was no way that could fix it without canceling the initial reservation, which I got at a great value. The agent told me there was no way to refund the 17,500 points for the night unless I canceled the stay altogether.

He apologized and said it was Marriott’s fault for a glitch but kept saying that he could not give me the 17,500 points and honor the initial rate of 2,000 SPG points (6,000 Marriott) which was taken out of my account months ago. I was forced to cancel the reservations since that is the only way he said I could get my points back and not be charged twice.

Since it was the night before I was supposed to stay in SLC, I was forced to book a hotel with way more Hilton points in order to get a room.

As a Marriott platinum member, this is the worst thing I have ever seen in all my years as a regular of many hotels. As an elite member of nearly all the hotel chains, this is the biggest mistake I have ever seen and they have yet to make it right.

I requested clarification from the reader what was the property:

It was the Four Points by Sheraton Salt Lake City Airport. I am guessing it was because I got such a good deal on it before it moved up in category but it was just crazy to me they wouldn’t honor the reservation which I had booked 4 months ago that was on my account unless I paid the new price in points too because they “couldn’t refund my points for the second time they took them out of my account without canceling the trip”

This is indeed crazy and the first time I have heard something like this happening with Marriott Rewards. The customer service agent certainly should have just deposited the 17,500 points that were incorrectly withdrawn from the account back (isn’t it interesting that 2,000 Starpoints property basically triples in number of points required when moved to Marriott platform – taking into account the SPG to Marriott point conversion?).

Four Points recently moved from Starwood’s legacy reservation system to Marriott’s ancient Marsha. Perhaps this withdrawing the points twice had something to do with this reservation conversion between two systems that didn’t go right (like most with this program merger)?

Conclusion

Personally, I would have just stayed at the property for 2,000 Starpoints and fought to get the 17,500 Marriott Rewards points back. You can always get government agency involved or small claims court as the last course of action.

It is just sad how bad the Marriott Rewards customer service has become even at the top tier level. You would think that the agent trying to resolve this issue would have just credited the points back rather than suggesting to cancel the reservation in order to get the incorrectly debited points back that cannot be the correct action? Do they even think anymore?

Eventually companies that treat their customers like garbage will fail. People will not put up with nonsense like this, but will jut just run into the hands of competitors.

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