Yesterday John wrote about Marriott having brought back its eGiftCards sale with a 15% off discount for orders through July 24th and I decided to give it a test run after the last sale was pretty much an administrative disaster.
This time around the sale for gift cards is available only to customers in the U.S. and Canada which is already strange for a global company but my purchases even with a U.S. issued credit card and California billing address were cancelled after ordering from abroad.
There is something inside Marriott that just cries out loud that the company is a giant mess when it comes to these really simple things such as selling electronic gift cards.
The last round (open to global customers) with 20% discount also ended in total chaos after Marriott took forever to deliver these gift card codes via email to their customers.
Yesterday I decided to do a test run for the current promotion and ordered (or attempted to order) a US$250 gift card from Marriott their website.
I completed the order for one gift card and the transaction went through without issue, my credit card was authorized as well.
This e-mail is to confirm that your Marriott Gift Card order has been cancelled. Please see the details below:
- Order #:
- Ordered on 07/20/2020
- Billed To:
- Order #: 510xxxxxx
- Ordered on 07/20/2020
- Subtotal: $250.00
- Shipping & Processing: $0.00
- Tax: $0.00
- Total: $212.50
If you have any questions regarding this order, please respond to this email or visit us at gifts.marriott.com. Please reference your order number so that we can quickly assist you in providing information. You can also contact at 801-468-4167, option 1, seven days a week, between 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Eastern Time to speak to a Gift Card Customer Service Representative regarding your order.
I then emailed the address quoted on the confirmation page GCsupport@marriott.com. The email bounced!
I tried the same order again with my Amex card instead of the Chase card but received the same cancellation email again.
Now I’m currently in Thailand but the transactions went through perfectly fine and the credit card is both U.S. issued and has a U.S. billing address on file. It’s likely that the foreign IP address is triggering some sort of fraud alert for Marriott but seriously how hard can it be?
If Marriott is concerned about fraud then they should equip their antique gift card purchase process with Verified by Visa, Masterpass or Amex Secure but not that’s apparently too difficult for a global company such as Marriott. Instead they they customer jump through hoops again.
Just as another attempt I asked a friend currently in the U.S. to just complete the purchase for me using my cc and at least so far I haven’t received a cancellation email. I did however get a strange phone call on my google voice number with a weird sound. No message left. I didn’t even try to use a VPN because that’s most of the time even worse when it comes to payment processes.
I wish Marriott would finally get it’s act together in more places than one. This purchase process isn’t difficult to vet and administer. While I appreciate a certain level of security considering these gift cards are as good as cash there has to be a reasonable limit of what you put your customer through. Why is there no credit card verification step, is this too hard to Marriott’s IT department to implement? In the very least call the customer and not just cancel the order.
And then the email to their responsible customer care department that bounced back. How much more unprofessional can it get?