Marriott’s Nonsense Reply To Incorrect Account Data, Missing Lifetime Years And No Lifetime Tier Welcome

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Last week I wrote about a reader comment that Marriott Bonvoy didn’t send any recognition after achieving his lifetime Platinum tier so I decided to follow up with them about my own account.

Not only didn’t I get any welcome email (that I couldn’t care less about on the face of it) but there is still incorrect data on my account that Marriott refuses to properly take care of for years.

You can find my article from last week here:

Reader Comment: Achieved Bonvoy Lifetime Platinum Status But Total Silence From Marriott !?

I figured it’s a good time to have a look at my own account and make a last ditch effort to finally have Marriott fix all the issues with incorrect data that have been bugging me for years.

The number of Lifetime Platinum Years on my account is most definitely incorrect, it’s way more than the 11 it shows now or even 12 that it will display once the 2020 activity finally counts.

Member since 2016 but already Lifetime Platinum with 11+ years as Platinum or higher as per their own records?

I asked Marriott multiple times to fix this without any result or interest from their side to take care of it. Even after I sent them my old SPG card to show their records are quite obviously incorrect.

I contacted their Bonvoy Customer Service again via email following last weeks article:

Dear all,

I’ve now collected 600 nights and 11+ years Platinum/Titanium status on my account and obtained Lifetime Platinum tier level in early February. I’m a bit confused as to Marriott apparently not even caring the slightest bit about a customer achieving this milestone in his relationship with the company.

While I have received a total of 11 emails with content of a common advertisement nature in February not the slightest word has reached me about the new lifetime tier which has already been conferred to the account. No email. no letter, no membership card – nothing.

Instead my account still displays that I’m a Member Since 2016 but 13+ years as a tier member, 11 of which Platinum or higher. Neither of these values is correct for obvious reasons. I have asked multiple times for this value to be corrected to 2001 post SPG/Marriott integration but so far nobody cared to do anything. I’d urge you to please finally fix this.

It baffles me that Marriott spends hundreds of millions in annual marketing budget yet when an active customer (110+ nights in 2020) reaches such a milestone the company just totally misses the ball on a free marketing opportunity.

From what I see there needs to be some serious rethinking about the priorities of the company when it comes to client & loyalty management.

With best wishes,

My expectations were low. Why should there be any improvement for something they haven’t managed to do over the last 3 years? Well never give up hope.

This was the answer:

Thank you for contacting Marriott Bonvoy. It will be my pleasure to assist you with your Lifetime Platinum inquiry.

Our team has looked into this and found:

Old SPG transferred account ending in ***XXX had 2018 upgrade year. Only achieved years count. MBV account ending in **XXXX has Platinum years 2010 to 2020. Status for 2021 will be added on in early 2022. As member has Lifetime Platinum, I am not quite sure what the concern is.

If you need further assistance, feel free to contact us.

I apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused.

We value your loyalty. I hope you have a great day.

Best Regards,

Mia D.
Marriott  Bonvoy Guest Services

Well, my concern is to have correct data reflected on my account regardless of the lack of consequences for my current status – apparently an oxymoron to Marriott.

My account shows 11 years as Platinum or higher for at least 2 years now without any change.

A sort of hilarious and sad reply at the same time. Mostly because their records appear to be all over the place and totally incorrect. One has to wonder how they can the program with such poor record keeping. I wonder if Marriott accepts such a reply from their financial institutions and auditors?

My remark about not notifying customers about achieving Lifetime Platinum was ignored completely. First Class customer service, but hey at least they “value my loyalty”.

This is my reply to them which is the last communication:

Dear all,

This data set is obviously incorrect as the majority of my SPG years were Platinum and I was only Platinum/Titanium with Marriott for a few years. I’m less concerned with the total number of years divided between the programs as you rightfully say it’s irrelevant at this point.

It’s more an annoying cosmetic matter that the account says I’m a member since 2016 which simply doesn’t make any sense as you can’t be a lifetime Platinum member when you’re a member since 2016. I enrolled in the SPG Program in 2001 and my first stays during that year were at the Sheraton Duesseldorf Airport and Sheraton Frankfurt Airport.

Likewise I remember staying at the Marriott Leipzig and Marriott Downtown Los Angeles in 2002, without a doubt I had a Marriott Rewards membership back then as well.

The account xxxxxxx which you referenced was another Marriott account, not my SPG account. My old SPG Lifetime Gold account (Member since 2001) number was xxxxxxxx. I have attached a copy of my old SPG card showing the aforementioned dates to that effect.

In any case it should be a basic task for the IT department to properly reconcile a “Member Since” date based on an accounts historical data set.

Have a great week!

At the moment this might not matter much but it could should Marriott decide in the future to bring back Lifetime Titanium with a requirement of 15-xx years of membership. I simply don’t like to have false records on my accounts and don’t feel I have to justify this modest demand of having it corrected to a company that seems incapable of doing so, either out of incompetence or lack of interest.

I don’t hold my breath that anything will actually change. The problem of having all these different membership numbers over the years does lead to a pollution of customer records but it should still be possible to reconcile data especially when the customer is able to provide hard copies as evidence.

Marriott has given new membership numbers for SPG members following the merger. Likewise many times their credit card partners (Amex etc) often just open a new account when applying for the card despite you filling in the correct existing membership number in the application. This issue of duplicate and in some cases inactive accounts is a problem that plagues all loyalty programs.

I have nothing against Marriott and I’m not whining after the old days of SPG. It makes no sense to be constantly reminiscent of loyalty programs of the past otherwise I’d also cry every night about the loss of BMI Diamond Club and US Airways Dividend Miles etc.

The current Bonvoy program serves my needs and I get sufficient value and benefits from it. Their customer management and IT department however is a disaster and unfortunately it’s the Achilles Heel of the company which has demonstrated a rather persistent unwillingness to adapt and learn. Hopefully the new management team can improve things.

Conclusion

Marriott quite obviously suffers from poor record keeping and IT issues that might have their origin in an insufficient integration process back in the merger days of Starwood/Marriott. It’s unclear how many of these old records can still be accessed by their responsible teams.

The response from Bonvoy Customer Care is more than disappointing as well. I sometimes wonder why an associate doesn’t escalate cases they don’t know how to respond to and have someone higher up in the chain reply to them. At least make the response a bit more refined.

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