Starwood Hotels Disappoints, Mocking My Loyalty

Maybe I’m just tired from working too long hours, in too many cities lately.  But take a look at this web page below and tell me what you think:

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I think this says:

  1. Your award nights are given for eligible stay dates between 04/30/2009 and 09/27/2009
  2. Your award nights have to be used between 04/30/2009 and 09/27/2009

Well, guess which one Starwood thinks it means?  #2, of course.  Which I learn tonight when booking some time away for the family.  Grrr.

For spending 50+ nights a year at Starwood hotels, is this how they treat their Platinum members?  Creating a personalized website that can be be misinterpreted? 

So, I called the Platinum Customer Service Desk (ooooh!).  They politely reminded me that the Terms & Conditions “…clearly spelled out that the days had to be used by 09/27/2009…”  Of course, when I explained that I never got a copy of the T&Cs, the representative offered to find a copy and send me the link.  10 minutes later she found it.  Which proved my point – they never expect members to read them, and don’t make them easily found.  At the very least, they could have link the relevant T&Cs to each of the Award Descriptions the member was eligible for, would have taken less than an hour to set that up programmatically.  And don’t get me started on how someone would book by 09/27/2009 and stay 09/27/2009.

I’ve got more than enough points, but was looking forward to using this reward and keeping the points for our bi-annual Disney World trip, maybe a few other excursions.  I’m just upset, and slightly peeved that I got suckered into heaping platitudes on this company, only to find that they may not be as loyal to me as I am to them.

I’m writing them an old fashioned letter now, even left an email with their Customer Service department.  Surely someone there will realize that a) they could have done a much better job of explaining the award rules, and b) this isn’t worth losing an extremely loyal (and lucrative) customer over.

But just in case, I think I’ll dust off my Hilton membership card.  Because I despise bad customer service and don’t tolerate stupid policies either.

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