Disappointment with Marriott

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Dec 9, 2019
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#1
I booked an Advanced Purchase reservation with Marriott at the Ritz Carlton in Istanbul on December 3 for 8 days, April 29 - May 7, 2020. We found out yesterday, December 8, that we could not make the trip, and I tried to cancel. I was told that the entire booking was not refundable because the day of the booking was December 3, and I needed to cancel within 24 hours, i.e., by December 4. Unfortunately, I did not know until yesterday, December 8, that we needed to cancel. They did offer a date change option, but I have no idea when we will be able to plan another trip - it may be 2 years or longer. I feel that the hotel would not lose any money on our room because they have a long period of time (today through April 28, 2020) in which to rent it out. I am a lifetime Platinum Elite member, and my wife and I stay at Marriott whenever possible, both for vacation and business. Is there anything that can be done?
 
Feb 12, 2019
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#2

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
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#3
I am curious to why you booked a non-refundable rate so far in advance of the trip? The savings must have been huge!
 
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Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
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Dec 27, 2014
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#5
This is what the website says when you book an Advance Purchase Deal:
Advance Purchase rate, includes buffet breakfast for 2 guests daily at Atelier, prepay in full, non-refundable if cancelled more than 1 day after booking

Additional Information

  • - Rate is per room/per night, based on single occupancy,
  • exclusive of taxes, gratuities, fees and other charges, does
  • not apply to groups, cannot be combined with any other offer
  • and is not applicable for Rewards redemption.
  • - Advanced reservations are required.
  • - Offer is subject to hotel availability and is valid for
  • stay from now until December 30,2016.
  • - Please note that this special room rate requires full
  • credit card pre-payment, it is non-refundable, no amendments
  • and no cancellations allowed.
 
Likes: VoR61
May 30, 2019
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#6
+1 on the prior posts.

Some incremental thoughts ...
The RC in Istanbul is locally owned, so having mid-level Marriott status may be of marginal benefit here. Noting that, you may want to see what you can accomplish through the Marriott's elite desk. (I'm not saying this as an SME as I've minimal experience with Marriott.) You might also want to check flyertalk.com's board & see if people have managed to get similar issues resolved.
 
May 30, 2019
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#7
This is what the website says when you book an Advance Purchase Deal:
Advance Purchase rate, includes buffet breakfast for 2 guests daily at Atelier, prepay in full, non-refundable if cancelled more than 1 day after booking (SNIP)
At the moment, for those nights, the Rewards Member rate I found is 181 EURO / night, cancel by 4/28, while the non-refundable (with buffet breakfast) rate was 228 EURO / night. I guess that is one heck of a breakfast.
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
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#8
Did you purchase travel insurance for the trip? If you did, you should check your policy to see if your reason for cancellation is a covered peril. If you did not, perhaps the credit card you used to pay for the reservation offers trip protection.
Trip protection can be very limited on credit card policies. This far in advance, it sounds like the OP had a scheduling issue, not a health issue. I think his best bet is to write a brief but polite letter asking for an exception to the fare rules.
 
Likes: VoR61
Jul 30, 2018
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#9
Trip protection can be very limited on credit card policies. This far in advance, it sounds like the OP had a scheduling issue, not a health issue. I think his best bet is to write a brief but polite letter asking for an exception to the fare rules.
True. The travel insurance coverage offered by credit cards appears to be dwindling.

OP did not state the reason for cancellation and it was noted that it may be two years or more before another opportunity may come. Mariott has already refused the request for a refund for a nonrefundable reservation. Sure, it doesn't hurt to ask but if the op has insurance coverage, isn't that what trip insurance is for?
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#11
To all who are considering non-refundable travel purchases, I suggest that you set the following as "defaults":
  • Non-refundable means non-refundable. NO exceptions. Otherwise, you are proceeding under a false assumption that the providers will work with you on changes. That is a high-risk approach.
  • Non-refundable = Trip Insurance. This default comes with a recommendation that you do so before you purchase so that you can evaluate the risk/reward. That way you can compare non-refundable+insurance with the refundable trip cost.
In the end, if the choice is to book non-refundable without insurance, the traveler is, for all intents and purposes, accepting the loss when plans change.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
20,745
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#12
Unfortunately Advanced Purchase reservations are non-refundable and non-changeable. Them allowing you to change it is already a concession. A well written letter might work, but make sure to emphasized that you are asking for an exception to their rule

Here's a somewhat story also about Advanced Purchase reservations https://www.elliott.org/thats-ridiculous-2/marriott-advance-purchase-rates-nonrefundable/
The difference between that story and this case is that the consumer in the story booked the hotel over the phone with an agent that never told him they were booking an advanced booking rate.

In this case, the OP chose to book the advanced purchase rate.
 
Feb 12, 2019
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#13
The difference between that story and this case is that the consumer in the story booked the hotel over the phone with an agent that never told him they were booking an advanced booking rate.

In this case, the OP chose to book the advanced purchase rate.
I'll admit I only skimmed before I posted it.
 
Likes: VoR61

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#14
Well, Alan, this is a fine mess. I am so sorry you booked a non-ref rate. From Skippy's post, it looks like the various rates are quite complicated. I'm not a Marriott person ... what level is Platinum Elite at Marriott? How many nights a year do you stay at Marriott properties?

If this had happened to me as an HH Diamond, I know that Hilton would take care of me one way or the other. While I agree that charging you the entire amount for a res so far out is outrageous, them's the rules. I would compose a concise, polite, appreciative letter to Marriott ... is it Bonvoy? Admit your error in booking, and "artfully beg" for some help. Don't throw in anything about being a starving student, disabled, a senior citizen on a fixed income, or any cliche like that. Just admit the error and state how sorry your are to have to ask for help. Anyone can understand why you don't want to lose all that money, you don't need any excuse. If no response, or you don't like what you hear, use our Company Contacts, starting at the lowest, and work your way up the beanstalk. Give Bonvoy two weeks, then allow one week between the other submissions.

I believe that this will require direct intervention at the hotel by one of the Marriott execs. It will be a difficult battle to convince someone to help you, I think. But you have to try. Good luck and please let us know the outcome.
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
1,570
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#16
True. The travel insurance coverage offered by credit cards appears to be dwindling.

OP did not state the reason for cancellation and it was noted that it may be two years or more before another opportunity may come. Mariott has already refused the request for a refund for a nonrefundable reservation. Sure, it doesn't hurt to ask but if the op has insurance coverage, isn't that what trip insurance is for?
It would be if the policy included Cancel For Any Reason otherwise changing your mind doesn't tend to be covered!
 
Likes: ADM and VoR61
Dec 9, 2019
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#17
Well, Alan, this is a fine mess. I am so sorry you booked a non-ref rate. From Skippy's post, it looks like the various rates are quite complicated. I'm not a Marriott person ... what level is Platinum Elite at Marriott? How many nights a year do you stay at Marriott properties?

If this had happened to me as an HH Diamond, I know that Hilton would take care of me one way or the other. While I agree that charging you the entire amount for a res so far out is outrageous, them's the rules. I would compose a concise, polite, appreciative letter to Marriott ... is it Bonvoy? Admit your error in booking, and "artfully beg" for some help. Don't throw in anything about being a starving student, disabled, a senior citizen on a fixed income, or any cliche like that. Just admit the error and state how sorry your are to have to ask for help. Anyone can understand why you don't want to lose all that money, you don't need any excuse. If no response, or you don't like what you hear, use our Company Contacts, starting at the lowest, and work your way up the beanstalk. Give Bonvoy two weeks, then allow one week between the other submissions.

I believe that this will require direct intervention at the hotel by one of the Marriott execs. It will be a difficult battle to convince someone to help you, I think. But you have to try. Good luck and please let us know the outcome.
Thanks, I just received an email this morning from the same person that I had contacted on Dec. 8, the reservations manager at the hotel, who told me again that there would be no refund. We do not have insurance. Would it do any good to contact other managers at the hotel, or do you advise starting with your Marriott contacts? Thanks again to you and everyone who responded.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#18
You can certainly appeal to Marriott. When you do, I recommend you indicate the following:
  • I booked an Advanced Purchase reservation with Marriott at the Ritz Carlton in Istanbul on December 3 for 8 days, April 29 - May 7, 2020
  • Unfortunately, I did not know until December 8, four days after the cancellation deadline, that we needed to cancel
  • I have been offered a date change option, but I have no idea when we will be able to plan another trip - it may be 2 years or longer
You should be clear that you would be grateful for an exception.

Some do's and don'ts when writing
Do not use inflammatory language - be polite and professional
Do not attach files - their email system may discard your email before anyone reads it
Do not start with the CEO - begin at the lowest level in the company contacts shown here: https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/marriott/
Present a brief summary (list) and give each contact one (1) week to respond before escalating to the next level
 
Last edited:

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
20,745
20,324
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#19
Use our Marriott contacts. Just make sure you understand, it is quite possible you might not be satisfied with the end results- you chose a non refundable rate vs. refundable and the hotel hasn’t done anything wrong by denying a refund. And even if you had insurance and weren’t canceling for a valid covered reason- say illness- insurance might not help.

You don’t say why you were canceling do we can’t say if insurance would or would not have helped.


Did you call your credit card company to ask if they have any insurance offered?
 
Mar 23, 2015
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#20
Thanks, I just received an email this morning from the same person that I had contacted on Dec. 8, the reservations manager at the hotel, who told me again that there would be no refund. We do not have insurance. Would it do any good to contact other managers at the hotel, or do you advise starting with your Marriott contacts? Thanks again to you and everyone who responded.
Certainly contact Marriott; however, do you have a Plan B in mind? Aka: accepting their offer to reschedule? Otherwise, you lose everything. This appears to be a scheduling conflict you had, regarding the original dates, yes? Soooo realizing there's a REALLY good chance you're going to be told NO all the way up the chain, be prepared for what you WILL accept, or WILL do: Change dates or Eat the charges. Good Luck!!