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Last month I stayed at the Le Meridien Boston Cambridge for an activity that I was taking part in over near the MIT campus.

(SEE ALSO: Le Meridien Boston / Cambridge hotel review)

I don’t often pay for my hotel stays (instead preferring to redeem hotel points for free stays) but the math on this stay just didn’t make sense. The Le Meridien Boston Cambridge is a Marriott Category 6, which means that it takes 50,000 points per night for a standard redemption (40,000 or 60,000 for off-peak and peak, respectively). I believe this was an off-peak redemption night, so it would have cost me 40,000 points for each of the 3 nights I was planning on staying there, but we also had a conference rate of only $109 / night. With taxes and fees, my total bill for the 3 nights came to $374.25, meaning that redeeming 120,000 Bonvoy points would have done so at a value of 0.31 cents per point. Bonvoy points aren’t worth that much, but they’re certainly worth more than THAT!

Going green

While I was staying there, I noticed that in the room they had a door hanger offering free bonus points if you decline housekeeping during your stay

Since I a) like free points and b) prefer to not have housekeeping, this was a no-brainer for me, so I hung this on my door and diligently replaced it all of the numerous times that it fell on the floor as I opened and closed my room door

Getting my points, take 1

I have enough experience with these types of programs to know that there is approximately a 0% chance that the Go Green points would be added to my account without my having to do anything, I mentioned it at the front desk as I checked out. The flyer mentions receiving 500 SPG Starpoints per night, and SPG points convert to Marriott at a rate of 1:3, so I asked for 4500 points for the stay (500 SPG points * 3 to convert to Marriott Bonvoy points * 3 nights). I wasn’t necessarily expecting to actually GET 4500 points but I figured I might as well start high. The gentleman at the front desk counter at my checkout said he would go ahead and add the points right away.

I waited a week or so, logged into my Bonvoy account and… nothing. Not only no Go Green points but even no base points for the stay! I tried to fill out a Missing Stay request form, but you can only fill that out if it’s been at least 10 days since your stay. So I set a reminder to do that in a few days

Submitting a Missing Stay request

I submitted the Missing Stay request form on January 30, and received a prompt reply indicating

Thank you for sending us a copy of your hotel receipt. We hope you enjoyed your stay at Le Meridien Cambridge and apologize that it was not systematically credited to your account. We are delighted to help you and want to make sure you get the credit you deserve for staying with us. 

Using the provided information, I have added all eligible credit to your Marriott Bonvoy account. You will see your Points reflected on your Marriott Bonvoy account summary at https://www.marriott.com/sign-in.mi  within the next 24 hours

Great! I logged back in the next day to find that I had been granted only a total of 501 points for my stay. Wha-huh? I don’t even know where that number possibly even came from

Missing Stay request, part 2

I replied back saying that I was expecting around 4680 points ($374.25 * 10 points per dollar * a 25% bonus for being a Marriott Gold member). I figured I’d get the base room points settled first before dealing with the Go Green charges. The reply was that the stay had already posted and there were no eligible charges.

I should mention that it was a slightly odd way that I had booked this stay. The conference room rate was sold out online so I had to email the hotel and book through them directly. I don’t know if that caused a problem or not.

Missing Stay request, part 3

So I sent them my folio (again) and was told

We appreciate the chance to help you with your account. While researching your request, we found that our records indicate that your stay has already posted to your Marriott Bonvoy account. You can view this stay on your online account summary at https://www.marriott.com/default.mi.

Generally, if a hotel has your account number on file, your stay will post to your account within ten days after check-out

Before I could bother replying to this non-answer, I logged on to my Marriott account and saw that the correct amount of points had posted.

Getting my Go Green points

I figured I’d reach out to Marriott Rewards on Twitter to try for the Go Green points, again asking for 4500 points. I got a quick reply

Hello Dan, Thanks for the provided information. We have gone in and made the adjustment to your account for the missing Make A Green Choice. Please be advised the 3X points were One Time conversion done August 2018 when Starwood and Marriott merged. Starwood no longer exists, it is Marriott Bonvoy now. It states on the screen shot you receive points for each night you decline housekeeping except day of departure, so you will receive the bonus for 2 out of the 3 nights. Please allow up to 24 hours for the point adjustment to be reflected on your side.

1000 points were posted within the day. I tried to push one more time for the triple points since they promised me SPG Starpoints which should be worth 1500 Bonvoy points since that was what in the in-room card. They told me “We appreciate your feedback, and we will pass it along to our management team”. I decided to drop it at this point.

Here’s a shot from my Bonvoy account. You can see that the account had to be adjusted 3 times to finally get it right….

Note that it took 18 days and multiple touchpoints to finally get this right. I have no complaints with the resolution, just the fact that I take better care than 99% of people with tracking my stays and points. Most people would not have gone to the trouble if they’d even have noticed, so who knows how many points, nights and stays Marriott is stealing from its customers…

What’s your worst #Bonvoyed experience?

 


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