Appropriate compensation to request

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Nov 25, 2019
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I was hoping someone could assist me with what they feel is appropriate to request in my situation.

I recently booked a one-bedroom suite in a Residence Inn (direct through Marriott.com) for myself and three travel companions. When we arrived at the hotel at about 12 a.m., the night manager informed me that the power at the hotel had been out since around 5 p.m., and per the last update she received, likely wouldn't return until about 3 a.m., meaning she couldn't check us in, wasn't certain what rooms were available, couldn't generate key cards, etc. After some discussion, we agreed the best option would be to have her 'walk' us to a different hotel. After calling a few other Marriott-affiliated properties in the area, she sent us to the AC Hotel down the road because they still had available rooms that could accommodate four travelers. The Residence Inn manager agreed with the night manager of the AC Hotel that the AC Hotel would honor my prepaid rate. Given the hour, I had little choice but to accept.

However, this raised a few issues:
  • Given that there were four of us, I specifically booked a suite. I also paid more for a one-bedroom suite instead of a studio suite to give us additional space. The AC Hotel provided us with a single room with two double beds, which as far as standard hotel rooms go, was on the small size. This meant that we couldn't spend much time in our room as there wasn't much space for four people and we also didn't get a great night's sleep.
  • The Residence Inn included breakfast in their rate, where as the AC Hotel did not. I asked the night manager at the AC Hotel if she would be willing to include breakfast, but she declined. This meant we needed to purchase breakfast for four people.

On the one hand, Marriott provided us with a place to sleep for the rate we originally agreed. On the other hand, we didn't get what we paid for and specifically chose our hotel based on the availability of larger suites and included breakfast. Is it reasonable to ask Marriott for some sort of compensation? If so, how much?
 
Jun 24, 2019
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The typical Marriott policy when "walking" a guest to another hotel is that the room is free, and comes with all perks the prior room would have had. I have had that scenario occur twice in my memory, and, just recently, in Miami, I watched that policy in effect for about a dozen travelers at the hotel I had checked into. You should escalate with the contacts listed on this site for Marriott. It may be that your acceptance of the deal offered by the Residence Inn does not help your cause. In addition, Marriott may offer points rather than a refund at this time. In Miami, when the hotel could not place people, it was offering them 90,000 points if the displaced guests could obtain other rooms on their own.
 
Dec 19, 2014
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I have been in a very similar situation that you have described. In my opinion, some compensation is due, but I would need more information to formulate an opinion on what compensation is due.

Was the power outage specific to the hotel or was it outside the control of the hotel (generalized power outage)?
The room at the Residence Inn, was this a 1 bedroom suite with 2 queen beds or 1 queen bed + sleeper sofa?
Do you mind naming the properties?
 
Dec 19, 2014
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Also, are you a member of Bonvoy? and do you have elite status with Bonvoy?

At face value, based on what you posted, I would initially ask for 20,000 Bonvoy points for compensation. This is equivalent to a free category 4 night.

Your request for breakfast vouchers at the AC hotel was completely reasonable, and frankly, I don't think the staff at the RI handled your situation in the best way possible and should have done more.
 
Nov 25, 2019
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Was the power outage specific to the hotel or was it outside the control of the hotel (generalized power outage)?
At the hotel, I thought it was localized to the hotel as the hotel is under construction and there were signs in the lobby to that effect. Also, the street lights and traffic lights outside the hotel were operational, as was the hotel's emergency lighting. The desk agent also did not specify it was a generalized power outage, and at first, strongly implied it was just the hotel's systems that were out. I just did a search and found another guest complained on TripAdvisor and hotel management responded that it was a general outage affecting 400+ electric customers.

The room at the Residence Inn, was this a 1 bedroom suite with 2 queen beds or 1 queen bed + sleeper sofa?
It was a 1 queen bed + sleeper sofa.

Do you mind naming the properties?
Residence Inn Downtown Louisville and AC Hotel NuLu (Downtown Louisville)

Also, are you a member of Bonvoy? and do you have elite status with Bonvoy?
I am a Bonvoy member, but I don't have status. For business travel, I generally stay at a Hilton or Renaissance Blu and nearly booked the nearby Home2 by Hilton for this reason, but the Residence Inn seemed like a nicer property and was basically across the street from a where we needed to be. Hindsight is 2020.


At face value, based on what you posted, I would initially ask for 20,000 Bonvoy points for compensation. This is equivalent to a free category 4 night.
This Residence Inn is Category 5. Would it be reasonable to ask for 35,000 points under the theory that I'm asking them for a "do-over" when they are at their best?

Your request for breakfast vouchers at the AC hotel was completely reasonable, and frankly, I don't think the staff at the RI handled your situation in the best way possible and should have done more.
There was basically one night manager and a security guard working, no other staff. I found out that from the manager at the AC Hotel that the security guard was only there because of the outage. The manager seemed overwhelmed, which was reasonable given that she had a full hotel of guests and a power outage that had been going for 7 hours and counting. I do think that at minimum the Residence Inn should have contacted me ahead of time to let me know the situation. Because I arrived after midnight, I had limited options in terms of rebooking a hotel.

The typical Marriott policy when "walking" a guest to another hotel is that the room is free, and comes with all perks the prior room would have had.
As best I can tell per Marriott's website, this only applies if you have status.

You should escalate with the contacts listed on this site for Marriott.
I plan to do that, but want to make sure my request is reasonable.

It may be that your acceptance of the deal offered by the Residence Inn does not help your cause.
I was afraid of this, but given the hour, didn't feel like I had much of a choice.
 
Nov 25, 2019
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I should also add that at this point I'm giving Marriott the benefit of the doubt that I'm not actually out any money. The charge from the Residence Inn is still on my credit card (which they told me they would refund) and there are $441.91 of pending charges from the AC Hotel (which I assume will be the correct amount once it actually posts).
 
May 1, 2018
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The typical Marriott policy when "walking" a guest to another hotel is that the room is free, and comes with all perks the prior room would have had. I have had that scenario occur twice in my memory, and, just recently, in Miami, I watched that policy in effect for about a dozen travelers at the hotel I had checked into. You should escalate with the contacts listed on this site for Marriott. It may be that your acceptance of the deal offered by the Residence Inn does not help your cause. In addition, Marriott may offer points rather than a refund at this time. In Miami, when the hotel could not place people, it was offering them 90,000 points if the displaced guests could obtain other rooms on their own.
I agree with the above. I think it would be reasonable to ask for a full refund of the room rate and the breakfast since the original hotel failed to honor your reservation and walked to a hotel with a smaller room and fewer amenities. I generally dislike people who think they are due a full refund because they were mildly inconvenienced by something, but in your case the travel disruption was significant so I think a full refund is merited.
 
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Neil Maley

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The one bedroom at Residence Inn is a room with a queen and sofa bed - if you had four people in the room, two people would have been sharing a bed and then the other two the sofa bed - which is not very comfortable.

The AC hotel doesn't have double beds - they have queens, so you had to have a 2 queen bedded room - which should have been more comfortable for the two people that got a bed instead of a sofa bed. The AC Hotel is actually more expensive than the Residence Inn. What you were missing is a sofa bed and the breakfast - which I believe that AC charges $15.95 pp for.

I would request compensation for the cost of the breakfast and slight compensation for the room not having a sofa bed.

Make sure you were only charged for one room. You aren't due a free room because of the change - you were moved to a more upscale hotel but if the sofa bed was missed - you should be compensated for that.
 
Nov 25, 2019
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The one bedroom at Residence Inn is a room with a queen and sofa bed - if you had four people in the room, two people would have been sharing a bed and then the other two the sofa bed - which is not very comfortable.
You're right that the bed was likely more comfortable than the sofa bed, which is again why I'm unsure what to ask for. On the other hand, the room was on the small side compared to other hotels I've stayed in and the beds were close together. There was barely enough room for all of us to stand in the room and there was no sitting area/chairs.

The AC Hotel is actually more expensive than the Residence Inn.
These hotels are often similar in price and are both Category 5 properties. However, you do get different things for that money. I would also never choose to stay in an AC Hotel because I don't like how the hotels are designed (while hotel design is subjective, I would venture that I'm not alone in this).

You aren't due a free room because of the change - you were moved to a more upscale hotel but if the sofa bed was missed - you should be compensated for that.
I don't think I'm entitled to a full refund because I ultimately did have somewhere to stay. The AC Hotel does happen to be somewhere I would never choose to stay (particularly with a group) because I don't like the aesthetic. If I had a choice, I would have chosen a difference Marriott property.

I would request compensation for the cost of the breakfast and slight compensation for the room not having a sofa bed.
Not including tax, $15.95 * 4 is $63.80. Is that reasonable? Alternatively, I could do what Chris in NC suggested and ask for one night in points. I very rarely travel for just one night, so they would both be giving me an opportunity to give them another chance and would get more money from me for the additional nights.
 
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Neil Maley

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My wife is taking her annual Marriott Hotel class and she just told me about Marriott's Ultimate Reservation Guarantee if you have stayed at least 10 nights in a calendar year if you are Silver Elite.

Marriott's Ultimate Reservation Guarantee, which means if a Member books with us and we cannot host them, we will relocate them to a nearby hotel, pay for the first night of their stay and provide direct compensation in cash, and often times points as well

What tier are you in the Bonvoy program?
 
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Jun 24, 2019
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Full disclosure: We are Bonvoy members and I think we have 38 nights this year.

In our most recent Marriott walking experience, we had booked one night in a nearby county, choosing the hotel we did because it included breakfast and free parking. While driving there after dinner, we were called by the hotel and asked if we were still coming. We answered we were. The hotel said that they were overbooked for a wedding party We said that we would gladly switch to one of several other nearby Marriott properties, so long as we received free breakfast and free parking. The hotel said that it would accommodate us at the original location, they just wanted to make sure we were coming.

We arrived somewhat after 8, and spent the next hour sitting in the lobby supposedly waiting for our room. After 9:00 p.m., the manager finally said that no room would be available, and suggested one of the other two nearby hotels to which we would be "walked" at no charge. When we reminded him of the free parking and free breakfast issues, he first offered that we come back to his hotel for breakfast and to get the money back on parking. We rejected that. So he acquiesced.

We then drive to hotel number 2, which had agreed to take us in, with free breakfast and free parking. Of course, our room wasn't ready yet. (Why it wasn't ready is a mystery. This wasn't the LAX Airport Marriott.) And it was now 9:30 p.m. When our room was finally ready (after 10 p.m.) the pool and Jacuzzi were closed, and they weren't opening it for us. The manager at that location billed us for parking and issued an immediate credit for the parking. He said he would arrange for the free breakfast at the very fancy Starbucks in the lobby. The hotel had no restaurant, but the Starbucks cooked hot breakfasts to order. He also gave us a bottle of wine.

The next morning, the Starbucks manager objected to our getting a free breakfast, and berated us publicly when we refused to pay. We told him to bill our room whatever he wanted and we would deal with the hotel side across the lobby, but he refused, even though he has the ability to bill to a room. The hotel manager walked over, and they had an interesting "discussion," holding up the line for the other paying guests. We finally got our breakfast. The hotel manager volunteered he was giving us 25,000 points.

So that's the range of what you can get if you are a Bonvoy member with 38 paid nights.

Note that all of the angst could have been avoided by simply moving us when we volunteered for the "cost" of free parking and a free breakfast. And at no point had we asked for anything more that free parking and free breakfast, which we were entitled to a hotel no. 1, even though this little diversion took two hours out of our day.
 

VoR61

Jan 6, 2015
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This is what I would consider for a compensation request:

What you received . . .

A quick response by the Residence Inn manager at midnight​
A hotel that was "just down the road"​
A rooms that could accommodate four travelers​
A more expensive room at the lower rate​

What you gave up . . .

A one-bedroom suite​
The free breakfast (approx $65)​
A larger space​

In all that is one factor I think is significant: the prompt action taken by both managers. Many cases here reflect the opposite service. Also of significance for me, is that the replacement was close by. At midnight this is most helpful for weary travelers.

Thus I lean toward Neil's suggestion, but would increase to $100 since the new room was a tight space for a party of four (4) . . .
 

Neil Maley

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Full disclosure: We are Bonvoy members and I think we have 38 nights this year.

In our most recent Marriott walking experience, we had booked one night in a nearby county, choosing the hotel we did because it included breakfast and free parking. While driving there after dinner, we were called by the hotel and asked if we were still coming. We answered we were. The hotel said that they were overbooked for a wedding party We said that we would gladly switch to one of several other nearby Marriott properties, so long as we received free breakfast and free parking. The hotel said that it would accommodate us at the original location, they just wanted to make sure we were coming.

We arrived somewhat after 8, and spent the next hour sitting in the lobby supposedly waiting for our room. After 9:00 p.m., the manager finally said that no room would be available, and suggested one of the other two nearby hotels to which we would be "walked" at no charge. When we reminded him of the free parking and free breakfast issues, he first offered that we come back to his hotel for breakfast and to get the money back on parking. We rejected that. So he acquiesced.

We then drive to hotel number 2, which had agreed to take us in, with free breakfast and free parking. Of course, our room wasn't ready yet. (Why it wasn't ready is a mystery. This wasn't the LAX Airport Marriott.) And it was now 9:30 p.m. When our room was finally ready (after 10 p.m.) the pool and Jacuzzi were closed, and they weren't opening it for us. The manager at that location billed us for parking and issued an immediate credit for the parking. He said he would arrange for the free breakfast at the very fancy Starbucks in the lobby. The hotel had no restaurant, but the Starbucks cooked hot breakfasts to order. He also gave us a bottle of wine.

The next morning, the Starbucks manager objected to our getting a free breakfast, and berated us publicly when we refused to pay. We told him to bill our room whatever he wanted and we would deal with the hotel side across the lobby, but he refused, even though he has the ability to bill to a room. The hotel manager walked over, and they had an interesting "discussion," holding up the line for the other paying guests. We finally got our breakfast. The hotel manager volunteered he was giving us 25,000 points.

So that's the range of what you can get if you are a Bonvoy member with 38 paid nights.

Note that all of the angst could have been avoided by simply moving us when we volunteered for the "cost" of free parking and a free breakfast. And at no point had we asked for anything more that free parking and free breakfast, which we were entitled to a hotel no. 1, even though this little diversion took two hours out of our day.
If you are Silver Elite, go online and check about that program - you were probably entitled to a free night
 
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Nov 25, 2019
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In all that is one factor I think is significant: the prompt action taken by both managers. Many cases here reflect the opposite service. Also of significance for me, is that the replacement was close by. At midnight this is most helpful for weary travelers.
This is why I'm mildly annoyed, but not completely upset. The staff of the hotels were handed a bad situation that was actually outside of their control (not like normal overbooking) and resolved it by getting me a close by place to sleep.
 

Neil Maley

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This is why I'm mildly annoyed, but not completely upset. The staff of the hotels were handed a bad situation that was actually outside of their control (not like normal overbooking) and resolved it by getting me a close by place to sleep.
The least they owe you is for the breakfast. And I’d ask for that. I like VoR’s suggestion of $100 because of the cost and inconvenience to you.

I think knowing that if you had a higher status, that Marriott does offer a free night and points shows Marriott might be willing to offer you something for the inconvenience and the missed breakfast.
 
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Dec 19, 2014
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With regards to the OP's situation (@dansal), here is a summary of facts:

1) OP specifically booked a 1 bedroom suite with 1 queen bed + sleeper sofa in the living area
2) The RI suffered a power outage.
* The power outage was through no fault of the hotel
3) Because the OP had 4 guests, the manager found the AC hotel which could accommodate all 4 guests in 1 room
* The AC hotel lists 2 queen beds, not 2 double beds, so the bed situation was an improvement
4) Breakfast was not complementary at the AC hotel, which cost the OP an additional out of pocket cost of $63.80

Based on the above, I still believe that 20000 miles is "fair" compensation. Alternatively, if the OP has no intention of staying at a Marriott in the near future, requesting reimbursement for $63.80 for breakfast is "fair" compensation. I think Marriott will be more amenable to awarding 20000 points than refunding $63.80. They may even be open to 25000 points which matches a category 4 hotel (I must have missed the memo when cat 4 was increased from 20k to 25k)

Why is the above fair? The power outage was through no fault of the hotel and outside of the control of the hotel. Yes, the OP was inconvenienced, but was accommodated in a similar (and probably nicer hotel), though the room was smaller. The lack of complementary breakfast is why a request for compensation is justified. Even though the room was smaller, it was 2 queen beds vs the queen + sleeper the OP was originally booked in.

I do not think the Ultimate Guarantee is applicable here, though that is my interpretation. It is not that the hotel was "overbooked" per se, the hotel didn't have power. The hotel COULD have checked him in (yes, there are ways to do it, even with computers down), but he would have been in a room without power without guarantee as to when power would be restored.

I will also say that it is refreshing to have someone post here with understanding and reasonable expectations. I think if this were pushed, a partial refund or even a full refund could be attained, but, the OP is asking for our opinions on what is reasonable compensation, which I commend.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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Please note the fine print for the guarantee

Not having electricity make make a place non operational.

“A Participating Property must be open and operational for the Ultimate Reservation Guarantee benefit/compensation to apply.”