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Bonvoy Members as 'Product' ... Hmm?

kds4

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Interesting interview with the new head of Marriott Hotels, Tony Capuano. The second link is an analysis response to the interview where the author interprets Mr. Capuano's position to be that the independent owners of the properties paying Marriott for their branding are Marriott's true 'customers' while Bonvoy members and the rest of the traveling public are the 'product' that Marriott is providing to these hotel owners in exchange for licensing with Marriott. What will that mean as far as MVCI future negotiations to retain/expand Bonvoy status for timeshare owners ...

Have to say, being referred to as a 'product' leaves me feeling a little ... objectified. While I can see this position from one perspective, I don't really like (my place in) it.

I love a 'customer first' philosophy, except when I'm apparently not the 'customer'.

Interview - https://thepointsguy.com/news/marriott-ceo-anthony-capuano-interview/

Analysis - https://viewfromthewing.com/marriott-ceo-bonvoy-and-breakfast-its-all-about-hotel-owner-costs/
 

Mowogo

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Interesting interview with the new head of Marriott Hotels, Tony Capuano. The second link is an analysis response to the interview where the author interprets Mr. Capuano's position to be that the independent owners of the properties paying Marriott for their branding are Marriott's true 'customers' while Bonvoy members and the rest of the traveling public are the 'product' that Marriott is providing to these hotel owners in exchange for licensing with Marriott. What will that mean as far as MVCI future negotiations to retain/expand Bonvoy status for timeshare owners ...

Have to say, being referred to as a 'product' leaves me feeling a little ... objectified. While I can see this position from one perspective, I don't really like (my place in) it.

I love a 'customer first' philosophy, except when I'm apparently not the 'customer'.

Interview - https://thepointsguy.com/news/marriott-ceo-anthony-capuano-interview/

Analysis - https://viewfromthewing.com/marriott-ceo-bonvoy-and-breakfast-its-all-about-hotel-owner-costs/
The articles definitely reflect the attitude of Marriott hotels, and how they have been since the merger with Starwood (In the frequent traveler community, Bonvoyed has become shorthand to describe the hotel not offering expected benefits or worse.) However this is very different than Marriott Vacations, which has been separated from Marriott hotels for years and just licenses the brand names as well as has negotiated access to sell to Bonvoy members.
 

pchung6

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It just reflects the Marriott corporate way since the merger with Starwood towards customers. Not surprise at all. I really miss the old time with Starwood when I stayed 100 nights/year. I was treated like a king every time I checked in. That was the main reason why I bought Starwood timeshare. Not anymore unfortunately.
 

Big Matt

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You are the customer of the person/company who owns the property and provides the hotel to you for a fee. Marriott is their agent to manage the property for the owner. Without property owners who want a Marriott brand, Marriott would go out of business. Think about small, no frills hotels and motels wherever you live. Many change brands often, mostly because they cannot afford the fees and demands of the better brand. Loyalty programs are to perpetuate brand loyalty, and not loyalty to any one property.
 

rthib

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It just reflects the Marriott corporate way since the merger with Starwood towards customers. Not surprise at all. I really miss the old time with Starwood when I stayed 100 nights/year. I was treated like a king every time I checked in. That was the main reason why I bought Starwood timeshare. Not anymore unfortunately.
This has been how they have run things for quiet a while, Marriott long ago got out the real estate and building business on the Hotel side. Just like MVCI did on the Time Share side.
They are a service provider and there job is to grow value.
This is one of the reasons Marriott revenue was growing and Starwood was not was that Marriott was focusing on hotel owners. That was the reason Starwood shareholders agree to be bought, lots of unrealized value.
 

pchung6

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This is one of the reasons Marriott revenue was growing and Starwood was not was that Marriott was focusing on hotel owners. That was the reason Starwood shareholders agree to be bought, lots of unrealized value.
For me, as loyal starwood customer, i spent 100 nights/yr at starwood for business. Now I don't travel much, but still manage 50-60 nights/yr. So if Starwood is still by itself, they get all of my business. With Marriott now, since corporate greets and revenue are their drivers, they only get 30 nights of my business now. The rest of my nights are spent with Hilton and being trying out Hyatt/Regent recently. The Westin I used to stay, I knew they cared about me and made sure I got everything. Now, not anymore, no one cares. I just check in and go to my room, and I don't want to talk to them. That's the different between legacy Starwood and Marriott now.
 

rthib

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For me, as loyal starwood customer, i spent 100 nights/yr at starwood for business. Now I don't travel much, but still manage 50-60 nights/yr. So if Starwood is still by itself, they get all of my business. With Marriott now, since corporate greets and revenue are their drivers, they only get 30 nights of my business now. The rest of my nights are spent with Hilton and being trying out Hyatt/Regent recently. The Westin I used to stay, I knew they cared about me and made sure I got everything. Now, not anymore, no one cares. I just check in and go to my room, and I don't want to talk to them. That's the different between legacy Starwood and Marriott now.
You do realize that the ownership of that Hotel has not change. Marriott does own the hotel or run the hotel.
They were owned by an independent owner who paid money to Starwood and now they are owned by an independent owner who pays money to Marriott.
 

pchung6

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You do realize that the ownership of that Hotel has not change. Marriott does own the hotel or run the hotel.
They were owned by an independent owner who paid money to Starwood and now they are owned by an independent owner who pays money to Marriott.
Ya, probably one of another public traded company or REITs owns the hotel. And I don't care who owns it.
The only difference is what I feel and how I feel toward the hotel and service are different between Starwood and Marriott at the same hotel. That's how I decide to spend my future stays or return.
 

Steve Fatula

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Hmm, have not seen this. I guess I am lucky.
 

bizaro86

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You do realize that the ownership of that Hotel has not change. Marriott does own the hotel or run the hotel.
They were owned by an independent owner who paid money to Starwood and now they are owned by an independent owner who pays money to Marriott.
Starwood absolutely managed many Westin hotels (as opposed to just franchising the name). They also were very proactive about ensuring SPG members received their promised benefits.

Marriott, by contrast, seems fine if hotels do less than the minimum standard.

Previous SPG loyalists have in many cases left, as the customer service feel is in no way comparable. (To say nothing of the huge devaluation in loyalty program value when they merged the programs)
 

TravelTime

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Interesting interview with the new head of Marriott Hotels, Tony Capuano. The second link is an analysis response to the interview where the author interprets Mr. Capuano's position to be that the independent owners of the properties paying Marriott for their branding are Marriott's true 'customers' while Bonvoy members and the rest of the traveling public are the 'product' that Marriott is providing to these hotel owners in exchange for licensing with Marriott. What will that mean as far as MVCI future negotiations to retain/expand Bonvoy status for timeshare owners ...

Have to say, being referred to as a 'product' leaves me feeling a little ... objectified. While I can see this position from one perspective, I don't really like (my place in) it.

I love a 'customer first' philosophy, except when I'm apparently not the 'customer'.

Interview - https://thepointsguy.com/news/marriott-ceo-anthony-capuano-interview/

Analysis - https://viewfromthewing.com/marriott-ceo-bonvoy-and-breakfast-its-all-about-hotel-owner-costs/
Where in the article did Capuano refer to Bonvoy members as products? I do not recall reading that. I think the View From The Wing article really tries to make everything Capuano said into a negative. I did not read so much negativity into The Points Guy interview. In fact, I felt some compassion for the hotel owners and now I can see that Marriott has less power than we think.
 

kds4

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Where in the article did Capuano refer to Bonvoy members as products? I do not recall reading that. I think the View From The Wing article really tries to make everything Capuano said into a negative. I did not read so much negativity into The Points Guy interview. In fact, I felt some compassion for the hotel owners and now I can see that Marriott has less power than we think.
The interpretation of Capuano's remarks was provided in the second linked article. My references were to the 2nd article. From my own experiences with Marriott (since 1992), I have definitely seen an overall decline in the quality of customer service at the majority (more than 50%) of the hotel stays I have had (particularly in the last decade). That doesn't mean that I don't still get quality customer service on property during many of my stays. The issue is the lack of consistency. I have also seen a marked decline in the quality and skill of customer service agents when I call (more than 50% of the time). My last interaction with them was to book a 5 night reservation using an accommodation certificate from a redeemed travel package. During the 90 minutes I was on the phone, I was first told I couldn't book a 5 night reservation because my AC was for 7 nights. (It was a 5 night MVCI owners travel package redemption). The rep didn't seem to understand there were 5 night travel packages (and hence 5 night ACs). Once I explained that as an MVCI owner, I have access to 5 night TP redemptions, they could then 'see' that my AC was actually for 5 nights and not 7. Then, when the reservation was supposedly completed, I noticed that the wrong category certificate was taken from my account and applied toward the reservation. I had multiple ACs for different category levels in my account and a Cat 5 certificate was taken for my Cat 3 reservation (instead of an available Cat 1-4).

While waiting for the taken AC to be restored and the correct AC substituted, a 35k free night certificate 'vanished' from my account when I refreshed my screen. So, once I got the ACs sorted out, I then had to wait while the CSR tried to figure out where/why my free night wasn't showing in my account any longer. They eventually 'found' it, but never explained why it was taken in the first place. When that 35k free night was finally restored, I learned that the CSR I was dealing with wasn't actually the one doing anything. They kept referring to 'calling them back' (and did place me on hold at several points during the 90 minute call) because someone else was actually in my account making things happen (largely incorrectly). So, now the CSR I had on the phone wasn't really a CSR but a 'call-screener' that was messaging/calling the real CSRs doing the work. What's most disappointing about this experience (and other calls I have had since at least the SPG merger) is that it is becoming more the norm and less of an exception.
 

Steve Fatula

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That I agree with, there is definitely a lot of "newbie" type CSRs out there. But Capuanos remarks were negatively interpreted to fit a persons opinion. Just like this thread title. I also did not read what he actually said this negatively. I just do agree with CSRs and lack of training or whatever the issue is there. It's been a while since they were "ramping up" from the merger so expected things to be better by now.
 

kds4

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That I agree with, there is definitely a lot of "newbie" type CSRs out there. But Capuanos remarks were negatively interpreted to fit a persons opinion. Just like this thread title. I also did not read what he actually said this negatively. I just do agree with CSRs and lack of training or whatever the issue is there. It's been a while since they were "ramping up" from the merger so expected things to be better by now.
From the media coverage that the Capuano interview is generating, it doesn't appear to be an isolated opinion that his remarks have come across negatively. I haven't seen any positive remarks on his interview, but I'm also not hunting for them. I'm just looking at what comes across various media feeds I follow (which is how I found out about the interview in the first place). The mental reset for me is having taken for granted that my membership in Marriott's loyalty program all these years made me their customer (which I guess I was when they had a portfolio of corporate owned properties). Now that they don't own the majority of the properties bearing their name (although there are still a few), this article is making me 'think' about my relationship to Marriott (which I haven't in a very long time).
 
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