Marriott’s Twitter Team Can’t Fathom Anyone Complimenting Bonvoy on Social Media

Twitter used to be the “go-to” way of getting personalized customer service, and with some brands it still is. Many companies assign super competent agents to deal with twitter, and empower them to cut through bureaucracy to solve problems.

Not all do however. And some just follow the ‘first rule of social media’ which is to try to get customers to stop blasting the company as quickly as possible. The easiest way to do that is to get the customer to ‘take it to DM’.

You’ll find many twitter teams respond to any complaint with an expression of sympathy and a request to direct message details so they can ‘look into it’ for you. You think you’re getting personalized help when really what’s happening is the brand is getting you to quit complaining publicly, at least for awhile when you’re at your most frustrated.

However when you combine this strategy with either a twitter team that isn’t well trained, or a company using bots, you get awkward results. Naturally Marriott – whose major problem with Bonvoy is there’s really nowhere to go to get help when things go wrong – is a prime example.

A valuable customer tweets acknowledgment of fantastic service at a Marriott hotel, and what does Bonvoy do? Apologizes and asks to take it to direct message.

Either a cut-and-paste error, or they’re so beleaguered at Marriott customer service they read everything as a complaint these days.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Excellent!

    Reminds me of my favorite Uber feedback. I gave a driver 5 stars and the app asked “WHAT WENT WELL?” with six choices:

    Navigation
    Aggressive Driving
    Service
    Cleanliness
    Distracted Driving
    Other

  2. Since I rarely use Twitter, I guess I don’t understand why a perfectly good answer isn’t “No, I will not use DM. Please respond here.” Or, alternatively, in the DM, add a line saying “ A copy of this thread is being posted to __________ (Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/all of the above).”

    Although, I’m still waiting for Facebook to implement a “Dislike” button.

  3. For me it personifies the face of a near completely failed merged Marriott corporation
    It use to be a reasonable pleasure to call Starwood now it’s as bad as calling American Airlines or worse IHG
    Most agents seem tense under pressure and afraid to chat as if their being timed and or monitored
    I would use the Marriott site to book reservations but I almost always give up and book at Hilton or Hyatt where I can add.requests
    Why Marriott is so awful I will never understand yet many of their customers put up with it lucky for them

  4. Option 3: Marriott was legitimately dismayed to learn a guest had received excellent service, despite their best efforts to the contrary.

  5. You’re all getting it wrong. Marriott’s Twitter team, as they wrote in the first line of their response, is “dismayed to learn of these unfortunate set of circumstances” because the customer should not be getting good service under any circumstances and if they did, the customer should definitely not tweet about it either lest other people find out and expect good experiences as well. It’s all part of the master plan!!!

  6. Gary makes a good observation. Guests complaining to Marriott is pointless because Marriott can’t do anything. They just forward the complaint to the property. Maybe you will get some points to go away but Marriott has no department that can actively enforce a program rule or benefit when something goes wrong. As my ambassador agent has said, she can “advocate for me,” which is a nice way of saying she is powerless to do anything if a property tells me or her to pound sand. Look at all the properties cheating on the breakfast benefit. No, coffee and a bagel is not breakfast.

  7. Actually, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, I’ve been pretty successful with the Marriott twitter team. I had some miss posted points, that they cleared up in less than a day, then a milage advance points redemption that they were super helpful with.

    Now I’ve also had some pretty horrible responses, but like the one mentioned, but it’s still better than waiting on hold for hours on end and then talk to a call center person, where English is their second language and they don’t give a crap.

    Interestingly enough I just had a really good interaction via chat too. The agent first said call, to which I replied I’m on a conference call and can’t, so the agent called for me and just relayed through the chat function.

    Dare I say it seems things are getting a little better?

  8. This is not a news. Hilton has done this for a very long time. Even when I pasted a complain about a Hilton hotel stay. Hilton employee contradicted the facts.
    Further to that Flyer Talk close my account.

    This is just terrible service and very haunting attitude not hospitable attitude

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