Guest Says Marriott Hotel Called Him A “Dumb Ass” For Booking Through Expedia

Chatting through the Marriott app with the Residence Inn at Anaheim Resort/Convention Center, a guest says they requested a king bed but their reservation showed they were booked into a queen room.

According to a screen shot of the conversation posted to Reddit the hotel responded,

Good morning and thank you for being a Gold Elite member. Our records show that your dumb ass booked a room with 2 queen beds in one room a sofa bed in the living room and a full kitchen. This was booked through a 3rd party. Please contact expedia to modify your reservation.

Thought on this rudeness? I expect more.
byu/mau5hau5en inmarriott

The guest responded, “First of all, why are you calling me a dumb ass? Secondly I didn’t book through Expedia.”

I suspect that,

  • The guest booked through a third party. That means no points, stay credit, or elite benefits.
  • “Expedia” here could either be a stand-in for ‘online travel agency site’ or it could be that Expedia was the booking engine behind whatever site was used, so it appears to the hotel as Expedia even though the guest thought they booked through another site.

They were booked into a room type which wasn’t the one they wanted, which is why they were looking for help. But the hotel employee calling them a “dumb ass” for doing so appears priceless.

The reactions to this run the gamut from ‘this is how they treat someone with Gold status, imagine someone that’s just a silver’ to ‘this can’t be real’.

Another response I noticed was questioning why they’d book through a third party site as a Gold member? While I think that it’s generally inadvisable to book through third parties – you won’t even get the best rates since discounted rates, like AAA rates, aren’t even available – there are sometimes sites that’ll discount lower than what you’ll find on a chain’s website (HotelSlash, Club1 Hotels). You may book through a third party site when redeeming points against the cost of a room. And Gold status is a giveaway level anyway with very little benefit.

This response, though, strikes me as highly plausible:

byu/mau5hau5en from discussion

The guest says that they were compensated with 10,000 points for being called a dumb ass. I think an additional 10,000 should have been in order because the correct spelling would have been “dumbass,” a single word rather than two.

(HT: Ryan C)

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, 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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  1. The comment is correct. Im not sure why anyone would ever use an OTA ever. Save a little money, get no benefits and be put to the back of the line. Sounds like a horrible strategy

  2. At least it’s an authentic / original expression of Marriott’s attitude toward guests, not some glib ChatGPT gibberish.

  3. So, does this mean the value of thing like upgrades and money back on my AX Platinum when booking via AX travel is actually worth NOTHING?

  4. LOL, the rude text is accurate; this gold member was a dumbass for booking through a 3rd party, Just use the BONVOY (rhymes with Convoy) app.

  5. Since this is not an internal communication, the sender should be fired after making sure that the whole thing wasn’t faked.

  6. He is a Dumb Ass. Should know better if “gold”. At least he got some better attention and advice then the usual cut & paste canned responses, thank yous and apologies that 99% of chat suffers from.

    The advice was solid.

  7. FYI: I’m Marriott Lifetime Titanium and I will often book through AAdvantagehotels ( to accrue AA miles and LPs. More often than not I also receive the stay benefits (breakfast, etc) when booking through this OTA.

  8. There’s another possibility here.

    He thought he had booked direct. This happened to *me* once, and I’m a savvy traveller.

    Always double and triple check the URL when booking rooms, because there are shady OTAs who will clone hotel websites. They’re less likely to do this with major chains than small independents, but it happens.

    In some cases the booking isn’t even real.

    In my case, the third party changed my dates and had a no cancelations policy. I wound up with a room I couldn’t use. The hotel wouldn’t give me a refund either, I suspect because they hadn’t yet received money from the scammers.

    I had to file a credit card dispute. Which I did eventually win.

    And I’m savvy and know cyber security. I warn people about this particular scam regularly.

    Check the URL. Don’t click on the link when booking through independents. If you see a timer for the “deal” on the room, back out of there, hotels don’t do that.

    It’s less likely because it’s Marriott and again, they typically target people booking direct at independent hotels, but…

  9. @Gary Leff:

    The more time I spend on this site, the more I’m starting to agree with @Tim Dunn and certain others about grammar and proof reading:

    “…because the correct spelling would have been “dumbass,” a single word rather than two.”

    That’s not correct based on the hotel employee’s response:

    “Our records show that your dumb ass booked a room…”

    The hotel employee’s intended meaning is that the guest is dumb ass, i.e., an ass who is dumb because, in this instance, “dumb” is an adjective used to emphasize that the guest, whom the employee considers to be an “ass” (a noun), did something beyond the customary stupidity of an ass.

    The strict grammatical meaning of what the hotel employee wrote “…that your dumb ass booked a room” makes no sense in real life because the hotel employee used the second-person possessive pronoun “your”, implying that the guest owns or otherwise possess an ass, (of the four-legged type rather than of the two-legged type since people in this day and age can’t possess other people), that is dumb but yet smart enough to make a hotel reservation for the guest.

    If the hotel employee wished to say that the guest was a “dumbass” (a noun) as you write, his response would have used the contraction “you’re”, i.e., “you are” rather than what he wrote.

    If we are going to criticize, we should strive to be right.

  10. @Jennifer P:

    Beyond the usual reasons for using a top-shelf password manager, an additional benefit is that a good password manager (I use LastPass) won’t allow a user to enter credentials at a website whose URL doesn’t match the URL at which the user initially saved his credentials to the password manager, i.e., the genuine site.

    This completely eliminates the inadvertent possibility of using a spoofed website.

    Another option is to bookmark the genuine site URL and always use the bookmark to retrieve the site.

    It’s not really practical to ask end-users to parse a website URL in an attempt to make sure that it’s the genuine site; many sites use URLs that don’t at first glance appear to belong to the site one wishes to visit and of course there are things like redirects, etc.

  11. @Gentleman Jack Darby – Unfortunately, it does not “completely eliminate” it.

    Independent hotel websites don’t always have account logins. You might be using a site for the first time.

    I agree that password managers help, but ONLY if you already have an account on the real site.

    Bookmarking also only helps if you have used the site before.

    The double and triple check the URL refers to typosquatting. CapitalOne versus Capita1One, for example.

    Again, your measures help, but they don’t work in all circumstances. In my case, yes, I should have bookmarked the site, but there were no user accounts on it, so my password manager would not have alerted me. My point is even savvy people can mess up sometimes.

    As somebody who prefers independent hotels over chains for leisure travel, I have to be careful of these things. (Nothing wrong with chains, but I like to stay at hotels with, shall we say, character ;). Which does sometimes mean “The tub is in the main room with a curtain around it” or “The building has swamp coolers not air conditioning” but it also makes for some real adventures.

    (My business travel is always in-hotel conferences where I don’t have a choice about where I book…and where I’m always booking through a block link).

  12. Typically I’m skeptical of what I’m about to say but it’s totally possible this is a prank/fake.

    Some things are hard to fake (like the ridiculously long thread about an allegedly fake Hilton document on LoyaltyLobby).

    But having worked in the field any halfway competent UI designer could build a wireframe that looks like the one above. It’s not a terribly complicated Interface.

    That said Marriott knows what happened on their side but who knows if they’d straight up call a guest a liar 🙂

  13. There are some business travelers that have no choice but book through a 3rd party portal. Their company demands it and they pay directly to hotel. My company uses Egencia UK. I still get status and miles for airlines as normal. For hotels, Marriott and Hilton give no points or elite nights credits.
    Hyatt on the other hand does give nights and points. Lifetime Plat in Marriott and they see almost none of my business anymore and I have over 2 million points. Diamond in Hilton and the same thing. I only use Hilton and Marriott when going to conferences and I can get a waiver around company portal. Calling a customer a dumbass and not knowing why he booked that way is harsh but kind of funny

  14. Amex uses Expedia and it shows up that way. The hotel can’t see it’s Amex unless it’s FHR I think…

  15. @HoKo – wholesale rates are common, consumer-facing sites usually are bound by rate parity provisions that forbid undercutting chain pricing. However ‘membership’ sites are private and aren’t bound by those rules. Many still do not discount, pocketing the difference for themselves. HotelSlash basically passes on most of the savings.

    Airline-branded hotel booking sites work similarly, rebating much of the savings in the form of miles.

  16. My dumbass two cents….

    1. Some business orirnted travel get booked thru third party sites like if you are going for a convention and they rebook you elsewhere.

    2. Walk up booking. I’ve done these and told sold out but I booked online thtu site or third party.

    3. There could have been an airline points promotion. Southwest offers 10,000 ff pts for booking thru their site thru a contract. Therr are a few other things like rocket miles and others thst allow booking deals for miles. If he already got enough for ststus renewal but isn’t traveling enough to go up a tier thrn use other point promotions like thesr.

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