Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson comes off as out of touch with his customers’ concerns when he claims frustrations with their loyalty program are just ‘noise around the edges’ but that hardly seems to be a one-off example.
He gave a rather bizarre interview to CNBC at the Davos World Economic Forum where he floated the idea of recession being a good thing ‘to get it over with’ and suggested that Marriott was storing the customer passport numbers that were hacked to help customers.
Let’s Have a Recession
Sorenson floated the idea — referred to as something he’s ‘heard some folks say” that “maybe we should just get a small recession now and get it over with, because then we could stop worrying about the length of the cycle and move on..could well be very mild and not very long lasting.”
That’s simply not how recessions work. They are caused by something, not mere time. We don’t get to ‘choose’ the length or depth of recessions or when to have them, they are the result of economic decisions (whether by individuals and firms or by government policy).
Copyright: rido / 123RF Stock Photo
We Stored Your Passports to Help You
The Marriott data breach included 5.25 million unencrypted passport numbers were accessed and 20.3 million encrypted passport numbers.
Sorenson was asked, “why do you hold onto my passport data if you can’t protect it.. erase it, don’t save it?”
We want ease when we travel. in many countries around the world we’re required to take your passport… If you’re making a reservation and a passport number is required, if you’ve got to enter it all over again every time, most consumers will say this is a pain it takes me a whole lot longer.
However the Marriott website isn’t requiring passports at time of reservation. Those are taken by individual properties where required by law. The data in question was collected by hotels, not entered by customers.
The answer that they’re storing passport information for customer ease, so customers don’t have to keep entering the information, is just wrong — so wrong it makes me wonder whether Sorenson even knows how reservations are made at Marriott.