RANT: SPG Customer Service Fail

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SPG

I am in Florida today at an SPG property and just had a huge issue. My wife booked our room with Starpoints out of her account, but we are meeting in Florida and thus I have arrived before her. She called and added my name to the reservation so that I could check-in. We have done this a number of times before with just about every hotel chain and have never had an issue.

So I get to the property earlier today to check-in and the agent makes sure to say I can only check-in for MY PART of the reservation and that my wife must separately check-in for HER PART. Since when are there two parts of a reservation? After all I have a confirmation with my name on it.

Oh well, that wasn’t a huge issue. The agent then said she needed my SPG number since there wasn’t one on the reservation. This room was booked paying with Starpoints, so I am not sure how that happened, but I told her that I am SPG Gold and gave her my number. She then said my account is not Gold.

I have the American Express Platinum Card which gives me SPG Gold and I called in June to have my account upgraded. In fact I remember checking the account and seeing that it was Gold. As of today it was showing as Preferred Plus.

After verifying that my account was not Gold on their website, I told the agent it must be a mistake and then gave her my wife’s number. She is Gold as well, so I thought it would be resolved. The agent told me that I couldn’t receive her benefits since she wasn’t with me. At no time did I ever ask for anything. I never asked for a single benefit. I just wanted to check-in.

Putting aside the fact that it felt like I was just accused of something (not sure what), after getting to my perfectly normal room, I hop on chat with SPG and am told that my account is not Gold and NEVER WAS. How could this be? The agent then says that I have to ask Amex to call them again to verify my account. At this point I ask if there are any notes from June when I called. He said there was not any.

The chat agent also contacted the property for some unknown reason to talk with them. I didn’t ask him to. After he talked to the front desk, he said I couldn’t use my wife’s Gold benefits without her being present. I wasn’t trying to. I wasn’t even really trying to use my own Gold benefits, just trying to get my account situated. For a second time I felt as if I was being accused.

Frustrated, I called Amex who then called SPG and eventually I was talking to a very nice phone agent. She asked for my SPG number, I gave it to her and voila my account was showing as Gold. Three minutes before I called, someone upgraded it. The phone agent also saw all of the notes from my June call and couldn’t explain why it was downgraded or why the chat agent didn’t see the notes.

Basically the chat agent must have realized he made a mistake and upgraded the account before my call. In other words, he made me waste even more time by calling in when all of the notes were already there.

The result is that I am a frustrated customer, feel accused of trying to pull over some sort of scam and I wasted an hour of my time getting this resolved. Poor poor customer relations Starwood. (With the exception of the very nice phone agent.)

Am I wrong to feel angry? Have you had a similar situation? Let me know in the comments.


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8 COMMENTS

  1. Not sure what’s worse. The part about feeling accused. (Hate that feeling, especially when there’s no basis.) Or the wasted time on your part. You should tweet your blog post at SPG. Will be interesting to see if you hear back. Did you ever ask for your situation to be escalated to a more senior person?

    Enjoy your time in Florida.

    • It was resolved quick enough (about an hour) so I didn’t need to escalate. I just don’t understand the big deal that everyone made out of the whole thing. I honestly didn’t ask for a single Gold benefit.

      I received a normal room, internet is already free here and I don’t need a late checkout. The only Gold benefit I didn’t receive is a Welcome gift and I haven’t decided if I should ask for it just to prove a point.

      Seriously, I love Hyatt and my Diamond status more and more each day. Even when I didn’t have status with Hyatt, I never had any problems.

      Florida is going to be fun! Heading on a cruise with my wife on Saturday! Can’t wait!

  2. I had a problem with my SPG Gold status disappearing when my Amex Plat membership renewed. It was difficult to get it reinstated. Why did it go away in the first place since my membership continued?

  3. I agree you were treated poorly on manly levels (SPG Plat 75 nights here). I’d have immediately tweeted SPG to rectify and ask for 5000 Starpoints and an upgrade for the nuisance/poor handling. My philosophy always is that businesses must put their money where their mouth is when it comes to customer service and elite benefits, in particular; when they fail, the only way they learn their lesson is for it to cost the business (in this case, points and/or upgrade) and the customer to get something salient for the failure in customer service.

    If you don’t ask, you won’t get anything. ALWAYS ask–but you must be fair and reasonable based on the failure/error.

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