I’m trying to give the hotel the benefit of the doubt here, but…
Marriott hotel claims it can’t see our reservation
Ford and I recently visited family in St. Petersburg, Florida. It was last minute and hotels were booked out, so we decided to redeem a free night award at the Courtyard St. Petersburg Downtown — it was one of the only hotels that was available, and Ford had a credit card free night certificate expiring soon, so it seemed like the best option.
We made the reservation a couple of hours before planned check-in, so we tried to message the hotel through the Marriott Bonvoy app. This feature is only available if you have an active reservation at a hotel that’s for check-in within the next couple of days.
Here’s how that chat went, in part:
“Unfortunately we do not have a reservation for you at this hotel with your name on it… if you have any further questions don’t feel free to contact our front desk or me.”
“Thanks for the response. I just booked a little bit ago with confirmation number XXXXXX. Could you please take another look?”
“Yes, I pulled up the Conf# & their is nothing popping up in our reservation’s right now at the moment matching the # or last name of your Marriott Bonvoy number…. You should probably reach out to Marriott directly.”
I’m guessing the “don’t feel free to contact our front desk or me” was a typo, since he then provided his name and the hotel’s phone number.
I’ve gotta be honest, this was a first for me. I get that glitches happen, but something was odd here. Not only was the reservation showing in Ford’s Marriott Bonvoy account, but I could pull it up on marriott.com with the confirmation number, name, and check-in date, without being logged into his account.
In the message the front desk associate said we should call the hotel with any further questions, so we decided to do that. We spoke to the same guy we were chatting with online, and he informed us that the hotel was sold out, and that even if we had made a reservation, it would have automatically been canceled because they were sold out (never mind the fact that the hotel was still selling rooms online, even after we booked). He recommended calling Marriott, so that’s what we did.
Our phone call with Marriott
To my surprise, our phone call with Marriott was great. We explained to the associate that we had a confirmed reservation, but that the hotel was claiming they couldn’t see the reservation:
“Well that’s strange, you definitely have a confirmed reservation, so let me contact the hotel for you.”
We waited on hold for a few minutes, at which point the agent returned:
“I just spoke to the front desk, and I reminded the hotel that if they can’t accommodate your reservation they have to pay to put you up somewhere else. A room suddenly became available then, you should be good to go.”
Someone give this woman a raise!
What exactly happened here?
I’m not sure what exactly to make of this. The employee at the hotel we spoke with didn’t seem malicious or like he was scheming, but at the same time, I’m not sure there’s another good explanation. A few thoughts:
- It’s a bit ridiculous for the hotel to claim it couldn’t “see” the reservation, when literally anyone could pull it up on marriott.com with the name and confirmation number
- It sure seems highly likely to me that the hotel was full and just didn’t want to honor the reservation, so the front desk pretended the reservation didn’t exist; at least that’s the only reasonable explanation I can come up with
- The lack of customer service here is just so ridiculous, as we booked a hotel, had an email confirmation, and the hotel’s solution was for us to call Marriott, which could obviously see the reservation; this shouldn’t have to be our issue to resolve
- I suppose we could have played along and tried to get walked, try to get compensation, etc., but we weren’t interested in that; we would have gone down a never-ending customer service rabbit hole, since the hotel wasn’t even acknowledging that they had a reservation
We booked a Courtyard by Marriott pretty last minute, and the hotel claimed that it couldn’t “see” our reservation, even though it was pulling up perfectly fine on Marriott’s website. We were told to contact Marriott — of course Marriott could see the reservation, so contacted the hotel.
The hotel seemed to try to claim it was oversold, but the room we booked suddenly became available when the Marriott employee informed the hotel that they’d be on the hook for booking us elsewhere if they couldn’t accommodate us.
What do you make of this situation? Was the hotel trying to walk us without accountability, or any other theories?