Racist Marriott Clerk Addresses Bill To “Ching And Chong”

Racist Marriott Clerk Addresses Bill To “Ching And Chong”

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I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that racists like this exist, though I am surprised that people would act this way so openly, especially while on the job? Who am I kidding, unfortunately that’s not surprising nowadays either, as much as I wish it were.

Marriott folio contains racist Asian slur

On June 13, 2022, a couple spent a night at the Courtyard by Marriott in York, Pennsylvania. Things turned sour at check-out and after leaving the hotel. Here’s how 37-year-old Jamie Chung describes the treatment that he and his 35-year-old girlfriend Tierney Oberhammer received:

“My girlfriend and I were checking out of the Marriott, and the front desk clerk said my last name, ‘Chung,’ with a strange emphasis, like she was mocking an Asian accent. We clocked it, but decided not to make an issue of it. We got back to New York, opened the invoice, and saw that they’d written the racial slur ‘Ching and Chong’ on it. Pretty bold and brazen.” 

The racist Marriott folio in question

What is wrong with people?! It’s bad enough to think that way, but to put that in writing on a folio is beyond stupid. Did the front desk clerk not think that the customers would see, and felt better just having written that? Or did the front desk clerk just want to get fired?

How did Marriott respond to this incident?

The couple reached out to Marriott corporate after the incident, emphasizing that they didn’t want the employee to be fired, but rather wanted to know what would be done to train people to avoid this in the future. Here’s what Chung claims the response was from Marriott:

“The response that we received from Marriott executives was disappointing. They tried to shift blame and give excuses rather than take responsibility for what happened on their watch, under their roof. They have tried to distance themselves from the incident by pointing out that it occurred at a Marriott franchise.” 

“They suggested a clerical accident, a typo, led their front desk clerk to enter a racial slur into the invoice. Their response did not give us the impression that they take this incident seriously.”

C’mon, surely no one believes that this was a clerical error or typo?! That’s a really bad defense.

While Marriott executives allegedly offered hotel points to the couple, they weren’t willing to answer questions about the details of sensitivity training around topics related to racism.

Now, in fairness, Marriott has around 120,000 employees worldwide, so of course there are going to be some (very) bad and racist apples among them. Call me naive, but I don’t think this employee addressed the folio to “Ching and Chong” because they didn’t know better and didn’t receive sensitivity training around this. Rather I think they’re just a racist who doesn’t care.

So I don’t think it’s Marriott’s fault directly that one of its properties had one racist employee. What I do think Marriott is at fault for is the caliber of people that properties often hire, and not creating an environment where people value their careers.

Bottom line

A Courtyard by Marriott sent an email folio to a customer, addressing someone with the last name “Chung” as “Ching and Chong.” It’s hard to chalk that up to a typo, but rather this seems like blatant racism. It’s disappointing that Marriott couldn’t do more to make this couple feel like the situation was being taken seriously.

What do you make of this Marriott incident?

(Tip of the hat to Joe)

Conversations (79)
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  1. F*ck ppl Guest

    I know the person who did this and I have talked to her about this. She is not that type of person. She was really upset about this. I have watched her check soo many people in. She always writes exactly what is said. She is the an African American and knows what it's like to have racist slurs thrown at her. This was 100 percent a mistake. What seems more likely is there was...

    I know the person who did this and I have talked to her about this. She is not that type of person. She was really upset about this. I have watched her check soo many people in. She always writes exactly what is said. She is the an African American and knows what it's like to have racist slurs thrown at her. This was 100 percent a mistake. What seems more likely is there was a language barrier. Plus with their being a bar in the lobby it could have just been really loud. So.. shut your mouths if you don't know what you're talking about.

  2. Stephen in Vegas Guest

    Let's see how Chase responds...

    "Hello,
    I'd like to inquire about Chase's response to this alleged incident at a Marriott property as well as Chase's reaction to the reported Marriott response as a company.
    https://onemileatatime.com/news/racist-marriott-clerk-ching-chong/
    As you can see, I do have a Marriott Bonvoy Chase credit card and would like to know Chase's viewpoint so that I may act accordingly. Please let me know what/if any steps have been taken by...

    Let's see how Chase responds...

    "Hello,
    I'd like to inquire about Chase's response to this alleged incident at a Marriott property as well as Chase's reaction to the reported Marriott response as a company.
    https://onemileatatime.com/news/racist-marriott-clerk-ching-chong/
    As you can see, I do have a Marriott Bonvoy Chase credit card and would like to know Chase's viewpoint so that I may act accordingly. Please let me know what/if any steps have been taken by Chase in response to Marriott. Thank you. "

  3. Jose Guest

    I encourage people to call both Marriott and this hotel and make a complaint, the more people call the better since marriott is not really taking responsibility.

    Hotel phone number: 1 717-840-7840

  4. Anthony Joseph Guest

    Not surprised. I was a lifetime Starwood Platinum member and after Marriott purchased Starwood properties, it looks like the Marriott management is more concerned about profits from a lot of properties that are owned/managed through franchises.
    Even after the Starwood takeover, I have gone out of my way to stay at the original "Marriott" properties because of inconsistencies on how they handle top tier customers. And over the past 3 years, I started experiencing...

    Not surprised. I was a lifetime Starwood Platinum member and after Marriott purchased Starwood properties, it looks like the Marriott management is more concerned about profits from a lot of properties that are owned/managed through franchises.
    Even after the Starwood takeover, I have gone out of my way to stay at the original "Marriott" properties because of inconsistencies on how they handle top tier customers. And over the past 3 years, I started experiencing problems with getting any elite benefits even that Sheraton properties, notably Sheraton Singapore where the manager went out of his way to tell me I was staying on an award night and so the hotel was not obligated to upgrade me to even club level even though their web site was selling those rooms for that night.
    So, bottom line, management at Marriott don't understand the importance/signifcance in building customer loyalty and profiting from them. So much for bean counters to ruin historic brands

  5. Kevin Guest

    I call BS. That notation was simply the title of one of the pay per view movies the couple watched while they were in the hotel. Cheech and Chong's Up in Smoke...

    1. Olivia Guest

      If you are trying to be funny, it is NOT. It sounds really stupid. You're probably racist yourself! Sad. Educate yourself.

    2. Mike Guest

      You never watched Family Guy with Peter driving in China?

    3. Rye Guest

      An example of where racism against asians is prevalent people don’t even consider it a problem.

    4. red_robbo Guest

      Get back to your homework. Your Mom will call you when your dinner's ready.

    5. Jose Guest

      Stop being an ass. Oh! Guess you are a real ass.

  6. Andy 11235 Guest

    There were obvious mistakes in responding to this: guests at Marriott hotels are the product not the customer. Franchisees/owners are the customer, and corporate acts appropriately for this reality. Related to this, complaints should not have been addressed to Marriott, but rather the Embassy of the People's Republic of China, who may actually have the clout with Marriott to fix the obvious racism issue.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Why PRC and not ROC or both?
      Coming from the Pelosi post where people seem to legitimize both, but yet here addressing only one?

      Worst part, Jamie Chung isn't even a Chinese citizen. Per source article he is of a Chinese and Jewish descent.
      We all see the news of how PRC is handling ethnic minority in China.

  7. Josh Guest

    Thank you for reporting this and doing your part to stand up for the marginalized. I want to feel sorry for the people who defend the clerk/Marriott on this, but it really just speaks to who they are.

    1. Sel, D. Guest

      How were they marginalized? I think you need to better understand what that means.

  8. frrp Member

    Whats the 'Lc' bit mean

  9. iamhere Guest

    Agree that if it was against other races it would make headlines.

  10. JayC Member

    thanks for lividity l publishing this, Ben. hopefully Marriott would something about it after seeing your post

  11. Mark Guest

    This isn't a mistake. Whoever did this needs to get fired. Otherwise, Marriott is an organization that supports racism.

  12. Jasper Guest

    Racism is the hallmark of America. Bigotry and hatred has become the norm since the defeated president empowered criminals.

    1. Michael Guest

      The left has the house, the the senate, the judicial, and the executive branches. It has social media, and most of the media. It has America's largest cities( buried in crime and lawlessness) . It has the woke, Hollywood, and Disney. It is the system. If there is any systemic racism, it is the left that owns it.

    2. Corn Dog Guest

      You’re delusional.
      Former “president” Cheeto Mussolini enabled all the racist trolls to come out of the woodwork.
      And obviously you watch Fox, because you are woefully misinformed. LOL!
      Did you know that studies have shown that people who watch Fox “News” are actually LESS knowledgeable about current events than people who watch no news at all. Also, watching Fox shrinks your testicles and your brain. #facts

    3. Sel, D. Guest

      Lol there is nothing uniquely racist about America. If you think so, I suggest you do some traveling and get to know other cultures.

    4. Indopithecus Guest

      Problem is, there are very few racist cultures that lecture other societies about being racist. America, Australia, and France strut around self-righteously but are glaringly blind to their own histories.

  13. RS Guest

    No more staying at any Marriot

  14. Robert Guest

    You want Marriott to care? Make sure the news spread to China and somebody there will organize a boycott and Marriott can kiss their only growth market for good. We will then see what Marriott actually care, some fxxking motel owner in Hicksville or China.

  15. Tom Neva Guest

    Biggest mistake was paying $184.00 a night for a room n York.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Or if you travelled this Summer, you would notice price gouging everywhere.
      And they were paying for a suite.

      Biggest mistake would be going to York.

    2. Bobo Member

      York, and indeed all of central Pennsylvania, is Alabama north. It's sad that the incident happened, but not surprising that it happened there. Driving around there last week I still saw a smattering of confederate flags and other hostile symbols.

    3. MG Guest

      Trumpers just need to be crushed in a car

  16. Lori lightfoot Guest

    Why do people like you even make a big deal about silly stuff like this? It was clearly just a label to help identify the people and handle their business. What does it matter? Would you be offended if they said the fags on the bill if they otherwise gave you decent service? Maybe that's just how they labeled them so that they could handle their customers the best way.

    1. Don Kedick Guest

      Would you be offended if your dinner was sprinkled with a light coating of diarrhea if it was otherwise organic and gourmet? Maybe the chef didn't have time to make it to a toilet so that they could finish preparing your meal on time.

    2. Jim Guest

      I can't understand how you see this as silly stuff. Just a label? Have you ever been called a racist name? I don't know if it's ever happened to you but have you ever been hurt when people call you racist names? Maybe if you lived in other people's shoes for a while you'd understand why people make such a big deal over racist names.

    3. Eskimo Guest

      @Lori lightfoot or is it Karen lightfoot?

      They could always label them as "Asian".

      "Would you be offended if they said the fags on the bill if they otherwise gave you decent service?"
      I'm pretty sure even with the best service you ever received, you still can't use the N-word.

    4. Rebecca Guest

      Lucky you that your life experiences allow you to view being called “Ching and Chong” silly and trivial. What privilege, Karen. When I see “Ching and Chong” I see the faces and hear the voices of all the mean kids at school or the racist adults on the street who’ve hurled those words at me to make fun of my Asian appearance. I remember the pain of feeling irreparably ‘othered’ for simply being born the...

      Lucky you that your life experiences allow you to view being called “Ching and Chong” silly and trivial. What privilege, Karen. When I see “Ching and Chong” I see the faces and hear the voices of all the mean kids at school or the racist adults on the street who’ve hurled those words at me to make fun of my Asian appearance. I remember the pain of feeling irreparably ‘othered’ for simply being born the way I am.

      Im thankful those with a platform speak up for those like me who have had to silently endure racism like this our whole lives. Your lack of empathy, social awareness, and, frankly, education around this issue is disgusting. You’re a gross human being Lori.

    5. MBGb6 Guest

      Lori, yikes. This is not the take you thought it was and clearly shows you lead a very privileged life. If someone wrote the F slur on my bill, I would be so aghast. After being discriminated against for being gay my whole life, it would be truly shocking to see that. Even your choice to write out the F slur speaks thousands about you.

    6. red_robbo Guest

      I presume, Lori, that your comment was meant to be witty.
      Unfortunately, it wasn't in the least bit funny or clever.
      If it wasn't meant to be witty, then YOU are part of the problem.

    7. Jose Guest

      Lori, it proved that you are so dumb. LOL, Guess your mom didn't teach you much that is the reason you are so stupid. When I say the word 'stupid" just a label to you so people know who I am talking about.

    8. Flightsurg New Member

      @Lori Lightonbrains, you are an idiot.

  17. Chris Guest

    I don't even get the slur. I've never heard it before.

  18. Sel, D. Guest

    Whatever. The media and society (and this blog) has no problem labeling white women “Karen’s”. Your selective racism is showing Ben.

    1. Chris Guest

      What does calling someone a Karen have to do with race?

    2. Sel, D. Guest

      Considering it’s an ethnic slur against white women….. quite a bit there Chris.

    3. Ralph4878 Guest

      Indeed, Sel, D!
      Those poor, racially stereotyped, discriminated-against-all-the-time-in-America-because-of-their-race white women!
      They have suffered, so, so very much!!!
      GTFOH

    4. Sel, D. Guest

      Level of suffering is irrelevant. It's an ethnic slur that's all. You can't be anti-racist without being ant-racist. It's like being a vegan that eats jello. The people in the video read some racist words that were written on a piece of paper. They weren't harassed or attacked. There are thousands of victims to violent hate crimes every year that are..... drum roll please..... white. Look it up. Educate yourself. Don't regurgitate talking points and...

      Level of suffering is irrelevant. It's an ethnic slur that's all. You can't be anti-racist without being ant-racist. It's like being a vegan that eats jello. The people in the video read some racist words that were written on a piece of paper. They weren't harassed or attacked. There are thousands of victims to violent hate crimes every year that are..... drum roll please..... white. Look it up. Educate yourself. Don't regurgitate talking points and believe in something without research.

    5. digital_notmad Member

      Chris, you know this already, but valueless white supremacists like you have no place in society, and certainly not on this blog.

  19. Stuart Guest

    It was in central Pennsylvania. Ya know, Pennsylvania, to quote James Carville, "You have Philadelphia in the east, Pittsburgh in the west, and Alabama in the middle."

    1. Don Kedick Guest

      I know very good people, friends and former roommates of mine, from Central PA. It is wrong to stereotype that whole region.

    2. Ralph4878 Guest

      It's also wrong to stereotype non-white folks.
      But here you are, Don, choosing to defend folks from Central PA (who, if they are white, are extremely racist...yes, I have friends there, too! and family!) instead of commenting on the bigger issue here, which is anti-Asian racism.
      Way to show yourself.

    3. Eskimo Guest

      @Stuart

      And if you care to read the source.
      "Chung, who is of Chinese and Jewish descent, says that the front desk clerk was also a person of color."

      This whole thing isn't grabbing attention because we all know the big race card is mostly being played between 2 races.

  20. PH Guest

    Asians should avoid staying in Marriott, and any hotels under it's flag since they don't respect Asians.

  21. Endre Guest

    His girlfriend’s name is Tierney Oberhammer. In which universe is that a typo? And Marriott’s excuses are beyond pathetic, but again, Marriott simply doesn’t care.

  22. Skdxb Member

    Marriott, Hilton, and many others no longer care a damn about their customers- elite or others and customer service in the travel industry has gone to the gutters. This is the typical response of Marriott Bonvoy nowadays

  23. Edgar Guest

    I am not the least surprised by this level of response from Marriott. They have dropped down to the lowest levels of customer service and prefer to defend the shortcomings of their staff rather than acknowledge the deficiency they possess and do something about it. This is the current state of affairs with most of the brands that no longer care about their customers.

  24. John Guest

    This is actually the typical Marriott response: I like to take your money; but I don't care about you one bit.
    Shame, Marriott. Shame!

    1. LEo Diamond

      Just basic PR skills, even if you want to swear in front of your costumers, don't leave any evidence, especially any written statements on official documentations.

  25. Mike Guest

    Racism against asians is (unfortunately) frequently minimalized, as it appears Marriott is doing here. Vote with your wallet. As if the destruction of the loyalty program and general cost cutting at the hotels isn't enough.

  26. Izz Guest

    Just saying that on the keyboard the “I” and the “U” are literally right near each other. So yes it is entirely possible this was a mistake taken out of proportion.

    1. EB Guest

      No, it's not "entirely possible" that somehow they added a racist line to the folio and made a typo twice. I hope your back doesn't hurt too much from the gymnastics you had to do to convince yourself this could have been an honest mistake.

    2. digital_notmad Member

      ah, and is the "And Chong" key located immediately next to that?

    3. KK13 Gold

      You know what would happen if I do that and try to give that lame excuse to my University? Clue: I will be fired!

    4. Paul L Guest

      I'm kind of doubtful they wrote the correct name, then got it wrong twice (differently each time) after that.

    5. David Diamond

      So after writing the name Jamie Chung on the folio already, the employee decided she wanted to write "Chung and Chung" for no real reason (and certainly not for any racist reasons!) under his name, and then accidentally typed I and O instead of U while doing that?

      Or she's just racist. I can see how a racist would be triggered by an Asian having an Austrian girlfriend, especially the neo-Nazi variety.

    6. Ole Guest

      As brits would say, get your head out of your ar&e

    7. LarryInNYC Diamond

      Absolutely. Completely understandable. You go to type Oberhammer and your finger slips from U you I (neither of which appear in Oberhammer) and all of a sudden you've written Ching. And Chong.

      Can't understand why everyone's so upset.

    8. Luis Guest

      You've got to be kidding me. Your inner racist is out in full bloom. Holy eff you suck.

  27. concerned travelers Guest

    Thanks for writing about this and bringing attention.

  28. Don Kedick Guest

    If Marriott actually cared they would IMMEDIATELY deflag this property and upgrade the guests to lifetime Titanium status with 100,000,000 bonus points.

    They should also name and shame the employee in public. “The racist clerk is XXX, we are naming him because he needs public shame for his racist act.” This is NOT defamation, because it is factual.

    1. John G Guest

      I’ve once stayed at that hotel and yeah if you drove around in York… this wouldn’t surprise you one bit.

    2. John G Guest

      Ha I just looked at my invoice and under the address (where this offense wording is) on mine it says “abbott”….

  29. Bob Guest

    If this was racist against any other race, this would have been front page news

    1. Don Kedick Guest

      Yeah. Imagine a folio addressed to Black guests with Fried Chicken and Watermelon Inc. You can bet your ass and your anus - it would be more than famous - Marriott would be sending the CEO personally to Black neighborhoods on an apology tour, going door to door handing out Hilton gift cards (stay with them because they are not racist), and making a $500M donation to NAACP.

    2. Sel, D. Guest

      Not if it was against white people. Racism against white people has been normalized in our society.

    3. Lom Guest

      On one of the news article, the desk clerk was described as a 'POC'. That's the reason why this isn't blown up as much as it should be. Maybe this couple should sue marriott for $25m like how that couple is suing sesame street for $25m!

  30. AJ Member

    “…though I am surprised that people would act this way so openly, especially while on the job…”

    yeeaahhh…not really sure why you’re surprised by this. there’s no accountability for anything these days. Heck, look at Marriotts response. And if they (the organization) doesn’t care/can’t be held accountable AND you can’t go any further up the ladder, what stops people from doing it? People really think and act like this. For example, let’s watch your comment...

    “…though I am surprised that people would act this way so openly, especially while on the job…”

    yeeaahhh…not really sure why you’re surprised by this. there’s no accountability for anything these days. Heck, look at Marriotts response. And if they (the organization) doesn’t care/can’t be held accountable AND you can’t go any further up the ladder, what stops people from doing it? People really think and act like this. For example, let’s watch your comment section…3…2…1…

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Mike Guest

Racism against asians is (unfortunately) frequently minimalized, as it appears Marriott is doing here. Vote with your wallet. As if the destruction of the loyalty program and general cost cutting at the hotels isn't enough.

13
digital_notmad Member

ah, and is the "And Chong" key located immediately next to that?

13
Bob Guest

If this was racist against any other race, this would have been front page news

13
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