Here’s Why Marriott and SPG Platinums Are Experiencing Ridiculously Long Hold Times
Waiting on hold for an airline or hotel may be one of travelers' biggest frustrations. Over the last few days we've heard from multiple readers -- those who are Marriott and SPG Platinum elites -- that they are experiencing ridiculously long wait times to speak to a customer service representative.
TPG reader Boyd, a Marriott Platinum member emailed in telling us how he was on hold for 30 minutes, was then disconnected, called again and never heard from Marriott customer service after multiple direct messages on Twitter. One of the benefits Marriott and SPG Platinums are supposed to receive is a dedicated customer service line.
Although he's not a Marriott Platinum, TPG Managing Editor Alberto Riva spent 90 minutes waiting for a Marriott customer service agent Thursday night. A Twitter search reveals plenty of Marriott elites complaining about the long wait times:
We reached out to Marriott and a representative investigated the issue, reporting that the increased wait times have to do with the integration of the SPG, Marriott and Ritz Carlton loyalty programs:
"As we prepare to unify our three loyalty programs (Marriott Rewards, The Ritz Carlton Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest) in August, we are transforming the way associates in our Customer Engagement Centers serve our members and are training them on new technology and processes. During this period, we are experiencing increased wait times for phone calls in many cases. We are sorry for the inconvenience and are currently adding staff to reduce the wait times during this transition.
Additionally, we recently extended our exclusive Platinum Elite member phone number to 24/7 operations. When these technology systems are fully deployed, associates will have much more information at their fingertips, to both answer a broader array of questions and solve more issues more quickly, reducing the time members spend on the phone."
As the representative said, the issue will hopefully be resolved by August. Still, it's unfortunate that this is happening during the peak summer travel period and during the unveiling of the new award chart.
If you're experiencing long hold times, you can try calling foreign customer service lines (although your elite status may not be recognized), calling the hotel directly (if appropriate) or reaching out to the Marriott over social media.