Here’s Why Marriott and SPG Platinums Are Experiencing Ridiculously Long Hold Times

Jun 29, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

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.

Featured image by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.