Triangle Trip

Tag: hilton

Starwood (SPG) needs to learn about security and privacy

by on Nov.25, 2011, under Hotels

I contacted the Starwood Preferred Guest’s (“SPG”) Platinum reservation line to redeem my Starpoints for a hotel stay. The customer service representative (“CSR”) was friendly as usual but was not able to help me with my reservation and raised a huge security and privacy concern. Before I could complete my Starpoint reservation, the CSR requested for my password to my SPG account. When I told the CSR that I do not recall setting up a password to make Starpoint redemptions or any special types of reservations, she informed she needed my website password to complete my reservation.

After trying for over 10 minutes to explain to the CSR that it would be a security breach if I had given her my password, I decided to ask for a supervisor. All the supervisor  could do was to refer me to Starwood’s corporate policy which required me to provide my personal password to complete the reservation. She also told me that I could make the reservation via spg.com and stop hassling her. The supervisor also didn’t want to provide me a name or number for Starwood to escalate this issue.

I’m also pretty I am not the only SPG member to have raised this security concern to the SPG call center. I am also extremely baffled to have learned how Starwood Corporate has such a lax customer security and privacy policy. SPG needs to learn from Hilton where they only require two pieces of private information (i.e., mailing address and phone number on file) to make a points redemption reservation. SPG also needs to understand that its member’s password may be used on multiple sites. The SPG team should look at the cartoon below and learn more about security and privacy policies (special shout out to Brian Lewis’ blog for providing this cartoon image link).

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Starwood Offers Unlimited Free Weekend Nights for Every 2 Stays

by on Apr.13, 2009, under Hotels

Continuing its generosity, Starwood (SPG) is offering free weekend nights for every two stays at their hotels. You can redeem weekend nights (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) right after you have earned them but I think you will need to redeem it before September. This is a great excuse to go on vacation! Here’s the preview link for more details on the offer. Note this offer is not live yet, you will need to revisit SPG’s site to register later this month.

SPG’s current 500 bonus points per night will end this month (April 30, 2009). This follow up offer starts on May 1 and ends July 31, 2009. The SPG offer is still better than Hilton’s 1,000 bonus point per night offer (see previous post). For the next three months (13 weeks), you can potentially earn 10+ free weekend nights if you stayed at a SPG property every week.

For the traveling rookies/novices, each hotel stay means each time you checkin to a hotel. If you have the stamina, you can checkin and out of the same hotel to accumulate more SPG free weekend nights. However there’s a catch. SPG and most other hotels would not give you credit for a stay if you checkin on consecutive nights at a single property. This means you cannot checkin at the San Francisco St. Francis on Monday night, check out on Tuesday morning and re-checkin Tuesday night. SPG will only award you two nights and one stay in the scenario described above.

So if you want to maximize your free weekend nights, we recommend you checkin and out of different SPG properties throughout the week — that’s if you have the stamina to do it 😉

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Hilton’s 1000 bonus point promotion is not better than SPG’s 500 bonus

by on Apr.11, 2009, under Hotels

Hilton’s latest promotion is aweak attempt to match Starwood’s (SPG) 500 points per night bonus promotion. SPG was offering 500 extra points per night for stays from January 7 to April 30, 2009 – here’s the link in case you haven’t registered. Hilton’s latest offer of 1,000 points per night will go from April 13 to June 30, 2009 – here’s the link to the Hilton offer.

Why is the Hilton 1,000 night bonus offer weak? Here are the reasons:

1.  Point for Point value – Assuming you do not have status at either chain, SPG’s offer is much sweeter. You get one point for every dollar spent at a Starwood Hotel. The 500 bonus points can be viewed as $500 of your total spent. Hilton gives you 10 points for every dollar spent at a Hilton property. Hilton’s 1,000 bonus points are only worth $100 compared to SPG’s $500 value per night.

2.  Length of Promotion – SPG’s 500 bonus points per night went on for 3+ months vs. Hilton’s 2.5 month promotion.

I am going to be staying with SPG for the rest of the month to finish out the 500 bonus nights. The added bonus is I will make SPG Platinum for 2010!

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