Tag: hotel points
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.
Furthering my previous post regarding hotel best practices when you’re staying at a hotel for an extended period of time, here are a few more tips:
1. Feel free to leave a bag at the bell desk or concierge. If you don’t want to carry your toiletry going through TSA, just bring an extra duffle bag and leave the bag with the front desk or bell hop when you check out. Not only should you leave your toiletry, you should look to leave your workout gear, or any outfit for the climate. This works well if you are traveling to a different climate, you should always leave a jacket, sweater, fleece, etc. that you may not need at home. You’ll be lighten your load on your weekly commute and the people behind you at the security checkpoints will thank you for it!
2. Always tip the bell hop or concierge if you’re asking them for a favor like holding your bag over the weekend. A good suggestion is $2-5 per bag (adjusting to locale and inflation), depending on your relationship. This goes along way with the staff - these guys are the heart and soul of the hotel. I typically tip on drop off and pick up.
Sometimes a souvenir from your home has more mileage. For example, bring the hotel staff “I Love NY” t-shirts if you’re from NYC or some Ghirardelli chocolate if you’re from San Francisco.
Don’t be afraid to ask for the services that you’d normally have to earn or pay for at the hotel. Below are the things that you should ask for and would most likely get:
1. Ask for an upgraded room or simply a better room (like closer to the elevator or away from the ice machine, etc.). There’s no reason why your request wouldn’t be met.
2. Ask for a discounted or client rate by letting the staff know that you’ll be there for an extended period of time for a client. This works especially well if you are in a group (i.e., traveling with team members)!
3. Ask the hotel staff to book your future reservations so you don’t have to call or reserve online every week (don’t worry, you have up to the previous day of arrival or 6pm on the date of arrival to cancel for each reservation).
4. If the hotel charges for Internet, ask for the service to be complementary or get the hotel manager to get your hotel status to a level where it is free (see previous post). You may not get platinum status day one but it will help in the long run.
5. If you do not have hotel status, ask the manager to make it happen. We have gotten entry level silver and gold status at Hilton and SPG (Four Points, Sheraton, etc.) when we were rookies. Hotels still honor loyalty unlike airlines.