Consumer Complaints and Reviews
On January 7, 2017, I needed to stay at the Sheraton Duffield St, in Brooklyn, NY to attend a funeral of a close friend. I explained before making the reservation that I was using a relative's credit card. The person said that was fine, I would be required to fill out a third party credit card authorization form, to which I agreed. He then charged the card for the room and I thought I was all set. I had to call back three times to ask why I had not received the credit card authorization form. On the third time I was told that it would take 24 to 48 hours to receive the form. I then told the representative that I was attending a funeral and that I was told that I would receive it momentarily. Livid, I hung up and called the hotel directly. I explained the situation to the Manager named Karen, who could care less that I was attending a funeral and that I had been given the wrong information.
Karen told me that the Brooklyn location does not accept third party credit card authorizations, except for corporate reservations. I asked Karen why they did not accept third party credit card authorization forms when I was told they did, and if they didn't why did the representative charge the credit card. Karen at that point said she didn't know and basically tried to rush me off the phone and told me to call the reservations line and ask them. I then called customer service and explained to them what happened. I was placed on hold and told that what Karen the manager had told me was untrue and would be investigated because they could find any such rule in their policies. I was then told to call the hotel back directly and explain to them what I had just been told. Again, I asked to speak to Karen and this time was placed on hold and then disconnected.
I called the customer service number back and this time spoke to someone named Will. He informed me that he would investigate the matter and call me back. Approximately twenty minutes later he called me back and told me that I was told that location did not accept third party credit authorizations. I explained to him that was untrue. I told him that from the onset of the reservation it had been explained that I was using a relative's card. If I was told that they do not accept third party authorizations why would I make the reservation. Will told me as a way to get around this to get a prepaid card for the hotel amount, and that should be fine.
Upon arrival at the hotel (in the middle of a snow storm, and trying to make the funeral), I presented the prepaid card and was then told that it could not be used because it did not have my name on it. Horrified I explained to the person at the desk that I was told this would be acceptable for payment. Another manager came over and told me the only way to get around this would be to cancel my current reservation and re-book using Expedia, and use the prepaid card with Expedia and the other card for incidentals. Ultimately, I wound up traveling back home in the snow with my bags and dog because the amount from Expedia was more than I had on the prepaid card because my initial reservation was on the Sheraton website.
I stayed at a W hotel and had a lot a bad experience. The hotel room was never cleaned and was dirty. They gave us a room we didn't request and the bartender was lying giving my husband a low end brand charging for top shelf. When my husband questioned him he shoved a bottle in his face. I called hotel and a Jose manager told me he would call Starwood and get my 15,000 points back I used to secure this hotel. Starwood would only give me 1,500 so I wrote the BBB and called corporate but an associate at Starwood was so ignorant and mean she put a block on my account and will not let anyone help me. I called and a Melissa was so rude. She said "you called several times and we are not helping you" and was so rude. It's not worth doing anything with this company. They have such a bad record with the BBB and they don't care. No customer service!!! Stay away. They refuse to help.
I just want to say that this membership for SPG does not really counts. My husband and I were trying to get a room at JFK Airport Sheraton on July 3. I called if we could request for an early check-in and leave the same day at around 6 pm and we are still willing to pay the one-night rate. I told the reservation office that we only use it to rest and sleep for a few hours because of our flight layover. Unfortunately, they do not have an exclusive rules for early check-in for the members of Starwood "Preferred" Guests and no guarantee for it. No matter who you called even a supervisor at SPG, they said the same thing. I cancelled the membership because it is only a WASTE of my time. I was disappointed with my latest experience. Their customer service, leadership, and reservations skills are not adaptable, not focus on customers' concerns, therefore it is not favorable to us and it leads us to a very dissatisfied experience.
So beware of this memberships, vacation deals, etc... If you do not use your points, you will lose it because it expires. If you have at least 2,500 or more use it right away otherwise you wasted it. It is like SCAMMING people. The last hotel we stayed in was at the Cerritos Sheraton Hotel. The room did not have a refrigerator and a safe. Although, the towels were very good, clean and white like new. Overall, it was only a very simple room. I am no longer interested with Sheraton or Starwood Preferred Guests as there are so many other nice hotels out there with good customer service.
I first called customer service to make a reservation for an upcoming hotel stay. I explicitly told the agent I needed a suite for 3 adult guests. The agent provided me with a rate I was satisfied with, so I decided to book and provided her with my credit card information. After finishing the call I received a confirmation email that only accounted for 2 guests, but the initial rate we had agreed upon. I called customer service once again to have that corrected. A different agent picked up the phone this time. He said that he was going to charge me extra for the third guest. I explained to him that I'd explicitly told the first agent I had 3 guests and even so, she had provided me with that initial rate and didn't mention anything about an extra fee for a third guest.
While waiting on the phone to speak with the manager, the agent just went ahead and charged the extra fee on my card without my consent, even after I'd explained to him that I had not been told about the extra charge when I gave them my card information. The manager, after taking a long time to assist me, proved to be extremely rude and inefficient. I told him the name of the first agent and asked him to verify with her, or put her on the line. He curtly refused to do that. I still have not resolved this issue as he told me to call the next day because there was nothing he could do.
We have been owners since 2005. Adding a property in 2012 in Cancun. Don't get me wrong, the properties are great. The company and website and services are about as bad as it gets. We are "Elite" members and are not able to book the facilities we paid for most of the time we'd like to. The new Vistana website is the worst, and very unusable. We've tried for over 1 1/2 years to get our properties (my wife's and mine) linked with the points and such, but they still can't do it. We've sent faxes and talked for over 10 hours on the phone with the company. They solve small problems, but the big issues are piling up and the company is becoming a mess of rules and difficulties in booking. Timeshares on the whole are a nightmare, and Vistana/Starwood is no exception. We are very dissatisfied but have no recourse but to put online reviews out to warn others.
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One of the selling points to becoming a Starwood Owner is receiving Gold level SPG consideration when booking hotels. Also, we were told no blackout dates, and we get club level access. What I'm experiencing now at a hotel I have stayed at in the past (Memphis downtown) is no club level unless you pay, no regard for Gold status, but NOW I can't even get a room at the hotel unless I pay, no allowed access period to club or lounge, and on the special promotion just offered by SPG, for triple points on Friday night, guess what? Friday is "blacked out!" I bring my wife here for medical every year, and this is unbelievable.
As far as the ownership goes, I have experienced all the same things previous writers have. My fees (not tax) is $1200! Also, I can't ever get what I want, and I was told being Platinum, I could book anytime. BUT, after a certain date, you are behind people off the street. Last year My family was stuck in a handicap room with broken furniture, wrong type chairs to sit at the table, loose dishwasher, and a counter that nothing could fit on. The Majority of appliances were in drawers! I was told they would erase some charges to make up for it, and after I returned home, they put them back on my card!
I rarely write reviews but my experience with Starwood Vacation Ownership has been awful. If you ever visit one of their hotels as we did and get bamboozled into going to the sales centre and buying into this "amazing, cost-effective, flexible" vacation ownership - RUN, DON'T WALK TO THE EXIT!!! Do not believe what they say no matter how nice the salesperson is and what they promise!!!!
IF YOU ARE TEMPTED OR PRESSURED... TELL THEM YOU NEED YOUR LAWYER TO LOOK AT IT BEFORE YOU SIGN ANYTHING!!! It is an absolute scam. We bought timeshare that we should use every second year... And were lied to about the fees involved. We pay EVERY YEAR approx $1000 with fees going up by a lot every year and all kinds of extra fees thrown in. Trying to book a place... Impossible to get what you want, where you want. Plus they don't tell you about all the rules (must be over weekend, 7 days only, etc, etc, etc) which make it impossible to use what you are paying for. As one of the other reviewers shared, we missed the date when you were supposed to "roll over" the points we did not use due to my husband's very serious illness and their "Resolution Dept" is a joke... Actually an extension of the vulture-like tactics they use at the sales centres.
Once they have sucked you in, they simply take advantage of their position to squeeze the life out of your wallet while offering nothing for their owners so don't expect any resolutions if you have any issues other than the choice of which credit card you want to use for the never-ending fees and new charges and rules they come up with. Also note how it is virtually impossible to extricate oneself from these bloodsuckers without incurring even more expense. One of the big selling points they like to use when customers are skeptical of timeshares is the Starwood brand and how reputable they are.
After my experience I am disgusted that Starwood has joined the ranks of timeshare scammers. I will go out of my way to avoid all Starwood properties as a result. Shame on you STARWOOD!!! I hope this helps others out there to be aware and mindful of how awful this company is! I will let as many people as I know about how they operate. When I visit the property, I will make it a point to let all potential customers know exactly what they are trying to suck them into and hopefully prevent them from being scammed.
I have been a Starwood Owner for about 13 years. My advice is stay away. You pay your ever increasing fees and they make it virtually impossible to book the vacation time you want even though they rent out units at that time when renters come in off the street. Their system to book is difficult to use, perhaps on purpose because they already have you as a paid up member but they keep the units for off the street clients and not the owners. At the very best very few units are available to the owners!
This organization has such a tremendous bureaucracy and set of rules built around using their star options and refuse to take any responsibility for their ridiculous system. Their telephone clerks are robots and do not use any common sense when dealing with customers. As a result they literally stole 50,000 options from my account at the end of 2015. I will not buy any additional time from this vacation ownership and I am sorry I bought originally.
I met water flooded in my room. Although, Aloft Hotel staff had misguided me about smoking. After, I had met water flooded in my room, I smoked then they were going on misguide me about smoking. Hotel manager told me that they would measure air of my room then they would give me report. If the air of water flooded room was dirty, they would charge me. Be careful, €100. Hotel manager added if I leave the windows of room, the air of room would clean itself, finally I would not have to pay the penalty. End of story, they charged me. Be careful again, €200 while checking out without show me anything and after I stayed 2 days in open windows room.
After the initial presentation we were unsure if we wanted to purchase or not because it was a last minute decision. They provided us with something called the "explorer package" and stated that we could pay for the package over time and revisit later. It sounded great! So we paid for the 7 night package and due to several depressing life changes including the loss of our grandson and a cancer diagnosis, we were unable to use our package. So after 3 years and a move to NC, we decided that on one of our return trips to Florida we would use it. We were only offered the use of a 4 night stay, but we took it anyway. We were scheduled to re-visit and sit through the presentation again on a Sunday.
Well after 2 nights, we had an unfortunate incident and needed to get back to NC immediately. So I called to try to arrange to change the presentation and was told that it would be fine and I just needed to leave a voice mail with that department and they would get back to me. Well, we didn't hear from anyone and had to check out 2 days early. I asked about it at checkout and was told that it would be fine. Now, 2 weeks after returning home, I find that my debit card has been charged $600 by them without my knowledge. When I called to inquire about it, I was told that it was because we didn't attend the presentation for a 2nd time. That was not in our agreement, nor did I see it in writing. And to make it worse, we had already paid approximately $1500 prior to this stay! We had considered actually continuing with the purchase because we enjoyed it very much, however after this, I don't think I'll ever do business with them again.
I have been an owner at the Sheraton Vistana Resort in Orlando for 15 plus years. On 1/8/2016 I realized that we did not bank our 2015 week... It was clearly an oversight on our part. I thought my husband did it and he thought I did it. So I called Starwood owners association and spoke to Alexis in the Resolution dept. I explained what happened and asked how I can get my week bank. I was basically told "that's too bad, you have now lost your week." I was shocked. I asked for my maintenance fees back and was told no, they are not obligated to return my maintenance fees or reinstate my 2015 week.
I am shock by the lack of customer service I received. No consideration at all for an owner for more than 15 yrs. So I basically gave them $900 for nothing. The lesson I learned was I would have rather not send them the money and had them give my week away than to pay the money and have them take my week away. Do not buy with Starwood. They rip off their customers. I am definitely selling my timeshare. It was much better when it was maintained by Vistana... They knew what customer service was.
After 25 years of great service with Vistana timeshare, Starwood Vacation Network came and took over. I have to say it has been a hassle since we purchased our secondary week in 2009. There are hidden fees everywhere. The original week to be sold to us was not Easter week. So we picked up another week via the Internet for a dollar. Their loss. Yet we pay membership for 3 weeks, they only allow the bi-annual week and charge us a $140.00 yearly fee. They told us there are no extra trading fees. Oh yes, there are. Once you trade with Interval, there are trading fees just like with RCI. Really this fee is more than what RCI charges. Plus then to bring in my original week 3 that I have owned for over 35 years, they charge an additional forty five dollars.
The staff are so arrogant that I am ready to sell all 3 weeks off. They are truly so ignorant when it comes to making a better business plan that they would rather go belly up than to pull my internet week into the program. I pay the taxes and maintenance fees. I am doing them a favor but today they cross the line telling me if I let go of my timeshare they would go after my credit. When I get the chance, I'm moving over to Disney!
I was given a room on Christmas Eve at this hotel next to the bar and restaurant which turned into a very loud noisy party which made sleeping impossible. Manager Deniz acknowledged that he knew this was going to happen but we were never warned that this was going to turn into a bacchanal or we would have stayed either at another hotel or a distant room. Starwood has been absolutely uncooperative in helping me get any consideration for our troubles. The manager thinks by letting me out of my second night reservation that that is compensation enough. It isn't. I would warn other possible guests to be forewarned that the hotel and chain while they think they are high class are no better than Motel 6.
We stayed at the W Hotel in chicago and when we checked into our room it was dirty. They gave me no requests I asked for and one of their employees was ripping off guest by charging them for Gentleman Jack and giving Jack Daniels. When my husband approached them to ask, the w hotel employee shoved the bottle in my husband's face. I asked for my points to be refunded and they said "yes". I called to ask where they are and they said they will not refund. They had a sylvia who would never let me speak with the gm of the hotel. Then they put it in the consumer affairs for Starwood. They refuse now not to give me my points back. No company should treat guests like this!!!
I have contacted the hotel by calling them and one of their customer care employees explained the reasons of the extra charges. I am not satisfied cause the front desk employee did not take the time to explain all the terms of the extra charges clearly. Once I checked out no one replied to my emails! Until I called them myself to get some answers.
I have been charged for five nights stay while I stayed for two nights only!!!! I sent 4 emails asking for an explanation and I have no feedback from the hotel to explain or deal with this matter. Wondering what is happening to be charged with almost $ 1300 more!!!
My business friend arrived to check in to the Aloft in Leawood, as I had many times before, as preferred Gold Members and as employees of Black & Veatch a company headquartered nearby the Aloft, with guaranteed late arrival reservations. We were immediately told by the front desk clerk that our reservations will not be honored due to a policy by the GM of selling rooms even with reservations pending. To make matters worse, Ms. Jennifer ** is providing no compensation for the trouble she put us through even though she said she would give us 7,000 points. I am angry and she needs to know that customer service still matters in this country. Thank you for your time and attention to this review.
My husband and I made reservations at the Aloft Manhattan which was supposed to open July 31, 2015. I received a welcome email from the hotel and by chance clicked on a link and found out that the hotel was opening 20 days late. No one at Starwood contacted us to let us know, and this was 2 days prior to our reservation. I have spent 2 days on the phone with Starwood customer service. They offered to book us at another Starwood property at the current rate (which is now almost twice as much as when we booked a month ago). I told them that I expected to be booked at the same rate at any of their other properties near the one we booked. Finally, today, I received an email from the hotel's GM. He apologized and informed me that he rebooked us in Brooklyn at the Aloft. I told him that I had no interest in traveling half an hour extra, each way and asked to be booked elsewhere. He stopped returning my emails.
I called customer service AGAIN and the woman told me that she would try to help. She called me back a couple of hours later and informed me that she couldn't honor my rate and that since they booked me at the Brooklyn location, they were not refunding my money. After a long angry conversation, they finally agreed to refund my money. The night before we leave, I was stuck searching for another hotel and was forced to pay $500 more than the rate we booked. The lack of customer service has been inexcusable, and I think we would have arrived in Manhattan and shown up to a construction site, had I not clicked on the link. I wonder how many other people have booked the same hotel and will have no idea until they show up to check in. I expected so much more from a Starwood property and will NEVER book with them again.
Starwood's Aloft South Beach treated me with utter contempt after I forgot my laptop there. First they agreed with me that I'd come back the next day to get it, then they couldn't access it because Lost and Found was gone for the day. No one told me I had to be there during LF's operating hours, since it would be left at the front desk for me. Then a loong list of agonies followed, as me and hubbs tried to contact them. The manager hung up in my ear cuz I was furious since she wouldn't let me finish my sentence. Can anyone spell "people skills?" And you are the manager, really??
Then I called customer service at Starwood; they also hung up in my ear, cuz she told me to call FedEx and I kept insisting that the hotel call FedEx since I didn't make the mistake, but the hotel did. Since I would not accept the proposed solution of calling FedEx, she hung up on me. I was so distressed, I broke down in tears. I couldn't understand why people would treat another human being this way. They had ignored emails I sent and then flat out lied to us about contacting my family and when I called Customer Service at Starwood, the Aloft South Beach flat-out lied to her too about something my husband never said. They have achieved their desired goal I guess: I'm never ever staying at another Starwood hotel and I'll make sure my associates won't either.
SPG.com contacted me to correct this issue two weeks later. They did offer and replace all points.
I find it completely unacceptable when you are loyal to an organization (Starwood), working toward collecting points then come to find out if you have not stayed with one year the account is closed and points are deleted. After contacting Starwood they advised as a courtesy they will refund half the points back to account. Hilton and other quality hotels do not let your points expire and I would not recommend devoting your stays to a company that treats its customers in this way. Your travel would be better served using a resort that truly appreciates your business.
AMEX Starwood Reward is going downhill fast - I have been member of SPG since 2001. Since then, I have noticed that SPG raised the points needed to book a free room for the same hotels that I used to book, yet their rewards have not changed. In other words, it is much harder to earn a free night at SPG. They are also having so many blackout nights where you can't use your points. Lastly, you will now have to call individual hotel to see if you can use your points. You cannot do these searches and booking online. This is NOT good customer experience SPG!!!
We have owned a unit week at Vistana Fountains in Orlando, FL since 1990. We have always paid our association fees every year. We have not used our unit for about 6 yrs. This year we booked our unit for April 19-26. We have been experiencing some financial problems this year, and made the request to have the $900 fee paid out in payments. They have refused, and stated they will cancel our reservation if it is not paid in full today. The woman on the phone was extremely rude, making it clear that if we didn't pay in full today, and we got to FL, we could not check in, and would be turned away as we are already 60 days late.
A stay at the Westin Bonaventure or the Salvation Army during hurricane Katrina, which would be a more pleasant of my two experiences? Originally I would assume the Westin, until my phone call with Rick at the Front Desk. I had a flight issue and wanted to be courteous enough to let the staff know that I'll be doing a late check in and to verify that it wouldn't be a problem. As a person who travels frequently and accustomed to excellent service, I believe strongly that any guest at any hotel should be treated professionally, polite and with respect.
In my case, having book a night stay roughly averaging $3,000 for the Palisades Suite, I with reason expected top notch service and get what I'm paying for. A Suite that is honestly outdated that reminds me more of my grandmother's living room, over priced food and horrible wifi connection, could have been turned a blind eye and swept under the rug until my call with Rick put everything over the top. He answered the phone with attitude, was rude and had condescending remarks. By the time I hung up, I was shocked as to what took place, it was then I thought I would much prefer to rescue shelter in Louisiana where everyone was polite, attentive and accommodating, all during a hurricane!
It's unfortunate in my opinion that Westin and Starwood puts so much effort to train how to offer the "Westin Experience" to their employees, who clearly missed the class or just didn't pay attention. My review is a poor 50/50% for the simple fact that if an agent like Rick can't even have decent social skills over the phone, how could anyone expect anything better in person. You're really rolling the dice at the Bonaventure, book your stay only if you're feeling lucky.
I received an offer from Starwood Vacation Network for a stay at their Ka'anapali Ocean Resort. After 2 phone calls, I called back to book. The offer was made to me, I have a Starwood American Express credit card and a SPG member. I was told my husband had to make the trip and visit with me. The offer was not made to him. I am a retired corporate executive, this is sexist. I was shocked by their attitude towards a woman capable of making a financial decision. Shame on Starwood for outdated business practices.
When we went to visit Florida two years ago we got fooled into buying Starwood hotel points. Worst mistake ever. After spending 8 long hours at the presentation (sales rep wouldn't let us go), we were lured into spending close to 15,000$. We were told lot of lies to make this sale. I couldn't even book one single week vacation so far because nothing is available or not enough points. Constantly I was told we don't have enough points . When we purchased we were told we can go anywhere for a week anytime. I am soooo angry and feel victimized by this company. I do not know how to get rid of this. Can someone help me please. My email- ** .
Starwood know how to squeeze money out of you..their maintenance fee have almost double since I bought my timeshare in Orlando. It will never stop, they have very few location to go and the exchange company which increase their fee every year have no availability for the desired location on the dates I want even if I request it one year ahead...and if anything happen to your family you have to pay a cancellation fee and then you lose your week. You can email me if you want at **. I am in Houston TX. I tried to sell my timeshare but in vain...you can see a lot of people want to sell their time share for $1 to get rid of the outrageous maintenance fee.
I booked a hotel stay for 2 nights. When we got there we were given a room that smelled terrible and had visible black mold. When we complained we had to wait an hour for another room that had the same issues. I called SPG and was given an option to cancel this room and book at another hotel. The phone rep told me my only local option on their brand was one at 3 times the price! It was 2 hours past my kids bedtime so we took it. We found out later there was another location with similar pricing to the first one available those nights, but the rep just didn't mention it. When I asked for compensation for the difference, I was told they would look into it. It’s been over 2 months and I haven't heard back from them yet!
My girlfriend and I made reservations last October to stay at the Westin Casino and Hotel in Aruba this coming April. Apparently the hotel has been sold and is no longer part of the Starwood chain. I found this out late last evening from an email from Starwood letting me know that we have nowhere to stay, but that they are working on a resolution to the problem.
I contacted Starwood today (am a Gold member of the Preferred Guest program) to inform them that this was a very disconcerting way to find out that we have nowhere to stay, especially given we have transferred air miles to cover the airfare. I was told the original plan was to have things buttoned up much sooner, but they did not make it due to problems in closing. The revised deadline was the 4th, but they did not make that one, which is why I got the email so late. The new deadline to have all reservations moved to other hotels on the island is now today, the 5th. It is now 10:30 PM and no contact from Starwood. Seems they missed another deadline.
Knowing the island and its hotels (I have been visiting for nearly 20 years), there are not many hotels that are of the caliber of the Westin, so I am concerned about the quality, location and value of the purported replacement. Up until now, I have been marginally okay with the Starwood brand; based on this experience, I would suggest other options to those traveling.
I am a travel agent from South Africa that has been dealing with Starwood group for the past six years. I am really angry and don't feel like I want to do any more business if this treatment continues. I am shocked at the level of professionalism. I have recently done a booking with Le Meridien Towers in Saudi Arabia, Makkah, for fifteen of my clients that wish to travel from South Africa to Saudi Arabia. My booking equates to $44000.00 and I can not complete my booking with the hotel because there is a major infrastructure problem and no one at this hotel is willing to assist me. I went to higher Level Management (Mr Medhat **) Director of Sales, who instead turns the problem on me. The situation got out of control where they asked security to remove me from the Towers. I have $44000.00 with them and no assistance. My clients are scheduled to arrive soon. I need your urgent assistance with this matter.
My daughter, my granddaughter, and myself stayed at the Starwood Hotel. When we woke up the next morning, my daughter was bitten all on her stomach by bed bugs. I feel that because I used my cash and points, they felt that they could give me any kind of room. I have been an SPG member since 2009. Also, the comforter was dirty, and the radio did not work. We stayed at 9100 Roosevelt Boulevard, Northeast Philadelphia, PA. The manager’s name was **.
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