July 1, 2008
I complained about Starwood’s lame customer service.
According to Joseph Jaffe, Delta airlines provides an even worse service to their “preferred” customers.
After the post, here comes the video:
The editing isn’t fantastic (reading is quiet difficult) but I really love the idea. Congrat’s Jaffe, you show us the way.
June 25, 2008
I replied to starwood with the following mail
” Thank you very much for your mail. Unfortunately, I don’t think I can use this solution since there is no Jean Deltenre living at my adress. It’s just an encoding mistake made by your services: They typed “Jean” and they should have typed “Philippe”. Is there a way to correct that at your side? I will stay at the Sheraton Hotel in Atlanta as from july 15th and I really would like to benefit from my points. “
and this time, I received the answer I expected from an “Assistant Manager, E-Communications Department”:
“Thank you for sending another email request, this time we will make it right.
In reviewing our email correspondence we failed to answer your question; on behalf of the E-communications department I sincerely apologize. I have corrected the first name on your Starwood Preferred Guest account to Philippe.
In your last email you mentioned that you will be staying at the Sheraton in Atlanta on July 15th; Please do not hesitate to contact a Starwood Preferred Guest representative for assistance in making your hotel reservation at (phone number). Thank you for your dedication to our Starwood properties and being a valued member of our Starwood Preferred Guest program.
Please do not hesitate to contact me should you require additional assistance.”
Seems that my problem is solved. I also really appreciate that the admitted their mistake. Nevertheless, If I could give starwood a piece of advice, it would be the following:
– Do not send a standard answer without reviewing it. Your first reply was beyond ridiculous.
– Use technorati and monitor your brand(s)
– All the mails you sent me were from the same email adress even if there were different senders. It’s very difficult to interact in that case. Please consider personalized emails for your staff, I can’t even send a mail to thank Marcella who solved my problem.
Marcella, I hereby thank you
June 24, 2008
I was very tempted to be sarcastic in my reply to starwood (see yesterday’s post), but I assumed they just sent me a standard answer based on some keywords they identified in my previous mail.
So, I made a short reply “Thanks for your reply but how could I show you documentation with my “former name”? You just made a mistake by calling me Jean Deltenre instead of Philippe Deltenre ”
I received an answer by a “Specialist, E-Communications Department, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide” (wow!)
Thank you for your email reply. I welcome this opportunity to assist you further.
“While we are unable to allow change the name on a Starwood Preferred Guest account without documentation. We do allow unlimited Starpoint transfers between accounts of members in the same household.
You may transfer your Starpoints to another member’s Starwood Preferred Guest account, or vice versa, as long as the following requirements are met:
1. Both members live at the same address.
2. The member from whose account the Starpoints are being deducted must advise us of his/her password.
3. Neither member is an employee of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.
For further information on transferring Starpoints or to make a transfer, please contact your nearest Account Services Center, where one of our Associates will be happy to assist you. Within the United States and Canada you can contact us by calling toll free 1-888-625-4988 or visit our website for the telephone number of the office nearest you.
We appreciate your continued loyalty to the Starwood Preferred Guest program and welcome any further questions or concerns.”
OK, so, now we have a solution. I just have to ask to Jean Deltenre who lives in my house to transfer me his points… oh, but wait, there is no Jean Deltenre living with me (even if I sometimes hear strange noises coming from the attic)
Starwood, please hire John P. from Dell and pay the guy a million bucks. You really need a guy like him.
June 23, 2008
Yes, it’s been a long time. I must admit that I lost the sparkle. I was more into swimming and brazilian jiu jitsu than into marketing readings the last months. It’s probably also because I’m not in a customer facing job today and I miss that badly.
Today, I’m back because I want to have conversations again, thanks to Geert who boosted me last week and also because I have something to tell you: Starwood hotels have a very poor customer service!
I went to Egypt in march in a nice Sheraton hotel (El Gouna), they proposed me the “Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Program” and I accepted it. I’m travelling to Atlanta next month and I will stay at the Sheraton. I received my SPG card last week… and I realized they made a mistake in my first name: instead of Philippe Deltenre, they refer to me as Jean Deltenre (the adress and other details are correct). I went to www.spg.com and found a customer service adress.
I wrote the following mail:
Subject: General Comment
I received my SPG card a few days ago. The first name mentionned on my card is not correct (JEAN instead of PHILIPPE). How can I proceed in order to have a card with my correct details? Thanks
First Name: Philippe
Last Name: Deltenre
Membership Level: A”
Here’s the reply I received one day later:
“Dear Jean Deltenre,
Thank you for your recent email concerning your Starwood Preferred Guest account. I welcome this opportunity to assist you.
We always want to be sure that you’re pleased with our service so we’ve included a link to a brief survey at the end of this email. I would very much appreciate it if you could take a minute or two to let us know how we’re doing.
We would be pleased to change the name on your account as requested. However, for security reasons we require legal documentation that shows both the former and current names. Please note that a driver’s license is not sufficient verification for a legal name change.
Please send a copy of your marriage certificate or certificate of name change to:
Errr, this looks like a bad start in our relation. They probably assumed I underwent a gender change or married another man (not that there is something wrong with that)… I save the next episode for tomorrow but I can tell you already that it looks like the fist minutes of the movie BRAZIL
August 28, 2007
Oh my! I haven’t blogged for a while… but I’m back.
Besides 2 wonderful holiday weeks in Egypt, I’ve been busy with a side-project (the title of the post is related to this project) that took me a lot of time lately. I stay sneaky about it but I’ll publish it on this blog in the coming weeks.
I’m very happy to announce that I’m not a smoker anymore thanks to the Allen Carr’s method
I’ll be back with a real post in the next few hours. In the meantime, I’ll browse my favourite blogs and read everything about the Blogger Social event.
July 9, 2007
I’m in Lisbon today for the Microsoft Digital Advertising Solution sales kick off 2008. After the usual loud R’n’B music, the “Wow, look at this”, the “Make some noise to show how much fun you’ll have”, the “give yourself a big round of applaus” and a few “that’s a FANTASTIC achievement”, we had a short opening by Marc Bresseel and a 45 minutes speech by Chris Dobson, our sales VP. I won’t (and I guess, I may not) go into the details of what have been said this morning but on statement of Chris Dobson’s presentation caught my attention: “Internet doesn’t change people behaviour (…) technology change, not behaviours”
This is an interesting statement but I still haven’t figure out if I agree with that. We may tend to exagerate the impact of internet on what we are but I think that some of our behaviours are the result of our internet experience. We have friends we have never seen, we are expecting brands to listen, we want to consume media on demand, we don’t perceive advertising as we used to do, we participate, we contribute, we share, we aggregate, we syndicate and we engage. Is that enough to call that a major behaviour change? And what kind of users are impacted?
I would love to read your opinions about this.
July 4, 2007
As usual, I spent my evening thinking about the weakest aspects of my presentation and how I’ve could done better. I’m a little disappointed by my explanations on scale-free networks and I make plans on how I will rebuild the speech with more subtleties next time.
But overall, I’m happy about last night. I think (I hope) I wasn’t ridiculous in front of all the beautiful minds and brains of the audience and that my presentation had a few thought-provoking moments.
To illustrate Microsoft belief in real life-networks, I used a quote of Francis Bacon (I initially believed it was the painter but it’s the philosopher) who once wrote “Friends are thieves of time”. I wish I had spent more time with my fellow bloggers last night: Luc, Pascal, Caroline,… and I regret I hardly or didn’t had the opportunity to chat with Maarten, Dominique (who posted a great piece of feedback), Valérie, Steven, Pieter, Tanguy, Bert, and many others. I also realized we just forgot to invite some major bloggers like for instance, Robin (our blogger database needs serious improvements). Hopefully, we’ll have new conversation opportunities real soon.
July 3, 2007
I just created my account on slideshare. In around 30 minutes, I will present the slideshow below at the second Microsoft Belgium circle of media where we gathered journalists and key Belgian bloggers. Most of the slides aren’t self-explanatory but I trust your interpreation and imagination power 🙂
As told previously, it’s my first presentation to an audience made of experts. I’ll tell you in my next post how it went.
July 1, 2007
I decided to call my new presentation “the permanent revolution”. It’s probably already a cliché and it’s something we’re all very excited about. It’s even a condition for our marketing blogs to survive. We need change and innovation to feed our blogs. I’m not sure that advertisers are always as excited as we are. Our message often remains: Incredible things are happening now but you ain’t seen nothing yet! Some advertisers tend to wait the next big thing, maybe thinking that after that, the innovation pace will slow down a little… but it won’t.
Where will the permanent revolution lead us? IMHO, the web is a matter of virtuous circles. The major trend is more and more integration of the services and the gadget mashups we see poping up everywhere today are the biggest sign of what the web will become. I already mentionned photosynth that could lead to the first real-virtual world (a giant mashup of flickr and second life). Like Marc Bresseel explained at the IAB Interact forum, Photosynth is the result of a virtuous circle made of Simplified authoring, improved search and improved metadata. If this product is marketed properly, it simply could change the way we are experiencing the web.
The “première” of my presentation will be tuesday at the “circle of media”, where Microsoft invited a lot of journalists and a bunch a very bright Belgian bloggers. It’s the first time I will talk about our media to a very informed audience… Wish me luck.
June 26, 2007
What’s the Achilles’ heel of web advertising?
Measurement? Certainly not! Our medium is much more measurable than any other.
Reach? Not any more
Creative possibilities? Ha! I don’t feel I have to argue on this one
Standardization? No big deal. There are a few standards even if sky is the limit for the creative people
Price? Impact? According to many case studies, the web offers the best return on investment (of course, this will depend on the sanity of the media mix)
So, what else?
Well, one annoying detail actually: when you book an online campaign you’re not totally sure that you and especially your distribution network people will actually see it. We usually sell with a “share of voice” principle (most campaigns on msn Belgium have 15 to 30% SOV) and that really bothers the advertisers. They want to be able to show their ad not only on a screenshot or by using the page refresh function untill they see their product. It’s not rational but that’s the reason why a lot of media buyers buy space in the advertisers’ favorite magazine (even if it’s not selective on the target group) or an outdoor advertising near the advertisers’ home, on top of the normal plan.
Of course, discounts and commissioning is another problem that will only be solved with the growth of investments.
June 24, 2007
I sent a mail about 10 days ago to Lewis Green and Bob Glaza about a mysterious band based in Belgium called Bang Lassi. Last friday, Lewis wrote, in his fantastic “Fridays and weekends rock”-series, a great post about Bang Lassi, echoed in a very creative way by Bob Glaza. Here’s a line from Lewis’ post
Mostly we will look into Classic Rock Bands. But today I feature a band that a few weeks ago was introduced to me by Philippe Deltenre, a Belgium friend. The band, Bang Lassi, blew me away.
I also left a link to a Bang Lassi song on Tim Brunelle’s blog who replied
I’m hearing Thin White Duke-era Bowie, the Beach Boys, some Queen, some early Yes, a little King Crimson and some Dresden Dolls. Fun track. Really nice harmonies and orchestration!
I have a profound respect for the musical opinions of Lewis, Bob and Tim since those guys have a very broad musical culture.
Bang Lassi is clearly in an end sixties-early seventies tradition: the music is complex and rich, far away of the usual mainstream airplay routine. Their approach of music can be regarded as radical and without compromission and I wonder: What can web 2.0 and social media do for them? How can we identify the influencers that will spread the Lassimen work? Which “marketing strategy” would you advise?
June 22, 2007
Wednesday evening was the momentum of the festival with the cyberlions awards. The creative works of the winners is totally amazing and they show the power of rich media and interactive formats. My favorites weren’t always the grand prix winners. Here’s my selection:
First: 3 online ads
A viral/participative action: Pulse
A website: Diesel Heidies. It’s unconventional, interactive, user-friendly funny and full of personality. They received a well deserved Grand Prix
The full list of the cyberlions awards is here.
I feel very fortunate to work in a media where creativity has almost no limits… If you can think it, you can do it.