Just made a reservation for the New England Association of Healthcare Philanthropy 2008 Conference at the Mystic Marriott Hotel & Spa.

The call to the Marriott reservations person was friendly. He knew of the conference discount. He not only asked if I was a Marriott Rewards member, he even looked up my number for me!

As we were winding up the call, I asked if, being a Rewards member, if there were any perks or amenities I should be aware to ask for when I arrived. It being a spa, I certainly didn’t want to miss out.

The until-that-point friendly man paused as though looking and then said, “No I don’t think you have enough status to get anything.”


I’d been enjoying my experience until that point. Why didn’t he say:

  • that there was nothing available at my “level” or
  • that if I had 48 separate night stays at Marriott hotels I might qualify for a level by March or
  • that I qualified for a free paper or free breakfast (without telling me that everyone else does too)?

Instead he told me I wasn’t important enough to be considered for any pampering.

I’m sure what he said was very factual. In fact I know it is. I haven’t used Marriott hotels in years. I’m a Hilton guy. I even told him there probably wasn’t anything I qualified for. He could have simply agreed with me.

But he said “you don’t have enough status.” It felt like I was in Sense & Sensibility being snobbed for being in the wrong socio-economic class! Weird isn’t it? I know better but I still felt like it was a personal judgement.

I sure hope I don’t end my phone calls with donors that way! I’m definitely going to be more aware of my phone manners today!

For earlier posts on phone etiquette, see:
Dialing for Donor (visits)
Phone Etiquette II

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