Your letters and online comments
On September 1, 2018 I requested to convert 60,000 Starpoints to BA Avios at a conversion rate of 3:1 (20,000). I was also entitled to a bonus of 5,000 Starpoints when converting 60,000 Starpoints. SPG stated this should take one business day.
However, on September 10 I received 4,000 Avios (two 2,000 deposits) in my account from Marriott Hotels, so I called SPG. I was advised that the conversion was completed correctly from my SPG account, therefore I should contact BA. I called BA and was advised they needed to contact SPG before amending my account.
I left it a few days then called BA and was advised that SPG had not responded. I called SPG and was advised I should call BA again and ask them to phone SPG rather than email. After being passed to a supervisor I was told SPG would contact BA to get this resolved. Two days later, I had not received an update so I sent a message through my SPG account.
On October 2, two weeks later, I called SPG and was passed to a supervisor, who advised that I would receive the correct Avios by October 5. I called SPG on October 6, but was told to call back on Monday. I demanded SPG cancel my request to transfer Starpoints and refund me the 60,000. They said it couldn’t be done on a weekend but my Starpoints would be refunded on Monday. Today is Monday and neither has my BA account been updated nor has SPG refunded my Starpoints. It has been over a month since my transfer request.
Momo Hamdy, London
MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL REPLIES:
Many thanks for bringing this to our attention. This has been dealt with by our customer engagement team. We identified an issue that has affected some members of our loyalty programmes, who have transferred points to be converted into Avios for British Airways’ Executive Club. We are working to award any outstanding Avios to those affected by this issue. Members can rest assured that we have all the information we need. If members urgently need to access any missing Avios as part of points conversion, they should contact Marriott’s Customer Engagement Centres.
I was surprised and disappointed that your article on Svalbard (September 2018) began with a gratuitous reference to the tragic death of Horatio Chapple, a teenage boy killed there by a polar bear some seven years ago. The sad loss of a family’s son and many people’s friend shouldn’t have been used to entice readers into the piece – there are many other environmental, geographic or political hooks about Spitsbergen that could more appropriately have been used.
Simon Montague, via email
TOM OTLEY REPLIES
Many thanks for your letter. Our reason for including it was because we felt the name Svalbard is associated with this tragic accident, and not to mention this would have been strange. On reflection, we were wrong. Before his death Horatio Chapple had volunteered at Salisbury spinal unit, and his family have set up Horatio’s Garden, a charity that creates and cares for accessible gardens in NHS spinal injury centres. We have made a donation to this. Further details can be found at horatiosgarden.org.uk