SPG suddenly has a batch of pissed off customers through no fault of its own.
I picture SPG staff coming to work today thinking it is a another day in mergerland, only to be blindsided by Wyndham’s guerilla marketing tactic encouraging SPG customers to empty their account balances via charity donations. First thought at SPG is how to strike back at Wyndham or to ignore the low-end upstart.
Then, events take a bizarre turn with Wyndham reneging on the promotion even before it launches. Some SPG members jump the gun and already empty their accounts.
SPG now has some customers with empty accounts who are furious at Wyndham but will get furious all over again every time they look at their SPG account. Will SPG find a creative way to respond? Will they find a way to bring back customers who were willing to ditch their accounts?
I don’t think SPG should restore points in part or in whole. It is up to Wyndham to sort that out with the people who acted in haste.
SPG can do something such as matching charity donations which looks good for PR though is cold comfort to affected customers.
They can look at Virgin America’s response to JetBlue, which was cheeky though weeks late and was too little to generate excitement.
I favor something PR-friendly that comes out fast and is open to all SPG members. Maybe something like 2x points on upcoming stays, half go to SPG member, half to anti-poaching wildlife charities?
Readers, how should SPG respond?