How Will SPG Respond?

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.

Virgin America Nice Move Blue

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?

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  • Val

    Agree with your posts about Wyndam, but I’m confused. I thought the offer was pulled before the start time. How could anyone have expected the points if they did it early?

  • @Val – I am trying to be polite about people who emptied their SPG account without the ability to follow instructions.

  • PY

    SPG need not respond as it was not their problem in the firs place….

  • @PY – don’t you think this is a great chance for SPG to have a clever marketing response?

  • Ed C

    While it might be a good opportunity to do something special, I don’t think they will. If they do, it would probably be too small to make a difference (as they were probably just going to jump anyway) and if they made it too big, it would piss the rest of the FT/FF community off. I’m guessing those who jumped the gun is relatively small and could be written off due to Merger Synergies.

  • DL Traveler

    I agree with Ed. While it might be an opportunity for SPG to get some good PR, I think the people who tried to take advantage of the offer deserve what they get. It was their poor decision to join a crap program and the airline analogy would be dumping AA/UA/DL miles for Spirit. They should be content that their SPG points will do good for someone and vent their anger towards Wyndham (maybe they can get a suite upgrade at a Super 8 LOL).

  • Cj802

    Just how loyal were the SPG members if they were willing to dump their Starpoints for Wyndham Rewards points?

  • Mike

    @Cj802 – That would be my question… maybe it was just a bunch of people who signed up for the SPG card and transferred their bonus? I doubt Starwood will do anything, they have bigger fish to fry rather than worry about people wanting to get a great bargain on a Super 8 or a Travelodge.

  • @Mike – the most entertaining emails I get from travel companies are the Spririt Airlines responses to everything, I am hoping for something fun from SPG over this, after all as Gary Leff mentions every time he posts on Wyndham, most of their people recently came over from Starwood, there must be a desire to needle them over this flub.

  • Gary

    JetBlue vs VX: competition.
    Wyndham vs SPG: a joke.
    This promo should prove that even further. SPG doesn’t have to bother saying a word.
    Seriously, what the hell was Wyndham thinking? That was one of the weirdest (and abuse begging) promos I’ve seen.