Marriott Is Still In No Rush When It Comes To Delivering Bad News

by joeheg

Marriott has trudged through the merger between themselves and Starwood by going from one poorly handled situation to the next. However one of the biggest blunders and PR nightmare was when, in November 2018, they announced the discovery of a huge data breach in their systems that may have affected up to 500 MILLION guests. In January 2019, they clarified some details and said the breach only affected about 383 million guests, including the unencrypted passport numbers for 5.25 million guests.

Marriott seemed to be in no hurry to notify people about this hack. As per their website “Marriott began sending emails on a rolling basis on November 30, 2018, to affected guests whose email addresses are in the Starwood guest reservation database.”

I didn’t receive an email until December 6th. At this point, Marriott still didn’t know what information was stolen for each guest but they did provide a link to enroll in the WebWatcher credit monitoring service. It took until February 16, 2019 for Marriott to provide a way to find out the types of your personal information that were released in the hack.


Despite the fact that the Marriott website link referred you to a third-party website for you to enter in all of your personal information, some bloggers jumped in right away and asked for their information.

For some, like Gary from View from the Wing, it took Marriott 11 days to reply and let him know that his unencrypted passport number and unencrypted credit card information was part of the hack. It took Ed from Pizza in Motion an unbelievable 25 days to hear back from Marriott about what types of his information were stolen.

I didn’t rush to get my information. What would I do with it when I knew? Even if I knew my credit card information was stolen, Marriott doesn’t tell you what card number was compromised so there’s very little you can do.

I decided to fill out a form to ask for my information. The link from the other articles on this topic to the necessary form seems to have moved in the past month. The information about the hack can now be found at  From there you can scroll to the bottom of the page where the FAQ is.

Screen Shot 2019-03-28 at 3.26.04 PM

The very first question has a link to the form you need to fill out.

Screen Shot 2019-03-28 at 3.27.27 PMI sent in my request on 3/16 and received a response on 3/25. That’s 11 days, the same time frame as Gary but much faster than Ed’s response.

Screen Shot 2019-03-28 at 3.33.06 PM

So now I know what information they have. I don’t think I’ll sign up for the information monitoring service since I already get two alerts from enrollments I’ve received because of other data breaches.

You’d think that after a month, Marriott would be getting better at providing this information but it seems like getting this information to guests in a speedy manner isn’t a priority for them right now. Probably just more noise around the edges, right?

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

Cover photo by Josek on Flickr


Andrew March 29, 2019 - 6:15 pm

So…wondering if they’ll cover the replacement of my new passport ?!

joeheg March 30, 2019 - 1:28 pm

Um, I’m guessing that’s a big NOPE.

Christian March 29, 2019 - 6:36 pm

Mine took a month. I do find the elementary school psychology ploy of using the Starwood name in the link to see what information they lost to be pretty ridiculous. Then again, it’s Marriott, where it’s vital to keep your expectations low. That way when you get Bonvoyed it won’t come as a shock.

joeheg March 30, 2019 - 1:27 pm

I noticed that too, using the Starwood letterhead trying to make you forget that Marriott bought Starwood and claiming all of this isn’t really their fault.

MikeL March 29, 2019 - 8:04 pm

It’s a form letter… I got the exact response back. line by line… The good thing is any credit card that might have been saved with them has long since expired or been canceled…

joeheg March 30, 2019 - 1:26 pm

I’d think that but then:
1) Why would it take so long to send a reply
2) Why do some people have other information, like passport numbers


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