Earlier this year, Marriott Rewards decided to go social, holding massive giveaways along with the NFL, awarding up to 45000 Marriott Rewards Points to anyone who cared to make a tweet. They took just one weekend off so far, and religiously give us those points every Sunday between 1 PM and 8 PM ET. But it seems there is also a Marriott Rewards scam brewing due to this promotion. Read on…
While Twitter is a great tool to get the word out and resolve customer issues, companies frequently want to capitalise on it to create buzz as well. In the case of Marriott, they must have determined that getting tonnes of members to tweet would get that social buzz going.
This weekend was however different. Either the social media department at Marriott Rewards forgot to post at 1 pm, or something else happened, but the Marriott Rewards Tweet for the 1000 MR points giveaway came much much later, at least one hour later.
And in spite of the fact that the promotion eventually did come, a tonne of people including yours truly have had issues with Marriott posting the points to members accounts, or even acknowledging that they got their answers right. Till last weekend, everything would work out smooth within the first 24 hours. This weekend, not so much. Here are some screenshots of Tweets made a few hours back.
So I started digging deeper and found tonnes of issues with the way things were going, but it had something similar to do with how a certain candidate became president of the United States.
While the jury may be out on if Social Media was manipulated by the Russian bot army for shaping opinion on last year’s presidential elections, they were sure called in this year to collect Marriott Rewards Points.
I haven’t had the opportunity to sift through the entire 32000 replies of last week’s 1000 MR points Giveaway, but I do remember spotting tonnes of Russian bots on the day of the giveaway. If you locate them, please place a link to their accounts in the comments section.
However, as it turns out, there are armies of bots and fake accounts that are participating in the contest. I remember reading a tweet on Sunday (Monday in India) about how someone had created over 20 accounts to rake in the points. This guy posted on OneMileAtATime’s post about the promotion
And it turns out, not just the Russian, even the Chinese bots are interested in hoarding points and even American ones. Why do I call them bots? Firstly, they have characteristics of one. Incoherent names, newly established accounts and no followers or following except Marriott Rewards.
Just look at this account for instance. Tweeting only to Marriott Rewards.
Here is a different version with one guy and his multiple online avatars.
Heck, there is a guy who has also written some sort of a bot script to put a number at the end of every tweet, even though this so-called scam is going through multiple accounts.
Of course, this means genuine readers and participants have not received their points till date. I’d have expected Marriott Rewards would have put in some sort of a software to validate responses and credit points, but in this case, their process has broken down. Also, it seems it is very easy now to earn in multiple accounts and then scam Marriott by making redemptions and then forgetting those accounts.
I hope Marriott Rewards takes note of this and ensures only legit accounts get the points. I did write to someone at Marriott Rewards before posting this, so I really hope they do take note. While some fakers are going to hate this post, I hope you appreciate that it is in the long term best interest of our miles and points hobby that such stuff doesn’t go out of hand.
What do you think of the greed that is motivating people to game the Marriott Rewards Extra Rewards Sunday Game?