Marriott Emails You To Let You Know That You Did Not Give Permission For Them To Email You

Marriott really wants to know what you think of their hotels. Unfortunately, they don’t have permission to solicit your participation in surveys. The solution? They email you to let you know that you asked them not to email you.

Reader Jay says:

I thought this email was particularly funny… Hi, we aren’t allowed to send you e-mails, so we’re sending you an e-mail to ask you if we can send you e-mails even though you told us not to…

Here’s the email:

Dear JAY [Redacted]:

Because you are a valued customer and your opinion is important to us, we would like to periodically ask you to provide feedback regarding your experience with our hotels. The feedback we collect from our customers is used to make improvements to our hotels and processes so we can better serve you.

However, our records indicate that you have not given us permission to send customer survey invitations to you at this email address. If you would like the opportunity to provide occasional feedback, please give us permission to contact you at this email address to complete future surveys. This permission is for research purposes only and does not give us permission to send you any marketing or promotional information.

Thank you in advance for your feedback and for spending your time away from home at Marriott.


J.W. Marriott, Jr.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Marriott International, Inc.

(Photo: genetic.drift )


Edit Your Comment

  1. HalOfBorg says:

    “Uhhhhhh…….. DON’T EMAIL ME. Too hard to understand?”

    “You said not to email you SURVEYS……..”

    *smacks head”

    And – for what it’s worth – 1st reply. :)

  2. HalOfBorg says:

    DAMN. Reply….comment…whatever. :/

    *smacks head harder*

  3. cpt.snerd says:

    It depends whether or not the user stayed at one of their hotels recently. If he did – then this is a transactional message based on a action the user took. Also, add on the fact that there are no promotions and only a survey question add on to the fact this is a legal email. (even if the user unsubscribed).

    If the user took no action that involved an exchange of sorts with the company, then this is a no-no.

    Many companies do send this type of message and not everyone understands that it can be okay. (Sketchy and annoying? Certainly) But a good way to garner info from people in the “I-don’t-want-your-marketing-emails-anymore subset”

    • Landru says:


      “…not everyone understands that it can be okay.” ???

      What ad agency are you from? Maybe everyone is still offended by these emails.

      • cpt.snerd says:

        @Landru: I do agree that people can be and are offended by these “(Sketchy and annoying? Certainly)” but it is still legal and as the main goal of companies is to make money – they will do as much as they can to milk every little bit of info from you as they can.

        That’s just how it is. Think of it like the recent scam articles posted on the Consumerist. Why do they scamming? As long as it can bring in the money, they’ll keep doing it. Well it’s the same with companies, as long as consumers provide them with worthwhile comments, they’ll keep asking. They day we all stop responding is the day they stop sending…

  4. mugsywwiii says:

    Slow news day? Seriously, this was worth a post?

  5. ribex says:

    I don’t think that the recipient fully understands the inner workings of the English language.

    “Hi, we aren’t allowed to send you e-mails” does not equate to “However, our records indicate that you have not given us permission to send customer survey invitations”. As the sentence stands, it can mean that the recipient has not YET given them permission when asked, or that Marriott has not previously asked the recipient for his permission.

    The equivalent phrasing would need to be “However, our records indicate that you have previously requested that we do not send customer survey invitations to you.”

  6. ldnyc says:

    In all fairness, their email says the OP had “not given us permission to send **** customer survey invitations***** to you at this email address.” It doesn’t say he opted out of all email communication. He opted out of survey invites. Perhaps he opted out of promotional mailings as well. But it’s not clear that he opted out of any and all email communications from Marriott, so there is no obvious reason for them NOT to email him an inquiry about whether he’d like to reconsider his stance on email survey invites. Would you rather they call in the middle of dinner instead? Isn’t it at least a good thing that a company actually WANTS to know what you think about their services? I’m a fan of Marriott hotels and stay in their properties often for both business and pleasure. Sometimes I splurge and stay at one of the more expensive properties, but usually I’m content with their Fairfield Inn or similar. There’s one Fairfield Inn location in Orange Park, FL that I stay at 4-5 times a year and once or twice I have had minor issues there concerning nothing of great significance – but each time I did let the front desk know about the problems and each time I not only received exceptional response and resolution from the staff at the hotel, but a follow-up email and/or phone call from Marriott Rewards customer service serveral days later (who I’d never directly contacted about these very minor problems) to make sure that the problems had been resolved to my satisfaction and to offer me credits, vouchers, points, etc. If those email surveys help them maintain that level of service, they can send me 1 a week if they want to!

  7. Bruce Bayliss says:

    I was convinced that this was a scam mail – originator “”, inconsistent fonts, clickable links….

    Do these people want to be taken seriously?

  8. HalOfBorg says:

    I’ll consider myself as ‘smacked’ again. (see below)

  9. NorthBeach says:

    This is known as a “challenge” e-mail for opting-in, and is specifically outlined in the CAN SPAAM act. There are a lot of caveats, but marketers can basically do this once, and if you opt-out they should never bother you again, less they subject themselves to costly penalties. There are exceptions to those with a prior business relationship and charities, but basically this is one time deal.

    Its poorly worded and clumsy, but some VP of Marketing or consultant there probably has a portion of their compensation tied to increasing opt-ins–a standard measure of marketing performance.

  10. DanKelley98 says:

    Somewhere inside Marriott headquarters is some guy in a cubical who had this task assigned to him who shook his head in disbelief; perhaps told the person in the next cubical over with a smile on his face “do they know upstairs how stupid this sounds?” – and then went ahead and sent them all out because thats what people in cubicals do.

    I’ll bet he’s at happy hour right now, still talking about what bonehead decisions “the suits” made this time around….

  11. EmmettDiomedes says:

    I received the same email from Marriot… Funny though, because I have never been a Marriot customer…

  12. AgentTuttle says:

    People ask every day: “Can I ask you a question?” Umm, you just did. I love irony.

  13. FerdinandJemagee says:

    The response rates for the guest surveys are SO low that they’ve taken to begging for responses.