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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    86

    Default Romance Rewards frustration, you too?

    In the process of switching our reservations from CB to CN, I had a shocking discovery about our Romance Rewards status. We went from 34 points/nights - Passionate Love Level all the way down to ZERO points and the First Love base level.

    Our time could not have been worse. ALL of our nights expired within 1 year of each other and 14 nights this year alone.

    We booked another 7 nights for next Spring for our anniversary and were soo looking forward to the Couples Massage, the extra resort credit so the wife could get extra spa treatments, the welcome gift, and even the departure snack (I still use that little tote for my lunch everyday, waiting for the day when I'll get a new one since it's all torn up). But now all we get is the Trading Places (which any who signs up gets) and the Repeater's Dinner, which has always been fantastic.

    Don't get me wrong when I say "all we get" - not trying to sound ungrateful or entitled because I guess they don't necessarily have to give us anything and we appreciate what have received in the past.

    BUT, those rewards have been a special part of our last trips and endeared us to Couples and we certainly had looked forward to those rewards on this much needed anniversary trip. Aside from small weekend trips, Couples resorts has been the go to romantic vacation of choice for us and part of that was because of our repeater status and the rewards.

    I understand there are rules and policies to the program including the expiration of points, but I can say I don't agree with how they expire, either the time period or the quantity that can expire in the flash of an eye. In this day and age where most are struggling financially due to the poor economy, it's very hard to commit to a luxury vacation with enough frequency to maintain your points level. There are other financial priorities including full family vacations, college savings, child expenses, etc. that you can't justify the expenditure on just the two of you.

    Sorry for the rant....but I feel like we can't be the only ones this happened to and figured I'd put it out there to see the response. I'll either get "you're crazy and ungrateful" or "we're with you".

    Anyway, still looking forward to our next trip to Couples.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    48

    Default

    I totally agree! As repeaters I don't think they should expire at all. I think once you are at a level you should stay there. Or at least make it more than a 4 year expiration date. They extra perks are a great incentive to keep us coming back time and time again. It would be great to see this changed.

    CSA 2007
    CSA 2008
    CSA 2011
    CSA 2013 40 more days

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    109

    Default

    I would assume that the points system is set up to give you an incentive to go to Couples more frequently. The more you go, the more money in the Couples pocket, the more they can possibly offer the staff in pay, the more opportunity for resort improvements, and they have a little left to give back to you in resort credits.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    86

    Default

    I agree with you both. I think once your at that level you should stay there. The points shouldn't expire for four to five years, most people cant afford toco me back more then once a year so it doesn't seem fair for them to expire.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    177

    Default

    When you book your first vacation at any Couples resort, you are assigned a guest number. It is possible that there was some sort of administrative error and you have been assigned a new guest number when you changed from CB to CN. When you arrive in paradise, explain what happened and see if this can be corrected. I bet this can be resolved easily once you get there.

    I agree, these Rewards Points should last longer.

    101 more days until CTI

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    12

    Default

    I totally agree!! A repeater is a repeater is a repeater! For many of the reasons that are stated above it can be difficult to go home on a regular basis! Perhaps create different categories of rewards for the different types of repeaters.

    Something like a basic Rewards like "First Love" that never expires no matter how long it takes to get back home with other levels based on points earned in a period of time and yet others based on number of points earned within a year.

    Please don't punish us because our kids are in school or we have come upon hard times the fact is we still dream about coming home as soon as we possibly can. Besides where else would we go we are hooked!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    231

    Default

    I would have to disagree. I think four years is long enough before expiring.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    237

    Default

    Hi,
    Certainly the Romance Rewards program is intended to be an incentive and a reward/recognition for your continued loyalty. It is certainly disappointing to the individual and the company when the program generates a negative. While we are blessed and have been able to take advantage of returning to Couples more frequently and thus the current program does not negatively affect us, I have read too many posts, heard from a number of folks re the negatives of the current program.

    First, I agree that four (4) years is not long enough, especially considering the economic environment today and would recommend a slightly longer period -- say five (5) years.

    Also, I do find it confusing and hard to keep track of when point expire, so would highly recommend that the program be changed from a points expire date of points earned to an end of the year basis. So in other words at the end of a year, points that would have expired within that year are then deducted. And actually this would do two things -- one it would make it easier to keep track and not be surprised when you arrive to discover that your points vanished last week or so... and two, it would, even with a four (4) year basis, it would/could add a little more time that an absolute four (4) year period.

    While I don't stay at hotels as I did in my prior life or fly as much, I am totally loyal to a hotel chain and a particular airline because not only did they (and still do) have a parallel program that allow you to continue points for lifetime status. I have a lifetime status for the hotel chain and for the airline as a result of not ever losing what I had earned -- even though I did not qualify each year for a reward status.

    Also Couples primary competitor has a reward system that is time sensitive and I know a number of folks are loyal to that brand because they have obtained that reward level regardless of much I share the wonderful truly "all-inclusive" benefits of Couples.

    I appreciate the benefits of the Couples Romance Rewards and yes that is a (but not the most important) consideration in making our decision.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    469

    Default

    When we first started going, it was right before the program was formalized. The informal part really felt personal and special. Right after our first visit they rolled out a formal program, and they have been improving it somewhat year after year ever since. It has also bugged me every single year since.

    I really miss the old way, even though I barely got to see it. In my opinion it was MUCH better.

    I'm guessing that if you look at the raw costs of maintaining the program and add up what we get for participating.... It probably costs them more and we probably get more with the formal program.

    But still, to me, it feels like a lot less. It's all a bit cold, and sterile, and very corporate.

    Even worse... we as guests have now come to expect and feel we deserve these things. They are no longer "special touches" to us. They have become things that we become resentful over if we don't get them promptly. They are things that do not feel so special. I personally often feel the whole program is "cheap" and sort of patronizing. Absolutely none of this is fair to Couples at all. Nor do I think its what they intended. But it's there.

    I understand their need to have a formal program to ensure fairness, reliability, and to have the ability to manage it, but I often wish they would tell us a lot less about it..... so that the benefits were unexpected delights rather than some cheap thing we all feel we are owed.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    111

    Default

    Obviously as most of you who visit are from America you can travel to Jamaica quite often as its fairly close and relatively cheap and its the same for us in the UK traveling to the Greek Islands, which we do most years as we can afford it however for us to travel to Jamaica its a 10 to 11 hour flight and costs us lots of money (just staying in the lowest category of rooms this time and with the flight is costing us 5000 which is approx $7500 and that does not include any spending money) so for us its a treat that we have to spend quite a while saving up for so there is no way we could visit enough times in four years to get the top options in the rewards packages before they are deducted from our account so I would like to see it work on similar lines to the pay as you go mobile (cell phone) tariffs we have here in the UK where you top your phone up with say 20 worth of call credit and then as long as you use the phone once in a given period you keep your credit balance and then top it up when you run low but if you don't use it at all in say a 3 month period the phone company deletes the unused credit so in other words rather than it being a rolling four year period for romance credits I think you should be able to keep them all as long as you revisit within a four year period and if you don't you then lose them.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    86

    Default

    Great responses and good points by all but to follow up and add to a few:

    kdgang and steventodd: Agree....once a repeater,always a repeater. We're still choosing to go back to and be loyal to ONE resort with 100's of other options to choose from.

    Spiff: That's a really good point about the old program which ties into the above. As a REPEAT guest they rewarded your loyalty automatically with a welcome basket of some kind, couples massage, and the repeaters dinner, just to acknowledge you as a return guest. That versus now having to earn points to get those same things. And your right that acknowledgement made it seem more special.

    It's almost like now that it was somewhat expected and part of the reason we return to couples that if we can't make it regularly its a punishment for not returning. "well you haven't been back in 4 years so we're taking away this and this and this".

    Even though the old version you could potentially receive less than you would at the top level, I'd rather have that than have things "taken away".

    Maybe a combination of the two would work; like someone mentioned that you get rewarded just for being a repeat guest, but hey if you're lucky enough to be able to go once a year ( or more) you get additional rewards. idk. I know it's not a simple solution.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    328

    Default

    When we first started going to Couples (first trip was when we got married at CSA in 2004), this program didn't exist. We went again in 2006 but to CN (combo trip with another resort so were only there a few days) and it still didn't exist. We just got a t-shirt for being a repeater and an invitation to the dinner on that trip. Not sure when the new program actually started but we finally made it back home this past Spring (March 2013) and tried CSS. I found out about the program the end of Dec 2012 when we booked the trip and signed us up.

    Yes, it's nice what they offer now especially the resort credits. The other stuff I can easily do without but it's not why we go.
    Last edited by lsm1212; November 12th, 2013 at 09:04 AM.
    Linda & Nick
    CSA - Oct 2004 (for our wedding!!!)
    CN - March 2006, Nov 2013
    CSS - March 2013

  13. #13

    Default

    Greetings to all:

    So how many of you want to go back to the old system where regardless of the number of nights you stay, you get a t-shirt, a 1/2 hour his/her massage and an invitation to the repeaters dinner?

    No more selection of gifts, no more resort credits, no more trading places, no more departure gift?

    It would be much simpler for us to manage a static program.

    Couples Resorts

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    144

    Default

    I personally dont understand the fuss, I think the program is great. Yes I will never get to the top tier but that is in no way what I choose to go to couples for I go for the resort and ALL it has to offer. I think that for the management at couples to take on a task of keeping up with the romance rewards of all the people that sign up for it and then deal with the problems that have to come with it says something and for them. Then to come on this board and answer so many questions as well as ask for our opinion is just one more reason I will continue to save my penny's and go back as often as I possibly can. See you july 30 Couples Negril

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    63

    Default

    I like the resort credit

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    16

    Default

    I try to look at the "repeaters perks" as kind of like a bonus at work. If you start expecting it it's not a bonus anymore. Then, if circumstances should change and you don't get that bonus, you feel put upon and maybe slighted a little bit.

    The rewards seem quite generous as an extra for doing something that we really love to do anyway. And the main difference in the levels (at least until you get to the "passionate" level) is an additional $50 resort credit for each level.

    And the way I read the levels it is "once a repeater, always a repeater". If you have ever stayed at Couples, you will be in the First Love category even if your nights have expired.

    Randy, I'm happy with Romance Rewards just as they are. No changes necessary!!

  17. #17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by randymon View Post
    Greetings to all:

    So how many of you want to go back to the old system where regardless of the number of nights you stay, you get a t-shirt, a 1/2 hour his/her massage and an invitation to the repeaters dinner?

    No more selection of gifts, no more resort credits, no more trading places, no more departure gift?

    It would be much simpler for us to manage a static program.
    Hey Randy:
    Count me as a no vote to this.
    I love the resort credits, the choice of gift (eventhough we always choose the Tshirt) and the departure gift along with the couples massage and repeater's dinner. In fact, I think the rewards program is almost perfect as is and it definitely keeps us coming back. Four years for expiration is plenty fair and it's a nice reward for those of us that come each year. The top tier of the rewards needs to be seen as not just a "repeater" perk but rather as a "frequent repeater" perk. Each repeater still gets something, even if it's just the t-shirt and repeater dinner.
    Without the resort credit, there wouldn't be as much incentive for us to come back every year.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    197

    Default

    Most loyalty programs do reward those who partake often (and/or at higher cost) with "better" incentives. Most programs (other than cruise lines) require some sort of renewal in order to maintain one's benefits. Is it unfair to those who can't afford to maintain the level? -- probably. But it also rewards those who do contribute more to the bottom line with greater benefits.

    Personally, we like the resort credits -- lets me fund my spa treatments. IMO, 4-5 years is more than enough time for credits to expire -- understanding that some may be disadvantaged. You could do like the cruise lines and, once you hit a certain level, your benefits "vest" forever. That said, cruise line constantly adjust benefits and I've no doubt it's a complex program to manage.

    I think the program is fine as it is. No program will ever be perfect for everyone.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    474

    Default

    I love resort credits. I just wish you might consider extending it to 5 years
    Thanks for all you do and give! I really do appreciate it. It's one of the reasons couples is the only vacation we take.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,371

    Default

    I like the system as it is. We stay every year for ten days or two weeks in October plus on occasion do a second short trip. while it's nice to get something I think it's fair that the people who spend the most time and money at the resorts get the better perks. Couples after all, is a business and we are paying guests, not family, even though it is home from home.

  21. #21

    Default

    I like it the way it is see you next December!!!

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    674

    Default

    Randy, I say go back to the old way but keep the Trading Places. That is such a nice inclusion and something that all repeaters could use on the first 10/day to sign-up get to go. We really don't care about any of the other stuff. Welcome gift of a Tee shirt, 1/2 hour couples rub a dub is nice and Repeaters dinner is the best. All we need to make us feel special. Hope to be back next year.

    Bearso and Ms P

  23. #23

    Default

    Randymon know matter what you do people wil complain. I think this person didnt understan aand like is since they switched fro CB to another and time frame was a little differant they lost rewards. Thats all.
    CSS OCT 2009
    CSS OCT 2011
    CSS OCT 2014

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    146

    Default

    We appreciate all the rewards we have received over the years. We did think the old system was a more personal thank you for returning. We lost nights in the new system that we could not sustain the massage level. That was kind of a bummer. Under the new system thou we enjoy the resort credit to be able to apply toward the massage, or get tanning lotion etc. Possibly the old system with a choice of massage or resort credit would pacify the bulk of guests. In the end in will come down to the old, you can please some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but you will never please all the people all of the time.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    73

    Default

    Randymon, Leave the system alone it works fine like it is. The resort credits and the repeaters dinner alone are worth going back for. This year at CTI we got no departure gift, but I never complained and this is not a complaint now. We look forward to our annual trip home and the pleasure that we take away after our visit overshadows any complaint that we may have ever had. The one complaint that I do have is, WE HAVE TO WAIT FOR A YEAR BEFORE WE CAN GO HOME AGAIN.

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