My first casino host with Total Rewards was awesome. She was assigned automatically after I earned about 20,000 tier credits from a video poker machine at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, which took me to around 75,000 tier credits total that year (the first year I ultimately made Seven Stars). She wasn’t in Lake Tahoe, she was in Las Vegas as part of an “inside sales” team.
For about a year, things were good. She handled all my requests via email and answered questions I had about the Total Rewards system. When I asked for reservations somewhere, usually with perks I already obtained, she’d reply with a confirmation within a day or at least with an explanation as to why I could not book it.
Receiving an answer like this was common with her, “That promo only allows 2 nights, but I’ll call the property about an override for your extra nights.” I’d always get the override, I don’t remember not getting all the nights I wanted comped after making Seven Stars.
The Bad Host
One day it all ended.
I got a voicemail from a new host, my superstar was gone, on to bigger and better things.
At first I didn’t expect a change in service as my first request with the new host was for the Seven Stars Experience in Lake Tahoe in which true to form I requested additional nights, total of 6.
But then I asked for 2 nights in Caesars Las Vegas. There was a promotion for free nights though I couldn’t book it through the system. Regardless, Seven Stars comes with complimentary nights. I expected a free room and he understood that.
So… he booked my current year’s Diamond Aspiration. I knew at this point this host was not what I was used to. Why would I want to use a 4 night promo with folio credit for a 2 night stay in my home town? I told him to cancel it and forget about it.
I didn’t think the Seven Stars Annual Retreat would be a problem for him to book, however, and come July, I asked him to set it up to Atlantic City for the end of the month. I gave him specific nights and flight information, everything he should need, and I waited. And waited.
I asked him for updates and received the explanation that he was waiting on the property. The Annual Retreat is meant to be a flexible perk, so I still expected to make the trip, but when my departure date was 2 days out with no news, I knew it wasn’t happening. He finally emailed me that he’d need 30 days notice to book it.
Additionally, during that two weeks I waited for him, I asked him to book a blackjack tournament from a mailer at Lake Tahoe, which is the only property I’ve put in significant play. His reply was he could comp one night, but the other two nights were $118. I quickly checked totalrewards.com to find a quoted rate of $54.
Calling other Total Rewards Hosts
With how things normally went with my previous host, I knew something was rotten in the state of Nevada.
My first test was to call Lake Tahoe with the blackjack tournament promo code. Within 5 minutes on just the reservation line, I was booked into the tournament with 3 free nights. She said she had to use my Seven Stars complimentary room code, but it sounded like she’d done it many times.
Then for the Annual Retreat, I called Harrah’s Atlantic City and spoke to a host there. She said she’d like two weeks to set it up, but that there would be no problem taking the trip in August, so I asked for dates exactly 2 weeks out. As I write this, I’m now ticketed first class to Atlantic City eager to use my $500 folio.
That Seven Stars bad host’s motivations?
Though I wouldn’t pretend to understand the motivations of casino hosts, I’m sure it has something to do with commissions. For that reason, a host may have some resentment at handling my account. I’m Seven Stars, but 2/3 of the tier score comes from online poker* and the rest of it is intelligently earned on high EV video poker and tier promotions.
Is it possible he simply didn’t want to help me? Attitudes like that in sales positions are common in the world. He’s not getting paid to help me book free stuff, he’s getting paid to extract extra money from me.
Then again, I shouldn’t suspect conspiracy when incompetence is a perfectly reasonable explanation, maybe he’s just new. It seems like the first thing a host would learn is how to use a Seven Stars complimentary room code, but maybe booking the annual retreat with the flight at random casinos was something he simply had no experience in.
I will admit, I probably was not helpful to him. I could have said “try the Seven Stars complimentary room” but I tend to withhold my knowledge of the system when possible. That could be a mistake as well, as maybe when a hosts knows the player is informed, they will simply try to serve their requests efficiently.
While in Atlantic City and Lake Tahoe over the next month, I plan to pick some brains to come up with the answer to this.
*$50,000 in rake I paid last year.