With several proceedings pending before Polish courts, Marriott has long been in several quarrels with the Lim Center. Among these proceedings, the most serious charges pertain to Marriott’s illegal activities pointed to the Warsaw prosecutor’s office by the Lim Center.
According to the Lim’s representatives, the activities by Marriott are responsible for the company’s financial loss and illegal acts, including financial embezzlement, suspicions of money withdrawal, and theft of funds from bank accounts owned by the Lim Center.
According to a person associated with the Polish decision-making center, the conflict between the Lim Center and the Marriot Hotel started way before the issue was highlighted to the Śródmieście District Prosecutor’s Office.2
The problem grew beyond control for Lim Center during the Pandemic when the Marriott Hotel in Warsaw remained open during COVID-19, despite the owner’s request to close the operations. Marriot did not pay much heed to the matter as the Lim center management was caring for the maintenance and related expenses.
Of course, an empty hotel means millions spent on care and maintenance, especially during the pandemic when the business was receiving no guests at all. That is believed to be the breaking point of the Lim Center by many.
- The Ongoing Issues
The Polish Authorities are running the Marriot criminal investigation in relevance to the complaints brought by the Lim Center. Altogether, these complaints hold the potential to put Marriot executives behind bars for up to 10 years. The accusations are based on two main concerns.
The first accusation posed by the Lim Center suggests that the Marriot used the Lim Center’s funds to pay their subsidiaries. The second accusation is based on Marriott’s refusal to accept an advertising contract offered by the Lim Center during the Pandemic.
- The Pricing Issue
The pricing issues of the Marriot are not a piece of groundbreaking information. There are several reports of the Marriot using drip-pricing techniques for the theft of funds. Currently, there are more than two active lawsuits over this matter.
As the travelers book rooms at the Marriott Hotel, lured by competitive prices, they end up facing additional fees in the final bill, altering their budget to stay per night. This fee may be charged for services such as add-ons, amenities fees, and resort fees.
As of April 2023, Marriott received a court order in the state of Pennsylvania requiring them to pay $225,000 to the state after being found guilty of the charges of drip-pricing in 2021. The company has agreed to pay this fine.
- The Security Breach
Another important factor that led to the criminal investigation of the Marriot started when guests realized that their personal information was breached. According to an estimate, this issue affected more than 500 million guests who stayed in the Marriot over the past 4 years.
Hackers then abused this data, including credit card information, passport data, contact information, and much more. The company paid more than £99 million due to the problems related to this negligence and security issues.
However, this issue emerged in 2020 when more guests of the Marriot faced similar issues. This problem also caused additional damage to the reputation of the Marriot and an additional £18.4 in damages.
- The Environmental Violations
The Marriott has made it known to the world that they are committed to responsible environmental and sustainability practices. However, these claims seem to wither after the scandal in Poland. Their claims of environmental friendliness faced a lot of questions and challenges from the public.
According to some reports, the Marriott hotel may be involved in many environmental violations, including improper waste disposal. The Marriott hotel chain has been held accountable for more than 11 such violations, among which many were faced with hefty penalties.
Such practices made Marriott unfaithful to their own claims about sustainability and healthy practices for their environment. Hence, it has also stood out to criticism for such issues.
The Final Word
It will not be an exaggeration to say that Marriott has developed a very negative reputation over the years. Facing criticism, legal suits, and penalties do not come as a surprise to the Marriott executives. However, the case in Warsaw must be an eye-opener for the public and authorities.
These issues have made it harder for businesses to see reasons to get in business with the Marriot, even after being one of the biggest hospitality business chains in the world.