learning to pause instead of pressure

Malaysia Consumer Rights - The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. YTL MEMBERSHIP SAGA.

It's one of those mornings where I wake up thinking, so what is happening to the YTL Hotels Membership that has pushed its dissatisfied members into a corner subjected to their current "terms" whatsoever it may be as I have finally given up 2 months ago to pursue this relentless issue on how flawed our consumer rights system is. I'm not one for big words or the best at explaining things or have a knack with dramatizing this until it becomes viral juicy like xiaoxue whom I have admired for a long time to be able to speak up for her thoughts without a worry that a car might bang you on the road in broad daylight should you offend the "higher powers".

Malaysia Consumer Rights - The Good, The Bad & The Ugly.

While everyone is going hoo haa over what Watsons Malaysia did, I sighed at the real issues that should've been also raised by all the "sites" and news channel. If you have followed my updates on YTL Membeship Scam, then you may ask why are our cries falling on deaf ears? I gave the story to the local newspaper and sites such as to which nothing came out of it. YTL even has the balls to tell us that they're not doing anything wrong and attempts to seek refunds are ignored as well. My email to them months ago was never replied to. I raised some alarming points to YTL about how they have breach several clauses in the Consumer Protection Act Malaysia and gave them a time to fulfill their obligation to members for selling or glamorizing their membership.

While many members are unhappy about how YTL handled this issue and how they have managed to continue belittling us members to the point of saying members are taking them for fools if we think YTL would refund our good money.

I seriously don't understand how a company like this concluded that we deserve no compensation or refunds due to their failure to maintain and fulfill membership privileges based on whether or not you have prior to all the issues, enjoyed it.

A membership is a contract or an agreement to enjoy membership privileges that we paid for a duration of time. A year in this case. It's not some bunch of vouchers we bought and you refused a refund because some vouchers are "used" but alas from my last update over YTL seems to think they are selling "vouchers" and not a membership privilege.

SEARCH YTL MEMBERSHIP ON GOOGLE /FB(you'll be lucky if it's not deleted/hidden)

YTL rejects members with imaginary limitations
click here to read

The lack of service or bad service in some members case has pushed most of us to a corner. Most of us have given up trying to make sense of this, while new members are slowly noticing the problems only when they try to utilize their memberships. To even redeem your membership privileges NOW, you have to go by their terms like as if they're doing us a BIG favor.

I said NOW because this "membership nightmare" started since the end of 2016 and has since evolved through many stages of hell. From being ignored for a good few months by YTL (can't be contacted, emails not responded to, complaints on their FB ignored and hidden) to being contacted by an apologetic Mr. Jmiah (nice guy) but after a few weeks went on a sabbatical soon and handed it to another person Mr. R who refused to acknowledge their wrongdoing. Somehow the tables have turned and we the members are the "scammers" because we demand what's rightfully ours.

By now June, I would assume the fire has died down because seriously nobody gives a damn about us, even YTL. Whatever little redemptions we can make would be considered lucky. The members have enough money not to stress about a membership like this and would just not renew anymore. As simple as that.

For me, I tried to stand up for our rights as members and as a consumer here but there is only so much you can do. I hope my posts would prevent future unsuspecting locals to be wary of Hotel memberships (well even YTL can screw members up so there's just risk in everything). I have given up on pursuing a consumer tribunal case because:
  1. Consumer Tribunal does not understand what's a hotel membership. They think it's "Agoda Member Account". Unless I can speak perfect Bahasa at the tribunal hearing, my attempts to explain the whole case would be futile.
  2. I filed a claim at Consumer Tribunal but realized it only helps ONE person and not a group. It largely depends on how you're going to present your claim for a refund. And that you must do research and present your points as clear as daylight so the judge would understand. 
  3. My only reason for filing this claim is to see justice serve and corrected. How can big companies such as YTL take advantage and treat consumers this way? The Tribunal is not the right place to raise such concerns up even if they breach the act of Consumer Protection Act. It's only a place to seek refunds.
  4. The YTL legal department & the man who took over tried to scared us off by saying that we do not have a case. He says they know how the Tribunal works and we won't win. I'm sorry YTL, I guess you do know how it "WORKS" right?

Let me explain what's the YTL Platinum Plus (YTLPP) membership again.

YTL Platinum Plus's membership program is sold at RM768 per annum.

YTL Platinum Plus' main objective is to deliver the best service whilst offering a wealth of experiences and exclusive benefits to our members. In keeping with these intentions, our programme is designed to better enhance your experience as a YTL Platinum Plus member by furnishing you with exclusive benefits and privileges. We would like to take this opportunity to update you on YTL Platinum Plus' exciting membership programme which will entitle you to special discounts at our restaurants, retail outlets and also our hotels. To find out more about the rewards you will gain by being a YTL Platinum Plus member and how such rewards will enhance your experience as a member, please visit our YTL Platinum Plus Lounge located at Relish Floor, Starhill Gallery.
This membership allows you to enjoy discounts at participating restaurants in Ritz Carlton and Starhill Gallery, accommodations at YTL Hotels & Resorts and shopping discounts at participating outlets in Starhill Gallery. The membership also comes with a booklet of welcome certificates; accommodation, dining and shopping. 

In summary, YTL is trying to sweep their duty of care under the carpet after selling the memberships. They have over 4000 members on board, most are not aware of what's going on. Refunds would result in the loss of over 3million ringgit if the members unite and bring a class action suit against YTL for selling a membership that they can't deliver.

For the first 3 months, members were ignored, given the runaround, told that nothing can be done, the subsequent months saw an "improvement" after my blog post went viral. The improvements are subjected to their own conditions because they're "helping us" and not the other way around. This is what you may face:
  • Any of your attempts to make a booking to utilise your accommodation benefits or vouchers would be made so hard, you have to take a trip down to their office at Starhill to make a booking or an inquiry (this may improve over time when the number of complaints dies down and they have time to attend to you via email/call). 
  • Conditions for accommodation benefits (discounts/voucher) may only be limited by weekdays, not weekend or public holidays. They may "innocently" tell you it's fully allocated (a word used to prevent limit you from using your membership benefits). Don't buy the bullshit.
  • The JWMarriot Room Voucher redemption. There is a renovation going on and rooms are limited. I heard this renovation from last year till this Aug from members. You may not be able to book this in time. Your membership may expire. If you have the strength and energy to complain, try to get an extension to use your voucher. They have no plans to compensate or replace a suiting hotel (I hope they do).
  • Do not worry about F&B privileges, that is not affected. Same as retail.
  • They will undermine you if you attempt to seek a refund saying "you've used your welcome vouchers". Do not be fooled by this. You bought a membership privilege, not "vouchers" like a Groupon.
I would end this story by saying:
  • YTLPP & YTL Hotels did not deliver the best service to its member which was an objective of their program
  • Members did not get the offer of a wealth of experiences instead we had headaches, stress and incur expenses and time trying to utilize the membership
  • our experience was not enhanced, the opposite happened
  • we were not furnished with exclusive benefits and privileges (accommodation)
  • this membership isn't exciting, it's a nightmare
So yes I guess I will not be talking about YTL anymore and they would probably be happy about my decision. I also wish the members all the best, I hope things become better for you guys and I hope you do not suffer embarrassment and humiliation in the process (member horror stories are shared here on YTL Member Forum FB Group).

I remember receiving a call from one of the YTLPP staff asking me "WHAT DO I WANT" after I plaster my complaints about their FB. What do I want? That we members be treated as what was intended in your program. That Malaysia consumer rights and consumer protection law be upheld and improve.



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