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Old Sep 11, 10, 5:49 pm   #1
 
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FoundersCard Thread Deletion: Moderator Updates

Where did the thread go on the Founders Card and $99 gold status or upgrade to platinum? There are many of us that pm'd the OP and should have a way to follow up on a scheme, that while seemed too good to be true, was worth a shot. If for no other reason, there should be a thread memorializing what happened and warning about future "opportunities" to buy status. At the very least, could a Mod please post an explanation of what happened? It's too much for a 100+ post thread of such importance to disappear without explanation. Especially when possibly hundreds of flyertalk members have disclosed their credit card information to the Founders Club site based on a post here.
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Old Sep 11, 10, 6:38 pm   #2
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The thread in question has been pulled temporarily pending moderator review.

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Old Sep 11, 10, 7:25 pm   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farrish11 View Post
That much seems obvious. Can't you state a reason why? Can't you state what prompted the review, other than the "other" site's thread? Can't you state who you're trying to contact to verify things? There are many of us who would like to be "kept in the loop" and have skin in the game.
Suffice it to say that the review was prompted by information that we have received from several parties. Rest assured that we are getting in touch with the appropriate parties and that we will let everyone know when we have a resolution, via a public post in this forum.

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Old Sep 11, 10, 7:49 pm   #4
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Edited to add if you have additional information to assist the moderators feel free to submit via PM. Our names are located at the bottom right on the aadvantage forum landing page.

Last edited by magic111; Sep 13, 10 at 11:19 am.. Reason: changed comment after stickied
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Old Sep 11, 10, 10:12 pm   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farrish11 View Post
Where did the thread go on the Founders Card and $99 gold status or upgrade to platinum? There are many of us that pm'd the OP and should have a way to follow up on a scheme, that while seemed too good to be true, was worth a shot. If for no other reason, there should be a thread memorializing what happened and warning about future "opportunities" to buy status. At the very least, could a Mod please post an explanation of what happened? It's too much for a 100+ post thread of such importance to disappear without explanation. Especially when possibly hundreds of flyertalk members have disclosed their credit card information to the Founders Club site based on a post here.
I am certain that our Mods have pulled that thread because they feel it is in the best interest of FlyerTalk members to be shielded from this information until its bona fides can be verified. Many FlyerTalk members have already forked over $99 for something that is, at this point, an unknown. I'm sure that when this situation is resolved one way or the other, we will find out more about it. I suggest patience. Next week sometime, I would venture we will know more.
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Old Sep 12, 10, 9:57 am   #6
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Thank you for the clear and insightful explanation; is is absolutely correct.

We need to perform some fact-finding to assure the bona fides and that no rules / TOS / T&Cs are being violated, that it's on the up and up;

we need to be sure such threads are not in violation of FlyerTalk TOS, which at least some us feel they are - this is a product offered for sale (membership) and a premium is provided to those bringing in members.

We are concerned the thread discussing fee membership, with premiums offered to those who recruit members, is in violation of the following FlyerTalk TOS (Guidelines / Rules):

Commercial (and Charitable) Messages - link to this guideline
a. Commercial posts. Posts containing promotional messages for commercial products or services - including but not limited to Internet sites, business advertisements and solicitations to donate miles or points – are prohibited and will be removed. FlyerTalk is not a marketplace and nothing is to be offered for sale or conditioned on an exchange of money or barter. Nothing in this rule is intended to prohibit exchange of travel coupons as allowed by the rules of Coupon Connection. If you spot a commercial post, please report it.

Using FlyerTalk for Commercial Purposes - link to this guideline
FlyerTalk prohibits advertising, commercial sales and solicitations through posts, private messages or emails accessed through FlyerTalk. Anyone using FlyerTalk for commercial purposes will be subject to the disciplinary process.


We are checking that this Guideline / Rule is not being violated as well (no accusation implied by stating we are following up), given the organization seems to be more about paying a fee to join than an extensive application process, unless all of us at FlyerTalk are considered "Industry leaders and visionaries" :

Furthering Illegal Activity - link to this guideline
Posts that further illegal activity (i.e., buying and selling of awards, direct fraud upon any program) will be removed without notice and posting members' FlyerTalk accounts subjected to revocation.


If these FT TOS are believed not to be violated, the thread will be restored. If the commercial clauses of FT TOS / Guidelines are in violation, we will not restore the thread - but no implication is made regarding the card membership organization's bona fides.

The AA Mods are in contact with the card membership program's principals, a couple of members, and airline representatives among others, to determine where this will go.

For the time being, please refrain from speculation, and especially from unsubstantiated implications or personal attacks on other members. Thank you all for your patience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gemac View Post
I am certain that our Mods have pulled that thread because they feel it is in the best interest of FlyerTalk members to be shielded from this information until its bona fides can be verified. Many FlyerTalk members have already forked over $99 for something that is, at this point, an unknown. I'm sure that when this situation is resolved one way or the other, we will find out more about it. I suggest patience. Next week sometime, I would venture we will know more.
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Old Sep 12, 10, 1:11 pm   #7
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Exclamation Thread now closed

As noted by my colleague, magic111, this is not a thread for speculation or further discussions of the offer under investigation. As such, this thread is now closed but will be stickied until a resolution is reached. That resolution will be posted publicly here.

Thank you for your understanding.

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Old Sep 13, 10, 10:26 am   #8
Moderator: American AAdvantage and New York City
 
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Update - No new news as of 12:23pm ET

I know that there are many out there who are following this issue closely, and not without some concern. The current situation is as follows:

1) The AA Moderators reached out to FoundersCard CEO Eric Kuhn via email (facilitated by chutchins) on Sat, 9/11 at 9:45pm requesting bona fides but have not received a response as of yet.

2) The AA Moderators are in contact with Stephen at AmericanAirlines and they are investigating from their end as well.

We'll keep you apprised as soon as we learn anything new.

Sincerely,
dstan
AA Forum Co-Moderator
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Old Sep 13, 10, 1:53 pm   #9
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Update 2:50PM Central - AA contact says status award claims are false

At this moment, the claims of free wards of AAdvantage status are false and some of the FoundersCard company pages describing the award of status seem to have "disappeared". There is a record of a legal demand to cease and desist made by AA's lawyer to FoundersCard CEO Kuhn on Daniel Odio's blog.

We will not be reopening the original thread, and will delete all posts referring to this company, as there is not reason left for mention to be made on the American AAdvantage Forum.

Do note - like mention "as seen on TV" and "someone posted it on FlyerTalk" do not imply endorsements of any products - and this one was deleted pretty quickly.

Those who paid for status conditioned on being awarded status or status upgrade may wish to discuss with their credit card provider. (Think about it - the offer stated "As an AAdvantage Gold member, you may request complimentary upgrades for yourself and one traveling companion..." really? Is that how AA Gold really works?)

Further details or updates will be posted as they occur.

Thank you all for your patience and understanding.

3:48 Central - a second source, AmericanAirlines, has vetted this at American Airlines, and we have been told by the initial contact and Stephen AA we can post the claim is false, that there is no relationship between FoundersCard and American Airlines and FoundersCard has been instructed to remove all mention of American Airlines on their website.

If we receive verifiable information from AA that the first messages from AA representatives are incorrect, we'll certainly advise.

Eric Kuhn of Founders Card has stated elsewhere that they are getting their contacts at AA to vet this out and release a correction, and that it would probably take seven to ten days to do so - but that was FOUR weeks ago, so to date (21 Oct 2010) this promo to join FC and earn AAdvantage status appears to have been entirely false.

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Last edited by JDiver; Oct 21, 10 at 11:07 pm.. Reason: add bits / update
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Old Sep 13, 10, 4:10 pm   #10
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From American Airlines

To provide clarity on this issue regarding some type of affiliation among American Airlines and Founders Card, we would like to confirm the moderator's last post that the Founders Card promotion is entirely false and does not exist. We have no affiliation with Founders Card. This is on authority from the proper product groups within American Airlines.

Thanks,

Stephen @ AA
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Old Sep 13, 10, 7:28 pm   #11
Moderator: American AAdvantage and New York City
 
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Thumbs up Thank you

I'd also like to take a moment to thank Stephen for his work behind the scenes throughout the day to help us investigate this issue.
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Old Oct 29, 10, 12:37 pm   #12
Moderator: American AAdvantage and New York City
 
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Post Update - October 29, 2010

The AA Moderators have now received information from reliable sources within AA that they do have a local business relationship with FoundersCard in one particular city. However, the AA sources have reiterated that this relationship does NOT include complimentary status and or status upgrades for all FoundersCard members, contrary to what was previously posted publicly on the FoundersCard website and shared with the FT community.

Accordingly, because the main benefit discussed in the original thread remains invalid, that thread will remain deleted. Further, as the FoundersCard webpages regarding the purported AA benefits have been removed from public view, any further discussion of this company is not appropriate for this forum and will be deleted.

We are not currently privy to any further details regarding the business relationship or any associated AA benefits. That is the complete extent of the information that we have at this time. If we do receive more information, we will post it here.

dstan
on behalf of the AA Forum Moderator Team
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