Should “Secret” Deals Be Revealed?

The “secret” deal in this case has to do with a check card, although some of them involve credit cards. Photographic illustration ©2012 by Brian Cohen.

Daraius Dubash, author of the weblog Million Mile Secrets, is being lambasted by furious FlyerTalk members for revealing earlier today a method of earning frequent flier loyalty program miles at little to no cost about which FlyerTalk members have known for quite some time. FlyerTalk members are now predicting that the days of using this aforementioned method of earning frequent flier loyalty program miles at little to no cost are numbered and will be gone forever soon.

However, the bigger question is one which I have addressed before: is it better for a “secret” deal to survive indefinitely where only those in the know may benefit, or is it better to reveal a “secret” deal to the masses — risking its demise? A related question is if it is worth it for a “blogger” to increase readership at the expense of exposing a “secret” deal?

There is no easy answer to the first question, as each “secret” deal is different. There have apparently been times where the “secret” deal was revealed and left alone for whatever reason, but — more often than not — the “secret” deal is shut down permanently after news of it is leaked publicly.

My personal answer to the second question is that it is not worth it for a “blogger” to increase readership at the expense of exposing a “secret” deal, no matter how lucrative it may be. Sure, the readership may spike temporarily, but if it creates animosity amongst the readership — as well as have one fewer item about which to write once the “secret” deal is shut down — it could ultimately be harmful to the “blogger” in the long run in addition to his or her readers.

It is a fine line to straddle, to be certain. Frankly, if I had it my way, I would ensure that as many people who wanted to take advantage of a “secret” deal could do so and benefit handsomely without damaging the profits of the companies sponsoring or supporting that “secret” deal. Unfortunately, the laws of economics simply do not permit for that to happen, so thoughtful decisions need to be made.

Did Daraius Dubash err in his judgment to post a vaunted “secret” deal, or was he doing a favor to his readers by publishing the “secret” deal? Should “secret” deals remain secret for the privileged and fortunate few, or should they be published to allow more people to be in on the deal and take advantage of it? Are FlyerTalk members rightfully protective of the “secret” deal in question, or are detractors of FlyerTalk members correct in alleging that FlyerTalk mimics an exclusive club whose members are unwilling to share these “secret” deals?

Please post your responses below in the Comments section and let us have a thoughtful discourse on this issue. Thank you in advance.

Comments (Showing 1 of 1)

  • mountainpost at 8:42am August 15, 2012

    Should we have secrets? Maybe Flyer Talk is about sharing information from and with all sources. Maybe we should all be honest and tell it like it is. Why not let freedom ring?

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