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Account Suspensions/Closures on Accusations of Fraud/Brokering

Account Suspensions/Closures on Accusations of Fraud/Brokering

Old Apr 26, 15, 3:48 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 14
Account Suspensions/Closures on Accusations of Fraud/Brokering

Hi everyone,

I am really sad with this issue and feel helpless.

The story is that I am a newbie in mileage plan in Australia. Last year, I bought AS miles when they do 40% bonus promotions. From last year to this year, I collect miles once when I took flight. A few times transfer my SPG to AS account. I did not do any dodgy things.

This March, I wanna book flight for my holiday, I use my US airway redeem tickets for me and my partner. Then, I wanna use my AS to redeem ticket for our friend. When I call AS reservation center, they told me my account is locked, I have to call customer care to unlock. I am confused coz I dont know why locked. Then I call the customer care and verify my address, they said Ok, but you only redeem ticket for yourself, I ask why, they said coz your miles is bought not earn and is personal account.

After that, I read AS T&C, I did not seen award ticket cannot redeem to other person and I call AS customer care as random person this question, they told me you can redeem ticket to whatever you want. So I think that agent is wrong. Then I call reservation center to try, everything is ok , the agent did not stop me to redeem ticket to my friend.

After 3 days, I found my account got problem, I call AS customer care, they said my account is permanent locked coz I redeem ticket to my friend, I cannot do that.I ask why, they said they told me I cannot redeem ticket to other person. Also they said I can apply review this case, just send passport.
And then, I sent my passport, my friend passport, our driving licenses, another ticket show our three name on it to prove we will spend holiday together this Apr. But the result is they still closed my account and cancel that award ticket.

I dont konw what I gonna do, give up? Or keep going to talk to their manager. Hope everyone can give me some advices. Thank you so much! I have 120000 miles in my account.

I attached the email:

me:

Hi there,


I have attached my passport and driving license already. Also, I send you my firend passport and driving license too who is I booked flight for. And then, I send you a flight ticket as well which is show our real friendship and we are going to spend our holiday together next week. I hope these evidences can prove my account is real. I did not fraud anything in the first place.

If you need more evidences to prove or anything else, just let me know. I will sent to you ASAP.


AS:

Thank you for contacting Alaska Airlines. As stated to you on the phone on
3/25/15 at 4:20pm & 4:30pm and you agreed that you could not book a ticket for
anyone but you to travel. Later that evening you went ahead and book travel for
another passenger.

Here are the Terms and Conditions that can be found on alaskaair.com.

Alaska Airlines reserves the right to audit Mileage Plan accounts at any time
and without notice to the member to ensure compliance with these Mileage Plan
Conditions of Membership and applicable conditions of carriage and/or tariffs.
In the event that an audit reveals discrepancies or violations, the processing
of Mileage Plan awards, mileage accrual or redemption of accrued mileage may be
suspended until the discrepancies or violations are resolved to Alaska
Airlines' satisfaction. Alaska Airlines reserves the right to terminate the
membership and/or suspend access to the mileage balance of any member at any
time for any reason it deems appropriate.

Sincerely,

Yvette
Alaska Airlines
Customer Care
Fraud Specialist

ME:

Hi Yvette,Thank you for getting back to me.I have to clarify this thing.Firstly, the phone call on 25/03/15, I did not say I agree I could not book a ticket for anyone but I to travel.(because I got my ticket as same trip already from another Airline company I can show you the ticket. If I agree I would not ask why.) Also, I am confused when you finished verify my address and told me my account cannot book a ticket for anyone. So I ask why? Your answer is that it is individual account and you bought miles not earn, if your earn miles you can book a ticket for friends. I thought maybe that is true so I just say OK and hang up the phone.(If you got phone record you can review again.) Obviously, my miles not only bought from your website but also got it transfer from my SPG account and got it from I fly Emirates from Auckland to Melbourne last year. And then I research this thing and google it and read your T&C .There is nothing show individual account cannot book a ticket for anyone and a lot people say they can book a ticket for anyone use Mileage Plan miles. It seems like you just against me or misled me or cheated me first. Your reasons were not true. I think if you still worry about my account safety when you finished verify address ( that is good point because you care about your real customer and avoid cheater) you can ask for me to provide more evidences to prove it like passport, driving license, credit card and so on. If I am cheater I certainly cannot provide those things. In fact, you did not do that, you just restrict your real customer account and say cannot book a ticket for anyone is your rules. You misled and cheated your customer and limit their rights. By the way, I called your customer care as a random person and ask if I bought miles from your website, can I book a ticket for family or friends. Your agent answer is YES, you can book a ticket for anyone you want. It is TOTALLY different as you told me but your are in same department. On 02/04/15, I first time had a chat with your supervisor and I ask same question why I cannot book a ticket for anyone. She told me coz it is individual account. So that is the main reason, right? Does this reason make sense?Just against my account or misled me or cheated me?Secondly, when I call award travel agent, I just wanna give a try and see whether my account cannot book a ticket for anyone. However, your award travel agent allow me to book a ticket for anyone and made it. I am confused and I do not even know who is correct. So I think which means my account has right to book a ticket for anyone but your customer care department wanna limit my account rights. I do not know what you want.Finally, I request unlock my account. If you cannot do that, please pass my case to your manager or higher department or specialized department to audit it and investigate it, I am really happy with that. If you need anything else from me, just let me know.Regards,


AS:

Alaska Airlines reserves the right to terminate the membership and/or suspend
access to the mileage balance of any member at any time for any reason it deems
appropriate. {this information can be found at Alaskaair.com under mileage plan
Terms & Conditions}
As stated to you before this is a personal account and each person must have
their own account.
Your account is closed now.
Sincerely,
Yvette A
Customer Care
Fraud Specialist
Alaska Airlines
haha10 is offline  
Old Apr 26, 15, 4:05 pm
  #2  
 
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You agreed to not book a ticket for your friend but then proceeded to do so? Like their T&Cs says, they're able to terminate and suspend your account. Maybe ask them one more time to reinstate the account and miles. If they say yes, then don't book tickets for anyone else except for yourself.
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Old Apr 26, 15, 4:14 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by Jimgotkp View Post
You agreed to not book a ticket for your friend but then proceeded to do so? Like their T&Cs says, they're able to terminate and suspend your account. Maybe ask them one more time to reinstate the account and miles. If they say yes, then don't book tickets for anyone else except for yourself.
I did not say I agree. When they told me cannot book ticket for anyone else, I just ask why. They explain me and then I just say ok aright and hang up the phone. Coz I wanna to find out wether or not this rule is true right away.
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Old Apr 26, 15, 4:25 pm
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by haha10 View Post
I did not say I agree. When they told me cannot book ticket for anyone else, I just ask why. They explain me and then I just say ok aright and hang up the phone. Coz I wanna to find out wether or not this rule is true right away.
Unfortunately for you they seem to have taken your "OK" as acknowledgement you wouldn't book a ticket for your friend.

Airlines have a lot of latitude when it comes to FF accounts.

If it were me I would simply ask to have my account reinstated with the miles and agree to never book a ticket for anyone other than myself.

Good luck.
apodo77 is offline  
Old Apr 26, 15, 4:29 pm
  #5  
 
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Odd....regardless of what the agent said or didn't say, there is no rule that I am aware of that bans you from booking tickets for friends and/or family...something else must be amiss here.
PDXPremier is offline  
Old Apr 26, 15, 4:30 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by apodo77 View Post
Unfortunately for you they seem to have taken your "OK" as acknowledgement you wouldn't book a ticket for your friend.

Airlines have a lot of latitude when it comes to FF accounts.

If it were me I would simply ask to have my account reinstated with the miles and agree to never book a ticket for anyone other than myself.

Good luck.
Thank you for your help. Really appreciated.
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Old Apr 26, 15, 4:34 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by PDXPremier View Post
Odd....regardless of what the agent said or didn't say, there is no rule that I am aware of that bans you from booking tickets for friends and/or family...something else must be amiss here.
That is the all story. I am confused too.

Same story to my friend in Australia. Her account locked when she book flight. Then she call customer care, and verify address. Then her account is unlocked, but the agent did not say she cannot book ticket for anyone else.
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Old Apr 26, 15, 4:37 pm
  #8  
 
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Definitely sounds like something else must be going on here.
Is it possible that AS has closed your account not for this transaction,
but for something that occurred on a previous transaction whereby
they allowed your account to remain open, but imposed a condition only
allowed you to ticket yourself? Have you ever sold an award based
ticket, or is it possible that the person you planned to ticket has
purchased an award in the past and may have been caught and then
has their name flagged?
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Old Apr 26, 15, 4:49 pm
  #9  
 
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My guess is that AS noticed a lot of activity from accounts with Australian addresses, specifically with redemptions of award tickets. This might be why they no longer allow credit cards with a non-US address to purchase miles.

Another reason might be that AS doesn't want to be the next "consolidator of premium cabin award tickets" like US Air was for those who live abroad. Personally, I don't blame them especially if these people aren't flying on AS-metal.
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Old Apr 26, 15, 4:50 pm
  #10  
 
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Posts: 688
I seem to recall this same issue being raised here awhile back; OP was from Australia, had earned the majority of the miles using CC transactions, etc.

Because AS permits the purchase of miles, there are instances where they've been the victims of credit card fraud as a result. Here's how it works:

- Fraudster opens an AS Mileage Plan account; does not live anywhere AS flies
- Fraudster uses a stolen credit card to buy a large sum of miles on AS (50K to 100K or more)
- Fraudster then immediately redeems miles for award ticket on an AS partner carrier (BA was always the most commonly used) and it's almost always for someone else, generally for travel in the next 24-48 hrs


So in these cases, Points.com gets wind that the card is stolen and bills back AS. By this time AS has already issued the ticket, and the traveler has already embarked on their trip (it's generally one-way only).

The fraudster is banking on the fact that these varying degrees of separation, coupled with the time it takes for the actual cardholder to catch on that their card was charged, will allow enough time to pass for the traveler (who they've now sold the ticket to via Craigslist, ebay, etc.) will have flown.

So AS is left having to reimburse the partner airline for the travel done using AS miles.


As a result, unusual transactions (New MP member not from anywhere AS flies, suddenly flush with 100K+ miles, all purchased, redeeming for travel in the next day or two) get flagged as potential fraud and the ticket changed to no-go status until AS can verify the legitimacy of the miles.


I don't know for certain that this is what occurred here, but there are enough similarities that it makes sense that this is why the account is locked at this point. Call Customer Care and I'm sure they'll be willing to unlock the account if enough documentation is provided to satisfy them that the transactions are all above-board.
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Old Apr 26, 15, 4:52 pm
  #11  
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 14
Originally Posted by macfadsj View Post
Definitely sounds like something else must be going on here.
Is it possible that AS has closed your account not for this transaction,
but for something that occurred on a previous transaction whereby
they allowed your account to remain open, but imposed a condition only
allowed you to ticket yourself? Have you ever sold an award based
ticket, or is it possible that the person you planned to ticket has
purchased an award in the past and may have been caught and then
has their name flagged?
no, this is my first time redeem, my friend is first time too. We use award ticket first time.
haha10 is offline  
Old Apr 26, 15, 5:06 pm
  #12  
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Join Date: Apr 2015
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Originally Posted by Snowdevil View Post
I seem to recall this same issue being raised here awhile back; OP was from Australia, had earned the majority of the miles using CC transactions, etc.

Because AS permits the purchase of miles, there are instances where they've been the victims of credit card fraud as a result. Here's how it works:

- Fraudster opens an AS Mileage Plan account; does not live anywhere AS flies
- Fraudster uses a stolen credit card to buy a large sum of miles on AS (50K to 100K or more)
- Fraudster then immediately redeems miles for award ticket on an AS partner carrier (BA was always the most commonly used) and it's almost always for someone else, generally for travel in the next 24-48 hrs


So in these cases, Points.com gets wind that the card is stolen and bills back AS. By this time AS has already issued the ticket, and the traveler has already embarked on their trip (it's generally one-way only).

The fraudster is banking on the fact that these varying degrees of separation, coupled with the time it takes for the actual cardholder to catch on that their card was charged, will allow enough time to pass for the traveler (who they've now sold the ticket to via Craigslist, ebay, etc.) will have flown.

So AS is left having to reimburse the partner airline for the travel done using AS miles.


As a result, unusual transactions (New MP member not from anywhere AS flies, suddenly flush with 100K+ miles, all purchased, redeeming for travel in the next day or two) get flagged as potential fraud and the ticket changed to no-go status until AS can verify the legitimacy of the miles.


I don't know for certain that this is what occurred here, but there are enough similarities that it makes sense that this is why the account is locked at this point. Call Customer Care and I'm sure they'll be willing to unlock the account if enough documentation is provided to satisfy them that the transactions are all above-board.
Thank you for your reply. I can send any documents to them, like CC statements, passports and so on. Coz I am not fraud, so I can provide anything they want. I just book award ticket after 10 days by catchy pacifc and after 30 days by catchy pacfic too. We bought ticket from aus to HK, so I provide this ticket to AS. There are three name on it.
haha10 is offline  
Old Apr 26, 15, 5:27 pm
  #13  
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I've helped a couple of people in similar situations with other airlines. Here is some free (informed) advice:
  1. Stop arguing with AS and apologize for your past tone.
  2. Share all the details of your previous mileage-earning transactions, including the hotel activity that generated the SPG points.
  3. Admit unambiguously to any questionable actions and intent.
  4. Confirm both your misreading and violation of the rules.
  5. Ask for understanding, consideration and leniency.
  6. Agree to any sanction that may be offered.
  7. Be polite and professional in all of the above.
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Old Apr 26, 15, 5:30 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by dayone View Post
Here is some free (informed) advice:
  1. Stop arguing with AS and apologize for your past tone.
  2. Share all the details of your previous mileage-earning transactions, including the hotel activity that generated the SPG points.
  3. Admit unambiguously to any questionable actions and intent.
  4. Confirm both your misreading and violation of the rules.
  5. Ask for understanding, consideration and leniency.
  6. Agree to any sanction that may be offered.
  7. Be polite and professional in all of the above.
Thank you for your advice. Thanks so much.
haha10 is offline  
Old Apr 26, 15, 7:02 pm
  #15  
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With all honesty, respect, and sincerity (so please don't take it the wrong way)... I would also have someone who is a native English speaker proofread and edit your written correspondence to AS.

As unfortunate as it is, the quality of grammar in your previous correspondence and in your posts here would probably raise a red flag to whoever was reading your message.

Again, my statement is written in the spirit of maximizing your chances of a positive outcome, nothing more. Good luck.
IceTrojan is offline  

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