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Missed Diamond MQD Waiver by $140, Worth Escalating?

Missed Diamond MQD Waiver by $140, Worth Escalating?

Old Jan 9, 20, 7:28 pm
  #1  
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Unhappy Missed Diamond MQD Waiver by $140, Worth Escalating?

Realized in mid-December I was much closer to the 250k waiver than realized (due to business expenses on card)... only needed to spend 8k to hit it. That's a lot of unplanned spend for me in two weeks but decided to go for it, figured the GUCs for honeymoon would be worth it. Created a spreadsheet and planned out everything... then prepaid some bills, purchased 2020 flights to JNB and HND, bought a bunch of random stuff I've wanted forever. Everything posts before 1/1, I'm sitting at $250,310.81, can't believe I pulled it off... but being paranoid I call the AMEX<>Delta line (which looks to be run by AMEX) and ask them to confirm I'm over 250k for YTD 2019 which they do and then congratulate me.

Wait a couple days for Delta to catch up on their end. Refresh for the 100th time and they're showing me at 249k-250k. Sigh... what did I miss? Reach out to Delta... they seem to have no transparency into the number. Reach back out to the AMEX<>Delta line and another person does some digging and then drops the bomb... I didn't factor in the credit card fee of $450 which means I'm short by $140. Very unfortunate.

I email Delta and state my case, get an automated email back saying that "our records indicate you did not meet the requirement to achieve Diamond Medallion Status".

Has anybody heard of exceptions being made for circumstances like this? If so... what's the recommended strategy for contacting somebody who might be empathetic to everything above?

At this point I would just do "Elevate My Status" because I'm so invested but of course I'm $600 away from the most expensive package helping me reach $15,000 MQD as I have 212k MQM but only $9,440 MQD.

Anyway... appreciate you reading this and any advice you might be able to provide.

TT
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Old Jan 9, 20, 7:35 pm
  #2  
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IMO there would be a much better chance if your MQDs were closer to the requirement but $9000 for 212,000 MQMs doesn't look like a HVC.
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Old Jan 9, 20, 7:52 pm
  #3  
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
IMO there would be a much better chance if your MQDs were closer to the requirement but $9000 for 212,000 MQMs doesn't look like a HVC.

$249.8K of credit card spend is pretty HVC to Delta. From a bottom line perspective it probably adds more than a typical $15000 passenger because it actually costs Delta something to fly that person around. And, perhaps OP is just selectively frugal on flights, but generally people that can put $250K on a credit card in a single year are good customers to keep around and keep happy. That's a lot of income (or controlled spend) to tap into.

Besides, who knows how much of that 212K MQM is from rollover. I started this year with more than that.

To answer OP's question, I think it is worth escalating, especially if you had been told on a prior call that the numbers were correct. If you do so, you will want to ask for a customer care case to be created. You may want to submit one directly via the website. Stay factual rather than emotional.
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Old Jan 9, 20, 8:58 pm
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I would call Delta and try to state your case over the phone. I agree that this would be easier if you had higher MQDs, but that level of spend is worth escalating when you’re so close. Unfortunately, a lot of this depends on who you get over the phone. Being congenial and asking for help, rather than demanding anything, goes a long way too. Good luck.
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Old Jan 9, 20, 9:06 pm
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I think you must "focus" they have confirm you have reach the requirement.
You can ask them to listen the call.
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Old Jan 9, 20, 9:25 pm
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That is awful. Your only other choice is to buy the missing 5,560 MQDs or open a bank account in Canada and claim to be a non-resident.
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Old Jan 9, 20, 11:05 pm
  #7  
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Appreciate everybody's responses here. I'll call the Platinum line tomorrow and see if I get lucky. Agree that it's harder case to make with relatively few MQDs... combination of being frugal + rollover + the credit card kickers for hitting every spend threshold.
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Old Jan 10, 20, 7:26 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
IMO there would be a much better chance if your MQDs were closer to the requirement but $9000 for 212,000 MQMs doesn't look like a HVC.
Originally Posted by ethernal View Post
$249.8K of credit card spend is pretty HVC to Delta. From a bottom line perspective it probably adds more than a typical $15000 passenger because it actually costs Delta something to fly that person around. And, perhaps OP is just selectively frugal on flights, but generally people that can put $250K on a credit card in a single year are good customers to keep around and keep happy. That's a lot of income (or controlled spend) to tap into.
I feel the OP's pain of feeling you had gotten there but turns out you missed it by a hair. In essence, what the the OP is asking Delta to do is a hand out of potentially $20,000 as a good will gesture... Looks different in those terms but many people point out how GUCs can give you access to $10k+ Delta One tickets so a couple of those could add up to $20k. I assume that's why the OP went out of their way to try and hit the $250k annual spend, or did I misunderstand?
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Old Jan 10, 20, 7:36 am
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Originally Posted by cre95 View Post
I feel the OP's pain of feeling you had gotten there but turns out you missed it by a hair. In essence, what the the OP is asking Delta to do is a hand out of potentially $20,000 as a good will gesture... Looks different in those terms but many people point out how GUCs can give you access to $10k+ Delta One tickets so a couple of those could add up to $20k. I assume that's why the OP went out of their way to try and hit the $250k annual spend, or did I misunderstand?

GUCs are valuable for sure but it is not a $20K gesture. Revenue management's job is to make sure that GUCs only clear when they do not believe they can extract revenue from direct sales. And, in general, leisure travelers are not paying $10K round-trip for a D1 ticket. For that matter, most business travelers aren't either - especially once corporate discounts are applied.

One can talk about lost revenue potential, but the direct cost of a GUC to Delta is virtually nothing. Even the cost of catering is a red herring since if no one clears into an empty D1 seat via a GUC then those seats will almost certainly go to a non-rev.

The largest cost to Delta of GUCs is the administration of them (having the program, administering the program, and the IT costs associated with managing it). The actual marginal cost to Delta of someone using GUCs is virtually nothing. In fact, Delta likely makes money because of GUCs. I paid significantly extra to buy a Delta ticket for a leisure trip in hopes that I could use a GUC. That is revenue that would have gone to United otherwise. Of course, Delta screwed me and swapped an A330 with a 767 so that GUC is now useless - but again, that shows the beauty of it. It costs Delta nothing and I paid them a $400 premium over a competitor to take their flight instead.
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Old Jan 10, 20, 8:59 am
  #10  
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From an investor perspective, institutional investors do look at outstanding miles, GUC's and the like as a liability. Not necessarily huge, but nonetheless a consideration. That is not a cash cost to DL which shows up on a P&L, but it affects stock price and thus market cap.

Perhaps more insidious is that there are only a fixed number of UG seats to be had. Those are being chased by an increasing number of GUC's. No one extra GUC matters. But, if the number of GUC's outstanding markedly increases, the value of a GUC to any given passenger drops unless one is at the very, very top of the heap.
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Old Jan 10, 20, 9:36 am
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I got a waiver in 2018 with about 190k MQMs and 243,000 in YTD spend. I simply sent in an email comment and got a confirmation a few days later.
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Old Jan 10, 20, 9:42 am
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Originally Posted by iflyalexair View Post
I got a waiver in 2018 with about 190k MQMs and 243,000 in YTD spend. I simply sent in an email comment and got a confirmation a few days later.
How many MQDs did you have? That's the question.
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Old Jan 10, 20, 10:11 am
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Originally Posted by cre95 View Post
I feel the OP's pain of feeling you had gotten there but turns out you missed it by a hair.
But if Amex/DL (whoever he actually spoke to) had properly advised him that he was short because the AF doesn't count (which, to be fair, is likely in the T&Cs), then he could have grown that hair, so to speak by making another charge. I think it's probably an exception worth making because he asked and was improperly advised.

I'm facing a similar (but lower-stakes) issue, I unexpectedly found myself near the $40k spend threshold for HHonors Diamond status on the mid-level Amex card (whatever they're calling it now) about 3 weeks before the end of the year, so I also paid for some 2020 travel, loaded up my metrocard and office cafeteria account, and put everything on the card (forgoing 5x MR points for airline tickets on the Amex Platinum), and I'm pretty sure I made it, but there hasn't been any notification yet (I think the T&C's say it could take a few weeks). I never called Amex to verify my spend, so if I do come up short, I'll just accept responsibility.
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Old Jan 10, 20, 10:34 am
  #14  
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
But if Amex/DL (whoever he actually spoke to) had properly advised him that he was short because the AF doesn't count (which, to be fair, is likely in the T&Cs), then he could have grown that hair, so to speak by making another charge. I think it's probably an exception worth making because he asked and was improperly advised.

I'm facing a similar (but lower-stakes) issue, I unexpectedly found myself near the $40k spend threshold for HHonors Diamond status on the mid-level Amex card (whatever they're calling it now) about 3 weeks before the end of the year, so I also paid for some 2020 travel, loaded up my metrocard and office cafeteria account, and put everything on the card (forgoing 5x MR points for airline tickets on the Amex Platinum), and I'm pretty sure I made it, but there hasn't been any notification yet (I think the T&C's say it could take a few weeks). I never called Amex to verify my spend, so if I do come up short, I'll just accept responsibility.
We don't know when OP was told this. It might have been too late for any additional charges to post by NYE or it could even have been in the first few days of January. The OP doesn't give this important detail.
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Old Jan 10, 20, 11:12 am
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Originally Posted by iflyalexair View Post
I got a waiver in 2018 with about 190k MQMs and 243,000 in YTD spend. I simply sent in an email comment and got a confirmation a few days later.
I think DL had an unwritten “on-time lifetime exception” waiver where if you only spent $25K on your DL card and had DM before, that they would give it it you. I don’t believe they brought this back this year.
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