HA Skymall Offer Not Honored?

Old Aug 10, 11, 11:52 pm
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HA Skymall Offer Not Honored?

Stumbled across a solid mileage earning offer back in mid-June on an obscure part of the the HA SkyMall.

* Mid-June, i ramped up a bunch of purchases with a web hosting company EasyCGI that offered 7269 miles per purchase.....with no restrictions on product specific purchases, length of service or quantity limits. And was NOT a mistake or glitch or loophole as separate EasyCGI offer for 4757 miles per purchase with no restrictions was available on USAir Dividend Miles mileage mall.

* About 9 days after purchase, another mileage enthusiast informed me that his EasyCGI accounts were all unilaterally cancelled and his purchases refunded...no notification, no explanation. Luckily, he happened to check the status of his account with them, or we would not have been aware of any problems until our next credit card billing cycle.

* My friend contacted EasyCGI and was told that the quantity, pattern of purchase (lots of small web storage accounts) and short purchase activity window led EasyCGI to believe it was credit card fraud. My friend quickly provided full disclosure of personal and financial info to reassure that his purchases were legit and that mileage earning process could be reinstated.

* Suffice to say, the company via their CSR Manager Shimon Bakshi then began a litany of new pretexts about why the purchases would not be accepted:
- a 'rogue affiliate' had fraudulently posted the mileage mall offer without the company's authorization (EasyCGI would not disclose the 'rogue affiliate' identity citing "Privacy Policy")
- our web hosting/storage usage violated their T/C (even though our accounts were never opened or active)
- EasyCGI had never been involved with a mileage mall offer (yet their parent company Endurance had other subsidiaries with plenty of mileage mall offers)

* Cut to the chase, EasyCGI position was denial of mileage earning AND no option of redress from the 'rogue affiliate'.


So, we contacted the HA Customer Service Center and after their cursory, 'we will look into it and get back to you', they bounced us to FreeCause- a backend mileage mall management/administration company. On July 3, I contacted FreeCause Co-President Michael Jaconi who initially expressed interest and concern and advised an investigation would commence....it probably didn't hurt that I got the referral from Randy Petersen. Jaconi advised me about a week later that the investigation was ongoing.

Inexplicably, from mid-July until now, it has been radio silence from Jaconi or anyone at FreeCause, despite our updating them on a regular basis with new developments, documentation, etc., not to mention every email expressing our gratitude for their assistance and our acknowledgement to be patient.

So, the company that HA hired to engage customers with mileage mall relate issues, has disengaged!!!!


So, vendor, airline and mileage mall administrator keep passing our mileage earning 'hot potato' while our bonafide purchases of a legitimate mileage mall offer remains in limbo with no immediate resolution.
'll see how that pans out.

Have others been in this situation with mileage mall earning challenges...and if so, how did you resolve the situation. Be grateful for any insights.

Last edited by beaubo; Aug 11, 11 at 12:11 am
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Old Aug 11, 11, 4:50 am
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Here's what I know:

*US and HA shopping malls had offers for EasgyCGI that gave 4757 & 7269 miles/online purchase (respectively) with "no restrictions at this time"
*About 2 weeks after my purchases, they were all cancelled and some (not all, even if cancelled) purchases were refunded to my account with no notification from EasyCGI about what had happened
*Some miles posted, most did not, some that posted got deducted
*EasyCGI first claimed fraudulent purchases on my part, then agreed that it wasn't fraud, but claimed that my use of the storage violated their T&Cs, then since I hadn't even used the product yet, they changed their story again, and claimed that there was a fraudulent affiliate, but won't say who or what happened due to "privacy policies"
*US has forwarded my requests to their partner marketing affiliate (Freecause?), but I have not heard anything back
*HA has forwarded my requests to their partner marketing affiliate (Kobie?), but I have not heard anything back
*Also, they pulled their offer from both shopping malls and after doing some digging, I found out that their parent company (Endurance) had adjusted the T&C's and offers or outright pulled other companies listed on the malls.

I don't know where to turn or what to do and it's extremely frustrating.
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Old Aug 11, 11, 8:16 am
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online shopping mall & portal marketing gone very bad

Since I too have been negatively affected by the current outcome of this botched EasyCGI offer and no miles are in my HA account from purchases I made at EasyCGI, I have become very interested in how this stuff works and how to best go about fighting for my miles.

I have since put in calls to both Hawaiian Airlines and Kobie Marketing, the team that is supposedly involved at some level with shopping portals such as the one I clicked on.

HA had a web page (that I have a screen shot of) showing an e-market shopping link to EasyCGI for 7,269 miles per purchase.

I clicked through and bought products. many of them. I have screen shots of every step and have emailed it all to both EasyCGI and HA.

I sent them CC statements showing the transactions but also showing how EasyCGI very quickly refunded these. They claimed there was fraud only to later take that back. I live very close to where the company's office actually are located and when I offered to stop by in person and then later emailed in a copy of my CCs and my Driver's license, they said they did not think any fraud existed concerning me but did not care to have me come by.

After forwarding my screenshots and other materials to the airline, HA has contacted me and an executive there says she feels as though we are currently allies in trying to get to the bottom of what happened here. She is researching all of this as we speak.

I left a message with Kobie Marketing in hopes they too can figure out for me how this went down. What I want to know is what the chain of events looks like:

is it, click to shop at vendor---go through Kobie and/or other entity---receive miles from HA?

How are they paid, what is the payment, are there affiliates or other persons, is the airline just fulfilling an order to give miles based on some database entry from Kobie or other entity? Who is on the hook? Is it Kobie, another entity? Or the airline? Who actually RUNS the toolbar I had to install for this to work? etc etc

I never used to care who nor how--because in my mind, the vendor and the airline's names are on the ad and the offer. So they are responsible to make good on things. But now I think it is wise that we FF'ers get to know the players and how they work. It is also in their best interests that their actions are transparent--for OUR security purposes!


More to come for sure...

MM
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Old Aug 11, 11, 8:50 pm
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JD & MM,

I'm with you. Same story I sure hope that someone at the airlines will wake up and work to get this fixed. Bottom line and regardless of actual mechanics, it is the airlines reputation and ability to keep getting revenue via their respective shopping malls that is on the line.
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Old Aug 12, 11, 12:23 am
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I participated in both HA and US deals but I only received a small percentage of the miles that I earned. When I tried to claim the missing miles EasyCGI accused me of fraud even though I cleared the transactions with my bank. I don't see how an organization can do such a thing - are they accusing a major bank of something too?

HA and US have been polite but keep referring me to the partner. I feel like we're going in circles here...an offer was made and accepted, now where are my miles?
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Old Aug 14, 11, 6:23 am
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in other areas of FT one can find similar e-shopping/mall offers for products with huge mileage promises for purchasing items.

There's a thread on earning AA miles for buying Verizon products - you would get 83,871 miles for spending $2.97 on a plastic cover for example.

There's a thread on DL for buying more Verizon products - you could get 2,300 miles for buying a rubber phone protector for $5 or less.

And one on PC for Verizon products too - you could get 5,300 miles for buying a charger.

The AA one has no language stating how any terms work--just that you need to buy the products and receive them via Fed X.

The DL one has a quickly flashing screen that says something like, "terms and conditions may apply" in fine print but there's no way to click on this nor are these T&Cs readily found anywhere--not on SkyMall nor on Verizon's page.

The PC one has a quickly flashing screen that says something about eligibility on contract sign ups but this too is vague and nowhere is it spelled out.

All three of these come through a company called Cartera which is like FreeCuase/Kobie Marketing.

Cartera is located in Lexington, MA and in early August they posted 3 jobs on Linked In. Here is one of them--I am actually going to interview for it and tell them that my qualifications are all about miles and how to not get screwed.

http://www.linkedin.com/jobs?viewJob...jobs_biz_nprem

Interesting that FC, Cartera, EZ are all located in MA.

To me, while this HA deal is different than the three Verizon things above, there's definitely a trend going on: Companies are using some new tactic of enticing buyers with inflated mileage promises to generate traffic. This is a scam. Now they either have to deliver said miles or pay dearly with their jobs. One or the other or both.
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Old Aug 14, 11, 7:32 am
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Now that your days of traipsing up and down 128 and 495 looking for another bank to take your coins are coming to an end, you have time to interview for a job?

It's always good to hear another Marathon Man story, and this one includes beaubo and a host of characters.

Please keep us posted.

-David
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Old Aug 14, 11, 8:07 am
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Originally Posted by LIH Prem View Post
Now that your days of traipsing up and down 128 and 495 looking for another bank to take your coins are coming to an end, you have time to interview for a job?

It's always good to hear another Marathon Man story, and this one includes beaubo and a host of characters.

Please keep us posted.

-David
hahahah yes
I do miss getting stuck in traffic on one of the state's most poorly designed highways! I miss bank runs with tens of thousands in coins in my trunk (and later visits to the auto repair shop for new shocks lol) and so now I plan to do this in a suit with paper miles
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Old Aug 19, 11, 7:46 am
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An intriguing couple of days:

All of a sudden, a BURST of contact:
* USAir/DM Manager commits to re-engaging FreeCause to communicate with me, and lo and behold, yesterday, I get an email from President Mike Jaconi. Regrettably, after 7 weeks of an investigative window, Freecause still seems to have no definitive info from EasyCGI....that in itself should be conclusive!!!!
* HA Sr. VP of Marketing Avi Mannis has confirmed that HA is actively involved in trying to understand and resolve
* A colleague of mine now has an HA affiliate marketing company, Kobie Marketing Dir of Loyalty Services Carlos Dunlap actively involved.

Am pleased that we maintained our vigilance with no sabre-rattling, just dogged adherence to the facts.
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Old Aug 19, 11, 1:54 pm
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Wow, this blog from Gary Leff has given me pause for thought about the possible less than objective role that Freecause might be playing in this drama. As I am not as savvy as Gary or mileage mall mavens, I can't really comment about Gary's speculation, but maybe others who understand the mileage mall/affiliate working relationship can weigh in!

http://boardingarea.com/blogs/viewfr...ause/#comments
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Old Aug 19, 11, 2:25 pm
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Hip I think Gary has it right. As for us, I think we all need to learn how malls work with airlines and vendors. As for freecause, they need to become better at what they do and be more accountable.

They dropped the bowl of sugar. Ants will come.

Last edited by Marathon Man; Aug 21, 11 at 7:47 pm
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Old Aug 24, 11, 1:50 am
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Wandering Aramean chimes in..

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Aug 27, 11 at 7:53 am Reason: fix url
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Old Aug 24, 11, 2:52 am
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This is the coolest write up.

I love the graphics and how the second one shows why an obvious miles vet like him would throw his hands up and not even want to play the mall game.

It sucks in a way that this is in fact how mall mile shopping is...for those of us who do want it to work for daily online shopping, but its also good for the jerks who set up these half arsed mall.relationships!

I think the cartera thing (I still have yet to meet ANYONE who can show me where or what the terms and cond were for that 83+k ad-- mistake or no) and this freecause thing will in fact change the way things get done in the future but it is equally interesting to me how wandering amarean brings up both in comparing woes of chasing miles on mall transactions.

Sadly, the way his article ends leads me to see how all parties may just find an out and never pay those of us miles who had participated in either this HA or the US AIR EASYCGI debacle...and in my experience with legal mediators like the AGs office in states like MA it may be some reduced compromised amount in the end if we are compensated. Then also will come up the issue of what a mile is worth per dollar, or what both we all agree its worth vs. What HA&US thinks they are worth---at the time of the incident.

We shall see, but I do like the momentum this is gathering as of late.

I too am just not sure if daily small time mall shopping is worth it for miles unless I go into it with the attitude that I don't really care if they post and never rely on them. But I think that's so effing wrong... I mean seriously... I know of people and real time situations where someone who we would call a novice or newbie has collected say 24,893 miles and they are soon to expire and he also wants to visit his sister in Denver so he sees the idea of buying something online to also get 150 miles in time (even buying it 90 days out from expiry of his miles) only to never see them post. ...!

To me that's far far worse than anything we have experienced in this forum in the world of missing miles, that is. Makes me pretty frustrated to be honest. Why are people who do these cartera and freecause things even employed?

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Aug 27, 11 at 7:53 am
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