Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page >

MP Accounts Closed by UA Alleging Fraud/Misuse

MP Accounts Closed by UA Alleging Fraud/Misuse

Old Jan 16, 20, 10:48 am
  #1546  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: san francisco
Programs: Chase UR, Amex MR, UA Silver, HHonors Diamond, IHG Platinum, CCarlson Gold, VirginAtl Silver
Posts: 348
The goal of all savvy travellers is to maximize our experiences. "Maximize" and "game" have two different meanings. If people don't know that, they'll continue to do stupid stuff and get into trouble. Very little compassion for people who don't understand how life works.
jsn55 is offline  
Old Jan 16, 20, 2:11 pm
  #1547  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: RNO
Programs: AA/DL/WN/ex-UA elite
Posts: 6,029
If I were UA and caught someone who had sold upgrades or miles multiple times, I wouldn't just ban them from MP, I would ban them flying UA altogether. Who needs revenue-stealing lowlifes like that?

In a casino, when someone gets 86'ed, they don't just lose their accumulated points and comps, they are banned from ever entering the property. Coming back resulting in us calling the police and having them arrested and sent to jail for trespassing.
Kevin AA is offline  
Old Jan 16, 20, 7:25 pm
  #1548  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Cleveland, OH, USA
Programs: HHonors Diamond; United 1K (domestic). Hertz Presidents Circle
Posts: 1,959
Originally Posted by Kevin AA View Post
If I were UA and caught someone who had sold upgrades or miles multiple times, I wouldn't just ban them from MP, I would ban them flying UA altogether. Who needs revenue-stealing lowlifes like that?

In a casino, when someone gets 86'ed, they don't just lose their accumulated points and comps, they are banned from ever entering the property. Coming back resulting in us calling the police and having them arrested and sent to jail for trespassing.
While I don't know where I fall in the "continuing to fly UA yea/nay" spectrum I think there's a bright line difference here -- MP can be cleanly separated from the transportation aspect of UA, so if you cheat at MP you can be prevented from enjoying any benefit from that by prohibiting participation in MP without implicating the transportation function.

On the other hand in a casino -- if you're cheating at a game you are cheating the casino and there's not a way to isolate that from your presence in the building (with the way casinos are laid out I don't even think there would be a practical way to even do this on a game-by-game level, e.g. to theoretically just ban someone from Blackjack
lincolnjkc is offline  
Old Jan 17, 20, 11:59 am
  #1549  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: USA
Programs: UA Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 757
Originally Posted by lovestache View Post
I did tell everyone about this incident. The comments all were in the lines of:
- You earned those upgrades so how does it matter to United what you do with them? its not that they gave them to you for free.
In point of fact, they did give them to you for free.

Originally Posted by lovestache View Post
- If this is how they treat you (who has been 1k for 5 years and given them over $12k x 5 = $60k) who brought in big revenue, I'm sure they won't give about me.
$60K is big revenue? You were certainly a loyal customer since you made 1K for five years but give me a break on "big revenue". That's just a laugh when you look at the millions of passengers they carry annually and the total revenue stream they're looking at. You could quit flying United (and maybe have) and the dimple on their financials wouldn't even be perceptible.

Originally Posted by lovestache View Post
Maybe United should run ads on how many accounts were canceled that month. That'll make them real popular to earn future business. Heck, include clips in the ad from the Dr Dao incident with the message - this is what happens when you don't listen to us. LOL.
It actually might work. Just title it, "For our valued Premium Elites who follow the rules, we got rid of ### cheaters this month. You won't have to compete with people illegitimately using their accounts for upgrades because they're gone."

Originally Posted by lovestache View Post
Long term solution - United should behave like a business.
They are.

Originally Posted by lovestache View Post
Moreover, lets do the math:
By all means. As an engineer and physicist, I love math.

Originally Posted by lovestache View Post
So a person spends $12k to become 1k (previous figure, now it is higher). Ok so assume that this person sold half of their GPU's: say 3 @ $300 - this is less than one grand. Why would United want to lose someone as a customer who is still netting them over $11k in revenue annually? Life time value for this customer (assuming avg of 12 years of continued 1k status due to the nature of their traveling job) is over $120k. What is their cost of (high rev) customer acquisition?
Because United would like to get the $1000 or so of revenue themselves or give the upgrades to loyal customers (many of whom spend a lot more than $12k per year) who follow the rules instead of having that seat go to a non- or low-status customer who bought the upgrade cert on the Internet and deprived a higher status customer (who is also spending a lot of money annually) of that upgrade. Let's flip that equation: Why would a person who can afford enough travel to amass over 1M award miles endanger their status and account for $1000? That's right up there with someone owning a high-end sports car driving miles out of his/her way over a bumpy dirt road to avoid taking a toll road.

Originally Posted by lovestache View Post
{W}ith the airlines constantly 'amending' their FF policies, the miles are only decreasing in value, not increasing. If my intent was to monetize by selling the miles, it would have made sense for me to do that long long time ago. They are worth a lot less now as compared to 15 years ago (when I still had 500k miles).

My remark was more to use them as a retirement fund to travel for me and my partner.
So again, why exactly did you intentionally endanger that retirement fund for travel to garner a few hundred dollars? Did you at least enjoy the proceeds?

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jan 17, 20 at 12:03 pm Reason: repaired quote
ExplorerWannabe is offline  
Old Jan 17, 20, 12:30 pm
  #1550  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 45,112
The only reason to buy an instrument is that it is cheaper than the cash cost of flying J. The only reason UA issues instruments is to build loyalty, e.g. future spend to make up for the diffeence.

It seems fairly simple logic to have a rule prohibiting the sale or barter of the instruments and to penalize their misuse accordingly. It does not make sense to fire the customer altogether as many have little or no choice and will still continue to fly as before.
Often1 is offline  
Old Jan 18, 20, 11:57 am
  #1551  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: san francisco
Programs: Chase UR, Amex MR, UA Silver, HHonors Diamond, IHG Platinum, CCarlson Gold, VirginAtl Silver
Posts: 348
If you don't own a piece of real property and attach anything to it, it becomes part of the property. Sleazy landlords will take the ownership and not reimburse their faithful tenants.
jsn55 is offline  
Old Jan 18, 20, 12:02 pm
  #1552  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Tokyo
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 92
Originally Posted by ExplorerWannabe View Post
Because United would like to get the $1000 or so of revenue themselves or give the upgrades to loyal customers (many of whom spend a lot more than $12k per year) who follow the rules instead of having that seat go to a non- or low-status customer who bought the upgrade cert on the Internet and deprived a higher status customer (who is also spending a lot of money annually) of that upgrade. Let's flip that equation: Why would a person who can afford enough travel to amass over 1M award miles endanger their status and account for $1000? That's right up there with someone owning a high-end sports car driving miles out of his/her way over a bumpy dirt road to avoid taking a toll road.
If only one of those people who bought the GPU might have otherwise paid for business class, it is a lot more of a loss than $300 for United.
MSPeconomist likes this.
A Little Cow is offline  
Old Jan 18, 20, 12:29 pm
  #1553  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Programs: UA 1K, Hilton ♦ , Hyatt Carbonado, Wyndham ♦, Marriott PE, "Stinking Bum" elsewhere.
Posts: 3,348
Originally Posted by narvik View Post
If UA is cunning enough to monitor eBay/Craigslist and set up all these fake buyers (and possibly sellers), what's from stopping them setting up fake FT accounts and posting fake stories in this thread?
I must admit, I don't always believe these "confession" posts.

Also, with the advent of PlusPoints, hasn't this issue gone away? Or are people now trying to sell PlusPoints?
OP's post is far too meandering to be fake. IME fake posts are very concise and to the point.

Last edited by zombietooth; Jan 18, 20 at 12:36 pm
zombietooth is offline  
Old Jan 18, 20, 1:25 pm
  #1554  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 13,706
Originally Posted by zombietooth View Post
OP's post is far too meandering to be fake. IME fake posts are very concise and to the point.
How do you know if a post is fake? In fairness your post is concise and to the point, but I wouldnít suspect itís fake.

Last edited by ContinentalFan; Jan 19, 20 at 7:36 am
ContinentalFan is offline  
Old Jan 18, 20, 4:31 pm
  #1555  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Programs: UA 1K, Hilton ♦ , Hyatt Carbonado, Wyndham ♦, Marriott PE, "Stinking Bum" elsewhere.
Posts: 3,348
Originally Posted by ContinentalFan View Post
How do you know if a post is fake? In fairness your post is concise and to the point, but I wouldnít suspect itís fake.
It's the old law enforcement rule that in order to lie effectively, you need to keep your story simple and your level of detail low. In addition, assuming that UA is paying someone to do this, wouldn't it make more sense to post a very clear, well-punctuated, post so that everyone would understand immediately what was being claimed? I mean, your purported purpose would be to scare UA elites, so why would you muddle the story as much as OP has?

Along those lines, I read a story about Israeli security experts who've designed a series of questions with which they can detect a bad story/cover 90% of the time with only 25 cross-referenced questions, and 100% of the time with 50 questions.
zombietooth is offline  
Old Jan 19, 20, 5:32 am
  #1556  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Programs: DL PM, UA 1K, SPG Plat 100 & Lifetime Gold, Hertz President's Circle
Posts: 119
My friend got his 1K closed by MP for buying miles

2 year as 1K. 40K/ year spend. Roughly 1 million points and 500 plus points and only an email telling him to pound sand. I think he genuinely did not know this was an issue.

This is a one way loyalty program.
samcmontreal is offline  
Old Jan 19, 20, 5:50 am
  #1557  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: STR, IAD, and DCA
Programs: UA 1K; *G and *A Top 1000; DL Plat; HHonors Diamond; *$ Gold; Marriott Plat; Global Entry
Posts: 1,801
Originally Posted by samcmontreal View Post
2 year as 1K. 40K/ year spend. Roughly 1 million points and 500 plus points and only an email telling him to pound sand. I think he genuinely did not know this was an issue.

This is a one way loyalty program.
If you canít do the time, then donít do the crime.
sannmann is online now  
Old Jan 19, 20, 5:55 am
  #1558  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: AVP & PEK
Programs: UA 1K 1.6MM, Hertz PC
Posts: 3,387
Originally Posted by samcmontreal View Post
2 year as 1K. 40K/ year spend. Roughly 1 million points and 500 plus points and only an email telling him to pound sand.

1 million miles, and he has the need to [illegally] buy more?

Or were those million award miles also bought not-from-UA?


Originally Posted by samcmontreal View Post
This is a one way loyalty program.
Or, in this case, a one way dishonestly program.


Originally Posted by samcmontreal View Post
I think he genuinely did not know this was an issue.
Sorry, I don't buy that.
I did a quick google search, and I can't even find a place where one would buy award miles illegally. How would that even work?
Do you maybe mean he tried to buy upgrade certificates, i.e. PlusPoints?
eBay has no listings either.
One has to be pretty shrewd it seems...

Last edited by narvik; Jan 19, 20 at 6:03 am
narvik is offline  
Old Jan 19, 20, 5:57 am
  #1559  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 1,541
Originally Posted by samcmontreal View Post
2 year as 1K. 40K/ year spend. Roughly 1 million points and 500 plus points and only an email telling him to pound sand. I think he genuinely did not know this was an issue.

This is a one way loyalty program.
There has to be more to the story you've been told. Why would someone with roughly 1 million miles be buying more on the black market? The first answer that comes to my mind is he also sells them on the black market.
JimInOhio is online now  
Old Jan 19, 20, 6:04 am
  #1560  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Programs: DL PM, UA 1K, SPG Plat 100 & Lifetime Gold, Hertz President's Circle
Posts: 119
Originally Posted by JimInOhio View Post
There has to be more to the story you've been told. Why would someone with roughly 1 million miles be buying more on the black market? The first answer that comes to my mind is he also sells them on the black market.
He never bought or sold before. It was 1 million miles worth of flight awards booked. He used all existing miles for future flight awards. He bought 150K miles. United canceled all the tickets worth roughly 1 million MP points and closed his account. At least they refunded all the taxes. Sounds pretty harsh.
samcmontreal is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: