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MP Accounts Closed by UA Alleging Fraud/Misuse

MP Accounts Closed by UA Alleging Fraud/Misuse

Old Jan 28, 15, 7:10 pm
  #151  
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I see all the details of this incident have now been deleted.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jan 28, 15 at 10:34 pm Reason: deleted response to deleted post
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Old Jan 28, 15, 7:20 pm
  #152  
 
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Originally Posted by tom911 View Post
I see all the details of this incident have now been deleted.
Yeah, but the internet is forever and one cannot delete the quotes of his original posts that others have responded to.

Originally Posted by jimmyz View Post
Dear all, I'm in desperate for help!

I’m a GS with over $1.5m lifetime miles with United. Just received an email from MPCompliance:

We identified mileage from your account was bartered or sold. The Mileage Plus Program Rules clearly indicate that “the sale or barter of any such mileage, certificates, awards or benefits other than as authorized and/or sponsored by United is expressly prohibited. Any mileage, certificates, awards or benefits transferred, assigned or sold in violation of the Program Rules, in addition to exposing the member to the penalties otherwise associated with violations, may be confiscated or canceled. The use of award tickets that have been acquired by purchase, barter or other conduct in violation of Program Rules may result in termination of membership, cancellation of accrued mileage, certificates, awards or benefits, confiscation of the tickets, denial of boarding with respect to the ticket holder, and, at United's discretion, completion of the travel only upon payment of an applicable fare.”

As a result, we permanently closed your account, cancelled all accrued mileage, cancelled any outstanding award tickets issued using mileage as form of payment as well as downgraded reservations using upgrades from your account.


Be extremely honest, I never sold any mileage from my account and only redeemed for myself and family members; however, I did sell some upgrade advice to friends and some strangers last year and take money for the advice – strictly speaking, it might be considered as a “sale”. However, the reason for closure is “We identified mileage from your account was bartered or sold”. The penalty is too harsh and without any pre-warning. Is there any good way that I can speak to United and get my account back?

Greatly appreciate it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyz
With each purchase of my upgrade travel consultation, you will receive one UA Systemwide Global Premiere Upgrade as a free gift. You are only paying for my travel consultation, not the upgrades." They did use my upgrade instruments -- although strangers theoretically only paid for my advice, well, they did use my upgrade instruments.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jan 28, 15 at 10:35 pm Reason: quote updated to reflect mod edit
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Old Jan 28, 15, 7:26 pm
  #153  
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Originally Posted by tom911 View Post
Or his employer is paying. Curious what this means for future business travel, particularly if the employer has a corporate contract with UA. It's going to be a pain to fly in international in economy all the time, without access to upgrades, if the employer requires continued travel on UA.
Given the OP's combination of GS status and upgrades to spare, I'm guessing paid he flies on premium tickets much of the time.
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Old Jan 28, 15, 7:38 pm
  #154  
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Well, then it will be a pain missing out on the 75,000 miles a ticket those could potentially bring in. There's a lot more lost here than just a closed account.
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Old Jan 28, 15, 7:43 pm
  #155  
 
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Originally Posted by fastair View Post
Was just on eBay 10 days ago looking at a guy selling "advice" with a free gpu given. I thought to myself "Have people really not learned that UA trolls eBay/other sites for just such sales, and think they won't get caught?"
Kind of interesting that even eBay would allow such a transaction. I did see them listed on Craigslist though:

"United travel advice w/ one free Global Premier Upgrade (GPU) - $299
I am offering travel advice sessions on flying United. Along with every advice session comes one free United Global Premier Upgrade (valid for a single one-way, one-cabin upgrade). Please make sure that the flight you would like to upgrade is operated by United and that the booked fare class is eligible for the upgrade: Fare classes Z, P, S, T, L, K, G and N may only be upgraded on flights to select regions. See the upgrade regions chart for full details on upgrade eligibility and fare restrictions.

For further information on eligibility please visit: https://www.united.com/web/en-US/con...e/default.aspx

The price per travel advice session is $299; you can buy multiple travel advice sessions on request. You are only paying for my travel consultation, not the upgrades.

The free GPU which comes with every travel advice session expires on 1/31/2015. I will not refund the travel advice session (for example if you don't clear a flight before the GPU expires or you have to cancel a flight). Paypal preferred."


There was multiple postings for Houston & SF area that I can see. There were also some for RPUs for $99. Now, not saying these are what the individual above has posted, but one can only assume they are pretty similar situations. Either case, UA probably can easily track this and after reading this, I can see why UA is considering this a barter or sale.

What is interesting is that I have an alert set up on Google for United, and this popped up on my alert page when I went back and looked at the email for articles. I can easily assume UA has easily set-up keyword alerts on Google to do the same for various things and probably where they initially saw something like this.
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Old Jan 28, 15, 7:59 pm
  #156  
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Originally Posted by dank0014 View Post
Kind of interesting that even eBay would allow such a transaction.
eBay doesn't care. They get their money either way. People used to sell envelopes with free GPUs back when they were paper.

Originally Posted by Finkface View Post
Yeah, but the internet is forever and one cannot delete the quotes of his original posts that others have responded to.
But the moderators can if they wish.
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Old Jan 31, 15, 10:54 pm
  #157  
 
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Originally Posted by jimmyz View Post
Dear all, I'm in desperate for help!
So you sold GPUs from your account that you had earned......Big Deal! (Not.)

People are interesting.
United announces 9 months in advance changes to their MP program. Many, many people complain about it, even though it's totally legitimate and well publicized.

You sell GPUs that don't affect UA financially at all. (Viz. You could give them away, too.) Nobody complains about UA's course of action.......In fact, because it's buried in the fine print about what they can do, and did, everybody's fine with it! Of course, UA does make money by shutting down your MP account which causes you to lose your accrued mileage, earned upgrades and future bonuses. And, trust me, they are actively going after 1K/GS flyers who have sold/bartered/traded GPUs. They don't publicize it, they just refer to the fine print in the T&C.

Moral of the story: If it causes damage to the MP flyer's account, we're up in arms; if it only affects someone else, in this case you, we support UA and quote paragraph 8 of the fine print.

You want some suggestions? Mine to you would be:
1. Consult with a lawyer with a view to suing UA in a court of law and see what a judge thinks about UA's course of action. Perhaps even a Class Action suit?
2. Call your local newspaper and detail your experience, after first informing UA of your intentions. Maybe they wouldn't want you to talk to the newspaper..........This is about their loyalty program and you are in the top 1% (maybe 0.1%) of "loyal" customers. Perhaps they would agree to reinstate you if you go away "quietly".
3. If your employer is paying for your flights, come clean with them on what you've done and what UA did to you. (For you to have GS status, somebody/your company is spending serious money with UA.) If your employer is sympathetic, he might just call UA and tell them they are seriously considering changing their primary airline. That call might get their attention, especially if y'all spend Big Bucks with UA. (P.s. Don't get fired in the process. )

This is all about business.

In conclusion, I personally feel bad this happened to you, but you won't get much sympathy on this site.

Last edited by EMan; Feb 1, 15 at 3:44 pm
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Old Jan 31, 15, 11:40 pm
  #158  
 
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Originally Posted by tom911 View Post
From a week ago - UA fires more than 100 in last year for abuse:


http://www.wsj.com/articles/airlines...ees-1421865388
This reminds me of the moral indigence the NFL had in the case of Mike Tice selling his non-rev Super Bowl seats for greater than 10% of the salary Red McCombs was giving him in Minnesota.

You pay 'em crap, don't be surprised when they try to milk something out of you. They are just trying to get ahead in this world, same as everyone else. The opportunities that present themselves will go through a risk benefit analysis... give 'em enough to avoid the desperate path.
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Old Feb 1, 15, 2:22 am
  #159  
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Originally Posted by EMan View Post
You want some advice? Mine to you would be:
1. Consult with a lawyer with a view to suing UA in a court of law and see what a judge thinks about UA's course of action. Perhaps even a Class Action suit?
2. Call your local newspaper and detail your experience, after first informing UA of your intentions. Maybe they wouldn't want you to talk to the newspaper..........This is about their loyalty program and you are in the top 1% (maybe 0.1%) of "loyal" customers. Perhaps they would agree to reinstate you if you go away "quietly". This is all about business.

In conclusion, I personally feel bad this happened to you, but you won't get much sympathy on this site.
You won't find a lawyer who would take it. And the newspapers wouldn't give him any more sympathy than we did.
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Old Feb 1, 15, 6:53 am
  #160  
 
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Originally Posted by Tchiowa View Post
...And the newspapers wouldn't give him any more sympathy than we did.
Agreed. However, newspapers are primarily interested in selling paper and, hopefully, informing the public at the same time.

Originally Posted by EMan View Post
...2. Call your local newspaper and detail your experience, after first informing UA of your intentions. Maybe they wouldn't want you to talk to the newspaper..........This is about their loyalty program and you are in the top 1% (maybe 0.1%) of "loyal" customers. Perhaps they would agree to reinstate you if you go away "quietly". This is all about business...
Here's a thought: Contact Scott McCartney ([email protected]) at The Wall Street Journal (He specializes in airline stories.):

http://topics.wsj.com/person/M/scott-mccartney/1432

If he prints your story, at least other 1K/GS flyers will be publicly warned not to sell/barter their GPUs. (And, for example, inform them that giving away a GPU as part of a "Consulting Agreement" will not deter UA from closing their MP account.)

Last edited by EMan; Feb 1, 15 at 7:48 am
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Old Feb 1, 15, 9:31 am
  #161  
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Originally Posted by EMan View Post
Agreed. However, newspapers are primarily interested in selling paper and, hopefully, informing the public at the same time.

Here's a thought: Contact Scott McCartney ([email protected]) at The Wall Street Journal (He specializes in airline stories.):

http://topics.wsj.com/person/M/scott-mccartney/1432

If he prints your story, at least other 1K/GS flyers will be publicly warned not to sell/barter their GPUs. (And, for example, inform them that giving away a GPU as part of a "Consulting Agreement" will not deter UA from closing their MP account.)
No lawyer is going to touch this on a contingency basis. One might find a lawyer on retainer (ie cash up front) basis. Such a lawyer (if ethical/competent) will let one know the case is lost from the outset. Contacting a newspaper is an interesting thought - you won't get sympathy from writer or readers - selling "advice w/ free GPUs" would be presented as an amusing story of a cheater who got caught. As others have pointed out, the OP didn't need to be informed by a newspaper story that selling GPUs was illegal - the method by which he was trying to obtain money for them suggests he already knew it was wrong.

United might just want to the GS to go public with his case. The OP cheated and got caught. There is no grey area here and UA doesn't need to hide from what it is doing. The OP broke the rules of the program. He is paying the price. I don't think there's much sympathy from anyone other than other 1Ks/GSs who think they think they need to risk everything for a few bucks. Greed hardly ever generates sympathy.

Last edited by IAH-OIL-TRASH; Feb 1, 15 at 9:37 am
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Old Feb 1, 15, 10:06 am
  #162  
 
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
No lawyer is going to touch this on a contingency basis. One might find a lawyer on retainer (ie cash up front) basis. Such a lawyer (if ethical/competent) will let one know the case is lost from the outset. Contacting a newspaper is an interesting thought - you won't get sympathy from writer or readers - selling "advice w/ free GPUs" would be presented as an amusing story of a cheater who got caught. As others have pointed out, the OP didn't need to be informed by a newspaper story that selling GPUs was illegal - the method by which he was trying to obtain money for them suggests he already knew it was wrong.

United might just want to the GS to go public with his case. The OP cheated and got caught. There is no grey area here and UA doesn't need to hide from what it is doing. The OP broke the rules of the program. He is paying the price. I don't think there's much sympathy from anyone other than other 1Ks/GSs who think they think they need to risk everything for a few bucks. Greed hardly ever generates sympathy.
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Old Feb 1, 15, 10:06 am
  #163  
 
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Slightly off topic, but OP, do you report these sales to the IRS as income?
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Old Feb 1, 15, 10:13 am
  #164  
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Originally Posted by fastair View Post
Slightly off topic, but OP, do you report these sales to the IRS as income?
I'm sure we can all answer that one and I don't think OP is gonna say a thing.
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Old Feb 1, 15, 10:48 am
  #165  
 
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Originally Posted by dank0014 View Post
Kind of interesting that even eBay would allow such a transaction. I did see them listed on Craigslist though:

"United travel advice w/ one free Global Premier Upgrade (GPU) - $299
I am offering travel advice sessions on flying United. Along with every advice session comes one free United Global Premier Upgrade (valid for a single one-way, one-cabin upgrade). Please make sure that the flight you would like to upgrade is operated by United and that the booked fare class is eligible for the upgrade: Fare classes Z, P, S, T, L, K, G and N may only be upgraded on flights to select regions. See the upgrade regions chart for full details on upgrade eligibility and fare restrictions.



There was multiple postings for Houston & SF area that I can see. There were also some for RPUs for $99. Now, not saying these are what the individual above has posted, but one can only assume they are pretty similar situations. Either case, UA probably can easily track this and after reading this, I can see why UA is considering this a barter or sale.
My question is this: If a person with no status were to buy a GPU/RPU and the upgrade didn't clear at booking, what chance would they have of it ever clearing? Would a non-status person even make it on the upgrade list?
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