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MP Accounts Closed by UA Alleging Fraud/Misuse

MP Accounts Closed by UA Alleging Fraud/Misuse

Old Feb 1, 15, 5:32 pm
  #181  
 
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Originally Posted by EMan View Post
<snip>

However, one thing is clear: UA can make some serious money by busting 1K/GS flyers and closing their accounts. Why put out a big public notice if you can make money by keeping it quiet? A darker question might be: Does UA really want 1K/GS flyers to stop selling/bartering/trading their GPUs?!

<snip>
I am glad somebody finally brought up this point. ^
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Old Feb 1, 15, 5:45 pm
  #182  
 
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I must say I am surprised that UA has taken such action against a GS - assuming the OP is still a GS member. At the end of the day this could have been settled with a gentle warning and other quiet sanction such as loss of GS or MM benefits.

Ultimately, UA might stand to lose more by expelling the OP. The OP clearly has no use for GPUs as seems to have bartered several and probably pays premium fares and sits in premium cabins. Assuming this is essential travel then he would be moving such travel to another airline. For the OP the only real losses from account closure are the 1.5M lifetime miles he has accumulated and whatever balance of mileage he had in the account - but if the usual banter on this forum is to be believed, both count for very little these days - after all UA is the worst American airline and we were all going to leave this year anyway...
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Old Feb 1, 15, 5:49 pm
  #183  
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Originally Posted by ani90 View Post
I must say I am surprised that UA has taken such action against a GS - assuming the OP is still a GS member. At the end of the day this could have been settled with a gentle warning and other quiet sanction such as loss of GS or MM benefits.

Ultimately, UA might stand to lose more by expelling the OP. The OP clearly has no use for GPUs as seems to have bartered several and probably pays premium fares and sits in premium cabins. Assuming this is essential travel then he would be moving such travel to another airline. For the OP the only real losses from account closure are the 1.5M lifetime miles he has accumulated and whatever balance of mileage he had in the account - but if the usual banter on this forum is to be believed, both count for very little these days - after all UA is the worst American airline and we were all going to leave this year anyway...
But UA is more concerned with ancillary revenue. That is their bread and butter. More than 1 GS. By selling their GPU's they have denied UA possible ancillary revenue from those people who bought them who may have paid for a buy up.
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Old Feb 1, 15, 5:58 pm
  #184  
 
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Originally Posted by Baze View Post
But UA is more concerned with ancillary revenue. That is their bread and butter. More than 1 GS. By selling their GPU's they have denied UA possible ancillary revenue from those people who bought them who may have paid for a buy up.
Agree but by detecting this fraud they have put a stop to that source of loss. However, in addition they will also be losing the several high value premium cabin tickets the OP purchases every year - like they lose both ways (lost revenue from gpus he sold and revenue from tickets he buys).

It may be though that he is not that a high value GS member as if he was, I would be surprised if UA did not make exception.
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Old Feb 1, 15, 6:00 pm
  #185  
 
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
That's exactly the kind of gullibility these people are taking advantage of. Do you also trust all those Nigerian princes giving money away? After all, if there are so many, they must all be legit, right?
I like your analogy, except for one major difference: The UA GPU seller can easily be caught and punished severely by UA, without due process. (Viz. Guilty until proven innocent.)

All UA has to do is pose to be a buyer of a GPU, get the seller to call in with their MP account number. Then, optionally, check their records for additional GPU "gifts" by the perp.........Then bust him on the spot. Pretty risky venture for a few hundred bucks, wouldn't you say?

I don't think the Nigerian princes have much to lose and, in any case, would be difficult to prosecute and recover losses.

The points I'm making are:
1. To the innocent GPU buyer, he would probably think: "Well if it's illegal, UA can easily find out.......So, it's probably okay."
2. To the GPU seller, he probably has no idea of the extent of the damage incurred if he gets busted. Common sense would tell him not to do it if he knew.

It would be interesting to see how many GPU sellers would withdraw their ads if they knew the potential dire consequences of their actions! Hmmmmmmmmm, that would be easy to test!

Last edited by EMan; Feb 1, 15 at 6:07 pm
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Old Feb 1, 15, 6:02 pm
  #186  
 
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Originally Posted by ani90 View Post
I must say I am surprised that UA has taken such action against a GS - assuming the OP is still a GS member. At the end of the day this could have been settled with a gentle warning and other quiet sanction such as loss of GS or MM benefits.

Ultimately, UA might stand to lose more by expelling the OP. The OP clearly has no use for GPUs as seems to have bartered several and probably pays premium fares and sits in premium cabins. Assuming this is essential travel then he would be moving such travel to another airline. For the OP the only real losses from account closure are the 1.5M lifetime miles he has accumulated and whatever balance of mileage he had in the account - but if the usual banter on this forum is to be believed, both count for very little these days - after all UA is the worst American airline and we were all going to leave this year anyway...
Eh can somewhat understand what you are saying, but most likely the OP is traveling on the business dime. Given this, UA probably already has a corporate contract with that company. If that is the case, OP may just still end up getting stuck with UA unless company has agreements with other airlines in place that can easily meet the needs that OP has or willing to take alternative routes potentially
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Old Feb 1, 15, 6:10 pm
  #187  
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Originally Posted by EMan View Post
I like your analogy, except for one major difference: The UA GPU seller can easily be caught and punished severely by UA, without due process. (Viz. Guilty until proven innocent.)

All UA has to do is pose to be a buyer of a GPU, get the seller to call in with their MP account number. Then, optionally, check their records for additional GPU "gifts" by the perp.........Then bust him on the spot. Pretty risky venture for a few hundred bucks, wouldn't you say?

I don't think the Nigerian princes have much to lose and, in any case, would be difficult to prosecute and recover losses.

The points I'm making are:
1. To the innocent GPU buyer, he would probably think: "Well if it's illegal, UA can easily find out.......So, it's probably okay."
2. To the GPU seller, he probably has no idea of the extent of the damage incurred if he gets busted. Common sense would tell him not to do it if he knew.

It would be interesting to see how many GPU sellers would withdraw their ads if they knew the potential dire consequences of their actions! Hmmmmmmmmm, that would be easy to test!
UA assumes you do know as you agree to terms and conditions when you sign up and by remaining a member you agree to abide by all the rules which are clearly spelled out. Including any changes that UA can implement at any time at their discretion. So if they claim they did not know the possible severity that is on them.

http://www.united.com/web/en-US/cont...s/default.aspx
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Old Feb 1, 15, 6:33 pm
  #188  
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Originally Posted by EMan View Post
Maybe he did, maybe he didn't.

Consider this scenario:
Let's assume I haven't read the T&C and I want to sell a GPU, so I google "UA GPU sale" on the web and get web sites of people selling their GPUs. So they say they are charging $400 for "Advice" and giving the GPU for free. So, I think
"Okay, since everybody's doing it that way, that must be the way to sell your GPUs legitimately". Why would I suddenly think all these people were breaking the Rules?
You said it yourself. If selling upgrades was "legitimate", no need for the little dance. So he clearly knows that you have to play a game to sell them "legitimately".
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Old Feb 1, 15, 6:33 pm
  #189  
 
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Originally Posted by Baze View Post
UA assumes you do know as you agree to terms and conditions when you sign up and by remaining a member you agree to abide by all the rules which are clearly spelled out. Including any changes that UA can implement at any time at their discretion. So if they claim they did not know the possible severity that is on them.

http://www.united.com/web/en-US/cont...s/default.aspx
Yes, I agree with you that ignorance is no defense.

UA's language in T&C, paragraph 8. (of 39!) reads, in part: "The sale or barter or attempted 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."

Is it reasonable to close the OP's MP account, taking his accrued mileage, his MM status, all his GPUs/RPUs, future mileage bonuses, because of this somewhat open-ended statement? Apparently so.

If UA is going to play Judge & Jury with its best customers, I'd like to see a more precise statement in the T&C and a friendly email reminder to all 1K/GS flyers. Is that asking too much?

IMO, the punishment doesn't fit the crime..........But, you're right, UA supplies the "toys", and UA can take them away. We are reminded it's their game and perhaps we are the "gullible ones"!?

Last edited by EMan; Feb 1, 15 at 6:43 pm
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Old Feb 1, 15, 6:36 pm
  #190  
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Originally Posted by EMan View Post
All UA has to do is pose to be a buyer of a GPU
They already do.

Originally Posted by EMan View Post
It would be interesting to see how many GPU sellers would withdraw their ads if they knew the potential dire consequences of their actions!
The ones who try to mask it with "free GPU with advice" already know it's against the rules. Why else do they go to such lengths to mask their true purpose? And any of the who don't know the consequences are just too lazy to find out.

Originally Posted by EMan View Post
I'd like to see a more precise statement in the T&C and a friendly email reminder to all 1K/GS flyers. Is that asking too much?
For the statement, yes. It's already as precise as possible. They can't say "will" because that would imply that they catch 100% of the offenders. They can only punish the ones they catch, so you "may" get away with it. As for the email, we'd instantly see dozens of posts where people claim United is accusing them of wrongdoing. Even a reminder to change your password will be met with disdain by some (see the Starwood forum).

Last edited by mahasamatman; Feb 1, 15 at 6:41 pm
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Old Feb 1, 15, 6:36 pm
  #191  
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Originally Posted by EMan View Post
The points I'm making are:
1. To the innocent GPU buyer, he would probably think: "Well if it's illegal, UA can easily find out.......So, it's probably okay."
2. To the GPU seller, he probably has no idea of the extent of the damage incurred if he gets busted. Common sense would tell him not to do it if he knew.
Common sense isn't all that common. Many people think that they have figured out how to get around the rules and that they are too smart to get caught.
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Old Feb 1, 15, 6:39 pm
  #192  
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How long has the OP been selling them? Maybe UA has been monitoring this account for a while for violations. Maybe they were warned once. We don't know. But yes, UA holds all the cards in how they want to deal with the offender.
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Old Feb 1, 15, 6:40 pm
  #193  
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Originally Posted by EMan View Post
If UA is going to play Judge & Jury with its best customers, I'd like to see a more precise statement in the T&C and a friendly email reminder to all 1K/GS flyers. Is that asking too much?
Do they still publish a monthly reminder about trading/bartering in Hemispheres Magazine? Having not flown UA for a while, do they even publish that still?
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Old Feb 1, 15, 6:46 pm
  #194  
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Originally Posted by EMan View Post

If UA is going to play Judge & Jury with its best customers, I'd like to see a more precise statement in the T&C and a friendly email reminder to all 1K/GS flyers. Is that asking too much?
Well, as us Million Milers found out with the results of the lawsuit, UA can pretty much do what they want and there is nothing we can do about it. Judges basically called UA fraudsters and slime but they had no power to do anything about it. It was up to DOT. So I doubt very much they would send email reminders about the rules. And making some statements about rules vague we are at the whim of how UA wants to say what they mean by the vagueness. So yes, it is asking too much (in UA's eyes). So all we can do is follow the rules as best we can and not blatantly break them.
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Old Feb 1, 15, 8:15 pm
  #195  
 
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Originally Posted by Baze View Post
But UA is more concerned with ancillary revenue. That is their bread and butter. More than 1 GS. By selling their GPU's they have denied UA possible ancillary revenue from those people who bought them who may have paid for a buy up.
While that is an issue, I don't think it's the big one: the big one is loss of revenue of people that otherwise would have paid for a premium cabin, but for the ability to buy into one with an upgrade instrument purchased illicitly.

Especially when there's a broker involved (not to say that was the case here), the carriers' biggest worry is loss of a premium-cabin ticket sale, not loss of an upgrade co-payment. Many of the tickets involving illicit awards (whether it be an award seat purchased entirely with miles, or an economy seat upgraded with instruments) get sold in the "discount premium travel" market. The customer has no idea anything wrong is happening - all they know is that they get a premium cabin seat at a price less than the carrier is charging. The carrier loses out on a premium-cabin fare, not just the upgrade co-pay.
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