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MP Accounts Closed by UA Alleging Fraud/Misuse

MP Accounts Closed by UA Alleging Fraud/Misuse

Old Jan 29, 2014, 2:48 pm
  #16  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
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Programs: MANY
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No member may delegate or grant access (via power of attorney, contract, or otherwise) to a third party.
Members under age 6 should have their accounts closed .

Last edited by Xyzzy; Jan 29, 2014 at 3:29 pm Reason: Fixed BB code
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 2:53 pm
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by Hadrian35
Those miles are my unpaid compensation and I wouldn't put it past them to try and yank them one day as a cost cutting measure.

The irony is they would fly me more for work on those forfeited award miles with the new found gains in travel budget lol.
I know people whose employer's policy is that mileage (or hotel points, etc.) earned by employees is property of the company. Now that can't seem to be enforceable from the eyes of United, who seems to have shut down exactly that sort of thing in this case, but at least one person I know was told that they were not to use a frequent flyer number for business travel due to this policy. They said "fine, you can pay my baggage fees $120 roundtrip every time" and suddenly the powers that be started looking the other way at FF numbers on tickets. Still against written policy, but not enforced actively by the employer since it would hit their bottom line badly. Maybe it made sense when 2 checked bags were free.

If the employer has access but not the actual person flying, then the employer can book whatever tickets/upgrades/magazines for miles they want for themselves with mileage that someone else's butt flew, regardless of the fact that the employer paid. That is against the spirit of the frequent flyer program. The person flying earns the benefits, not the person or company paying.

I manage my parents' frequent flyer accounts online as neither one of them can (one never having used the internet and the other used to but no longer can see the computer screen). Neither of them have UA accounts; I wonder what the other carriers' policy on this is, if any.

Originally Posted by double_black77
No member may delegate or grant access (via power of attorney, contract, or otherwise) to a third party.
Members under age 6 should have their accounts closed .
You're kidding, right?

Last edited by UAzip; Jan 29, 2014 at 2:55 pm Reason: merged two replies into one
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 2:56 pm
  #18  
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OP here. As a flyertalker for years, I am the one educating my colleagues about miles and FFP, and helping them setting up and maintaining their accounts. No miles are taken from employees for company use at all. I do not take their miles either (sometimes even credit my own car rental miles to a colleagues account to maintain expiration). A few really do not care about their miles as they fly very infrequently, and have given away award tickets to colleagues and friends including me.

For simplicity I set up everyone's account with the company address and the same PIN. I guess United just did a search using the company address and closed all accounts with the address. The guy who received the warning email actually manages his own account using his personal email address and a different PIN. He became the collateral damage. United gave him two days to send in an ID and call to resolve the problem, to which he said "fxxx it - I will just avoid flying united." The other accounts were just closed without warning.

I was not aware of the "no delegation" rule (did not read the program rules) so it was my mistake in part. However closing all accounts without warning is too harsh a punishment in my opinion.
B747SP is offline  
Old Jan 29, 2014, 3:00 pm
  #19  
 
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Originally Posted by UAzip
You're kidding, right?
Just want to show how unrealistic this policy is.... I have four kids, including a 7-month old MP member. I manage their accounts, my wife & my in-law's accounts. We certainly hope this policy does not apply to families and friends.
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 3:01 pm
  #20  
 
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Has the OP sent a PM to UAInsider? I'd be very interested to see Aaron weigh in on this issue. Given the standard practice of executives having their assistants manage their travel (and thus MP accounts), the delegation clause that's been quoted seems ill-aimed, or at least ill-enforced, in this case.
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 3:06 pm
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by double_black77
Just want to show how unrealistic this policy is.... I have four kids, including a 7-month old MP member. I manage their accounts, my wife & my in-law's accounts. We certainly hope this policy does not apply to families and friends.
That's what I hoped--but sometimes the same emoticon gets used different ways. :P

All we need is MileagePlus enforcement coming demanding that elderly, infants, or executives with staffs of dozens who take care of things show that they manage their own MP account, under penalty of account closure. Now that would thin the ranks faster than any PQD thing! (Oh no, did I just give them an idea? Nah, they probably have come up with that already)
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 3:06 pm
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Thunderroad
OP, I'd try to escalate this any way I could, including informing UA of how much $$ it stands to lose if it does not reverse this move, writing to Smisek (I believe some threads here have his email) and other UA executives, and informing UA that you will post/contact as many travel and complaint websites and publications as possible (and then doing so if necessary). You could offer to desist from this dastardly practice if UA restores the accounts and miles.

Hope it all works out.
I tried calling MP customer service. Spent about half an hour with the agent and got nowhere. Agent said that she talked to her supervisor and "support" but still could not do anything.

It may not worth the time trying to fight and make United understand. With 4 daily nonstop flights between SFO and HKG by 3 carriers, it is not a problem for us to send our travel budget to other carriers.
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 3:12 pm
  #23  
 
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This is just one more way that Jeffie is working towards the $2 billion cut - eliminate the liability from his books!
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 3:16 pm
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Mbenz
I typically help manage my wife's, 2 kids and in laws at times accounts, basically because they don't have interest in it and understand all the processes. I sometimes sponsor them with miles and upgrades though not the other way around. Certainly hope this isn't an issue?
I'm going to guess that when they come across a situation like this they discern between matching last name or 1-2 similar accounts versus 12 people with different last names all being managed by one person.

The OP's situation is still incredible to me. 12 employees are clearly still a small business managing its travel. I understand why they wouldn't want their big corporate accounts to be colluding to aggregate miles (they could probably ensure that senior employees never have to pay for a single forward cabin ticket on the backs of junior employees coach-flown miles) but to get down to the level of a dozen or fewer related accounts. Really kind of pitiful on the part of UA. This shouldn't be worth their time.
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 3:17 pm
  #25  
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I have managed, and will continue to manage all the family miles/hotel accounts. Seems very ridiculous if it's as the OP has stated.

Thankfully, given the devaluation, I've emptied most of my accounts already.
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 3:19 pm
  #26  
 
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Originally Posted by jpezaris
Has the OP sent a PM to UAInsider? I'd be very interested to see Aaron weigh in on this issue. Given the standard practice of executives having their assistants manage their travel (and thus MP accounts), the delegation clause that's been quoted seems ill-aimed, or at least ill-enforced, in this case.
Of course given UA allows minors to have MP accounts, they tacitly acknowledge that delegates will manage those accounts. Likewise I've phoned up with my wife's PIN to book travel on her behalf and no agent has ever questioned it; I wonder if selective enforcement is sufficient to nullify these terms?

OP which country are you based in? You may find your local consumer protection laws provide a way to override these clearly unreasonable terms.
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 3:21 pm
  #27  
 
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I think part of the problem here is that it was 12 people with different last names sharing the same address and buying tickets for each other. Frankly there a ton of red flags that are not the same when managing by an assistant or for a family.
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 3:26 pm
  #28  
 
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Originally Posted by villox
I think part of the problem here is that it was 12 people with different last names sharing the same address and buying tickets for each other. Frankly there a ton of red flags that are not the same when managing by an assistant or for a family.
But the reasonable approach would be to ask what's going on and then give the OP time to resolve it. Closing accounts with no notice is unreasonable unless there is clear fraud involved.
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 3:34 pm
  #29  
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Originally Posted by jpezaris
Has the OP sent a PM to UAInsider? I'd be very interested to see Aaron weigh in on this issue. Given the standard practice of executives having their assistants manage their travel (and thus MP accounts), the delegation clause that's been quoted seems ill-aimed, or at least ill-enforced, in this case.
Not a chance in hell he would post in this thread on this topic
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 3:40 pm
  #30  
 
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I think that if the MP accounts mostly used the same email address and all had the same PIN, UA would find that very suspicious.
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