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MP Accounts Closed by UA Alleging Fraud/Misuse

MP Accounts Closed by UA Alleging Fraud/Misuse

Old Jan 29, 14, 4:55 pm
  #31  
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Originally Posted by villox View Post
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.
Yes. As far as UA is concerned, none of these people could even be aware that they have these accounts in their name. It's one thing for a company's travel department to book reservations for its employees and put in their FF information. It's another to control these accounts outright. What's to stop this "administrator" from using all of the miles in these accounts for himself/herself?
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Old Jan 29, 14, 5:08 pm
  #32  
 
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Originally Posted by B747SP View Post
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.
I know I'm opening a bigger can of worms, but IMO, United is not after the husband, wife, child relationship, on managing an account, but for the larger unrelated groups that are sharing miles.

So all the comments about, manager/admin, husband/wife, parent/child is not the target of the rule. But the 6 yr old child might have his account terminated and miles lost because I believe the minimum age is 18.

The OP was managing 12 people accounts and the activity described about is just what United is trying to prevent with the rule.

i.e., 1) preventing expiration of miles,
2) using expiring miles (not enough for a trip) to upgrade someone else PNR

So the OP was engage in the activities that United stated was against the MP rules. He just didn't know it was against the rules of the MP program.

Why is this against the rules?
1) United probably expect so many miles to expires because of infrequent travel
2) Travel takes a while to accumulate miles for upgrade or travel, but several can combine their miles to obtain rewards.

I believe the discussion should be on the original OP post, not on a husband managing his wife, or child, etc
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Old Jan 29, 14, 5:08 pm
  #33  
 
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Originally Posted by Fanjet View Post
Yes. As far as UA is concerned, none of these people could even be aware that they have these accounts in their name. It's one thing for a company's travel department to book reservations for its employees and put in their FF information. It's another to control these accounts outright. What's to stop this "administrator" from using all of the miles in these accounts for himself/herself?
As noted in many upthread examples, you could substitute "family" for "company" and "immediate relatives" for "employees" instead. There are too many grey areas, and this course of action by MP seems very drastic. They could have instead sought to contact each individual member (via the administrator if necessary) to get verbal assurances from each member that the arrangement was consensual. Without having more than the OP's word to go on, the response seems disproportionate and ultimately counterproductive if this corporate spend is going away as a result.
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Old Jan 29, 14, 5:11 pm
  #34  
 
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Originally Posted by B747SP View Post
sometimes even credit my own car rental miles to a colleagues account to maintain expiration
I wonder if this is the issue. I am pretty sure that UA doesn't want people crediting earned miles (regardless of the source) to accounts other than their own.
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Old Jan 29, 14, 5:16 pm
  #35  
 
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Originally Posted by GoAmtrak View Post
As noted in many upthread examples, you could substitute "family" for "company" and "immediate relatives" for "employees" instead. There are too many grey areas, and this course of action by MP seems very drastic. They could have instead sought to contact each individual member (via the administrator if necessary) to get verbal assurances from each member that the arrangement was consensual. Without having more than the OP's word to go on, the response seems disproportionate and ultimately counterproductive if this corporate spend is going away as a result.
You are assuming that they would be okay with what was happening if only they had the explanation for what was going on. I sense that we don't actually have a full story from the OP yet for all the things that were happening. For example:

- Were the addresses set to Asia to avoid PQD?
- Were some employees NEVER redeeming miles for their own travel, but instead solely being used as placeholders to upgrade other employees, or buy one-way tickets because they didn't have enough miles otherwise?
- Were some of the redemptions for others mainly going toward one or two people?

MileagePlus is ultimately a marketing program used to reward loyalty. It could be that this was all being managed by a single person who was taking advantage of the fact that none of the people traveling actually cared enough about mileage programs to pay attention and was using them to benefit a few.
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Old Jan 29, 14, 5:25 pm
  #36  
 
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Originally Posted by B747SP View Post
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...
Originally Posted by Fanjet View Post
Yes. As far as UA is concerned, none of these people could even be aware that they have these accounts in their name. It's one thing for a company's travel department to book reservations for its employees and put in their FF information. It's another to control these accounts outright. What's to stop this "administrator" from using all of the miles in these accounts for himself/herself?
(Bolding mine) And maybe therein lies the problem? The fact that some of the flyers never used their own miles but instead, the 'administrator' was using the tickets for other 'colleagues' and, occasionally himself? That could look fishy to some, I would imagine. Especially in light of Fanjet's conjecture that perhaps UA could suspect that some of these employees didn't even know they had accounts and therefore never had the option of using the miles they earned.
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Old Jan 29, 14, 5:27 pm
  #37  
 
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Children can be MP members. How does UA expect children to self manage? Or will they charge for child accounts?
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Old Jan 29, 14, 5:27 pm
  #38  
 
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Originally Posted by villox View Post
It could be that this was all being managed by a single person who was taking advantage of the fact that none of the people traveling actually cared enough about mileage programs to pay attention and was using them to benefit a few.
That would be wrong. I still wonder (again, without seeing the full picture), why MP handled this via summary closure without any kind of warning or inquiry.
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Old Jan 29, 14, 5:29 pm
  #39  
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Originally Posted by CaptainMiles View Post
Or will they charge for child accounts?
Or prohibit them.
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Old Jan 29, 14, 5:33 pm
  #40  
 
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I think the fact that it was multiple accounts sharing an address, with multiple last names, and the "cross-benefits" that was happening such as rental car miles depositing and not matching names, or one person using another account's miles, caused the red flags. I can see how United would see this as pooling and frown upon it, but I do also agree that the actions were drastic and that United should have at least warned before axing. I highly doubt they would have caught on if all the addresses were different...

There are days when I wonder whether SMI/J is actively looking to cut $2B in costs, or $2B in revenue...
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Old Jan 29, 14, 5:34 pm
  #41  
 
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Originally Posted by GoAmtrak View Post
That would be wrong. I still wonder (again, without seeing the full picture), why MP handled this via summary closure without any kind of warning or inquiry.
Because maybe they felt they had enough evidence to do so.

From other people who've posted on here in the past about accounts being closed, it does seem they have a "shoot first, ask questions later" mentality. One could certainly argue that they are a bit shortsighted in this regard as they may be giving up a ton of revenue by taking this action and driving this company full of HVFs away from United, but then it wouldn't be the first decision like this.
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Old Jan 29, 14, 5:39 pm
  #42  
 
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Originally Posted by GoAmtrak View Post
That would be wrong. I still wonder (again, without seeing the full picture), why MP handled this via summary closure without any kind of warning or inquiry.
Other threads on violation of rules, states that this is the norm in the majority of cases. Remember - violation of rules is a condition for termination.

Since this may have being going on for a time, with multiple occurrences, no warning would be necessary.
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Old Jan 29, 14, 5:53 pm
  #43  
 
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Originally Posted by Hadrian35 View Post
I'm not making any assumption about the OP. I was illustrating how these terms and conditions could save the miles I earn on the company dime from being used to benefit the company I work for. Nothing more, nothing less. 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 once worked for a company-- very very large company whose policy was that all miles/points accrued while traveling on company business is property of the company. It wasn't really enforced, but that was official policy.
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Old Jan 29, 14, 5:54 pm
  #44  
 
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Since it is against the rules to sell miles, awards, or upgrades not allowing a single person, company, or entity to manage a bunch of accounts (held in the names of unrelated individuals) makes total sense and in my mind is a necessary condition to maintaining the integrity of the whole process. Otherwise someone would start a business of "managing" a bunch of individual's accounts for financial gain, effectively buying and selling benefits, which none of the airlines or hotels want to see happen. And as a customer I don't want to see it happen either because it could quickly mean the end of loyalty programs.

I don't think UA is going to close anyone's account because they also keep track of their spouse's and kids' accounts. That isn't fraud.
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Old Jan 29, 14, 6:01 pm
  #45  
 
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Originally Posted by vkykam View Post
I think the fact that it was multiple accounts sharing an address, with multiple last names
FWIW, and I'm sure that this is the case for *many* couples, Ms BH & I have different surnames, we share the same address, we've been happily married for 20+ yrs & we are both 1Ks who often travel together. I am the "travel agent" for the two of us & in that role book flights & in the course of doing so "manage" both accounts, for example, to apply GPUs, etc, etc, which leads to that wonderful experience & possible adverse consequences of splitting PNRs, etc, etc even though we're on the same itinerary (but I digress).
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