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MP Accounts Closed by UA Alleging Fraud/Misuse

MP Accounts Closed by UA Alleging Fraud/Misuse

Old Jan 3, 2017, 11:24 am
  #751  
 
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I'm finding the semantics used re: " I never sold my miles, awards " regarding the MP account being closed by United intrigueing.

Far out analogy, but it's like ordering a "hit" and then looking the Police in the face and sayin "I never killed anyone".

I'm wondering if he had multiple transfers into his account, paying instead of receiving cash for miles?

As for the OP then admitting what's the problem if he sold them anyway, well that seals the deal right there for me.
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 11:44 am
  #752  
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Originally Posted by garykung
I will need to give you a pause on this - Government seizure and UA's closure is completely different.

In theory, the Government can't arbitrarily seize it without causes. Even with causes, its action can be reviewed by a court of law.

However, UA's closure is arbitrary. Per UA's T&Cs, UA can do whatever they want.
Except, as far as most reports here show, UA and other airlines do have a set process for determining whether an account should be closed, and some kind of process for allowing the customer to appeal it -- which when they do have legit explanations, are restored. It is arbitrary in the sense that it is totally up to UA, but not arbitrary in that the way they have implemented it seems to be reasonable. We have not seen people's accounts "arbitrarily" closed for no good reason, I would say.

Now, whether a person's entire account should be confiscated is a reasonable question. But there too -- I think the airlines allow some flexibility and consideration for someone's history and account value.
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 12:12 pm
  #753  
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Originally Posted by SEA1K4EVR
You don't think Alaska will do the same to protect their program? Here's an excerpt from their ToC's:

"Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles, award tickets, upgrade certificates, and companion certificates may not be sold, purchased or bartered except as permitted on Points.com. Travel agents, travel arrangers and unauthorized brokers are not permitted to issue Mileage Plan tickets or to process or facilitate any other Mileage Plan transactions (including Mileage Plan account creation, account inquiries, and mileage or award ticket transfers) on behalf of others. If Alaska Airlines becomes aware that a member or a third party has misrepresented his/her identity in order to perform a Mileage Plan transaction, Alaska Airlines may, in its sole discretion, void the transaction. miles or award tickets issued, transferred or obtained in violation of these conditions of membership are voidable, in Alaska Airlines’ sole discretion. The member and/or the traveler shall be liable for the full, unrestricted value of awards issued as a result of improper or fraudulent transfers or otherwise in violation of these conditions of membership. Alaska Airlines shall not be responsible for any inconvenience, damage or loss incurred by the member or the traveler if travel is interrupted or an award ticket is invalidated due to violation of these conditions of membership. Alaska Airlines reserves the right to deactivate the Mileage Plan account and/or remove the miles from the account of any member who violates these terms until liability is fulfilled, and all other rights under applicable law to enforce these conditions of membership."
Interesting. Compared to UA, the AS rules don't seem to prohibit the attempt to sell/buy/barter miles or instruments, but to me they do seem to be more explicit about prohibiting the use of award ticket booking services.
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 3:09 pm
  #754  
 
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Originally Posted by sybloc
I fail to see how it affects United if person A uses miles or person B uses those same miles. Seems to me all the Airlines are making much ado about nothing.


If more people thought outside of the box instead of going with the ubiquitous sheeple mentality then the top 1% wouldn't have 90% of the wealth.
I still have a few pages to read, and maybe this has been covered, but earned miles are seen as a rebate and relatively exempt from taxation. Sold miles are not. It is in most airline's best interests to keep the IRS out of this game. The potential costs to the program if taxes is MASSIVE.
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 3:25 pm
  #755  
 
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Originally Posted by fastair
I still have a few pages to read, and maybe this has been covered, but earned miles are seen as a rebate and relatively exempt from taxation. Sold miles are not. It is in most airline's best interests to keep the IRS out of this game. The potential costs to the program if taxes is MASSIVE.
No, this has not been discussed at all. It is an excellent and interesting point. I've always personally felt that RDMs for people flying on OPM is effectively taxable compensation. If the sale of RDMs became widespread that would clinch the case: your company is effectively giving you something that has cash value.
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 3:32 pm
  #756  
 
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I'm not 100% but I believe you get taxed with the bug-bounty program where if you find a bug they may award you a million miles. I forgot how they value the miles for tax purposes, maybe $0.02/mi
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 8:59 pm
  #757  
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Moderator note.

We've done some housekeeping of a recent post which was unduly personalized and disruptive as well as several replies in kind. On "both sides" of the issue, let's discuss constructively and avoid undue personalization and disruption per FlyerTalk's rule 12. Thanks, Ocn Vw 1K, Moderator.
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Old Jan 4, 2017, 11:26 am
  #758  
 
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Originally Posted by fastair
I still have a few pages to read, and maybe this has been covered, but earned miles are seen as a rebate and relatively exempt from taxation. Sold miles are not. It is in most airline's best interests to keep the IRS out of this game. The potential costs to the program if taxes is MASSIVE.
I'm one of those 'good little girls' that follows the rules, adapting my behavior to make sure I avoid trouble. So all the whining about miles and points disappearing leaves me apathetic. On the concept of the IRS getting involved in loyalty programs ... makes my blood run cold. Those of us who can read, ask questions if we don't understand, and make the most of our loyalty programs surely hope that the government doesn't get involved at all. Only a matter of time, I suspect, some sleaze attorney will file suit on behalf of a whiner and our lovely little perks will be compromised by government interference.
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Old Jan 4, 2017, 11:39 am
  #759  
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Originally Posted by jsn55
I'm one of those 'good little girls' that follows the rules, adapting my behavior to make sure I avoid trouble. So all the whining about miles and points disappearing leaves me apathetic.
And the behavior of those who are constantly pushing beyond the program limits does have a negative impact on those of us who follow the rules. Two classic examples are the DOT modifying its approach to "mistake" fares and UA revising its award booking rules and system.
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Old Jan 4, 2017, 1:34 pm
  #760  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee
And the behavior of those who are constantly pushing beyond the program limits does have a negative impact on those of us who follow the rules. Two classic examples are the DOT modifying its approach to "mistake" fares and UA revising its award booking rules and system.
YUP, the bad guys screw it up for all of us, no doubt about it. I wish they'd all fall into a large hole in the earth and leave the rest of us alone.
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Old May 26, 2017, 1:16 pm
  #761  
 
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Angry United Long Term Flyer - UA Closed my account forfeiting 600k+ miles and 25+ upgrades

20 years loyal flyer with united. 1k and Global Services over past 7 years.

I accumulated many E-certificates, and on a suggestion from a friend, searched the E-certs on Ebay to find many postings. I copied a posting and setup a $125 certificate which started to get bids. First time ever.

A few days later, while I was mid-flight, i couldn't check in, and after 4 calls to various numbers, learned
  • Account Closed (600k+ miles in bank, many upgrades, 1K terminated)
  • Customer Service couldn't speak with me about the situation
  • I was required to call security to gain any info
After speaking to security and understanding the situation (she asked if I had read the terms and conditions), I rescinded the Ebay posting immediately and forfeited the certificate. This Ebay 'attempt' was a benign action done in haste as I rarely use the granted certificates.They are difficult to redeem (having certain stipulations) and typically expire on me.

Noone every contacted me to inform me that my account was closed. I would imagine the loyalty i have given to the company over 20 years would count for something. I solely fly United and use the service 3-4 flights a month.

After multiple emails over 2 weeks (to Mr. Munoz), the security team finally called back and stated there was no possible reversal and that I couldn't open another Mileage Plus account in my lifetime.

I have never experienced a Customer Service situation like this with any retailer, service provider, travel and entertainment organization or other company of this nature. I do understand their policy and respect organizational policies, however disrepecting 20 years of loyalty and hundreds of Ks of flights is something I find very hard to comprehend.
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Old May 26, 2017, 1:43 pm
  #762  
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Originally Posted by jsheer
20 years loyal flyer with united. 1k and Global Services over past 7 years.

I accumulated many E-certificates, and on a suggestion from a friend, searched the E-certs on Ebay to find many postings. I copied a posting and setup a $125 certificate which started to get bids. First time ever.

A few days later, while I was mid-flight, i couldn't check in, and after 4 calls to various numbers, learned
  • Account Closed (600k+ miles in bank, many upgrades, 1K terminated)
  • Customer Service couldn't speak with me about the situation
  • I was required to call security to gain any info
After speaking to security and understanding the situation (she asked if I had read the terms and conditions), I rescinded the Ebay posting immediately and forfeited the certificate. This Ebay 'attempt' was a benign action done in haste as I rarely use the granted certificates.They are difficult to redeem (having certain stipulations) and typically expire on me.

Noone every contacted me to inform me that my account was closed. I would imagine the loyalty i have given to the company over 20 years would count for something. I solely fly United and use the service 3-4 flights a month.

After multiple emails over 2 weeks (to Mr. Munoz), the security team finally called back and stated there was no possible reversal and that I couldn't open another Mileage Plus account in my lifetime.

I have never experienced a Customer Service situation like this with any retailer, service provider, travel and entertainment organization or other company of this nature. I do understand their policy and respect organizational policies, however disrepecting 20 years of loyalty and hundreds of Ks of flights is something I find very hard to comprehend.
For reference:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...ud-misuse.html

Not sure what tone your to-date emails took, but judging from anecdotes your best hope for reinstatement is to 'plead guilty' and request forgiveness.

You broke the terms of the contract, and it is upon you to recognise that.
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Old May 26, 2017, 1:43 pm
  #763  
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Welcome to FT@, jsheer

As you have learned, UA has zero tolerance for selling / barter of it certs (ETC, Upgrades, ...).
This is not new and is the standard outcome among the airlines.

If is clearly stated in the MileagePlus program rules
Prohibition of sale or barter
The sale, barter or other transfer or attempted sale, barter or other transfer of any mileage, certificates, awards, benefits or status, other than as authorized and/or sponsored by United, is expressly prohibited. Any mileage, certificates, awards, benefits or status sold, bartered or otherwise transferred is in violation of the Rules and any accounts or Members involved in such sales, barters or other transfers may be subject to United’s Remedies. The acquisition, use, transfer or attempted acquisition, use or transfer of mileage, certificates, awards, benefits or status that have been acquired by purchase, barter or other transfer in violation of the Rules may result in United’s exercise of United’s Remedies.

and

Any abuse of the Program or failure to follow the Rules, United’s Contract of Carriage, United’s fare rules, Partner rules, terms and conditions or any abuse of any Partner offers or programs, any violation of law, rule, or regulation, any conduct detrimental to the interests of United, any fraudulent activity or attempted fraudulent activity, or any misrepresentation of any information furnished to United or its affiliates by any Member, anyone else acting on the Member's behalf, or any third party (collectively, “Prohibited Conduct”), may result in United exercising any one or more of the following remedies (“United’s Remedies”), with or without notice to the Member: (a) the termination by United of such Member’s membership (including without limitation any Premier or Million Miler status, if applicable), (b) the removal or cancellation by United of any or all accrued mileage, Premier Qualifying Credits and any pending or outstanding award redemptions, certificates, or benefits (including without limitation any benefits associated with Premier (and/or Million Miler) status, if applicable), (c) the confiscation of any award tickets, denial of boarding with respect to any award ticket holders or, at United's discretion, completion of the travel only upon payment of an applicable revenue fare (and applicable taxes and fees), or (d) the loss of other Program benefits. In addition to the foregoing United’s Remedies, United may, upon written request, require the Member to repay the value, as determined by United, of the awards redeemed, certificates or benefits acquired as a result of Prohibited Conduct and, in the event of a Member’s failure to repay, may initiate legal action to recoup the value of awards redeemed, certificates or benefits acquired by the Member through Prohibited Conduct. Members whose accounts have been terminated shall not be eligible to participate in any aspect of the Program and shall not be eligible to enroll with new accounts.


You are not the first GS to have their account closed for this, as well as other elite levels.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...it-advice.html

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...ud-misuse.html

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...-recourse.html

Last edited by WineCountryUA; May 26, 2017 at 1:52 pm Reason: “United’s Remedies”
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Old May 26, 2017, 1:48 pm
  #764  
 
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Originally Posted by jsheer
20 years loyal flyer with united. 1k and Global Services over past 7 years.

I accumulated many E-certificates, and on a suggestion from a friend, searched the E-certs on Ebay to find many postings. I copied a posting and setup a $125 certificate which started to get bids. First time ever.

A few days later, while I was mid-flight, i couldn't check in, and after 4 calls to various numbers, learned
  • Account Closed (600k+ miles in bank, many upgrades, 1K terminated)
  • Customer Service couldn't speak with me about the situation
  • I was required to call security to gain any info
After speaking to security and understanding the situation (she asked if I had read the terms and conditions), I rescinded the Ebay posting immediately and forfeited the certificate. This Ebay 'attempt' was a benign action done in haste as I rarely use the granted certificates.They are difficult to redeem (having certain stipulations) and typically expire on me.

Noone every contacted me to inform me that my account was closed. I would imagine the loyalty i have given to the company over 20 years would count for something. I solely fly United and use the service 3-4 flights a month.

After multiple emails over 2 weeks (to Mr. Munoz), the security team finally called back and stated there was no possible reversal and that I couldn't open another Mileage Plus account in my lifetime.

I have never experienced a Customer Service situation like this with any retailer, service provider, travel and entertainment organization or other company of this nature. I do understand their policy and respect organizational policies, however disrepecting 20 years of loyalty and hundreds of Ks of flights is something I find very hard to comprehend.
While I'm sure it is quite frustrating that you should have your account closed with no prior notice, unfortunately you violated the rules. You could probably have $1 million of future bookings and it probably wouldn't matter much. On one hand I can see where a slap on the wrist might be warranted from your perspective, but I would imagine from UA's side it might be easier to globally apply rules regardless of the account in question belonging to a general member or an Elite member.

Just out of curiosity, did these e-certs say anything about prohibiting their sale? The reason I ask is I just couldn't think to sell anything issued to me and I am even skeptical of the gift-cards for cash setups.

I guess the only thing you can do is find another carrier, learn a lesson, and just move forward. I'm sure it sucks, and probably not intentionally done for ill-will toward UA.
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Old May 26, 2017, 1:48 pm
  #765  
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It's not stated, but I would guess that you actually sold a certificate to a UA representative posing as a third-party on ebay, which is likely how they were able to identify your account. In that case, it's unfortunately the case that:

Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
UA has zero tolerance for selling / barter of it upgrade certs
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