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MP Accounts Closed by UA Alleging Fraud/Misuse

MP Accounts Closed by UA Alleging Fraud/Misuse

Old May 26, 17, 7:01 pm
  #796  
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Originally Posted by bigboy61 View Post
From a business perspective, this seems like a losing proposition for United. Is making a statement to one person about a $125 voucher worth losing tens/hundreds of thousands of dollars (assuming the OP quit flying United)???
Perhaps if it cause hundreds of others to not do such a things. If everyone knew UA gave second chances, then many would traffic these certs until they got caught the first time. This is the reason for instituting zero tolerance, to send a message (not to the person but to the wider audience) , don't even think about this.
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Old May 26, 17, 7:04 pm
  #797  
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
perhaps if it cause hundreds of others to not do such a things. If everyone knew UA gave second chances, then many would traffic these certs until they got got the first time. This is the reason for instituting zero tolerance, to send a message (not to the person but to the wider audience) , don't even think about this.
Indeed.. standard law and economics. The economic disincentive for unlawful behavior X is the chance of getting caught times the punishment. They can cheaply up this disincentive by making the punishment very steep. I doubt they spend all that much money busting people (a few analysts is still less than $1MM a year).
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Old May 26, 17, 7:07 pm
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
Indeed.. standard law and economics. The economic disincentive for unlawful behavior X is the chance of getting caught times the punishment. They can cheaply up this disincentive by making the punishment very steep. I doubt they spend all that much money busting people (a few analysts is still less than $1MM a year).
I would bet it's less than 0.2MM/yr (net).

However, if as reported in this thread (although otherwise unconfirmed to my knowledge), UA poses as sellers, I have to wonder if they're unwittingly encouraging this behaviour.
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Old May 26, 17, 7:30 pm
  #799  
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This kind of fraud, including the sale of award tickets, costs UA $Millions/year. Corporate security just catches the frauds, it doesn't make the policy decision to fire a GS. That was made by finance people and they full well knew that OP was a GS and exactly what his spend has been when this was done.
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Old May 26, 17, 7:36 pm
  #800  
 
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
From United's perspective, yes. Otherwise, the rules are meaningless.
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Perhaps if it cause hundreds of others to not do such a things. If everyone knew UA gave second chances, then many would traffic these certs until they got caught the first time. This is the reason for instituting zero tolerance, to send a message (not to the person but to the wider audience) , don't even think about this.
Honestly, I don't think this whole voucher selling business on eBay is as big a deal as it seems. I think for elites, they should have a 2 strike rule. First time, warning and maybe half miles. Second strike, your gone. United gets the bitter end of this deal in my opinion.

Last edited by bigboy61; May 26, 17 at 7:41 pm
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Old May 26, 17, 8:36 pm
  #801  
 
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Selling ETCs wouldn't be a problem if the total dollar value of all the ETCs were a small fraction of total ticket sells.

A big problem with ECTs is when you are collecting them on OPM and you aren't doing enough personal flying to 'fully' utilize them and they are going to waste so to speak.

If if you want to utilize your ETCs illegally you have to discount and take a risk. The risk with UA is your MP account and maybe a ban. It's a balancing act.

OP was ignorant of offense. Nothing to lose by pleading for mercy. Only upside. UA controls the deck.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; May 26, 17 at 9:22 pm Reason: Using symbols, spaces or other methods to mask vulgarities is not allowed.
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Old May 26, 17, 8:50 pm
  #802  
 
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Originally Posted by bigboy61 View Post
Honestly, I don't think this whole voucher selling business on eBay is as big a deal as it seems. I think for elites, they should have a 2 strike rule. First time, warning and maybe half miles. Second strike, your gone. United gets the bitter end of this deal in my opinion.
IMHO, if any airline did anything less than their version of the NCAA "death penalty", they invite the IRS into this. That would cost both the airline and rule followers far more than what some people think this costs. Giving something a sellable cash value and not immediately cracking down on the sale of them to a regulator looks like implicit endorsement, or at least passive allowance of it. What do you think the fed could make (at the consumer/airline expense) by assigning a value and taxing them.

regulation is the fiscal enemy of business departments that are unregulated. The same goes for taxation.

sure, there is value in not allowing sales to the airline, but I bet this pales in comparison to value if the fed thought that this was an implied permission to sales, and what that could mean to the system as it currently stands.


Im no lawyer nor tax man, but I see anything less than the harshest rebukement, as cracking open the box a bit, the box that belongs to Pandora
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Old May 26, 17, 8:50 pm
  #803  
 
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Easy to identify OP. He had an eBay seller account and UA corporate security works closely with EBay and other outlets. UA asked eBay for the seller information and got it. Matched it to OP and that is the end of the game.

UA has all of the information OP supplied and some of the bids were likely made by "undercover" UA corporate security people. Half of the certs sold on eBay are likely being sold by UA "undercover" to catch fraudsters and the other half are being bid on by those same folks.
After a purchase is made, a buyer can request certain information - i believe it's a phone number and email address. This is true of any ebay transaction. Certainly enough to cross reference against a MP database. But UA can't just browse listings for UA upgrades/certs and demand that ebay give out the information of each seller at will.

UA has cracked down on ebay sales significantly in the past two years; their method is almost certainly limited to using "undercover" buyers and sellers.
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Old May 26, 17, 9:03 pm
  #804  
 
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Originally Posted by fastair View Post
IMHO, if any airline did anything less than their version of the NCAA "death penalty", they invite the IRS into this. That would cost both the airline and rule followers far more than what some people think this costs. Giving something a sellable cash value and not immediately cracking down on the sale of them to a regulator looks like implicit endorsement, or at least passive allowance of it. What do you think the fed could make (at the consumer/airline expense) by assigning a value and taxing them.

regulation is the fiscal enemy of business departments that are unregulated. The same goes for taxation.

sure, there is value in not allowing sales to the airline, but I bet this pales in comparison to value if the fed thought that this was an implied permission to sales, and what that could mean to the system as it currently stands.


Im no lawyer nor tax man, but I see anything less than the harshest rebukement, as cracking open the box a bit, the box that belongs to Pandora
Call it a coupon and put the burden upon the seller if they sell it.
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Old May 26, 17, 9:31 pm
  #805  
 
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25 upgrades?
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Old May 26, 17, 9:57 pm
  #806  
 
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Originally Posted by Michael D View Post
Call it a coupon and put the burden upon the seller if they sell it.
Or United could charge a Transfer Fee just like guesting someone to use your Timeshare you purchase a Guest Certificate. In order for you to transfer it to a friend you would pay $100 and then the certificate becomes locked and cannot be transferred again. For a $1000 certificate $100 is not too bad. If its $125 you pay $35 etc.

What are your thoughts?

Last edited by danielonn; May 26, 17 at 10:02 pm
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Old May 26, 17, 10:17 pm
  #807  
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Originally Posted by danielonn View Post
Or United could charge a Transfer Fee just like guesting someone to use your Timeshare you purchase a Guest Certificate. In order for you to transfer it to a friend you would pay $100 and then the certificate becomes locked and cannot be transferred again. For a $1000 certificate $100 is not too bad. If its $125 you pay $35 etc.

What are your thoughts?
UA would have zero interest in this
-- first it is creating a monetary market value for these certs which creates a number of problems such as mentioned by fastair
-- the creating and maintaining of such a marketplace for a commission is unlikely to be of interest to UA
-- the creation of such a marketplace would likely increase the interest in travelers seeking ETC

--- and the ultimate reason --- UA depends on a high level of breakage on these ETC, that substantial number of the ETC are never used. This approach change that equation and cost UA far more than any commission / transfer fee.
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Old May 26, 17, 10:48 pm
  #808  
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Originally Posted by danielonn View Post
Is $125 really worth loosing 600,000 miles, 1K Status and Upgrades? To me $125 is paperweight ***

If the OP had TSA Pre Check or Global Entry do you think United would have reported it to those agencies and the OP could lose that too?
Agree, 1K perks are just too valuable, not to mention the value of trips that could have been taken with 600k. Good lesson for others who are tempted.

UA has nothing to do with precheck or GE - OP did not violate any US laws or regulations just the T&Cs of the MP program. So will have no effect whatsoever.

If somebody is caught smuggling an extra bottle of booze do you think he would lose all his UA miles? Doubtful
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Old May 26, 17, 10:58 pm
  #809  
 
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
If you have to come up with the list, it would be of little value to most people. And if you can come up with the list on the fly, it would be no different than the status quo.
Why, are people just giving these to random people? When I have used miles or upgrade certificates, it has always been only to immediate family or very close friends. If I can no longer give my certificate to Joe Schmo it doesn't hurt me at all.

Last edited by DesertNomad; May 26, 17 at 11:04 pm
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Old May 26, 17, 11:09 pm
  #810  
 
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Originally Posted by jsheer View Post
No, i pulled the post when they advised me of the infraction. I never sold it.
Although ignorance is no excuse for breaking the rules, I do feel for you. The punishment doesnt seem proportional. Even if you successfully sold all of your certs (which you would use at least some anyways), how much of a loss is that compared to the amount of money they with your loyalty as a 1K/GS for the rest of your lifetime. I can understand a punishment being harsh as a deterant, but its not like this is on the news. They didn't even inform you. I've met many GS/1K who are unaware that they are not allowed to sell certs, miles, gpu's etc and that they forfeit all of their miles and status. If UA really wants this to stop, they should make these rules more clear such as bolding it on the ecert. If people can't even figure out how to bring a proper sized bag with signs and popup screens all over the place, or understand INVOL rules, how are they expected to understand these rules. If only this were a viral video, maybe UA would change their mind.

Last edited by eng3; May 26, 17 at 11:16 pm
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