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United called traveller to check source of GPU (purchased online)

United called traveller to check source of GPU (purchased online)

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Old Dec 14, 18, 1:39 pm
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United called traveller to check source of GPU (purchased online)

A friend of mine got a call few days ago from a UA Rep asking questions about an upgrade she got.
Anyone else experienced a phone call from a UA rep asking who upgraded you and why? How you got the GPU?
What are the guidelines for upgrading someone else? Voluntary or revenue? seller or buyer? How does it work, i am not familiar with those but would be happy to know more if someone could help
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Old Dec 14, 18, 1:41 pm
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You can gift GPUs to anyone you wish, so long as it is not part of a barter or exchange (quid pro quo). Generally speaking, it is advisable only to do this with people you know personally, but it's pretty rare for UA to do something like this. Usually only happens if there is a really unusual pattern they are looking into.
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Old Dec 14, 18, 1:44 pm
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I have used GPUs and RPUs and miles for friends and family, and not one of them ever received a call, but if United did call them they could certainly answer any questions United may ask them about me (the person providing the upgrade).

Agree with @findark there is a potential fraud issue that United is investigating if they received an unusual call, assuming it was United that called your friend.
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Old Dec 14, 18, 1:49 pm
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What do you mean by fraud like someone selling GPU's is that considered a fraud? Is buying a GPU also considered so?
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Old Dec 14, 18, 1:53 pm
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Originally Posted by Euflyer View Post
What do you mean by fraud like someone selling GPU's is that considered a fraud? Is buying a GPU also considered so?
I'm not sure those would strictly speaking be considered 'fraud', but they are not permitted under the terms of MP. I suppose fraud would be buying/selling/bartering and then misrepresenting that there was no transactional nature.

Anyway, to get to the point: buying or selling a GPU is not allowed, and UA will terminate the participants' participation in the MP program if they discover it.
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Old Dec 14, 18, 2:03 pm
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Why doesn't your friend just answer the questions she is being asked. If the GPU is legitimate, presumably she knows the donor and can truthfully explain the circumstances. If she can't, at least the upgrade if not the ticket will be cancelled, so she might as well get it straightened out now.

It is a violation of the terms of the MP program as well as the GPU's themselves to sell, barter or trade them for anything of value. Period.

That contract is acknowledged by the MP member. It is, of course, fraud (at least wire fraud, possibly mail fraud, but who is counting) to sell, barter or trade a GPU because it is at least potentially depriving UA of a valuable commodity, namely an upgraded seat.
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Old Dec 14, 18, 2:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Euflyer View Post
What do you mean by fraud like someone selling GPU's is that considered a fraud? Is buying a GPU also considered so?
Criminal fraud - no
Violation of the UA program rules and a reason for the loss of all miles and certificates -- yes
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.
For case examples, see MP Accounts Closed by UA Alleging Fraud/Misuse
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Old Dec 14, 18, 2:09 pm
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Bottom line is, if your friend bought the GPU (on ebay, for example), that's a problem.

The fact there was a phone call suggests UA believes there was a violation.
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Old Dec 14, 18, 2:11 pm
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Wow. I just spoke to her, a friend bought her an upgrade online, she wasn't aware that there is any violation of contract by doing this. And now she's asking how to proceed? If to go through with the planned flight and upgrade? Cancel upgrade? Cancel flight? Would UA lock her MP Account even if it's the first time ever she recieved an upgrade that was bought?
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Old Dec 14, 18, 2:15 pm
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Yes, tell her to come clean with United so she can request that they do not close her account and cancel her flight.

She should also contact eBay about getting back her funds that she paid for the upgrade. The person who sold her the upgrade is likely to have issues with United - refer to the link that @WineCountryUA provided
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Old Dec 14, 18, 2:18 pm
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Originally Posted by Euflyer View Post
Wow. I just spoke to her, a friend bought her an upgrade online, she wasn't aware that there is any violation of contract by doing this. And now she's asking how to proceed? If to go through with the planned flight and upgrade? Cancel upgrade? Cancel flight? Would UA lock her MP Account even if it's the first time ever she recieved an upgrade that was bought?
Did she explain the purchase and source to the United rep? If so, there is an almost guaranteed likelihood United will cancel the upgrade, and cancel the ticket without a refund. As to what UA will do with HER mileage account, it's hard to say, but the seller's account is probably going to get shut down.
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Old Dec 14, 18, 2:20 pm
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As far as i understood she wasn't aware how her friend upgraded her so she didn't explain anything, but she's willing to cancel and come clean the question is to who?
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Old Dec 14, 18, 2:32 pm
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I'd definitely cancel the upgrade ASAP. As far as coming clean right now, as long as she doesn't get another phone call she should be okay. Sometimes sharing too much information is a bad idea, yes?
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Old Dec 14, 18, 2:40 pm
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This does not address the risk identified by bobcaststephen. It goes without saying that she should cancel the upgrade and that her friend should deal with eBay regarding the sale of the GUC.

But, failing to come fully clean to UA may mean that UA not only cancels the UG, but the underlying ticket as well. No idea whether closing her MP account is in the cards.

Your friend will likely be asked to identify the person who purchased the item on eBay and that person will also likely hear from UA.
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Old Dec 14, 18, 2:58 pm
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I highly doubt the underlying ticket would be canceled, assuming it's a revenue ticket. The upgrade issue is not a direct breach of the CoC (at least not the way I would read it), so I think the base ticket itself would be fine.
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