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Does UA creates confusion of benefit "ownership" by making offers to "sell" miles?

Does UA creates confusion of benefit "ownership" by making offers to "sell" miles?

Old Dec 22, 19, 7:50 am
  #1  
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Does UA creates confusion of benefit "ownership" by making offers to "sell" miles?

Originally Posted by narvik View Post
...

HOWEVER, common sense would dictate that it is questionable to do so.
If I sell something on eBay I make sure I actually own the item I'm selling; and selling a UA cert would certainly raise a huge "Hmmm, is this even allowed?" flag, even if I didn't know the rules.
Again, common sense!
Why would common sense say you can't sell something you earned?

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Dec 30, 19 at 11:47 am Reason: starting new thread
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Old Dec 22, 19, 8:30 am
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by ctownflyer View Post
Why would common sense say you can't sell something you earned?
Pretty much exactly because of that: "I" earned the benefit, and it's in my name. It seems just logical that passing that benefit on to someone else requires at least some rudimentary ascertainment of whether that's allowed or not.
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Old Dec 22, 19, 8:44 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by ctownflyer View Post
Why would common sense say you can't sell something you earned?
Sure, and those same people are then reporting the income from the sale and then paying the taxes due because their basis in the cert is $0. That seems common sense too. But, this is all about selective common sense.

Originally Posted by eng3 View Post
Yes agreed. It was just pointed out that by the "letter of the law", UA has no responsibility even if an account gets hacked through no fault of the owner. I agree, in the history, it has not been an issue.

As for UA providing a warning/reminder, I absolutely thing they should make the "no selling, bartering, etc of miles/instruments" rule fare more prominent. There have been a number of people who were unaware of the rules. I have encountered a number of GS's that didn't even know. Ignorance is no excuse but if the punishment is so severe, UA should do a better job of informing. By comparison, There are giant messages during booking, checkin, posters at the airport about the baggage policy, and the punishment for the crime is a slap on the wrist (checking of bag, no extra charges). The rule about selling instruments is "buried" in the fine print and the punishment is loss of all miles, instruments, vouchers.
The problem with that is everyone claims that there is something which ought to be more prominent, e.g. change fees, bag fees, refundability, stopovers, and so on. Whatever it is that somebody could not be bothered to read ought to have been more prominent.

That leads to the problem that if everything is prominent, nothing is prominent.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Dec 22, 19 at 1:18 pm Reason: merged consecutive posts by same member
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Old Dec 22, 19, 12:00 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
The problem with that is everyone claims that there is something which ought to be more prominent, e.g. change fees, bag fees, refundability, stopovers, and so on. Whatever it is that somebody could not be bothered to read ought to have been more prominent.

That leads to the problem that if everything is prominent, nothing is prominent.
I've seen it suggested here before, but they could very easily put the rule right above the confirmation button to actually apply the instrument to a booking. Make it prominent in the one place it's relevant.

I'm curious about more details here though. Was a post with "please email [email protected]", with that email on the MP account, sufficient for termination? Because as someone else mentioned, that seems like a really easy way to get back at someone you don't like.
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Old Dec 22, 19, 11:20 pm
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Originally Posted by narvik View Post
Pretty much exactly because of that: "I" earned the benefit, and it's in my name. It seems just logical that passing that benefit on to someone else requires at least some rudimentary ascertainment of whether that's allowed or not.
What else on Earth can you earn and not be able to sell?

FTers know the rules and it seems logical to us once we know them. The 99% don't and are surprised that there are restrictions. It seems reasonable for airlines to display warnings rather than post-facto reference terms that nobody but their lawyers and a few FTers have read. But for whatever reason they don't and they're willing to fire their best customers over violating those rules.
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Old Dec 23, 19, 6:41 am
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Originally Posted by ctownflyer View Post
What else on Earth can you earn and not be able to sell?

FTers know the rules and it seems logical to us once we know them. The 99% don't and are surprised that there are restrictions. It seems reasonable for airlines to display warnings rather than post-facto reference terms that nobody but their lawyers and a few FTers have read. But for whatever reason they don't and they're willing to fire their best customers over violating those rules.
I agree that many don't know the rules but any member earning +P are far enough up the food chain to be familiar with them, especially the section titled (in quite large letters) "Prohibition of sale or barter".
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Old Dec 23, 19, 7:17 am
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Originally Posted by ctownflyer View Post
What else on Earth can you earn and not be able to sell.
Vacation days at work. (Except maybe in effect selling them back to your employer unless there is a use-it-or-lose-it policy in place like at my stingy-a$$ company.)
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Old Dec 23, 19, 7:38 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Sure, and those same people are then reporting the income from the sale and then paying the taxes due because their basis in the cert is $0. That seems common sense too. But, this is all about selective common sense.

It
The problem with that is everyone claims that there is something which ought to be more prominent, e.g. change fees, bag fees, refundability, stopovers, and so on. Whatever it is that somebody could not be bothered to read ought to have been more prominent.

That leads to the problem that if everything is prominent, nothing is prominent.
I've met many people who are unaware that they can't sell their miles. I don't think I've met anyone that didnt know that there are fees to change their flight or check a bag.
I think most people, even once a year flyers are aware of the existence of bag fees, change fees/refundability, and what stopovers are. They may not know the exact amount of the fee but if they wanted to know, the would naturally go looking for the information or ask. You see it in the news all the time about fees. The penalty for not knowing about it is pretty small.
Selling of miles/instruments is different. No one talks about it, no one knows about it and the penalty is potentially huge.
Most people who are unaware of the rule will say "They're my miles, I earned them, why can't I sell them?" That makes alot of sense to me and is an easy conclusion to make for someone who has not specifically looked for the rules. People don't generally go looking for rules for "common sense" items.
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Old Dec 23, 19, 7:42 am
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Originally Posted by Bear96 View Post
Vacation days at work. (Except maybe in effect selling them back to your employer unless there is a use-it-or-lose-it policy in place like at my stingy-a$$ company.)
Heh, my employer justified it as "We give you vacation because we want you out of the office for your own health, letting you sell it back would not accomplish that goal" and my admin nags me endlessly about using what's left near the end of the year... Coming from a long line of workaholics and seeing as the last time my dad left a job he had 9 months of accumulated vacation to be paid out it probably is for the best. (Currently burning off my last 3 (of 20) days at home)

But any number of vouchers, coupons, benefits are non transferrable -- theme park tickets, rebates-in-the-form-of-discounts for retailer reward programs, sick time, most software, anything you've purchased from iTunes... The difference is those either a transfer is not (readily) possible or the people controlling those benefits figure its such a de minims issue that it's not worth (regularly) enforcing. This is a case where the mechanism is easy and the organization owning the benefit has decided its worth enforcing the terms.
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Old Dec 23, 19, 7:54 am
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Originally Posted by ctownflyer View Post
What else on Earth can you earn and not be able to sell?
Prescription drugs? (some are paid for, but in many instances they are "earned" because of varying health programs)

Originally Posted by StarTrek1989 View Post
She bought two for her upgrades earlier this year.
uggg.. Yea, I think your doomed. I think it was mentioned above, but my only reply would be to write back and throw yourself on the mercy of UA. Tell them you would accept any other punishment if you can keep your account, including temporary ban, forfeiture of other miles/certs, limited benefits, etc. I agree the suggesting "better" security is not the way to go.

I didn't see it mentioned to you but DO NOT open a new account with just a different address or name, up-thread UA has caught several and quickly closed their new account.
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Old Dec 23, 19, 8:23 am
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Originally Posted by JimInOhio View Post
I agree that many don't know the rules but any member earning +P are far enough up the food chain to be familiar with them, especially the section titled (in quite large letters) "Prohibition of sale or barter".
A friend was Plat for a year or two before I figured out she didn't know she had RPUs. She only accessed her account on her phone and the iPhone app until verrrry recently didn't make RPUs and GPUs at all easy to find. I'm sure there are plenty of semi-frequent fliers who don't understand the status system at all.
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Old Dec 23, 19, 9:08 am
  #12  
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If you want to run around checking boxes which say, "I have read and understood the terms and conditions [at this link] and then not read them, that is a choice you make.

If you want to provide your credentials to someone without having them read those t&x, then that is a choice you make.

Whether OP's wife knew that she was defrauding UA or not is irrelevant. Simply the product of risks which OP and then his wife took.
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Old Dec 23, 19, 9:18 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by ctownflyer View Post
What else on Earth can you earn and not be able to sell?

FTers know the rules and it seems logical to us once we know them. The 99% don't and are surprised that there are restrictions. It seems reasonable for airlines to display warnings rather than post-facto reference terms that nobody but their lawyers and a few FTers have read. But for whatever reason they don't and they're willing to fire their best customers over violating those rules.
It's fairly common for benefits to accrue to a person and not be transferable. Hypothesising that FT is some secret handshake club that is the keeper of all travel secrets is not really observable in reality.
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Old Dec 24, 19, 12:39 am
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Originally Posted by eng3 View Post
I've met many people who are unaware that they can't sell their miles. I don't think I've met anyone that didnt know that there are fees to change their flight or check a bag.
I think most people, even once a year flyers are aware of the existence of bag fees, change fees/refundability, and what stopovers are. They may not know the exact amount of the fee but if they wanted to know, the would naturally go looking for the information or ask. You see it in the news all the time about fees. The penalty for not knowing about it is pretty small.
Selling of miles/instruments is different. No one talks about it, no one knows about it and the penalty is potentially huge.
Most people who are unaware of the rule will say "They're my miles, I earned them, why can't I sell them?" That makes alot of sense to me and is an easy conclusion to make for someone who has not specifically looked for the rules. People don't generally go looking for rules for "common sense" items.
Since Day One of the Airline Frequent Flyer Programs, you earn miles to be used to a free ticket. If you want to take your free ticket and turn it into cash, that should cause anyone with a brain to stop and think twice about that. I figured that was the case before I joined FT and confirmed such in the fine print.
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Old Dec 24, 19, 12:44 am
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Originally Posted by narvik View Post
Closing one's MP account on a first offense is a little harsh, especially as from reading the reports, quite a few of them seem legitimately unaware of the consequences.

HOWEVER, common sense would dictate that it is questionable to do so.
If I sell something on eBay I make sure I actually own the item I'm selling; and selling a UA cert would certainly raise a huge "Hmmm, is this even allowed?" flag, even if I didn't know the rules.

Again, common sense!
Not to be smart but "common sense" is not common.

Warnings or more notifications by UA should be given considering the outcome for a violation is so severe.
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