US Confiscated miles earned in the TIB (Holiday 250%) Promo

 
Old Jun 6, 10, 12:39 pm
  #1  
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US Confiscated miles earned in the TIB (Holiday 250%) Promo

Hello there fellow FT'ers...

I've done everything I can and I now turn to the best forum for dealing with such issues. Allow me to explain:

During December of last year, I, as many others here, participated in the 250% Holiday Bonus. I made sure to do everything correctly so that the bonus miles should post a few months later. Immediately after making the "large" TIB purchase, I received a few hundred thousand US DM miles in my account. Shortly thereafter I made an award reservation for a family member who I had owed a favor. I figured I was getting plenty of miles from the promo/bonus that it wouldn't hurt me to give a little away.

The very next day my account went under audit. I couldn't access it online or over the phone. Reps kept telling me that there is nothing they can do, and they would just keep transferring me in an endless loop. Each time I got through to someone who sort-of knew what they were talking about, they told me my account was under audit and "it would just be another few weeks" before it would all be sorted out. A few weeks turned into a few months and still no response each time I called or e-mailed Customer Service.

Finally, about a month ago, I received an e-mail from a Security Analyst at the Fraud Dept of US telling me that my account has been shut down and the miles have been confiscated due to "going against the T&C's of US". I inquired which T or C I had gone against, and was told:

Members may not sell, purchase, barter, exchange or broker award tickets or offer to do any of the foregoing.
I responded immediately stating that no such thing had occured, and in fact the tickets were booked for a family member. I mentioned in my e-mail that US should feel free to contact that person and confirm everything I said, but to this day no such contact has been attempted. After much back and forth of me saying things like "You can't simply take away my miles with no grounds or basis whatsoever", I received the following response:

Thank you for taking the time to inform us of your concerns. We apologize that the request was not resolved to your satisfaction, however, the matter was given every consideration and we are unable to provide the resolution requested. We are confident in our findings and consider this matter to be closed. Future emails concerning this matter will not be answered.
And so it was...the next 5 e-mails have all been ignored. I therefore turn to you, fellow FT'ers, to help me get this matter resolved. There are hundreds of thousands of miles at stake here. Small Claims is gonna get me nowhere as the amount is much greater than what Small Claims deals with.

As a side note, I must say that I am sure this has happened to others here on the forums who want to simply stay quiet rather than face the shame of people knowing that they had their accounts closed. (One similar story can be found here.) Feel free to open a new FT username and join the discussion so that all of us who have been going through this for the past few months can finally get this resolved.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
kingbear is offline  
Old Jun 6, 10, 1:39 pm
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by kingbear View Post
Feel free to open a new FT username and join the discussion
FYI - multiple usernames is against FT TOS.
wanaflyforless is offline  
Old Jun 6, 10, 1:43 pm
  #3  
 
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I'm not sure how many miles we're dealing with here, but at a nominal value od 1.5cpm, it'd be a huge number to get above the threshold for small claims.

I would do a few things:
1) File a DOT complaint.
2) Send the executive offices a hard copy, FedEx, signature required delivery repeating your demands and setting a deadline by which to do so.
3) Failing satisfactory resolution by your deadline, file for the max in small claims court. They likely won't show up. You'll at least get something.
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Old Jun 6, 10, 2:25 pm
  #4  
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The number is in the hundreds of thousands, so let's say 500,000 - that would be $7,500 @ 1.5cpm, which is more than most small claims courts handle. Additionally, it's not just about the "value per mile", rather more about the fact that every 150K in the account could technically have gotten me a ticket worth upwards of $7,500. So we are talking about a much bigger number here.

I like your ideas though. I think I'll start by waiting to see if there were others who had their accounts erroneously shut down so that we can complain together against the senseless person behind all the "account closure" e-mails.
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Old Jun 6, 10, 2:29 pm
  #5  
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Reach out to the folks ffocus.org. The site was initially setup as a result of bad USAirways service, but has since morphed into an industry advocate for frequent flyers. Some of the guys who started the site, however, have some valuable contacts in the corporate offices of USAirways that may be able to get you some better resolution.
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Old Jun 6, 10, 4:03 pm
  #6  
 
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FTC (Federal Trade Commission) also might be worth filing a complaint especially since this was not a "flying" issue (which would be covered by DOT).

https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/
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Old Jun 6, 10, 5:00 pm
  #7  
 
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Originally Posted by wanaflyforless View Post
FYI - multiple usernames is against FT TOS.
The OP was inviting new people to join FT; the OP was NOT suggesting that anyone should open multiple accounts.
tommyleo is offline  
Old Jun 6, 10, 5:04 pm
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by kingbear View Post
As a side note, I must say that I am sure this has happened to others here on the forums who want to simply stay quiet rather than face the shame of people knowing that they had their accounts closed.
I agree. I'm thinking that US is going to be answering a lot of questions from lawyers soon. In the meantime, why not tell your story to the Arizona Republic, the largest newspaper in Arizona, where US is based? That'll get their attention.
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Old Jun 6, 10, 6:30 pm
  #9  
 
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These multiple accounts of US stealing miles from people is outrageous. I hope someone has the money and perseverance to take them to court.
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Old Jun 6, 10, 6:38 pm
  #10  
 
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I've been merrily buying, gifting and sharing miles and booking premium tickets, but until we see where this is going I am going to resist the urge to add more.
tusflyer is offline  
Old Jun 6, 10, 7:13 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by tusflyer View Post
I've been merrily buying, gifting and sharing miles and booking premium tickets, but until we see where this is going I am going to resist the urge to add more.
+1!
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Old Jun 6, 10, 7:30 pm
  #12  
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Something is afoot at US and it's NOT positive for Frequent Flyers.

The suggestions for recourse are excellent. I would suggest that Small Claims is the avenue of last resort. Prior to that action I would suggest filing a compaint with your States Attorney General and the state of Arizona AG as well.

In most states you can do it on-line. I personally think you should go Ballz to the wall on this. I'd go so far as contacting a private attorney & see if you have a cause of action for defmation or harassment. I'm not a lawyer but I'm betting in a down economy I bet you find someone to take it on a contingent basis.

Next step is media. If you file suit, either in Small Claims or as a Civil Tort matter make sure copies of the claims make into the hands of the local and national media. You get lucky and catch a slow news day and it will get some attention and so will you from US Airways.

This guys in Tempe need to be b*tch slapped by a customer or two in order to adjust their attitudes and based on your story you're the person for the job.
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Old Jun 6, 10, 7:32 pm
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Based on all the postings about this, I too, am very concerned for my miles and will be curtailing any more purchasing/sharing etc.

I for one don't believe other peoples' sentiments on here when they say as long as you're not selling you're fine. That simply is not true and when it comes to frequent flyer programs anything can happen. It may be a shock to some FTers but the people they assign to these "fraud" units aren't the sharpest tools in the shed and often take the "let's suspend this person's account at the slightest whiff of irregular behavior" rather than giving the account holder the benefit of the doubt.

These "fraud" units are never in contact with marketing/promotions to figure out why so many miles are being created -- their main task is to stop mileage redemption at any cost.
chewy3 is offline  
Old Jun 6, 10, 8:41 pm
  #14  
 
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Sooooo, as we have read in this thread and elsewhere in this forum: Customers buy miles from US, which is perfectly "legal." They then turn around and use those miles to book tickets for themselves and others -- also perfectly legal. US turns around and accuses the customers of violating the T&C's of the program. Something is not adding up. What am I not getting here?
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Old Jun 6, 10, 8:44 pm
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by SS255 View Post
What am I not getting here?
Selling miles equals positive cash flow, award tickets on OAL's (especially lots of them) equals negative cash flow?

Jim
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