DM SkyMall Mileage Offer Not Honored???

 
Old Aug 10, 11, 11:47 pm
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DM SkyMall Mileage Offer Not Honored???

Stumbled across a solid mileage earning offer back in mid-June on an obscure part of the the DM SkyMall. But combined with a separate but stackable DM offer of 75% bonus miles for Plats for Skymall purchases through end of July, the offer became that much more compelling.

* Mid-June, i ramped up a bunch of purchases with a web hosting company EasyCGI that offered 4757 miles per purchase.....with no restrictions on product specific purchases, length of service or quantity limits. And was NOT a mistake or glitch or loophole as separate EasyCGI offer for 7269 miles per purchase with no restrictions was available on Hawaiian Airlines mileage mall.

* About 9 days after purchase, another mileage enthusiast informed me that his EasyCGI accounts were all unilaterally cancelled and his purchases refunded...no notification, no explanation. Luckily, he happened to check the status of his account with them, or we would not have been aware of any problems until our next credit card billing cycle.

* My friend contacted EasyCGI and was told that the quantity, pattern of purchase (lots of small web storage accounts) and short purchase activity window led EasyCGI to believe it was credit card fraud. My friend quickly provided full disclosure of personal and financial info to reassure that his purchases were legit and that mileage earning process could be reinstated.

* Suffice to say, the company via their CSR Manager Shimon Bakshi then began a litany of new pretexts about why the purchases would not be accepted:
- a 'rogue affiliate' had fraudulently posted the mileage mall offer without the company's authorization (EasyCGI would not disclose the 'rogue affiliate' identity citing "Privacy Policy")
- our web hosting/storage usage violated their T/C (even though our accounts were never opened or active)
- EasyCGI had never been involved with a mileage mall offer (yet their parent company Endurance had other subsidiaries with plenty of mileage mall offers)

* Cut to the chase, EasyCGI position was denial of mileage earning AND no option of redress from the 'rogue affiliate'.


So, we contacted the DM Customer Service Center and after their cursory, 'we will look into it and get back to you', they bounced us to FreeCause- a backend mileage mall management/administration company. On July 3, I contacted FreeCause Co-President Michael Jaconi who initially expressed interest and concern and advised an investigation would commence....it probably didn't hurt that I got the referral from Randy Petersen. Jaconi advised me about a week later that the investigation was ongoing.

Inexplicably, from mid-July until now, it has been radio silence from Jaconi or anyone at FreeCause, despite our updating them on a regular basis with new developments, documentation, etc., not to mention every email expressing our gratitude for their assistance and our acknowledgement to be patient.

So, the company that US hired to engage customers with mileage mall related issues, has disengaged!!!!


So, vendor, airline and mileage mall administrator keep passing our mileage earning 'hot potato' while our bonafide purchases of a legitimate mileage mall offer remains in limbo with no immediate resolution.

Have others been in this situation...and if so, how did you resolve the situation. Be grateful for any insights.

Last edited by beaubo; Aug 11, 11 at 1:30 am
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Old Aug 11, 11, 1:40 am
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Yup, I went big with this promo. Many miles posted (though a fraction of the miles I'm owed), some retracted. All my accounts (7 or so, all in my own name with real info, no obfuscation or trickery) cancelled without notice. When I asked why (when I couldn't log on), I was told due to "fraud". Except they never explained what I had done that was fraudulent.

FreeCause is stonewalling now (they were quite helpful at first), so U.S. Dividend Miles needs to step up and protect the integrity of their mall. T&C were explicit "No Restrictions" and "4757 miles/online purchase".
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Old Aug 11, 11, 1:50 am
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MP has a thread on this as well.

Out of curiosity, what was the average cost of the inexpensive packages or services offered? I didn't jump in on this at the time due to a pending mortgage refinance so I paid little attention to the details. Otherwise I'd be in the same situation as many others.
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Old Aug 11, 11, 4:49 am
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Here's what I know:

*US and HA shopping malls had offers for EasgyCGI that gave 4757 & 7269 miles/online purchase (respectively) with "no restrictions at this time"
*About 2 weeks after my purchases, they were all cancelled and some (not all, even if cancelled) purchases were refunded to my account with no notification from EasyCGI about what had happened
*Some miles posted, most did not, some that posted got deducted
*EasyCGI first claimed fraudulent purchases on my part, then agreed that it wasn't fraud, but claimed that my use of the storage violated their T&Cs, then since I hadn't even used the product yet, they changed their story again, and claimed that there was a fraudulent affiliate, but won't say who or what happened due to "privacy policies"
*US has forwarded my requests to their partner marketing affiliate (Freecause?), but I have not heard anything back
*HA has forwarded my requests to their partner marketing affiliate (Kobie?), but I have not heard anything back
*Also, they pulled their offer from both shopping malls and after doing some digging, I found out that their parent company (Endurance) had adjusted the T&C's and offers or outright pulled other companies listed on the malls.

I don't know where to turn or what to do and it's extremely frustrating.
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Old Aug 11, 11, 6:43 am
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Add me to your "I've got issues" list. Purchased some web hosting services (can't remember the exact price, something like $12 per purchase), mysteriously had all my purchases except for one cancelled by Easy CGI, am still getting billed for the one, got miles for the one then had those miles taken away. US says they need the merchant to initiate the miles from the mileage mall, the merchant isn't answering any of my emails though.

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Old Aug 11, 11, 5:34 pm
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Originally Posted by HansGolden View Post
FreeCause is stonewalling now (they were quite helpful at first), so U.S. Dividend Miles needs to step up and protect the integrity of their mall. T&C were explicit "No Restrictions" and "4757 miles/online purchase".
I am not a reflexive 'lets call the media/lets go to small claims court' kinda guy when mileage disputes arise.
I usually just gut it out by maintaining a respectful dialogue which , relies on the facts and being patient as the relevant parties digest and ultimately act on my situation.

The challenge here, is that one of the key parties, FreeCause has chosen to opt out of the 'dialogue' formula that I count on.

Maybe they would be more receptive having a dialogue with someone higher up the mileage food chain like Randy or an influential travel/mileage blogger??
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Old Aug 11, 11, 8:33 pm
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As I posted on MP, I took advantage of both the US & HA offers and had some miles credited to my accounts (US & HA). This proves that the deal was a legitimate deal and that sometime later EasyCGI determined that they didn't like the deal that they offered.

Clearly, at that point they have the right to stop offering the deal to people, however, they don't have the right to claim that the deal never existed for people that participated (and had credit cards charged) before they removed their offer.
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Old Aug 12, 11, 12:23 am
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I participated in both HA and US deals but I only received a small percentage of the miles that I earned. When I tried to claim the missing miles EasyCGI accused me of fraud even though I cleared the transactions with my bank. I don't see how an organization can do such a thing - are they accusing a major bank of something too?

HA and US have been polite but keep referring me to the partner. I feel like we're going in circles here...an offer was made and accepted, now where are my miles?
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Old Aug 13, 11, 11:53 pm
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UPDATE:


I am very pleased to report that a senoir manager close to the DM VP Fern Fernandez has been refreshingly helpful once contacted. This DM manager was in steady touch and on Friday advised:


* that DM has contacted Skymall which is the primary mileage mall adinistrator, and SkyMall utilizes FreeCause technology on the site and that FreeCause is apparently the vendor affiliate contact. So, my contact advised that I should be getting contacted by FreeCause, but that SkyMall is now aware of the situation and I was given a Skymall direct contact if I needed it.


So, KUDOS to DM for at least acknowledging the situation and making a stab at helping me navigate the path toward resolution.


And the following is NOT a reflection on my DM contact, he is just the messenger. But it is very perplexing to discover that the US/DM Customer Service Center doesnt bounce mileage mall related issues to their PRIMARY outsource company SkyMall, rather they forward us to a company thats outsourced by Skymall, a SECONDARY outsource- FreeCause.


So, on the surface, my tranasaction looks pretty straghtforward- bought EASYCGI products to earn miles from US/HA. In reality the transaction audit trail is- bought EasyCGI products either from EasyCGI OR maybe placed by their parent company Endurance OR maybe an authorized affiliate OR maybe from an unauthorized affiliate to earn miles by either SkyMall or FreeCause or in the case of HA, maybe another outfit called Kobie Marketing.


The airlines, EasyCGI/Endurance, SkyMall, FreeCause are all companies with far more collective mileage mall experience than me. They have plenty of marketing, legal and quality control resources at their beck and call that are utilized before milege mall offers ever see the light of day. As such, I should be provided a reasonable assdumption that due diligence has taken place before an offer hits the site...and I have NO DOUBT that the EasyCGI offer was a deliberate (no mistake, glitch, loophole) offer.


And as some proof, juxtapose with the AA/Verizon 83K offer. There was no other offer remotely structured the same way. The clarity of the mistake was caught and responded to within 24-36 hours, a more than reasonable turanaround time. With EasyCGI, to date not one party has ever said the offer CONTENT was a mistake. No one ever contacted us within 24-36 hours (or at all) to advise that there was any problem. More than one mileage mall had EasyCGI offers with large mileage bonuses and no restrictions conditions. In the 5 weeks of contact with Freecause, they never denied the validity of the offer, when it would have been path of least resustance. US is actively helping us reach SkyMall and Freecause, so they certainly have not ejected the legitimacy of our claim.
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Old Aug 13, 11, 11:54 pm
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I requested the Co-President of FreeCause to provide some easily verifiable information.

1. When was the EasyCGI offer initially posted on the USAir and Hawaiian Air mileage malls?

We know for sure it was a minimum of 12 days,, from the time we spotted the deal in early June through the time we made our purchases in mid-June to the time the offer was pulled in late June.

We suspect the offer had been around for well longer than early June, but FreeCause chose to ignore my request. Not deny it, not say it wasn't any of my business, not even simply acknowledge my email, but a flat-out NO RESPONSE. This, from the company that US/HA ostensibly contracted to be the first line of contact in the event of mileage mall inquiries.

2. Which party submitted the EasyCGI offer (and presumably signed some type of contract with Easy CGI) for posting on the US/HA sites, to help us understand who the responsible party was?

Again, goose egg from the Co-President Mike Jaconi (who I am NOT trying to pick in per say, but he was the contact that Randy Petersen suggested I contact and who seemed to be quite cooperative at first blush, advising an investigation had commenced in early July.) Well, the results of that investigation have not been shared with me (let alone ANY follow up emails) in a month.

3. Which party was responsible for pulling the EasyCGI offer in late June?

Again, by simply identifying WHO pulled the plug would have helped us immensely in determining accountability for the EasyCGI offers. Yet, radio silence from FreeCause.

We contacted FreeCause because of EasyCGI seeming unfounded and unwarranted denial of involment and mileage fulfillment, but at least EasyCGI had a dialogue with us, however unsatisfactory, inconsistent and evasive. FreeCause has strangely taken 'the Fifth' and as such their LACK of response is far more troubling than EasyCGI's POOR response.

4. As the gatekeeper of the US/HA mileage malls, what criteria does FreeCause use to:
* ensure that affilaites have vendors permission to make offers on their behalf
* whether vendors or vendor affiliates, ensure that their mileage offers are manageable and sustainable with some oversight on vetting proposed mileage bonus and T/C offer structure
* and of course vetting the vendor or vendor affiliate to ensure they have the wherewithall to fulfill their offers once approved by FreeCause.

Again, nothing, nada, zippo from FreeCause.

While I was hopeful that Freecause was initially going to be part of the solution, their puzzling, maybe even damning conduct up to this point, might lead one to believe that they are a culpable party.
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Old Aug 14, 11, 3:31 am
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At least you're getting traction. Unlike AA/Verizon, which is admittedly in its infancy with regard to resolution.

Of course now there's the DL/Verizon and Priority Club/Verizon screw-ups. Not as lucrative but it clearly shows the miles/points for a product - though the standby page while transferring to verizonwireless.com then clearly says it applies to new service only. Still, the mileage mall crap is getting worse. Random partners never seem to post. The Booking Buddy saga, and now these recent screw-ups.
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Old Aug 14, 11, 5:08 pm
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Any word on how Amazon purchases are posting?
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Old Aug 14, 11, 8:28 pm
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Originally Posted by ArizonaGuy View Post
At least you're getting traction. Unlike AA/Verizon, which is admittedly in its infancy with regard to resolution.
Ugh yeah, but considering how long I/we have been trying to get a useful response out of these people it's still pretty frustrating
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Old Aug 14, 11, 9:00 pm
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Originally Posted by HoKo View Post
Ugh yeah, but considering how long I/we have been trying to get a useful response out of these people it's still pretty frustrating
My resolution of just about every mileage claim has been a marathon, not a sprint....but I have always prevailed.
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Old Aug 14, 11, 11:33 pm
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Originally Posted by TPA us ff View Post
Any word on how Amazon purchases are posting?
Amazon purchases are posting with a 7-15 days lag (even though it is not the topic of the thread)!!

Regarding the topic of the thread, i have to mention that recently i participated in a deal through the Shopping Mall, where the vendor tried to trick the customers, by stating a highly mileage earning and using "tricky" language in the terms and conditions.

After i contacted the vendor, who gave me the response "it is not my problem", i contacted DM and after a couple of weeks i got credit for 25K miles plus the 25K from my CP bonus!!

Since then, i have no reason not to trust the US Shopping Mall and the will of these people to make their customers look right, even in the unfortunate case that a vendor is not honoring his promises.
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