Lucky over at One Mile at a Time has offered some interesting ideas on a recent Priority Club mistake. Over the weekend various people including Lucky (and including myself) received 60,000 points for Crack the Case Visa Activation. Unfortunately, I never applied for, nor activated a PC Visa. Obviously I am totally okay with getting extra points but I did not really think about it much at the time I just noticed it and that was all.
Yesterday morning, I noticed that the points were gone. I assumed that PC simply corrected the mistake they made. In my PC account there was no negative transaction but I cannot see any other reason they would have deducted them. I do not have a problem with this since I never really earned them in the first place.
Apparently though, others who received these points, used them for rewards and now have negative balances. Lucky is torn a bit over whether these should be honoured or not. I am not so torn on it. I would be shocked if PC honours them nor do I think PC should honour them. While I will not go so far to say that the people who spent them did them as a means to use something they knew they did not earn (it is possible that some people overlooked it).
I do however thing that with all of the mistakes in miles awarded (or not awarded) for Verizon Headphones, and such, that we have lost a simple concept. This concept is of common sense and of responsibility as a customer or client. Yes I do realise that mistakes do happen and sometimes people are awarded miles or points in disproportionate amounts for relatively little spending on their part, but this is not something we should expect to happen.
In the Verizon “GlitterGate” case, unless there is evidence of Verizon or Cartera deliberately inflating the mile number in order to drive sales (and if this happened I am not sure it would have been to their advantage because of all the returns which would happen when the miles were not honoured) we should assume that it was an innocent mistake. As a mistake, we should not get worked up too much when the mistake is fixed and the unearned windfall is not awarded. This seems to be common sense to me.
In the case of the PC points. I am thinking that people would have known that being awarded points for something they never did would qualify as a mistake. Going on to use those points anyway seems to be not just a little dishonest in my opinion. Now arguments can be made that the award was confirmed, etc… but if the points used to confirm the award were not really belonging to the person using them, this argument is void.
Through my short time in the miles game I have noticed that many many people are trying to earn more miles or be more efficient with how they earn them. However, there also seems to be a rather vocal minority who are determined to get something for nothing and when the mistake they tried to take advantage of gets fixed, these people feel entitled to the mistake total anyway. I mentioned in the milepoint forum about this already and I will repeat it here. This type of behaviour gives us all a bad name. We win some we lose some but get over it when it doesn’t work and don’t kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.
I am very eager to hear your opinions about this.
With the Verizon/Carter “GlitterGate” mistake I can understand how two reasonable people might have differing opinions as to whether or not the offer should be honored.
But with the Priority Club mistake, it seems to me that no reasonable person would believe that it’s okay to spend 60K points that were deposited into their account for a promotion they never qualified for; it’s stealing. The obvious analogy would be whether or not a reasonable person would expect to keep or spend $60,000 if it was accidentally deposited into their bank account. I suspect that they wouldn’t.