She used the “L” word but I still want to help her

By | March 26th, 2016

I want to help everyone — even readers like Becci Cox.

Even though she used the “L” word.

As in “loyalty program.”

As many of you know, I think loyalty programs are pure evil and should be stopped. But that’s unlikely to happen in the near future, although I’ve gotta say, Delta Air Lines, I love your work!

Point is, I think Cox deserves help, despite my long-standing rule against getting involved in loyalty program cases. But I need your permission. Stay tuned for the poll.

Almost three years ago, Cox and her husband answered an invitation to attend a timeshare presentation in Orlando. “They were not gracious about our lack of interest in purchasing that day,” she says. “They grudgingly issued us a voucher for the 15,000 Hilton HHonors points that had been promised us.”

But the voucher didn’t work as promised.

“Since then, I have not been able to get anyone at Hilton HHonors or Hilton Grand Vacation Club to add the points to my HHonors account,” she says. “Every so often, I will try again, ever the optimist. However, after trying again yesterday, being transferred three times, and scanning and sending the voucher, they again refused to honor it.”

She adds, “Can you help me?”

OK, technically this isn’t a points case. It’s a promise made by a timeshare salesperson that wasn’t HHonored. I mean, honored.

Look, points and miles are scammy enough as it is. They entice you into making purchases you shouldn’t, needlessly divide consumers into “haves” and “have-nots,” and encourage bratty, entitled behavior among the elites. But baiting and switching a customer with points, as this timeshare company appears to have done — well, that’s almost Kafkaesque.

Related story:   Saved by the angels of consumer advocacy

But I also have a firm rule about staying away from loyalty program disputes. To even acknowledge them is to legitimize them, like recognizing North Korea. And remember, they wouldn’t return the favor.

See section 18 in the HHonors terms if you don’t believe me: “Accrued points and Reward Certificates and Confirmations do not constitute property of the Members.” That’s right, the points don’t even belong to you.

So I’m asking you, dear readers, for a waiver. Let me make this right for Cox. I know, I know. She’s asking me to recover her points. But I don’t see it that way. I want her lying timeshare company to keep its promises.

May I take Becci Cox's case?

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