You know those too-bad-to-be-true mailings that offer to let you turn expiring frequent flyer miles into magazine subscriptions? Turns out that, at least in some cases, they’re even worse than advertised. Google SEO god Matt Cutts had racked up about 15,000 miles on U.S. Airways, and was looking for a way to cash them in before they expired. The magazines seemed like a better deal than just letting the miles turn to vapor, so he went ahead and ordered a bunch, and waited for them to arrive. And waited. And waited.
Eventually, Cutts began receiving emails from 321mags.com, which U.S. Airways had enlisted to fulfill the orders. Of eight magazines and newspapers Cutts tried to order, he got zero. “That’s right,” he wrote in his blog. “Not a single magazine or newpaper showed up. Instead, eight different times I was told that an ‘overwhelming response’ meant that title wasn’t available.”
By the time all of the magazine offers fell through, Cutts’ miles had expired. But his saga doesn’t end there. A short while later, U.S. Airways came back with a new offer: He could get his miles back — if he signed up for a shiny new credit card. Cutts declined, and added the followng to his blog: “You know what, U.S. Airways? Just keep the miles. Or better yet, if anyone from the U.S. Airways Dividend Miles program sees this post and wants to do something nice, please donate those miles to charity.”
Now, we’re sure Matt isn’t saying — and we’re not implying — that the magazine offers were a ruse in order to run out the clock and then send out the credit card offer. But come on: At least admit that you’re not sending out Conde Nast Portfolio because it doesn’t exist anymore — not due to “an overwhelming response.”
Bad Experience with U.S. Airways Dividend Miles [Matt Cutts]