Friday, December 6, 2013

End Justifies the Means ??

Let’ s get straight to the point – Is there an ethical boundary in the travel hacking game? What would you do and not do to earn points and miles? Are there clear black and whites or are they just a bunch of greys all around? Where do you draw the line?

What Calvin Thinks. (I do not have the copyright to this image)
These questions have been swirling around in my head the last few days. I read a few blogs about people calling up the credit card companies after completing their spend challenges and telling them they had registered for a higher sign-up bonus, when in reality that sign-up bonus had expired before they applied for the card and they had signed up for a lower sign-up bonus. Is this right? You know you are lying. The credit card company knows you are lying. They still let you have it (or sometimes they don’t) because they want your business. But just because they let you have it, does it make it right?

In the same vein, is using someone else’s RSVP code for credit card application, justified? The person receiving the credit card offer was the one the bank was targeting. Is it ok for someone else to use their RSVP codes and get the benefit of the offer?

One must be wondering why these questions are doing the rounds. Well, here’s the reason. A few weeks ago I noticed that one of my CC companies had stopped crediting points for my purchase. I called them and asked them to credit the points for my purchase. After a quick research the customer care personnel informed me that it seems there was a glitch and the system did not calculate and credit my points for one full month. They apologized and assured me it would be done soon. No harm no foul, so far.

Forward one week later, I check my account balance and lo behold they have calculated my points and credited it to my account. Only, instead of one month, they calculated for the last 2 years. Yes, the CC company credited me points for all my purchases in the last 2 years. And here’s where my dilemma is – Should I call them and make them aware of their mistake or simply enjoy the free points? I took time and effort to call them to credit what was rightfully mine. Do I not owe them the same courtesy when they make a mistake in my favor?

I can’t figure out what to do. What would you have done in my position? Are there other clear black and white’s in the obsessive game or there are no rules at all?