Thursday, October 12, 2006



I mean, I can't remember the last time I was this frustrated. It was probably the time I spent 4 hours on hold with Dell Technical Support. This is worse though, much worse.

As people began flying commercially more and more, the airlines had a brilliant idea. Let's make something called "Frequent Flier Miles". Then we can "reward" people for something that they do anyways, and if they ever want to redeem these "reward" "frequent flier" miles, then we'll make them jump through hoops and deter them in any way possible. Let's also throw in blackout dates and petty fees as well.

All that being said, frequent flier miles are truly a great thing if you have them and you're allowed to go where you want. I know people who have taken first class trips to Europe solely on their accrued miles. It can really help you in a pinch.

However this is where things can get ugly. Here is my scenario:

I want to go to Dublin to visit my buddy Goose. I begin scheming immediately on how to get there. I have 10,800 miles in my United Mileage Plus account. In order to fly to Europe all on miles, you need 50,000. Well sure you could buy the 40,000 miles, but that costs more than just booking a regular flight.

Then a piece of junk mail catches my eye.


Well geez, that sounds pretty good... and it would solve a 20,000 mile problem. I didn't really need another credit card, but what the hell, right?

I filled out the application with my correct United Mileage Plus account number (this becomes important; note the word correct). I then sent it in, and awaited eagerly for the next week or two.

I finally received it one Tuesday morning. I promptly activated it and ran off to make a pointless purchase, then ran back home to pay it off on the internet-- you know, to get my miles quicker.

Weeks passed, then the statement period ended. Still no bonus miles. I called up Chase, and they said they should be in my account in a few business days. Nothing.
I called up United, and asked them when I could expect my miles. Just a few more business days, I was assured.

I patiently waited for my miles to be posted. Nothing. Then, last week I called up Chase again. I was informed that my new Mileage Plus Chase Visa was linked to a new Mileage Plus account.

"Well why in the hell would they have done that???" I yelled at the guy.

"I'm very sorry sir, it must've been a mistake. I've sent the request for your miles to be sent to your existing account and we will send you a new card for that same account."

Well I suppose I was satisfied for the moment. I was told all this would be taken care of in 10 business days at the most. I thought that'd be alright. I could live with 10 business days, then I'd get my miles together and plan to be in Dublin by November.

Well a few days ago I received my new credit card, with my old Mileage Plus number on it. I figured that that was it; my miles would finally be transferred.

HA! That would've been too easy.

Sooooo, today I get on the horn with Chase. I'm told that they don't have anything to do with the mileage transfers.

"Well then who in the hell was that idiot who told me that this would be taken care of and that a request for a mileage transfer was in progress?"

"Sir are you sure you called Chase?"

"Yes dammit, I know who I called. Now you're going to tell me to call United right?"

"Yes sir, I'm sorry, you will have to call United."

"The hell you're sorry," I retorted, "This is total bullshit."

After I hung up, I called the United Mileage jerks again. Some foreigner with a thick Filipino accent answered the phone, and proceeded to tell me that there is no way that mileage can be transferred from one account to another without making a formal request.


"No sir, the only way is to write a letter to the folling address. It is P.O Box---"

"WRITE A LETTER??" I interrupted, "Are you serious?"

"Yes sir, a letter."

"And how long with that take to fix this problem?"

"Three weeks." she relplied.

"THREE WEEKS? Are you kidding me? Is this some kind of sick joke?"

Well she claimed that it was not a sick joke, but I don't believe her. This is the wild goose chase from hell. Write a letter? I just couldn't get over it. All it takes is a few key strokes and a few clicks. Maybe the turn of a key by a supervisor, and that's it. That's all it should take. But they want me to WRITE A FUCKING LETTER TO SOUTH DAKOTA!

As I wrote in my letter to the bastards, "In this day and age when I can check my email on my cell phone or buy things on eBay while I'm camping, no one should have to write a letter to claim their personal property from a faceless airline empire. These things should be taken care of promptly, and they should never happen to begin with."

The thing that really disturbs me about this whole ordeal, is that Chase intentionally sets up everyone with a new Mileage Plus Account with their new Visa. The Filipino lady even told me that Chase does it all the time, and that she gets yelled at daily by new United Cardmembers about this very thing. That just blows my mind. And it makes me want to blow someone's mind out with a twelve gauge.

Even worse, is that now my entire trip to Ireland is now in jeapardy. I need those miles. I can't be spending 700 bucks on an international plane flights when I'm going to need all the euros I can get for booze in the Emerald Isle. This is just so shocking and appalling.

I guess it just goes to show you what customer service means now in this country. I'm not that naive. I follow the rules, I fill things out apropriately, I sign my name, and I spend my money on products and services both pointless and appropriate. But if you need anything else out of your dollar, that's asking too much. If your Dell Laptop isn't working, that means spending at least half an hour on hold, and another hour speaking with someone in India, Panama, or the Philippines. If you need to close a checking account with Wells Fargo and you call them over the phone, they close your savings account and make you pay overdraft fees on the checking account that shouldn've been open to begin with. It's just sad.

With all the modern convieniences and technology that I truly love, (I mean when you can go to work and you can record the Mets-Cardinals NLCS game, and still be able to record CSI and Grey's Anatomy simultaneouly, we're living in pretty cool times.) the human aspect of things are lost in the all the techno-bullshit. Gone are the times when things are family owned, or community driven. Neighbors put up big fences and don't speak to one another. Ford and GM are killing entire towns and regions by their foolish business plans and shutting down plants and factories. Toyota makes more cars in the U.S. than Dodge does. What the hell is going on here?

It's just a sign of the times. With all of our modern day perks, we have problems like this. Credit card companies intentionally deceive their clients and someone in another country working for less than minimun wage takes the heat for them. I guess there's not much you can do about it.

I'm sending my letter to South Dakota tomorrow.