I think I won a travel contest...

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by boondr, May 26, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. boondr

    boondr Gold Member

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    :UPDATED in post #6 below:

    And I am not sure about accepting it.

    Non-specifically (although I am sure someone can figure out the contest with the details), the prize consists of 100k AA miles, 2 nights in a nice hotel in a desirable locations plus a few other valuable, but not exactly aspirational(for me) extras having to do with the promotion.

    The reason I am apprehensive about it is the taxes (~$1000 in my bracket I think), and I don't think the non-mile portions are transferable.

    If they are transferable than I will take it in a heart beat as it would be a hell of a gift for someone.

    The cost and the fact am points/miles(although I don't have many AA miles) "rich" and time "poor" I don't know how to handle it.

    I would never purchase miles unless it was a way to save money on something I was going to buy anyways and the rest is nice but is it worth it?

    Give me your 2¢
     
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  2. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    I am generally against unnecessary consumption. The question here is whether there's enough joyful potential in this "prize" to make it worth the tax bill. It's really a matter of personal taste, and you sound less than enthusiastic about it. If you need others to convince you of the "prize's" virtues, you probably don't need it.
     
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  3. StevenGerrard

    StevenGerrard Silver Member

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    I am agree with you M&VO
     
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  4. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    If it costs you only $1000 in taxes, I would take it in a heart beat. I know of points brokers who pay 1.6 cents per mile for AA miles. The winnings are certainly worth much more than the 1k in taxes.
     
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  5. ariosto

    ariosto Silver Member

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    I would surely take that tax HIT 1 as I would ensure to use those 100k miles great use in first class
     
  6. boondr

    boondr Gold Member

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    Thanks for the advice folks, after talking it over with my wife, apparently there is no debate, she wants me to take it. Keeping her happy is worth pretty much any tax hit I can afford.

    I'll provide details once I am confirmed as the winner later in the week.
     
  7. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    I would take it. You can always sell or donate the miles.
     
  8. Mapsmith
    Original Member

    Mapsmith Gold Member

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    Take the prize. Donate $1K to Kiva. Balance.
     
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  9. boondr

    boondr Gold Member

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    Well now is as good of a time as any to give an update. Bear with me this is going to be long.

    The contest was the AA Motown Sweepstakes and I still haven't taken the trip yet (details haven't even all been worked out yet, more on that in a moment).


    I was contacted by email nearly immediately following the close of the contest, in fact that same afternoon.

    Being a skeptic I was immediately suspicious and forwarded the email to Webmaster@aa.com to confirm it's authenticity. I received a reply in short order that was was indeed authentic and congratulating me again.

    That was the easy part, then came this thread and my accepting of the offer, the affidavit, a W-9 and a lot of waiting.....and waiting.

    Now before I continue, both parties I have dealt with on the majority of this odyssey of collecting the prize have been both courteous and sincere, they just have been busy. They both had far more on their plate than accommodating me and I have only been concerned with my prize fulfillment.

    That said it has been a long, time consuming and slightly frustrating process in claiming the prize. This is a basic timeline:

    -5/24-6/01 Notification and a few back and forth emails

    -5/31 W9 and Affadavit sent in using printed copies, I never received the Fed-Ex package that was supposedly sent with them???

    -6/5-6/13 Back and forth with a week going by after being told "I will get back to you tomorrow."

    -6/14 I am passed on to a rep in NYC to set up hotel dates, I submit 3 separate dates that show both points and Standard Rate availibility for the Intercontinental Time Square on IHG website.

    -6/17 Miles post in my AA account.

    -6/14-7/02 Back and forth on updates, before being told on 7/02 my dates weren't acceptable to the hotel "due to the holiday business that keeps them full" (The dates were all early-mid Dec) Both points booking and standard rooms are still available online (as of this posting) for the room I eventually receive.

    -7/02 I express my disappointment and give 2 alternative dates.

    -7/02-8/08 Back and forth mostly me sending reminders once a week, with an "oh yeah" reply.

    -8/08 Finally get the hotel booked.

    -Today (8/26) I sent another email requesting info on the Motown tickets and dinner.

    As you can see given my early apprehension, I am not sure the juice was worth the squeeze. I will definitely be using the AAdvantage miles for something exceeding the taxes but the time spent on this has value as well.

    I am disappointed in AA and the Intercontinental Times Square in not really living up to the T&C of the contest,
    doesn't really cover their reason for rejection of my original date requests. I wish I had objected more than I did.

    All and all I can't look a gift horse in the mouth as my wife is really looking forward to the trip but if I had known this was going to take this much effort I would have let someone else take the prize.
     
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  10. TravelBear

    TravelBear Gold Member

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    Yeesh!
     
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  11. paladinua

    paladinua Silver Member

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    Congrats on winning at least... Sometimes these things are challenging, but, at least you'll make your wife happy... That's got to be worth something!
     
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  12. LarsErikNYC

    LarsErikNYC Silver Member

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    Well, sorry to read about your fulfillment issues.... but I hope you have a very memorable time here in NYC. Red Rooster is a GREAT restaurant and Marcus Samuelsson's story is extraordinary! Sidenote: If you ever fly into JFK Terminal 4, he has one (soon to be two) restaurants there. Also, right next to the Intercontinental, there is a Shake Shack. There's almost always a bit of a line there, but it's worth it! :)
     
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  13. 949

    949 Active Member

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    congrats !
     
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  14. boondr

    boondr Gold Member

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    Here's a question, given the denial of my originally requested dates (3 separate) due to reasons that seem to fall outside of the terms, do you think it is advisable to contact the hotel and request a minor upgrade for the inconvenience? I am IHG Platinum (not Ambassador) and the rate on the room is listed as "Hotel Comp".

    I don't want to be a DYKWIA a-hole but I would like to leverage my disappointment to the max.

    Is it asking too much?
     

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