Randy, my idol has clay feet!

Discussion in 'Community Center' started by estnet, Jul 16, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    Last night I received what I thought was an odd email from milepoint.

    Today after reading some posts I looked at the wallandmain video. I couldn't believe my eyes and ears!

    I don't understand how you could do it - sure hope you got paid a lot. If any of my friends had taken your advice b/c I told them of all your contributions to the ff community I would be mortified.

    I am so sad.
     
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  2. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    Is this the e mail ?

    Promotion Offers Up to One Million Bonus Miles, Plus Elite Status and Bose Headphones
    Occasionally we see a unique offer that has some hidden value for the right member—this is one of those.

    A new crowdfunding resource called Wall&Main is soon to launch with a promotion to crowdfund itself to help all sorts of business and entrepreneurs raise capital for those ideas that are both BIG and small. To fund the venture, they are offering—what else—frequent flyer miles and appear to be the first ever to do so.

    This is one of those times where if you know how to manage your award redemption, you can do pretty good at acquiring huge numbers of miles for use later on. For instance, the top offer (Platinum) to help fund the venture includes a bonus of one million United MileagePlus miles for a package costing $30,000; a smaller package (Bronze) is $4,500 which includes 150,000 bonus miles. We like this for a few reasons: it gives those who have the interest and skill to leverage miles for premium seats on United (and partners) to have almost an unlimited resource to do so. No more massive mileage runs that don’t account for the travel cost or time, no more fancy credit card app-o-rama’s to spin your world, but an identifiable and reliable avenue for those who do know how to manage their miles and other purchases. SO, while 3 cents a mile might be on the high end of mileage accumulation cost, it apparently does not have any limits to buy which most other if not all other offers have. But obviously if you are considering anything like this, make sure you have a value plan. Here’s an example, one of our fellow road warriors took advantage of an early “friends and family” offer and knew how to leverage these sorts of offers and “invested” $15,000 for 500,000 bonus miles and promptly turned just 240,000 of those miles into two round trip tickets on MileagePlus partner US Airways to Beijing in premium cabins which when priced out would have cost the road warrior $18,704. This person obviously knows how to leverage the miles and while they likely could have waited for specific mega mileage runs and credit card offers to earn those same miles at a lesser rate, most people simply do not have that time nor interest and this is a viable alternative for those that can figure out how to make this value work. In the actual example above, the person got their “investment” back right away and still had 260,000 miles left to leverage. We certainly would not advise this for many of our members, but when the timing and value is right, these offers can be used to your advantage.

    This should appeal to the crowd that knows how to get 4-13 cents per mile out of redemption. Milepoint’s interest is in the long view and that is seeing this new program succeed so that the crowdfunding platform helps those ideas that will make our lives so much better in the future. But remember, value is in the eye of the individual beholder.

    We contacted Wall&Main when first hearing of this idea and potential mileage offer and have been able to convince them to make available two very special offers for our members. For the first 300 packages purchased by 10pm (Pacific Time) today (Tuesday, July 16th), a matching MileagePlus Premier status for the 2014 program year will be included in the package. For example:
    - Purchase a W&M Platinum package, receive MileagePlus Premier Platinum status
    - Purchase a W&M Gold package, receive MileagePlus Premier Gold status
    - Purchase a W&M Silver or Bronze package, receive MileagePlus Silver status

    They are only able to make 300 of these Premier Elite statuses available to us.

    AND, the second offer is for ALL of our members who buy a package by the 10pm (Pacific Time) today deadline. Wall&Main is including a set of Bose QC-15 noise canceling headphones at no extra charge. Hey, we know what Milepoint members like ...

    Just visit www.wallandmain.com. The elite memberships are very limited, so act quickly since the special offers end tonight at 10pm Pacific time. Members who purchase any package will receive an email confirmation of their status and their elite and/or headphone bonuses from Wall&Main.

    More info, click HERE.


    **Note: Milepoint has no business interest in or with Wall&Main.
     
  3. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I would assume so.

    This isn't the worst deal which has ever come up but it is also not the "'must buy' for any savvy traveler," that Randy is being quoted as suggesting it is. There are lots of savvy travelers and they come at many different levels of both time and cash available.

    I think it is a fair price if you really need that many miles all at once and if you don't want to deal with the time requirements that come from generating them at a cheaper rate. Plus, buying in to W&M gets you access to some other things which might be interesting down the line.

    Churning credit cards to get to 1mm points takes an awfully long time and a whole lot of Vanilla Reloads. At $1000/day (I believe that's the limit) you're looking at years to make it to 1mm with one account. This lets you do it in a single transaction all from your couch. And, yes, we all know about mileage maximizer which can bring the price down a bit but, again, you're talking about a lot of time to get to 1mm points with that approach.

    There are a lot of people out there willing to pay for the convenience of just getting where they want without the annoyance of the games we play. And some might be in to the crowd-funding thing, too, more than just the miles.
     
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  4. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Very disappointed. Good luck with this endeavor. Unsubscribed from MilesLink.
     
  5. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    Yes, Randy saying "I know award miles and this is an offer you don't want to pass up" just doesn't seem nearly in line with all the efforts he has offered before on behalf of educating people about the programs. Although I don't in any way begrudge him getting something back for all the work he has put in I just wish this wasn't it.

    The video says "we are inviting you to participate", not "we are asking you to give us money so we can make a lot without any thought of sharing the profits with you" I never thought participate=give me money:rolleyes:.

    Crowdfunding already exists, they are just planning/hoping to make money from people doing it AFAIKT. I just don't get it. I can buy miles from UA for 2 cents a mile so why is buying them for 3-4 cents such a great deal? Sure SOME people will get status, but you don't know before you pay. You don't get miles on award tickets and if you buy a million miles you probably won't be buying paid tickets so the extra mileage accural on paid tickets doesn't apply. You can buy a lot of luggage fees for the money (or just get a cc that allows a free bag that is FREE the first year). Again - I just don't get it.
     
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  6. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    If you buy a refundable ticket you can get thousands of miles then cancel the ticket eg right now I have an offer for 12,400 miles for $1260. If I want to give my money to someone I'd chose a charity (that's just me), if I want to participate I buy stock or invest some other way. Again - it just seems very misleading to me
     
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  7. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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  8. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    I know someone who is very bright -- an innovator in finance -- who saw this and told me he was going to jump on it. He is busy but values miles, buys international premium class tickets and sees using miles as a much better value, ideally at the saver level but using these even for standard awards often gives him far better value than 3 cents. The attraction is the ability to buy so many miles in one shot, easily, and the airline status that comes with it (he's lost his status because the past two years he's been fairly grounded putting together a new business that hasn't involved travel).

    As I wrote on my blog, it's a fairly niche interest. I figured there would be only a handful of people that found this a good fit. But for those who do, it's a very good fit.

    It's a lot of cash, it's not a bargain per-mile price, but there's definite value in the offer for the right customer.
     
  9. Tenmoc
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  10. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Only for Gold or Platinum buyers. And that still doesn't make it compelling for most people IMO.

    From the Wall & Main perspective what I really don't understand is why they are so aggressive on pushing the value of the perk versus pushing the value of supporting the company. That's how most successful crowd-funded campaigns appeal to their supporters. Then again, most also don't try to earn five figures at a pop from their supporters. Most crowd-funding campaigns include an indication of how much the company is looking to raise and an explanation of what they're going to do with the money. Wall & Main doesn't have that either.
     
  11. Omar's_Coming
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    I can agree with that, but what i can't agree with is randy's quote “These packages are a 'must buy' for any savvy traveler.” That's a ridiculous statement, and HIGHLY misleading

    I'd be very interested to know how many packages he purchased, since they are 'must buys'
     
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  12. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Received the e-mail too, deleted it after reading.
     
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  13. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Me too, since I don't know many people who can afford to spend US$ 30.000 a pop, even when it's all about miles and status.
     
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  14. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Seems like a good call to me. Didn't saw the benefits in this offer either.
    Would love to hear how many people bought the top package @ 30K.
     
  15. planeluvr
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    planeluvr Silver Member

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    I love innovators!!!
     
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  16. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    Your question is fair. All that I can think is one of the executives worked for Mileage Plus and understands how people do (what appears to be) crazy things for miles. He knows that people go batty over miles so he must think it’s a good way to get people to fund his company.

    Regarding is it a good offer or not, I side with Gary its not for most of us, but some will find it worthwhile and less crazy than other schemes we do. What’s less crazy dropping $30k in five minutes for tons of miles and status, which can equate to many first class trips, or flying to LAX or TYO or RGN every weekend for most of the year to gain status and tons of miles?

    (Also I'm still looking for a Kiva like company that allows me to make money without putting up huge aounts of $!)
     
  17. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    Folks,

    Wall & Main are sponsors of launchpoint and the Freddies and all larger sponsors get a mailer that goes out to many mailing lists, a smaller list also receiving this offer happens to be milepoint.

    While you and I don't see the value in this offer, I'm quite sure that some people find the offer attractive.

    That's why our planet is so great! Different strokes for different folks.. I don't see the big deal here
     
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  18. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    The OP should keep in mind that Milepoint is a business....a business that has helped many FF travel in comfort either for business or leisure....a business that has connected many of us in a common passion for travel and philanthropy...
     
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  19. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    My only issue with the mailing is that it was not clearly labeled as a 3rd party advertisement which was bought versus a recommendation from Milepoint like the other newsletter content. I think that was somewhat misleading/confusing.
     
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  20. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    Endorsing a product does not exempt one from the principle of "caveat emptor"

    Due diligence applies here.
    One can attribute too much power to the endorsement.....one is ultimately responsible for decisions made.

    Endorsements are a genre and should be read as such
     
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  21. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I agree. I think some would be less offended if the email had come from Launchpoint or Freddies and sent to those email lists. The fact that it came from MilePoint suggests a relationship.

    IMO, a private company shouldn't set up a separate organization that operates as a not-for-profit and solicit donations for access to the private company's email list. Maybe that's not what happened here, but that's what it looks like.
     
  22. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    Sufficiently confusing that your comment is the first time I understood that it was not an email from MilePoint.
     
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  23. when you can buy miles @ .008 why pay 3 c? i don't get it
     
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  24. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    From the Privacy Policy:

    And
    In a different section they also indicate:
    In this case the unsubscribe option was available but it is an unsubscribe from the Milepoint Newsletters, not 3rd party marketing lists. Given that this was the first time they did it I'll write that one off as a rookie mistake. Hopefully they get it right for the next time around.
     
  25. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    How long will it take you to buy a million miles at that price?
     
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