Weird email, and then apology from American

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by schnitzel, Mar 2, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. schnitzel
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    schnitzel Gold Member

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    Did anyone else get the email last night with the title "Schnitzel, One Million Reasons To Book On AA.com"? I got it, and it had someone else's name and AA number in it, with my first name in the title.

    I forgot about it - meant to dig around here to see if I was alone.

    Just now, I got:

    "Schnitzel, Our Apologies Regarding The Email Sent Last Night"

    from them. It continues:

    "Last night, due to a technical issue, you may have received this email with an incorrect name and AAdvantage® number. Rest assured this was an isolated incident, and none of your information was sent to any other customer. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused and invite you to take part in our exciting AA.com promotion where you can win up to One Million American Airlines AAdvantage miles!"

    But if I got someone else's info, how do they know no one got mine?
     
  2. HNL
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    Same experience here. I got the correct name in the subject line but the email addressed to "Billy O***ld" along with his AAdvantage Number!
     
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  3. schnitzel
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    That's a relief, actually. I got Billy Oswald also, so maybe that was just a placeholder? His AA number was 04H78D2 on mine.
     
  4. Travelman
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    Also same experience here ... with the same person it seems ... did the AA # start with "0"?
     
  5. Travelman
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    Oops ! it seems Schnitzel replied while i was typing [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  6. stu52
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    I got my email to the same "Billy" as above members did. I wonder if that was the only name that was emailed out. Still AA should implement some kind of security tool to ensure that the person calling is indeed the person linked to the AA account. A code word could be set online that could be asked of the person calling. It's not hard to do, banks do it, why not AA?
     
  7. schnitzel
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    Like when booking award tickets? Makes sense - seems pretty wide open for abuse. I think they do email a confirmation to the email address on file, but I guess a scammer could just alter that beforehand.
     
  8. stuartfla
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    Same e-mails involving the same "Billy Oswald" on all the family accounts. Looks like by "isolated incident" AA means they only released one members name and account number in error. Billy should be getting a new account number and some customer service mileage for his troubles - maybe even an upgrade from Gold to Plat [​IMG]
     
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  9. FlyingPanda
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    I got the same exact one - poor Billy - at least it seems it was just him!
     
  10. tw116
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    i got the same one, and so did my kids. all to billy with the advantage number.
    that's one way to move up in status!
     
  11. KimK
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    Definitely Billy gets the complimentary miles and status upgrade but I would say direct to EXP and bypass Plat for now being the widely known Billy Oswald of AA's security goof!
     
  12. Travel2Food
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    Billy must be the winner!
     
  13. Wurm
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    The registration link in the follow-up / apology e-mail is not working:
    HTTP Status 404 - Could not find the requested link
     
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  14. schnitzel
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    Yup! The other links seem to work, but the main "Register Now" link is bad.

    Is a head going to roll over in their IT department?
     
  15. HNL
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    Seems like a marketing department blunder, not IT.
     
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  16. schnitzel
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    The marketing department put in the wrong link and forgot to swap the hard name and number with variables for the merge? I guess that could have been them.
     
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  17. HaveMilesWillTravel
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  18. schnitzel
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    Nice!

    Interesting that only 350K got it. I wonder if they realized the mistake and stopped the deployment before the full batch went out, or if we're in some special marketing category over there (like "cheapies who only enter contests").
     
  19. mrpickles
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    I was upset for Billy all night, I think I deserve some compensation. United would.
     
  20. Gargoyle
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    A boost in his status? Mmmm, good.
     
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  21. Plato90s
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    Mass mailing programs which perform assembly on newsletters usually come with a build template, and then selects/inserts data to do "custom" emails to every account.

    Most likely some developer got a bit sloppy and didn't associate the same parameter for the "personalization" bit with the email address bit.

    No marketing person would have direct access to modify a mailing list of 350k+. A mailing list like this is done with specialized programs - not with any kind of client e-mail mail-merge program.

    If it was just a bad template filled in by marketing, then it should have been 350k e-mails to a single person. Since each of our email address were correct but the "personalization" was wrong - it was a programming error.
     
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  22. gemac
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    If heads rolled for blunders there would be a lot of headless people marching around.
     
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  23. gemac
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    If you try to log on at AA.com now using that AA number, you are told that it is not a valid AA number. So either it was a fictional one to begin with, or Billy O has a bright, shiny new number now.
     
  24. DestinationDavid
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    The linked article has a small section near the bottom that confirms that AA took the initiative to change his number for him. I wonder how many people might have tried to hack into it?
     
  25. They must have caught it somewhere early on, because I never got the original "Billy" e-mail, and I enter every silly AA contest that doesn't require more than a couple point and clicks. I did get the apology e-mail this morning, wouldn't even have known what it was about except for the threads on FT and here tonight.
     

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