Over the weekend I went about my regular MileagePlus X Starbucks gift card purchase to find a new ‘reminder’ prior to the Pay Now screen. With the app becoming more and more popular I can imagine there has been an increase in complaints from some who don’t fully understand the terms. But this action by United also shows a deliberate communication strategy on United’s part.
First things first, take a look at the reminder screen:
Here are the relevant official terms:
- In each MileagePlus X purchase transaction, you are purchasing a merchant-specific electronic stored value card, certificate, voucher or similar product that will be displayed on your smartphone or other MileagePlus X-compatible device as an electronic code, symbol, set of letters, set of numbers or any combination thereof (“Gift Card”), and the Gift Card is intended to be redeemed for the full amount of the Gift Card immediately with such merchant (the “Merchant”) for your desired products or services.
- Any returns, credits or exchanges of the products or services that are purchased using such a Gift Card via MileagePlus X will be governed by the applicable Merchant’s policies, terms and conditions for purchases made with Gift Cards. Such Merchant’s policies, terms and conditions may be subject to change in the Merchant’s sole discretion, if permitted by law. You may be entitled only to store credit with any return or exchange. For details, review the applicable gift card terms available in the MileagePlus X purchase path, and contact the applicable Merchant for additional information.
For a full list of terms & conditions visit United’s website.
Obviously, this screen isn’t just a reminder. United will keep record of your click each time before a purchase or the one time prior to turning off the notification on future payments. This will give them an additional tool when someone calls demanding their money back when there’s been no mistake by the airline or the store/merchant. Though United is doing this mainly to cover their own bases, it does help customers be aware of the terms concerning the highest source of issues.
When United launched the Basic Economy fare they likewise made it very clear throughout the booking process that the customer was purchasing a BE fare, and for the same reason: insurance. Yes, it’s true that the main reason is for the airline’s benefit. But we certainly benefit from this level of transparency. Another example of said transparency was shown last week, with the timely announcement of the upcoming MileagePlus devaluation. Other airlines (hi Delta and Alaska!) haven’t had the same courtesy, causing headaches for their frequent flyer program members.
This isn’t that big of a deal, but it does show a commitment from United to be transparent…even if it’s with ulterior motives.
For more information on using and maximizing the MileagePlus X app click here.