TM Travel World reports on a Priority Club glitch. They offered a ‘quiz’ you could take for 100 points. But you could take the quiz over and over, and earn the points each time. With the assistance of a computer script, there were some members who ‘earned’ millions of points.
Apparently Priority Club has frozen the accounts of folks who ‘took advantage’ of the quiz, earning 2 or more bonuses. They cancelled award reservations that had been booked by those accounts. And they haven’t been much for notifying affected individuals.
I can sympathize with Priority Club. They view it as a form of fraud, even if their own IT systems are partly to blame. Personally I would have just deducted the points they didn’t intend to award. Perhaps they could have scalated things with the folks who wrote automated scripts to haul in millions of points. But folks who took the quiz 2 or 3 times, earning an extra 200 or 300 poitns? Definitely overkill, those folks likely had no idea they were doing anything ‘wrong’ in Priority Club’s eyes.
Of course we’ll see if Priority Club views this as an overreaction, ultimately. They have every reason not to award extra bonus points. They should have done a better job with their IT systems from the get go. And they might deal with the major ‘offenders’ but to deal across the board, as TM Travel World suggests they’re doing, makes no sense at all.
Someone who legitimately took this a second time, just to take the quiz independent of points earning, shouldn’t be penalized because Priority Club awarded them points a second time when they shouldn’t have. And folks who just wanted to see if the site was still awarding points, out of a desire to understand the program they’re loyal to, shouldn’t be penalized.
And at least if Priority Club intends to act in this way — and mind you this is a program with a history of allowing folks to double, triple, and quadruple dip on bonuses for the same hotel stays — they should clearly announce their new policy up front. They’ve led customers to believe multiple bonuses are ok, they should at least communicate that’s no longer the case if it’s no longer the case, rather than shutting down accounts without warning.