Over on Milepoint a member named Cartera Commerce appeared to take responsibility for running the AAdvantage Shopping Mall and claims they’re not liable for providing any miles.
Attention AAdvantage eShopping(SM) customers:
Cartera Commerce, Inc., operator of the AAdvantage eShopping mall, displayed an incorrect offer for certain products available through Verizon Wireless on the AAdvantage eShopping mall website on Tuesday, August 10, 2011. The incorrect offer of 83,871 AAdvantage® miles for online purchases of certain Verizon wireless accessories was the result of a Cartera system error. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
Due to Verizon’s Terms & Conditions, which reward American Airlines AAdvantage miles on service plans only, Cartera is relieved of awarding AAdvantage miles for shoppers who clicked on the offer and purchased Verizon Wireless accessories online. The specific Verizon Wireless AAdvantage eShopping mall offer Terms & Conditions – which were available on the offer details page – are as follows:
“Reward eligible for reward plans only (new service, family share, add a line, upgrade and prepay). Reward is not eligible on accessories.”
Those who purchased one of these incorrectly displayed products will receive an email from Cartera with further explanation, including instructions on how to return the product(s), if desired.
Again, we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and look forward to your continued use of the AAdvantage eShopping mall to maximize your mileage earning.
Now, I’m genuinely curious why Verizon’s terms and conditions would relieve Cartera Commerce of its obligation to fulfill the terms of an offer made not by Verizon, but by Cartera Commerce.
And as I just noted in a post earlier this evening, since the shopping portals are portrayed to members as being a part of the mileage program (rather than a separate merchant you’re doing business with, which is just buying miles from the program), that ultimately it’s the program we ought to be dealing with — and not Cartera Commerce.
The AAdvantage eShopping Mall offered over 83,000 miles for making a purchase. Folks made the purchases. There was little ambiguity.
That said, as I noted when posting the deal originally, this was going to be so costly to honor that I really didn’t think it would be honored. As I explained in the comments, I was in it for ‘the ride’ and that ultimately I figured that if the deal wasn’t honored, items could be returned for a refund, and perhaps there would be some goodwill miles offered as a part of this.
Apparently that’s exactly how it’s being handled. Commenter dealswelike has apparently already received the email referenced on Milepoint by Cartera Commerce. Her comment:
I just received an email stating (only copied select verbiage): “Verizon’s Terms & Conditions for the offer clearly state that miles can be earned on new wireless service plans only, not accessories. While these Terms & Conditions relieve Cartera from awarding AAdvantage miles for accessory purchases which were incorrectly advertised as including a miles feature, we realize our error may have prompted you to buy an accessory you didn’t need or intend on keeping. As a result, we will be offering you the following AAdvantage bonus miles as a gesture of goodwill as a valued AAdvantage eShopping member:
We will automatically post 2,500 AAdvantage bonus miles to your AAdvantage account within the next 10 business days.
We will earn an additional 2,500 AAdvantage bonus miles if you make a new purchase through the AAdvantage eShopping mall in the next 30 days*. AAdvantage bonus miles will be posted to your AAdvantage account within 45 days after the date the merchant notifies Cartera of a qualifying purchase.”
…The email also states directions to return your item if you only purchased it for the mile promotion. There will be no fee to return this item.
I expect we’ll all be getting such emails shortly.
Update: the same commenter returns to make clear that the email she received takes her to the Verizon page, whose return policy does state a $35 re-stocking fee. So it’s still a developing matter, in the end I have to beleive that this will need to be waived. But it could get a little sticky.