Should Points or Miles Be Given to Compensate Loyalty Program Members For Inconvenience Due to Account Breach?

“S orry to hear your account was compromised”, reader Chasing The Points posted in the Comments section on the news pertaining to my Starwood Preferred Guest frequent guest loyalty program account being compromised last week which resulted in a temporary loss of most of my Starpoints. “Did they reimburse you with any points for the inconvenience?”

If I understood that question correctly, Chasing The Points was asking if some extra Starpoints were thrown my way for going through the inconvenience of having to restore the account.

As I reported yesterday, the team from Starwood Preferred Guest were professional about the whole situation and were clear on being serious about combatting this problem. My account was restored rather quickly — within a few hours, actually — and everything seems to be fine again.

Truth be told — not that I lie anyway — I was satisfied with the service and attention to this matter which I received; so I have no intention of asking for any Starpoints…

…which is the main reason why I actually had not thought about being reimbursed with any Starpoints for any inconvenience — but should they have done so? If so, how many Starpoints would suffice?

This is where you come in: should points or miles be given to compensate loyalty program members for inconvenience due to account breach? Please participate in the poll below and feel free to opine in the Comments section below.

Thank you in advance; and thank you for your thoughts, Chasing The Points, whose weblog appears here at Saverocity. I appreciate them.

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  1. why does everyone want everything for free all the time? And why does everyone want to see someone penalized everytime there is any issue? We are “sue happy”. If SPG is on the ball restoring accounts why should their liability be any greater than that? I love getting miles and points but I do have to step back and think “should I be financially responsible every single time I am involved in a mistake or make a mistake even if I tried to be prudent to prevent that mistake”?

  2. I find that, more often than not, the same folks that want compensation for every little inconvenience are the same folks that complain about the proliferation of fees for every little service. I abhor the transactional world this entitlement attitude creates.

    As you reported, you were not significantly inconvenienced. Your points were restored without anything more than a phone call. Given the reported nature of the ‘breaches’, you may have even contributed to the problem by using the same password on this account that you used elsewhere.

    I think your lack of expectation of compensation is entirely appropriate.

    1. For the record, JEM, the password I used for my Starwood Preferred Guest account was different than the passwords I use for other accounts.

        1. I am absolutely positive, Glenn.

          The password to my Starwood Preferred Guest account is different than the passwords of the accounts of any of the other frequent flier loyalty programs of which I am a member. I even mentioned this towards the end of this article, to which you can click here:

          “By the way, I manage all of my frequent travel loyalty program accounts manually; and I use different passwords for each of them.”

          I am not disputing the article to which you linked — in fact, I have not had a chance to read it yet — rather, I am simply relating my experience.

  3. SPG is one of the most generous programs out there. Even when they make an identifiable mistake in the guest’s favor, they tend to answer with: “Well, we do not see the same thing you do, but keep the points anyway” (this resulted in me getting almost 30K Starpoints through Crossover Rewards when they double credited flights. I mean, I fly a lot, but making *TWO* trips to PEK on the same day???).

    Then tere was a redemption recently. Asked what I wanted, I said “Free WiFi”. Got that *AND* the 250 bonus Starpoints for Gold Gift. I had booked the stay in a suite (an extra 1500 Starpoints total for 3 days) and the room was not ready. Upgraded me to a suite with a Jacuzzi. And gave me Breakfast vouchers as well as other stuff. Rack rate for the room was around $700/night. This is one happy camper.

    I will say that it sucks that you were hacked, and Starwood did the right thing right away. If you had asked for another 10K starpoints, they probably would have countered with 20K.

    Because that’s just how they are.

    1. I really like to hear stories about “happy campers”, Darth Chocolate. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

      I do not want to put words in your mouth, so I will ask: how does a company benefit from treating customers the way they treated you as a result?

      1. Simple. There are two modes for my travel: business and personall.

        When traveling for business, I take care to follow company policy, and if an SPG brand is available for the right price, I will choose it. That is not always possible, but I try to do it when I can.

        When traveling for personal reasons, SPG will be my go to, especially if the property is part of the AMEX FHR program. Of course, they have to have a property where my wife wants to vacation.

        Those are the obvious: personal loyalty. What is not so obvious is that when I make comments about my good experiences, it is free advertising for them. Too many people focus on the negatives, and sometimes they are justified. But they are also far too slow to praise a company when things go well for a guest.

        I also have this view with Delta. I fly to China often, and Delta has the best balance of Service/Price for my needs. I also get treated very well with them. For example, around Thanksgiving there was a huge snowstorm near Buffalo, NY (near where I live). My small town had over 6 FEET of snow over a 3-day period; the airport had about 6 INCHES. State of Emergency and Travel Bans throughout the area. We did not get dug out until late Saturday – the day after my wife was supposed to fly to a conference on an award ticket I got for her. I called Delta, explained the situation, and got the points back within the hour.

        The trick to all this is to treat the folks on the phone or e-mail politely. It is amazing how much easier things go when you do not yell or complain too loudly.

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