Pretty please, United and Chase

30 Dec

Some people have that natural ability to get people to give them what they want. I don’t exactly have that.

I’ve been traveling a lot in the past couple years and have thus become all George Clooney’s character in “Up in the Air” over my United miles. I checked my account last night and I am 464 miles away from becoming an Executive Premier member. 464 — that’s less than a flight from Cincinnati to Chicago. I am already a Premier member for hitting 25,000 and have flown 49,536 miles on United during this year. I am so close I can almost taste the unlimited upgrades and three free checked bags. So I decided to call United’s Mileage Plus customer service this morning to sweet talk them into giving me the status. It went something like this:

Me: I am 464 miles away from Premier Executive. Can you please give me the boost up to the next status?
United: No
Me: Come on, pleaseeeeee
United: No
Me: If I have the status I will go out of my way to fly United.
United: We have no promotions going on, you have to wait until January

Those weren’t the exact words said, but close. I mentioned that I took a Virgin Atlantic flight in November which was operated by Air China, a United Star Alliance member, but because it was a Virgin Atlantic plane, they would not give me miles for it. I also mentioned that I have a flight to London in January, but I was getting nowhere. I even called back again, hoping to get a more generous person, then made a fool of myself by giving my same spiel to the same rep I had talked to before. She kept mentioning “promotions” in 2011. I think that means I can “buy” my status. Apparently United does not believe in “gimmes” — at least not for us lowly Premier folk. That, or I just talked to the wrong person … or … I just lack that natural ability to get people to give me what I want.

Still steaming about my miles, I got a letter from Chase today telling me my Free Checking Account is no longer going to be free. The only way to keep it free is to have direct deposit or make five debit card purchases a month, both of which are hard to do when I spend most of my time outside the country. I could march into a Chase branch and threaten to switch to Fifth Third (the stupidest named bank ever), but they would probably just tell me I suck at sweet talking and should call India to straighten it out.

Today is just not my day. At least I had no cavities.

(United and Chase — if you somehow stumbled upon this post, I will write nothing but great things about you in the future if you give me Premier Executive status and a free checking account. I’m not even asking for 1K status or a fancy checking account that gives interest — I just want access to the Red Carpet Lounge and to not pay to keep my money out from under my mattress. Thanks.)

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