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Update: Realtytrac British Airways Promo Not Authorized, Accounts Will Be Closed

by on February 8, 2012 · 103 comments

in Avios, British Airways, Shopping

The CEO of Realtytrac just contacted me to let me know that the current 3,000 free point promotion with the British Airways Estore is unauthorized and  they will be canceling every single account signed up through this promotion so no one will be charged a dime. At this point, I do not know if the points will be honored.

This is a major flap between the British Airways Estore and the affiliate marketing company who offered the deal with Realtytrac (which apparently was against Realtytrac’s agreement with that company.) FYI the British Airways Estore T&C is operated by Points International on behalf of British Airways, per the T&C of the site:

“1.This Website is owned by British Airways Plc and operated by British Airways’ technology suppliers (Points International) on behalf of British Airways Plc. British Airways Plc registered office is at Waterside, PO Box 365, Harmondsworth, UB7 0GB, England. For the purposes of these Terms and Conditions “We”, “Our” and “Us” refers to British Airways Plc. Please review these Terms and Conditions carefully before using this Website. Your use of this Website indicates your agreement to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.”

Something similar happened with Stamps.com and the Chase Ultimate Rewards Shopping mall and the Chase portal honored the points. I’m sure they took a financial hit, but decided that it was worth the customer goodwill to just honor the deal even though they probably never got paid anything from Stamps.com or the intermediary affiliate marketing company.

I hope the British Airways Estore takes the same approach. From my perspective, I signed up for a deal publicly advertised on their website and followed through with my side of the bargain, which included giving my credit card information. If they refuse to honor this deal, it would sour my opinion of the site and I’d be sure to avoid it in the future (unless they keep running ridiculous deals like the current Nordstrom 36 points per dollar- which better be honored at this point.)

Stay tuned!

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author.s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

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  • Sahibm

    This is ridiculous !

  • http://twitter.com/angelinaaucello Angelina Aucello

    WOW Thanks for the update! I hope they follow through with the points

  • Anonymous

    That sucks, I was just about to sign up for this tonight!

  • Anonymous

    Well you can still sign-up ..theres a chance the BA Estore will still honor it. I see little risk since all accounts will be closed anyway

  • Dan

    If honored, fine. If not, that’s ok too. No need getting worked up over something like this. Every once in a while, well, what’s the expression… you win one, you lose one.
    After all these years, I’m happy about my winning percentage. Next deal please.

  • Anonymous

    Right, but I personally don’t like my time being wasted by poorly run promotions. This wasn’t a mistake fare- it was a publicly advertised deal on an airline website. It should 100% be honored in my opinion.

  • chris

    And the deal is still on the BA site! I agree that it’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things but it’s not a good first impression, for someone who’s new to BOTH companies. (Unrelated, but I just found your blog and my work productivity has…fallen off this week! Can’t get enough of this stuff, keep up the good work!)

  • Anonymous

    Welcome on board! Just wait- this addiction only gets worse! :-)

  • Billiken

    How about providing us with the CEO’s contact info??

  • Anonymous

    The BA Estore is the one responsible for running this promotion and are the ones who should get your feedback. They are operated by Points.com (Points International) whose contact info can be found here https://www.points.com/static/corporate/contact.html

  • BothofUs2

    Just signed up, and MrsBothofUs2 signed up as well. The offer was still posted at 9:11pmCT 2/8/12 on the BA shopping eStore.

  • Elai1231

    I just signed up today. If I don’t get that email, I will probably call to cancel just in case.

  • Jared

    Aaaaand this is why I signed up with a virtual credit card number from Citi…

    *cancels visa number given to realtytrac*

    No charges for this guy, no matter whether they screw the accounts up or not. :)

  • Samuel Gozlan

    It is really exactly the same as what happened with Stamps.com. They will probably honor. We can just wait and see at this point. Thanks for the update Brian.

    By the way, Nordstrom deal is sick! I bought a couple of stuff. Enough for a couple of one-way tickets like you said. Hopefully it will work.

    Cheers, keep up the good work and see you at the NYT Travel Show and maybe even the FTU…

  • HikerT

    This is the kind of deal that should not be publicized. Next time someone blogs a deal similar to this I’ll be happy to wager any number of miles or points on the ultimate outcome. Oh, and no whining about it when the deal dies a very predictable death.

  • Unreal

    Unauthorized? When will companies be held accountable for false advertising. The CEO can shove it as far as I’m concerned. We followed the rules laid out by the T&C. Consumers should not be penalized for your stupidity. If there was an error then it should be handled within your organization.

  • Anonymous

    What would be the point of a deal that no one knows about? This one still hasn’t even been posted on FT MilesBuzz.

  • Anonymous

    Cartera had the 83,000 mistake and they gave out about 2,500 AA Miles.

    Will BA just let the 3,000 Avios slip by? Yea, I can see that happening.

    But I can also see them not honoring.

  • Anonymous

    This deal is way different than the Cartera 83,000 doozy- that was a flat out mistake. This one was a legit deal that the BA Estore thought they’d make money on based on an affiliate marketing relationship. However, the company who was supposed to be ultimately footing the bill for all these signups (Realtytrac) is now clearly saying its against the rules of their affiliate program.

    All details we shouldn’t be concerned about as consumers, but it’s important to note this deal wasn’t an “accident” or “mistake”. Its simply a promotion that was poorly planned and executed.. either that or BA will sue their marketing company or Realtytrac to pony up so they can afford to give everyone the miles as promised. Or they eat the cost of the miles and write this one off if it truly was their fault.

    Who knows..maybe the miles will post and they will handle it all on the backend. Thats what I’m hoping for!

  • Modernhaus

    While not the end of the world, it’s not *nothing* either…signed up all four members of my household account which should net 12,000, nearly a one-way to Hawaii. I agree that when I fulfill my end of the bargain, I expect the corporations involved to absorb any loss due to their error or miscommunication.

  • Anonymous

    Right, but the CEO who should be held accountable is the one who offered us all 3,000 points- which was the British Airways owned Eshopping store, operated by Points International.

  • Ken

    Ah, this explains why when I called up this morning to cancel my free trial account, the rep on the other end informed me that my account had already been cancelled….

  • Simon

    Gosh, all this nonsense for 3k miles. I am glad it didn’t waste my time (like I normally would – full disclosure :))

  • Anonymous

    What nonsense? It only takes a minute to sign up and theres really nothing to lose. You still have time :-)

  • Simon

    Then you have to carve out time to call and cancel your account within 7 days – hard work for 3k miles TPG.

  • Anonymous

    No- you can cancel online..but if you read the post above- Realtytrac is canceling them all automatically anyway. No phone calls necessary. Nothing ventured, nothing gained…

  • Simon

    At this point, they will honour all new accounts and the 3k miles, and then cancel the account? Miles will still post? Gosh!

  • Anonymous

    No one knows what will happen at this point. Basically Realtytrac was never in control of awarding the 3,000 miles. That was being offered by BA Estore who set up this deal with a middle man marketing company who has an agreement with Realtytrac. Apparently BA offeirng miles for free sign ups violated the agreement. So basically Realtytrac is canceling the accounts, but BA Estore may still be on the hook to pay out the miles.

    Frankly for 1 minute of my time (minus the hour or so I’ve spent blogging about this!) I think its worth it for 3k Avios. That’s 67% of a one-way short haul AA award!

  • Simon

    Fair play TPG. I will be someone watching from the sidelines, and will lament a missed oppty if the payout happens. Good luck to you and everyone else who gets amongst this.

  • ofer

    Cartera gave ut 5,000… They gave an additional 2,500 if you made any purchase (I did for $1)

  • C C

    Simon, who am I to question how you value your personal time, but I’m literally dumbfounded by your, for lack of better words, laziness. 1 minutes worth of time to net 3000 avios, or, as TPG put it better, 67% of a short haul flight, and you don’t consider this worth your time? Seriously? It seems you’re in the wrong game.

  • Chase

    “What would be the point of a deal that no one knows about?”

    VERY well put, TPG. I’m so sick of hearing people complain when deals are “ruined” simply by people taking advantage of them. You’re right on the mark here. I appreciate what you do, as I simply don’t have the time to wade through pages and pages of FT or MB forums to find good deals. So, forget the haters, and thanks!

  • abcdef

    Didn’t the terms say that you wouldn’t get points just for a free trial? What grounds would anyone have to ask for 3000 points. A few might have received points for the free trial but a manual review will certainly result in a denial.

  • Anonymous

    The terms specifically said free trials did count

  • Brick Flint

    “Right, but I personally [sic] don’t like my time being wasted by poorly run promotions.”
    “It only takes a minute to signup…”

  • Anonymous

    A minute is still time wasted to me!

  • chris

    I signed up on Feb 6 and when I checked this morning it now shows the points as pending, a change from last night. I guess only time will tell if they now take them away!

  • Adios Avios?

    I will be perturbed if points don’t post. It’s IS “a big deal” when names, email address, and credit card numbers (even if virtual, as it was in my case) were handed over in return for the promise of 3000 points.

  • Adios Avios?

    This isn’t an “aw, shucks, it didn’t work” situation. Email address, billing address, names, and credit card numbers were handed over in return for an expected 3000 points.

  • Anonymous

    Well, I hope you guys get your Avios points.

    We all know that these situations can get dragged out and turn ugly pretty quickly. I hope this time it is resolved peacefully.

  • Onefasteuro

    my points show as pending as of this morning. hopefully they go through with it.

  • Kris Caluwaerts

    signed up for this deal yesterday when it was still showing on their page. Just checked the store again today but I still do not see my purchase in the store. It only shows a click, no purchase. So no points shown yet.

  • Pats906

    My 3,000 points showed up this morning as “pending”, so potentially good news, right?

  • Bob

    I’m also seeing pending this morning

  • Deals We Like

    My points say “pending” this morning as well! Took about a minute and if I get 3,000 points great, if not, no loss! Thanks for posting!

  • Anonymous

    My status hasn’t reached ‘pending’ yet. Regardless of the outcome, it was worth a shot. Thanks TPG!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/COILLAWAHRXH2D5SRCEUUETIJI Eric

    My points showed up as pending today with a date of 3 days ago (when I signed up). I’m hopeful this means I have a chance at ‘em. BTW, thanks TPG for the heads up on this whether it works or not:

    02/06/2012
    RealtyTrac.com
    $0.00
    Pending
    3000

  • Keith

    Signed up yesterday – before the disclaimer. Still no “pending” points, and while yesterday there was a “click” recorded, that’s now disappeared too.

  • Anonymous

    This sounds like a pretty “entitled” perspective on an offer that’s in the “too good to be true” territory. I understand that they advertised the deal on their site, and that they really shouldn’t advertise things that they don’t intend to follow through on. But mistakes do happen, and I think when you’re trying to get points by paying very little or nothing besides your labor (signing up and canceling the account before you’re charged), it comes with the territory that you might end up getting nothing out of this deal. And if they don’t honor the deal, the main thing that should be “soured” is hopes of getting points through a “too good to be true offer,” in the future

    To be honest, it also probably doesn’t help that you posted this before you got the points (although it’s always a fine line posting something ASAP to inform everyone vs. not bringing attention to and killing the deal).

  • http://www.travelandcredit.com/ Travel and Credit

    That’s really lame, but honestly I didn’t participate in this offer just b/c I assumed this wouldn’t work or wasn’t worth the limited time trial for how expensive/risky the product is.

  • Pingback: Update: RealtyTrac British Airway Promo « Frequent Flyer University

  • Anonymous

    Looks like mine are not posting…applied for mine on Monday and still nothing….dang!

  • SeattleTrick

    Hmm, My BA EStore shows 3k points pending. But, when I go to realtytrac.com and try to cancel the account, I dont see “My account”, instead, I see “Reactivate” on the top right corner. I hope they dont auto-reactivate with my CC info!

    Whats up with BA E-store lacking a logout/signout button?

  • http://profiles.google.com/eheinz Erik Heinz

    I have nothing pending in any of the 3 family accounts. :( I signed up morning of the 8th (west coast morning) so we’ll see. Hopeful but expecting the worst too. At least it’s risk free.

  • 2288

    But didn’t the website say that you had to make a purchase in order to get the points credited?! You weren’t going to do that, you were just going to cancel before the trial period ended anyways, and so technically you shouldn’t be earning the points since you were not going to become a paying member! You can’t really be pissed off…

  • Anonymous

    No- it specifically said the 3k bonus was good for free trials

  • Nate

    I have a -3000 points from RealtyTrac.com now in my BA account as of this morning.

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/17074861/RealtyTrac.png

  • Nate

    No such luck!

    02/07/2012RealtyTrac.com$0.00Pending-3000
    02/07/2012RealtyTrac.com$0.00Pending3000

  • James

    It looks like in one account there is no transaction. In the other account there is a transaction but I have 2 lines, one with the 3000 pending and the other one with -3000 pending. So net is zero.

    I tried to cancel the membership in both accounts but it seems that they were canceled already.

    Is that your experience as well?

  • sil

    It seems like we won’t receive the 3000 points for realtytrac. Yesterday, I saw 3000 pending pts on BA account and today I still see it but there is another input for Realtytrac for – 3000 pts.

    Anyone seeing this?

  • sil

    Metoo. I just wrote about this…Even though Realtytrac said they canceled our accounts, I better do it online….It seems like we are not going to receive the points.

  • buschoi

    I have 3,000 avios showing as pending, but another line showing 3,000 avois being reversed. So looks like they are not honoring the 3,000 points.

    02/07/2012RealtyTrac.com$0.00Pending-3000
    02/07/2012RealtyTrac.com$0.00Pending3000

  • http://twitter.com/absolut422 je

    I just notice that there was an update in my pending avios account

    02/06/2012RealtyTrac.com$0.00Pending-3000
    02/06/2012RealtyTrac.com$0.00Pending3000

    Not looking so good.

  • Jedi

    Just checked my account this morning. The pending points in my shopping history now has a county entry in the report minusing the 3,000. I think this confirms that they are not honoring the 3,000 point signup.

  • MJLouise

    How do you cancel online? Link or directions please? can’t find it. My account still seems active and I’d rather not call X 4.

  • theblakefish

    5 days since I signed up and still no points pending…looks like it isn’t going to be honored. GRR!

  • Simon S.

    I also got the -3000 points reversal on my BA account. I was still able to login to my realtytrac account but it’s showing my account as “Free Guest Member”. I was looking for a link to close my account since they still have my CC info, but I guess you have to call them to do that. Well, I guess I tried… :(

  • Aaron Gordon

    The pending points were just retracted from my account. So I have “RealtyTrac +3000 pending” and then “RealtyTrac -3000 pending”. Who do we start complaining to?

  • mattolo

    I got the -3000 points reversal too, and they are STILL sending me emails from RealtyTrac!! Seems like a one-way street here. Very disappointed.

  • Agent 99

    I see today they are posting -3000 pending in my account for this Free promotion. Oh well, can’t win em all.

  • Chip

    This is lame from ba

    Mine shows 3000 points earned and – 3000 obviously totaling out to zero. Absolutely no communication from ba, just the status showing up in my account. What’s the best staregy

  • Chip

    Sorry – what is the best strategy for contacting ba?

  • Adios Avios?

    As I am in the market to buy a place, I was intrigued by this offer and decided to sign up to try the service. I notified RealtyTrac as such, and received the following reply. It looks like they have n intention of providing any points.

    —————————————-

    The British Airways Promotion, was a non sanctioned offer by RealtyTrac.com, therefore, all accounts signed up through British Airways has been cancelled.

    http://thepointsguy.com/2012/02/update-realtytrac-british-airways-promo-not-authorized/

    We have nothing to do with this offer, nor are we in any way affiliated with any points programs.

    We received your cancellation request, and your trial subscription with RealtyTrac was canceled. You will not be charged the membership fee, since you canceled during the seven-day trial period.

    We hope this helps.

    Sincerely,
    Your RealtyTrac Support Team
    877-888-8722

  • mattolo

    “Not affiliated with any points programs”? I find this hard to believe. How did they get listed on the BA EStore?

  • Shahyan Ahmad

    I wanted to be sure the account would be cancelled (and my card not charged) so I called them… account had already been cancelled. I got a confirmation number on request. The agent referenced “British Airways, The Points Guy, all that mess.” Haha.

  • http://twitter.com/johnmoorenow John Moore

    The eStore is reflecting a -3000 Pending transaction as of this afternoon for Realtytrac. My Realtytrac account has also been closed by them. No email nor any communication to me from Realtytrac.

  • MelissAA

    My Reality Trac points show as REVERSED as of today as well. Lame. Over these online portals – really.

  • Gary

    Just logged in and looked at my Shopping history and now I have a -3000 line as well as the 3000 so it looks like they aren’t going to give us the points. Ridiculous… thats what I call bad customer service.

  • Maury

    What a bunch of crap from BA. They have lost all credibility in my eyes. They better pay up!

  • Djsinger

    I’ve had my 3,000 points reversed…

  • Andrey

    just saw -3000 avios pending :(

  • dcacoaster

    My general feeling would be easy come, easy go — except that they’re keeping our cc information (and of course, all of our contact info — i actually got spammed by them after my account was closed today).

    I went online to cancel my free subscription today, and my cc information was still there and I was listed as a “guest.” So I called to cancel the account, thinking it was still active, and was told that my account was already cancelled because I’d signed up “through the unauthorized BA promo.” I then mentioned the account with cc info still being online and asked how to have that removed, and was told that they could not and would not remove our cc info (and other data) so they can track if we ever sign up again. I told the agent I wasn’t comfortable with this, and he told me “it was in the terms and conditions” when I signed up.

    Doubly frustrating because, of course, the 3000 points was the highlighted “term and condition” that caused me to sign up, and no one is holding up that part of the bargain.

  • andrew

    same here, +3000
    Then -3000 right after

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for deleting my replies to this deal, folks….cool stuff.

  • SK

    I’m going out of the country and forgot to cancel so I’m going to have my friend call for me on Monday. Can anyone tell me what Info they ask for when you cancel?

  • Travel24

    I see that they the 3000 credit and -3000. The only problem with this is that they never credited the 3000, so now it is only showing -3000 points on my account. I am now negative points from when I started this promotion. I really dislike BA and can’t wait to use all of my points with them and move on to the next airline. I have had nothing but negative experiences with them since becoming a card holder.

  • Bohemiana

    Win some lose some?? If you are like me and try to track all these points companies promise by signing up or buying something through a portal, 25% of the time there are mistakes. It’s irritating and really often barely worth doing, particularly when they change the rules of the came. I thought American was bad! I signed up on 2/8 before I read anything about the offer being denied–well, they took my info and gave me a Realtytrac account.

  • LoonJi

    I wonder if the Nordstrom 36x will also turn out to be “unauthorized.” If so, Nordstrom can expect plenty of overpriced stuff being returned in the coming days.

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  • Ken

    I also saw the 3000 pending, and just today I see -3000 pending. Who should I contact to lodge my complaint?

  • Seemald

    The reversed mine as well…..i still have screenshots, and I think we should fight this.
    TPG….any suggestions??

  • Kris

    Apparently accounts are not closed but put on hold. This means you still have to cancel it yourself to avoid being billed. It seems that you cannot cancel online but have to call (1-877-888-8722)
    I made the purchase 4 days ago and the points never appeared in my account. :-(

  • David

    My Google Voice just had a missed call from Realtytrac. Anyone else get a call?

  • Pacha

    eStore appears to be honoring the deal.

    At first I had 3,000 points pending then -3000 points pending and now today 3,000 points pending.

  • Keith

    Was able to change the expiry date, address, etc, on my Realtytrac account without a problem (card number tries to validate though). At least it avoids real details being on a site you don’t want them on.

  • MJLouise

    No, but had several missed phone calls from an unknown number. When I called to cancel I was told the account had been “canceled on Feb 8th”.

  • Modernhaus

    How annoying-they did NOT close any of the four trial memberships I opened for the four members of my family/British Airways household account.
    Good thing I checked…

  • PanAm

    I didn’t get involved with this… but a mistake is a mistake. If they didn’t take to ensure the promo was within the terms of their agreement, that’s a mistake just the same as some database error posting 83,000 miles. Different circumstances but still an error that someone made, to the detriment of the customers who acted in good faith.

  • Jayab112

    Has anyone received any response from BA Shopping portal? I am surprised there is not more chatter about this. I have not received a response, but I’m not giving up.

  • MJLouise

    DH and I got our points recently. Woo Hoo!

    I sent a couple of semi-nasty grams under my own name claiming “fraud” for BA’s advertising this deal on their e-store and reneging. I eventually got the 3K points, then waited a few days and sent off a nice inquiry under my DH’s name LOL. Both postings took a while and persistence but eventually paid off.

    After logging on to the BA web site, I went to the e-store, My Shopping History, then “click here to fill out a Missing Avios enquiry form”. I filled out dummy information for their “required” fields, like 0.00 spent, put in the “click ID” for order number, and pulled down a random store from the pull down menu (RealtyTrac is not listed).

    In my note I said something like, “On 2/8/12 I signed up for the free trial at RealtyTrac.com The Terms and Conditions specifically said the free trial was eligible for 3,000 points. I have yet to receive them. Would you look into this please? Thank you.”

    A few days later DH got an e-mail,

    Thank you for your recent email.

    The 3000 Avios for your eStore purchase from RealtyTrac.com have now been credited to your account, these can be viewed in your eStore shopping history.

    We look forward to being of assistance to you in the future. Should you have any queries in the meantime that you are unable to locate within the help section of our website please feel free to contact us. We hope you will continue to enjoy collecting and spending Avios awards.

    Kind regards, etc.

    Again, it took a few days for each step to happen, but I hope to be able to use these miles in our household account in the future. Thanks for the heads up TPG.

  • John

    Got my points finally as well. Had to send them screenshots (that I got here, thanks! =) of the offer and complained about them keeping my credit card information. After a long while, I was rewarded the 3000 points.

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