Last week, I blogged about British Midland (bmi) offering free Star Alliance Silver status to new members of their Diamond Club program. Apparently, that offer was not meant for everyone.
James, a reader of this blog, just forwarded me the following e-mail he received from bmi:
We’re pleased to see that you recently joined our Diamond Club frequent flyer programme. However, I’m writing to you because unfortunately the link you used to join was an exclusive by invitation only offer and as noted in our terms and conditions was non transferable.Regrettably, we will not be honouring the Silver status, and over the next few days your account will be downgraded to Blue status. Our decision is final, and we won’t be entering into any further correspondence on this. On a positive note though, our frequent flyer programme is one of the most generous programmes around, and you only need to earn 16,000 membership status miles to earn a Silver membership. When you fly with us, or any of the Star Alliance airlines, you’ll reach Silver status in no time at all. You’ll also have access to all our offers and promotions, as well as being the first to hear about our great sale fares. We hope you’ll still enjoy the benefits of your Diamond Club membership.Regards,Keeley Downing
Diamond Club Manager
I am not sure what drove bmi to make this decision, but I think it is a rather low blow. The T&Cs of the offer were hidden away (I never saw them myself) and BD did initially upgrade the accounts to Silver status. It is unfortunate that bmi did not let the status stand as a gesture of goodwill. While I could have understood them taking away Star Gold status (because reciprocal lounge access can get expensive), the cost for gifting Silver status seems minimal.
Ms. Downing’s letter is very firm in stating that there will be no compromise, but if you are affected by this news, please express your dissatisfaction directly with bmi anyway. And as for Ms. Downing’s quip that "our frequent flyer programme is one of the most generous programmes around," she would do well to re-examine BD’s outrageous award surcharges before trotting out that tripe in the future.
I received the same email this morning as well!
Even if the “T&Cs of the offer were hidden away” people had to enter a promo code meaning they were participating in a promotion. Just because they didn’t qualify for the terms of the promotion and, even worse, were caught, is not a low blow by BMI. It just says sometimes you get caught cheating. Too bad.
I mentioned this earlier, but the statement, “Our decision is final, and we won’t be entering into any further correspondence on this”, seemed very rude. IMO, it sounds like the response you got from CO.
How would you phrase it, or what would you do in their situation? To me this is one of those DIYDDIYD situations.
I think bmi SUCKS and I will never use them, ever. They can take their blue status and stick it! I will fly anyone but them. I WANT MY FREEBIE BACK!!!!!!!!!!