American Airlines eShopping clawing back miles for Verizon orders

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The American Airlines eShopping portal is theoretically offering lots of opportunities to earn large amounts of American Airlines miles and thereby Loyalty Points in the new program that starts on 3/1/22. Unfortunately, we’ve seen a lot of issues with offers not posting as expected. On last week’s podcast, I noted that I wouldn’t lose much sleep over offers that required no spend and failed to post. Unfortunately, we’re now seeing miles get clawed back on Verizon prepaid orders, which is something we had written about and most certainly wasn’t free for many people.

This is obviously bad news for anyone who opened prepaid lines with Verizon. Taken along with a number of other clawed-back offers, it reflects poorly on the AA shopping portal experience.

In my case, while the orders above all show $0, each of the prepaid orders cost about $40 at least (and one of my orders was a $78 order). Some of my orders were made with credit cards that featured card-linked offers (there was a Chase Offer for $30 back on $40 and an Amex Offer for $75 back on $75 that both required enrollment). However, some of my orders were made at the full price of the first month.

I did not renew any of my lines for a second month and I ported some of the numbers to Visible mobile, but I didn’t port every line out. I don’t know for sure that these are getting clawed back for everyone, but at the least they are getting clawed back for some of us as it was a comment on our post about how to earn loyalty points without flying that alerted me to the clawback.

Note that I see these clawbacks listed in the AAdvantage eShopping portal but they haven’t yet come out of my AAdvantage account balance. I expect they will be subtracted soon as they have already come out of my learnings total within the portal. I wouldn’t recommend trying to spend the miles before they get clawed back as I doubt that American will look fondly on that behavior and wouldn’t be surprised to see tickets cancelled if they were booked with clawed-back miles.

The American Airlines eShopping portal is quickly becoming a frustrating experience for many. While I gave the portal a pass on offers where no spend was required, the truth is that portal terms haven’t prohibited most of the ways people have earned miles and seen them clawed back (and in fact in the case of this prepaid offer, terms specifically included prepaid lines at the time the orders were placed). I know that most shopping portal issues aren’t on the portal end but rather the merchant end. That is to say that if the merchant doesn’t pay up on the commission, whether or not the merchant is correct in failing to pay out, the portal isn’t going to pay the customer in most instances (though we sometimes see portals step to the plate and pay out of pocket). I could give the American Airlines portal a pass here and there for issues where a merchant wrote poorly-worded terms and failed to deliver what they promised — that is somewhat out of the portal’s hands. However, this is becoming an annoying trend with the American Airlines portal and it makes it hard to know which offers are going to be honored and are thus worth pursuing.

I’ll probably follow up on these orders since I did spend a more-than-nothing amount of money on the lines and followed the terms of the offer, but any way you slice it this definitely sours me on using the American Airlines eShopping portal on my quest for American Airlines elite status. Thank goodness I did port some of the lines to Visible, which should at least make me whole (and then some) despite the disappointment here.

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Sam

Looks like finally all my Verizon transactions for January 17 and 18th are showing Pending as of April 22nd in the AA Shopping Portal. Not sure what that means. Hopefully they pay out!!

Dan

I did the Verizon prepaid deal in January, kept it active nd used it for about 3.5 weeks, and then ported it away from Verizon before month 2. I got the 6200 AA miles pretty quickly after signing up, got it included in a batch of AA Loyalty points on March 1, and then the 6200 miles were clawed back in the shopping portal on March 3. So far there’s not any negative Loyalty Points activity to correspond with that.

Sexy_kitten7

I filed a demand letter and suggest y’all do the same. https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/34004531-post339.html

Sam

Any response or result?

Sexy_kitten7

No resp but my RDM+LP posted in March!

Sam

So do you attribute getting the miles to the demand letter?

[…] American Airlines eShopping clawing back miles for Verizon orders by FM. […]

Richard

Define clawback at the beginning of your article. Not everyone is familiar with non-standard English idioms.

Sexy_kitten7

This is ridiculous! Options: 1) write AAS 2) write AA 3) chargeback (60 day window under FRCA, may be longer) 4) arbitration.

Personally, I will contact AAS every 2 weeks and start CCing AA customer service and higher ups until I get my miles. If that fails will file AAA. It’s very profitable but also a slog. All this BS is making my hate AA and I’ve only had good experiences on board. My new year’s resolution was to destress so this is just great.

Here are my templates, which can be customized for other sites: 

Greetings Cartera dba AA Shopping, This is my 1st inquiry. I purchased a in exchange for Base Miles. Please credit the promised Base Miles and Loyalty Points. Thank you. Yours, Case 001

Greetings Cartera dba AA Shopping and AA Customer Service, This is my 2nd inquiry. I purchased a in exchange for Base Miles. Please credit the promised Base Miles and Loyalty Points. Thank you. Yours, Case 001

Greetings Cartera dba AA Shopping and AA Customer Service and Mr. UpperMgmt, This is my 3rd inquiry. I purchased a in exchange for Base Miles. Please credit the promised Base Miles and Loyalty Points. Thank you. Yours, Case 001

https://www.verizon.com/support/arbitration-faqs/
https://www.reddit.com/r/churning/comments/in9m7b/guide_to_arbitration/

Sexy_kitten7

So this gets weirder. Verizon mentions BBB arbitration, which I have never heard of. Turns out BBB does do arb and they even have a webpage dedicated to Verizon. Talk about repeat players! https://bbbprograms.org/programs/all-programs/VerizonDisputeResolution

Ryan

American Airlines is a joke, terrible customer service.

Josh

I also only did 1 order on 1/18/22, did not transfer the # or anything, and have not been clawed back (yet). Hopefully it says. Good luck to all.

[…] case of AAdvantage eShopping taking miles back from customers who followed the rules, here’s why I predicted we’d see more of […]

Nathan

So, I guess the best strategy is to do chargebacks at this point? It sounds like no one is getting the points. So might as well as start doing chargebacks now?

Lau

I made a complaint against Cartera Commerce on the Better Business Bureau website: https://www.bbb.org/us/ma/lexington/profile/marketing-programs/cartera-commerce-inc-0021-123658
I submitted the same info needed to submit a missing miles claim to the AA shopping portal. It was not difficult, just a PITA.

WITHIN 24 HOURS THE POINTS WERE PENDING IN MY ACCOUNT. FOUR DAYS LATER THEY ARE CONFIRMED.

Nathan

Thank you so much! This worked for me as well.

John

I ordered a prepaid line on the morning of Jan 19th. At the time I clicked through the language was still present on the portal stating the miles for prepaid line offer. Later that day the offer was pulled down from the portal as discussed. I never did get the miles for the Verizon purchase so I waited 15 days and filed the claim with the portal explaining what happened in detail with documentation. A friendly rep responded and confirmed that prepaid lines did count towards the offer as of Jan 19 and that they would investigate and follow up. So far nothing, but it’s only been a few days. I’m looking forward to seeing the outcome of this.

Perhaps they clawed back miles where it was more than one deal per loyalty account? I think we are looking at the offer language and assuming they are backtracking on the prepaid aspect when in reality they may be backtracking on the multiple purchases per account aspect?

C H

This is exactly my situation, except that my order for a single line was even a bit closer to the point they pulled it, sometime early afternoon EST on January 19. Never showed up as tracked order, and obviously no miles yet. I filed the missing miles form with all the supporting documentation on February 4, and a rather friendly representative responded to confirm that the offer on January 19 was for 6,200 miles. They wrote that they were “going to investigate with the merchant to find out why the order was not credited and attempt to obtain commission for it in order to pass it back to you.”. Well, let’s see, obviously not very hopeful here.

John

My miles posted today. They made it right!

A B

I’m getting tired of the clawbacks. I’ve had 2 so far where I did everything they asked. Thrive Market clawed be back after I bought $200 in groceries AND the $60 membership!

HoKo

Are you considering doing a chargeback? Wonder if the credit card company would even allow you to file one

A B

Can’t now that I’ve bought $200 in groceries, some of which I’ve eaten/used. I have a complaint in with AA shopping, so we’ll see…

Stacey

Why would they clawback Thrive? Did you stack with Amex or a Chase offer and maybe that’s why?

A B

No! I didn’t stack with anything. My second purchase I used the Amex offer, but that’s weeks after I already paid the membership fee and bought $140 in groceries.

Daniel

This exact thing is happening to me now. I signed up in late January and got the miles on the membership an bought $120 in groceries. I like it so much I referred my mom to it. Now I see a clawback pending on the portal on Feb 9.

A B

I like it too but unless they fix the clawback they’ve lost me. It’s frankly dishonest and I won’t patronize a business that treats its customers like that.

Daniel

Yep, agreed. The clawback is no longer pending, it’s been removed from my AA account. I submitted a ticket to the portal, but I think I may just be wasting my time.

A B

Update: received an email from AA shopping customer care just now, asking me to upload my e-receipt to Cartera. I did that. (In app, go to Review Purchases.). Will keep you posted on the result.

Daniel

I also got a response from them, but I deleted the original Thrive email long enough ago that it is no longer available. Offered to screenshot my account if they needed. Will see if the original email is required. I probably should start a folder with these sign up emails in them and keep for months for just this kind of issue.

A B

Final update (I think): After providing 2 verifying documents, AA shopping agreed to restore the points. That’s fine for the result, but I’m betting that for every one of me there are 5 more who either don’t keep track or won’t go to the trouble to fix.

Daniel

Update on my end. I had to send them documents to verify that I met the terms and they did restore my miles, but make sure you check because mine reposted to AA as bonus miles this time instead of base miles. While it’s nice to get the miles, the goal is for status. I guess I need to contact AA and try and get them converted. No idea if they will do this for me or not.

SAMUEL L. BRONKOWITZ

OY Vey!

Donald Trump

I only did one order, but the miles are still showing for it and no clawback. Hopefully it stays that way.

Tyler

I imagine these portals have a recurring issue where a merchant participates not realizing the attractiveness of the offer, the participation exceeds the budget earmarked for the promotion, and they decide to reneg. This either blows up the relationship with the portal, or portals have collectively decided to treat the merchants gently (and fall back on the “sorry, merchant says you didn’t fulfill the terms” excuse) since fighting merchants either entails legal costs or could ruin the relationships they have with other merchants.

At this point, as tempting as these portals can be, the only ones I do are with Rakuten when it’s something I’m going to buy anyway, or TopCashBack if there’s no Rakuten or it’s 3x Rakuten. They’re the only ones that seem to pay out more often than not even when there’s a merchant issue , probably because they have much bigger margins due to lower payouts, a trade-off I’m willing to make to avoid the stress of clawbacks or legitimate purchases that aren’t awarded points.

Coleslaw

AAdvantage e shopping is operated by Rakuten

coleslaw

Who are owned by Rakuten. The support messages I’ve gotten from AAdvantage eShopping have been of the same format and content as I’ve gotten from Rakuten

Dugroz Reports

I’ve also had 100% success rate with the Wyndham portal and Chase portal.

Nun

This is unjust enrichment. Verizon can’t just take your money and make up rules after the fact. It’s probably a violation of consumer law in some states. What if someone pays for a 2nd month and they still clawback because they secretly wanted 3 months?

Is anyone seeing a clawback who purchased only 1 line?

JL100

I wonder if a chargeback would work because yes the cell phone provider may have provided service but effectively that was not what you were buying, so they did not fulfill their end of the deal.

JL100

disputing on credit card is what I meant to clarify

Nun

Yes. Dispute this as item not as described. Same as if they offered a rebate or free accessory with a phone line and never sent it or cancelled the rebate on you.

JL100

Of course since I don’t know which of the two they gave me credit for so I will dispute the wrong one I’m sure, but if they take back the miles I will dispute both. I was only going to get one but they said the first one didn’t go through but it did. So I ended up with paying for two and getting credit for one.

Jimm

Be careful who you do business with, that’s all I’ve got to say…

jeph36

The one Verizon prepaid order I did through AA has not been clawed back yet. Purchased on Jan 17. Maybe for now I can hope they only clawed back for accounts with multiple orders. If they do claw it back I will obviously be disappointed, though I would have never been in position to do the Visible deal without that Verizon prepaid so it will be all bad if that comes through.

jeph36

Oops … “it will not be all bad …”

Nathan

I guess if I never received the miles for my five orders, I don’t have to worry about them clawing them back. UGH

Lau

I made a complaint against Cartera Commerce on the Better Business Bureau website: https://www.bbb.org/us/ma/lexington/profile/marketing-programs/cartera-commerce-inc-0021-123658
I submitted the same info needed to submit a missing miles claim to the AA shopping portal. It was not difficult, just a PITA.

WITHIN 24 HOURS THE POINTS WERE PENDING IN MY ACCOUNT. FOUR DAYS LATER THEY ARE CONFIRMED.

joremero

My aadvantage account was closed despite having about 30% of miles earned flying and thru aa eshooping valid offers with spending…AA doesn’t care about the “customer”.

Bill

What about the other 70%?

SAMUEL L. BRONKOWITZ

“AA does not care about it’s customers”….not exactly breaking news!

J R

The bonus miles you accumulate from the shopping portal do not turn into loyalty points anyway and will not get you to elite status. The terms of the loyalty points clearly state that fact. Those bonus miles are only good for reward redemption.

TravelFitForAKing

Hey Nick,

Perhaps, I can provide another data point. I recently purchased flowers from FTD that paid out 1,750 points for a single purchase and the 1,750 posted as bonus points not base miles. So, I think JR is saying, the same would apply to any offer where the eshopping portal reflects a concrete number of points vs (x) points per dollar.

Hua

The 7,400 Fool.com AAdvantage eShoping miles posted in my account as award miles, not bonus miles.

Travelfitforaking

Thanks for the reply, Nick. Outside of checking the comment section of the playing the game posts, is there a sure fire way to know for sure that the concrete number of points offers will apply as base points vs bonus!?

A B

If you see the word “bonus”, that’s a clue.

TravelFitForAKing

Thanks, AB, for the response. In my case, it didn’t say bonus for the FTD flowers I purchased through the eshopping portal. Oh well, looks like I got bonyvoyed by AA for 1,750 points.

Matthew

Would be interesting to see what AA eShopping says about those orders. My guess is Verizon took back the bonus they pay to Cartera once your lines were ported out. Verizon will probably come back and say they expected a subscriber to stay with them for 3-12 months. Cell phone companies aren’t known for being generous.

Matthew

Ugh, 30 days isn’t even up on some?! I wonder if they just did a mass clawback then. You did do quite a few new numbers, but that’s a reasonable amount for a family. Someone at Verizon probably looked at the bill from Cartera (and credit card offers), and said oh no. I’m sure this was a quite popular deal given the new earning structure with AA. Verizon probably didn’t care when it was a trickle of new prepaid numbers, but I did notice they removed prepaid last time I looked.

Frank

My experience was really bizarre. I did the $40 prepaid, ordered a new SIM card for my iPad (with no intention of using it). I got the “$0 due” invoice from Verizon, with my new number. The $40 went pending on my card, and then dropped off, never to be seen again. I did this all on Jan. 28! Never received the SIM either, nor did AA Shopping give me any miles. Not that bad, because I’m not out any $, but with this experience, combined with not receiving any miles for a legit Naked Wines purchase, I’m pretty much done with AA Shopping

Craig

Did your order on the shopping portal ever show as confirmed, or did it stay pending?

LarryInNYC

I haven’t been playing the loyalty points game yet, despite having developed a mild addiction to platinum pro status (two more segments upgraded this afternoon).

Do I understand correctly that these are offers that clearly qualified under the terms (no “maybe you’ll get lucky” stuff going on)? If so, seems like Cartera, or whoever is trading under the name AA Shopping Portal, is awfully exposed. And it raises viability questions going forward — if they’re promising the miles but relying on someone else to decide about actually awarding them they seem to have a model that places them on the hook.

LarryInNYC

I agree that the portal is stuck in the middle. But I think they really ARE stuck owing the miles if their customers fulfilled the requirements of the offer. Any difficulty in the obligation of the back-end vendor to the shopping portal doesn’t affect the portal’s obligation to their customer.

I also agree that this may have flown under the radar until now because take-up of any particular offer was much smaller and usage was more along the lines of what the vendor expected.

But none of those factors relieve the shopping portal of their obligation to pay.

Angela

Should be a rule that if they don’t honor the offer they wrote and put out there, then the whole transaction is reversed. This is like the great Motley Fool heist last year!

Steve

reap what you sow

Brandon

at least they haven’t taken back my sunbasket order yet.

JL100

lol we actually find these to be pretty good and ordered again with the 3x $25 on Amex offer

Brandon

Were you able to do more than 1 subscription through the AA Mall? I did another subscription order for my parents (im paying for it) but I haven’t seen any points posted yet.

JL100

just did one on mine and one on SO login for portal. only ordering more on one of the accounts. I’m going to skip as long as I can then cancel and hope that ‘s long enough, but if not so be it.

Brandon

wonder if you can do the skip for swagbucks also??? hmmm
they are paying $75.00 but you can’t cancel within 30 days. So just keep skipping for the 1 month I guess. lol

Last edited 5 months ago by Brandon
Tonya

For Swagbucks you must accept 2 orders. That makes the bonus not worth it.

LUANNE

I ordered Sun Basket 1-27
miles posted 2-2
received box2-3
paused subscription on 2-10 till end of March
on 2-11 received an email question about my experience w/canceling.Did not reply to that.There is a number to call on same email.I called to reassure that I would resume ordering at that time.My subscription is good.