I posted yesterday on how one can earn ‘Drive-by’ points and miles with TopGuest. My post was supposed to be a ‘tongue-in-cheek’ attempt to make fun of how this great program could be mis-used. Apparently that did not come thru as I had hoped. I have added a section to the post to point out the terms and conditions and encourage people to adhere to them.
TopGuest, as it’s website explains, rewards us for sharing our visit to a hotel with our social networks by awarding us points from the participating hotel’s rewards programs. The way we can share is by ‘cheching-in’ on our favorite social network, using their smartphone app. The intent is to reward sharing a ‘visit’. While this does not necessarily mean an actual stay in a room in the hotel, it definitely means a real visit to the hotel. Users of this program, as I described in my earlier post, have been taking some latitude with the definition of ‘visit’ and included drive-byes. It is definitely against the spirit and the terms and conditions of the program and my intent was never to encourage anything that may result in one of my readers losing their ability to continue participating in this program.
As a hard-core mileage junkie, I will do anything legal and possible to earn miles (think mileage or mattress runs). But, just like all my readers, I will never do or promote anything that can result in my losing the ability to continue earning miles or rewards in the future. No sense in losing long term ability for a short term gain.
Now, in full disclosure, I was contacted by TopGuest and they were very polite and helpful in pointing out that my post, if followed by over-enthusiastic readers, could result in them being kicked out of TopGuest. I am hence posting this clarification to point this out and protect my readers. Use this program, but within the Ts & Cs. I have provided some feedback to TopGuest, based on my understanding and observation of their program – like renaming their support page to be FAQ, because that is where they have their FAQ. No one clicks on support unless they need help. I have also asked for a time to chat with someone from their team about their policies and Ts & Cs.
I still have questions –
- What is exactly their definition of a ‘visit’? Is it a visit if I stroll thru the lobby to pick-up a friend or do I have to buy coffee at their Starbucks?
- What do they mean by ‘velocity’ on their support page? If the phone has to be physically present at a check-in, how can velocity be faked? (Or do I not know some new GPS hack).
- The ‘friends with which users shared check-ins’ is really fuzzy too.
- And what about ‘checking-in checking into a venue that is not known to exist at the address where the venue was created’?
I hope they oblige and I have some answers to post soon. In the meanwhile, check-in, but do it only on real visits.