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As you may well be aware, Hilton HHonors has been pretty generous in dishing out status matches of late. Status matching is a great way to get immediate (and “unearned”) status in hotel loyalty chemes, but it is open to abuse, not least by the photoshoppers.
Yep, a little bit of electronic artistry and before you know it you have apparent elite status with a hotel chain, which you then email to Hilton, who status match you to Diamond. Hurrah!
Except, of course, that is fraud and Hilton are understandably closing down the HHonors accounts of people whom it transpires have submitted fabricated applications.
However, it does appear that innocent people are being caught up in this. We have now received a number of reports of people who have submitted genuine status matches who have subsequently had their Hilton HHonors accounts closed for “terms and conditions violations”.
While you can fully understand why Hilton are taking fairly draconian action against the forgers, their hardline approach does appear to have had some collateral damage.
There are two obvious points to make here:
- If you are submitting a Hilton status match, make sure you are whiter than white. This applies in all cases, but of course in particular if you have a massive points balance, don’t jeopardise that by submitting a dodgy status match application. It’s just not worth it.
- If you are entirely innocent and yet get caught up in this, don’t give up without a fight. Email Hilton, call Hilton, instant message Hilton, badger the Hilton rep on Flyertalk etc etc. There’s no business sense whatsoever in Hilton barring bona fide customers seeking a bona fide status match, and I am confident that provided they ensure they state their case, innocent victims of this clampdown should be ok in the end.