February 21, 2013 Update to the Perils of Travel Consulting and the UPGRD.Com staff
After I posted yesterday about so called “travel consulting” I thought that would be the end of it. Not of the idea of travel consulting, but my interest in it. However, I got hate mail. Most surprisingly it was from the UPGRD.com group. They commented on my post. I was of two minds when it came to their comment. About half of the original comment was personally insulting to me, which I deleted before allowing to be posted. It caused me to think about a comments policy. To be fair, heckling and trolling are both internet past-times but I am not going to allow personal attacks in the comments. Sorry.
Matthew was kind enough to send me several private messages through Flyertalk.com ending with, “The true scam is you, Mr. Butler. I pity you.”
Then I got an e-mail again from the UPGRD.com group demanding that I pay them $150.00. The funny part about this is I sent them an e-mail a week ago stating that I was not in need of their services and there was no reply. It was only after my post yesterday that the frankly bizarre demands for payment started up again. I am not sure of the logic behind their e-mails; but I sent them my actual phone number for them to call me they if they wish to discuss my post and their fee. They have not as yet done so.
These interactions show a lack of maturity when it comes to moving from blogger on the internet to running a business. If someone were to use their services what they do is go online and put a reward ticket on hold. Even after you, the user, ticket it, UPGRD.com still has access to all of your personal information. I would not trust an organization, much less one that does not have bonding, a physical address, or even a phone number with my personal information. Therefore, I would advise anyone who is seeking out such services to avoid, at least for now, the UPGRD.com expert award search.