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Virgin Points left in will ….

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  • Mikeact

    My Aunt has left me a considerable amount of Virgin points in her will, but sadly without login details etc.
    I guess I will have to call…anybody have any experience with this type of situation?
    Thanks.

    Carlos

    No surprise here but Rob has issued an article on this https://www.headforpoints.com/2021/08/09/what-happens-to-avios-points-when-you-die-4/

    Mikeact

    Yes I remember that article. Perhaps I’ll delve into the Virgin small print.

    memesweeper

    I had a delve into the Virgin small print yesterday on another matter: the miles belong to Virgin and cannot be transferred. Anything they do would be a goodwill gesture. However, they are mainly interested in stopping an open market in points trading, not frustrating the intentions of a will. A nice letter might work.

    Carlos

    A twitter post might even do the trick. Companies love to resolve issues on there

    Blair Waldorf Salad

    A password reset to her email address might do an even better trick. I wouldn’t dream of alerting Virgin.

    davefl

    A twitter post might even do the trick. Companies love to resolve issues on there

    Virgin don’t have a twitter team anymore. DM just gets you a bot that tells you to call.

    AJA

    What Blair Waldorf Salad said. Then book flights in your name from the account or treat yourself to a lot of greggs sausage rolls. This is another reason to earn and burn.

    Reney

    What Blair Waldorf Salad said. Then book flights in your name from the account or treat yourself to a lot of greggs sausage rolls. This is another reason to earn and burn.

    Doesn’t that assume she left you her email password. Would have thought that was even less likely

    JDB

    What Blair Waldorf Salad said. Then book flights in your name from the account or treat yourself to a lot of greggs sausage rolls. This is another reason to earn and burn.

    There is a small matter of the law! Even if something is left to you in a will, one cannot simply help oneself to it (even as an Executor) prior to the grant of probate and there is a well documented procedure to follow.

    AJA

    @Reney, true. @JDB I wasn’t suggesting any particular timing. If one has grant of probate would you still be against the idea?

    I actually think it is sad that the aunt didn’t manage to spend the miles on herself – what’s the point of saving for a rainy day if the rainy day never comes?

    NorthernLass

    It’s an interesting one. Loyalty points have no monetary value, so can’t be treated as tangible property, and as someone else pointed out, they technically belong to Virgin, so the deceased relative didn’t actually have the right to “leave” them anyone, although she could have expressed the wish in her will that they be used by someone else for a nice holiday or whatever.

    Accessing the account and using the points would no doubt be a breach of Virgin’s Ts and Cs (but not an actual criminal offence unless the account was accessed by hacking), but I guess all Virgin could do if they found out would be to close the account, and the account holder is no longer with us.

    I would recommend the course of action I recall the subject of Rob’s article took with BA, ask the solicitor to write to Virgin requesting that the points be transferred to the OP in line with the deceased’s wishes and hope they are suitably sympathetic.

    JDB

    @Reney, true. @JDB I wasn’t suggesting any particular timing. If one has grant of probate would you still be against the idea?

    I actually think it is sad that the aunt didn’t manage to spend the miles on herself – what’s the point of saving for a rainy day if the rainy day never comes?

    No, it is often necessary to access emails and bank accounts etc. as an Executor to obtain the required information to provide to HMRC and the Probate Registry as one is expected to go back seven years to check for gifts etc. I helped my wife who was an Executor recently and have a very good friend also in that role – looking through emails led to discoveries they both wish they hadn’t made.

    Mikeact

    @Reney, true. @JDB I wasn’t suggesting any particular timing. If one has grant of probate would you still be against the idea?

    I actually think it is sad that the aunt didn’t manage to spend the miles on herself – what’s the point of saving for a rainy day if the rainy day never comes?

    She was an avid traveller…big time, until sadly she caught Covid in the very early days…hospitalised and never really recovered thereafter…just didn’t feel up to going away anywhere…and quietly decided to stay at home. Desperately sad for one so active.

    NorthernLass

    I’m sorry for your loss, @Mikeact. I hope you come to some agreement with Virgin so that you can carry out what was evidently her wish.

    NorthernLass

    I once dealt with a case which illustrates the complexities of “ownership” in respect of loyalty points. Mrs A had her purse containing her Boots Advantage card stolen by Mrs B. Mrs A had been saving her points for several years and had over £1000 worth which she was planning to use for her Christmas shopping that year. Mrs B took herself off to Boots in Manchester city centre, and went on a £1000 spree, but was spotted by the security guard who detained her at the exit and recovered the booty she had obtained with the points on the Advantage Card.
    The legal position was this:
    Mrs A owned the Advantage Card (which was given a nominal value of £1), but not the points, which remained the property of Boots. Boots was technically the victim of Mrs B’s shopping spree, and had she not been apprehended, the loss of the products would have been regarded as Boots’ loss, and not Mrs A’s.
    Mrs A’s only loss in the eyes of the law was the Advantage Card, worth £1.
    Obviously Mrs A was extremely distressed as the points represented her Christmas spending money and the loss of these was, for her, a catastrophe. I called Boots and told the manager that I was happy that Mrs A was an innocent victim in all this and wondered if it was Boots’ policy to restore points which were lost in these sorts of circumstances, especially as they had recovered all the booty from Mrs B’s haul. Because they had been assured that Mrs A had not colluded or been negligent, they let her have the points back and Christmas was saved in the A household.

    masaccio

    If, as I expect they might, Virgin cancel the account and you are SOOL, email the Daily Mail and The Times. This is the kind of story they love. Nasty and horribly distasteful but that’s the modern press.

    John

    Mrs B took herself off to Boots in Manchester city centre, and went on a £1000 spree, but was spotted by the security guard who detained her at the exit and recovered the booty she had obtained with the points on the Advantage Card.

    But Mrs B paid for the items with the points, so why was it suspicious? How did the guard know she wasn’t the true cardholder?

    dougzz99

    If, as I expect they might, Virgin cancel the account and you are SOOL, email the Daily Mail and The Times. This is the kind of story they love. Nasty and horribly distasteful but that’s the modern press.

    They know already, the have have @Mikeact phones monitored.

    AJA

    @Reney, true. @JDB I wasn’t suggesting any particular timing. If one has grant of probate would you still be against the idea?

    I actually think it is sad that the aunt didn’t manage to spend the miles on herself – what’s the point of saving for a rainy day if the rainy day never comes?

    She was an avid traveller…big time, until sadly she caught Covid in the very early days…hospitalised and never really recovered thereafter…just didn’t feel up to going away anywhere…and quietly decided to stay at home. Desperately sad for one so active.

    I am so sorry @Mikeact that is sad. I hope you manage to get access to her account and use the miles to positive effect.

    I am not sure if Virgin does this but Aadvantage allows you to donate miles to charity which might be better than having them expire unused.

    AJA

    @Mikeact I am so sorry. Your reply to me is particularly sad. I hope you get to use the points. Especially as your aunt obviously wanted you to have them.

    I am not sure whether Virgin does the same as AA with their scheme and allows you to donate to charity. I think that would be better than having them just disappear.

    Rob
    HfP Staff

    When you say ‘you don’t have the password’, what exactly do you mean?

    If you have the log-in details for any computer of hers, it is likely that the password was stored by Chrome. It may auto-login when you try to access the Virgin Atlantic site. It also be stored by Apple.

    One thing I have done is ensured that other members of my family have their face / fingerprint stored in my phone and PC so they can always get access if needed.

    If you get really stuck drop Rhys an email (rhys at headforpoints.com) – he is best buddies with everyone at VS, far more than me as I never go on any of their trips, and can probably get this looked at.

    paulm
    Mikeact

    This from V-flyer may help..

    https://www.v-flyer.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=301448

    Thanks for that, seems very useful and appropriate.


    @Rob
    I didn’t mention password, but be that as it may…probate has to be sorted first apparently…not that I am a trustee and just have to be patient, but 250k+ miles is not an unreasonable amount, albeit not a lot for Upper Class redemptions! I’ll certainly bear Rhys in mind if I eventually run into any issues.

    And a big thank you to all contributors…appreciated.

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