Topguest offers a great way to earn bonus points for both the Hilton HHonors program and the Virgin America Elevate program. Both programs participate and allow users to check in via foursquare at select locations and offer them bonus points for doing so. HHonors rewards 50 points per DoubleTree Check in and Virgin America offers 25 elevate points for every check in at a Virgin America official location (airport, kiosks, gate, etc.). For the last several months, I have been checking in to the DoubleTree and Virgin America locations almost every day on foursquare, since both are less than 5 miles from my house (not to mention I am nearby a DoubleTree or at the airport almost every 2 or 3 days anyways). I have accumulated quite a few free points from TopGuest over the last several months without even thinking twice. Yet yesterday I recieved the following email from the company.
Hi DoubleWidesFly, We noticed you’re a big user of Topguest (great) but that you seem to be using the service in ways that violate our Terms of Service (less great). Specifically, we have noticed over time that you seem to be checking in to our partner venues in a way that is not in the spirit of the Topguest program and in breach of Section (1) (c) of our TOS. You can find more information about our fair use policy on http://www.topguest.com/support. If we continue to see this behavior, we will terminate your Topguest account and you will no longer be eligible to earn points for your checkins. Regards, Topguest.
Since I wasn’t sure of the policy I went and double checked the website, sure enough it said:
What is Topguest’s fair use policy?
The spirit of Topguest is to reward members for actually visiting Topguest partner locations and interacting with those brands, then sharing their experience with their friends on their favorite social networks.
Topguest flags activity based on a number of tests. These include looking for check-ins that are unreasonably frequent, impossible to make based on velocity, the friends with whom the users shared their check-ins, and whether a user is checking into a venue that is not known to exist at the address where the venue was created.
So from what I gathered, I better start sharing more of my experiences and writing mini reviews on foursquare otherwise I will be cut off. Or maybe I just need to check in only 2 or 3 times a week instead of 5-7! But If I’m driving pass a DoubleTree shouldn’t I be able to check-in?
Has anyone else received this threat from TopGuest? Thoughts?