Check out this FlyerTalk post by my friend Pat. It’s long but most definitely worth reading. I won’t even try to summarize it, other than saying that United decided to report a top tier flyer to a collection agency, only to find out it was a big mistake. In typical United fashion, it took weeks to resolve and for the most part United accepted no responsibility for the mistake.
Another thing this shows is how out of line United’s compensation system is. If you have a broken reading light on a daytime seven hour transatlantic flight, you get a $250 voucher as a 1K. If United reports you to a collection agency and a two week battle ensues, you get a $250 voucher. Don’t get me wrong, at other airlines like Continental, a $250 voucher would be huge, but at United it’s not because they compensate passengers so well to begin with.