In this Frequent Miler week in review around the web, we have nws about Google’s secret deal with Mastercard to collect data on your in-store activity, success with challenging call centers, and some inspiration for your next off-the-path destination. Read on for this week’s recap around the ‘net:
In a revelation that should shock no one but might still make many people feel a little uncomfortable, Bloomberg reveals a secret deal between Google and at least Mastercard (though signs point to more than one partner in on this) to track your location and in-store purchase activity to determine the effectiveness of ads you have viewed/clicked online in motivating your purchasing behavior in the places where Google is watching you. If you just hummed a bar or two of, “I always feel like somebody’s waaaaatching meeee“, you’re probably not alone. I often feel like I’ve accepted the trade of my privacy for modern conveniences, but stuff like this starts to feel kind of creepy. View from the Wing has the steps to turn this off….though I don’t imagine it’s only those in tinfoil hats who will be skeptical as to whether toggling the switch actually does anything.
If you’ve had to call Marriott recently, you’ve undoubtedly had the opportunity to enjoy Marriott’s hold music. If you’re more interested in a sound of a human’s voice than the recording about how they are experiencing longer-than-usual-hold times, One Mile at a Time has the solution. This is one of those that’s so simple you’ll kick yourself for not thinking of it yourself (as I did when I read this hours after spending 30 minutes on hold).
Speaking of the joys of calling loyalty program customer service, Avianca’s LifeMiles program has been known to make the process anything but joyful. However, Sriram at Travel Codex reports a recent experience that went smoothly overall, if not quite perfect. Whether his experience is an anomaly or an indication of improved training and service remains to be seen, but I found this post a good read to know what to expect should I run into problems with the LifeMiles booking engine.
A fun read from The Telegraph that includes a number of fascinating and off-the-beaten-path locales. The title is a bit misleading in my opinion — this is a list of some of Don Parrish’s favorite trips of the last ten years according to the article — but it nonetheless is a list of 10 places that may pique your curiosity. I don’t feel like all of these are must-visit places for me, but you might find inspiration for a new destination in this article.
That’s it for this week around the web. Check back soon for this week’s last chance deals.