Some trainers on Pokemon GO are finding that their "Best Friends" are deleting them after hitting the milestone—making it impossible for them to get their XP bonus.
This isn't a new issue, either. Trainers have been complaining about this act for years. Well-meaning individuals in search of trades go on to add friends to their Friends List, put in the effort to grow the relationship, only to find it dashed the moment their hard-earned XP comes in. Unfortunately, it appears that Niantic Labs, itself, may be stumped on how to fix it.
Pokemon GO Friend XP Exploit Explained
As one Reddit user on a post published in the Pokemon GO subreddit board in 2018 explained, "I opened the app a couple of hours later and received the notification that our friendship levels had increased; however, I didn't receive the black screen to trigger MY XP bonus. I opened my friends page and noticed she was no longer listed!"
The user went on to explain that they attempted to reach out to the trainer via their original post only to find that post had been deleted as well. When they attempted to contact Niantic, they received an unfortunately idle response.
"Sorry to know that your friend had removed you before you received XP bonus for Best Friend. When you become Best or Ultra Friend with someone, the friendship level increases for both of you. In this case, you might not get the XP bonus which you suppose to receive. Also, we do not have an option to manually add XP to your account." Niantic wrote back.
Eventually, the trainer was able to find, contact, re-add, and receive their half of the Best Friend Bonus XP from their previous friend. Fortunately, it seems that friendship levels stay intact regardless of deletion or re-addition.
There appears to be no way to protect against this. Trainers are advised to keep track of who they add as friends just in case they need to re-add a trainer who ditched them for experience points.