To answer part of that, I have not heard of anyone posting that they made an award booking, online, and it was then able to be incorporated into a OWA itinerary by the Call Centre. Hope that I am proven to be wrong with the ability to do this..... When you go to book the flight yourself are you paying $ or points for just a single award flight or something? Then you ask the consultant to incorporate into your OWA and they refund how you originally bought it?
Edit: The Call Centre always says that it can’t be done, as I’ve tried that tactic a few times