Today I wanted to touch on some of the reasons that sweepstakes rules are an important part of the game, based upon a particular giveaway that has some potential winners in an uproar. Some of you may have entered this giveaway, as well, as I had posted it on Twitter
As potential winners, based upon my own experience and research, a number of us were sent emails stating that too many people did not read the rules, therefore we had to verify that we were eligible to win by sending a copy of our CDL license, or a photo of us in a semi-truck with a company logo on it, or a screen shot of the company's app on our phone.
The verification process is no problem to me, generally speaking. Except for, in this case, the fact that I am generally a stickler about the rules, and I found their explanation hard to believe.
Hence, the research commenced. I looked for the rules in an online search, and could not find them posted anywhere. Next, I went to the "Trucker Path" Facebook page, to see what I could find there, as it was their giveaway.
I found several complaints from others who had received the same email, and this post
in particular, in which someone had posted the link to this set of rules
The entire set of rules, as posted, consists of three points. These points were basically "Like", "Post," and "Share." That's it. So, since the rules link did not state the name of the giveaway, I gave them the benefit of the doubt, and responded to the potentially winning email, and asking for a link to the official rules. They instead sent me the screenshot you see below.
This is obviously not the link I requested. This is from an editing tool. So, of course, this brought on a number of questions. Was there some type of electronic malfunction that made the rules show up incomplete? Did the sponsors go back to try to change something after the fact (as someone suspected in another post, on a different site)? How could they just blame the potential winners, without some type of apology or acknowledgement that they may have made some type of mistake, too? Do they have any responsibility at all, to make things right? Why not just award the prizes to the people who won them? Yet, these questions could go on and on.
I understand that things can go wrong, whether they be by human err or by electronic malfunction, and that either party could make mistakes. In my opinion, it isn't worth it to blame anybody, when you can't know what went on to make the situation what it is. Yet, it does have some effect.
Generally speaking, many sweepstakes rules will clearly say that they are not responsible for electronic malfunctions (or something similar). These particular rules said nothing of the sort. In fact, they basically said nothing at all. In the end, it does leave a sour taste in your mouth, and it obviously has made some people very mad.
Still, I always feel bad about a company taking a big blow when these things happen. It really isn't good for either side. Yet, there is a reason why sweepstakes rules are governed and regulated, and for those who don't take the time to put the proper points into their set of rules, there really are some consequences. This may only go to the point of the company getting some bad press, though it could go further. I saw more than one comment asking if the giveaway was a scam.
Of course, it is worth mentioning that a good giveaway gone bad does not necessarily denote that the company itself is bad. It could just mean mismanagement of the giveaway itself, or any number of other things, or it really could be that the company is just that bad. You never really know.
Honestly, I think the thing about this whole ordeal that is so irksome to me, is that their approach gave the feeling that we were too stupid to read the rules, when at least some of us really did read them. Of course, second to this is the chance that we are likely losing out on the new iPad or t-shirt that rightfully belongs to us, according to the requirements of the rules as posted. That hurts, too.
As a P.S., I grew up with a best friend and "second family" in the trucking business. Also, after spending a good number of my adult years traveling on the road, I found truck drivers to be some of the most helpful and friendly drivers on the road. So, though I may not be a trucker myself, I do have an affinity and an appreciation for those who are.
Stay tuned for further updates, if anything comes up...
Now, on to today's sweepstakes!
The FREE Butter and Cream Cheese GIVEAWAY from Challenge
* 1,000 winners will each receive either a voucher for a free Challenge Butter, or for a Challenge Cream Cheese product. Butter ARV $4.99, cream cheese ARV $2.60.
Due to certain legalities in some states, winners who are residents of AR, CA, CT, ID, KS, LA, MA, MN, MO, MS, ND, NJ, NV, PA, TN, UT, VA or WI will receive an alternate prize of a See’s Candies $5 gift card.
One entry per person/email address per 24 hours. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C., 13 or older. Ends April 5, 2015.
Make It Tonight Sweepstakes With Colavita & Fine Cooking” Sweepstakes
* Grand Prize is the Colavita Pizza Essentials Basket, one year’s supply of Colavita Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (redeemable in the form of 12 free item coupons), and Fine Cooking cookbooks: Fresh from the Farm; Pizza on the Grill; Panini Express. Total ARV $367.
One entry per person/email address. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C., 18 or older as of March 1, 2015. Ends April 13, 2015.
THE HOBBIT: The Battle of the Five Armies Blu-ray Sweepstakes
* Grand prize is a Panasonic SC-BTT 465 Blu-ray Home Theater System (ARV $599.99), and a copy of "THE HOBBIT: The Battle of the Five Armies" on Blu-ray DVD combo (ARV $30).
* 30 Runner up prizes of a copy of "THE HOBBIT: The Battle of the Five Armies" on Blu-ray DVD combo. ARV $30.
One entry per email address. Open to legal U.S. residents, 18 or older. Ends April 22, 2015.