Competitions are amazing, even more so when you’re winning. I mean entering competitions alone can be fun, don’t get me wrong. However there are down sides to competitions that no one likes to talk about, until it happens to them. Thankfully I’ve not had it happen yet and I’ve got everything I’ve won. I have had to poke a couple of companies mind you!
I wanted to talk about what to do when you don’t get a competition prize though. It happens and it sucks, there are things you can do to ensure you get your prize and it depends on the person as to what route you want to take! At the end of the day though it’s up to the person running the competition to send out the prize, as part of the ASA guidelines otherwise they can occur a fine! So for example if you enter a competition with a blogger and the prize is sent out by the company, if that company doesn’t send out the prize it’s up to the blogger to buy the prize and then send it out to the winner! It can be a lot of hassle for us bloggers although thankfully most companies are true to their word!
So below you’re going to find certain way that you can complain and eventually get your prize, depending on the type of person you are and maybe the prize that you’ve won will depend on what route you wish to take to get the matter resolved but there are a few to pick from so don’t worry!
If you’re entering competitions through Twitter you’re already going to understand the power of Twitter. Although it’s not just Twitter that matters when it comes to the power of social media. If you haven’t got a prize after some time and the company has maybe stopped replying to your emails you can make a bit of a fuss.
I had it happen to me where a company stopped emailing me back so I had to take to publicly calling them out. First of all I would suggest sending them a private message on all of their social medias to see if they respond. After say a week and a few messages if they are yet to respond, that’s when you go public.
A few compers will totally disagree with this and say that you shouldn’t publicly shame a company for not sending out a competition prize because it will stop them running competitions in the future. Although my argument would be that if they’re not sending out the prizes, why would you want them holding anymore competitions and causing more trouble for other people? So yes I would say that calling a company out publicly isn’t a bad thing if you’ve been reasonable and given them time to respond to any private messages you’ve sent.
If you do decide to do this make sure you’re still being polite. You don’t want to get rude and then make the situation even worse for yourself, that would suck! Just stay calm and polite, if that doesn’t work then you might need to move onto my next point which can be a bit annoying but I’ve found in a couple of cases; it works.
Have you ever just thought about some terrible customer service and thought about complaining to head office? Well here’s your chance! I would suggest sending a well written email to head office if you don’t have a lot of time and wait for a response. Most of the time you’ll get a response and apology from the company followed by your prize being sent out. I have to admit I’ve only had to write to a head office once and the second time I phoned them.
If you would prefer to phone the head office this isn’t an issue. However some smaller companies may not have a telephone line and you might not even have the time to sit around on the phone for half hour when an email could have taken you ten minutes! My advice though, if social media has failed get onto the head office and cause a stir. Don’t forget to mention that it’s against the ASA guidelines to not send out a prize and a huge fine can occur. Which in fact brings me to my next and final point.
Now I’ve thankfully never had to go down this route although have known people who have when they haven’t got their prizes, normally big prizes. I’ve always managed to sort it out through head office although have once politely told a huge supermarket chain that if they don’t sort their act out the next time I’ll bypass them and go straight to ASA! The threat of ASA should be enough, if someone is holding a competition they should know who they are and if not feel free to inform them.
If you do need to seek help from the ASA then I would suggest contacting them through their website. You can in fact get in touch with them on their Twitter profile or if you want there’s a nice big “make a complaint” button on the top of their page. If a company has done you wrong and you have lost hope in getting your prize, the company needs to be held accountable. The way I look at it, even if I wasn’t to get my prize, it might stop the company from doing it to someone else which is more than worth it.
After contacting the ASA they informed me that they are at hand if you feel that a competition is not being run fairly. They will asses any complaints under the ASA rules. So if you see any competitions that aren’t being run how they should be, get in touch with the ASA and get it sorted out!
So there you have it! If you don’t get your prize you have a few avenues that you can go down to try and get it. At the same time if you see any competitions that stand out as wrong and aren’t being run properly you have someone to complain to. Although I would always suggest going to the company first.
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