Friday, March 25, 2011

Entering Giveaways – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

 

I love entering giveaways.

I mean who doesn’t love winning things?  And over the years I have won some really nice products.  Usually I’ve had very good experiences entering and winning giveaways, but there are a couple of exceptions.

The giveaways I enter are usually bloggers, just like me, who have been contacted by a sponsor that wants them to host a giveaway in order to create “buzz” about their products.  If there is a problem, it is typically the fault of the sponsor, not of the blogger hosting the giveaway.

Case in point:

A couple of months ago I entered a giveaway on Wild Tonic’s blog to win a ring from Blue Butterfly Vintage.

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It was a lovely ring and when I was told I had won it I was thrilled.

I waited, and waited.  Finally I wrote Jenn, from Blue Butterfly Vintage, to ask her if maybe my ring had gotten lost in the mai,l since I had never received it.

She wrote me back to tell me she hadn’t mailed it yet, but that she would send it ASAP.

A few days later it arrives in the mail, looking like this:

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First of all, it doesn’t look like the ring in the photo.  Secondly, it is broken!

I immediately emailed her to tell her it arrived broken, and asking if I can super glue it, but hoping that she will offer to repair it or send me a new one.

I got back what seemed to me a flippant reply:

From Jenn: Ugh, bummer! I didn't send it out for a couple weeks and it arrives broken. Pretty bad reflections on my business! I think because it probably still has the jewelry glue to adhere to, that super glue would work just fine. Very sorry, I ran out of boxes which is what I generally ship my vintage jewelry in, so I thought it would make it there in the padded envelope. Guess not! Hopefully the glue will work.

Jenn

 

Well, it didn’t seem like she wanted to make this right.  I went to her Facebook page and posted how disappointed I was in how she had handled this.  She deleted the commented and blocked me right away.

I posted on Twitter of my disappointment, and I got back a flurry of tweets.

@kdet62 chill out, lady. you won the ring, you didnt pay for it. why bother asking if super glue would fix it if youre just gonna complain?

haha i just had to retweet that. she WON the ring and it broke in the mail. not like i was like ohhh i will break this and send it out.

@kdet62 you are, by far, the meanest person i have come across in a long time. continue to spread your vitriol. im over it.

Hmmmmmm . . . so, since I won the ring instead of paying for it, I should be happy with a broken ring – one that broke because, by the vendor’s own admission, it wasn’t properly packaged for shipping?  I’m mean because I complain about the way she has treated a potential customer?

The only consolation that can be taken from an experience like this is that I found out about the vendor’s lack of ethics and professionalism without having spent any money to do so.

Another company I have had problems with is Powermat.

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Back in December I won a Powermat, a Powercube (the universal device charger) and three receivers (“receiver” being Powermat’s name for the replacement battery door that allows a device – in our case, our BlackBerrys – to charge by simply laying it on the Powermat).  Phil and I were intrigued by this product.  The ability to charge multiple things, like our phones and my Kindle, would be very convenient.

Well, first of all, I received the mat and three receivers, but no Powercube.  When I called the company about it, the person I spoke to assured me this would be taken care of and I would be sent the Powercube that I should have gotten.

Instead, a few days later, I received some sort of mini USB to micro USB converter.  I decided to just let it go and be happy with what we had.

Then, a month later, the Powermat stopped working altogether.

I called numerous times, with no resolution.  Finally, after posting on Facebook and making a couple of additional phone calls, I was told to pack up everything that I had received, mail it back to them, and the non-functioning Powermat and accessories would be replaced.  That is what we did.

When I got our package back, all that was inside was the mat!  No receivers, and no Powercube.  Now we had a mat and no way to charge anything.  More phone calls followed.  By now my frustration with this company’s customer service was through the roof!

More phone calls, more excuses and shuffling around.  Finally I was told that the receivers would be mailed to us.  We did eventually get the Powercube that we’d never had, but thus far still no sign of the our receivers.

I’m beginning to think that once you win something, even though you have promoted the product on your blog, on Facebook, on Twitter, and everywhere else that you can think of in order to win, that, with some manufacturers and vendors, you are not considered a customer, but a second class citizen. That baffles me, because how will they sell anything else to that person after treating them so badly?,

 

Overall, I have won hundreds of items over the years, and usually the experience has been a positive one.  Most companies are a pleasure to work with.  I won a bottle of Olive Oil from Olivari®  a couple of weeks ago, and the bottle of oil had leaked in the packaging.  I wrote the company,  Not only did they replace the bottle, they also sent me more coupons for free bottles and another garlic press.  Will I buy this olive oil in the future?  You bet. Will I recommend it to people?  Absolutely.

I’ve already passed out the coupons to friends and family.

So there you go . . . the good, the bad, and the ugly.