Sunday, November 16, 2008

Giveaways that don't appear and things that make you go, "Hmmm..."

Back in August, I won a giveaway at Crunchy Green Mom. When a month passed the prize never arrived, I wrote to the Crunchy Green mom to ask what happened. She looked into it and about a week later, asked if I had received it. I hadn't.

My kids knew we won that prize and every day, when I went for the mail, they asked if it had arrived. When we went to the store and they saw Melissa and Doug products or any food-themed toy, they asked where their cutting food was. I had no idea. Was it lost in the mail? Was it never sent? Had they lost my address? What was going on?

Fast forward to November--three months later. I tried contacting the Crunchy Green Mom again and got no response. So I wrote directly to Princess Time Toys who sponsored the giveaway. I asked if it was sent and if so, when and what the tracking number was. I was very polite and brief in my message. I accused them of nothing and made no demands other than asking for the tracking number if the package had been shipped.

I got this reply this evening:

The prize was sent and my apologies if it was lost in the mail. We won't be
able to send a replacement.


Connie Ott, Owner
My Jewel Boutique, Princess Time Toys & Avon Representative
People * Pets * Home

Hmm... Let's look at this, in part from the perspective of a mom and in part from the perspective of someone who was once the head of Public Relations.

#1 (from the mom). I specifically asked for a tracking number and when the package was sent. I can fill out a missing form at the post office if they'd just answer my questions. They didn't tell me any information about when the package was shipped. I find that odd.

#2. I find it odd that they insisted right away that they couldn't send a replacement. I never requested they do so. Yet the entire text of their message is essentially, "We sent it. We won't send another."

#3 (from the PR person). It's the holiday season. You sell toys. I'm a mother. Studies have shown that someone who has a bad experience will tell 10-12 people about that. Here we have a chance to save face and maybe increase your customer base. They have a chance not only to be a bit more polite, but also to possibly get positive publicity simply by making a little extra effort.

Honestly, if they had, it probably would have prompted me to buy some gifts from them. We have tons of other kids in the family who live far away. It's much easier to order gifts for them from a website rather than making it and shipping it or buying it in person and going through the effort of attacking the post office during the holiday season. The set I won cost a whopping $20. I would have spent much more than that.

I wrote back again requesting tracking information. If the situation changes, I will update you. I'm holding out hope that they will do the right thing (and right now, that's really just providing me with the answers requested), but we shall see.

Until then, I'm going to advise that anyone considering using that store proceed with caution. I find their response suspicious.


Mistress Meeyee said...

This happens to me all the time!! I win a necklace in September fro a guy who makes jewelry from metal and has a giveaway every month but he never sent the necklace!I sent him an email and comment and he just never answered.This has happened to me many times.I always wait a month or two before I give up on it.I think we should write bad blogs about these people and ask others to repost it.Who knows,but I hate that for you.I am sorry that some people are dirt bags!

Mandie said...

That is odd. Looks like someone has egg on their face. I have a giveaway on my blog right now. I vow not to have this happen with my giveaways!!

Rachel said...

Me too. I'd hate for that to happen. The Lipton Tea company made good on a giveaway I did last summer for a bike! My winner's bike was never shipped but the PR person took care of it. It took MONTHS for the winner to rec. it but he did get it.
Good luck with that company!

SarahHub said...

I'm sorry this happened!

Yesterday, I mailed the gift certificate you won from my blog. Here's to hoping it makes its way to you safely!