Oh boy. This was the blog post I had hoped not to write.
What was meant to be a straight forward blog giveaway has turned into a miniature ‘situation’ and has left me with no choice but to write this drawn out discussion of my giveaway’s integrity and what it means to have rules and to honour a deadline.Now, as you know, I recently ran my First Giveaway on the blog and it was, for the most part, a resounding success.
I had fun choosing the prizes, reading your comments, and even drawing the prize winner(s). It’s true that it’s nicer to give than receive and I loved the experience of this first giveaway and the joy it has brought to the winners.
In fact, I had such a good time with it that I decided at the last minute to extend a prize to not just the one Grand Prize Winner but another five randomly chosen entries for a little bonus prize from me.
Now, it has been more than a week since the deadline for the winners to contact me and claim their prizes and I’ve since arranged the delivery of all the prizes…all except one, that is.
Now, the prize draw itself was based on the names attached to the comments of the original giveaway post.
Thankfully, the drawing and claiming of the Grand Prize by Miss Noor Atiqah (Congrats, girl!) went without a hitch so I’m grateful for that.
Then, the next five names drawn represented my five bonus winners.
I was contacted in a timely fashion by all of these winners as you know – bar one.
Sadly, the deadline came and went and nothing. Nothing that is, until last night when I received not one but two claims to the same identity of Princess.
This is not entirely true. Shortly after the bonus winners were announced, I received an email from a Princess but as the email differed from the true Princess from my winner’s list, I made a special request to ask if this Princess to confirm if she was the owner of the very specific email address that was attached to the winner’s comment.
As it were, I never did get a reply to this from this Princess and I could not find any record of this person attached to the email they wrote to me of even participating in the giveaway at all. Oh well.
Contrary to what some of you may think, I have been very thorough with my background check of the entries list. In all fairness, I have made sure that each entry completed all the steps of my contest rules before they qualified for the draw. That is, every entrant was required to Like my Facebook Page, share the original FB giveaway post and leave a comment on the original giveaway blog post.
These were the rules and I aimed to have them adhered to.
The remaining two ‘princesses’ who eventually did contact me both did so last night- a weird coincidence, I know.
Both completed all steps but you know, only one of these princesses owned the very important email address to justify that she is the true prize winner. Let’s call her Cinderella.
All would have been well had the real Cinderella not left it to until almost a week after the deadline before reaching out to me. The deadline was last Saturday at midnight.
Mind you, I have made more than one announcement about my giveaway on FB, this blog and even Instagram. I did the same shout-outs across all these same social media channels belonging to this blog for the results and yes, I’m afraid that if you enter a giveaway, it is your responsibility to contact me before my deadline dates and check back. Seriously, stalk my pages if you have to, I don’t mind. Just stick to the dates!
I do feel that I have left fair and ample time for each winner to contact me and most of you managed to do so accordingly.
Truly, in this day and age, none of us are ever very far from social media wherever we may be on this planet and especially so since my giveaway required social media access to join anyway…but anyway, rules are rules.
Now, some of you may wonder what the fuss is over this small and little bonus prize but you know what, it matters to me.
This is because all of this calls into question the integrity of the way I have run my giveaway and that is why I have no choice but to redraw this final bonus winner.
Imagine if this strange turn of events occurred over the Grand Prize Package in this giveaway? How would you all feel then if we were talking about a prize package worth more than RM700 (USD200)? How would it be fair to all the other entrants to my giveaway?
And, what would this shoddiness to the details mean in terms of setting a precedence for future giveaways?!
So, I need to settle this the only right way I can imagine because I owe it to each and every one of you who has been kind enough to participate in my first blog giveaway to redraw this bonus prize. It’s only fair.
I could have settled this easily. Perhaps turned down the winner behind the scenes, forgotten the whole thing or just sent out the prize anyway but somehow, it just didn’t feel right to me.
Surely, you all would have been oblivious to the background issues but hey, my tell tale heart would have troubled me knowing that things were not done properly at all. And that’s not something that I want to live with.
I’m sorry I have to do it this way and forgive me for this long-winded speech but I need to be comfortable with the results from a personal stand and honour the rules, terms and conditions of my own giveaway.
So, I suppose I will be selecting another name from the Lucky Bowl…this time the winner will only be announced on my Facebook page sometime in the next two days.
Again, my soon-to-be-announced New Bonus Winner, you have until my deadline (to be announced) to email me your details or forfeit your right to the prize.
*sigh* In preservation of my sanity, I hereby state that I will not be drawing for this prize a third time. If it is forfeited again (touchwood!) I will instead donate the monetary value of the prize to one of my favourite charities – the local SPCA. You all have my word on that.
I insist some good must come from this and I began this on a high note and plan to end it on a high note.
All things considered, this has not made me shy away from holding another blog giveaway and I’m already planning another awesome surprise for all you sweeties.
Stay tuned to the blog if you are interested and please do read the rules and conditions carefully and follow up your entry – for your sake and mine.