Cheating Bloggers or Blog Cheaters?

I just recently ran into a blog post mentioning that there is an individual entering contest repeatedly using multiple profiles.  This is not new info for me since I have already experienced this with my site.

The tell-tale sign is the same IP address, similar emails, and most importantly it's the the duration  in-between entries.   This is how I discerned that it was one individual as opposed to two individuals from the same household.  

It is sad that some folks entering sweepstakes and blog giveaways do so dishonestly.  But, how about on the other end of the spectrum? What about bloggers that host bogus giveaways or simply do not follow through with their giveaways.

The month of March was insane for me.  Three giveaway wins not received and subsequent April correspondents falling on deaf ears. 

Close to three years ago I entered a blog giveaway that required much effort including daily tweets.  I was so excited when I received an email claiming that I had won this giveaway which including seventy five dollars worth of cosmetics.

The company contacted me and wanted to know what products interested me, how exciting I get to choose my products. After not receiving the products I contacted the blogger and apparently the hold up was on my end, say what?  after my reply to their email they were under the impression that I was expecting a gift certificate and the prize was a package of makeup worth $75,  but  "She said that she sent out a package today".

 Very strange, but either way I was happy that they were going to follow through and send me the product.

Another month went by and I never received the products,  two months then three.  It has been close to three years and I don't expect to ever see the products, nor do I want to at this point.  Obviously this is not a trustworthy company.

But, one thing that always disturbed me was the attitude of the blogger, who basically said something to the effect of  'oh well chalk it up to a learning experience', well OK fair.  After all I learned never to enter contest on that particular site.

I can guarantee if a company shirked their responsibility on my site I would not take it lightly.  I would go to bat for my winners.   Fortunately I work with the best and I never had that problem in my ten months of blogging.

 Customer service is as important as the caliber of the product.  Regardless of how much I may like a product if I experience poor customer service then I'm going to take my business elsewhere.  

I; and I'm sure many of you,  have no problem waiting for a giveaway win, just let me know what is causing the hold-up.  Communication is key. We really just want to know that they plan of following through with their obligation.  In the end it's really about the principle of the whole thing.

Sometimes though it is not always the company, but rather the complacency of the blogger.  In March I won a giveaway and I just recently found out that  the company was never notified of the win. They even contacted the blogger in regard to the giveaway and heard nothing back from the blogger.

I am now waiting on another win and this time the company has not offered any communication since being notified last month.    Time will tell if this company fulfills their obligation to the hosting blogger. 

If a company or blogger is up in the air about following through with a giveaway, then please post a caveat explaining the situation.  This will prevent folks from entering blog giveaways under false pretence.
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19 comments:

Anonymous said...

I usually wait a month for wins from blog giveaways longer if its a sweepstakes. I would go through everything to make sure my winners receive the prize and if its the companys own fault I will make sure its well known about. I do understand how much work it is to run a blog and host giveaways but i will still take my time out to make sure people get what they are entitled througha giveaway I ran. I am with you about customer service and taking my buisness elsewere.

Crystal

lisa said...

Thanks Crystal for responding. Fortunately it seldom happens. Most bloggers and companies do follow through.

jc said...

I share your sentiments. These bloggers do not even bother to respond to your many emails. Some of my wins go as far back as 2009 and as of today I'm still waiting although chances remain slimmer than slim. Others offer lame excuses which I will not even bother to repeat. However, there are also really very very sweet bloggers out there. You know who you are, so here's a really really really BIG HUG to you!

Grace Matthews said...

I had this happen to me as well. She told me that the company accidentally sent her the product and that she would get it out to me. Then a month later she told me that she would contact the company to see where the product is, then changed her story again. Needless to say I contacted the company to let them know what had happened and they sent me product, but said it was not a giveaway they were sponsoring.

lisa said...

Thanks JC and Grace for sharing your experiences. Contacting the company is indeed a good idea. If they are reputable they will try to resolve the problem.

Scott said...

Concerning the husband/wife cheaters (I hope it was not my wife, Angie, and I BTW), I don't know about others, but for my wife and I we have two separate PCs and I also have an iPod Touch and iPhone. All four are hooked up to the same wireless router in our home, so I am guessing all four would show up with the same IP addy. That said, we often enter things simultaneously, sitting in the same room, discussing the giveaways as we do them. Its something we do for fun together. We only enter this way on blogs that ALLOW a one per person/email entry though. I hate cheaters and so does Ang. And I too have seen TONS of blogs that we follow posting new rules and posts regarding cheaters lately. I am so sorry you all are having this issue. Cheating is no fun and not fair. If you need Ang and I to stop both entering your giveaways, please just let us know. We never cheated in any way to our knowledge and hope we are not the couple you are talking about.
Concerning the bloggers/sponsor issue, I have had this issue happen to me twice. Both time it got resolved when I ended up contacting the brand name directly. Both times the brand name claimed to not know the sponsor or the blogger and after showing them evidence of the giveaway and my win, they sent me the prize. I hate to go over bloggers' heads like that, but I have done it in the past and the bloggers have actually thanked me as they were at their wits end and did not know they too had been had!
Good luck with your current issues!
Scott
nynekats at gmail dot com

lisa said...

Hi Scott thanks so much for replying. I have to admit I was suspicious that you and Angie were one in the same. I am still deciding if should limit my giveaways per household. Since there seems to be a cheating epidemic it may make things easier. I guess I'll have to sleep on it, and if i do change my rules they will be in effect for my next line-up of giveaways and I will post a stipulation of one entry per household. But, I will keep ya posted.

Scott said...

Nope. We are two different people! I swear! LOL I will admit that Ang finds them for the most part (I find some though) but we both enter using our own accounts, tweets, emails, etc. You can see what we look like on Facebook! LOL I am Heath Cole and she is Tofu Fairy. Heck, you may be Facebook friends with her...lord knows I can't keep up with her page. LOL No worries. Other have thought the same thing about us. But thanks for giving us the benefit of the doubt. Good luck figuring out what you need to do. We will respect your decision 100% and totally understand your POV!
Scott
nynekats at gmail dot com

hbbs55 said...

I think it should be one per household, for those like Scott and his wife, there are lots of blog giveaways for the same product to enter. Why not each pick the ones you chose to enter. It can still be family fun time :)

angie lilly said...

I think for now, we are just going to stop entering the same giveaways all together, as much as we enjoy it. So many of the blogs we currently follow are changing their rules of late so that we are having to keep this long list of blogs we are not allowed to both enter on and stuff and that just takes all the fun out of it. Plus, the idea that people even THINK we are cheating ticks me off so badly that I just don't want to give fuel to that fire if you know what I mean. lol

@hbbs55: that is a really smart idea! I'd never thought of it and know Scott hasn't! I will share it with him. Your idea makes it possible for us to still enjoy doing it together! Thank you! xoxo
Angie
14earth at gmail dot com

lisa said...

Angie and Scott may not be cheating, but apparently there are some folks out there that are cheating. This is why I feel it would be best to start limiting my giveaways to one per household. I hate doing this, but I feel it is the best way to prevent cheaters. Hope y'all understand.

Scott said...

We completely understand and can't imagine anyone NOT understanding! Keep on keeping on!
Scott (& Angie)
nynekats at gmail dot com

sustahl said...

@Scott and Ang, for some reason, I look up to you for coming in here and speaking that you aren't cheaters. It took guts.

I know on my site I should start doing the one time per household rule to stop the people who are cheating, but is that fair to the sweepers from the same family. I am the only one in my family that sweeps, but if my husband did, I would want to give him the opportunity to win. A winning email is the best.

@Lisa, I am sorry you have had a hard time getting your winnings. It is so frustrating.

lisa said...

Thanks for the comment sustahl and Scott thanks so much for understanding.

The reason I decided to do one per household is the simple fact that there seems to be an epidemic of cheaters.

I do want to be fair to everyone, however, many of my giveaways are small, individual giveaways. And I would have no problem with two folks in the same household entering those giveaways.

I would, however, have a problem if two folks from the same household entered a larger giveaway such as blenders, vacuums and so forth.

I honestly thought of just doing one per household on certain giveaways but changed my mind. I'm afraid that there would be some dishonest person that would take advantage.

It is sad that some people have to ruin it for others.

It is indeed a sad situation.

I appreciate all the comments, if you guys get a chance could you click the 'like' button at the bottom of this post. Thanks.

lewalk said...

I don't understand people cheating for the sheer fact that this is supposed to be fun. I do this to unwind, and get stuff for free to boot. Lol. It seems it would become a chore to try and cheat to win. If you need to win so badly that you decide to cheat, maybe you should get off the computer and go to work? Lol. But, really. Thanks for bringing this to light. I think it gets overlooked a lot of times too because it's too much trouble for some to try and figure it out. Sad.

Leah

P.S. Isn't trying to fight for your hard earned winnings the pits? Ugh. I have had mostly pleasant experiences in that dept though. Sadly, I have also run into some mean bloggers and unresponsive companies. There are prizes I will never see but I'm super thankful for what I do get.

lisa said...

Thanks Leah for the great comment.

Four months ago I won a candle and the company has been unresponsive, I don't intend to see this candle that took all my pennies to make.

I'm sorry that you have run into mean bloggers, that's pretty bad. I can't fathom not fighting for my winners. Customer service is as important as the product and I could not promote a product if the company didn't keep their word.

I do feel that I work with the best, I am extremely picky with products I feature on my site as well as the caliber of the company. Because I do NOT want to deal with this kind of situation on my blog.

Anonymous said...

I have never entered a giveaway posing as two different people by using different names and email addys. What I often do is occasionally switch up the nickname I use (I have many)so for several different giveaways on the same blog I will have my same legal entries but my nickname may be different. And here is my reason--generally random.org picks a winner. There have been times when my number was chosen by the randomizer for two giveaways on the same blog ending the same day. And boy were there comments from other entrants. It's as if they felt either the blogger or I was cheating. I can't control the randomizer and the number it chooses. But talk about bruised feelings of other entrants! One blogger posted that she wanted everyone to know I tweeted my heart out to win. Truth be told I hate twitter and will never tweet anything. To me this was a lie when actually the blogger should have reminded her readers how the randomizer works and that it is out of everyone's control. So to sooth bruised feelings I switch up my names as that is usually what is posted for a win. But I never enter more than is allowed for one person/one household member.

ArtsyChaos said...

Lisa, I enjoyed your post!! I, too, am a blogger with giveaways that also, too, enters a lot of giveaways. Did that make sense? In any case, I have won quite a few and it's really exciting. But nothing is more frustrating than a blog owner who won't follow through.

I had one blog owner, after months had gone by, that she finally told me that it was too much hassle for her to mail me my prize as the sponsor had inadvertently mailed it to her. Frankly, her email to me was rude. I won't set foot on her blog now.

I have had several prizes not received where the bloggers are still blogging along with giveaways but they don't answer any of my emails or facebook posts. And if the sponsor won't follow through with their end, I don't blame the blogger if they would just communicate with their readers!!

Sadly, in my experience, the bloggers that don't take responsibility are more than you would think.

There are amazing blog owners too though!! I had a prize not materialize for 6 months or so and Jen at Born 2 Impress stayed on top of it. She is wonderful and my hero. :)

BTW, thanks for all your giveaways here, they are so fun to participate in!!
~Wendy

lisa said...

Thanks Wendy for your comment. I'm sorry for your experiences and sadly I can relate. It was WRONG for the blog administrator to not ship your prize. You should not of been penalized for the sponsor's mistake. Maybe you could email me the blog so I know to stay away.

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