When was the last time you saw a car sitting in your local mall with a big “Win this Car Free!” sign above it? I have a presentation in my local mall right now! Then on each corner it has four stations to fill out entry forms. Ever wonder why people are just randomly giving cars and huge cash prizes away? I’m sure as a marketer you already understand the concept, but for everyone else it just seems like an amazing opportunity. The truth is, it’s usually anything but.
The idea for this post was inspired by a call my sister got on her phone today, and from other upsell crap I’ve wrote about in the past. She entered a contest at Hershey Park in PA a few weeks ago to win a free car or $50,000 in cash. Today a voice mail was left on her phone that basically said the following:
Hi, my name is Sandy. I am calling in regards to the contest you entered to win $50,000 or a luxury car while at a Sundance Concert . I have GREAT NEWS!!” regarding your contest entry. Please call back as soon as possible as we are waiting to hear from you.
This sounds pretty awesome at first. To get an actual call with the possibility that you have won a huge cash prize or a luxury is just amazing! However, as marketers we almost know it’s too good to be true. My sister came over, we listened to the voice mail, then looked at the number it came from and did a quick Google search.
The number was listed as 800-309-7000, and Google came up with a whole selection of relevant sites. I went to one of the first listings, which was WhoCallsMe.com and it was a page full of complaints and people with the same exact call and experience.
As expected, it’s some trash company collecting/selling all of their content entry information then trying to upsell them some garbage that no one wants… another shady business. However, thanks to the power of the internet and people taking action against these scummy promotion companies, you can easily save yourself a lot of time, money and stress by doing your research and not calling these idiots back.
Other great sites for researching promotional companies and random calls you may receive are WhoCallsMe.com, RipOffReport.com and Complaints.com.