A Comping Offer Too Good To Miss?

Posted on: June 21st, 2013 by Jason 7 Comments

It’s probably wrong for a competition site that couldn’t continue to make the ‘free model’ work as we’d have liked to commentate on subscription services. However, one of the aims of Loquax back in the day was to provide a service better than those who charged (we did that) and in time inspire those who charged to actually provide something that’s worth paying for. So it you’re forking out dosh you should really be getting a good deal… in fact a better deal than you could get from the free services that are around.

One such subscription service, The National Compers’ Alliance, fascinates us here at Loquax. This is run by our “friends” at Oxfordshire Press – you know the ones who reviewed us in such glowing terms we reported them to ASA. Each year compers receive an email inviting them to join the “UK’s most advanced competition-winning service”. The emails are always long winded and utilise a marketing technique that basically makes you think that this offer is too good to miss out on.

It’s always time limited, the boss is probably going to go nuts if he finds out that places are being offered again and it’s designed to suck you in by throwing pound signs and savings in your general direction. Simply by mish-mashing everything together and creating a confusion to entice you in they are trying their hardest to get you to part with your cash. In many respects it’s quite clever, in others it just looks incredibly spammy.

What we found interesting was the differences in emails over the last few years. We’ve located three different versions of the NCA offer and for a bit of fun decided to have a look at how they differ.

2011 Version
This one kicked off with some National Lottery stats and that the “average UK car competition will receive less than 6,000 entries”. Brigette tells us how she went to Sri Lanka, The Maldives, Lanzarote & Cyprus for free whilst there are loads of other endorsements from happy compers. The cost is £299 and you get a “subscription to the UK’s top three competitions services” plus some free cash to play “on the UK’s only online bingo website just for compers”.

2012 Version
In 2012, The NCA jumped on the feel good factor generated by The Olympics and invited you to go for gold. Brigette’s testimonial has gone and Jackie Davison tells us about a trip to Koh Samui in Thailand. A lot of the other comments have gone but interestingly Roz from Austell – who was in the 2011 newsletter – is also in the 2012 version. Also on the retained list is Edwin Mutton who’s quoted as saying that the publisher “help in the IPM’s campaign to maintain the integrity of the Promotions industry”. That’s good to know!

2013 Version
For this year, out goes The Olympics and in comes… well not a lot that’s really new. The average car comp is still getting 6000 entries, poor Roz has had “no major wins but a steady stream of prizes”, Jackie’s still telling us about her Thailand holiday and Edwin still going on about integrity. On one of the services mentioned the prizes on offer, include “£1000 of shopping vouchers and a selection of Cadbury biscuits” – the same as they did last year.

There are new elements in 2013’s offer though – out goes MyComps (integrated into Simply Prizes) and in comes Competition Club (“the UK’s only social media comping service”) and Puzzles4Prizes – a new service that lets you pay to get answers for Take a Break, Chat etc.

So What’s The Point?

The point here is fairly simple – if you get an offer in your inbox, especially if it relates to comping, don’t take it on face value. Go and do some research! Find out if you’re really getting an offer to good to miss or if you’re just being sent some carefully crafted advert to entice you to part with your money!

Find out if the customer reviews are new! Find out what else might be out there that perhaps might be better value. Also check out the websites that you’ll be using – do they look professional? are they up to date? do they convey trust? It may well be that for you this “deal” is up your street on the other hand forking out £299 plus an annual fee of just under £40 (that’s not a subscription but an admin charge) might be less attractive.

Anyway, you guys are the compers out there… is this a good deal? Have you signed up and got value for money? Or did you find it was a waste of your time and cash? We don’t know the answers – so over to you for your opinion.

Join The Conversation

  • QED

    I can’t stand lying nonsense myself. If I receive any emails about such expensive, unnecessary competition ‘help’ I shall set a rule to delete them from server.

    Loquax beats all rivals into a cocked hat.

  • bristolgirl

    Firstly I see Loquax blogs have become like buses – none for ages then 2 turn up at once 😆

    Secondly you have every right to comment and you made and are continuing to make the free model work very well albeit in a different form – thank you.

    I guess if I was brand new to comping then the offers may seem good although I still probably wouldn’t pay £300 to sign up. Not being new to comping then I am much more sceptical. I would like to know where the figures such as 6000 entries for a car come from. As far as I can tell some comps on facebook for scarves etc get almost as many entrants as that so it seems a very low figure. More importantly though I realise through my own efforts that there is no guarantee of a win and some people win all the time and others win very little. And I have yet to really make any other conclusion than some people are just lucky and some are not and you cant change that other than obviously you wont win if you don’t enter. My wins for the last few years in total have not added up to £300 so I would be well out of pocket and most probably have given up and stopped the annual admin fee, which I suspect is something that an awful lot of people do when they realise the time and effort put in for (often) small reward.

  • Polarbear

    Well over the years i have done quite well in comping, no i havev’t won a car, but i have had quite a few decent wins, Xbox, Wii, digital cameras,cash (£10,000 plus a massive Plasma HD tv and dvd player surround speakers etc-courtesy of the alan titchmarsh show)- almost everything except a car (still trying though) and the daily mail yearly country cottage!! lol and all for free because of Loquax!!.

    So why on earth would i want to pay £300 plus £40 annually (admin fee?- that little term covers a multitude of sins and is often used by companies to fleece you of your cash!) when i can do it myself and for free- especially now that more and more promoters are including that third party entries (such as those from the various oxford press groups) will not be counted and will be disqualified. Ok not every comp does that but companies are at last, becoming more aware of emails from the same ip number/slight email variation etc and are disqualifying those entries (when caught of course, no doubt some might still get through.

    The new format and change of loquax circumstances was a massive shock although i sussed that something was in the wind a few months before, it was however a big change to get used to. 6 months down the line i have adapted to doing things a little differently, although kirsty and jasons tweaks to the system have helped enourmously and made loquax feel much like it used to be, keeping loquax as still the best comping site on the web.

    Sadly- for oxford press anyway- i have been around the internet for far too many years to be conned or tricked into any of their palava although newbies to comping might easily fall into their trap proclaiming “easy” winnings- HA!! if only.

    Here is how to win, instantly- DO NOT pay £300 to join- you have instantly “won” £300 (ok you have actually saved £300, but it feels like a win? after all your £300 better off than youn would be?? Yes??) do not pay £40 a year in admin fee’s (so those who claim never to win anything will have actually won £40 even if they win nothing else in the year, £40 saved can also be like a win, its extra money in your pocket, rather than some companies)after all none of those companies can guarantee you will win anyway all they publish are so called stories of what they claim to be winners through them, what they don’t tell you is how many losers they have on the books too, how many people won zilch for their £300 pound or £40 subs? Its impossible for them all to win cars, expensive holidays, sack loads of cash- if it was that easy they would be winning all the prizes for themselves and selling them to make a profit instead of trying to get money out of punters- surely that would be more logical? if their system was as super good as they claim it to be. Obviously it isn’t thats why they try to get subscibers, thats where they make their money- they won’t care too much- although will try their hardest to get you to stay subscribed- after all its another £40 in their pockets- if you leave after the first year because you didn’t win- they already have £300 of your money, if you stay on they are guaranteed another £40 of your money- wether you actually win anything of not- they certainly win, £40 from each subscriber and thats what they do, they are a business in it to make a profit-from their subscribers pockets- otherwise they would win all the prizes themselves and make a profit from selling them. To them each £300 or £40 is THEIR win.

  • libra100

    Thanks for the very comprehensive review regarding the Oxfordshire Press’ competition service.

    Surely these days, people aren’t going to be seduced into this expensive service when there are free sites such as Loquax, offering free competitions, along with answers for magazine comps.

    I certainly wouldn’t pay £300, along with annual subscription, and can’t believe anyone else would!

  • fluffywhite

    In my first year of comping (2010) I won over £22,000 in cash and prizes and this was down to the FREE service offered my Loquax and the dedication of the posters.

    I have gone on to win multiple thousands every year without paying a penny!


    Been around long enough to know better than to touch Oxfordshire Press with a barge-pole. Good to be updated though.



  • bobbygrrl

    £40 admin fee per year – but that’s how much Simply Prizes is a year, so why would you pay another £300 on top?