Are You Wasting Texts To Win a Washing Machine From Sainsburys?

Posted on: July 3rd, 2011 by Jason 23 Comments

This weekend a competition was posted on the forums. By sending a text message with the code HOTPOINT you could instantly win 1 of 100 Hotpoint Eco Friendly Washing Machines. The promotion, from Sainsbury’s, has a closing date of August 31st. No doubt this competition will be spotted by many eagle eyed compers and also by every day shoppers who, for the price of a standard price text message, might fancy winning one of the prizes.

Except they could be wasting their time!

According to comments made to Loquax it is alleged that there have already been almost 100 (if not over 100) winners of these prizes. Keep in mind, that the promotion is merely a couple of days old yet is meant to run until 31st August. You’d think that he instant win mechanic would fairly spread out the winners over the whole period.

Surely something’s not quite right?

Firstly, if (as we’re told) another comping group has scooped all the prizes then fair play to them for jumping on the bandwagon early doors. Who knows if they will get their prizes – if they’ve been won fair and square during the promotional period then you’d assume that the promoter has to fulfill their obligations.

However, what is more concerning is that it seems incredibly odd, based on randomness, that all those prizes can be won at the start of the promotion. You’d think that they’d be a few machines won every week. It suggests to us that the “random prize generator” was possibly over zealous – or even set up incorrectly?

Also slightly concerning is if it is the case that all prizes are now won then surely no one else should be allowed to enter? When you send in a text the message back should be along the lines of “sorry, there are no more prizes on offer, you have not been charged for this text”.

As is for the next 8 or 9 weeks, people – many who probably think this Sainsbury’s competition is on a level playing field – will be bitterly disappointed, if (as it may well be the case) that all prizes went in less than a week of the promotion.

The only “good thing” is that the entry cost is a standard SMS message – and not a premium rate one. It does make you wonder how many other promotions run their course with people entering with perhaps zero chance of winning?

One further point worth mentioning at this juncture – entry for the competition is one per mobile. We’d really like promoters start changing this to one per household.

Hopefully we can get some verification from Sainbury’s about the status of this competition.

  • suroben

    Definitely sounds like a dubious competition yet from a company who would be expected to get it right. It would be great if all comps were one entry per household but with the amount of PAYG ‘phones in use I think it would be impossible to regulate. The best that could be hoped for is only one prize per household but even that would be open to abuse. If somebody won a prize on a phone number then a second win by the same person on another number could simply be delivered to a variation of their name at a different address.

  • gadget_uk

    Yes I agree the PAYG phones can never be monitored, unless they ask you to enter your name and address on every text?

  • bristolgirl

    Does your info come from reliable sources? And when you say group are you talking of 100 different people or some people winning multiple prizes? It seems strange that all the prizes could have gone so quickly into the promotion. Something must have gone wrong if thats the case. It’s also interesting people think you should only be able to enter once, when someone was complaining the other day that they could only enter the Morrisons cherries comp one per address.

  • Sources are reliable. Would live to see a winner’s list and how the winners are related 😉

  • bristolgirl

    Well then i think it needs to be pointed out to Sainsburys and they should end the competition. If you stand no chance of winning then you shouldn’t be charged for the text. Hopefully no Loquats will be caught out now you’ve brought the matter to our notice, and yes it will make people question the validity of similar promotions.

  • I agree that Sainsbury’s need to explain this one. If people have won due to an error then fair enough that’s their fortune but it’s the other compers who are entering now until the end of August that is the concern. And yes how many promos run like this?

  • DianeA

    I entered that comp in good faith, I’m sure along with lots of other people and got the ‘losing’ text back. Something has gone wrong and I agree with bristolgirl and hope Sainsburys can come up with an answer, along with ending the comp. To keep it going and to keep on making money is totally wrong, am just glad it was a standart text and not a premium one. Makes me wonder how many of these text comps are fixed!

  • mackemprincess

    Yup i entered this morning before all this come to light too…arrghhh!..Hopefully Sainsbury’s will be a man about things and come forward and explain whats gone wrong and pull the plug on the txt line so nobody else gets charged for the texts if this is the case!

  • If a few people contact Sainsbury’s then hopefully they’ll offer some transparency about the process and what prizes are left.

    We have done btw but a few enquiries would be better.

  • suroben

    I would ask Sainsburys to comment but I’m not sure how to as I have no idea of where the info about winners is.

  • bristolgirl

    Agree with suroben, do you have any advice please Jason as to how we go about contacting Sainsburys?

  • bee35

    i also entered and immediately received the ‘losing text msg’ reply…because it was listed as a comp connected to Sainsburys, i entered in good faith like everybody else and i had no idea that all the prizes had already been allocated… It does seem like an incredibly dubious and unfair promotion…I agree the competition organisers shd be held accountable and offer some sort of explanation…what was it that happened a few years ago with GMTV – weren’t they accused of ripping callers off in competitions or phone-ins of some sort? It appears this competition is far off the same allegation.

  • I contacted Customer Services via their website and asked if they could shed some light on things. i.e. Have all prizes been won already?

  • bristolgirl

    Have contacted them and asked if it was possible for all prizes to be won in a week or is it at random over the whole lenght of the competition. I also asked if they would be letting people know when all the machines had been won so people will not carry on texting.

  • ladette

    questions are now being asked on facebook
    https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10150371834324377&id=100001492179624
    my only concern is, if too many people complain will it stop the promotor from running any more promotions, because of all the bad press? although they do have a case to answer.

  • But if people don’t question these things continue. If a promotion runs that’s bad, people complain. In this case some people have done well – kudos to them – but it doesn’t solve a fundamental lack of transparency here.

    People need to know if this competition is running, if it still has prizes, and what their chances are – it’s costing them money and many will be entering in good faith.

    If this promotion can generate the bulk of it’s winners because an early bird got in before the masses then that suggests something not right. In this day and age imo it should be possible to run this promotion with transparency – e.g. a web page showing the time the promotion started, the winners, who won, the time they won, the location they won, the call variations between winners, number of prizes left etc.

    If all prizes have gone, the text should return with a no charge message.

  • Btw… GMTV had a lot of bad press about their competitions – they still run them… and they’re better for the process.

  • beanydragon

    I hadn’t seen about this comp and entered it this morning, have just had a text back saying I have won and will receive a call in the next 72 hrs to discuss delivery. Also a freephone number if I don’t get a call. Won’t be getting my hopes up about this one ten!

  • Hi Beanydragon

    The good news is that P&G (the promoter) have made sure that 100 prizes will be available for the length of the promotion. This is additional to those won at the start when a software error occurred. So looks like you’ve won 🙂

  • UPDATE..

    As we all know there was an error. Something back office wise which wasn’t the fault of the promoter, but one they are rectifying (this is what I’m told).

    Furthermore, the promoter has agreed to meet the expected distribution of chances for the remainder of the promotion period. There were 100 prizes over 9 weeks and so there are 88 prizes still to be won (they tell me). Texts will be processed and subject to fair chance of winning. Consumers will not be disadvantaged.

    P&G have stumped up more prizes basically and so the competition is still valid.

  • beanydragon

    Ooh, I’ll let you know if I hear anything then! Thanks Jason.

  • beanydragon

    I’ve just rung the telephone number in the text I received and have been told that my washing machine will be delivered within 56 days of the closing date (31.8.11)!!

  • Treacle1983

    I don’t really enter text or phone to enter comps – or postal ones – just online ones for me 🙂

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