We received an error notification today from ceedsie saying that the Mitsubishi competition to win a Mitsubishi ASX car has been suspended, despite the fact that the closing date isn’t due until 30th June 2010. On looking at the website there’s an official notice explaining why the competition has been stopped and sadly it’s because they suspect “foul play”.
The notice explains that they “have become aware of the ‘unusual’ increase in scores achieved by certain individuals playing the ASX Challenge Game recently” and in order to be fair to those people who have been playing fairly they’ve taken the step to suspend the game. In a warning to anyone who has cheated Mitsubishi have explained that “anyone who has gained points by unfair methods will be identified and permanently eliminated and blocked from all future game play”.
On one hand this is a sad situation. It clearly demonstrates that people are willing to try and cheat in order to win prizes. Even if regular compers are not involved it gives people interested in competitions a bad name and makes promoter’s think twice about running giveaways and prize draws.
However, issues involving online games and cheating is not new and our Webmaster’s Guide to Competitions shows an example from way back! Our guide also includes some hints and tips for watching out for people trying to bend the rules and play unfairly.
The good news is that Mitsubishi did take action and for that they should be applauded. We often hear from compers who have contacted promoters about issues and nothing is done (see Are Voting, Facebook and Twitter Competitions Out of Control? for example).
Once Mitsubishi have sorted out the cheating issue then the game will return and then hopefully someone will win themselves an ASX in the knowledge that it’s been a fair competition!