Every comper hopes for a surprise Lucky Winning Envelope (LWE) dropping through their door each morning, but a different kind of postal surprise revealed itself to a number of compers recently, thanks to Reveal Magazine. They all received a letter explaining “due to an administrative error” a cheque was sent to them representing the value of a prize they’d recently won and that the cheque needed to be repaid.
That in itself seems a bit harsh, but the real insult comes further on in the letter with a threat of legal action if the repayment isn’t made.
The National Magazine Company will consider appropriate legal action and you should be aware that if you ignore this letter and/or we do not receive payment by July 24th 2009 we will take further legal action which may increase your liability for our costs of pursuing such action.
Now we know times are hard and sending out several £50 cheques that shouldn’t have gone out is a costly mistake, but the error is Reveal Magazine’s and the demand they’ve issued is nothing short of a disgrace. They’re dealing with their readers not businesses that haven’t paid their invoices.
The situation has left a number of compers very annoyed and obviously threatened by the nature of the letter.
We’re astonished by this situation, and in our 12 years of being involved in competitions have never heard of any company making legal threats over a prize error. Mistakes do happen, but is it worth alienating your readers by making legal threats against them?
We think not!
Of course you could argue that the compers should pay back the admin error, perhaps as an act of good faith, although in equally good faith Reveal Magazine could write this off as a bad mistake and try and reclaim some good PR. That said, Reveal may want to read about a Barclay’s employee who recently was allowed to keep a cheque issued to her due to an administrative error (This is Money).
The judge found that the error was her employer and she was allowed to keep the money!
The good news is that dialogue is ongoing between The National Magazine Company and the compers involved. Loquax also understands that The ISP have been notified. Let’s hope that this issue can be resolved as soon as possible.
We’ll keep you informed of any progress via the blog!
In the mean time why not let us know your views on this – would you pay back the money? Are Reveal in the right or should they just write this off as a mistake?