Unclaimed Prize Register – Why Do You Get Their Mail?

Posted on: September 22nd, 2007 by Jason 17 Comments

One of the drawbacks to comping is that there is always someone out there ready to try and cash in on people’s vulnerability and desire to win. One such company is the Unclaimed Prize Register and their activities are described in an article published today in The Guardian. Eagle eyed blog readers will notice that there’s a remarkable similarity between the Unclaimed Prize Register and The Winners Club – and that’s because they’re owned by the same company!

In brief, you receive a mailshot saying you’ve won a prize and are then encouraged to phone a premium rate phone number to find out which prize you’ve been “lucky” to receive. In both the The Winners Club and Unclaimed Prize Register reports the winner walked away with a cheap camera, which no doubt costs much less than the prize of the premium rate call.

According to The Guardian report, DM PLC, the parent company behind these “promotions” say that you receive these mailshots if you “have previously played one of their competitions”. The report continues to say that if you don’t believe you’ve entered a competition previously via DM PLC, then DM PLC will be pleased to provide details of previous entries on request!

So there’s a challenge for you disgruntled compers out there! If you’ve received a mailshot from The Winners Club or Unclaimed Prize Register we suggest you write to the chairman of DM PLC and ask him why you’re receiving information from them.

  • Rara

    I once got a digital camera in a goody bag. It probably cost £3 or less to make and when switched it off it deleted all the pictures I’d taken, but if it was left on the battery ran down very quickly.

    Ringing a premium rate phone number would pay for one of these cameras in a couple of minutes.

  • relisys222

    I`m actually looking forward to getting my next junk letter of them, just so I can email the chairman 🙂 Perhaps when his inbox is full of our letters and emails he`ll stop filling our with such rubbish.

  • josie301

    I had one of these letters recently – I quickly scanned through it then tore it up. A real shame that people are actually taken in by this.
    I’ll be interested to get a response to my query!

  • honeysugar

    I’ve received a number of letters and emails stating I’d been ‘the lucky winner of….’ – If they have a prepaid envelope with the letter I usually put leaflets/blank paper in them and post it to the company.
    I have also received (landline)telephone calls stating similar, which I know that I haven’t won as I never put my (landline) phone number on comp entries.

  • katyj31

    great info, thanks. Letter to Chair being drafted and ready to go as we speak … I’m very choosy about what comps I enter and would be VERY interested to know what I’ve entered!

  • biteyerlegs

    my elderly parents got one of these the same day i got mine. my mother thought she had won a really fantastic prize. i told her it was a scam and was relieved she hadn’t rung the number.
    Why can’t these things be made illegal and stopped.?

  • sheena444

    I saw the article- and I’d also received several letters from these sharks, which had gone in the bin.
    I think they are largely targeting older people and don’t realise there isn’t any point writing to people who regularly win legitimate competitions and know that if you have to pay, or ring a premium number, it isn’t a genuine prize.
    I’m quite sure they have obtained a mailing list from one of the companies who offer high value prizes and get hundreds of thousands of entrants, as well as buying up info from electoral rolls etc. I wish there was some way their activities could be curbed, but as long as they offer a prize, however worthless, to all their entrants, they just about stay within the law. Even if what they do is legal though, it’s still despicable.

  • CharliesGirl

    i got a phone bill for oner £60 as my husband (in early stages of dementia) was phoning these “people” thinking he was going to win a cruise and surprise me. He was doing it when I was out but he used the fax machine and ran out of numbers to push and kept getting cut off. He was devastated when I told him how much it cost.

  • alcatraz

    It is distgusting I receive them often and bin them , but I do know a few people who are convinced they had won. A confused elderly neighbour was convinced that when we bought our new car a few years ago it was really hers as she had recieved one of these letters. Deep down I don’t think that she ever did believe me

  • elliemck

    I get these letters quite often and decided to reply to one just to find out what I had “won”. I did not call the number but replied by post. I did not hear anything after that about that particular prize but still recieve these letters. They are a pain in the neck and only grt opened to be put in my recycle bin. Wish they could be stopped ripping people off like this.

  • p.murray

    I too have emailed the chairman and will be very interested in the reply (should I get one).

  • island_ted

    A letter came through my Mum’s door last week, addressed to my dad, saying that he’d won a prize in the Spanish lottery. Can’t see how as he died over 5 years ago – but these things can be upsetting and confusing, especially for elderly people who are too trusting and not as cynical as most have us have had to become. I’ve sent back several letters (only when they come with a prepaid envelope though) and written ‘please remove my name from your circulation’. If they have to pay for the postage every time, I think it deters them – eventually! At least they can be recycled so they’re not a complete waste!

  • Katweazle

    For maximum effect, report them to your local Trading Standards office – see this website for more details: http://www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/ (if more people did this then maybe we could get the law changed to ban such scams in future). Some people have also tried complaining to the ASA, so if you’re feeling particularly annoyed by this scam then try them as well as ICSTIS, perhaps!

    My complaint to Trading Standards was that: the company is seeking to obtain money by deception i.e. the wording of the letter is clearly designed to deceive me by stating that an (unspecified) competition entry has resulted in a prize award, when the Unclaimed Prize Register has no way of knowing whether I have entered any competitions or not. When you link this to the later request to phone a premium rate number at £1.50 per minute (with a call length of up to six minutes) then it is clear to me that this is an attempt to obtain money by deception.

    My local TSO has passed my complaint on to Herefordshire Trading Standards as McIntyre & Dodd (who trade as the Unclaimed Prize register) are based in Ross-on-Wye. Hopefully, they’re now building a good case against these vultures.

    And the Guardian article mentioned that prize code 603498 is indeed the near-worthless digital camera – guess which number I had!

    Lastly, my elderly mother almost responded to a similar mailing that came with an Oxendales package (she orders goods from their mail-order catalogue). I advised her to complain to Oxendales and ask why they were associated with such a blatant scam. She hasn’t received a reply yet….

  • Marraman

    Just do what I do…put all the junk they have sent me ( plus anything else I can get to add weight ) in envelope addressed to them and then post it with no stamp attached!

  • Rattlerbytes

    I would like to add that I have now twice been notified of a ‘win’ through the Colchester Prize Register (a part of the UK Prize Register).
    Each time I decided I was certainly not going to sit on the phone for 6 minutes at £1.50 a minute so;-
    The first time: I sent a stamp addressed envelope asking for the code. This brought back a code and to cut a long story short it said I’d won a digital camera. One look at the pixel spec’ told me my mobile phone had a camera with a higher spec’ than that so I didn’t proceed.
    The second time: I again sent a stamp addressed envelope asking for the code. This brought back a code and to cut a long story short it said I’d £300 of Portrait Photography. I couldn’t see how they could cheat with that so I sent off the required form with code and awaited my prize.
    Yesterday I received a reply in the stamped addressed envelope I sent with a leaflet offering an MP3 player for which I’d have to pay £9.99 to collect!! There was also a reminder saying I hadn’t responded to their first letter, which I blatantly had because they had used my stamed addressed envelope to send me this latest posting.
    Googling this company brought this website up, of which I am a member, and I phoned the quoted number and spoke to a woman who told me to wait for my stamped addressed envelope with my prize in it. When I told her they’d used it already to send me a MP3 leaflet and a reminder she had to apologise and promised to get my £300 of portrait photography prize in the post tomorrow.
    I await that communication with impatience.
    I’ll let you know if the prize I receive is a genuine prize or not.

  • jdore1964

    I got my letter today, i have had several of these in the past, but rather than ring the premium rate line, i sent an SAE also, now this final letter is basically saying i have won either, £25,000, £5000 of Premium Bonds, Sony Vaio Laptop, a Zurich watch, 37″HDDigital Plasma TV or £250 of Marks&Spencer Vouchers! The big catch is they want me to return claim form with a payment of £19.95 “for delivery and insurance”, fully refundable should i not be satisfied, no questions asked.
    Well there is only one winner here, just imagine if all us compers sent £19.95!!
    Just shredded it

  • nelipkin

    I HAVE ONLY USED POST TO FIND OUT OF “WIN”,MOST TIMES A USELESS HOLIIDAY OR WORTHLESS ITEM NOT SENT FOR.However I have had acceptable world radio and mobile ‘phone worth the small amount of postage but would generally not reccomend responding certanly NEVER BY ‘PHONE.