Friday 23 November 2012

Friday Rant - entrants who don't read the instructions

When I'm not writing about competitions or entering them, I can sometimes be found setting them. And I'm in touch with a lot of other people who set and judge competitions. And one thing that surprises us over and over again is seeing the number of people who think they have entered a competition when they simply haven't read the instructions!

Over on the Grape Vine website there is a monthly competition (although it will be moving to this blog very soon) and every month around one in four entries are not valid. ONE IN FOUR. That's an awful lot of people sitting back and hoping to win when they simply don't stand a chance. Other people have reported a similar number of incorrect or disqualified entries.

You could be spending hours of every day entering competitions and never winning a single thing, all because you didn't take a few extra seconds to make sure you were doing the right thing.

In my own competition, I ask entrants to give three words starting with the LAST letter of their surname. Lots of you use the FIRST letter instead (YOU! Looking guilty! Are you one of them?) but I get quite a lot of entries that are wrong in much more creative ways! Someone whose surname was Jones once gave the answer "Three Blind Mice" , one entrant every month simply writes "answer" and some people create lovely - but not valid -  tiebreakers about why they would like to win. And none of them goes into the draw.

One of the biggest bugbears among people who use Rafflecopter to run their competitions is the number of entrants who just barge in without paying attention to what they have to do. The first task is often to comment on a blog, and in the Blog Comment section of the Rafflecopter form you will be told what sort of comment they are looking for. And sometimes the answers simply do not fit the question. For instance......

If you won this hamper, what is the first thing from it you would eat or drink?
  • Please pick me
  • lovely prize, thanks for the comp
  • My Mum would really love this but I'm broke and can't afford one
  • Liked and shared
None of those will win!

Another issue for Rafflecopter users is the "Tweet about the competition" button. It looks simple enough - hit the Tweet button then go to your Tweet, copy the link and  paste it into the space provided (a total wossname to do on a phone or tablet, I know, but the way I get round that is to email a link to myself then go back to the form when I'm at a computer and paste it in then). Yet a HUGE number of entrants either leave the space blank, just insert their Twitter name or paste the text of their tweet into the space instead of the link.

When the competition is over, the person running it logs in to their Rafflecopter account and is presented with a spreadsheet showing the full details of all the entries, including what was in each box, so if the Tweet box doesn't include a proper Tweet URL  your entry simply won't count!

So to sum up, if you want to be one of the 75% who go into the draw and  stand a chance of winning a prize, and not one of the 25% who are guaranteed to lose, then whatever competition you are entering, READ THE INSTRUCTIONS!

I'm joining in with Ranty Friday over at Mummy Barrow - if you have something you'd like to get off your chest (and I don't mean a Bra Bunny) why not join in?


  1. Jane this is oh so true, particularly when you ask for an answer to a question using Rafflecopter. It actually gives me pleasure to disqualify someone who has blatantly cheated, although to be honest I've got better things I'd rather be doing.

    Rant away!


    1. I tihnk there are some people who don't realise you can see the full details of all the entries so reckon they can get away with just ticking all the boxes.

  2. People just want to win win win, its a compulsion for folk. silly not to read the instructions and follow them..if they don't win they really have themselves to blame I suppose.

  3. This is why I never enter competitions on blogs. I'm a bit thick/ crap with technology and they just confuse me! So who's the thicko now? Me, sensible enough not to bother, or your people putting time and effort into getting it wrong? *smug face*
    Found you on ranty Friday BTW.

  4. Regarding some people answering with the first letter of their last name rather than the last letter, he he, I'd be okay, they're the same

  5. I ran my first competition a few weeks ago and came across this problem! I've never entered a huge amount of competitions myself, but having to constantly re-pick the winners because of invalid entries, really cheesed me off!

  6. Oooo well said. I'm a big one for reading the small print thank goodness

  7. I haven't done a giveaway since no one entered my last one!

  8. Ooh I normally find these Rafflocopter things too complicated, but I consider myself told, should I ever dare enter!

  9. LoL I'm so glad I'm not alone - I've had some right corkers though that have kept me giggling for a long while!

  10. That sounds very familiar with the giveways I run on my blog. People don't bother to read the question and answer Nice prize, would love to win. Wouldn't we all? Also it takes me time to find a company that would offer a prize, negotiate the conditions (I don't get paid for hosting giveaways), so it annoys me that people just hop from one comp to another and do not follow the very simple conditions. Or if I ask to leave a comment on any of my older posts as a bonus entry, they'd say I commented, and I feel like saying: "No, you didn't. If I look at the comments section on my blog, I can see all the submitted comments. Why're you telling obvious lies? "

  11. did i do the first letter? i think i might have done! in my defence, i enter competitions after a hard days mothering and my brain is not always functioning at full capacity. dont get mad at us, make us some horlicks and send us to bed.

    obvious liars i just cannot fathom but me, im only human and i have been known to make the odd mistake. that doesnt make me a bad person!


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.