This is something I’ve been thinking about for a while. Occasionally, as bloggers, we run into a “Dead Beat Sponsor”. It’s unfortunate that a business would allow this to happen.
What is a “Dead Beat Sponsor”? My definition would be: A sponsor that has promised to send a prize(s) but, after a fair amount of time and several attempts at contact, your winners have not received their prizes from that particular sponsor.
I find it very frustrating. In my opinion, a review and giveaway is a business deal. You do the work of completing a review in a timely manner, promote the product and the giveaway, send traffic to the sponsors specified sites, do the work of contacting the winners and obtaining info. Communicating between your readers and your sponsors. I enjoy doing this but, it makes it difficult when a sponsor does not fulfill their end of the business deal.
Often we, as bloggers, don’t have much we can do. I feel it gives those particular readers who won, a negative experience on the blog. Even though the blogger themselves may have done everything within their power to obtain what should have been delivered by the sponsor.
So what do we do? Well, here is my new solution, “The Dead Beat Sponsor List”.
Why the “Dead Beat Sponsor List?” As bloggers, there’s not a whole lot in our power we can do if a sponsor flakes on a giveaway. This is a way for other bloggers to be warned that they may want to think twice before agreeing to a review and giveaway with the particular company. Also, for consumers to know that they may not get what they actually paid for.
I sincerely hope I will not need to update this much or at all even. Sponsors will not be added to this list at a whim. There is a process that will be followed before they end up on this list. It will be as followed.
1. After a fair amount a time has passed and a winner has not received their prize the sponsor will be contacted.
What is a “fair” amount of time? This could vary slightly. If a sponsor states to allow say 4-6 weeks for a winner to receive their prize and the winner has still not received it after 6 weeks the sponsor will be contacted. If no time line for shipment was established then 30 days will be the deadline. The first communication will be tactful and in good faith hoping that the email sent went to spam and they did not receive it or orders are backed up and they will be shipping next week etc.
2. 2nd email if needed (hopefully not)
If the sponsor replies and states a fair excuse a ship date will be required so as not to end up on the “Dead Beat Sponsor List” If no reply to the email, I will attempt to contact the company through another means such as twitter DM, facebook, or phone if available. There will be a warning attached that if they do not reply they will go on the Dead Beat Sponsor list to warn other bloggers/customers of their business practices.
3. If first 2 steps have been attempted without success, Sponsor will be added to the “Dead Beat Sponsor List” and tweeted to my followers.
Feel free to RT these tweets if you feel so inclined.
4. The only way to get off the Dead Beat Sponsor List
–I understand life happens. I’m not a person to hold grudges. If the sponsor contacts me, apologizes, and has a truly valid excuse and winners confirm they have now received their prizes they will be removed from the list.
–The sponsor does not contact me but ALL winners confirm they have now received their prizes (and maybe a even a little something extra for the wait) they will be removed from the list.
If you have a certifed Dead Beat sponsor. You can fill out the form here to have it listed:
That being said, Sadly I do have one to add to the list:
DEAD BEAT SPONSORS
1. Kellee Maize cd giveaway — had 10 winners. All recipients, including myself have yet to receive their autographed cd. Has been contacted through email 2 X and sent a twitter DM. No reply to 2nd email or DM. Giveaway closed 11/01/10
***UPDATE*** it seems most if not all of my winners did finally get cd’s and bracelet after being listed on the Dead Beat Sponsor list HOWEVER they were supposed to be autographed cd’s sent out and they were not…soo…the sponsor stays on the list.
2. The Vinyl Zone.com and Wallabaloos.com — I completed a review and giveaway for The Vinyl Zone back in the beginning of August. http://angiewith2.blogspot.com/2011/08/vinyl-zone-review-and-giveaway.html Never shipped the prize to my winner. Even after numerous attempts to contact by email with the person I had been corresponding with eventually got bounce back emails. Attempted to use the contact form on the site, still no response. I never did complete the review for the Wallabaloos because they were owned by the same people and the vinyl decal didn’t work. It wouldn’t transfer to the wall and ended up being a balled up mess. They did replace it but it still didn’t work. They said it might have been due to old vinyl. After the fiasco with the vinyl zone review/giveaway I attempted to contact them to tell them I would need to write a negative review for the wallabaloos and never heard from them again. Even tried through twitter.
3. Garden Botanika — Garden Botanika was initally friendly . They got the review products to me right away. I sent them a link to my review/giveaway post once it was live. I didn’t get a response but wasn’t too concerned about it initially. Drew my winner and sent the winners info to them. Again no response. About a month and half later had my winner contact me to say they never received their prize package. Attempted to contact them through the email I corresponded with them and twitter. No response. I had received an email from them asking when I was going to do the review. I again sent an emailing saying it was done a while ago, had sent several emails and again replied with the link to the review and the giveaway winner’s info. Again no reply. I then attempted to contact them through another email address I have, again with no reply . Winner has still not received their prize and the giveaway was over in September: http://angiewith2.blogspot.com/2012/09/garden-botanika-skincare-review-and.html
4. Firmoo — This one came from a submission as a warning to bloggers. This is a copy and paste of the warning:
“Firmoo is looking for bloggers to host giveaways. Should you decide to work with Firmoo, please demand your glasses upfront and note in your disclosure that you are not responsible for prize fulfillment!!! I have not received my glasses and neither has my winner. I have been given the runaround (ex. trying to charge shipping, etc.). I just don’t want anybody else to be disappointed or taken advantage of. I worked with them last year and they were wonderful, so I figured I could trust them. Please be careful!”
Please feel free to leave your comments on this post. Are you one of the unlucky winners who did not receive your prize? Vent it here. Are you a sponsor on the list who wants to make it up to my readers? Tell me about it.
If you are a blogger who feels you have an authentic Dead Beat Sponsor you can contact me through email. Please make sure that several attempts have been made to contact the sponsor. Feel free to tell them about the Dead Beat Sponsor list. I will not take these requests lightly. I don’t want to put up a sponsor because of a personal matter. It must be related to a blog giveaway and several professional sounding emails/contact methods must have been used. You also must update me on if they should be removed for one of the reasons listed above.
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