These days it’s very easy to hold a contest, just put up a webpage or a Facebook fan page, put up some prizes and you can easily get people to participate in your contest.
Or so I think.
I received this X-Men contest email in my Hotmail Junk Folder recently (yes, email from Microsoft gets into its own Hotmail Junk Folder), took a glimpse of it, found the Terms and Conditions, read through it and then put it off.
It wasn’t really a good deal.
However, when I saw a post about it on Niki Cheong’s blog, it seems that the Terms and Conditions page wasn’t made known to many people.
In fact the actual contest page doesn’t link to it.
You see the note of *Terms and Conditions apply in http://x-men.savesocialenergy.com/ but they show you no T&C.
Why would I say that the contest is not a good deal?
Pay attention to these:
- Organiser. The Contest is organised by Microsoft.
- All residents of Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines are eligible to participate in the Contest.
- If you are a minor (i.e. under 18 years of age in Singapore, Malaysia and Philippines, and under 20 years of age in Thailand), you must obtain the appropriate permissions and releases from your parent or legal guardian in order to participate in the Contest.
- Grand Prize:
• 1 pair of movie passes to the local movie launch of X-MEN: FIRST CLASS.
• 1 ticket to attend the “X-MEN: FIRST CLASS STUNT SCHOOL” from 17 – 21 June 2011 in New York, U.S.A.
• 1 return economy class air ticket to New York, U.S.A. The choice of airline will be subject to availability and at Microsoft’s discretion.
• 3 night’s hotel accommodation for 1 (standard room, twin sharing) in New York, U.S.A. The choice of hotel will be subject to availability and at Microsoft’s discretion.
• A cash allowance of USD200.00 for the entire stay. All beverages, telephone calls, extra activities, additional spending money and all other ancillary costs not expressly mentioned in this clause are the Grand Prize winner’s responsibility.
- If you are the Grand Prize winner:
5.3.1 you must ensure that you obtain, before the travel date, at your own cost and expense:
(a) an international passport with a period of validity 6 months beyond your return travel date;
(b) a U.S. Visitor Visa; and
(c) your own valid insurance to cover the risks of using the Grand Prize.
5.3.2 you must adhere to the travel schedule for the trip as set out by Microsoft. No change requests to the travel schedule will be entertained.
- Promotional activities.
If you are a prize winner, except where prohibited by law, you consent to the use of your name, photo and/or likeness, biographical information and statements attributed to you (if true), and all recordings of you made by Microsoft (including, without limitation, telephone recordings, audio recordings, visual recordings and photographs) for advertising and promotional purposes without any compensation or notice to you.
- Limitation of liability.
To the maximum extent permitted by law, Microsoft and its parent company, affiliates, related corporations, subsidiaries, directors, officers, employees and agents accepts no responsibility whatsoever for any damage, loss, death or personal injury that may occur as a consequence of your participation in the Contest and/or your use of any prize.
My problem with this kind of Terms and Conditions is only a few.
1) 1 ticket only for a trip from Asia to the other side of the world. Since you are making a contest, why don’t you generously allow the Grand Prize winner, which is only one from each country to bring a companion at the very least?
2) USD 200 allowance for a 3 nights stay where all other costs are to be borne by the winner. Do you know you need to pay for your own passport? Sure that’s fine. How about a US visa? That itself costs USD 140. Maybe the team organizing this is from Singapore, because Singapore is one of the 36 countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program.
Without taking into account all other terms like limitation of liability etc, the grand prize winner best deal is actually only the single return trip ticket to New York. He/she has to bear the cost of all other things.
9 other winners (in each country) get free premiere tickets to the X-Men show in their local cinema.
Microsoft gets every participant’s slogan submission and everyone to use its Office Web Apps.
Of course, one may argue that one man’s meat is another man’s poison.
I absolutely agree, maybe you are a X-Men die-hard fan.