"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." ~ Benjamin Franklin

You Won! No, Wait, You Didn't....

>> Saturday, July 14, 2007

A local convenience store chain is having a sweepstakes. It's an Iowa chain and I know the minute I write out their name the jokes will start... So let's just get them over with.

It's Kum & Go. Yes, it sounds like a bordello name. Yes, it's kind of got a "wham bam thank you ma'am" ring to it. Insert your own jokes here:_____________________.

And speaking of screwed...

Today I got an email regarding one of my entries in the sweepstakes. It looked like this (best viewed in Firefox but you will get the gist if you use IE):

You have won $150 worth of gas from Kum & Go's Fuel Good

Sweepstakes! Look for your gift card in the mail soon. Also,

don't forget that you can still re-enter as many times as you like.

Thanks for playing!

Copyright © 2007 Kum & Go, L.C. All Rights Reserved. 6400 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines, IA 50266

You are receiving this email because you entered our Fuel Good Sweepstakes. Unsubscribe from this list.

With the price of gas rising again (seriously, why now?) you can imagine that I was thrilled. I went to their website so I could forward the winners page on to Doug at work only to find...

My name wasn't listed.


So I called Kum & Go. Of course everyone was out to lunch and I ended up speaking with a lovely receptionist. She was very nice. She told me that a woman had called about three minutes before me with the same issue. We spoke for a few minutes, I left my name and number and she said that someone would call me back.

Call me crazy, but I fully expected someone to call me back. 5pm came and went and still no call. I figured that the problem was still being resolved and someone would call me on Monday.

Call me crazy, I was still expecting a phone call.

So you can imagine my surprise when this email appeared in my inbox:

Dear Sweepstakes Entrant,

Earlier today you may have received an email stating that you had won $150 worth of gas in the Kum & Go Fuel Good Sweepstakes. Regrettably, that email was inadvertently sent to you by a third party vendor, and your entry was not selected as a winner in the June drawing. However, you are still eligible to win in the July and August drawings, and you may also enter the Sweepstakes again as many times as you would like through August 31, 2007.

We apologize for any confusion this error may have caused. Please feel free to visit http://www.fuelgoodsweepstakes.com/ for a list of the June prize winners.

Thank you for your participation in the Kum & Go Fuel Good Sweepstakes.

No purchase necessary. A purchase will not increase your chance of winning. Open to legal residents of AR, CO, IA, KS, MN, MO, MT, ND, NE, OK, SD, WI, WY. 18 years of age or older. Void elsewhere and where prohibited.
Ends at 11:59:59 pm CDT on August 31, 2007. See official rules for details and free method of entry.
Copyright © 2007 Kum & Go, L.C. All Rights Reserved. 6400 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines, IA 50266
You are receiving this email because you entered our Fuel Good Sweepstakes. Unsubscribe from this list.

This upsets me for a couple of reasons, none of them being that I didn't win.

I am upset that they just dropped me this email instead of calling me. I was the second person to bring this to their attention. I left my phone number and was assured someone would call me back. This, to me, is very bad customer service.

I am also disgusted that they are placing the blame on a "third party vendor". Granted, it may be the vendor's doing but who hired the vendor? Take responsibility. Oh, the vendor is Encircle Marketing (was able to find that by viewing the source of the email. Ilove that my husband, the geek, can show me how to do these things) out of Dallas, Texas. Gotta love how they farmed the job out of Iowa since I'm sure someone here could have done just as well. Heck, maybe better considering this blunder.

So, what does this all come down to? Well, probably a change in gas stations. Which really sucks as I use E85 in the truck and the next closest place to get it (that isn't a Kum & Go) is about 15 miles away.

Customer service is really the main objective as there are so many choices out there and Kum and Go really failed in that department today.

So I sent them an email:

I have to say that I am very disappointed in your corporate customer
service. Today I received that email stating that I had won gas. I
did not, however, see my name on the winners list so I called your corporate
office. I spoke with a very nice receptionist (because everyone was at
lunch) who told me that I was the second person to call regarding that.
She took my name and number and told me that someone would be sure to call me

No one called me, instead I received the email that shifted the blame to a
"third party vendor". I am beyond disgusted by this. First, that you
would not call me back as I was assured someone would and second because you
shifted the blame.

My husband and I run a small business. You can be sure that we would
never treat any of our clients this way. As your company has grown it
seems that customer service (with the exception of the lovely woman I spoke to)
isn't as important on the corporate level as it is in your stores.

I also want you to know that I am sharing this experience with anyone who
happens by my blog (http://www.iowageekonline.com),
including this letter.

What happens next? Will I get a phone call? Or a form letter? Be sure to tune in for the exciting conclusion....


Anonymous 10:17 PM  

Well, I will be interested to see the response. I wonder how many people received the same e-mail you did. If they contact you, I think you should ask...

Jody 10:57 PM  

Jen- I'm making the assumption that everyone who entered probably received it. Being as I was the second person to bring this to their attention and I called, seriously, within minutes of the email being sent I kind of think they should have called me back.

Anonymous 11:22 AM  

I got them too. I forwarded everything to my Attorney General's office to start an investigation. Maybe Kum and Go didn't award anything and the names on their website are all fake!!

They need to be held legally responsible for the actions of their contracted vendor and honor every single prize. I for one will never set foot in a Kum and Go again and warn all my friends of what kind of fraud the company is.

Everyone should contact their own Attorney General's office for Consumer Affairs (or whatever it is called in your state) and file a complaint. Also everyone should contact their local news station so this gets out and warn people against Kum and Go. A company should get away with this kind of fraud.

Jody 2:04 PM  

Wow... And I was worried that I was gonna get torn apart for being a poor loser. I did forward this post on the the Des Moines Register...

*And I did hear that not everyone who entered the contest got one of these emails,so I wonder how many were sent*

Anonymous 11:22 PM  

It is not about being a poor loser. It is about the way a corporation won't honor its winners by trying to blame someone else for their possible monetary problems.

They were bound by the notifications that people won. It did not say "You may have won", but said that "you won." That is a moral if not legal commitment to the recipient of the winning email.

If they were an honest company they would carry through. But since they won't carry through, they are just another dishonest corporation.

Maybe Kum and Go farmed out the notifications to some India company.

They need to be brought to task by the various attorney generals and maybe even prosecuted for their actions.

Jody 5:54 AM  

I completely understand. I'm not sure that they are disnhonest but I do think that this mistake could be detrimental to them.

That they farmed the job out to Dallas instead of using an Iowa company... well, how are we to keep our kids in Iowa if Iowa corporations will do that?

It will be interesting to see what comes of this.

Fantastagirl 8:54 AM  

Should be interesting to see what happens.

Jill 3:27 PM  

Keep us posted. I'd forgotten about Kum & Go's until I read this. I will spare you any jokes I could think up 'cause I'm a really bad joke teller.

Anonymous 3:35 PM  

If they already had selected the June winners and they were up on the site already, this must have been some mistake. I'm going to enter for July. I didn't hear about this early enough!

Anonymous 12:02 AM  

According to a source inside Kum and Go over 8,000 emails were sent out. And right now, they are busy scrambling to cover their collective ****s. That would come to over $1.2 million dollars which when you condsider the over pricing they charge is nothing to their pockets.

Anonymous 9:35 PM  

I received the notification that I won as well and sent them an email back when I got the email saying it was a mistake and got a response pretty much saying that they were covered legally for making mistakes like that. My dad entered the contest as well but he didn't receive any winning emails so not everyone got it. I just really want to know if it's just dishonesty on their part. It seems fishy to me. I'm spreading the word that's for sure.

Jody 10:13 PM  

At least you got a response... I'm still waiting.

Anonymous 9:25 AM  

Jody -
We would like the opportunity to explain. Please provide an email or phone number where we can reach you, or feel free to email us at communications@kumandgo.com.

Thank you,
Kum & Go

Anonymous 1:11 PM  

See, Kum and Go just wants to "explain" and not honor their commitments! What a dishonest company. If they were honest, the would honor their commitments.

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