NOTE: The following is not a long-winded tale of how happy I was to have won. If you want to keep believing that I won an iPhone, then STOP READING!
You're still here? Okay. Now what I'm about to tell you will DEFINITELY let you people down. I DID NOT WIN AN IPHONE. All I won was an iPHONE GIFT CARD, which is obviously not the same as an actual iPhone unit which costs around $700 here in the Philippines (I think). The gift card is worth a measly $200. BUT when you think about it, you can't pick up an instant $200 anywhere, so it's not that part that I'm complaining about. The guys at BigPrize Giveaways (BPG) told me they can't send me the gift card, and I obviously cannot use it here, so we settled on sending the money to my PayPal account, a proof of which is below:
You ask, so what are you complaining about? $200 is good money (dang, it's not even $200 because of the fee! LOL). Yes, as I believe I mentioned earlier, that part I'm not complaining about. What got into my nerves is that BPG did not mention about it in their contest details! There was no FINE PRINT to read, people. There we are, winners of the iPhones, expecting an iPhone unit when all they intended to give from the start was a GIFT CARD! How sly is that? Of course, them giving away 5 iPhones sounds much better than them giving away 5 iPhone gift cards. It's understandable, from a businessman's point of view. I mean they saved a hell lot more money giving out the gift cards than if they gave away the actual units, and further research took me to the Apple site, where you can clearly see that YES, you CAN buy a $200 iPhone PROVIDED that you WILL purchase them with a personal phone plan! WTF. Is Apple trying to sign up everyone in the U.S. under AT&T?! It seems to me, yes. And if you want to buy an iPhone that's not tied to AT&T, it costs around $699! But that's a whole other discussion and we're not touching on that right now.
Bottom line is, THERE IS A WHOLE WORLD OF DIFFERENCE between an iPhone and an iPhone gift card. If the BPG people took the time to mention that in the contest, you think I would be here ranting about it? Of course not. Knowing beforehand that we should expect a GIFT CARD and not an iPhone wouldn't have kept me from trying to win, as I said, $200 is still $200, and you don't get that easily. BUT STILL. You think it would hurt for them to make it clear for everyone and say, "Oh, just in case you suckers care to know, we're not actually giving you the actual iPhone units, as it is impossible for us, considering Apple's devious marketing strategies". I WOULD'VE UNDERSTAND. I would've lauded them for being HONEST enough and not let A LOT of people's expectations down. You know how I felt when I was informed that I was getting a GIFT CARD? Like BPG telling me, "Sweetie, you have just won a night with Brad Pitt!" and getting me all excited like a high school girl, only to find out that Angelina Jolie is part of the package and WILL tag along. Sucks big time, right?
I know I am also to blame. I am a researcher, for chrissakes. Had I taken the time to do a little Googling (I found an article at Mashable here. Almost the same scenario, with the exception of that one little detail of BPG NOT telling us beforehand of that UNIMPORTANT phrase, that is, "GIFT CARDS".), I would've been prepared for all of this, you know. Of course it also has something to do about me not being interested in mobile phones at all. If I were, I would have already known about Apple's frustratingly cunning marketing ploy. And a little something to do about me not knowing how all these online contests usually work (as mentioned at the start of this article, this is my first serious attempt at winning on such a contest). And maybe the fact that I take all things at face value. Hah. Jaded much? A little, yeah, but more importantly, "wiser" now.
What did I learn from all of this? Several things. That Apple has fantastic "marketing skills", that I should ALWAYS do my research as I am supposed to, that iPhones cannot be bought for $200 ANYWHERE, and that I should check my Facebook account more often (I got in touch with a lot of friends during this whole episode). What did YOU learn from all of this? YOU learned that U.S. originated-contests boasting of FREE iPhones is not what they appear, as it is impossible for any company to give out several actual units without breaking the bank. So it pays to ask. I am not an ungrateful little bitch. I love the BPG guys for acknowledging my efforts and giving me a $200 reward for that. I just don't like the feeling of being let down. Don't we all?