Saturday, October 08, 2005

Autoblog contest scam

Well, I wanted to give Autoblog the benefit of the doubt, since I know that delivering on commitments can sometimes take longer than estimated. However at this point I have to believe that have perpetrated a minor fraud on the automotive internet community. Several weeks ago they announced a contest to give away an ipod nano to the blogger who created their favorite page of links to the blogger's 10 favorite articles on Autoblog.

Now, it was obvious that their intention was to increase links to their site, and it seemed to me to be a quite legitimate means to do so... it got people to dig through their archives to find articles they liked and link those articles with commentary on their respective blogs... nothing wrong with that, right?

During the contest, Autoblog posted several updates, listing the count of unique entries, etc. This indicated to me that it was a serious contest and the contest they had announced to the public was legitimate. On the announced end date, they posted an article stating that they had received 100 unique entrants with the last one being right before the midnight deadline, and would have all the autoblog writers reviewing the list and posting the results by the "middle or end of the week" which I believe all the entrants took to mean around the 30th of September.

Another week has passed since then, and I for one have posted several queries to their "contact Autoblog" page to find out why there has been no announcement of a delay, of a tie, of cancellation of the contest... no notice at all. Several people (including myself) had posted comments to the contest-closed blog entry asking why there was no information forthcoming, and a few were speculating that the contest was created in bad faith from the beginning.

Now Autoblog has removed ALL trace of the contest from their site... from the original announcement to the final contest-closed (with the incriminating queries from various contestants.) This smacks of bad faith. Whether it was the case from the beginning or one of the autobloggers fell in love with the nano I cannot say, but I for one find it inexcusable that no message has been sent to the entrants or posted on Autoblog's website, and I intend to see that they are excoriated in online forums for their dishonesty.



TJ said...

Amen i spent alot of time putting together my entry just to see the contest disapear. They didn't even give a reason for it.

Sad Sad Sad!

Tech said...

I must say this REEKS of dishonesty!! I too had put in a good DAYS worth of my time and feel at BEST deserve to know the results even if I wasn't a winner. At this point I think ALL contestants deserve an iPod Nano. I have also posted a response on the article regarding a jack kit (which I just happened to stumble upon) here...

and these were my two cents:

Autoblog: You have got to be kidding. I have been a loyal reader who spent an entire Saturday reading through previous posts and preparing my entry. I was trying to win the Nano for my girlfriend, because I would spend so much time at Autoblog. So, I spend an entire extra day here, and this is what you do?

As previously mentioned here, I believe it is illegal to announce a contest, accept entries until the deadline, and then reneg on the entire thing. It is most definitely unethical. Over 100 people spent a lot time and effort on their entries, and as part of the entry, posted this information on their own blog, advertising for you. I even recall a post concerning the Nano, that Autoblog had already gone out and purchased it and was just waiting to determine the winner. This is completely unacceptable and disappointing.

I began to get suspicious when I heard nothing about who won, and then searched for the original post about the contest to no avail. Isn't that journalistically unethical behavior for a blog of this sort to remove previous postings? Very, very disappointed in what used to be my favorite website, and seriously considering legal action.

As I mentioned, I too had entered the contest and I believe the post is dated as well for some form of proof (seeing as it seems they are trying to make the whole thing disappear as if it didn't happen).

Technical Patience contestant

High Octane said...

I also think that Autoblog was and still is up to no good, I would like to see all 100 Bloggers who entered this contest, Post on their own blogs about this contest to let eveyone possible know what shady people run the site.

I know I have.