Hey folks, want to tell you all a story. I'm an (un)lucky winner of TomsGuide contest entry, why unlucky? Well, because i was told i'm not eligible for the prize. Short story is, the mail was sent to my personal email account and got lost in my Junk folders. More, the mail asked to provide some sensitive info (SSN, etc) which usually triggers phishing scam mode. Well, the person who sent me email told me that i have 48 hours to respond otherwise i'll miss the boat. Well, i only saw this email on 3rd day after cleaning up my Junk folder, called them in and indeed, i was told that i've 'missed the boat', not eligible for prize ;( Did not even get a single phone call.. oh well, the prize was a mini nettop pc and a mouse, no biggie. i can afford it when i have a need for this. Just want to warn everyone reading Toms Guide that the contests here have a catch, you have to really read your emails every day and respond with your private info (inclusing your SSN number, tax id, etc.) if you win, no phone calls would follow, otherwise you're screwed and not going to get your prize.
BTW, called them in again and got 'not eligible' response, then they hung up, very rude way of ending the conversaiton... So, treat these contest as the lure to get you into their (BestOfMedia) advertizing system, you have a very slim chance to get your prize (if any at all).
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This is one of those occurrences where we have to do exactly what the lawyers tell us we absolutely must do or the law will fall on us like a ton of bricks. They are very clear about the timeframes in which prizes can be claimed, and residency eligibility is a pain in the butt too. In the future, I'll let the folks handling prize fulfillment know to first establish a contact, then request stuff like SSN, shipping details etc for tax form purposes so that it doesn't get caught in spam filters.
Thanks guys, i've re-read the fine print on the entrance form and it did stated that i had 3 days to respond (not 48 hours as i was initially told), so i did call back and politely explained my point, and after some consideration my winning entry was accepted and the prize was granted!!!! whooola!!! so it does pay to read fine print indeed, and thanks all who posted, i agree - in this era of online scums and phishing it's very easy to become a victum, so treat carefully and do use common sense (i.e. do your homework, check the requester's website, call them etc) before sharing your private info.