View Full Version : I've got a sweeps dilemma

January 30th, 2008, 2:05pm
Here's the situation in a snapshot...

I picked up entry blanks at a supermarket for a sweeps only open to VA residents (in a small radio market about one hour from us). Sent 25 entries for husband and me. Husband gets email 1/16 telling him he's won the prize. I was out of town so I couldn't remember what he had won nor did the email say. He replied to the email that night writing he would call the sponsor back the next day to accept. She wasn't avaliable via phone all day. Husband finally speaks with her on 1/18 in pm and sponsor says the prize is a cruise to be taken in February 2008. A travel agent would be in touch shortly and to hang tight. Husband asked if there was going to be any paperwork and she said the travel agent would handle it. As of 1/24 we hadn't heard anything nor rec'd anything. Husband emailed the sponsor that morning to let her know we hadn't been contacted to make arrangements yet. Reply email said travel agent would call. Travel agent called 1/24 at 5:30pm. She didn't have rules or really any info and wanted to set us up with an April cruise of 7 days. Not what rules stated. We asked if we could try for April during children's spring break so we could take them with us. She took our information and said she'd call the next day. 1/29 we haven't heard a peep from the travel agent. Still no paperwork rec'd and we're getting antsy. I've been on-line and easily could get us a 4 nite cruise April dates from FL within the $2100.00 value. 1/29-yesterday morning husband calls travel agent, she says she's having difficulty due to prices...and would call him back in an hour. (Meanwhile she hasn't asked if we want to change cruiseline, dates, destination.) 1/30 - I decided to give her a call myself under the pretense that my husband not having been on a cruise might not be asking the correct questions or relaying our "wants" so he's asked me to intervene. I had to leave a message as she hadn't gotten to office yet. Let my work and cell numbers.

My questions to you are:

When should we quit the back and forth and just say forget it?
Should we be concerned that since we haven't rec'd anything in writing that we probably wo't be getting this cruise?
Should husband call once more say next Monday and give an "ultimatum"?

Suffice it to say we're pretty fed up already!

Thanks a big bunch

January 30th, 2008, 2:24pm
I'd keep on her - you won the cruise and that is what you should be awarded. I would request your sponser e-mail you a copy of the rules so you have them.

I would call the travel agent again, thank her for all of her hard work in getting this trip orgainized for your family and ask what you should do to help make this go a bit quicker, smoothly. If you get a voice mail again, leave that message, with your cell phone number, your work number (if you have one) - what time you can be reached at work, your home phone number, your e-mail address...etc. And then say "If I don't hear back from you today, I'll give you another call tomorrow."

By letting them know when you plan on calling back, they may work a bit harder to make sure things start lining up. I would call once a day until I feel OK that the plans are being nailed down.

Congrats on your win by the way!

January 30th, 2008, 2:25pm
Do you have a copy of the rules? I would keep on nicely with the travel agent until things get cleared up. I definitely would not issue any ultimatums. I won a trip in January 2006 and it finally resolved itself into cash in January 2007. Keep all of your paperwork, emails, ans be persistent. GL.

January 30th, 2008, 2:25pm
no...no "ultimatums", IMO.
It just seems that you are trying to rush the travel coordinator.
She may have a specific set of guidelines to adhere to. (certain cruise, specific details that you may not be aware of). Just because you found a cruise for the time period you are wanting, does not mean that she has the permission from the sponsor to book it.
It seems like she may be trying to accomodate your wishes to travel for April, but it may take her time to get the logistics of it all worked out, within the guidelines she may have to adhere to.
Just keep in contact....you really don't want to have this person working against you. Remember, the quality of your prize (good cruise, bad cruise) may very well lie in this person's hand.
Good luck!

January 30th, 2008, 2:34pm
Just keep in contact....you really don't want to have this person working against you. Remember, the quality of your prize (good cruise, bad cruise) may very well lie in this person's hand.

The previous posters are giving great advice. As frustrating as it is, remember that the travel agent has other folks to deal with (even more so if it's the corporate TA for the sponsor) and it sounds like they will accommodate you. And you get more flies with honey...if you know what I mean. :thumbs:

Sounds like they are trying to keep the costs down. Sounds like she's looking into trying to accommodate your date request. And on that she has to check with an higher up for approval with each option she checks on.

Sounds like the worst case scenario is they pick a date in tune with their costs, and you'll have to decide then if it's doable.

Best case...hey, maybe they'll get frustrated with the planning and unexpected costs and offer you the cash instead.

Either way, have patience...have faith... you've got some time.:twocents:

January 30th, 2008, 2:36pm
Its only been a week with contact. Give it time or just pass on the prize. Trips take time to work out. I won a Disney cruise in '04 and it took months to work out the details, cruised in '05.

January 30th, 2008, 2:40pm
You know what, Violet, I won a Hawaii trip from a local TWO YEARS ago & we still working out the details!

My advice would be to just stay in touch with the JA & give them a chance to get their act together.

January 30th, 2008, 2:48pm
I don't think the back and forth you've had so far is unusual for a trip win, at all. Travel logistics can take a little time to be worked out. Be patient, keep track of everything, and keep following up in a very friendly manner.

January 30th, 2008, 2:52pm
Wow! First, always keep a copy of the mail in/entry forms - they have the rules/contact info on them. Second, your hubby was notified of the win on 1/16. Today is 1/30. Two weeks. 11 business days. The travel agent only got partial information from the sponsor on 1/24 - 6 days and only 41/2 business days. Take a breath and let the travel agent take a breath also.

I've won two cruises and one trip to Beverly Hills. I didn't even get contact from a travel agent within two weeks for any of those wins. You really need to give people some time to work. Travel agent needs information from the sponsor, has to work with a cruise line within the budget, and seems to be being very flexible in in trying to see if she can accomodate your preferences for scheduling. Remember, you are not the only client the travel agency is working with.

Frankly, I'd be calming down and being nice to the travel agent - otherwise your cabin might be in the "brig"! :laugh::taz:

January 30th, 2008, 3:15pm
Keep copies of anything you have so far including e-mails. And keep in contact with the station on a regular basis..a call every other week to check/report status seems often enough to be remembered but not dreaded..kwim?

I had won a trip to Disney from a local TV station in 8th grade....it was like pulling teeth and they did try to weasel out of it at one point too...but my father threatened to call the competing TV station's news dept and put me on TV bawling my eyes out and suddenly the trip was pulled together.

Years later I had a regular customer where I was working that had won a trip to Disney from the biggest radio station in the area...huge contest...advertised constantly...and this company was a nightmare to deal with..last I heard she never got her trip.

January 30th, 2008, 3:17pm
Mega thanks everyone for your input. I'm sipping a cup of tea and will wait and see what happens. I appreciate the insight very much. All sound, thoughtful help.