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Tch Forum Contests......


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I wanted to relay a story to the TCH family. As most of you know TCH has been conducting Forum contest since the early days. We have given away thousands of dollars in prizes and I have had a lot of fun doing so. We have given away Cellular Phones, Xbox 360's, Laptops, Ipod's, Custom Built Gaming Computers, DVD Burners and other great items. We have had very fun contests, the latest contest drew many contestants from all over the world. We drew over 19,000 thread views on our latest contest and the entries were all very entertaining. We offered several nice prices one being a free server rental for 12 months and a ipod touch. Man, what a great contest it was going to be.

 

After letting the tension build we picked the winners and made the announcements. Each of the winners contacted us and we made shipping arrangements with the second and third place winners. Things were looking good. The first place winner did not seem happy enough to win the first place prize and contacted us. During a informal chat he suggested that if we could swap prizes for him it would make him very happy. I informed him, I would see what I could do for him. After talking to my attorney and thinking about the reason we wanted to give away a free server (to promote our dedicated server offerings) it was concluded that we would not be willing to swap out the grand prize for the winning contestant. This decision took a few days to decide as we could have given the winner a $300 iPod and saved several thousand dollars, however we stuck to our original prize and informed the winner. This is where things started to go south. After informing the person of our decision we were informed by the winner of how we broke our promise to him. Now remember this person was never promised a prize change at all. During this entire ordeal we kept offering the winner the server prize as he was the winner. Then the legal threats started. I waisted several days of my life with this person over a grand prize that he would not accept. The legal threats, the constant harassment over Instant Messenger, the multiple tickets into our help desk, the multiple emails all stating the same thing over and over. Over what? All because he did not want to accept our grand prize and wanted a free iPod instead.... This was like a dream gone bad!

 

Long story short, I simply had enough of this persons threats and constant harassment and so I finally informed this person that I was revoking his prize and that I would be happy to let the Michigan Attorney General sort this issue out.

 

I am just amazed at what our world has turned out to be. We are a society of people that expect things to be given to them. A welfare state it sure seems like we have turned out to be. Even if we can not get things just given to us or we can not get our way, we turn to our screwed up legal system to “bend the rules” to achieve what we want. What happened to the days when people were pleased to receive what people gifted them. I remember when I was just a young boy, my father always told me. It is not about getting a gift, that is not what matters, it is about giving a gift and making a person happy. This issue is much bigger than the latest TCH forums contestant, although I think he should be the poster child for a welfare state. This issue is about how we have turned in a society of cry babies. People that expect instead of achieve.

 

Anyways, I felt the need to rant. I know some of you will be asking, is this going to stop future TCH forum contests. The short answer is a resounding “hell no”. Just ask the iPod and laptop winner how it felt to win their prizes. As much as they loved winning, we like giving. So the contests will go on until some one in the courts tells me I can not give.

 

/me rant over.

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Too bad that I came to this thread late. I had the perfect solution to the problem. Give me the server, and I promise to be eternally grateful.

 

 

Actually, prizes or no prizes, I am grateful anyway to have found such a terrific hosting company as TCH. It is truly a pleasure doing business with you all.

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Thank you Bob. You have been a long time, loyal client and for that I am thankful.

 

The winner of the grand prize was not a customer of TCH. Well, used to be a customer but left due to unknown reasons.

 

Anyways, thanks for the kind words.

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Seriously,

Is this person kidding?

I wish this "prize scandal" would have went to court - The People's Court -

In the words of Chris Rock, "Judge Judy would have knocked this out in half an hour plus commercials!"

I would just love to be in the courtroom, buy this person an I-Pod or whatever the hell it is they wanted, and then chucked it at their head.

We are living in an age of global uncertainty, terrorism, poverty, unemployment, and foreclosures - and someone is really crying about the prize they won?

It's like the child that got the wrong video game from grandma and had the gall to complain about it - I say - get out the belt!

It again goes to show that no deed goes unpunished...

what an outrage...

Just laugh about it - water under the bridge...

I wish I had time to contemplate the cruelty of prizes people were trying to give me... wah!!!

:lol:

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Rant? No!

 

The truth, yes!

 

You are correct some people do expect things given to them and when they don't get what they want, they sue. I live in Florida and have seen it first hand with the last election (and possibly the next).

 

Some people are just ungrateful!!! Why do they insist on raining on our parade?

 

</myrant> :lol:

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Bill, the accolades that many of us express here on the forum for TCH are well deserved. You and your staff do a great job, and the commitment to your customers is evident in so many ways. One of which is adding some fun with the contests and prizes -- an expense that you certainly don't have to incur, but you do it anyway.

 

It is a shame that someone took a good deed and turned it into a mess. As for your rant, I too am perplexed by the sense of entitlement that is so prevalent in our society. But the "cry babies" are easy to identify and ignore. It is a lot more enjoyable to associate and communicate with people who like to learn, to build, and to share their knowledge and the joy of their acheivements -- that must be why I enjoy this forum so much.

 

Peace,

--BC

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If you didn't want the grand prize why in the world did you even bother to enter the contest? That would be my question.

I was one of the first to post in the contest thread, I called Kish a crack dealer for giving away the dedicated hosting package. While I would have loved the second and third place prizes, I didn't want the grand prize...so I didn't enter. What a freaking simple concept.

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Cripe.... take the server, rent it out to someone else for $300 for the year, and go buy yourself an iPod touch. Heck, rent it out for $600 and buy 2!

 

Although, personally, I'd have used the server.

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Cripe.... take the server, rent it out to someone else for $300 for the year, and go buy yourself an iPod touch. Heck, rent it out for $600 and buy 2!

 

Although, personally, I'd have used the server.

 

Now that would have taken smarts......

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If he didn't want the prize why didn't he just give it some deserving charity? I'm sure there's plenty out there who are big enough to be able to put the server to good use but have more important priorities.

 

I'll start by nominating the SBBF (Swift Books Benevolent Fund). :)

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I'm just a little fish in the interwebs, but I still would have taken the prize.

 

Of course, I would have subsequently rented it out as I don't need it, but I wouldn't have complained at all.

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This 'story' is a gross misrepresentation of the facts.

 

It's a hit piece meant to obscure the facts and a massive CYA move.

 

You are all left to believe I am somehow an ungrateful jerk who felt 'entitled' when the fact is I was offered the secondary prize and unceremoniously ignored when it came time to deliver. In fact, I had conceded and was willing to except the server and Bill refused to give it to me.

 

I have pages of documentation about this ordeal including Private TCH board messages, AIM conversations, and other data...none of which shows me 'harassing' the TCH staff. That's just absurd.

 

Look, I had the intention of offering the iPod to my nephew because I am too poor to be able to buy such things on my own. It's not in my budget. I was elated when Bill offered the iPod in exchange for my grand prize. I even purchased a cover, belt clip, and other accessories fully expecting the exchange to happen. No one told me they were discussing it with a lawyer until 3 days before they refused to honor their offer.

 

So yes, belittle me all you want. Bash me in the forums and talk about how whiny I must be to not accept it. Without the facts it's almost too easy to think that...but I was never disrespectful, belligerent, or harassing in ANY way.

 

Finally, I fully expect this post to be deleted, but since this is the 'Open Discussion' forum, I am hoping otherwise.

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Bill,

 

When I first read your letter, I had to laugh. I could not understand how someone could ENTER a contest, WIN that contest and then have a hissy-fit when you wouldn't give him a LESSER prize!! :lol: So sorry you had to have all the headaches that I'm sure went along with this battle.

 

As for re-doing the contest for the server ... I'm all for that! :clapping: :clapping:

 

{{HUGS}} to you, Bill, and a big bottle of aspirin.

 

:tchrocks:

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Me too! I might even bring forward my plan for world domination (well - Bookselling-on-the-Internet domination, anyway).

 

As for this problem with prizes - I see three options:

 

1 - Non-negotiable. Take it or leave it. The easiest option.

 

2 - 1st place selects from the available 3 prizes. 2nd place selects from the remaining 2 prizes. 3rd place gets the prize that's left. Adds work in sorting out the allocation of prizes, but also adds attraction to the competition by adding choice, and a further element of tension for 2nd and 3rd place because they'll have to wait to find out what they're getting. Am I evil? :clapping:

 

3 - Ask all entrants to prioritise their preferences. 1st place gets his/her 1 choice, 2nd place gets the more preferred prize that's still available, 3rd place gets whatever is left. Easy as long as entrants remember to list their preferences.

 

Personally, if I'd won the server I'd have found some way to auction or raffle it for charity on my web site. The publicity from something like that would be invaluable and wouldn't cost me 1c other than a little work setting up the event.

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Some more follow up.

 

The original contest thread where this grand prize winner was announced has been hidden from public view. I chose to do this to protect the identity of the person.

 

Today the contestant decided to post in the forums in a guise of "defending himself". Bruce hid the post from this person, as he has told us that he had taken this matter to the Michigan Attorney General. So Bruce simply was protecting both sides. However, I am contemplating on wether I should let this contestant post his side of the story.

 

I feel this could lead to some rather enlightening conversation. As I have saved every IM , email and help desk ticket concerning this issue.

 

Just wondering if this is really worth all this effort.

 

Bill

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Here we go....

 

Ticket's from This dude....

 

 

Posted on 25 Feb 2008 11:09 PM

Good evening,

 

As requested, I am emailing this address regarding my winning the

contest at the TCH forums (as ******).

 

Enclosed you will find my recent correspondence related to this matter.

 

I ask, as a human being, not some number or lawyers toy, for your

understanding and patience in this matter.

 

Thank you for your time,

******

 

 

Attached (dated Feb 20th, 2008 to Dick DeVance):

 

I appreciate you taking the time out of your schedule to talk to me

about this.

 

That stated, I understand that's what he did (speaking to a lawyer).

However, since Bill initiated it, I don't see the problem. I mean,

there also is not any rule in the contest post which states that the

winnings cannot be substituted. I'm not arguing for the sake of

arguing here, I am just trying to do what's best for both parties.

 

Also, I do not understand why a lawyer had to step in. I have done

nothing wrong and, as stated, the offer was made to me, not the other

way around. Had I initiated the transfer of product I would concede

with apologies. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

 

Honestly, I hate seeming like the ungrateful bad guy here, but I feel

like I was led on. It took weeks for you guys to get back to me and in

that time I was never told (until the 15th) that Bill was 'just

waiting to here back from the attorney ', let alone that it would be a

problem. I even purchased accessories for it, never thinking everyone

would pull a full circle and let lawyers do the talking.

 

I had high hopes of giving this to my nephew for a graduation gift

because I cannot afford that kind of expense, normally.

 

Sorry, I just feel a bit led on. Can you understand that? I must state

again I am not trying to be an unbearable jerk here.

 

We're all human here. Can't we just figure this out?

 

Thanks,

 

******

 

P.S. My other concern is that the other winners are able to have a

product they can carry with them, for as long as they want, even past

the 12 months stated in my winnings. They own a tangible item. They

now possess an actual piece of merchandise, whereas mine is a virtual

item which I will never touch and has a time limit attached.

 

I suppose since there are now lawyers involved I should state this for

the record: This letter, and all it contains, is not an admission of

wrong doing, nor is it my way of forfeiting my winnings.

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My Response.....

 

Posted on 25 Feb 2008 11:29 PM

Hello,

 

I have taken the time to read your inquiry into the Prize for the TCh forums. I would like to clarify a few things before finalizing this prize award.

 

I did not request that any prize be changed. You state in your correspondence that I approached you for this change in venue. This is inaccurate and simply not true. You asked me in a IM conversation if we had and spare iPods you would prefer that prize instead of the Grand Prize. I told you in very simple terms that I may be able to do that for you and I would see what I could do. A few days later we spoke again and I told you I was awaiting feedback from our legal team. It then was brought to my attention that we can not substitute prizes unless there was delivery issue. Meaning the promised prize was not available due to manufacture recall or what not.

 

As you may not be aware every contest that we hold on the TCH forums are bound by the laws of the State Of Michigan and the United States of America. We simply stated in our terms that our Grand Prize was a Server Lease for 12 months. We DID not offer any substitutes for prizes.

 

The bottom line is this.

 

If you would like the server prize, I would be more than glad to award you this prize. I am not able to substitute any prizes for this contest.

 

If you want the server please claim it, otherwise we will withdraw our offer to you after 48 hours of this notice.

 

I am sorry you feel you were mislead, however I do not see it that way at all. After all, we are giving you nearly 4 thousand dollars worth of service for free. If you do not want the server that is fine, but I will not be belittled over something so trivial.

 

I await your response on wether or not you want the Grand Prize.

 

 

Thank you,

 

Bill Kish

General Manager

TotalChoice Hosting, L.L.C

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His reponse...

 

Bill,

 

Thank you very much for getting back to me. I'd like to go over a few

details before I accept and finalize on any prize. Feel free to

verify my research.

 

According to Michigan State Law 750.372a, a contest or "Game

Promotion" must contain the following:

 

1. Description

2. Amount

3. Location (geographic area)

4. Number of prizes

 

The first 3 are covered in your original post dated September 26th,

2007. Unfortunately, the final requirement was not met. There is no

number of prizes stated. One could assume this to mean any number,

since it was not made clear per Michigan Law.

 

I quote (from Michigan State Law 750.372a - section d):

 

"Any person who shall conduct a game promotion within this state shall

disclose to participants as to

such game promotion, on a prominent poster in case such game promotion

is conducted by a retail outlet, or

on any card, game piece, entry blank or any other paraphernalia

required for participation in a game

promotion in case such game promotion is not conducted in a retail

outlet, the geographic area or number of

outlets in which the game promotion is proposed to be conducted, an

accurate description of each type of

prize to be made available, the minimum number and minimum amount of

cash prizes to be made available

and the minimum number of each other type of prize to be made

available."

(relevant area in bold)

 

It also states:

 

"The rules should be clearly stated along with the conditions of the

contest."

 

The rules and/or conditions of the contest were not met. I quote from

your post:

 

"Prizes will be sent to the winners within 2 weeks from end of

contest. Contest entry deadline is December 31, 2007. Winners will be

announced on January 1, 2008 via the TCH forums only."

 

According to the Law, the contest announcements should have been made

on the 1st, as stated. This was not the case. It was not until

January 30th, 2008 that you made a post announcing the winners of the

prizes.

 

Following that, you stated in your most recent reply (below) that I

asked you for the prize. This is also not the case. I give you our

conversation on February 7th, 2008:

 

12:00:51 PM tchgurubill: what did you win ?

12:00:59 PM *****: Grand Prize, it says

12:01:04 PM tchgurubill: the server?

12:01:23 PM ****: Yes

12:01:36 PM *****: Although if you have an extra iPod...haha

12:03:56 PM tchgurubill: ha

12:04:13 PM tchgurubill: if you have no use for the server, i could

prolly pull that off for you

 

Please read my response carefully. Under the letter of the law, I did

not ask a question. I made a joking remark, clearly followed by

typical internet jargon for a 'laugh'. Your next replies, to my

jesting remark, are key. You followed my 'laugh' with your own, using

internet jargon again (since the medium leaves much to be desired in

the form of real emoting) and then stated to me that if I had no use

for the server you could 'prolly' pull that off.

 

Then, on February 15th, 2008 your tone changed from open-minded to the

following:

 

3:15:51 PM tchgurubill: ok im just waiting to here back from the

attorney who set all this up

 

This was my first notification that any lawyer was needed, let alone

approached.

 

During our initial AIM conversation we were both cordial,

understanding, and open to other options. Some time between that

initial conversation and the following week (not a few days) your tone

changed dramatically. It was as if you suddenly did not have the

power to make such decisions. I believe your title is Manager, and I

know you have been with the company for years, so I find it hard to

believe you were unable to follow through.

 

You also stated, during that conversation, that some prizes went out

that day. This leads me to wonder if the substitute I was offered

would ever be granted or if was ever seriously considered.

 

Sadly, until today, that was our last one-on-one conversation as all

my future requests to speak to you, either through AIM or the forums,

were ignored.

 

Given at least one of the above items, one would assume they have

rights under the law and an ability to collect.

 

That leaves us with your letter to me this evening...

 

I have not belittled you, I stated the facts as I have them in front

of me. I have copies of the forum pages, our AIM conversations, and

my correspondence with both you and Dick on the TCH forums. I have

been very careful in choosing my words, very thorough in my research,

and saved everything relating to this Contest. Also, the Grand Prize

is stated to be $3150, not almost $4000.

 

Before all the 'Lawyer Speak' that suddenly reared its ugly head and

impersonalized the whole situation, I was comfortable speaking to you

in a normal tone and without all this interlude. To be honest, I

respect you. I appreciate your affinity for Macs and Linux, and was

very pleased when you helped me understand the apps you ran on your

personal desktop. I am deeply sorry (and a bit concerned) that this

has had to evolve into this...whatever it is. I had hoped you guys

would do the right thing.

 

Those 48 hours are still valid so I will give your business time to

consider the possibilities while I consider my own.

 

Thanks again for taking the time. Please feel free to contact me at

any of the links in my signature. I look forward to hearing fro you.

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My response...

 

Posted on 26 Feb 2008 01:21 AM

Please contact the Michigan State Attorney and place your complaint with his department.

 

Consider our offer withdrawn at this point.

 

Ticket CLOSED.

Thank you,

 

Bill Kish

General Manager

TotalChoice Hosting, L.L.C

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The orginal IM with him - where he says "I promised him an Ipod"

 

11:48:42 AM *****n am I too late for the contest?

11:48:54 AM Bill Kish: brb in a meeting

11:48:57 AM *****: ok

11:48:59 AM Bill Kish: just send me a email with details

11:49:03 AM Bill Kish: bill@totalchoicehosting.com

11:49:11 AM Bill Kish: and i will get your prize out

11:49:12 AM Bill Kish: ok bro?

11:49:16 AM ****: ok

11:49:22 AM ***: thanks

12:00:15 PM Bill Kish: np

12:00:21 PM Bill Kish: sorry for the delayed reply

12:00:30 PM Bill Kish: just busier than a one armed wall paper hanger

12:00:37 PM *******: Understood. You have a business to run

12:00:49 PM ***** I've worked in a tech office. meetings are paqr for the course

12:00:51 PM Bill Kish: what did you win ?

12:00:59 PM ****: Grand Prize, it says

12:01:04 PM Bill Kish: the server?

12:01:23 PM *****: Yes

12:01:37 PM *****: Although if you have an extra iPod...haha

12:03:56 PM Bill Kish: ha

12:04:13 PM Bill Kish: if you have no use for the server, i could prolly pull that off for you

12:05:08 PM ******: That would be AMAZING! See, the hosting excites me, yes, but I still have 1 1/2 years on a contract with my current host. That and the iPod would be a great gift for my nephew who is graduating this year

12:05:22 PM Bill Kish: kk

12:05:27 PM Bill Kish: just note that in your email

12:05:32 PM Bill Kish: ill see what i can do for you

12:05:41 PM ****: ok, I will send another email then because I already sent one off

12:08:56 PM *****: Thanks again, Bill.

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follow up IM -

 

3:13:52 PM *****: Hey, Bill. Available?

3:13:58 PM Bill Kish: 4

3:14:01 PM Bill Kish: sure

3:14:24 PM ****: Sorry if I seem like a pain, but was curious how we were doing on the prize.

3:14:38 PM *****:

3:14:51 PM Bill Kish: what did you win?

3:14:57 PM Bill Kish: some prizes went out today

3:15:08 PM *****: We discussed the iPod

3:15:27 PM Bill Kish: you won the grand prize and wanted to get the ipon instead

3:15:30 PM Bill Kish: right

3:15:35 PM ******: yes

3:15:51 PM Bill Kish: ok im just waiting to here back from the attorney who set all this up

3:15:59 PM ****: gotcha

3:16:57 PM ****: If I need to sign a waiver, it's no problem

3:17:12 PM Bill Kish: i should know today or monday

3:21:23 PM *****: Ok, great. Let me know when you aren't busy running that great business. :clapping:

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4:06:04 PM ******: Hey, Bill. **** here, again. I am sure you are busy so I just wanted to let you know, before the end of the working day, that I am available if your Lawyer needs to speak to me. I can shoot you my home number if you need, too. No pressure. Again, I hope I haven't been a burden or pain in the butt. Let me know. Thanks agai

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8:24:03 AM ****: Hey Bill. This is *****, again. Sorry to bug you but I was worried that perhaps my emails were ending up in your junk mail. That sometimes happens with my address on some filters, unfortunately.

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Session Start (tchgurudick:*******): Tue Feb 12 19:03:26 2008

[19:03] *******: Evening Dick, this is ******* (a.k.a. *******). I've been trying to contact Bill about my contest winnings, but he has not been returning my AIM messages or emails. I realize he is a busy man, but I was hoping to find out when I would be receiving my prize.

 

Thanks,

*******

[19:04] tchgurudick: HI *******

[19:04] *******: Hey

[19:04] tchgurudick: Can you just PM me your details

[19:04] tchgurudick: I will get with Bill about it

[19:04] *******: Sure. What would you like me to send?

[19:05] tchgurudick: which prize was it?

[19:05] tchgurudick: sorry dont have it on front of me atm

[19:05] tchgurudick: *in front

[19:05] *******: Originally the grand prize, but Bill and I came to an agreement for an iPod Touch instead

[19:05] tchgurudick: cool

[19:06] tchgurudick: just need your mailing address and an email address

[19:06] *******: sure thing. Send it through the boards, right?

[19:06] tchgurudick: please

[19:06] *******: Ok, will do.

[19:11] *******: Message sent to your board mail. I am online on this AIM most days if you have any questions. Thanks very much.

[19:11] tchgurudick: I got it and you're welcome

[19:11] tchgurudick: will update asap

[19:11] *******: thanks. I am sending another because I forgot to send my email address.

[19:12] tchgurudick: no problem

Session Close (*******): Tue Feb 12 19:14:24 2008

 

 

Session Start (tchgurudick:*******): Sun Mar 16 06:47:04 2008

[06:47] *******: You know, it's a damn shame you guys handled my winnings the way you did. Not only are you losing the 4 sites I was about to transfer to your hosting solution (including the revenue you would gain from each, per month), but I have filed with the Michigan State Attorney's office.

 

I will be making sure that, due to your practices, everyone I come across will be informed about your deceptive deeds. I will also be submitting this story, with all the facts, to Digg.com, technorati, Reddit, and many others. You can shrug your shoulders all you want, but the power of Digg was recently shown when they posted about GoDaddy banning a site for content that wasn't a ToS offense. thousands of GoDaddy customers left them.

 

And then you have the nerve to offer MY PRIZE on your forums as if you 'found' it. I saw Bill's post. Something along the lines of 'Hey guys, we fell over another one' Lucky you!' not telling anyone that it was your grand prize winner's computer. Real nice.

 

I really feel like you guys treated me badly and I wish you had done the right thing. All this because you wouldn't keep your word and then refused me the original prize to boot.

 

[06:54] tchgurudick: I suggest you contact our attorney if you wish to relay something to me concerning this matter. I assure you I will be doing the same.

[06:56] *******: Yes, by all means. explain to him how you ripped off someone by selling them a server that was supposed to be a free prize, only after you denied the the prize Bill promised. I look forward to hearing what he has to say about that.

Session Close (*******): Sun Mar 16 06:57:36 2008

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about the contest and our discussion, Feb 12 2008, 08:10 PM

 

Dick,

 

Thanks for taking the time to speak with me on AIM.

 

My address is as follows:

 

 

As previously stated I would like to get a tracking number when it is sent so I know when to be at home to receive it. This will also help me to know when to buy the extras for the product since it is going to be a gift to my nephew for graduation.

 

I thank you all for the opportunity.

 

Sincerely,

 

*******

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About my contest winnings, Feb 15 2008, 01:48 AM

 

 

Hey, Dick.

 

Sorry to bother you, but I was curious to know if any progress was made on my contest winnings. I know you guys are busy running a great business, but it has been a couple of weeks now since the winnings were announced and I haven't heard anything about delivery.

 

Thanks very much,

 

*******

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Re:About my contest winnings, Feb 19 2008, 04:39 PM

 

*******,

 

Sorry for the delay, I have been waiting on confirmation of the details about the change of prize. I have now been informed that this exchange was never finalized and the prize stands as originally listed. Please contact us at *******@totalchoicehosting.com to collect.

 

Regards,

Dick DeVance

 

 

 

Re:About my contest winnings, Feb 20 2008, 02:03 PM

 

 

 

Wait...you're actually telling me that:

 

1. You're going back on your word because a lawyer told you to?

 

2. You'd rather fork out over $2500 in prizes than the much lower cost of the iPod?

 

I thought I explained myself thoroughly to everyone there. I am in a contract with another host which doesn't run out for another 1 1/2 years. I also purchased the extras needed for said iPod in good faith.

 

Help me understand this because I am confused.

 

Also, please don't confuse my perplexed nature for any admission of ignorance or a denial of prize. I am simply trying to get to the bottom of this, rationally and maturely.

 

Enclosed you will find a chat transcript (dated 2-7-08) between Bill and myself (see bottom of this reply)

 

Signed,

 

*******

 

 

 

12:00:51 PM tchgurubill: what did you win ?

12:00:59 PM *******: Grand Prize, it says

12:01:04 PM tchgurubill: the server?

12:01:23 PM *******: Yes

12:01:36 PM *******: Although if you have an extra iPod...haha

12:03:56 PM tchgurubill: ha

12:04:13 PM tchgurubill: if you have no use for the server, i could prolly pull that off for you

12:05:08 PM *******: That would be AMAZING! See, the hosting excites me, yes, but I still have 1 1/2 years on a contract with my current host. That and the iPod would be a great gift for my nephew who is graduating this year

12:05:22 PM tchgurubill: kk

12:05:27 PM tchgurubill: just note that in your email

12:05:32 PM tchgurubill: ill see what i can do for you

 

*note: I have other correspondence on file discussing this switch. This was the first and it was offered TO me, not asked for BY me. Thank you.

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Re:About my contest winnings, Feb 20 2008, 03:38 PM

 

Bill spoke with the attorney as he told you he would. The attorney informed us that we could not swap the prize out, therefore we can only offer the prize listed.

 

Regards,

Dick DeVance

 

 

 

Re:About my contest winnings, Feb 20 2008, 05:42 PM

 

I appreciate you taking the time out of your schedule to talk to me about this.

 

That stated, I understand that's what he did. However, since Bill initiated it, I don't see the problem. I mean, there also is not any rule in the contest post which states that the winnings cannot be substituted. I'm not arguing for the sake of arguing here, I am just trying to do what's best for both parties.

 

Also, I do not understand why a lawyer had to step in. I have done nothing wrong and, as stated, the offer was made to me, not the other way around. Had I initiated the transfer of product I would concede with apologies. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

 

Honestly, I hate seeming like the ungrateful bad guy here, but I feel like I was led on. It took almost 3 weeks for you guys to get back to me and in that time I was never told (until the 15th) that Bill was 'just waiting to here back from the attorney ', let alone that it would be a problem. I even purchased accessories for it, never thinking everyone would pull a full circle and let lawyers do the talking.

 

I had high hopes of giving this to my nephew for a graduation gift because I cannot afford that kind of expense, normally.

 

Sorry, I just feel a bit led on. Can you understand that? I must state again I am not trying to be an unbearable jerk here.

 

We're all human here. Can't we just figure this out?

 

Thanks,

 

*******

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Just wondering if this is really worth all this effort.

 

Bill

 

As you mentioned in your original post, this is the first time we've had this kind of problem with this kind of ungrateful whelp.

 

Let's not let him/her screw the whole contest idea for the 99+% of us who appreciate a free anything.

 

I live in MIchigan, and our Attorney General seems to have his head on straight - I doubt if this'll go far.

Edited by stevesh
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This is ridiculous. I just read through everyone of the "grand" prize winner's "correspondances" and it is sad - to say the least. I also double checked the "threat" to smear us on digg.com, technorate, and reddit - I found nothing after searching using his name, our name, and "attorney general".

The meticulous time this individual has taken to outline and illustrate every single utterance is startling.

In the mean time - one of two things will happen:

A. He is a pitbull with a steak in his mouth and will actually take hours out of his life (and work schedule-which he clearly can not afford) to actually start a campaign hundreds of miles out of state (unlikely)

B. It is all a threat, cheap talk, and this has given HIM the most excitement he's ever had in his life because Bill is the first President of a company that has ever given this guy the time of day. He can brag to his one buddy at the cyber cafe over Chai that he's "shaken the top guy" of a huge hosting company.

 

I say - offer him a consolation prize - his very own forum called, "Why TotalChoice Hosting sucks..."

I'm serious. It would be hilarious. How many companies have the guts and courage to keep a critic active on their site? Our members would die laughing. I think it would make our forums internationally famous.

What do you all think?

 

Ps - I like Chai... and cyber cafes... :cool2:

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I read what he posted before it was hidden. It was, pretty much, incomprehensible drivel.

 

IMHO there's unlikely to be a complaint to the Attorney General. He's just throwing a tantrum because he can't get his way. If there is a complaint along similar lines to the one he posted TCH has nothing to worry about.

 

Under the circumstances I wouldn't blame TCH if the contests were stopped. Realistically I don't think any of us are here just for those. TCH provides so much real value in hosting and the forums that I think the contests are a very generous helping of icing on the cake. I haven't been around long enough to participate in any of them but I'm sure they're great fun so I hope they can continue - whether I win or not!

 

It would be a shame to let one spoiled brat ruin everyone else's fun.

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I know how you feel

 

I am a developer for my company, but I also get to deal with emails from the children who use the site we have created. We were running a competition recently and I actually had 3 or 4 complaints from the children asking for the prize to be exchanged for a Nintendo Wii??

 

What is wrong with people nowadays... no you cannot have what ever you want!!! Cheeky buggers

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Bill,

 

Your generosity, and the generosity of the TotalChoice Hosting, both in terms of the contests mentioned and the absolutely wonderful support - moral, technical and otherwise - are greatly appreciated by most of us (I believe). I am terribly sorry to hear that this situation has happened and been relegated to attorneys - that is bad karma at best, or simply obnoxious behavior and serious ingratitude to you and TCH's FREE offers. While I do not know more of the details than have been presented, I can honestly say that I am so sorry you have had to deal with this. Admittedly, it is not my, or anyone else's (but the offending party's) responsibility to apologize - I feel that I must at very least express my condolences for what I see as a situation that should never have occurred.

 

You, personally, and the TCH Family, in general, are good folks. I cannot agree more with the sentiment expressed above by knate5000:

 

> Rant? No!

 

> The truth, yes!

 

Bill - I have mentioned to you personally and to several TCH personnel (paid or volunteers), in several PMs a sentiment that I wish to make public now, given the circumstances presented here - you personally and the TCH Family in general have helped my struggling business stay barely afloat at times with the help and deals I have received from you all. You are all good people and I feel you are being wronged from what I know.

 

While it would be exciting to see the contest run again, my comments stand regardless since your generosity in the form of FREE contest give aways are not required protocol from any hosting provider and should thus be, in my mind, seen as an act of good will towards your customer base.

 

You have not only my deepest regrets for what you have had to endure, but also my highest respect for being what other hosting providers are, in general, not:

 

1) Fair

2) Truly Caring

3) Unafraid to Budget for High Quality Technical and Non-Technical Employees

4) An Honesty and Candor that I Greatly Admire, When Compared to Other Hosting Providers in General and Online Retails in General

5) Employing a Staff that Actually Cares not only about my Technical Issues, but about Me (a Rarity in this World - Who Else Cares When my Birthday Is? My Mother and Sister Even Forgot this Year - But Not TCH - Talk About a Much Needed Emotional Pick-Me-Up on a Special Day! :) Thanks So Much for That and So Much More!)

6) Prices that I Know Do Not "Make You pr Anyone Rich", but that Enable Us, Your Clients, to Succeed (Hopefully also Providing YOU and TCH Employees with Much Deserved Income!)

7) Providing an Environment Where Many of Us, Many of Your Current TCH Helpers, and Many Other (Myself Included) Actually Wish To Help TCH Succeed and Be The Best Through Volunteering and Offering Comments and Help Where We Are Able - I Personally Do Not Feel This Loyalty to Any Other Company (or, as the Forum Suggest - an Online Family)

 

Bill, thanks for sharing. It sounds like you and TCH were very much wronged.

 

Keep up the absolutely outstanding work, it is truly, deeply appreciated. That's why I've been with you since almost the beginning.

 

Sending out good vibes to you and TCH! :tchrocks:

 

Loyal, Very Pleased, Very Happy, Warm Customer,

 

Patrick

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How did I miss this thread, and the others??? :)

 

I was lucky to receive a gift certificate prize from TCH in a previous contest and was (and still am) grateful for it. Still using what I bought with it! :tchrocks: :tchrocks: (Thanks Bill!)

 

Someone asked if he didn't want first place why did he enter....

Well I can answer that because I have been there. He never expected to win 1st place. At most, he hoped for the $300 ipod.

When I entered the contest that ultimately awarded me a prize, I did it to join in the fun, NEVER expecting or even hoping to be a lucky winner of ANY of the prizes!! Don't think I even read the prize list before entering and was amazed that I was chosen.

 

I have no need of a server for my own account, but had I won that as a prize, I would have been thrilled and grateful. It's a wonderful prize, a resource with serious VALUE. Renting, donating, auction off for charity, LOTS of things could be done with it even if the winner did not need it.

 

Unfortunately so many people are spoiled. I think of the book/movie character from Willie Wonka: Verucka Salt famous for avarice and greed. "I want it, and I want it NOW" was a favorite expression. Sadly, this kind attitude is becoming common place in adults. What happened to manners and graciousness? It's one thing to ASK nicely if the prize could be switched to something of lesser value. Granted its a bit foolish to ask, but truly no harm asking if the rules did not say no substitutions. But for the winner to threaten, bully, harass, go to legal lengths when turned down??? That's just Ridiculous! It's childish, immature, foolish and short-sighted. I would just say to that person if he ever comes back to read this thread...

GROW UP and get some manners!

 

So sorry that TCH ran into such a difficult person. It was bound to happen eventually.

And really glad that his attitude will not stop you from continuing contests at TCH. From a marketing viewpoint, they generate traffic and interest in TCH and from the familiy viewpoint, they are just plain fun.

Thank you for the creative contests. Thank you for the outstanding hosting services.

Edited by Samrc
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Hello Bill,

Is in a next contest I earn a pencil or a server I will be happy.

What matters is not the value, but the intention.

In the background, which is so friendships.

Even if it is almost the other side of the world.

Everything well for everyone in the forum and TCH.

I hope that you never have more problems like this.

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I can't believe I missed this post, but, I agree with EVERYONE, Bill.

 

There's NO PLACE LIKE HOME, and TCH IS MY HOME!

 

The world IS getting too "welfare happy" anymore.

 

That's why we , now and then, have to run into some ungrateful wacko and then chalk it up to an experience.

 

TCH is the best. I've been here long enough to KNOW.

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People make me laugh.

 

We have a former staff member (A 1099 based contractor) that was let go due to performance reasons. I made a corporate choice not to pay this contractors last invoice due to the fact that he attempted to cheat me by billing me for hours he clocked in but actually did not do squat during.

 

Anyways, this person is now contacting everyone in this thread and telling them what a bad person I am and how bad TCH is. I got a phone call from someone in this thread about the Private Message he was sent from the former vendor.

 

If this former vendor has contacted you via PM please let me know. Whilst I can not really take any action against this person, I would like to offer my deepest apologies to any one contacted by this crazed former vendor.

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Since we have nothing to hide we have decided to open this post up a bit more. I have now merged an internal thread with this one that contains all communications concerning this issue. I urge everyone to read this thread again and come to your own conclusions.

 

*note that personal information from third parties has been removed for their protection.

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See if you would have given me the grand prize I would have been happy with it.....in the first place. But I guess thats just me.......

 

Bill don't worry about it......to bad something that was meant to be fun had to be turned into something so bad.

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don't change ANYTHING you do , Bill.

 

The massive majority of us KNOW this to be the best hosting in the whole d___ world and if the guy wants to

continue being a jerk we may as well turn it into some fun and watch him dig himself deeper and deeper

into the anals of stupidity.

 

:lol2:

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AW....I didn't get a PM. I am disappointed. Would have liked to tell the contractor BITE ME....

:lol2:

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  • 3 weeks later...

Bill did I win yet........hehe :) If I won anything I'd be happy....I really don't win anything that much so I guess I wouldn't complain if I did anyhow.

 

 

Again keep up the good work Bill and all the TCH staff... :)

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