How to chase up a prize

Winning a prize in a competition or prize draw should be an exciting, magical experience. But what about when weeks go by, and there’s no contact from the promoter and still no sign of your fantastic prize? This post offers a few suggestions on contacting the promoter and ensuring you receive your prize!

You’ll also find lots of advice on contacting promoters and the ASA in my post How to complain about a competition.

In the UK a promoter should attempt to deliver your prize within 30 days of your winning notification (see the CAP Code 8.15.1). If the expected delivery date will be beyond 30 days, that should be made clear in the promotion T&Cs (see the CAP Code 8.28.3). But generally, if you win a prize that’s not time-critical, you should expect to get it within a month.

How to chase a prize

No prize after 30 days?

If it’s been more than a month, contact the promoter and ask politely when you might expect to receive the prize. Do this in reply to a winning message or email, so the promoter has a reference to what you’re chasing.

For example: 
“Hello! It’s been over a month since I won a hairdryer in your fantastic competition, and I was wondering when I should expect to receive my prize please?”

Add urgency by mentioning a forthcoming event:
“I was really hoping to get my prize voucher in time for my Mum’s birthday next month, could you let me know when I should receive it please?”

No response to private messages?

Try tweeting. Public disappointment needs to be nipped in the bud, and it’s likely you’ll get a quick response if the social media team are on the ball:
“@Argos I’m really looking forward to receiving my Nutribullet, could you tell me when I should expect it please? It’s been over a month since I won!”

If it was a Facebook competition, find the original post and comment on your winning notification, tagging the page:
“I’ve not received my prize yet @Argos, can you tell me when I’ll get it please? Really looking forward to it!” 

No response to tweets and Facebook comments?

Check the rules/T&Cs of the promotion if you can find them – there’s sometimes a contact email address there. Search for the company’s phone number online. You may be passed from one department to another, but persevere until you get contact details for – or speak to – the relevant person (usually in the marketing department). Sometimes the problem might be that the original person dealing with the prize has left the company, or there’s been a misunderstanding between a promoter/PR and the company posting out the prize!

Still no luck?

Try threatening the company – politely – with an ASA complaint. Get contact details for the Head of Marketing, the Customer Complaints department – or even the Managing Director, if it’s a smaller company. Contact them via email or by a recorded delivery letter.

“I’ve been chasing up this prize for 3 months now with no success – I’m afraid if I don’t receive it within the next 7 days, I’ll be filing a report with the Advertising Standards Authority. I’m terribly disappointed and this has taken the shine off a lovely prize.”

If this still doesn’t work, then you should submit a complaint to the ASA.

Missing prize?

What about when you know a prize has been sent, but it doesn’t arrive? If it’s any comfort, I’ve been comping for 19 years, averaging 100+ prizes a year, and there’s only ever been two prizes I didn’t receive – a mystery prize from Costa Coffee and a pair of FA Cup tickets. Several other prizes went missing, but were resupplied by kind promoters. Get in touch by replying to the original winning email, message or tweet:

“I’m so sorry to bother you, but I’ve still not received my prize in the post. Do you have a tracking number for it so I can investigate?”

High value prizes should be sent via tracked post, so the promoter can investigate and claim for the loss. For smaller prizes though, you have to hope the promoter is nice enough to send another one! And what if the original prize then shows up, after you’ve received a replacement? Well, I usually let the promoter know – and then give the spare prize away on my blog or to a charity raffle.

Prize arrived after the event?

Time-critical prizes are things like gig tickets, festival tickets, event tickets and sports tickets and unfortunately, these are regularly sent out a day or two before the event. If you receive a prize too late to use it, get in touch and tell them how disappointed you are – it’s worth a try!

“I was delighted to win a pair of tickets to see Alvin and the Chipmunks but unfortunately, they arrived on the day of the premiere and it was too late for me to arrange the trip to London. I’m so disappointed to let the family down – are there any more opportunities for me to see the film?”

Some sympathetic promoters will sort you out with a prize to say sorry. I once missed out on Reading Festival tickets (they arrived on the Saturday of the festival!) but the promoter sorted me out free tickets for the following year instead.

Other tips

  • Use a prize spreadsheet to track wins – you can see at a glance what prizes you haven’t received, and what date you won them.
  • It can be hard to remember because you’re excited, but always take down a name and number if you get a WTC (winning telephone call).
  • If you’re waiting for a prize from a blog giveaway, remember that most bloggers are busy parents, not paid to host giveaways and sometimes at the mercy of a badly organised PR company. Ask the blogger if you can help out by going directly to the PR to chase your prize.
  • If it’s tickets or a time-critical prize, get it sent to your workplace to ensure someone is there to sign for it.

Try not to get stressed or angry when chasing up a prize. We’re all rather too quick to jump onto social media to complain, but in many cases it’s just a misunderstanding or stock problem that’s holding up your delivery. Be patient, and do what you can to sort the problem efficiently and politely behind closed doors. And when you do get your prize – shout about it!

54 Responses

  1. Kaylee says:

    Hi really interesting thread. My partner recently won a Curry’s completion for the new Pokémon game on twitter. It was a big competition online. They announced the winners on their twitter page and DMed my partner for her details. However upon replying to the DM with her details she received a customer service person responding saying they believed the whole thing was a scam and this is all a false competition. This really worried my partner because she sent them details. They just constantly said they had no idea of the competition and believe it never happened. They then told her not to send anymore personal information and to take action to protect her information. However it was to them on their account. They then said they would email her with a follow up but they never took her email. She then tried to call curry’s to just follow up and talk to someone about it however they we unhelpful and said they did not believe the completion was real. The tweet of the winners is still on their twitter account. My partner has contacted the other competition winners and they were told they would be told when their prize is on the way. What advice can you give for us to contact the right people at currys and sort this all out? It is causing her a lot of unnecessary distress.

  2. Kiwi says:

    What can I do about a competition host that refuses to give me my prize? I won the prize (£75 RP League of Legends in-game currency) nearly 4 months ago and they just won’t give it. They kept ignoring my emails, after some back-and-forth and now after 2 months of ignoring me, have gotten back to me extremely pissy because I said I would push it to ASA – they literally stated in their last email they aren’t intending to give the prize and that they won’t communicate with me any further.

    There’s also a much bigger prize (full holiday to Japan) worth approx. £2000 from a different organisation that is doing the same thing and refusing communication with me despite winning it months ago.

    Is there anything that I can do with either of these?

    • Di says:

      When you say refusing communication, do you mean they are ignoring emails? I would call these companies and ask to speak to someone more superior than the staff member you are dealing with – check their website or Linked In to find the Managing Director’s name and ask to speak to them.

  3. Jade says:

    I won a ticket to go to turkey and to stay in a 5 star hotel as well as getting my teeth fixed at their expense. This was on instagram by a verified account (9GAG). The giveaway was for another account called dentafly. I won this about a week and a half ago and they haven’t said anything to me. I’ve messaged both accounts and 9GAG read my message but didn’t say anything and Dentafly has left the message unread. I’m not sure what to do.

    • Di says:

      I would contact Dentafly directly via email, attaching evidence (screenshots) of the prize and asking when you can start arranging your trip.

  4. Leanne Chetwynd says:

    Hi Di,
    I noticed you were also one of the lucky winners on Instagram in Jan . It was a sing competition with energiser . Did you receive your prize ? My Dm hasn’t been read and I sent a public message and they haven’t replied . Thanks Leanne

    • Di says:

      I hadn’t even realised I won to be honest Leanne! I’ve just sent them a DM now to see what they say. I had a keychain turn up last month from their other competition and I’m sure that took over a month to arrive.

      • Leanne says:

        Hopefully you get a reply . I sent my address that hasn’t been read on the 31st Jan . I haven’t seen any LL receive their prize either

      • Leanne says:

        Hi Di, the cutest sing toy and keychain arrived yesterday . Really lovely

  5. Jan says:

    Hi, I hope someone can help. On Instagram on 1st August I won a framed print worth
    about £150. When I sent my address, he emailed back saying he had a friend in the neighbouring village who he was hoping to visit in the summer and could he pop by with it. I said yes, but have heard nothing since. Last week I nicely asked if he wasn’t visiting Norfolk I was happy to have it posted to me unframed (to keep cost down) and he has seen Instagram message but not replied in 8 days. He still posts regularly on Instagram should I mention it on there. Thanks for any help you can suggest.

    • Di says:

      Just continue to message on Instagram – “Sorry to bother you again but it’s been 3 months now since I won, and I’ve been really looking forward to receiving the print. Please can you arrange for it to be sent to me. Thank you” – and if still no response after a week. “I’m really disappointed with your lack of communications, and although I’m not keen to do this, I’ll be putting in a complaint to the ASA if I don’t receive the prize in the next week. Thank you!”

      • Jan says:

        Thank you Di for replying, I will do as you suggest and fingers crossed he
        sends me my prize

  6. sam says:

    Hi There. i won an amzon fire tv stick in the form of a £50 amazon voucher nearly two months ago now and i still haven’t received my prize. ive contacted them a number of times but i dont seem to be getting a responce. it is a large confectionary company so i feel like i have little chance against them. i have mentioned the possibility of using an ombudsman in my most recent email to them today but apart from that i dont know what to do. any help would be great!

    • Di says:

      None of the winners have received their voucher yet Sam (me included). I’m trying to be a more patient these days as I know a lot of businesses are understaffed and their priorities probably aren’t with their prize promotions and winners, unfortunately!

  7. Chris says:

    I won a “match day box” for the British Lions – very exciting – Lions rugby shirt and stuff. They asked me my size….2XL for canterbury gear. and I confirmed it replying to the email. The box arrived…size XL – too small for me. I messaged them and the confirmed that they had sent the wrong size shirt and would speak with the dispatch. A day later, after a chase up email, they replied telling me that they havent got any more 2XL.

    Pretty rubbish really as it was a “sorry but we havent got any”

  8. Taha says:

    I’m sad to say I’m on this trail. I find it very rude that a experienced blogger does not respond to email’s or by social media despite being active on social media & on her blog. I’ve managed to find the company who was supplying the prize in the T&C’s of the comp so have just emailed them. I’m really hoping I don’t have to make a ASA complaint because black marks on people’s blogs can impact on them, but with no contact I am left with little choice if this company does not reply.

    • Di says:

      You could always try a tweet tagging in @ASA_UK – for example “I’m disappointed that I’ve still not received my @sponsorname prize from @bloggername, and had no response to my enquiries about the delay! Unfortunately I’ll have to put in an @ASA_UK complaint if I don’t receive it in the next week…”

  9. Colt says:

    I was named potential winner of a car giveaway via a promotion team in partnership with 2 very well known companies. I have responded in a timely manner however response from the company handling the giveaway is scarce. I’ve completed the necessary documents “affidavit” etc. The last communication I was informed they were awaiting for one piece of the background check. It’s been 2 weeks since then. I’ve emailed many times to follow up but no response. I have a squeaky clean history 0 arrest not even a ticket in the last 18 years. Thoughts on how I should proceed?

    • Di says:

      Are you in the US? I know the paperwork seems to take a lot longer there but I would try and get a phone number and give them a a call about it!

  10. Sondi.Nirmala says:

    I want iphone

  11. David Thomson says:

    my wife recieved a txt saying she was a winner of a raffle from a open day of a new shop in the area but they say that the message was sent in error what is her rights in this case

  12. mark hughes says:

    I won a competition with corals the bookmakers sports biggest fan,I have been to texas to see the American grand prix & had to fight to get the tickets. They arrived 3 hours before the start, I now have tickets for the champions league final. Flights hotel parking all booked but still no tickets, we have contacted the person numerous times & lame excuses keep coming back .We have now found out when he slipped up its an agent they are using,with 13 days to the final his last excuse was if I had the tickets on my desk i would send them.He never answers any of our questions but just excuses,we still have another part of the prize to come & have asked about that & same problems. Where do I stand if the tickets do not turn up ? I have terminal cancer & they have known since August 2018 this was part of my bucket list & they even filmed it & put it up on YouTube . This person i’m dealing with only started replying when I cc a friend in

  13. Michelle says:

    I had an email from Zavvi, saying I had won 2 tickets to the champions league final in Madrid, 2 nights stay in 4*hotel and £250 on a prepaid card. I have since found out that this email was sent to everyone on their mailing list in error. What are my rights here? I realise they cannot offer everybody this prize but do they have to offer something? They are only offering 15% off next purchase by way of apology which to me is ridiculous as you would need to spend money to claim it!

    • Di says:

      I’m afraid in this case you wouldn’t expect anything – it was a human error, and it happened to Boots before a few years ago too (I think they offered Advantage card points as an apology). Unfortunately mistakes do happen – and we can’t expect Zavvi to give thousands of people compensation! They’ve not handled the aftermath in the best way though – a follow up email should have been sent immediately.

  14. Peter Roberts says:

    Thank you for this article it’s very helpful. I won £1500 travel vouchers from a big Grocery retailer, but they have yet to give me the prize after waiting over 60 days. I have sent them two polite emails with replies saying they are waiting from the supplier to give them the prize. I have just sent them another email asking for further explanation why it’s been delayed. If they fail to give me an answer I will unfortunately have to threatening them with what’s mentioned in your article although in their terms they do mention they are not responsible for delayed prizes.

  15. Sharon says:

    Hi, I won a raffle at my local pub a few months ago . I actually won a 6×4 garden shed. I have rung the company several times and they keep fobbing me off asking me to ring again a week later. This has been going on now for at least 6months. What would you suggest I do now?

    • Di says:

      I would give Trading Standards a ring on 03454 04 05 06 for advice. on this one if its been going on for so long. Is it a local company, have you been to visit them too? Actually having a conversation with the Manager in real life might help!

  16. Andy says:

    Hi Di, My wife won a trip to Australia back in January on the radio (its now May 23rd). We have chased the company up several times and they keep saying they will be in touch to book it. We are a little concerned that on the competition T+C’s t states the holiday needs to be booked by 15th June which doesn’t leave us much time to arrange it. We are also going away to visit Family and I am concerned that we won’t be able to book it in time. Would we have any rights if they insisted we needed to book by the 15th June?

  17. Les Eccles says:

    I won a golf day at the Belfry in a local social club raffle last October and despite numerous attempts to arrange something I still have no clear information regarding when I’m going to get the day out Is there any legal action I can take to ensure I receive my prize? The club are saying they’ve forwarded the details to the brewery but won’t give me any names or contact numbers

    • Di says:

      Do you know who the brewery is? I would phone up their marketing department. Obviously you paid money to the Club to enter this raffle so it’s important that the prize is honoured!

  18. Chris says:

    Hey Di, my situation is kind of complicated. I entered a “like and share” competition on Instagram. The prize is a huge giveaway of skateboarding products from a skate store. The aim of their completion was to raise money for a little girl with cancer, so the t&c’s were to like, share, follow etc. But also to dontate money to a go fund me page, which I did. When it came to the day where they said they would announce the winner, they never announced it. And still haven’t!! Clicking on the hashtags of the post proves that I am literally the only person the entered so I know that I have won. I sent them a message saying that I felt bad because I couldn’t see that anyone else had entered and I only donated 10 pounds. So selflessly I said if I am the winner, I am more than happy for them to sell the goods and donate all the money earned to the go fund me page. This was six days ago and I’ve had no reply, I also messaged on Facebook and they have not even bothered to read my message, even though they are very active on all social media. Their Facebook says “typically replies within minutes” now I am getting very cheesed off that they haven’t even had the decency to reply to me and it’s getting to the point where now I just want everything they’ve advertised because they are clearly ignoring me. What should my next step be? Thanks

    • Di says:

      Hi Chris – sorry for the late reply! Did you hear back from them about this? It’s a rather unusual situation. Can you contact them and suggest they give you part of the prize, and then re-run the competition with better promotion (and give you a few free entries in the draw?) – or you’re considering reporting them to the ASA?

  19. Faeza says:

    I won a prize a year ago and been having patience to receive my prize. The promoters keeps giving me the same story prize was stolen b4 it was sent out and they waiting for more stock so they could deliver it. What do I do now in such instances

  20. Nia Manning says:

    I win a competition in work for a dinner service from a supplier called Churchill. Thus was in still waiting for it to arrive! Have chased with the person who put the competition on and she said she would sort it but now she has left the company. I called head office to ask what’s going on and the guy quite fluently said ‘I’ll sort it’ and wanted me off the phone. I had to say ‘don’t you want to take my address down’.
    Just wondering how long I should wait now after this phone call?

    • Di says:

      I would continue to call the guy in Head office – with enough badgering they’ll have to get it sorted, although it’s a huge pain and it does take the shine off a lovely win.

  21. John says:

    Hey I won a competition for a knife over a month ago, I was talking to one other winner from a month ago and he says he hast got his prize (was a mixer) and now it’s been a month since I got my prize (knife) should I just keep waiting???

    • No – just follow the instructions above under the “No prize after 30 days?” heading. Good luck!

      • John says:

        I did that and in reply he’s just said not to worry it ships straight from the manufacturer ( Zwilling Knife Company) so I emailed them and the lady that replied said that they didn’t know the guy, and weren’t aware of the competition what should I do now??

  22. polly powers says:

    Hi Di, how would you go about a prize that hasn’t arrived from a text competition.

    • I’d probably check comping forums and groups to see if anyone else won the same – quite often the prize will come with a letter that has contact details on it, and you could ask them to let you know that info so you could chase the prize! Also google for the details (the code you texted, and the keyword) as you may be able to find T&Cs and the promoters’ postal address, then find their website and a contact email!

      • polly powers says:

        I’ve got the t & c’s but no contact email just promoter name and address, I’m going to try calling them today who do I need to ask for? Marketing @ promotion??

  23. Heidi Craske says:

    I won a prize earlier in the week for tickets to Gardeners World Live. Today was the last day I could receive them as its a Saturday and it finishes tomorrow but they’ve not come. I contacted the promoter but they said they sent them and there’s nothing else they can do. Is there anything I can do, or do I just have to accept I lost out on this one?

    • That’s a tricky one as it sounds like Royal Mail have let you down in this case. I would contact the promoter again and explain your disappointment, and ask if they can keep your details on file for the next Gardeners World Live or is there another event they get promotional tickets for that you could use?

  24. Tracey Peach says:

    I’m sad to say I’m on this trail. I find it very rude that a experienced blogger does not respond to email’s or by social media despite being active on social media & on her blog. I’ve managed to find the company who was supplying the prize in the T&C’s of the comp so have just emailed them. I’m really hoping I don’t have to make a ASA complaint because black marks on people’s blogs can impact on them, but with no contact I am left with little choice if this company does not reply.

  25. sallycollingwood says:

    I won 2nd prize from Royal Central. a childs book, it did not come and I sent several messages, was promised it would come, was also told they lost my email address. Finally they said the 1sy prize had not been claimed so I could have that insted, but guess what, that didn’t come either. I really wondered if they even had a prize to send out, I certainly didn’t received either of them and was very diapoointed. As they were of low value I let it go.

  26. carole hiscock says:

    Have you had any prizes or dealings with a Bag/Jewellery company based in Arizona, but they promote weekly with comps in the UK via various social media sites, especially Facebook. They don’t seem to respond to messages/emails as suggested above. I will probably just not bother but it niggles to see them keep pushing comps and UK people trying to win! True, your tips are helpful, they’re certainly catch my eye and I now have the bug :)x

    • I’m getting more and more suspicious with the companies that run regular Facebook comps, because they get very little out of it (not like getting email addresses via an entry form) and often there’s no winner announced or just something suspicious about the whole thing!

  27. rebecca beesley says:

    good advice Di. I think people can sometimes be all to quick to get angry and upset instead of trying politeness first. My experience is that in most cases the delay is usually a PR agency delay or mis-communication or simply falling off someone’s to-do list so a polite chasing up is usually the best thing to do. x

  28. Adeline M says:

    Great tips Di! I haven’t received a prize I won back in October, but I understand that it was a blog and she has very kindly been trying to sort it!

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