Why won’t Waitrose competition entry forms submit?

Since 2017, Waitrose customers have had problems submitting the entry forms on their competition page. Despite completing the form correctly, entrants are likely to see the message ‘Please correct the errors and complete your information again’. Scrolling down, the captcha box is highlighted in yellow to show there’s a problem – they’re asked to enter the code again.

The customer completes the captcha again, but the problem persists. Personally, the most attempts I’ve made to enter has been about 20 (and then, even though I paid for a Persil product specifically to take part, I gave up due to frustration) – but I hear that other SuperLucky readers have lost count after 40 or 50 attempts!

The video below shows my attempt to enter the Incyon Wine competition on 25 January 2019. It took me five attempts to get the form to submit. I also entered the Lee Kum Kee competition (two attempts), and the Quaker Oats competition (three attempts).

I first contacted Waitrose about this in October 2017, and sent them a similar video to demonstrate the issue. Fast forward to January 2019 and it’s still the same problem. Why has nothing has been done to fix it? Even more competitions have been added, with increasingly expensive qualifying products such as wine and electric toothbrushes – but people are unable to enter them!

I know that many of my readers have complained, and most of us get the stock response of ‘don’t worry, we will ensure you’re entered into the prize draw at our end!’ – but that’s not good enough (and do you really believe them?)

Waitrose need to know that this isn’t just a rare glitch – it’s happened to most entrants, and it needs to be rectified. They’re a big company running a lot of great competitions. Can’t they use a different type of captcha? I wouldn’t even mind clicking on ten photos of traffic lights!

If you’ve had a problem submitting your entry to a Waitrose competition, please leave a comment below to let them know it’s not just a handful of us who are struggling. If you’d like to contact them directly, you can email customerserviceteam@waitrose.co.uk

Let’s hope that Waitrose can listen to their customers and get the issue sorted as a matter of urgency!

Response from Waitrose – Jan 31 2019

“The problem stems from the security code the website generates and requires you to enter. Currently the code is only valid for 30 seconds before it expires, normally it is valid for 3 minutes, this issue is affecting all competitions on waitrose.com. In a ideal world, we would love to take the site down for an extended amount of time to upload all the patches etc, however as I am sure you can appropriate this is not a practical option at this time.

Consequently we are having to drip feed the new data/coding/scripting on to the current version of our website. this is creating multiple versions of the website to run in conjunction with each other. As a result were are experiencing some user interface issues, for which I am truly sorry for.

Please be assured we are currently working on a far more intuitive and user friendly version of our website, to avoid any repeats of issues like this in the future.”

I have responded to query why this 30 second window cannot be set to the 3 minutes again. I’ve also suggested that introducing an email entry method for the purchase-necessary competitions might be a temporary option – but for now, it sounds like our frustrations will continue as they work on the website.

85 Responses

  1. Jill Nicholson says:

    Like everyone else , I find it nearly impossible to get the crossword answer accepted. Usually it is the cap ha that is supposed to be wrong.

  2. Mary Spowart says:

    Same problem as everyone else. Just persevere and eventually it works. Thought maybe it was just me but, obviously, there is a problem with their system

  3. Definitely not fixed, tried again today, been happening to me for years too. Always input code and data within 30 seconds(auto fill details) and yet still won’t acknowledge. So frustrating.

  4. catwoman says:

    I only ever enter the crossword competition, but like others I have had the same problem time and again – I have rung them and like others they have said they have entered my response to the competition. There is no waitrose in my town so my entries only happen when I’ve been somewhere that does have a waitrose and I’ve been able to get a copy of Weekend

  5. Mitchell Sanders says:

    I will even go as far as to say I have stopped shopping at Waitrose because of this problem! I used to pop in now and again for a few items so I could enter their comps, now I really don’t bother as entering their comps is enough to drive one to drink!

  6. Dr A. O. Christie says:

    I have always been asked to correct nonexistent errors , sometimes my answer is accepted after three or four attempts but tonight my entry has not been accepted after six attempts so I have given up trying!! Some time ago I suggested to Waitrose that it would be a good idea to publish a list of crossword winners in their ( very good) newspaper. It would make interesting reading but nothing has happened so far! Finally Waitrose should make sure they arrange for the out of date entry forms to be deleted from the Web.

  7. Megan Kinsey says:

    This has been frustrating me for months! I contact Waitrose about it months ago and they said they were working on it. However, the issue is still exactly the same. I’ve tried multiple browsers and cleared cookies and cahce. What’s the point in having competitions that no one can enter? They should either fix it or not host competitions.

    • Megan Kinsey says:

      I tried to enter a competition again today and same issue so I contacted Waitrose via facebook. I got the following reply:

      We’re hoping to have this up and running soon but no timescale at the moment. I’m so sorry for the frustration caused!

  8. Jo phull says:

    Same problems as lots of you have already stated missed out on some amazing prizes surely they should rerun those competitions or refund on the products purchased

  9. Sally Lunn says:

    I have already made one comment, but now have more to say.

    Last night I entered 2 comps and got through first time, so amazed, but I could not in either case despite many tries read the terms and conditions. So it seems Waitrose may have fixed one thing, but now something else is not working. If it was not my local supermarket doubt I would bother!

  10. MRS ABOWATH says:

    I am fed up of this, i give up, I tried to enter on my mobile and on my computer but still doesn’t work, i cleared my history and the cookies but still cannot submit due to the captcha thing failing. PLEASE SORT IT OUT, its been going on for too long

  11. Jane Willis says:

    They keep trying to fob people off with the “clear your cookies” suggestion which they’ve obviously not even tried because IT DOESN’T WORK. It isn’t a cookie issue, it’s a problem at their end, and trying to blame entrants isn’t doing them and their public image any good at all.
    And what is the legal position, given that many of their competitions require a purchase? If a customer buys an item in order to enter a competition and then is prevented by the failures of the Waitrose website from actually entering the competition, is that not an issue that could land them in deep water with the ASA or IPM? Has that situation been brought up with either of the authorities?

    • Di says:

      That’s a very good point Jane. If Waitrose don’t come back with a fix, I’ll call the ASA and see what they recommend.

  12. CHRISTINE DENT says:

    After 35 failed attempts for a comp a couple of days before the closing date, I rang to speak to someone in person. First I was told to clear my browsing history, as if it was my computer’s fault, but then I read out many comments from other frustrated competitors & said I felt it was a disadvantage us all. I was sent a £5 shopping voucher which was better than nothing & since then 9 attempts the most I’ve had to do. Today was different an entry went through FIRST TIME!

  13. claire Thorpe says:

    I thought it was just me!!! I have also emailed and had 5he same response about Don’t worry you have been entered! But how can I be sure??

  14. Christine Abdy says:

    Like many others I’ve contacted customer services several times, and they fob me off, saying their technical people are aware, or have fixed it. They assure me if I give them my details I will be entered. It is astonishing a company like Waitrose can’t sort this out.

  15. Dawn F says:

    Yes, Waitrose, please fix your captchas! I really wanted to enter a Lindt competition at Christmas time. I tried about five times a day, every day for three weeks and just couldn’t get it to go through. It’s really annoying. My husband eats lunch and gets some shopping at Waitrose at least once a week so I would be entering more purchase comps if I knew the form worked.

  16. Julie T says:

    I have had problems entering competitions run by Waitrose on many occasions and it is so frustrating. You buy the product, keep your receipt and then NOTHING. You often can’t enter at all because of the stupid CAPTCHA. In the past I have bookmarked them and returned at a later time and/or date but still to no avail. You would think that a company such as Waitrose would be the last to have a problem like this. So…. is it in their interests to let us buy the products and then leave us high and dry??! Very bad practice.

  17. Anna Lord says:

    It happens to me all the time and sometimes I give up and leave entering to another day or just keep trying until my entry is accepted. Entries are also not accepted if you leave a space after your mobile number, email address or post code. There is also an address field2 which must be completed in which I have to put a hyphen because my address consists of Address Line 1, Town and postcode only!

  18. Joan Anthony says:

    To make it worse, it is one of the longest forms to fill in. It wouldn’t be so bad if you just had to type out your email a few times.
    I emailed them before Christmas when one was particularly bad and had an email back a few hours later saying that the IT people were aware of the problem and were dealing with it. I think it has been a bit better since but still doesn’t work well.
    I don’t understand why it is such a difficult problem to fix.

  19. Frances Heaton says:

    There is always a real problem entering Waitrose competitions, as the Captcha code fails to work as it should, refusing to allow entries to go through.

    This I T issue has been a problem for a considerable while now, and nothing seems to be happening to resolve it. Perhaps it’s time that Waitrose recognised and resolved the problem, maybe getting in a new technical team to see what is going wrong.

  20. Amy Jo McLellan says:

    I never had any problems until a few months ago and I haven’t been able to enter since. I wasn’t twigging about this affecting the purchase necessary ones though so this will definitely put me off buying the qualifiers until they’ve fixed it. It’s ridiculous!

  21. Georgina Jacobs says:

    I always have this issue and it’s very frustrating. I went to Waitrose last weekend to purchase items for competitions (3 in total) and it took me quite a few attempts, but I was determined to get my entries through. I did contact them via Twitter because I was sick of this issue but all they did was send a “nice” reply. I am quite surprised this issue is ongoing since 2017. I would have thought that a company the size of Waitrose would have had this issued resolved.

  22. Margaret Clarkson says:

    It’s a major problem. Waitrose run some lovely competitions but I also have to reenter the capcha multiple times and sometimes iIgive up. it is very dissappointing.

  23. Jacqui S says:

    I’ve had countless examples of this with Waitrose too, it’s frustrating. I’ve also had their stock response reply which is unhelpful and meaningless. I’m a great Waitrose customer, it’s my go to shop but this part of their customer service is failing and there are some senior managers who are responsible for this element of Waitrose’s performance. Shame on them.

  24. ELISHA says:

    I have always had problems, I can remember I reading somewhere once the captcha code has refreshed you get a few seconds to enter it and click submit. Otherwise it’s an epic fail!

  25. Zoe says:

    Yep had this same problem many times with Waitrose

  26. Christine Evans says:

    I tried to enter the crossword comp today, 20 failed captchas later….. below is the response to the email I fired off to them (basically asking why they are not addressing this longstanding issue) Thanks for your email, Christine.

    Please could you provide the following information so that I can look into this for you –

    – The device you are using for this competition.
    – Name and answers for the competition.
    – Any error messages
    – Link for the competition

    Apologies for the inconvenience caused.

    Kind regards

    Nav
    Waitrose & Partners Customer Care
    Case Reference: 05865652

  27. Jill Johnson says:

    only seems to work if you put in captcha first then add personal details

  28. Nicola Taylor says:

    Always have problems entered the toothbrush competition and had an email saying they had entered me ,but didn’t win ! Was I entered ? As thought it would be low entry as expensive to buy.

  29. Jo Godfray says:

    It is so annoying. The first two went through OK the other day but the others took me ages. I tried on my mobile and it eventually went through but it took ages online!! I hope they get it fixed soon

  30. Jane H Shaw says:

    So frustrating you buy a product try to enter the competition and the form won’t submit. I’ve given up entering so many times.

  31. Debbie Birchall says:

    Oh my goodness, I thought it was just me!! It is soooo frustrating and sometimes you have to enter a new code about 4 times! Happens on the non purchase comps too.

  32. Sarah Davies says:

    It’s not just on the purchase comps but on their standard comps too. It always comes up with the captcha being invalid. I’ve tried and tried over several days/weeks in different browswers and given up in the end. I did contact them about it but got no reply.

  33. Clara Cort says:

    Yes, it happens to me all the time. Last year it go so bad that I emailed Customer Services and they promised me to put my details forward for all the comps I listed. Not sure if it happened, at that time I wasn’t able to enter 9 different comps due to captcha failure. Then a few weeks later I got a message that they fixed it. generally I can enter the first one, but nothing afterwards. I used to able to enter on my mobile on iPhone but that does not work either now. It’s very frustrating because they run good comps, and I have just won one (I guess I entered it first and that’s why it accepted my entry). Would be nice to have a solution, as I was promised several times it will be fixed.

  34. Tina Saunders says:

    I have had loads of problems with Waitrose competitions – the captcha rarely works so I end up emailing them or giving up. I thought it was my browser so tried others and different devices but same problem. Something should be done!

  35. Tiff Jordan says:

    Happened to me too. It’s as if the captcha times out. SO frustrating after I’ve made a special trip to buy the specific qualifying items!

  36. Joy says:

    I have had lots of occasions where I have needed to type the captcha again and again also in order to submit!

  37. Julie Dillamore says:

    Yes – I always have problems entering – tried other browsers to no avail. I’ve contacted them on several occasions but the problem has never been resolved. I’ve now given up buying any qualifiers because it’s just too frustrating!

  38. Lindseylofty says:

    I have this issue too, whether I enter the competition on my android phone, iPad or laptop. Come on, Waitrose, if you’re going to run competitions, make sure your captcha works!

  39. justine Meyer says:

    This happens to me all the time cannot get them to submit at all. I have given up

  40. Angela Walton says:

    Yes I’ve had loads of problems too with these competitions

  41. Elaine Hollis says:

    I used to try umpteen times on IE and Firefox before giving it up as a bad job. I only enter Waitrose comps occasionally now due to this problem.

  42. elaine quinn says:

    yes happened to me too, gave up in the end, really frustrated.

  43. Christine Taylor says:

    Thought it was ‘just me’ but I see many other folk are struggling to enter that annoying CAPCHA code ..keeps going round in circles ..must be something that can de done !

  44. Daphne Ormerod says:

    This has been an ongoing problem for me. I did complain on Twitter before Christmas, but didn’t get a satisfactory answer. So frustrating! I enter the Weekend crossword most weeks & it never submits first go. But if you buy a product, you would expect to be able to enter with no problems.

  45. Caroline Gooding says:

    I thought it was just me!! Their competitions never submit for me! It’s soooo annoying! Thank you for trying to sort it!

  46. Oli Marshall says:

    I get excited every time I see a lovely competition on Waitrose’s website and every time I think “It’ll be fine this time” but, after entering over and over again the same competition, I find myself completely disheartened. Why putting competitions on if no one can enter them?! So frustrating!

  47. Amanda Letch says:

    Yes I have the same problem, keep having to enter the captcha and after about 5 attempts I give up

  48. MELANIE CRUMPTON says:

    I always have so much trouble with Waitrose Captcha’s! takes me ages to enter because the codes will not accept!

  49. Davina M says:

    We’ve had so many problems!! We’ve tried different browsers, devices etc to no avail. Please Waitrose, sort it out! Your competitions are fab!

  50. Tom Morrison says:

    I’ve tried to enter lots of Waitrose competitions where I have had trouble with the captcha not letting me submit my entry. I eventually give up and wonder if anyone ever manages to enter?

  51. Ange White says:

    Yes,happens frequently and must admit do tend to give up and annoying when you have bought a qualifying product

  52. Alison Thackray says:

    Tried to enter several Waitrose competitions today & everyone took at least half a dozen attempts if not more to enter the captcha data code – it is so frustrating.

  53. Siobhan Rowe says:

    I always have problems trying to enter their competitions. I normally give up as after 10 times being rejected by the captcha code.

    I wish they could rectify this.

  54. Sarah prescott says:

    I regularly enter Waitrose competitions and yes sometimes I have to enter the code between 10 and 20 times and sometimes give up. It is very frustrating for a company as big as Waitrose that they haven’t fixed this problem

  55. Sue Southwick says:

    Had loads of problems, find it really difficult to enter. I have written to customer services, messaged them on Facebook, written to the IT director, the weekend newspaper editor. The only one to reply were the people on messenger. They offered to enter for me. But how would you know!
    I was so angry , I asked them if they actually wanted anyone to win their prizes.
    Gave up with the crossword this week. After 20 or more attempts.

  56. Sally says:

    I too have experienced this problems and it’s so frustrating! Please sort it out Waitrose!

  57. Linda Curtis says:

    Yes the recent knorr one Iv tried dozens of time & not been able to enter !

  58. Jennifer stevenson says:

    I tried today and the first captcha didn’t work and it said correct errors and gave me a new captcha, so I entered this and it worked. I didn’t refresh

  59. Charlotte says:

    I specifically purchased two items in December for a competition but after about 30 attempts I couldn’t get the captcha to be accepted. I contacted customer services who said they’d submit my entry for me but I was very dubious that this actually happened as they didn’t ask me for the same details that the competition entry form did and needless to say I didn’t win!

  60. Kim Willing says:

    In Chrome it works second time for me. If I remember I refresh the captcha before submitting first time, if not it tells me it won’t go. Usually goes through second time unless it’s with 0 and O – sometimes type font is different on computer keyboards. This is for free comps. I’ve not tried often with receipts, wouldn’t want to purchase something large and not be able to enter. Waitrose will be losing out sales on this.

  61. Vanessa ball says:

    I have this problem everytime

  62. Teresa Sheldon says:

    This frequently happens with Waitrose and is so frustrating when you’ve purchased an item especially to enter the competition it’s taken numerous try’s to enter and then sometimes it just won’t enter st all very annoying

  63. Gill Saunders says:

    Thanks Di, this annoys me every time I try to enter, especially as I’ve made a special visit to Waitrose to buy the product! Took me between 12 to 20 attempts to successfully enter the code for each of the recent Tessiere & Ambrosia comps and even resorted to contacting their Customer Services, who had to enter on my behalf, for the recent Colgate comp!

  64. Sally Lunn says:

    I have given up on Waitrose – after buying an electric toothbrush (which I could have bought cheaper elsewhere for a Christmas present), I could not get my entry accepted – the closing date for entries was during the holidays and Waitrose Customer Service dept closed. So I missed my chance.
    I love the fact that they have the comps and feel a connection with them and John Lewis (my favourite store) – but enough is enough. PS don’t like all the comps for Waitrose Cookery School either – I live too far away to attend for the day, maybe they could offer the option of Waitrose/John Lewis vouchers if say the winner lived 200 miles or more away.

  65. Jennifer Brammer says:

    I’ve had lots of problems, It is really frustrating when you have travelled miles to your nearest store, made sometimes an expensive purchase and when you try to enter you are subjected to the dreaded error message. One time I tried to enter I was eventually successful on my 47th attempt. This has been a long standing problem and I feel disappointed in the way Waitrose have passed the buck and refused to accept there is a problem.

  66. Andrea Horner says:

    I’ve tried everything to get the entry forms to work, occasionally they do but after numerous attempts and clearing browsers, history etc. We have to travel 40 minutes minimum to visit a Waitrose store so it is extremely frustrating when I’ve made the effort and still cannot get the form to submit.

    • Andrea Horner says:

      Today I have been trying to enter a weekend away without a purchase and it is just asking for the code over and over or when I submit it is a blank page. Checked the URL on the blank pages and it reads as entry-confirmation, so am assuming they are going through.

  67. Kay sale says:

    I have had this problem so often that I don’t even bother entering their competitions anymore.

  68. Janine Learner says:

    Yesterday I tried about half a dozen times to enter a competition on the site via my mobile phone, but the code wouldn’t go through. I gave up trying that way and managed to do it on my computer, but sometimes it wont go through on there either.

  69. Alison Walker-Hyde says:

    I’ve had this problem for ages, less so recently although still intermittently – I find refreshing the captcha and unclicking then reclicking the T&C agreement clears it. I can normally enter within two or three attempts. For info, this is what they told me when I approached them in an email in August 2017.

    Thanks for your email Alison, although I’m sorry to hear of the issues you’ve encountered with Waitrose.com.

    From the description you’ve provided, we believe that you should be able to successfully enter the referred to competition by clearing your cookies. The links below support in how to clear your cookies for the four most common internet browsers.

    – Internet Explorer – http://bit.ly/IntExHelp
    – Google Chrome – http://bit.ly/GooChrHelp
    – Mozilla Firefox – http://bit.ly/FireFoxHelp
    – Safari – http://bit.ly/SafarHelp

    If this doesn’t work or you need help with this, please do call to speak with one of the team on 0800 188 881, option 1.

  70. Cally R says:

    Thanks for trying to get Waitrose to sort this problem out. I haven’t been able to get any to take for months due to the Captcha problem. It’s not okay and SO frustrating! Hope they fix it soon.

  71. Julia Linsley says:

    This happens to me again and again! I find it really fustrating and then often give up !

  72. Michelle Crowe says:

    Yes I’ve had plenty of issues. I’ve gone out of my way to shop at Waitrose (my nearest is 14 miles away) and buy qualifying products for their promos, it’s been utterly infuriating to not get the entries to go through online meaning a total waste of my money. I’ve been fobbed off over the phone and by their social media team. I don’t believe a word of it when they say IT are dealing with it tbh!

  73. Emma Gough says:

    Thanks Di for highlighting this issue. I’ve had terrible problems, I’ve deleted cookies, cached files, reloaded my internet browser and restarted the computer to still be denied my entry! It’s so frustrating especially when I buy the specific product! PLEASE Waitrose sort it out!

  74. Emma Ellams says:

    I’ve purposefully bought several products from Waitrose recently with the aim of entering their comps. Although the entries go through eventually, it’s very long winded and very frustrating! It took me 20 attempts on the recent Oral B competition. I didn’t even win to go some way to make up for the inconvenience!

  75. Jodi says:

    It usually takes me half a dozen attempts then it goes through, on a non purchasing entry form! (most of the time). But it takes longer to submit if it’s a purchase entry form, sometimes it just won’t go through no matter how many attempts I try…. very annoying after you’ve brought the qualifying product & then it doesn’t work!

  76. Sian Williams says:

    The enter code drives me mad! It takes at least 5-10 attempts every time I enter a competition. It’s a shame because the whole competition section on their website is so professional and yet this problem alone really lets it down. It puts me off entering competitions with them.

  77. Penelope S says:

    I have just tried to enter the Weekend crossword and have had 10 failed attempts. I emailed Waitrose about this before Christmas and like others was told it would be sorted. Now off to try and enter my Sicily wine receipt.

  78. Priscilla Stubbs says:

    I have problems entering the competitions, very frustrating after buying a qualifying product.

    • Ann says:

      I too have very frequent problems entering waitrose crossword competitions , and, as they don’t publish a list of winners, am now becoming suspicious that they are not genuine.

  79. Jo Marie says:

    I’ve had intermittent issues too. Sometimes it works fine and other times it just says there are errors with your submission. Very frustrating so hopefully Waitrose will sort this soon!

  80. Karen W says:

    I’ve had lots of problems trying to submit my details – very annoying when I’ve purchased a relatively expensive qualifying item to find I can’t enter the competition. I did email Waitrose last month and they said they would enter my details manually but I can’t email them every month. The last time I tried, I entered on an ‘incognito’ page to see if it would work – and it did, but dob’t If it will work next tine…

  81. HANnah igoe says:

    Yes I have had lots of problems and after about twenty attempts in three different browsers I gave up. I contacted them about it in December and they assured me it was fixed but I have the same problem every time. It’s hugely frustrating and annoying.

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