She won a sweepstakes from Extended Stay America in 2019. Where's her prize?
April 28, 2022
When Michelle Fiorelli wins a battery-powered toy car in hotel sweepstakes, she looks forward to receiving her prize. But almost four years later, she's still waiting. Will she ever get it?
In 2019, I won a Back to School Sweepstakes from Extended Stay America. The prize was a Kid Trax battery-powered car. I still have not received any information on the shipping of this prize.
I wanted to surprise my twin nieces with this for Christmas 2019, but the car never arrived. Then I thought it would get here in time for their birthdays. I didn't hear back from Extended Stay for months.
About a month ago I was asked about the color for the prize and thought I would have it for this Christmas. But they never responded. Can you help me?
Michelle Fiorelli, Erie, Pa.
Congratulations on winning the Kid Trax car, which looks like a lot of fun. Of course, Extended Stay America should have delivered the toy to you as promised. It looks like you followed up numerous times with the hotel chain and, to your credit, kept your correspondence polite and professional. I'm not sure if I would have been so patient.
As the founder of two nonprofit organizations, I've run many contests. They are more complicated than they look. Normally, there are three or more parties involved, including the company giving the merchandise away, a third-party fulfillment company, the organization, and the recipient. It can get confusing.
I would have appealed to Extended Stay America at a higher level and in writing. I list the names, numbers and email addresses of the Extended Stay America executives on my consumer-advocacy site, Elliott.org.
You've waited a long time for your Kid Trax. It's been almost four years since you won that sweepstake. In fact, this may be a new record. Are the kids still interested in playing with a toy car or have they outgrown it?
Most people would have given up on Extended Wait America by now. But not you. I admire your persistence. Often, companies keep people waiting in the hopes that they will give up and go away. I'm not saying that's what happened here, but if that was what Extended Stay America had in mind, they were messing with the wrong customer. Good for you!
I contacted Extended Stay America on your behalf. It investigated your missing prize and found that the fulfillment company hadn't processed it for some reason. It followed up with the company and you received your Kid Trax -- at last.
© 2022 Christopher Elliott