After we finished lunch at a restaurant in Great World City which I haven’t been to for ages, not least because I don’t particularly like its food or service, the waitress handed me a pink slip.
I thought it was a lucky draw or some “return” voucher but no, it was an attempt to solicit me to give it my vote for the “SPBA Most Popular Brand Award.”
That’s OK but not what it proposed to do on my behalf.
Let me start from the beginning. (I’ve removed the offending restaurant’s name as I don’t know if it’s the only one soliciting votes this way or it’s done by all the nominees for the award. If it’s commonly practised, it doesn’t make it right but in that case I won’t want to finger just one restaurant).
The request (in dubious English) began thus: “Thank you for your support, XYZ Restaurant is nominated for SPBA Most Popular Brand Award. Please vote for us by SMS to 77877 by typing
spba <space> XX <space> NRIC <space> your name &
spba <space> YY <space> NRIC <space> your name
Each SMS costs 20 cents, lucky draw winners will be drawn from the pool of votes.
Voting ends: 5 December 2010 midnight
(So far so good. I was about to throw away the slip, till I saw the last bit of instruction)
Last bit of instruction read as follows:
Kindly fill in your particulars amd is our pleasure to vote on behalf for you.
Thanks for your support.
We assure that your particulars are for voting purpose only.
Ha? So, the restaurant would be using my IC n name to SMS for me; saves me 20 cents and gives me a chance or even several chances (if it chooses to SMS on my behalf several times to vote for itself) at the lucky draw.
While it’s no skin off my nose and no money out of my pocket — even with the potential of making me a lucky draw winner — I don’t think the practice is fair or right. Perhaps not even legal.
If this is common practice by all the Most Popular Brand nominees, it really makes such awards a farce.
Hey, it looks like the nominee with the deepest pocket will win.
But then again, why am I surprised?
Many, if not all, of such awards are nothing but a glorified business strategy in disguise. Good business for the awarding body! And quite meaningless for everyone else not in the game to make some fast buck from the exercise!