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Two Wrongs Do NOT Make a Right

Tue Sep 23, 2014 3:12 am by trex

What do you do when someone votes for you but they have broken …

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Can anything be done about a poorly run contest?

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My daughter is in a scholarship contest sponsored by National Payday. We've fought VERY hard to get every single vote, including the many votes she's received from this site. She was just bumped from first place by somebody who bought votes. There are three ways to vote in this contest, Facebook, Twitter and Google+. When you watch in horror as a competitor's Facebook votes rapidly increase by 200 votes, then 100 votes, and then another 100 votes (taking screenshots the entire way) while the other two voting methods don't move, that tells me that votes have been bought. How could 1300 people vote via Facebook while not also having either a Twitter or Google+ account to also cast votes? Very suspicious! The promoter says they won't allow vote buying, yet they allow this?

Then, last night, they REMOVED 40 votes from my daughter (and again I have screenshots). They total the votes from each of the three voting methods each day. My daughter's numbers were always off, but I didn't know why. Her total was always less than it should have been (for example 20+30+10=55 total votes). Other contestant's totals were off too, but not as much as my daughter's. So last night, instead of correcting the totals, THEY REMOVED VOTES so that their totals would be accurate.

This is the first time this company has run a voting competition. It's for a decent size scholarship. I am so disheartened at this point. But what can I do? They have no phone number where you can actually reach a live person and they don't answer emails.

Any thoughts?


I would send them a link to Theres a lot of information there that that might give them a heads up. A poorly run contest will lead to bad publicity and I have actually seen some page owners close there page becasuse of it.

How to NOT have your topic locked:
- post the ending date of the contest in your topic title
- return the votes you have been offered
- come back on the forum every day and don't be away more than 2 days.


Admin wrote:I would send them a link to Theres a lot of information there that that might give them a heads up. A poorly run contest will lead to bad publicity and I have actually seen some page owners close there page becasuse of it.

Thank you. I can occasionally reach them through their Facebook page, when they decide to look at it. This is the message I sent...

Hi- As you know, my daughter is competing for your scholarship. As you
also know, she and I have been concerned with some of the events that
have occurred during the competition. However, last night, when 40
votes were removed from her "like" total, I feel I have to reach out to
you again. We have witnessed vote buying red flags on more than one
account. We have witnessed users tweeting over 100 times in a row to
accumulate votes. And now the removal of 40 votes from my daughter's
account. We have screen shots to document all of these events, which
you are welcome to view. My daughter entered this competition with
highest hopes because her plan was to work relentlessly to fairly
acquire as many votes as possible. She even reached out to a local
publication, which ran a story on her efforts which mentioned your
company. They plan to do a follow-up when the competition is over. My
daughter came into this knowing that even with all that effort, she may
not win. What she didn't consider was that that events like these might
prevent her from even having a chance.

I believe this is the first time you've run a scholarship competition and maybe there were things that could have been done differently. I'd like to direct you to
a VERY helpful page regarding how to run competitions like this one.
It could help in the future if you decide to do this again. It could
help in the remaining days of THIS competition.

At this point my daughter knows she cannot win this competition the way
it is being run now. Yet she is still going to give it all she's got
because when she starts something, she finishes it. I am proud of her
and disheartened for her. Please, PLEASE read the link. I don't want
somebody else to get into this same situation in the future.


Well written smile I hope they take a look, Let me know if they reply!

How to NOT have your topic locked:
- post the ending date of the contest in your topic title
- return the votes you have been offered
- come back on the forum every day and don't be away more than 2 days.


Admin wrote:Well written I hope they take a look, Let me know if they reply!

I DID get a reply, which I honestly didn't expect:

We really appreciate your concern for the contest and how it is being run.

We re-checked our algorithms to make sure there were no glitches in our scoring system.

Secondly, we do take accusation of manipulative score tactics very
seriously and intend to closely review the votes for all top entries
after the contest ends before deciding a winner. We recommend the
following paragraph from our Terms and Conditions which every essay
author is bound to:

"Good Faith and Representation:

Sponsors accept all essay submissions in good faith. Any entries found
not to meet the good faith expectations of the Sponsors (among other
things, cases of plagiarism or incorrect attribution; fraudulent
research; or inappropriate author relationship to National Payday) will
be considered invalid and the authors will forfeit any prizes and/or
expenses awarded, if applicable. Authors found to have committed fraud will be banned from future competitions. The Sponsors reserve the
right to replace any removed winners at the Sponsors' sole discretion.
The Sponsors will not be held liable for the misrepresentations of any

Also, as a related topic, we emailed the top 4
essays twice (including Jessica) in order to get from them their school
and contact info for award verification. We have not yet heard back from
any of those authors, including Jessica.

Hope to hear from you soon, and Best of Luck!

I had my daughter check her email and sure enough, there was a message, but not from National Payday. It was from the guy who replied to me and it looked like spam so she ignored it. Maybe the others will do the same. I sent the following message back. We'll see what happens. The contest is over soon, but the winner isn't announced for a few weeks.

Wow! Honestly I didn't expect a response. Thank you! Jessica is
replying to your email right now. You didn't address why there were 40
"likes" removed from my Jessica's tally. I'm including the screenshots
that show the "like" tally at one time and the reduced tally a few
minutes later.

What I find interesting is that the person in
first place (the one we suspect of buying facebook votes - note that of
the 1,300 "voters" she had, only two of them could also vote on twitter
and Google+?, and so few comments?) received a comment from the person
in third (soon to be second I suspect) place about getting so many votes
so quickly. That same person who made that comment seems to buy 100
Google+ votes that same day and another bunch earlier today (note the
increase in ONLY Google+ votes, and again, so few comments). This is
also the same person who had individuals posting over 100 tweets a day,
although you can't control what an enthusiastic friend might do.

Regardless of how this all plays out in the end, it seems like this
might be a good learning experience for everybody. We are leaving for
vacation early tomorrow and will have limited internet access, so the
push for votes
will slow down on Jessie's part. Hopefully all those who have yet to
vote will get it done before the deadline. BTW, can you tell me what
time the deadline is on 7/31? We are EST, but I see you are based in
Costa Rica.

Have a great weekend, and here are those screenshots I mentioned...
and then I included the screenshots.

So we're keeping our fingers crossed and still fighting for votes.


Im so so curious as to how this all plays out - I cant beleive someone would cheat on such a big contest. I would totally assume that at the end when they have a look at everything they will be able to tell - and I hope so I really hope she wins it - Keep us updated!



This contest was from over a year ago, but I am happy to report that after finishing in third place, the sponsor then went and "adjusted" the votes, removing certain votes (I'm not sure how they determined which votes needed to be removed). In the end, integrity DID win and my daughter won the scholarship! Unfortunately, despite hundreds of other scholarship entries, she has yet to win another. But she keeps trying!



Im so happy that she won this one and they did what they should have smile Thanks for letting me know! I didnt even notice the date on it but I was so curious!

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