Friday 23 October 2009

We get mail - The Bizz Awards

Following our comments on the "World Confederation of Business" and their so-called "Bizz Awards" they have emailed us.  It goes like this (their email is shown in blue, quotes from their earlier emails are in red):
Dear Richard,
We are aware of the fictitious company information you submitted. Unfortunately, at times our representatives are unable to immediately verify company information by email or telephone and they give out general information. You have to understand they don’t only deal with one company, but they have to notify and congratulate over fifty winners for each European and African country to which they are assigned. Once you submit the application forms (attach), the company information is re-verified and some companies are rejected at this stage. Had you proceeded with submitting forms, your application would have been declined. You will find that participating companies have excellent reputations.

Are they serious?  "General information"?  Their email to my fictitious company said:
"It is my pleasure to congratulate you once again (...) your company has been chosen for your: ·        Managerial Leadership, that involves the capacity to make adequate decisions,
·        Management Systems,
·        Quality of your products and services,
·        your creativity,
·        Innovation,
·        Social Responsibility,
·        And results obtained."

The "application form" they attached is a self-completed form.  It's not completed by someone nominating the prize winner, it's completed by the prize winer themselves!  A self-nomination form?  Click here if you want to see it.

They continue...
"When it comes to our products and services, you are under the impression that we sell the awards. Every company that has earned this recognition is entitled to contact our office and ask for the award at no charge and it should have been offered to you. We sell memberships to our business association (which among other benefits includes dozens of business networking and training events yearly) and we sell seats and dinners at our award productions. Over 2,000 companies have chosen to participate and pay for these things and they always receive what they pay for."
Yes, I AM under that impression.  The same email that confirmed that the fictitious company had won the prize said:
"in order to participate to EXPOBIZZ and the BIZZ AWARDS 2009, and to receive all these benefits for one year, you can become a member of our organization for the exceptional cost of $3,530 (three thousand five hundred thirty American dollars)."
Yes, their email did also say that
"two official honorary titles made at your company and General Manager’s name" (and that) "These certificates will be sent to you by post for free."
but when my fictitious company asked for them everything went quiet.

Their email continues:
We are aware that we don’t inspire confidence at all times and have even received inquiries by AmCham that led to favorable physical inspections by Duaine Priestley, US Export Assistance Center Director with the US Department of Commerce.

It is a shame that you post this on a Consumer Watchdog blog, calling us a scam and harming our reputation, when we are a positive factor in the business community. Please consider removing your posts. We wouldn’t still be around if we have been scamming the 2,000 companies that have signed up over the past five years or the business community in general. We hope this gets resolved amicably and that you realize that your perspective was incomplete.
Best regards,

John Williams

As they asked nicely, and as I'm a very nice guy I did consider removing the posts.  Briefly.  Then I decided they could stay.  I'm grateful that they got in touch and I'm happy to present their side of the story to the public but they've not said anything that has changed my mind.

The truth, on this occasion, is simple.  Real prizes are free.  You shouldn't have to pay to get a prize.


Anonymous said...

Look here:

Their reply is identical to the one you received.

Anonymous said...

Furthermore, they seem to have somebody on permanent duty, searching for negative comments.

Just the fact that somebody is constantly on the watch for unfavorable posts, is already a cause for concern!

Anonymous said...

funny. they obviously are very active.
received an invitation to attend one of their "festivities" and obtain a so called early bird package. after doing a brief bg check i found that their marketing department seems to be hicghly creative....
i called public relations of lufthansa hsbc and 3m, all allegedly, previous awardwinners.

now guess what, they never ever heard of them.