Comping Questions: Automated Entries

Thu, 2012-05-24 10:37

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Our Comping Questions today are all about Automated Entry Services - do YOU know what they are? Here at The PrizeFinder, we're very much opposed to them and I worked with Loquax last year to raise awareness on my own SuperLucky blog too.

What is an Automated Entry Service?
Automated entries are competition entries submitted by a company on your behalf. So, you pay a company such as Win24, Prizewise or Prize Draw Centre to enter comps for you. That company will go to a website, and use an automated script to submit thousands of competition entries, assigning you an email from one of their own domain names. All About Prizes actually charge a whopping £29 per month!

Aren't automated entries the same as Autofill or Roboform?
No. Most browsers now come with a standard Autofill function designed to help you fill out common name and address fields - people use these all the time, whether that's for online shopping OR entering a competition. Many compers also use Roboform which is a more advanced version of Autofill. A comper using Autofill/Roboform still visits a website to enter a comp - someone who has paid to use an automated entry service DOESN'T visit the site.

Why do people use Automated Entry Services?
They may be short on time, or simply lazy! Here at The PrizeFinder we think comping should be fun. We help you out by listing competitions on websites, but you still need to click the links and complete your details. Sometimes you'll need to find the answer or complete a tiebreaker too - we like to think the extra effort adds to the joy of the hobby! Using an Automated Entry Service means you don't even know what competitions you're entered into, what prizes you might win - or even whether or not your entry has even been counted! There are very few examples of successful winners on the Automated Entry Services sites - read yesterday's Loquax blog for more details.

Why don't promoters like Automated Entries?
Competitions are designed to get you to visit a promoter's website and spend a bit of time there entering a competition or trying to find an answer to a question. Now, that promoter may get 10,000 or more entries from the same 'Automated Entry' company - none of these people have even visited their website. Any further email correspondence or newsletters are received by the Automated Entry Service's email account, so never reach the prospective customer! So it's in the promoter's interest to disqualify them, and lots of them DO. You'll often see this text in competition Terms and Conditions: 'Automated/bulk entries will be disqualified'.

Why should I care about Automated Entries?
If an Automated Entry Service submits 10,000 entries to a competition, that means the odds of YOU winning will be tiny. It also means that websites like the PrizeFinder will have less users winning prizes, and we LOVE to hear about our members' wins! It's in a comper's best interests to warn promoters and ask them to include 'Automated entries will be disqualified' in their Terms and Conditions if they don't already.

Have YOU ever used Automated Entry services, or know someone who has? Are you a promoter who has been targeted by them? Tell us your experiences!

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do you stand any chance of winning a tv comp when you enter on line, they are normally £1 to enter by phone surely a phone entrant will win

SuperluckyDi

The big prize TV comps are heavily regulated and every entry, regardless of whether it's a phone call, text or web entry, will be recorded and the winer chosen at random from ALL entries. There are lots of winners of This Morning, daybreak, etc big prizes on comp forums -and they have all entered online for free!

I won a daybreak competiton after entering on line

celticsoulbr

I won £10,000 from ITV with online entry

rudders

Thanks for that

runts_gal

Very helpful thank you. I had wondered if by using autofill I was being rejected.

santorini

Hello.
Can I ask am I meant to be copying and pasting the competition link so its not traced back to a competition site or is it ok just to enter through the link ?

SuperluckyDi

Clicking on our links is absolutely fine! Most of the traffic to these competitions comes via links from sites like ours, and most promoters have no issue with it at all. Those that don't want compers to enter for their prizes can contact us and ask us not to list their comps (and we've only ever had one or two of those complaints!). Most promoters want the extra traffic and many give us a return link as well.

readytowin1

Where the terms and conditions state that entries with macros are not allowed does this mean they will disqualify ones using automatic form filling and RoboForm?
many thanks
Readytowin1

SuperluckyDi

Roboform *is* a macro, but in most cases companies use the term to refer to Automated Entry services, and most won't discount Roboform entries from individuals. The best thing to do is query it with them directly!