Woman loses out on Tims prize because of little-known rule
Published Friday, March 27, 2015 12:41PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, March 27, 2015 2:09PM EDT
A woman in Newfoundland and Labrador has learned a lesson about why it's so important to always read the fine print.
Samantha Burke of Clarenville, N.L., says she tried to claim a $100 Tim Hortons' gift card in the coffee chain's Roll up the Rim to Win contest, but was denied because she was not aware of new contest rules that state that winners of gift cards must also send in the part of the cup rim that contains the prize's PIN number.
The rules and regulations on the contest's website state that the company "reserves the right... to reject any potentially winning rim tab if the prize message is not presented in its entirety."
Burke said she had no idea such a rule had been brought in. Like most customers, she assumed she simply needed the winning message and threw away the rest of the cup.
Burke posted a warning to other customers about the rule on Thursday, including an image of the rejection letter she got back from the company. By Friday morning, the post had been shared more than 18,000 times, with many customers saying they had no idea there was a PIN within the prize message.
In a public post to her Facebook page that she has since removed, Burke said the owner of her local Tim Hortons in Clarenville, Dave Weeks, where she bought the winning cup was also unaware of the rule, but offered to give her a $100 gift card anyway.
"He like many others were surprised to hear about the hidden PIN underneath the rim. He also apologized for the misunderstanding and offered me a $100 gift card on behalf of him and his Tim Hortons location," she wrote.
Burke didn't think she should accept Weeks' offer because she didn't feel the misunderstanding was his store's fault. But she has changed her mind and will accept the prize so she can tell everyone about the franchise owner's generosity and "bring as much attention to the positive in the world."
Michelle Robichaud, Tim Hortons' Director of Public Affairs, explained in an email to CTVNews.ca that while the company has always required the full tab to verify prize claims, they recently added PIN numbers rims that offer gift cards as prizes. She explained the PINs are meant to help speed up the confirmation process. Winners also need to sign a winner claim form, which outlines the rules and regulations.
"This additional feature for Tim Card winners is new, and our Restaurant Owners and Team Members have been doing a great job explaining the process to our large prize winners," she says.
"The response has been overwhelmingly positive."