Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Snapple Makes a Sucker Out of Me


Don't get me wrong. I like Snapple tea. I buy the Snapple Peach Ice Tea several times a year when it's on sale. I particularly like the fact that although at 39 grams it is relatively high in sugar, Snapple does not contain high-fructose corn syrups

Recently it was on sale at Publix, so I brought home three 6-packs of Snapple All Natural Peach Tea (it was a buy 2, get 1 free deal). I noticed a little graphic at the bottom of the label that said "THE FINALE" next to a star.

I found a star under one of my Snapple bottle caps, and got a little excited, so I read the label more carefully. The label said "Find a star and you could attend THE FINALE" and on the side it said if you found a star you could win a trip to the America's Got Talent Finale "or other great prizes."

If your cap has a star, you're a winner!

Turns out, the Snapple tea bottles have stars under some lids -- and I am betting under lots and lots of bottle caps -- with  numerical codes.You have to go to Snapple.com to redeem your code. Once there, you have to register on the site, giving them the kind of info I DO NOT LIKE TO GIVE OUT: email, name, age, address, phone number...

And those other great prizes? Not so great: a Hulu one-month trial; a coupon for Snapple, a Snapple screen saver, and a Snapple calendar. The only one I would be REMOTELY interested in would be the coupon, and let's be honest -- it's not a "great" prize.

In for a penny, in for a pound

But my foot was already in the door. In for a penny, in for a pound, so I begrudgingly took several minutes to fill out the form just in case I won the trip. No such luck. I won my choice of the Snapple screen saver or the calendar.

I picked the Snapple calendar. At least I would GET something that way, right? Nope. It's a download calendar (my computer already has one that is much more user-friendly, thank you very much) and it promotes Snapple every day. Great for Snapple maybe, but not so great for me.

America's Got Suckers

Snapple, you make people like me feel like idiots for being suckered in by your promise of "great prizes," and the prizes are almost all Snapple promotions. We waste our time giving you info we don't really want to give you, and you offer us stuff we really don't want to get in return. Shame on you, Snapple, for fooling us, and shame on me for knowing better and still filling out the registration.

To add insult to injury, one of my bottles was only 1/3 full. The seal was fully in tact -- I checked -- and there was no sign of leakage on the cardboard container. The bottle was simply missing about 2/3 of its tea.

I ask you, Snapple, if everyone with a star is a winner, then why do I feel like such a loser? 

Leave a comment below if you were also suckered by the Snapple Star promotion.

28 comments:

chriscaulder said...

Fantastic post. I "won" two stars, filled out all my info (which I don't like doing, either), only to see I can download two things, and both would probably be a virus or malware.

I googled "won a snapple screensaver" and found your blog.

I love Snapple tea just as much as the next person, but what a friggin' stupid scam.

Thanks for brightening my Thursday with your humor.

Kathryn Darden said...

Thanks so much for commenting on my Snapple Star post, Chris. Although I am sorry you had a similar experience (as will thousands of other suckers), misery loves company! :-)

Michael Brown said...

I'd like to add that Hulu gives free month trials away all the time. Just google hulu free trial promo codes. You sure as heck don't need A snapple cap for that. Another thing I found is if you tilt the bottle at such an angle, you can clearly see if their is a star or not. I've collected 7 'winners' So far and all downloadable crap!

Michael Brown said...

I'd like to add that you can google hulu promo codes and get a bunch of free month trials. Also if you look under at the bottle at such an angle, you can clearly see if the cap has a star or not. I "WON" several downloadable crap, and that's it. I load all the drinks in the cooler where I work. So I cash in all the coke reward points people toss in the recycle bin or boxes we trow out. I've gotten a toaster, a bunch of magazine subscriptions, music downloads, and a gardening tool set. Snapple's prizes are indeed crummy!

Kathryn Darden said...

Wow... a toaster, a bunch of magazine subscriptions, music downloads, and a gardening tool set vs. Snapple's downloadable calendar and screensaver. Yep, you can get Hulu trials and free calendars and screensavers all over the internet.

Maybe Snapple is doing badly financially and just can't afford good prizes. Perhaps they are about to go under. Such cheap "prizes" would indicate the company is not doing well. My condolences, Snapple, for not being able to afford decent prizes, because surely you wouldn't treat your customers so badly if you were operating at a decent profit.

Michael Brown said...

I wasn't going to post a video on your blog kathryn, I think it's rude to do since it's your blog not mine. However you might find this interesting, Howard Stern who is like a founding father of snapple, at least investment wise; also the judge on Americas Got Talent, the promotion snapples running, why we're talking. Anywho, sorry for my run on sentience... Howard actually talks about the history of him and Snapple on this clip. He kinda calls for his fans to boycott it. I just find it ironic, especially now that Snapple sponsors the show he host. Here's the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFJDD1Psoes

Kathryn Darden said...

Thanks, Michael. I'll try to check it out later. I am not going to boycott Snapple, but I think they should be ashamed of themselves for duping us with such a chintzy, misleading, CHEAP promotion AND for putting a bottle with 2/3 of the tea MISSING in one of my 6-packs. Shame on you, Snapple!

Katherine Thomas said...

Wow, I'm so surprised and disillusioned... I always thought Snapple was one of those all-American institutions like apple pie and baseball. I have my winning lid sitting here and no clue how to redeem the prize they're claiming I won. I guess it's going into the trash can! Thanks for the info! :)

Kathryn Darden said...

Thanks for posting, Katherine. If you "won" the screensaver or the calendar, you have to download them from the Snapple site and then figure out how to upload them from your desktop. If you won the coupon, I guess they have special instructions. And if you won the trip, well, CONGRATULATIONS! But I am betting you won the screensaver or calendar like the rest of us Snapple suckers!

marchelo said...

what you posted was 100% right. Snapple make you look like an idiot by telling you if you get a star you win a trip to America Got Talent show. They make you sign all the info about you and then bull shit prize, calender or screensaver Snapple. The way I see it Snapple tries to get info from people by signing in and then sell your info to other companies. They need to get sued!

Kathryn Darden said...

Thanks for the feedback. Snapple better not sell my info! I am ticked off enough that I wasted my time filling out the registration in hopes of winning one of those "great prizes."

Kathryn Darden said...

This comment was accidentally left under the wrong post, so I am moving it here for the author:

Maybe, all "winners" should stop buying their products for a month. I will do that so I could feel a little better about beeing tricked into scam from formerly reputable company.

-- Miro Mandich

Kelly Evans said...

The screensaver and calendar download "prizes" are crap, if you ask me! But, I do have to say, I've won 3 coupons thus far for free 6-packs, so I have put those to good use!

I get your frustration completely. However, to my knowledge, Snapple (nor any other company, for that matter) cannot make anyone give up their personal info. It's up to the individual to make that choice on their own.

Kathryn Darden said...

Thanks, Kelly,
I think we all "get" that we gave our info to Snapple of our own accord, however begrudgingly, in the hopes of winning one of the "great" prizes. My issue is 1. The use of the word "great" to describe the crappy prizes and 2. Taking the time to fill out the personal info Snapple required to claim the "great" prizes, only then to learn the prizes were, in fact, not great at all. It really felt almost like a bait and switch.

You were lucky to get the coupons. They aren't "great" prizes, but they are decent prizes. The rest of us won Snapple advertising gimmicks. Congrats on your coupons!

ShadowFalls said...

The Hulu Plus code as a "great" prize is a joke. It is only good for new subscribers, so if you are already a Hulu Plus subscriber it is useless to you. Not to mention that there are plenty of one month codes online so it is meaningless and its not a prize if its able to be obtain freely without "winning".

To note, I have won the free Snapple coupons already. The promotion is also broken, you can apparently enter the same codes more than once, one of these times I won another free coupon... So it seems winning prizes are randomly chosen every time a code is entered and it doesn't make used codes unable to be redeemed again. As such it seems that there is no specific code that wins a certain prize.

Due to the false claims and the how broken it is, I do believe there is justification for it to be reported to the Attorney General's Office.

There's only 5 prizes it seems, and only 4 have been within my reach. Also to note, you can only redeem 3 codes per day.

The downloadable prizes are junk and winning them means nothing as they can be given away to anyone once you downloaded them. Also to note, I won 15 of them, now what am I really supposed to do with 15 duplicate pieces of data?

Rene said...

Thank you soooo much! I was just about to go to the Snapple site as I found a star and now I can ignor it and enjoy my tea!

Ben Moore said...

I won twice and got the same offer twice. A screen saver or downloadable Calender. And the worst part is that I have a tablet. Even though i feel a little ripped off if I get another I will type it in.

Kathryn Darden said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone. While I have bought more Snapple tea since being suckered by the "America's Got Talent" contest, I have not even bothered to look at any more bottle caps. The chances of winning the one "GREAT" prize are so slim, and I am not wasting my time on the chance to win any of the other complete junk Snapple is offering. I am still mighty disappointed in this Snapple contest.

Barry Snugglemuffin said...

I know right? I was like oh a calendar! Then I was all... Are you kidding me? It wasn't even my code. It was my friends but she had to use my computer, so she didn't get a prize either.

Kathryn Darden said...

Hi Barry, I can so relate! I had that "oh a calendar!" moment, and that was quickly followed by the "Are you kidding me?" experience. In fact, I am still experiencing the "Snapple, Are you kidding me?" part!! LOL!

Snapple definitely gets my nomination for "Worst Contest of 2012 Award."

Desiree Mills said...

We understand! My daughter (7) and I have been playing all summer. I have a snapple habbit of 2-3 per day. My daughter corrected me as I was typing... sometimes 6. I believe I pay for enough of their promotions to give away a few STAR worthy gifts. We are up to 16 screen savors. Have entered at least 35 caps with nothing more than a promise for daily advertisement for a product that Im already sold on. A coupon would've been nice!

rae said...

Than you Kathryn,

You just saved me time and aggravation. So tired of being led to the wolves.

Kathryn Darden said...

I agree wholeheartedly, Deriree. Loyal customers who give their private info in hopes of winning "great prizes" deserve some STAR worthy gifts! :-)

You are welcome, rae! I'm glad to save you a little time and aggravation. Since writing this post, I have also saved myself the aggravation and ignored those Snapple bottle caps, but I do still drink the tea!

~Kathi said...

Gee, what a dilemma! I carried two star-with-number codes all summer in my purse & now I guess I'll toss them, but probably always wondering if I won something real. Actually, I wouldn't even go if the 'great' prize is Stern's show. Thanks for the truth--have you contacted Snapple themselves to complain or show 'em these opinions?

Far northern CA ~Kathi

Kathryn Darden said...

Thanks for stopping by, Kathi. No, I never contacted Snapple, but I would think if they are at all concerned about their online reputation, they have someone in the P.R. office doing searches or at least Google alerts to see what news and blog posts show up each day or each week about Snapple. Surely they are aware this contest as left them with unhappy customers.

CJM said...

Thanks for the Snapple blog! I Googled something I can't remember what to see how to 'claim the prize'. And this wasn't even for me! My sister gave me 2 star caps and was convinced that she was a big winner. After reading your story I went to their site just for the heck of it - if it were for me I would have stopped right there. The thing is my sister is still very challenged in doing anything online so was intimidated by this. I will now send her your link and let her know that I threw the caps out :) CJM of Princeton

Christopher said...

Thanks, Kathryn. I just found one today. Don't drink them much, but when I do, it's for the same reason you do: No HFCS.

I decided to google it to see what was up with it and found your blog. I'm filing the cap in my round file. Snapple better be glad they don't have competition using sugar instead of HFCS or they'd be in serious trouble. Love your line, "Snapple, if everyone with a star is a winner, then why do I feel like such a loser?"

Even though I didn't bite, I still feel like a loser cause I wasted the time to investigate.

I'm sending a link to this post to their PR department.

Kathryn Darden said...

Thanks for sharing your experiences CJM & Christopher. I am glad to have helped you avoid wasting more time on this chintzy and deceptive Snapple Star contest. And Snapple still owes me a replacement bottle of peach tea for the one I got in my pack that was only 1/3 full -- with a sealed cap.