#50CentFrostySCAM

If you are in New York like me, you know that it’s one of the warmest weeks imaginable right now. Also, my hometown Mets (while not in first place) are still in postseason contention, being only a few games behind a wild card spot as of this writing.

Anyway, as I was driving back to my house yesterday, I noticed everyone on Twitter was tweeting the hashtag #50CentFrostyMLB. And upon closer examination, I came upon these two tweets from Wendy’s and MLB:

When I saw this, three thoughts came into my mind:

  1. Where is the nearest Wendy’s
  2. How will tweeting a picture of a frosty give me free MLB.TV
  3. I’d hate to be the guy that paid full price for MLB.TV yesterday.

So, I followed the official prompts on the official website, which were very easy.

Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 11.50.09 AM

So far, this sounds like a great deal. I’m going to Greece in two weeks, and I’d love to have MLB.tv while I’m there, even if the start times are inconvenient. So, I did exactly as MLB asked, I tweeted the picture of the Frosty and am now waiting the 24-48 hours.

This is where things started to get interesting. You know the terms & conditions that most people swipe through and say agree? Well, I felt compelled to read them, as I had nothing else to do, and I came upon this important nugget of information:

Must have a public Twitter or Instagram account. Valid to the first 34,000 fans. Redemption period 8/15 – 8/31. Subscription valid until 10/2/16.

I knew the subscription did not continue into the Postseason, that’s why it said:

“WANT A FREE MLB.TV PREMIUM SUBSCRIPTION FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE 2016 REGULAR SEASON?”

And I also knew the redemption period and part about having a public twitter account, because it left a note on Step 3:

 (note: accounts must be public – private accounts are not eligible)

But valid only to the first 34,000 fans? First off, fans is not the word they should be using, it’s not a ballpark promotion, but while we are talking about ballpark promotions, try imagining this at a ballpark promotion. Say there were 100,000 “fans” trying to get something (there would be more trying to get the free MLB.tv through the #50CentFrostyMLB promo, but it’s easier to work with a rounder number).

Now, let’s say those 100,000 fans were promised a bobblehead, but whoops, once you did everything they asked, purchase a ticket, go to the game (which is similar to going out of my way to go to a  Wendy’s and purchase a Frosty) they tell you, we actually can only give this to the first 34,000 of you, even though we don’t say it out right… Sorry!

There is a reason teams come out and tell you that only so many fans can get this promotion, because it’s the most fair way of carrying out a promotion, and it’s more clear cut. I’d expect things like having a public twitter account or having to follow a certain account be the things that get buried.

Luckily, this is a fairly small deal, it was 95 degrees, and I enjoyed the Frosty immensely, and I only gave up 50 cents on something I still might get and even if I do probably won’t use that often.

However, a mega corporation like MLB should not use the techniques that sound like they are selling points to an informercial. While this “scheme” of sorts has been around for a while, not telling you how many people are eligible is not only poor for the consumer, it’s poor for the company. While I did go to Wendy’s, it was not without some reservations of going out of my way to find a Wendy’s. If I had known that only 34,000 people were going to get one, my “snagging a good deal” instinct would have made me run as fast as I could and purchase Frosty’s for my entire family.

Just look at how the wording changes from initial promo to terms & conditions:

Promo: 50¢ Frosty is here! Tweet a pic w/ for a free subscription to !

Terms: fans get the opportunity to win a free subscription to MLB.TV Premium

Words like “opportunity” and “win” that make this seem like a lottery start to pop up all over the place. Again, nothing new, these tricks have been around for decades, it’s just very low on MLB’s part.

Do you have any thoughts on the promotion? Share them in the comments or tweet me @NikoMetsPlus!

 

1 Comment

Shameless indeed…
Definitely not worthy of the MLB reputation.

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