Some media companies dissed me off and this one really pissed me off big time. Lately, I joined this Ora2 Smile ambassador Contest because I am such a big fan of their toothpaste.
But after today, instead of making me feel absolutely clean and fresh. I look at the Ora2 toothpaste with disgust (not because it is a lousy toothpaste) but because your media/ public relation team sucks.
When creating creative work, whether it is writing or photos, I hate "plagiarizers". Plagiarizing doesn't mean you copy word for word or pose for pose. If the outline/ theme is almost the same (especially in the setting of a same contest), errr...the copycat shouldn't have too high hopes to win or even shortlisted.
But the organisers decided to shortlist her as well. So, I guess their stand is "Support Plagiarizing!" Some Smart Alec may retort that "Hey, imitation is the highest form of flattery, ya know." Not a person that revel in flattery I guess, cos apart from irritation, I feel repulsion.
So why am I so angry? Because
a) I spend an hour taking eons of photos in different poses before shortlisting this (cos I thought this was the most creative, my bangs didn't look weird and I had no double chin.) Yes, that's the effort I put to each and every media contest/work I join. So shut up, haters!
b) For those curious about how this photo is taken, I had a photographer (basically my brother) and even a stylist (my mum). So much time of the assistants wasted because the organiser favoured copied work. Why rack your brains in future, just copy lah!
c) I had to send 3 reminders on different platforms of Ora2 before I could get a response from the organisers. Maybe I should have just emailed Ora2 direct. And when I received an response, it is just half-hearted apologies and weak reasoning. :( So that's all I deserved. Ora2, do you really treat a fan like that?
The reply I finally received, telling me there was a separate shortlist. And I was kicked out. Why "3-hearts" wasn't kicked out? I even got a time stamp to show I submitted my idea first. You come from a creative industry too. If your competitor took your proposal and modified it a little (even if it is in the name of bettering it), I am sure you would be more livid than me.
I came out with this alternate theory for the true reason. It could be really overlooked (so they conveniently "shortlist" another person) or there was a mistake in some consolidation of the 20 photos. But what disappoint me the most was a lack of response. My first request for a reason was sent even before the first vote was cast. (Super fan or what, their post on Facebook was noticed by me so quickly).
If I were truly shortlisted, they could have taken immediate remedial action. Nope, just hide it. If I were really kicked out (with "3-hearts"), you can always tell a person sorry I shortlisted the wrong candidate. But considering how they ding-dong with me a bit when I asked questions on the data protection act, I doubt I was the wrong candidate.
But, they chose the easy route and that is to continue overlooking me (until the third reminder) and let me breed into one dissatisfied customer.
I am writing this down instead of accepting their gift because I choose to have a voice instead of some lame-o gift. And what this voice wants to say to all companies out there (because you can learn from their mistakes even if you don't treat your customers like this): Please value your customers. I don't need you to treat me like a Queen, above reasonable treatment. But when I am feeling disgruntled, can you at least simply reply my messages? Let me know you are listening and tell me what you can/ or are trying to do to improve so that similar situations will not happen in future.
And this applies for all industries. And this is the lucky girl that got my place. She didn't even get a shortlist comment. :(
I am not mean (even though I could if I wanted to). I blanked out every name ok! Their contest will get some traffic too. And I didn't even shame their media company too. I am now wondering if Ora2 even know what is going on or is this being swept conveniently under the carpet by the media company. I hope you truly gain 20 new customers to boast off, cos one loyal customer is gone!