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Non-receipt of prizes from photo contest


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#21 Snaphappy

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 03:58 PM

Robyn is a dear friend of mine. She has the utmost integrity and honesty. I trust her with my life when I dive with her. She bends over backwards to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and I have never known her to speak ill of anyone without legitimate cause. I certainly hope you are not accusing her of not paying the entry fee.


Aw shucks Ellen. :P Thanks for your nice words. Robyn

#22 ornate_wrasse

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 03:58 PM

Mr. Nolan,

You're not looking too good at the moment. I have a real problem with someone who complains that the prize wasn't awarded because of non-payment of the entry fee, yet displays the entry as the winner. You can't have it both ways. I think what happened here was that someone at your place made an error and you're trying to cover it up with excuses that the entry fee was not paid and therefore you can't award the prize. Robyn, in good faith, entered the contest, called up with a credit card payment, found out she was a winner and expected to be rewarded according to the stated rules of the contest. The fact that your staff goofed (which I can't prove but suspect is what happened) and failed to follow up and collect the fee should not prevent Robyn from getting her well deserved prize. What makes it worse is that you sent her a PM last week to let her know of the denial. Your behavior is less than admirable. A public apology, IMHO, would be the best course of action for you, followed up by the awarding of the prize to Robyn.

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#23 Snaphappy

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 04:09 PM

Mr. Nolan,

You're not looking too good at the moment. I have a real problem with someone who complains that the prize wasn't awarded because of non-payment of the entry fee, yet displays the entry as the winner. You can't have it both ways. I think what happened here was that someone at your place made an error and you're trying to cover it up with excuses that the entry fee was not paid and therefore you can't award the prize. Robyn, in good faith, entered the contest, called up with a credit card payment, found out she was a winner and expected to be rewarded according to the stated rules of the contest. The fact that your staff goofed (which I can't prove but suspect is what happened) and failed to follow up and collect the fee should not prevent Robyn from getting her well deserved prize. What makes it worse is that you sent her a PM last week to let her know of the denial. Your behavior is less than admirable. A public apology, IMHO, would be the best course of action for you, followed up by the awarding of the prize to Robyn.

Ellen



Thanks for the support Ellen! Robyn

#24 DirkPitt

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 04:18 PM

Amazing, Dive Chronicles Has never accepted AMEX. In the Seven years that we been operating. You admit that you have not paid, but you demand a prize. You still have not called but you claim you did!. This is the last we will state. NO PRIZES ARE Award if you fail to pay for entry fee. Robin only complain on forum but still has never called. Very child like.

If you want to discuss it you can call us at 888-557-2822

B. Nolan




Brad, when I entered the contest last year, I DID call your office and I gave my Amex number. The gentleman on the other end of the phone readily accepted the number, and never was I made aware that there was any problem. Why would I go through the trouble of submitting entries and not furnish the reqired fee?
You sent me a pm last week and claimed that my card had been denied. First of all, I have excellent credit and my credit card purchases are never denied unless it's in error. Knowing that errors can sometimes occur, and if this is indeed the scenario that played out, it would have been nice to have received notification at the time so that I could have rectified the error.
In fairness, I've looked back at my Amex statements and I can't see where I was charged for the entry fee like I should have been.
This also leads me to wonder....why wasn't I disqualified? It was either yourself or a representative from Dive Chronicles who lead me to the booth at the FL Dive Show where the winning entries were displayed....

Posted Image



then congratulated me and told me that I'd be getting an email about my prize, 'next week'. I've received no emails from you, nor any replies to the multiple emails I've sent. I've also left one or two phone messages which have gone unanswered.

So ... you want to disqualify me after the fact because there was supposedly a problem with my entry fee and I wasn't made aware of it?
Do whatever you think is fair Brad, but I hope that all the others who didn't receive their prizes have at least heard something from you by now.
At the time I made this post, there were at least 4 other winners from the SFUPS who I'd been in contact with, and no one had received their prize nor any form of communication from you. Also, I found out there's someone from a past show of yours who has the same complaint:

scubadiving.com

What do you have to say about that Brad? I'm also curious to know why you feel as though prize winners have the responsibility of chasing you down for their prizes? Robyn

4/5/09 7:34 p.m. Edited to correct spelling errors



#25 BDSC

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 05:11 PM

Is this Brad guy a trip or what? Like people have said, how could she possibly win the contest if she didn't pay the fee?

It's pretty obvious that this Brad guy is just going to lie to you Robyn and do all he can to keep you frustrated until you just give up. I hope you go ahead and call the AG office like someone had suggested and file a complaint against this guy and his company. What Losers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And by the way, I have read all but the last of Clive Cussler Dirk Pitt novels and I have come to know all about the character of Dirk Pitt..............and Mr. Nolan.........................you are no Dirk Pitt!

#26 Snaphappy

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 08:07 PM

Amazing, Dive Chronicles Has never accepted AMEX. In the Seven years that we been operating. You admit that you have not paid, but you demand a prize. You still have not called but you claim you did!. This is the last we will state. NO PRIZES ARE Award if you fail to pay for entry fee. Robin only complain on forum but still has never called. Very child like.

If you want to discuss it you can call us at 888-557-2822

B. Nolan



My head is spinning Brad. Now there's even MORE contradictory information from you. On one hand, you're saying that you don't accept Amex, yet when I called your office to submit my entry fees, (as I've already stated) my Amex number was readily accepted by your staff member.
On the other hand, now you're trying to tell me that the card was run and was declined,,,,according to this message you sent to me a few days ago:

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Find Member's Posts Slaming Dive Chronicles, Mar 26 2009, 06:05 AM

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You want to complain about Dive Chronicles, and No Prize. Should we post that you have not called nor did your credit card ever clear. Since the people who did get prizes paid the entry fee, and your card was decline.



Which is it Brad? Do you accept Amex or not? Did you try to run my card and find that it was errantly declined? If so, couldn't you have let me know?
I've made many reasonable attempts to contact you Brad and you NEVER tried to contact me. Why do I have to chase you? Are you saying that the others have already been awarded their prizes? Not according to what I've been told.

You know what, I'm ready to put this matter to rest. Truth be told, I'm not even sure if I would ever use a free stay at the Divi Resort if airfare and and a dive package weren't included. The flights to Bonaire from S. FL are few and far between and the airfare is exorbitant.
I posted this because I have zero tolerance for deceit and based upon what I've experienced as an entrant and (supposed) winner in your contest, and based upon the information I've gathered from other (supposed) winners, deceit is what's obviously taken place.
Shame on you Brad Nolan! If I can save even one person from throwing away their money on entry fees in future contests and from the disappoinment of being told they won then getting jilted on their prize, then I'll know that I've done the right thing.

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#27 Nakedwithoutcamera

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 05:22 AM

Aw shucks Ellen. :P Thanks for your nice words. Robyn

My only regret is that I forgot to mention how you agonized over posting this. How you tried and tried to settle this privately and that Brad left you no choice but to go public. You certainly are no drama queen and really, this was your last resort.

Besides, I know you'd do the same for me. :)
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#28 scott_nielsen

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 02:42 PM

Yes, I agree, knowing Robyn, she would never have made this public if you would have at least tried to do the right thing. Good for you Robyn and shame on you Brad. SAD....
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#29 rtrski

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 06:12 PM

Well, a quick search finds entry form PDFs that clearly say "No AMEX". So one can certainly say she shouldn't have thought she could pay with one. Yet I can't even begin to imagine why someone running a contest wouldn't WEED OUT THE ENTRIES based on fees paid vs. not paid, and only have those with valid entry fees judged. ...or is that a neato business trick I'm not smart enough (in the Senator Dodd definition of "smart") to have thought of myself: award prizes only to those without valid entries so you don't have to give out prizes?

BTW, the same quick search that found the PDFs which "sort of" back Brad's story also yielded Robyn's D2D thread where the other placewinners from the same contest were saying they hadn't gotten their prizes yet either, at least as of March. (All AMEX fans?) And something from WP in 2005 that may just have been sour grapes with slow payment.

Regardless, to this outsider, sounds to me like the pictures should've been excluded from the start if no fee was paid. If there was a mistake and they were included 'incorrectly' and then won, it would've been way easy to either contact her for the fee via appropriate payment methods QUICKLY to make things right, or inform her QUICKLY that due to the snafu no prize would be awarded. Flaming back on a message board six months later (surely he'd have posted his "earlier" replies if they existed to show up a false accusation?) doesn't exactly make a case to me that he's being wrongly accused.

(Oh, and when Wookie, whom I respect tremendously as an awesome liveaboard captain and a genuinely nice guy who's done the right thing by me when he could've just stood aside, said someone "doesn't always act in the best interest of his exhibitors", that pretty much puts the last nail in the coffin.)

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#30 allen

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 07:14 PM

For those wondering below are the official rules - it does say that only Visa / MC are accepted. It sounds as though a mistake was made by the office personnel taking the entry fee. Given that one had to call in their entry fee the office personnel should have immediately said something rather than accepting the AmEx card and giving the appearance of a complete entry. Obviously they were poorly trained for the job at hand. In addition, collecting a fee separate from the entry is just asking for screw ups like what is being played out here.

So because an entry fee was not paid it does give the promoter the ability to deny the prize. The rules are clear but the promoter failed in their due diligence before announcing the prizes and should have immediately notified the contestant of the problem. So while the promoter may be right their handling of the matter can only be considered to be a dismal failure and has probably caused more harm than good. Especially because this does not appear to be a one time incident but from the sounds of it a habitual problem. Which IMHO is no way to run a business nor a business that I would want to do business with. Especically, in the day in age where word of mouth spreads at the speed of light over the internet.

Case in point, I will be in the Bay Area next week and thought about stopping by the Bay Area Dive Show which is run by none other than Dive Chronicles. I think I will just head down to Monterey and knock back a few cold ones and perhaps stop in at Backscatter and mention this thread as they were one of the other contest promoters.


Click on the link on the right side -

http://www.divechronicles.com/fl/

Florida Dive Show Photo/Video Contest

COMPETITION CATEGORIES:

U/W PHOTO:
Digital Still Categories (DSLR & a Snap Shot Cameras Category)

MACRO (DLSR & a Snap Shot Cameras Category)
(underwater images which have a picture area of 7x5 inches or smaller)

WIDE ANGLE (DSLR & a Snap Shot Cameras Category)
(underwater images which have a picture area larger than 7x5 inches)

All photo entries will be submitted by email. Entrants must be from the State of Florida. Non Florida Residents may enter but must be present at theFlorida Dive Show in order to be considered. Entry fee for the Photo Contest/ Video is $ 10.00 per catagory. Maximun of 2 submission per categories per person. Winners will be announced the morning of November 15th at the Florida Dive Show.

The Digital Still Categories are open to all skill levels.
Video cameras in "photo" mode qualify as long as the resolution is greater than 1 megapixel.

U/W VIDEO:
Two Categories- Best Music Mix & Funny U/W Video
2 Minute Story (Over 2 minutes will be disqualified, must be uploaded to youtube and sumitted by email.).

Video entrants may be of any skill level. At least 75% of the entry must be underwater. Your camera skills as well as editing creativity will be judged. Show your editing system and methods.



Call 888-557-2822 to pay for your submissions, Visa and Master Card Only

Entries must be 5 by 7 at 300 DPI

Email submission to pvcontest@floridadiveshow.com

CONSERVATION RULES:
Applicable to all entrants and entries: Conservation Rules established by EPICŪ. Marine life should never be stressed or endangered for the sake of a photo. Entries exhibiting the following behavior will be disqualified:

Divers visibly damaging the environment (e.g. gear dragging or kicking up sand)
Animals with signs of stress (e.g. puffed puffers, inking octopus)
Animals moved to an unnatural environment or risky location
Animals being fed (especially artificial food from divers)
Marine life being touched (e.g. coral polyps, seahorse tails)
Divers exhibiting poor buoyancy control

Conservation rules will apply and the judges' decision will be final.

Photographers and videographers retain all copyrights to their images and/or video.

Entries must be emailed to pvcontest@floridadiveshow.com Dive Chronicles/Florida Dive Show have rights to use any submitted images for a period of two years for purpose of promoting future U/W Competitions. Photographer credits will be given.

You can email question to judges@floridadiveshow.com.

Entrants must be from the State of Florida. Non Florida Residents may enter but must be present at theFlorida Dive Show in order to be considered. Entry fee for the Photo Contest is $ 10.00 per catagory . Maximun of 2 submission per categories per person. Winners will be announced the morning of November 15th at the Florida Dive Show.


JUDGING CRITERIA:
Stills: Overall Esthetic Appeal, Technical Image Quality, Composition, Degree of Difficulty
Video: Camera Handling &Technique, Composition, Lighting-Natural/Artificial, Degree of Difficulty

PRIZES:
First and second place will be awarded in each category. Prizes will be posted during the Florida Dive Show show.

Snap Shot DSLR Video
Wide 1st
5 day/4 night Divi Resort 5 Days/ 4 nights Divi Resorts N/A
Wide 2nd
$ 150.00 Gift Certificate from U/ Photo Tech $ 150.00 Gift Certificate from U/ Photo Tech N/A
Macro 1st
TBA Trip on Nautilus Explorer N/A
Macro 2nd
$150.00 Gift Certifcate to Backscatter $150.00 Gift Certifcate to Backscatter N/A
Video Music
N/A N/A Nekton Liveaboard Trip for one
Video Funny
N/A N/A Trip to Wakatobi for one
* Prizes are subject to change without notice. Each vendors has some restrictions that may apply.

Subject to change without notice.

Edited by allen, 08 April 2009 - 03:56 PM.


#31 JohnLiddiard

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 01:36 AM

I had problems getting paid by Brad Nolan / Dive Chronicles a few years ago.

See http://wetpixel.com/...wtopic=7602&hl=

It took a long time and an extensive name and shame campaign beforte I got a response, which was on the lines of "We always pay" and righteous indignation. But then I still was not paid. This repeated a few times. Eventually I got paid enough of what I was owed to call it a day.

In the course of my campaign, I was contacted by .... someone who had won a competition and failed to receive their prize from Brad Nolan (2005).

Try contacting everyone he does business with and asking if they can help you get your prize. People like advertisers.

I now expect a certain amount of righteous indignation. If he was honest, I wouldn't be posting this
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#32 lindai

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 09:46 AM

The other interesting item is that I have two friends who also won prizes in this same contest and they also have been unable to obtain them. Surely all of them didn't use AmEx for their entry fees........

Like Robyn, they tried to contact Dive Chronicles to no avail.
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#33 lindai

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 11:04 AM

I just spoke with Susan Mears, one of the people I mentioned above and whose name is also on the banner that has been posted earlier. She did not use an AmEx card for her entry fee, her card was charged for the fee, and she has been unable to get any response regarding her prize.
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#34 Nakedwithoutcamera

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 11:41 AM

How can people like this Brad Nolan look at themselves in the mirror each day? :)
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#35 Snaphappy

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 02:02 PM

I just spoke with Susan Mears, one of the people I mentioned above and whose name is also on the banner that has been posted earlier. She did not use an AmEx card for her entry fee, her card was charged for the fee, and she has been unable to get any response regarding her prize.


Thanks for the update Linda. I'm sorry to hear that it turned out this way for you and Susan too. Have your heard anything from Judy, Suzan or Amaury? It really looks like this was one major rip-off! Robyn

#36 underwatercolours

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 03:44 PM

Wow, how things evolve!

Robyn called me back in early January asking me if I might knew of a fair and civil way to deal with not receiving the prize for this contest that she was told she won. At that time it had been about two months since the contest winners were announced. Considering that she had contacted the contest organizers several times with no response, I suggested she post the story here on Wetpixel to entice them to pay up. But Robyn, being the very nice person she is, told me she wanted to give them another chance to make good on their promises. We had heard from other winners who had not received the prizes, so I was glad to see Robyn's post.

I really don't think this is about screw ups with the entry fees. Regardless of whether or not the fee was paid, Dive Chronicles picked her as the winner of the contest! If there was a problem with her entry or payment, then she should have been told that BEFORE she won the contest. She should not be penalized for the organizers incompetence in running a contest.

Now Brad Nolan is doing some serious back-peddling to cover his own ass. When I first heard about this I thought that he just dropped the ball. From the start I told Robyn that I could not imagine that an organization like Dive Chronicles would intentionally screw the contest winners, but after seeing Brad's response I see I was wrong.

Robyn, if nothing else comes out of this, your photo is still a winner and you did a nice job of making the rest of the world aware of what a crook (and a jerk on top of that) this guy is.

#37 underwatercolours

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 03:58 PM

Robyn,

You might want to get in touch with Divi Resort in Bonaire who donated the prize in the first place to let them know how this contest was handled. Chances are they are advertisers with Dive Chronicles and maybe are not aware that the prize they donated was never awarded. It certainly makes them look bad too and maybe they will make good where Dive Chronicles has failed.

#38 Nakedwithoutcamera

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 05:12 AM

Or maybe Divi never donated the prize to begin with and Nolan lied about that too.
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#39 John Bantin

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 07:18 AM

Or maybe Divi never donated the prize to begin with and Nolan lied about that too.



Not to excuse anyone, I would like it appreciated that often a company donates a prize of a holiday to a magazine in order to get as much publicity as possible and then the magazine has trouble getting the debt honoured. The good thing about equipment prizes is that the magazine can get possession before the event. Maybe this is what has happened in this case.

I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?

 

#40 secretsea18

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 07:49 AM

Not to excuse anyone, I would like it appreciated that often a company donates a prize of a holiday to a magazine in order to get as much publicity as possible and then the magazine has trouble getting the debt honoured. The good thing about equipment prizes is that the magazine can get possession before the event. Maybe this is what has happened in this case.


While the above scenario is possible, the other prizes in the contest appear to be equipment prizes. As several individuals have not gotten their prizes too, it makes it less likely that the vacation prize was not really available in the first place and that at least a number of the prizes have not been awarded to the winners.
Robin

Edited by secretsea18, 11 April 2009 - 07:50 AM.