Taco Bell is currently holding an ongoing contest giving away the new PlayStation Vita “every 15 minutes” as the advertisement boast. The contest barely started two weeks ago and it’s already under scrutiny. A facebook group has been formed regarding this developing story and gaming site Kotaku first reported of the events.
An anonymous source by the name of “BuzzLightyear” contacted me via email stating he found a “loop hole” in Taco Bell’s Unlock The Box website a couple of days after the contest started.
“When I first visited the site, I noticed it was purely HTML based meaning the URL can just be repeatedly used over and over. So I went out and paid my friend who works at Taco Bell to grab me a couple of codes. It did not take long for me to win one…”
He goes on to write in the email..
“I simply saved the URL extension of the winners pages and text messaged it to a friend of mine in a different state to see if it will load.. and guess what.. it did. Filling up the submission form and clicking SUBMIT only gave us errors, but when we entered a used code, it somehow validated the SUBMIT button and it submitted easily.”
I asked him why he decided to email me about this information and he simply replied.
Taco Bell’s Unlock The Box Promo has Game Boy Level Security and they underestimate the gaming community.
I’ve been trying to reach out to Taco Bell and Ventura Associates to get their comments. To add more to the mystery, anything relevant to the Vita or promotion is being deleted off of Taco Bell’s Facebook wall almost immediately also calling the contest hotline yields a full mailbox.
Based on my research, upon winning a prize, the contest administrator Ventura Associates takes about 2-3 days to verify your winning. Apparently winners are being left in the dark with no responses from the contest sponsors. The only official word from Taco Bell is this wall post:
Have you won anything before through fast food promotions? let us know about your experience in the comments section below.
[UPDATE] Just got a phone call from Ventura Associates. They informed me that the discrepancy has been fixed and any attempts to undermine the operation of the website will be investigated. They have a database of the valid winners and will only be contacting those verified winners.
[UPDATE #2] According to the group that created this page on facebook, Ventura Associates, finally sent out emails informing them that they are not valid winners. A couple of people in the facebook group expressed dismay as you can clearly see in an exchange via text message entry for example that one of the members received a message informing them they have won. A week later now the person is verified as a none winner?? a big WTF is now in effect.
2:25 PM (1 hour ago)
February 13, 2012
We have received your inquiry and determined that you are not a valid winner. This was determined by checking the information (i.e. code, email address, cell phone, name, etc.) you gave us with your inquiry to the data in our system’s records.
Please note that ANY ATTEMPT TO UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS PROMOTION AND SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES FOR SUCH ACTIONS TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.
The decisions of the judges are final.
Well look’s like Taco Bell finally put out a press release. More like a COOKIE CUTTER response to the events as of late. See the whole FAQ here.
Written by: PAUL FIERCE
- News Contributor