How fooled me!

Warning: Angry Post.

Background: In April 2015, ran a travel contest called ‘#DiscoverTurkey’ in a question-answer game format and in May 2015, three winners were declared, including me.

In case they have disabled the link, here’s a screenshot.

I received an e-mail on 13th May saying this:
“You’ve won an international trip courtesy MakeMyTrip. This mail is just to ensure that you know you’re an officially declared winner. Someone from our team will be in touch with you shortly with your trip details.”

I was delighted; of course, to an extent that I almost did not sleep that day. I even replied to them in excitement telling that I’m eagerly waiting for the details.

I’m still waiting. After 5 follow-up e-mails, and a lot more tweets asking about whatever happened to the prize entitled to me, I’ve not yet heard from them. If you look up #DiscoverTurkey on Twitter, most of the results will be from me asking questions directed @makemytrip.

Being hopelessly optimistic and one of those people who don’t intend to doubt anyone unless they prove themselves otherwise, I still thought those e-mails might be going to their Spam folder and tweets may have got lost among many others, I left a lot of comments (more than 50) on their Facebook posts – all of those were deleted to my disbelief.

I even called up their office in Delhi asking for an answer. The man on the other end bluntly told me that we don’t deal with online contests here and it is simply a query help-line number. He said he doesn’t understand what I’m talking about after which he started laughing off hysterically. At that point, I wanted to throw my phone in his face but I could just shout back and tell him to shut the fuck up.

What looks suspicious now is that while the contest was declared across all social media channels, the winners were announced secretly on an e-mail. I somehow found the T&Cs from their website:

If you scroll down a bit and read the terms for 3 final winners, it says that the prize needs to be availed by 30th September 2015 and the website needs to be notified about our travel plans 15 days in advance. Wow. This clearly means I’m not getting anything other than the legal hassle for now. What’s even more disgusting is that they shamelessly proclaim themselves to be India’s no. 1 travel website. That’s just a cheap way to spoil the country’s name.

The ‘management’ page on their website talks about their hobbies, fun stuff and all sort of nonsense but the email-id of anyone at the top management is not disclosed. One of my friends tried to help me by leaving a private message on Deep Kalra’s (Founder & CEO) LinkedIn account asking for the explanation but obviously he is too busy cheating more people. I believe folks at the top are either really nice or total assholes and that makes all the difference.

I just want to tell the founders that if you’re aware of these type of activities going on in your firm and not doing anything about it, it’s going to be Me versus You. If you’re ignorant, which can’t be the case; it’s your fight with your people. Clearly, I’m neither the 1st nor the last person to be fooled by you guys but I’ll be someone you’ll remember.

Featured Image credit: Got Credit

© 2015 – 2016, Swati. All rights reserved.


  1. Thanks for writing about this, Swati. I too have participated in many online contests and while some readily announce the winners and dispatch the prizes immediately, some brands just pretend to ignore the whole contest when its over. I have seen some winners commenting on social media and asking the brands again and again when they would receive, but they never reply. Its sad to see some big brands having so poor customer focus.

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