A competition allowing people the chance to buy a cut-price Jeep has led some unsuccessful participants to claim it was not run properly, with some threatening a class action lawsuit against the carmaker.
The ‘World’s Most Remote Dealership’ promotion ended at 9am today and offered people the chance to buy one of ten Jeeps being sold at $10,000 each. To enter people had to register via an app and then phone a number at exactly 9am this morning, with the cars sold on a first come first served basis, with 49,000 people signing up.
However, some phone numbers for the competition were posted online overnight on the Whirlpool forum, while some registrants have complained no number appeared on the app itself, but rather a “call now” button which did not work on tablets. Jeep said it received 30,000 calls for the competition this morning, but the app was only designed for mobile phones.
The Jeep Australia Facebook page has received more than 1,200 comments across two posts about the competition on Thursday morning, and some disgruntled users have set up a group on the social media site called ‘Jeep Fiasco Class Action‘ which had attracted 100 members by midday, with a view to taking legal action against the company. Other commenters claim to have lodged complaints with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission today.
One commenter, Rosie Grove, said: “Jeep must be congratulated:)) It is a rare accomplishment indeed to be able to inflict such damage on ones brand in such a short space of time.“The active social media management is hilarious too. Surely you have someone in there who can advise you that everything is discoverable? Not that this will go anywhere anyway but you may have a few smaller matters to sort out? Anyway, although this comment will probably get deleted, just so you know, we were only trying to win it so we could trade it in on a car we really wanted. It was quite a good arbitrage opportunity really .”
The competition was created by parent company’s FiatChrysler’s agency Cummins & Partners along with activation agency Wonder.
The brand posted a response on Facebook saying: “Wow! Thanks Australia for your amazing participation in “The World’s Most Remote Dealership” promotion. We can see that some of you are disappointed – there were over 30,000 calls made this morning for the chance to buy just 10 vehicles.
“Once we had confirmed our 10 buyers, we updated all our social media channels that the promotion was now over. We also closed the phone lines, as we thought this would indicate all the cars were gone! Sorry if this confused some of you.
“We love your passion for Jeep; stay tuned for more exciting and unique promotions and offers.”
The winners of the competition have now got to make their way to the remote dealership, which was revealed as being in northern NSW, to collect the cars on July 26.
A spokesperson for the brand told Mumbrella this morning they were “overwhelmed” by the response to the competition, and rejected claims the phone number being posted online could have impacted the competition, adding the app was only designed to be used on mobile phones rather than tablets.
Addressing the threats of legal action she added: “People are free to raise concerns when they have them, but we are confident the competition was run as set out in our terms and conditions.”
On whether the competition may have negatively impacted the brand’s reputation she said: “The people who are saying that are expressing their disappointment. If this competition was part of their purchasing decision we’re disappointed, but most people have a more extensive evaluation process when they buy a car.”