Opinion: I’ve never liked February the 29th

So yesterday, I participated in the Nokia Amazing Everyday Lumia hunt, and drove to Port Elizabeth in order to track down one of four Lumia 800 handsets being handed out to the first person who arrived at the secret location. By the time the competition was 15 minutes in I had figured out three clues and begged my mom for the use of her car. Forty minutes later I was out of the gate and off to PE.







The three clues I knew were easy; the Campanile Monument by the harbour, the Dick King monument in Russell Road, and the Donkin Lighthouse and Pyramid on Donkin Reserve. All were within five minutes reach of each other by car. At the Dick King monument I discovered I was half an hour late – the prizes had already been taken. Moving down to the Campanile, I was beginning to worry about the schedule that Nokia reps kept to appear at the locations, only arriving once the secret location was revealed on the Lumia site  – it may very well be that all the prizes could be picked up before 11AM that day. With my luck, the Campanile site had also finished long before I arrived, and I slowly made my way to the Lighthouse. When I arrived at 9AM no-one had yet queued up, so for the first hour I was alone. Frequently checking Nokia’s Facebook page held no clues as to when the reps would arrive with prizes. I settled in and prepared to wait the whole day.

Over the course of the next five hours, I stood on a slight hill near the Lighthouse to keep an eye out for a Nokia rep wearing a black t-shirt and carrying a flag (this bit’s important). It rained for most of that period and I got soaked. A few other people showed up as well, hopeful and eager to win, but many eventually left fed up with waiting. Nokia’s Hunt service and website was down for most of the day, and some contestants only received their special code once they had been on location for a while. With ever increasing frustration, I kept looking around for the rep – I wanted that phone. I wanted to get it, review it, then sell it and pocket the money.

My father has far worse ideas for making money. Some involving guns, some involving women. Sometimes both.

In truth, I can’t really afford a phone that expensive. I can’t afford to get it on contract thanks to the Vodacom exclusivity, I can’t afford to insure it and I don’t have a credit card to buy any of the apps I might find useful. Selling it would be better because I need the money, and can use it to finance a new, cheaper phone for myself – my trusty E52 died three weeks ago, and nothing can really take its place.

Finally, after six hours of standing and waiting, wet, hungry and cold, I finally saw the Nokia rep – 30 meters away to my right and without any flag whatsoever, on my deaf side. Wearing a brown jacket obscuring her Lumia-branded shirt, she had already called out to a small group of people standing by the pyramid and one of them started jumping and screaming for joy when they touched something the rep was holding – no, the Lumia wasn’t mine and neither were the consolation shopping vouchers. My only consolation was that I could go home, empty-handed.

I’m a sore loser by nature. I try my hardest at everything I do, but I don’t have luck like everyone else seems to have. I don’t win in the lotto, or any competitions I enter, or any physical challenges where something nice is at stake – neither do most people, come to think of it (but come on, this is my sob story here). I work my arse off and I don’t get much credit because I’m too much of a nice person. Half the time I’m pretty sure I bore some of you, dear readers, so for the sake of comic humour I’ll start writing more gibberish into my columns.

Making more sense now? No? How about now?

But things always get better in the end, right? Serial killer Dexter Morgan finds happiness in his son at the end of season 5, Beauty and the Beast can now have sex and live in a giant castle without some Twilight bestiality memes hanging over their heads (seriously), and Pinocchio becomes a real boy (no more “hard as wood” jokes).

When I arrived home, a package was waiting for me from Megarom. In late January I bought the Game of the Year edition of Borderlands and opened it at home to find that the packaging was incorrectly  advertised. In bold on the cover was promised four tokens for the DLC available to date, as well as a printed map of Pandora, both of which I didn’t receive. I e-mailed the support line and didn’t expect anyone to reply. Three days later, the XMS support team sent me my codes and said the cover was a misprint and that I could raise the issue with Megarom if I really wanted it. Not being one to let things slide, I asked them to take it up with Megarom management.

Megarom's management replied with this!

Last Monday I received an e-mail from Jason Borea from Megarom. Jason’s in charge of Marketing for Megarom, and like all bosses he hates small stuff-ups with huge complications. He apologised for the misprint and offered to get the map available for download or get it printed for me at their cost. He also said that because I raised the issue, all buyers would have their missing key codes e-mailed to them, and the map would be available either digitally or printed, with a small delay for shipping.





As a further apology, he mailed me a small pack of stuff to make up for the inconvenience and it arrived the same day as the hunt. It may not look like much, but its a personal selection based on the fact that I’m a gamer, and the drinks shaker adds a personal touch. I’m extremely impressed at the way XMS and Megarom handled the situation, and I still buy games on their shelf when new titles become low-budget bargains. Take note, because this is how companies should treat their customers – we’re basically paying their salary one way or another, and a returning customer means they’ll recommend products to friends and family – no advertising is as effective as word of mouth.





So thank you , Megarom, and thank you Jason. My miserable day turned out for the better, and I look forward to buying more games from you.