We continue to hear from people who have taken issue with the strange Taco Bell contest that claims to be giving a PlayStation Vita to customers every 15 minutes.
More than 15 contestants have told Kotaku that after seeing on the Taco Bell website that they had won Vitas, they were later informed that their winning entries were invalid. Many contestants sent us screenshots of the Taco Bell splash screen that says “Congratulations! You Won!” Several contestants sent over mobile versions of the screen.
(On Friday, this “Congratulations!” splash screen was publicly accessible to anybody who knew the URL. It has since been removed.)
Contestant Allen Brutus, who also sent over a picture of the code on his winning Taco Bell box, says he wrote questions on the Taco Bell Facebook page, but they were promptly deleted.
“This was happening to everyone who were asking questions about their prize,” Brutus said in an e-mail. He says he received a notification that he won on January 30, when he entered the code. On February 10, Taco Bell said he was not a valid winner. He says he has tried multiple times over the past few days to contact Taco Bell, but that they would not respond to his questions.
Other contestants had harsh words for Taco Bell and its contest.
“This isn’t right. I didn’t scam to win and they just shut me out with no explanation or anything,” contestant Natasha Jones said in an e-mail. “I am sick over this.”
“I am a 100% legit winner,” contestant Gabe Swick said in an e-mail. “I used a legit code, I did not cheat or hack anything on the site. I’m. no. liar.”
“I’m more than willing to file complaints to the [Better Business Bureau] over this fiasco, as should everyone else who has been denied so far,” contestant Patrick Moran said in an e-mail. “I have yet to be informed why at the very least their systems have screwed up for everyone on January 30th.”
Although many people have contacted Kotaku about this issue, we have not been able to verify the validity of every alleged winner. I reached out to Taco Bell for comment again this morning, but they have not yet responded. On Friday, a Taco Bell representative said that “nearly all” of the calls they had received so far had been from people who did not have winning entries and that they are “continuing to work with [their] customer service teams to insure that all real winners receive their PlayStation Vitas.”