Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Hummers and Toy Yodas

There's a big hoopla about a woman who won a Hummer in a radio station contest, only to find out it was a radio-controlled toy Hummer that she had won. She's suing for $60,000, the cost of a new Hummer.

Personally, I think it's plain stupid and greedy to sue over a contest prize not being what you had expected it to be. It's a PRIZE. It's not like it was paid by her employer in lieu of salary, in which case there would be definite grounds for a lawsuit. If she had paid careful attention to what was said in the contest promotion, she could have at least prepared herself for the possibility that she wouldn't win a car she could actually drive. (On the radio today, a man said the judge should force the radio station to award the woman a Hummer so she can go bankrupt trying to keep gas in it.)

Now today I heard on the same station that a former Hooters waitress in Florida is suing because of the results of a contest run at her old job. The employee who sold the most beer was offered what she took to be a Toyota. The fact that no mention was made of an actual model, like a Corolla or a Matrix or whatever, should have been a tipoff. Anyway, when the winner was announced, she was blindfolded, led out to the parking lot, and presented -- in full view of her coworkers and restaurant patrons -- with a TOY YODA DOLL!

In spite of what I just said about the prize being a gift, in this particular case I'd say that she should sue. It seems that in this case there was an intent, not only to mislead, but also to humiliate the winner. Why else blindfold her and lead her to the parking lot where everybody inside could see that there was no car there waiting for her? And as the woman herself said in a statement, employees should expect and receive better treatment from their employers than such deception. I don't know if she should get the cost of a new car, though, but she should definitely get something more than just a stupid doll.

1 comment:

  1. OK, a little research led me to a news story about the Hummer lawsuit, and in that story it mentions that the Hooters case was from 2002, and that both were April Fools Day jokes. I suppose any sane person should be on their guard for anything too good to be true around April 1, but still there is such a thing as taking a joke too far.

    The lawyer for the woman suing over the Hummer said that he actually thought that the Hooters restaurant was more honest about its contest than the radio station was about its Hummer. I don't see that at all. The prize offered was a Hummer, and that's what the woman got. The waitress had every reason to think she was getting a Toyota car, not a toy Yoda doll.

    Nuff said.