Today, I got a letter in the mail from Upper Deck, which read as follows:
Dear Valued Customer,
Thank you for your continued interest in Upper Deck’s “No Purchase Necessary” program. Upper Deck is pleased to announce that as of January 1, 2008, Upper Deck will be going to an online method of submitting entries. Upper Deck will no longer be accepting mail-in entries after December 1, 2007. To submit your entries beginning on January 1, 2008, please log on to npn.upperdeck.com.
The Upper Deck Company
The letter was signed by “T.R.L.”, which I think are the initials of their N.P.N. Manager. Either that, or they want me to watch MTV’s “Total Request Live”.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Upper Deck’s “No Purchase Necessary” Program, it was a chance for you to get an insert card without making a purchase. For a chance to “win” an insert card (such as a jersey card, a rookie card, an autographed card, etc.), you would actually have to write out by hand–no photocopies or other reproductions–your name, address, daytime phone number and evening phone number on an index card, and then send that in a hand-addressed envelope. They would only allow you to enter once per day, meaning that they’d discard one of your entries if they received two from you on the same day (or so they say).
When I first learned of the N.P.N. program in May of 2006, I would send an entry to Upper Deck every other day, in a vain attempt to win something. After 15 entries or so, I decided that it was a waste of stamps, and stopped. A month later, I got a 2005-06 Parkhurst autographed card. In the fall of 2006, I entered a few more times, just for the heck of it, but received nothing. A few weeks ago, I received an insert card from 2007-08 MVP. So, I guess they would keep all entries on file, and just pull from them every day or something.
Either way, it seemed like a waste of stamps and energy–who wants to *write out* their information for a *chance* to win? Ugh!
This new method sounds like it wouldn’t be much harder than sending an email or filling out an online form. I can deal with that. Of course, I don’t mind writing things out by hand–I send fan letters to hockey players, asking them to autograph a few cards, and I *always* handwrite those as they should be personal. Contest entries don’t need to be personal.
Overall, I think this is good news. While Upper Deck still holds an unhealthy and unfair monopoly on the hockey card industry, it is great to see them take great strides forward in customer service–first with their redemption programs, and now with their N.P.N. programs. Now I’ll have a chance to win some insert cards without wasting stamps.