My winning story of Hidden Gems contest at Windows Central (Microsoft sponsored)

22nd July ’14 is a date that has literally made a ‘stone mark’ in my diary. Let me tell you how it all began, I’ll try to keep it in nutshell though, don’t worry!

During my studies of 11th and 12th grades, I used to spend my extra time on blogging. Some of my blogs got some good geographical recognition. I applied for some online ads. Got paid. Bought my first windows smartphone, a Nokia Lumia 520 (Rs.10,500 at that time) since I have been a great Nokia loyalist.

After a few months of using the phone, I came to know that there’s one website called “Windows Central”, a great Windows-friendly community where all Microsoft/Nokia relevant news are discussed. I became a member of it, and I still enjoy being among the tech-savvy Windows fans.

The Hidden Gems contest

The website held a contest called “Hidden Gems” sponsored by Microsoft and Windows Central (a U.S. based website) on 18th of June ’14, where a series of potential Windows apps were highlighted each day (for 12 whole days) and we were to give our opinions by testing them on our Windows devices. Of course, I was one of the participants. I had my voice heard in almost all the days the contest kept ongoing.

Honestly, I never thought I would actually win something from an “online contest”. On 22nd July ’14 at 11:32 P.M., while I was subconsciously sleeping next to my dad, I suddenly got a phone call from one of the members of Windows Central, who is also a good online friend of mine, residing in Delhi. I was afraid to take the call as I could be scolded for talking late at night. I kept the phone ringing on silent mode. After a minute or so, he messaged me “Hey!You have won in Hidden gems!” and without thinking much, I replied to him back “You think this is a good time to crack a joke?” and went to sleep. After five minutes, I woke up again. Opened the website, and got shocked to see my name for real, on the winners announcement page. That was that. I thanked Aman for making my night restless at the same moment. I made my parents wake up…

The prize and delivery

After a month of winning, I finally got an email from Windows Central asking me whether I would like to have a “Nokia Lumia 930 (color of my choice) or a Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet” along with a T-Shirt (with Windows Central logo), a mug, some stickers and pens as my reward. Of course, nothing could beat a beast of a phone like Lumia 930 and I opted for it. The phone was not released in India by July and it was expected to be released at around Rs.42,000/-. They sent the package through an international service called USPS.

My misfortune!

Guess what? It reached India safely(I confirmed it) but I was more worried about the domestic delivery. Corruption. You might be aware that international stuff need to be custom checked before delivery and that is exactly where all the misshaping take place. These are governed by our gray India Post, which I hate. The guys at the “custom check” stole the package. How do I know? It was already over a month and half and whenever I tried to track my package, it failed. While all the winners from other countries had received it safely. Dad decided to write a complain at consumer court in India. I told him it was worthless. I was well aware of thousands of package missing complains at online courts that never, ever got any response. It was lost. And so was I.

Finally I decided to mail Windows Central once again. They told me that they never had such a experience with anyone from any country, unlike India. I felt ashamed. That was one of the days in my whole life when I hated “being an Indian”. But they were kind people. Michelle Haag was the person who asked to resent it. They asked me what if they send the package again but from a premium service like UPS (United Parcel Service) but they mentioned that in such case, I would have to pay some custom fee as well, and collect the item from a nearby hub.

Breathe of relax…

Finally I got my package, safely, this time. I had to go to a UPS hub situated in Delhi, around 27 KMs drive from my home. I had to pay around Rs.5000/- INR to take the package. I thanked Michelle first with an e-Greeting card. I was mentally disturbed for almost two months for my package. At the end, it was worth the wait. And that’s how I got my best smartphone.






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