Boots branchSean Dempsey/PA Wire

Boots has issued an apology to thousands of people who entered its competition to win a trip to Barcelona. The firm accidentally emailed every single one of them telling them they had won.

So what happened, and are they alone in this sort of disastrous mistake?


Error

Boots is blaming a technical error for the fact it sent emails to thousands of customers telling them they had won the prize. The holiday included a private balloon flight, a champagne brunch, and £500 spending money.

Some immediately hit the web to tell friends and family about their great fortune and many were surprised to hear that there seemed to be an awful lot of people in their social circle who had been equally lucky.

It was only two hours later, when Boots sent round a second email, they they realised the whole thing had been a terrible mistake.

Anger

Customers are not best-pleased. Many took to Twitter to vent their frustration. ‪Simon Bull posted "‬Thanks for nothing Boots, prize given and taken away. Heart racing for nothing."

Others posted on the Boots Facebook page. Lorraine Burey said: "I got the email as well and am not happy. Boots and Unilever have enough money to send everyone! Depending on how this is resolved I will not be shopping at Boots again or buying Unilever products."

Stewart Johnston added: "The very least you could do is send everyone who had this email on holiday! Might just help raise your battered PR right now and it would certainly help restore goodwill."

Response

To Boots' credit, they responded quickly after the initial mistake. They have also credited each of those who were falsely told they had won with a £10 voucher, and they launched a second competition so that everyone was still in with a chance of winning the same prize. They have also been proactive in responding to comments on Facebook.

Boots said in a statement: "Boots UK always aims to offer exciting competitions and money can't buy experiences and we are truly sorry for any upset that has been caused by this mistake. By way of apology we are offering a second opportunity to win a trip to Barcelona and we're giving £10 worth of Boots Advantage Card points to all those who entered, so they can treat themselves or their family to something from our stores, as our way of saying sorry."

Did it work?

The response has won some people over. A number of those who have been awarded the points have also taken to Facebook to thank Boots for the gesture - and to commiserate with the individual who accidentally sent the email.

Mistakes like this do happen. Boots isn't the only company to have run into trouble with a competition in recent months. Covent Garden soup were in hot water earlier this year for offering the chance to 'win a farm', but not taking into account the fact that by printing just one prize code, there was a high chance that it could be binned, and they would be left with a big fanfare and no winner.

The company told AOL Money: "We appreciate that people are disappointed that the 'win a farm' prize wasn't won, we are just as disappointed and we take the feelings and comments of our customers very seriously."

Boots seem to have taken this seriously too - and has won a good number of customers round.

But what do you think? Did you enter? Would you have been satisfied? Let us know in the comments.