/ 28 November 2022

Players of online game claim they were cheated of prize money

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Players of online game claim they were cheated of prize money

Players of the Expand mobile app game claim they have been robbed of their winnings, but the game’s creator claims there was a “system error” that marked the players as winners when they were not. 

Precious Vilakazi told the Mail & Guardian that she won R3 000 but never received her money. “I have sent out multiple emails to the Expand people and they responded by saying my answer was incorrect.”

Another player, Moshe Kekana, encountered the same problem as Vilakazi. Kekana said that he had won R20 but never received it.

Vilakazi shared screenshots of her “winnings” with the M&G, which appear to confirm she won R3 000. 

But Expand’s founder and chief executive Warren Bedil, who created the app, said Vilakazi’s claims were “utter nonsense”. 

“On that particular night in question, the answers did not change. It was unfortunate that her answer was incorrect,” he said.

According to Bedil, the advertising-based game takes place on weekdays at 8pm. Players are required to study an advert of the day and then answer questions about it. If they are correct, they receive their winnings after 24 hours through Nedbank cellphone banking.

“Winners are selected randomly after they give correct answers. The answer [on the night that Vilakazi played] was ‘Takeaways from nature’ and Vilakazi’s answer was ‘Takeaway from nature’.

“It was not a spelling error; her answer was incorrect,” Bedil emphasised.

When asked how she was selected as a winner when her answer was incorrect, Bendil said there was a “system error” on that night that was rectified within two minutes.

“Expand is a very reputable business, we have worked with big brands in the country and we recently partnered with national TV channel eTV.  Everybody gets paid. In the last six months, we have paid more than R10 million to our winners and no disputes,” he said.

The game is rated 3.2 out of five on the iOS app store, and 4.5 out of five on the google playstore, with a lot of bad reviews about its poor functionality.

Section 6.7 of the Expand terms and conditions says: “If a dispute arises, our decision will be final and binding on all aspects of the competition and we will not discuss the dispute any further.”

Bedil advised Vilakazi to “keep on playing the game”.