Beng Chee Lim – Dear Mr. Lim, Re: Ms. Elena Mendez, Senior VP of Brand and Shangrila Photography contest

Monica Tan sent a message to Beng Chee Lim that said:

Dear Mr. Lim,

Re: Ms. Elena Mendez, Senior VP of Brand and Shangrila Photography contest

I have tried to contact you by email but have not been successful. It is with regards to your Senior Vice-President of Brand, Ms Elena Mendez’s integrity and the way the Shangrila Photography contest is being managed. As the Shangrila Photography contest is a global contest and Shangrila is also a global brand, Shangrila’s reputation and image is at stake if any comments proved to be true are made public on the Facebook. Hence, I cannot think of anybody except your goodself who I believe would take the matter seriously and deal with it appropriately, considering the gravity of this matter. I believe you would also be interested to know its in-depth details.

May I place on the formal record my astonishment at the light-hearted manner in which Ms. Mendez dealt with my well-founded feedback concerning the “fraud” winner of the September contest, fully substantiated by documented evidence based on your company's own Terms & Conditions. Such a blatant display of levity is not at all the response I expected or am indeed entitled to expect to my valid complaint described at length in my previous correspondence to your company.

In the corporate world, senior management normally set by example and by mission statement the highest standards of integrity for the lower management to emulate and follow.

I understand that you have a busy schedule, but I hope you will take some of your valuable time to look into this issue. My communication with Ms Elena was futile & the outcome was unsatisfactory.

On 18th Oct, i.e a few days after the September winners were announced, I discovered that the winner Meera Boodajee was not compliant with the T&Cs of the contest. Immediately I posted personal messages (PM) on Shangrila Hotels & Resorts Facebook and requested that the Brand dept investigate the winner who did so obviously not comply with the many sections of the contest T&Cs. You can view all of my PMs which are still available on the Facebook.

After posting a few personal messages on Shangrila Hotels & Resorts Facebook requesting Brand Dept for the outcome of the investigation, I received no response. But when I said that I would make public the contest irregularities on Facebook, Ms Elena Mendez, who is the lead in this contest, finally called me on 14th November at 11.14am (UK time)/ 7.14pm (Shanghai time) when she was waiting for a flight at the airport. We had a 30 minutes conversation.

However, I felt that the communication was futile. I did not receive a satisfactory outcome from my communication with Ms Elena as she was evasive and dismissive which I felt to be unprofessional for a person at senior management level like her.

i) She said that she didn’t know which month and which winner I was referring to,
ii) She was not aware of the removal of the winner Meera Boodajee from the list of
September winners in the contest webpage and
iii) She was also not aware that Meera’s 53 submissions were also removed.

If that is the case, why did she bother to contact me to address my concerns with regards to the contest? According to her, she delegates the job to her team, does it mean she also delegates her own responsibility?

I was appalled that the team allowed the “fraud” winner Meera Boodajee to slip through the net and that the panel of professional judges selected her as one of the winners. It was me, a member of the public, who discovered the “fraud” winner and had her investigated. It seemed that the team was “sleeping” on the job and still is as I have found another entrant on 19th November – Annabelle Perez, who has 19 submissions just for November. This is clearly not complying with the Terms & Conditions as only a maximum 10 submissions are allowed per email address.

A few days after I reported the “fraud” winner Meera Boodajee, I found that Meera Boodajee’s name was removed from the list of September winners on the contest Webpage and all of her 53 submissions were also removed from the webpage. The Facebook post announcing her as one of the 3 winners of the September contest was also removed. Her disqualification from the contest proved that my findings were right, i.e. that she was a “fraud” winner.

Not only did I not receive any gift as goodwill gesture from Ms. Elena on behalf of Shangrila Hotels & Resorts, I did not receive any form of acknowledgement or appreciation from Ms Elena Mendez for discovering the “fraud” winner who otherwise would have received 10,000 Golden circle points which has a retail value of USD1000 dining credit. And it would be an embarassment for Shangrila Hotels & Resorts if the "fraud" winner was discovered later.

It seems that Ms Elena and her team are taking the credit for discovering the “fraud” winner. They are thus dismissing my part in asking for the “fraud” winner to be investigated and for submitting to them the various sections of the T&C’s proving that the “fraud” winner was indeed non-compliant.
Perhaps I would have derived more satisfaction if I had just commented on Shangrila Hotels & Resorts Facebook about my discovery of the “fraud” winner.

I look forward to hearing from you and the appropriate action you would take to address this grave matter.

Yours sincerely,
Monica Tan

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