Two Copperbelt University (CBU) students have dragged Carlcare Services Limited to the Lusaka High Court seeking damages for shame, embarrassment and breach of contract over the company’s failure to secure them a trip to Egypt to watch the Africa Cup of Nations (AfCON) final after winning a competition on Facebook.
Agness Ilukena, a fourth-year student, and Yalumba Luhanga, who is in second-year, both pursuing degrees in marketing, are further seeking damages for missing school activities, interest and refund of all travel expenses, accommodation and all other related costs for the trip from Kabwe to Lusaka and back.
In a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court principal registry, August 23, Ilukena and Luhanga explained that Carlcare Services was a limited company, which ran a business of selling worldwide high premium phone brands such as Infinix and Tecno, to mention but a few.
They further explained that on June 22 this year, Carlcare Services put up a sales promotion on their Facebook page, inviting the public to enter the competition and win various prizes, which included the ultimate grand prize of being sponsored to watch the Africa Cup of Nations (AfCON) in Cairo, Egypt.
Ilukena and Luhanga added that Carlcare Services further offered a cash prize of US $10,000 to be shared among six winners.
“In order to participate in the competition, participants were required to screenshot a score prediction and invite others to like the post on Carlcare’s Facebook page, such that the person who accumulates the highest number of likes wins the grand prize of being sponsored to go and watch the AfCON final in Cairo, Egypt,” read the statement of claim.
The duo stated that they duly entered the competition and emerged as eventual winners of the competition.
They stated that they were sent phone text messages informing them the news of winning the grand prize.
The duo further stated that this was subsequently confirmed by a message posted on Carlcare Services’ Facebook page, congratulating them for being winners of an all-expenses paid trip to Egypt to watch the AfCON finale.
Ilukena and Luhanga stated that afterwards, they were told to start preparing for the trip and they therefore obtained permission from their respective parents and school authorities.
They added that on Friday, July 12, they travelled from Kitwe to Lusaka to prepare for the trip in an ecstatic mood and at their own expense.
The duo stated that as part of the preparations on July 17, they were given Yellow Fever vaccines and also surrendered their passports to Carlcare Services to facilitate the acquisition of visas in readiness for the trip to Cairo, with so much assurance from the company that the trip would be a success.
They, however, claimed that the following day on July 18, being the day of the trip to Egypt, Carlcare Services deliberately failed to contact them about it, adding that the defendant also failed to answer their calls.
This prompted the duo to visit Carlcare Services on July 19, but the company was hostile and rude and informed them that they were merely doing them a favour by sponsoring them for the trip, thus they should stop being pushy.
“This really shocked us and left us confused because as far as we were concerned, we entered a competition which we won and expected the defendant to honour their contractual obligation,” read the statement of claim further.
Ilukena and Luhanga stated that at this point, they were informed that the visas would be ready by July 24, but the final would have been played on July 19.
They lamented that travelling any day after July 19 would have defeated the whole purpose of the trip which was meant for watching the AfCON final and since they were students, they only got permission from their parents and the school just for the period of the finals.
“Ilukena and Luhanga will aver that at this time, they were receiving numerous calls from relatives, friends and other people who knew about their trip, but it was embarrassing, traumatizing and shameful even to explain to them that they had failed to travel to Egypt after being pronounced winners of the competition,” read the statement of claim.
The duo now claims damages from Carlcare Services for breach of contract by failing to secure them a trip to Egypt to watch the AfCON final and damages for mental anguish, shame, embarrassment, ridicule and torture as a result of the defendant’s said action.