In India, some winners of the KitKat worldwide contest are a touch upset. In what is either confusion or simple bait-and-switch, big winners ended up with the 2012 version of Google’s flagship tablet rather than the 2013 variant winners in other parts of the world received. A response from the KitKat India Twitter account didn’t suffice, leading to a groundswell of furor, including a Facebook page dedicated to the blunder.

To begin, we can look to the contest for the genesis of confusion. It seems that both models were used in promotional materials without clarity as to which was on offer. Furthermore, winner elsewhere in the world received the 2013 Nexus 7 ahead of India, leading Indian contestant winners to believe they’d receive the newer version.

The KitKat Twitter account tried in vain to clarify the confusion, noting that the new Nexus tablet launched in India this November, while the contest ended in September. That’s all very true, but also a side note that has been made centric to the issue at hand. While the contest ended in September, the devices only shipped recently — well after the new Nexus 7 launched in India.

KitKat India

So far we have a contest that ended in September, an old device which shipped to winners well after the newer had been released, and two equally potent arguments. The real tipping point is that the older Nexus tablet could have been shipped at any time, if it were indeed the designated prize. The contest also used language like “all new Nexus 7 tablet”, which only perpetuates the problem. The right thing would be to swap devices for upset winners, effectively sweeping this under the rug and using it as a PR learning exercise. Right now, saving face should be what Google and KitKat are focussed on.

Indian winners have every right to be upset, and should demand this be rectified quickly. At the end of the day, it was KitKat and Google that made a mess of the contest, not adequately explaining the prize. Unless there was small print somewhere (which absolutely nobody can find) explaining that the 2012 version was what would arrive in the mail, those winners in India deserve the 2013 version.