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AltaVista in give away mood

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AltaVista has become unusually generous. It seems a fault crept into the company's online rewards scheme that has a daily prize of 500,000 free points for the winning subscriber.

However, it seems that anyone who refreshed the page received a notification that they were the day's lucky winner.

The problem appears to be confined to Altavista.com, according to a UK spokeswoman. The US side of AltaVista was investigating the problem yesterday, but could not comment on it today, beyond acknowledging that it had happened.

AltaVista sent this email to its members:

Dear Rewards Member,

Thank you for your continued participation in our Rewards Program!

We are currently in the process of verifying your information. This process has been delayed due to some technical issues with the verification process. We are working diligently towards a resolution and will be contacting you within the next 3-5 working days, with a resolution to your inquiry and the status of your Rewards account.

We appreciate your patience during this brief delay and will be contacting you very shortly, at the email address you provided. Thank you for choosing AltaVista Shopping.com, we appreciate your patronage.

Sincerely,
Jos
AltaVista Rewards Team

Speculation about how the problem of paying all these winners is running wild, to the great annoyance of many newsgroup users. One commented:

"Im not sure what planet you guys are on. Do you really think AltaVista is going to give thousands of people 500,000 points each, which would cost them like a million dollars? I DON'T THINK SO! Come on now people, get real!

Quite.

If anyone from AltaVista would like to comment, we'd love to hear from you.®

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