Oh Polly takes prize back from student nurse as she was on shift during event

The brand has since apologised and offered to send her the package

A 20-year-old nursing student was left shocked after Oh Polly took back a competition prize she had won because she was set to be on shift for the online event it was intended for.

Glasgow Caledonian third year Lara Harper had entered the Instagram competition for key workers to win a “care package” of products, a free outfit, and attend a Zoom party with other winners and “Oh Polly babes.”

When she explained she would be on shift at the time of the party, she asked the brand’s Instagram account if she would be able to have the promised care package anyway, to which Oh Polly responded: “Hey babe, unfortunately the prize was joining our party, and dress and package was a little something to participate in on the evening of the event. So sorry you are unable to join us babe and we do hope you are able to join us at future competitions.”

“I think it is a bit disrespectful,” Lara told The Tab. “Promoting how they are making a competition for NHS workers to then deprive them of the prize due to them being at work.”

via Instagram (@lara_harper)

Lara tweeted screenshots of her conversation with the account, saying: “Surely defeats the purpose of a comp to support frontline workers?

“Being told you’ve won and then getting your prize taken off you because you are WORKING in this pandemic.”

She said the messages from the Oh Polly account had been deleted after she had screenshotted them.

A spokesperson for Oh Polly responded to Lara’s tweets, saying there had been “a misunderstanding” and the nurse was “completely in your rights to be upset” by Oh Polly’s response.

Hey Lara, we’d really like to apologise.

“As mentioned on messages, the original box you won was only relevant to the activity taking place on Friday on FaceTime but as agreed we’d still love to send you an outfit. 

We’re unbelievably grateful for what yourself and everyone else on the frontline are currently doing and once again we can only apologise for this mix up.”

After Lara’s tweet began attracting more attention, PrettyLittleThing offered to send her free products.

“Lara, we want to celebrate YOU and all the incredible things you are doing right now. DM us for a pretty little parcel. You deserve it.”

“I am very appreciative, however I think it’s shocking it has come to that,” Lara told The Tab. “Another company involved correcting the wrongdoing of Oh Poly.

She added: “I have accepted their offer of the free dress, but I doubt I will be buying anything from them again.”

A spokesperson for Oh Polly, said: “We messed up and are sincerely sorry for how badly this has been handled. The competition started out with good intentions but we got it wrong and take full responsibility for those mistakes.  

“We’re making sure that every winner receives their outfit and care package whether they’re able to attend the virtual event or not. We should have done this from the start and are sorry for getting this wrong.” 

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