At the end of June a flurry of property competitions came to a conclusion. Amongst these were the high profile sites Raffle House and Win My Dream Home. Both platforms have announced winners and have moved on to the next stages of business. Win My Dream Home announced that Linda won a cash prize of £127,812 and that that for their next competition they’d be offering a £50,000 prize. Their ultimate aim is to giveaway one million pounds in “cash builder prize draws”. Raffle House have already launched a fourth property competition but what of the winner of their third?
Congratulations To Tristan C
When Niomi Boontam from Bournemouth won a £500,000 property in Whitechapel in the second Raffle House competition this was featured heavily in the media (e.g. The Mirror, Daily Mail). A house raffle platform creating a house winner has to be good for business so it made sense to get as much publicity as possible. However there’s been no such fanfare with regard to the third competition winner. Posts were made on the website and social media to announce “Congratulations to the winner of our London Dream Home competition, Tristan C!”.
Cash Winner Or House Winner?
What Raffle House aren’t saying is whether Tristan C won the £750,000 Lambeth Property or a cash alternative which should equate to a 90% cash sum (after deductions). People on Facebook have asked the question – cash winner or house winner – but the only response is that “Sterling Lotteries, a third-party lottery management company that manages all Raffle House Dream Home draws, provided us with the winning ticket number”. Thereby not answering the question and leaving paying customers in the dark.
Customers Aren’t Interested In Who Won Last
Whilst Facebook doesn’t provide any real information, an Instagram post is a little bit more informative. A user asked “when do we get the interview with the winner?” and the reply was as follows: “We’re putting our resources into increasing the frequency of competitions rather than news on past winners – we’ve found that most of our customers are more interested in when they can win, rather than who won last”. We can understand that customers might not want to know about a winner’s life story but they probably do want to know whether the winner took the main prize or the alternative cash because not enough tickets were sold. It’s kind of like the basic necessity of the conclusion of any competition yet alone a property raffle.
The lack of information about the winner has resulted in a number of customers turning to Trustpilot to air their views. One poster has observed that “no confirmation of what was won, deleting messages of those who asked and radio silence is not a good look” whilst another explained that Raffle House “have ignored numerous questions from myself and other concerned punters that they awarded a cash prize, email, messenger etc all ignored”. We did email Raffle House for confirmation for our records of whether the winner was a cash prize or the property. We received no answer.
So Cash Winner Then?
Without any confirmation from Raffle House – – and reading through the social media posts – we’ve concluded that Tristan C was likely a cash prize winner. In our view if the prize was the property then they’d be a huge publicity push as there was when Niomi won the £500,000 Whitechapel home. Why the platform can’t be upfront about this and confirm the amount won we don’t know. But, as one Trustpilot observer recognised, the silence “is not a good look”. If you compare the winner announcements from Win My Dream 2 to that of Raffle House 3 then you can see why. Ok the former may not have given away a property either but it’s clear how much was won and how much went to charity.
Transparency Is Key
As with the case of Cathedral Competitions, who are claiming 50% of their £45 tickets have been sold when these higher profile and lower priced competitions have struggled, transparency in house raffles has to be key. All that poor competition and marketing practices do is erode consumer faith in the mechanic. There’s no shame in a house raffle not concluding with a house winner but not being upfront with entrants about sales and prizes shows bad judgement in our view. Raffle House have indicated that a fifth property raffle is launching soon but we wonder whether entrants will have second thoughts about parting with their cash to a company who won’t explain what prize they gave away.