More Win A House Competition Disappointments

Trust and Mistrust

More Win A House Competition Disappointments

After the flurry of activity in 2020 and the early part of 2021 which saw over 200 properties put up as prizes, the win a house sector has really slowed down. This year for example has seen just a quarter of the promotions that started the previous 12 months. House winners are being created although that does come down to the likes of Omaze guaranteeing prizes and competition sites such as McKinney and Bounty being able to quickly sell tickets to an interested audience. This month (September 2022) hasn’t been a great month for the sector. One competition has closed after just a few weeks whilst two others which have been running for sometime have made decisions which reflect badly on the mechanic and on the brands involved.

Cloverhut Cancel La Manga Apartment Prize Draw

On 1st September Cloverhut announced a new draw to win a home in Andalusia. This launch was a little strange as their La Manga prize draw was due to close on the 23rd September but it just vanished from our screens. Entrants no doubt expected to hear news of an imminent prize draw to create a new home winner but that’s not going to happen. Thanks to a Loquax User we’ve learnt that the La Manga Apartment draw has been cancelled. They’ll be no property winner and no cash alternative offered! Cloverhut cite that they “have not arrived to the foreseen objective in order to offer a significant benefit to help our charity partner. As a result, we have decided to cancel this draw of the house in La Manga, and offer a fair compensation for all of our users that have supported us”. To compensate for this decision, Cloverhut are offering entrants 2 for 1 tickets to their next draw due to take place in September 2023 or they can request a refund via email. The refund must be claimed by December 31st otherwise you’ll automatically be give double tickets for the Andalusia Draw.

Take The Refund

We advise everyone who entered the Cloverhut La Manga prize draw to request a refund. The La Manga draw launched in July 2021 so they’ve had 15 months to generate sufficient ticket sales to create a property winner. On their site they claim “100% House Delivered” which obviously isn’t the case – and if you look at the terms the house is only guaranteed at a certain level of sales. This is different to Omaze who guarantee the property as a prize regardless of sales. So why take the refund? Well your money is simply going to be sat in Cloverhut’s bank account for the next 12 months and there’s no guarantee that in September 2023 that they won’t have to cancel again. What will they do then? Offer double the tickets of your already doubled tickets? So get your money refunded and get it back in your bank account. Then in a year’s time – provided Cloverhut are still active – revisit the draw and decide whether it’s worth a punt. When platforms don’t deliver on their promises then it’s time to be wary. Cloverhut’s brand will take a serious hit from this decision and they’re going to have to work extra hard to convince entrants that they can deliver.

Raffle House Extend Closing Dates

In July 2021 Raffle House launched a prize draw to win a £500,000 East London Home. This company have a reputation for lack of transparency (no one knows what previous winners won, how many tickets were sold etc) and extending closing dates. Indeed in our review we suggested that this one could well go on until January 2023 or even April 2023. So it comes as no surprise to learn that they’ve extended the September 2022 closing date until November. In an email to entrants they explain “taken the decision to extend the Dream Home draw by 2-months as insufficient entries have been purchased so far to award the property. The new competition closure date is midnight on November 30 and we can’t wait to announce the winner then”. The key phrase in this email is “insufficient tickets” which seems incredible when you consider just how long this particular house raffle has been running? Interestingly Raffle House don’t give any indication of how many tickets have been sold or how many need to be sold for the house to be awarded.

A £100,000 Prize Draw

To soften the inevitable backlash that will come from entrants Raffle House are adding something extra to the pot. In the same email they explain that they’re “also adding a £100,000 tax-free prize pot to your potential winnings! Entry is at no extra cost and all of the Dream Home tickets you bought throughout this competition and up to midnight October 31 will be entered into the £100,000 draw”. So not only do Raffle House need to generate enough sales to giveaway the house they’ve now added a £100K burden to the pot which also needs to be covered. Now either it’s already covered OR it needs to be covered from the sales of tickets over just a few weeks until the end of October. Surely it’d make more sense to announce that they’re X tickets short of the finishing line and that the house will be awarded? Well yes but they’ve done that before and that particular approach didn’t result in a property winner. Unfortunately unlike Cloverhut you can’t get a refund from Raffle House’s due to their extension decision. What you can do, if you’re unhappy with the way that they conduct their draws, is not spend your money with them on future raffles.

The Chapel Raffle

House raffles are not easy as they require a lot of time, marketing, promotion and money to execute well. The two brands above however clearly show that even when you have those components that success isn’t a guarantee. The Chapel Raffle launched in July and offered entrants the chance to win a converted chapel in South Wales that housed three holiday lets. Tickets cost £5 each but unusually for this mechanic the promoter offered an online no purchase necessary option. We did question this as most prize draws of this nature offer NPN but via a postal route. The host, who was a lovely guy, explained his reasoning and we understood why he’d opted to include it. Companies like Bounty Competitions and McKinney work because they have a huge invested audience and it was hoped that the free entry route would help build an audience. Sadly the promoter decided that the prize draw wasn’t going as planned and pulled the raffle in September with full refunds. Whilst this isn’t great for house raffles in general the promoter has had the decency to shut up shop, be honest and be transparent without stringing entrants along. Whilst The Chapel Raffle will no doubt learn many lessons from this experience, being decent to paying customers by not extending draws and/or running the draw is something Raffle House and Cloverhut could most certainly do a lot better.