The Guernsey Cheshire Home’s biggest fundraiser has been derailed by PayPal after the GCH’s account (which was opened with PayPal in August 2017) was stopped from receiving any more money.
The Dream Holiday Draw in collaboration with Wayfarers Travel Ltd & escapetherock.gg offers islanders the chance to win a holiday of a lifetime every month worth £6,000. Entry is by donating £10 a month to the Guernsey Cheshire Home. This secures one entry (one ticket) into the draw, which takes place on the last Friday of every month.
Well over 100 people have set up recurring payments using PayPal via the GCH’s website, pledging to support the Home and in return giving themselves the opportunity to win a dream holiday each month.
As of midday on 12 February 2018, the Home received an email from PayPal notifying them that their account had been rejected with no notice and they have placed a limitation on the account receiving any further monies.
Two emails were received from PayPal on 12 February 2018: the first rejecting the GCH account, the second advising of (what GCH Admin was told in a follow up call is) a permanent limitation that GCH may not receive any more funds into its account, but that GCH could remove the funds that were currently held in the account (the removal of which had been blocked since 13 December 2017).
The email rejecting the account stated: “Our records indicate your business is registered in Guernsey while your PayPal account is registered in United Kingdom. If this is the case, you should sign up for a new PayPal account in Guernsey. You can do this by visiting www.paypal.com clicking ‘Sign Up’.”
This seems bizarre as there is not a Guernsey PayPal account option – which PayPal Customer Services had previously confirmed and did again during the call on 12 February 2018.
A further call was made to PayPal Customer Services on 13 February 2018 following an email from a prospective entrant at 9am that morning that they had been unable to pay by PayPal. PayPal said that a final decision had been taken to reject the account, as a consequence of which no further monies could be received into the account. That GCH is a charity with (currently) in the region of 125 people making monthly payments by PayPal has been ignored and its appeal made in a second call on 13 February 2018 asking to speak to someone with more authority and for PayPal to grant (say) a four week period for GCH to continue to receive payments whilst it contacted people in order to make alternative arrangements has also been ignored.
From July 2017, Guernsey Cheshire Home provided all required information on a step-by-step basis as requested by PayPal. The account was set up following PayPal’s guidelines and there was no indication of any issues, in fact quite the reverse: a GCH representative was repeatedly assured all information was held by PayPal and that GCH just needed to be patient to receive full confirmation of the account, up to another chase up call from GCH to PayPal on 2 Feb 2018 which was the first indication there might be a problem.
The Home launched the Draw to try and put in place a sustainable income stream towards its annual funding deficit of £500,000 and everyone involved with the Home has been working hard to increase ticket sales so this development has been deeply frustrating and concerning for all involved.
Guernsey Cheshire Home Chairman Rob Shepherd says PayPal have left the charity in a very difficult position, “I am deeply disappointed with PayPal’s decision to stop the charity receiving vital funds.
“The way they’ve handled the process throughout is very poor. PayPal have left the Guernsey Cheshire Home with no option but to put the brakes on our essential fundraiser this month whilst we try and resolve the problem. Their action has put us under pressure and leaves a significant void in our incomings. I’d urge PayPal to review their policy and overturn their decision, common sense
“I’d also encourage any islanders who wish to support us to sign up to future draws on our website via online banking or use our standing order form. It will make a massive difference to the charity.”
Islanders can still provide their support by signing up to the Dream Holiday Draw using Internet banking, setting up a standing order payment or by filling in a standing order form available to be downloaded from the website or picked up from Wayfarers or the Guernsey Cheshire Home Shop on the Bridge.
Nevertheless, unless a solution can be found to the PayPal problem the Home risks losing vital funds.