Hello there, so back to the subject of “RAFFLES” and my recent issues with compliance to your T&C’s. Patreons Benefits Guidelines state
Everyone loves the thrill and the idea of winning a prize which means that raffles can seem like an attractive way to win a bigger audience. However, you cannot request payment for raffles or giveaways as part of a benefit. In other words, patrons should not have to pay for the chance to win something. This includes lotteries, raffles or even mystery boxes if the value of the box is not guaranteed. If you want to offer any form of giveaways to your followers, make sure to open them to your fan base in general, ensure they are not only accessible to your patrons, and follow the applicable laws.
BIG PROBLEM 1
“you cannot request payment for raffles or giveaways as part of a benefit”
This wording is clear, forget about the word raffle and just look at the word “giveaway”. So anyone that has a payed tiering which gives something away. Is in breech of your guidelines. That would be about 99% of patreon channels. For example
Join this tier and you get a sticker or a mug or a baseball cap. That is a giveaway. They are not purchasing a sticker or a mug or a baseball cap, there is no sale of contract. They are joining a community and are being gifted something as a reward for a certain tiering. However in accordance with your wording in your benefits. This is in breech of the guidelines. Therefore 99% of your patreon creators (anyone that offers a gift) is in breech of this… Tell me if Im wrong.
BIG PROBLEM 2
You go onto provide more information to your patreons on this subject matter here. (great)
First up you define more clearly or specifically
## What are raffles, lotteries, and giveaways?
On Patreon, a raffle is defined as a contest that your patrons must pay to enter in order to receive a randomized chance of winning a prize.
When trying to figure out if a Patreon benefit would be considered a raffle or not, ask yourself the following two questions:
** Did everyone have to pay to enter the contest (i.e., by becoming your patron)?*
** Would the winner of the contest be chosen through pure chance (i.e., a drawing or a lottery)?*
If the answer to both of those questions would be yes, then the benefit in question is a raffle and is not allowed on Patreon. Other forms of contests that share the two characteristics mentioned above, such as lotteries or giveaways, are also not allowed on Patreon.
This is helpfull because as creators we can use this as a stronger definition or checklist. I actually used this to create my criteria for what was allowed. However this information contradicts the previous guidelines which simple state. “you cannot request payment for raffles or giveaways as part of a benefit” The reason they do this is because a “giveaway” is not a raffle by definition and you are trying to create guidelines which treat them as the same thing. However at best you have a contradictions between this and BIG PROBLEM1. If there is no contradiction and this more detailed definition is to be followed then I am not in breech of your terms and conditions, as my giveaway is not pure chance (EG no lottery). Patreon cannot have it both ways though.
BIG PROBLEM 3
You provide a number of further guidelines on “creating contests” as an alternative means to give things away.
one of these states:
### 4. Make a first come/first serve contest
To make this form of contest work, the winner of the contest has to be chosen on a first come/first serve basis.
For example: You are a video creator who films themselves building famous castles out of sand. First, you post a video on your Patreon page of you building the Game of Thrones castle, Winterfell. Then you tell your patrons that the first five people to comment on the video will get a free vial of sand from your own personal collection.
Why is this contest acceptable: the winner of this contest was determined by who commented on your video first, instead of chance.
Well this is EXACTLY what I did and what I do. And following these guidelines got me banned (or lets say in trouble or in breech)
I have just been given a solution to my problem from your support staff. That allows me to continue to do my giveaway (or wait lets call it contest)… I can continue to do it as I stated (which is first come first served based). But I have to limit the total number of patreons its available to and state this in the reward tier. This is actually a combo of suggestion number 4 and 5 together to form a totally new suggestion. But by creating an upper limit, it in no way effects the “legality” of it against your terms and condition. Its either wrong or its right. If its wrong then by saying, ok it can be wrong for a limit of 50 people has no bearing. Again your solution you have come up with is not water tight.
I am totally happy to accept your solution but I can predict exactly what is going to happen when I agree to it and implement it word for word… After I implement it you are going to reject it again (I promise you this, you will reject it. You have not thought it through. There is a big hole in it).
BIG PROBLEM NUMBER 4
Going back to the core benefit guidelines wording…
“In other words, patrons should not have to pay for the chance to win something. This includes lotteries, raffles or even mystery boxes if the value of the box is not guaranteed”
So I could give away a mystery gift if the value of it WAS guaranteed?? Again the more I read your guidelines the more the lack of any input from someone with legal experience is evident.
BIG PROBLEM NUMBER 5
You provide in your guidelines two other contests with are fair and acceptable.
- Make a contest that relies on creator agency
- Make a contest that relies on community agency
However the nature of picking a “winner” in these contests are open to complete randomness. In fact this is even more random than picking a random number. I can simply ask all patreons to reply back to this fair contest and pick whoever I want etc.“JON SMITH you win you made me laugh, prize coming”. This is no different to random number picking. I could simply adopt this method and I would not be in breech. But in reality Im doing a totally random thing, in fact beyond it being random it allows me to create complete bias and pick whoever I please… This is more unfair than a raffle. (but its LEGAL!)
Im sorry to say it but you guys have not thought through these things properly, and as your customer the impact hits me. Im in a situation where your changing of the rules means I potentially face a significant financial lost and waste of over 2 years considerable investment of time building and promoting patreon.
When you first banned me a few days ago, I said to you here I needed to speak with someone about this. I really did, as a company you should have been able to see that much was obvious… Your guidelines or benefits terms have more holes in them than swiss cheese.
At the moment I am not in breech of your guidelines depending on which point of reference I use. If I am in breech then so are 99% of your patreon creators, basically anyone that sends anything out as a gift.
The latest suggestion you have emailed me does not stand up to scrutiny and when I comply with these new rules (or moving goal posts) you will realise your new rules, which are not documented anywhere, are also not water tight. When I put this in place again, its me that is going to get punished from your lack of clarity. So before I accept your proposal (for the 3rd time) I am giving you a chance to understand all the flaws in your guidelines.
Totally interested in your response… Yes its easy for me to criticise. Normally when I point out negative things, I like to balance them up with a solution or suggestion… The problem here is you have already created solutions but when I follow them you are not happy… so many issues here… HELP.