Why would GoFundMe have arbitrarily suspended my campaign's account?
December 4, 2016 6:37 PM   Subscribe

Aargh! My neighborhood fundraising campaign opened a GoFundMe account 4 days ago, and we have already collected almost $4K. But as I was editing the campaign description tonight, an error box popped up saying that they were suspending my account while they reviewed it, and that they might reactivate it but that would happen without notice and could take up to 7 days.

Of course there was a 'contact us' button at the bottom, and of course it led to an irrelevant FAQ followed by a dead end (input box that would not take input). By googling, I got the vague idea that I might have failed to confirm the WePay account (although I distinctly remember clicking to confirm it, in the midst of setting up the semi-required Facebook account). I did click the 'support' button to email WePay, after signing up with them from scratch directly, and they promise to get back to me [tomorrow].

This is bad for so many reasons. I thought GoFundMe was an established, respected site. Any experience with this problem, or thoughts as to explain? I am still trying the helpdesk route, but not making headway. I did read their terms and service and see nothing relevant there.
posted by mmiddle to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
and of course it led to an irrelevant FAQ followed by a dead end (input box that would not take input).

Do you mean this form? because that one seems to be working for me (although without a campaign it would be pointless for me to try to submit it)...maybe try a different browser?
posted by juv3nal at 6:45 PM on December 4, 2016

Huh. Thanks! That would have been useful, but has not been available in my browing. I did find a different email address to get in touch with their customer support, but after a couple of introductory remarks was told they would cut the 7 days down to 3 days. Since then "please reply with any questions," but then not answering my question - HOW can this be happening?
posted by mmiddle at 7:01 PM on December 4, 2016

I thought GoFundMe was an established, respected site. ... HOW can this be happening?

To the extent that they're respected, it's because they try very hard to keep scammers off their site.

You have to understand that it's not personal. They don't know you or your intentions; they don't even know that the person sitting behind a keyboard on the other side of the internet from them, claiming to be you, is actually you. They don't want to be on the hook for thousands of dollars if it turns out someone stole your login details. (Which happens all. The. Time.)

Big sites can't afford to manually investigate every single user, so they rely on algorithms to look for warning signs and flag accounts for review. And they never like to share exactly what the algorithms are looking for, because that just allows scammers to game the system more easily. On top of that, they probably operate with as few moderators as they can get away with, and so you may have to wait a while for your questions to be seen by a real person.

Basically, the legal and economic pressures of running a money-transmitting business inevitability result in a system that errs on the side of caution, at the expense of your convenience. It kinda sucks for you, unfortunately, but that's just how it is.
posted by teraflop at 3:37 PM on December 5, 2016

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