Justgiving to refund fees after glitches

Relaunched fundraising site hits technical problems in first week

Donor website Justgiving will reimburse charities the fees it charged on donations made through its new site, after technical problems prevented donations from being processed.

Justgiving will hand over the 5 per cent transaction fee it received on all donations made during the first week of the new site, which went live on 20 June, after an estimated 20 per cent of visitors were unable to make donations.

Justgiving said the problems started on 22 June and the site was fully operational by 25 June. Zarine Kharas, chief executive of Justgiving, said in her blog that the performance of the new site was "totally unacceptable".

But responses to the blog revealed that many felt the refund was inadequate, particularly as there was no way of identifying any charities that may have lost out. "Five per cent of nothing is poor compensation," one person wrote. "This has been a total shambles and you have let down a lot of people. If you seriously want to show you are sorry, more is needed."

Kharas told Third Sector that she thought the amount was reasonable. "In our experience, people return to the site to make their donation even if they were unable to do so before, or they go directly to the charity's website," she said. "We therefore do not feel the problems were sufficient to completely deter people from donating."

William Hoyle, chief executive of Charity Technology Trust, which provides technology advice and payment-processing services to charities, said: "At a time when Justgiving is losing a slice of the market to competitors such as Bmycharity and Virgin Money Giving, this incident could fuel people's interest in looking elsewhere."

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