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Not paying out – ‘letter before action’ (two versions)

Below are two versions of a ‘letter before action’.

At J4P we rarely, if ever, recommend court action until all other avenues have been explored, however online gambling companies delaying pay outs or attempting to not pay out at all has become a major issue that needs sterner action.

The present gambling dispute systems that are in place, e.g. alternative dispute resolution; is in a mess concerning this topic.  In fact, it is verging on useless.

In the two very similar letters we’ve tried to reflect what J4P is seeing regularly with the cases we help with, so;

  1. common law is emphasised due to the way gambling companies lack openness and clarity when dealing with this issue, which is illegal.  In addition, common law demands that any dispute is dealt with in a timely manner, another major failing of many gambling companies.
  2. terms and conditions are emphasised, because the ones used by gambling companies in relation to demanding document after document at their whim relating to ID are likely unfair, thus unenforceable in a court of law.  The UK’s ‘Licensing conditions and code of practice’ for gambling companies also have a caveat that states requests to complete ID verification must be deemed as reasonable, e.g. asking for notarised documents after a turnover of say £800 to withdraw £150 may be deemed unreasonable?
  3. the new General data protection rules (GDPR) are emphasised, because every customer now has a right see all the information a company holds about them, which in cases of not paying should indicate the company’s reasons for their failure to return any funds (could be very interesting indeed).

One major word of warning:  A case is very unlikely to go to court, but you must ask yourself at the outset; would I be willing to stand up in court and testify?  If the answer is no, you need to think twice and think again before entering into any court process.

At times dealing with gambling companies can seem ‘all too much hassle’, but that is what they want.  If a person’s money is being withheld unfairly why should that person give in and let a company keep £50, £150, 5K; whatever amount?  J4P has proven that not giving in does bring dividends, e.g. 700K+ in under 2.5 years. 

 

Subject line if using email: Closure of my account and failure to return funds without good reason

Your full address

Tel No

Email

Date

 

(insert name), CEO

(insert company)

(insert full address, including postcode)

 

LETTER BEFORE ACTION

 

Dear 

Closure of my account and failure to return funds without good reason

I opened an online account with (enter name of company) on (enter date); the username is – (enter username).

On (enter date & year) I received an email informing me that my account was now closed and that my remaining balance would be retained.

I have made exhaustive enquires to your customer services team and I have not been given a reason for your failure to return funds nor any valid reason or timescales by which they will be released.

In terms of the information you hold about me which will of course indicate your reasons for failure to return my funds, I ask, under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)  that you provide me with such information.  This is now a legal requirement on your part.

I also ask that you give me a set of time scales by which time this matter will be resolved.

(Enter name of company) has an implied contractual duty to conduct matters within reasonable time scales and to treat a customer with fairness and transparency at all times. This has certainly not been the case in this matter.

You will no doubt be aware that the UK’s ‘Competition and Markets Authority’ (CMA) has and is investigating unfair terms and conditions (T&Cs) being used by online bookmakers. This in my view is a classic case of where a company is using unfair T&Cs in order to frustrate its customers and arguably withhold funds in order to accrue interest and/or skew balance sheets.  This practice is totally unacceptable and a clear breach of contract at common law.

I hereby give notice that if the following actions on your part are not met within 14 days, I will make formal complaints to:

  • The UK Gambling Commission
  • The UK Competition and Market’s Authority
  • The UK Information Commissioner’s Office

I further give notice that failure to return my funds or allow me the ability to do so, I will, without further notice, take out a Small Claim via the County Court UK (if the customer is based outside the UK, but resides in the EU, use the European Small Claims Court).  In addition I will be seeking costs and statutory interest from the date my funds were withheld from me.

I sincerely hope that in the interest of both parties that this can be resolved. Litigation is time consuming and costly to both parties. Furthermore it cannot be a wise commercial decision to conduct your business this way in today’s current climate.

I would respectfully suggest you instruct your staff to either unblock my account thus allowing me to withdraw my money or ask them to provide evidence to conclusively prove what is being claimed, i.e. (enter what is being claimed, e.g. can’t ID a person, suspicion of crime including money laundering) and provide reasonable time scales in which to do this.   If it is the latter, I remind you that (enter name of company) cannot be ‘judge and jury’ using unfair T&Cs.

I look forward to hearing from you urgently but in any event no later than 14 days hence.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

(enter your name) (enter your username again)

 

Version 2 (account not closed, but funds withheld for no good reason)

Subject line if using email: Failure to return funds without good reason

Your full address

Tel No

Email

Date

(insert name), CEO

(insert company)

(insert full address, including postcode)

 

LETTER BEFORE ACTION

 

Dear 

Failure to return funds without good reason

I opened an online account with (enter name of company) on (enter date); the username is – (enter username).

On (enter date & year) I received an email informing me that my account was now closed and that my remaining balance would be retained.

I have made exhaustive enquires to your customer services team and I have not been given a reason for your failure to return funds nor any valid reason or timescales by which they will be released.

In terms of the information you hold about me which will of course indicate your reasons for failure to return my funds, I ask, under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that you provide me with such information.  This is now a legal requirement on your part.

I also ask that you give me a set of time scales by which time this matter will be resolved.

(Enter name of company) have an implied contractual duty to conduct matters within reasonable time scales and to treat a customer with fairness and transparency at all times. This has certainly not been the case in this matter.

You will no doubt be aware that the UK’s ‘Competition and Markets Authority’ (CMA) have and are investigating unfair terms and conditions (T&Cs) being used by online bookmakers. This in my view is a classic case of where a company is using unfair T&Cs in order to frustrate its customers and arguably withhold funds in order to accrue interest and/or skew balance sheets.  This practice is totally unacceptable and a clear breach of contract at common law.

I hereby give notice that if the following actions on your part are not met within 14 days, I will make formal complaints to:

  • The UK Gambling Commission
  • The UK Competition and Market’s Authority
  • The UK Information Commissioner’s Office

I further give notice that failure to return my funds or allow me the ability to do so, I will, without further notice, take out a Small Claim via the County Court UK (if the customer is based outside the UK, but resides in the EU, use the European Small Claims Court).  In addition I will be seeking costs and statutory interest from the date my funds were withheld from me.

I sincerely hope that in the interest of both parties that this can be resolved. Litigation is time consuming and costly to both parties. Furthermore it cannot be a wise commercial decision to conduct your business this way in today’s current climate.

I would respectfully suggest you instruct your staff to allow me to withdraw my money or ask them to provide evidence to conclusively prove what is being claimed, i.e. (enter what is being claimed, e.g. can’t ID a person, suspicion of crime including money laundering) and provide reasonable time scales in which to do this.   If it is the latter, I remind you that (enter name of company) cannot be ‘judge and jury’ using unfair T&Cs.

I look forward to hearing from you urgently but in any event no later than 14 days hence.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

(enter your name) (enter your username again)

 

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