Restricting promotions by email; no clarity

It is common for off-course bookmakers to change what they promised to you when you signed-up. They’re nice like that.

It will never happen if you are useless at gambling, in fact, quite the opposite, bookmakers will send you more and more ‘special’ offers, in an attempt to keep you losing as frequently as possible.  However, if you show any signs of being any good at gambling, you must watch out for the email coming; it won’t be long.  My speed record is 90-minutes (Mr Ed.).

Except for very poor customer service and ‘welshing’ on deals in as little as 90-minutes, what is wrong with this?  Legally nothing, as it will state in all bookmakers’ terms and conditions (T&Cs) that they can ‘welsh’ on anything at anytime, but the customer cannot: Really well balanced them T&Cs the customer (punter) signs up to.

If you are a ‘Twitter’ user it is becoming quite evident that bookmakers ‘welshing’ on promotions, e.g. best odds guaranteed (where you receive the better of the price you took at the time of placing the bet or the price the horse was when it ran and won) without the customer (punter) being aware is happening every week, if not every day.  Historically, it was very unusual for a letter to be lost by the Royal Mail or a person not to notice it, but these days, texts and emails can easily be missed (if sent – cynical am I [Mr Ed.]).  We think it is, therefore fair that a customer (punter) should be asked to acknowledge that they have received a relevant text or email before a promotion is restricted.  If the person does not do this, it is simple to resend correspondence and if necessary block access to the person’s account.  We know the latter is easy as it happens so often if you dare to win.

What follows is one of our cases on file that outlines this issue (copy of Live Chat text):

Roger C: Hi, you’re through to Roger C.
******** 27/7 i had £65 on just the tip at 3/1 but it was 9/2 sp winner and i have only been paid at 3/1
********: O/2************78 bet receipt
Roger C: Hi *****, let me have a look at the bet for you now. Can I take your mother’s maiden name and the first line of your address please?
Roger C: Thank you for that, bear with me while I check this for you
Roger C: Looking at your account you have a few restrictions from offers on your account, this also means that you don’t get best odds guaranteed.
***********: when was this imposed and why was i not told ?
Roger C: It is a trading decision that has been made to apply the restrictions, It was imposed in Feb/March of this year. This may change as the accounts are continuously reviewed
***********: but if you do this i should be told
Roger C: There will have been an email sent out to you advising of this
***********: well i haven’t got it and was unaware of these restrictions
Roger C: Ok, let me make sure the email address we hold is up to date. What is your current email address?
**********: i have an email from you dated 9/6 so you definitely have the correct email address
**********: and another one dated 12/2
**********: sim***********
Roger C: Ok, As I said earlier, it was a trading decision that was made. You are aware now of the restrictions on best odds. You can only have the price you t
Roger C: get at placing the bet
**********: but i wasn’t aware when i placed the bet, how was i supposed to be aware when you didn’t tell me, when did you send the email ??
***********: yes i am aware now but only after i placed a winning bet that you have paid me short on !!!
Roger C: Ok, It was sent back in February when the restrictions were applied. We aren’t going to change the outcome of the bet as it has paid out correctly
***********: i want proof that it was sent !!!
Roger C: It has definitely been sent, If you like I can send it to you again now
**********: How else am i supposed to know that my account has been restricted, eg does the website state this
**********: i feel robbed
**********: you should have a system that tells people when they place bets NOT after they have been placed
Roger C: If it was not received, we are still within our rights according to our ts and cs we are able to restrict accounts should we feel necessary. I can only apologise if you feel that way but unfortunately, nothing can be done regarding this. The restrictions may be lifted in future as our trading team continuously review the accounts
***********: but that doesnt get me back the £97.50 you paid me out short, it’s not right
Roger C: Apologies for any inconvenience this has caused you. As I said, we are unable to change this situation. Do you have any further queries today ?

So, the customer (punter) feels robbed of just under £100.00, be it justified or not?  Was the promotion restriction email sent?  Was the email received?  Our customer service suggestion would have solved this dispute, so why don’t bookmakers do it when it is so easy?  A tad cynical, but they probably don’t want this customer, so either way, do they care?  They also know that most punters, do not know their rights, so again, they will probably have just saved themselves nearly £100.00 whether a text or email was sent or not.

If this happens to you DO NOT give in.  If there is no written record; its simple; you win.


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