Whilst we never want to have to complain about anything, there could come a time where you simply need to. It could be to do with anything related to that specific bookmaker or simply a service that they are failing to provide.
The thing is, if we didn’t complain then the bookmaker might not even be aware that this sort of thing was happening. If no one said anything then they are likely going to assume that it’s OK or even that people are happy with way things are.
Complaining to bookmakers is so much better than it used to be years gone by. The introduction of the likes of IBAS (Independent Betting Adjudication Service) has meant that the power is back in the hands of the punter if things do go wrong. Throughout this article we are going to try and highlight what things you should be complaining about and how to go about the process.
Complaints You Might Have
Although your complaint could be about a whole host of issues, we’ve detailed a few of the more common areas of complaint encountered when betting, along with the likely possible outcomes.
One of the most common complaints within the industry is account restrictions. Unfortunately, this is something that does take place and it can be highly annoying as it feels like you are being punished for your success.
For those that don’t know, bookmakers might restrict accounts that are consistently winning large sums of money over a period of time. This could be in the form of the number of bets that you can place, but more commonly it’s the amount of money that you are able to wager.
Most bets have a maximum stake limit anyway as this is the amount of exposure that the bookmaker is willing to take at this price. But, with some accounts they may drastically reduce this and only allow you to bet small amounts. We have heard stories of accounts wagering multiple tens of thousands of pounds over a good number of bets have had limits restricted to as low as £50 per bet.
It is important to remember that whilst one of the most common complaints, it’s still actually quite rare in the grand scheme of things. You’re going to have to be betting large stakes and winning lots from the bookmaker before this happens.
Is this fair?
Whilst frustrating for the punter, the bookmakers are actually well within their rights to limit accounts. At the end of the day, if someone is going to keep winning huge sums of money it makes no business sense to allow them to continue on doing so.
There are hundreds of bookmakers online these days that there is always going to be someone somewhere that will take large bets or even be tolerant of your wins. Few people win consistently long term, so it just depends if the bookie is in it for the long haul.
Our tip would be to keep moving about and when you sign up, talk with an account manager prior to doing so. Building a rapport like this from the off will be a great way to find a betting home.
Banking can be a pain in the backside with betting companies at the best of times. Whilst it takes just seconds to make a deposit, it can take days or even weeks to get your money back out.
A common complaint is the timeframe it takes to get your money. Most bookmakers will state how long it should take for each method and within your country, but even then, these are just guidelines and can often take longer than this.
The common theme with these delays is often the fact that they state it’s your bank that is causing the hold up. We’d probably disagree with this to be honest and more the fact that it takes them time to process. But, we’d also state that it gives the punter the time to cancel the withdraw and then go on the lose the money.
When complaining about banking issues it’s likely that its not going to do you an awful lot of good. Most will refer you to the standard terms about processing times and when funds are held with your bank and there’s not a lot you can do.
Is this fair?
It only starts to not become “fair” when the time it takes to get your money is longer than the stated timeframe that they say it should take. They should be able to comfortably meet these guidelines that they have laid out, although they will change for each bookmaker and each banking method, so bear this in mind also.
E-wallets are always going to be the fastest way to get your money out of a bookmaker. These processes can often be within one working day and some are actually instant. If you can, and you are want your cash fast, then try to use these banking methods.
Another good practice is getting in touch with customer support as soon as you register your account to see if they are going to need any identification when you come to withdraw. Most will ask for things like driver’s license, passport, utility bill etc. so if you can have them ready to go right at the start and pass security, this is likely going to mean you are ahead to curve when you do withdraw.
Bonuses and free bets are another very common complaint that many punters have. Whilst they make offers and promotions seem very enticing as you sign up, the reality of actually ever getting that money can be very tough.
We will state that bookmakers are now more transparent than they have ever been. Promotions have to be labelled with clear terms and conditions that don’t need a degree or a week to work through and understand.
Having said that, problems can still occur and if you feel as though you’ve met these terms, you’re well in your right to contact the bookmaker and make a complaint.
The problem for many punters is that there are plenty of hoops that you need to jump through to claim and clear bonuses. Some of these can include wagering requirements, limited markets, minimum odds, limited sports, max/min bet amount and so on.
Is this fair?
It’s fair as long they have clearly stated in their terms what you need to do to get a hold of your bonus money and what needs to be done to withdraw that money. If it turns out that you have to do extra work, whatever that might be or that you’ve met the terms and they haven’t paid out, then you should 100% be looking to make a complaint.
The first thing to do is to familiarise yourself with the bonus or promotion. Make sure you work right through the terms and conditions and just spend a little time working out what you need to do to get the money.
Next, try to work out what you need to bet on or even line up possible bets. Get in touch with customer services and talk the process through with them. If there are problems down the line then you’ll always have that chat to fall back which should be linked with your account.
Customer support is designed to be there to help you, but we all know that if we speak to the wrong person on a bad day it can be almost impossible to get any issues resolved. It’s ironic that these are going to be your first port of call for most complaints, when in fact, they can be the problem.
Whilst you can only ever judge a company by the person that you speak with, it’s important to note that it’s likely that the majority of people will be more than accommodating, however frustrating it might be at the time.
Is it fair?
Absolutely not in our book. They are there to help you and we are fully under the ethos that they should be doing everything in their power to help. There should be no place for rudeness, crassness or simply not being bothered to help.
Our first port of call would be to speak with their line managers or some form of upper management who aren’t necessarily on the end of the phone. See if your issue can be resolved this way but also highlight any displeasure about the service you have received.
If things don’t improve, simply move on. We can guarantee that the majority of support teams are great in the betting industry and for every poor one, there are dozens that will bend over backwards to try and help you.
Who Is Your First Point of Contact In-Shop?
If you’ve an issue with a high street bookmaker, then it’s most likely going to be with the clerk that is working there at the time. It’s best to get to the bottom of any problems you have as soon as possible so they are going to be your first point of contact.
It could well be that they aren’t able to help with your complaint or if you’re complaint is with them personally, then you may want to speak to their customer service. You can get the number off their website and speak with a section that works specifically with high street stores.
When Should I Contact Customer Services?
You really want to start escalating any issues you have as soon as possible. The faster that you start the ball rolling the quicker it’s going to get resolved.
What Happens When Customer Support Can’t Help?
If you have exhausted all avenues with the bookmaker and they are providing little to no help at all with your problem, then it’s time to move away from them and look to talk to a governing body of some sort.
We spoke briefly about IBAS earlier in the article, but these are going to be your best bet when it comes to escalating complaints. These guys are specifically set up to work on disputes between customers and the gambling companies and are even approved by the Gambling Commission who oversee the whole industry.
IBAS will come into play when you have spoken with all the relevant people within that betting company and still have no resolution to your complaint. These people include duty managers, area managers and customer service departments for betting shops, and online customer support and customers services management for online disputes.
The following process is then taken up by you and IBAS to first work out who is at fault and then ultimately what happens from there:
- Customer submission of disputed issue
- Operator contacted to provide any terms or rules regarding case
- Independent panel asses both sides of the story
- Further questions if necessary for both sides
- Panel completes application
- Ruling posted to both parties simultaneously
- Either party can request for dispute to be reviewed
- Final word with IBAS
As you can imagine, these things can take time to get all the information from both parties and then review so this isn’t a quick process at all. But, IBAS are about as user-friendly as you will find. Everything can be done online or via the phone and there are no face to face meetings. They don’t care for spelling, grammar, background, money, stakes or anything like that. They take facts, compare it terms and conditions and make a ruling. It’s also worth noting that this service to completely free to use.
Still Not Happy?
If after all is said and done, and hopefully resolved, you are still not happy, don’t be afraid to simply move bookmakers. We’ve mentioned this previously throughout this article, there are dozens of high-quality bookmakers these days and if one isn’t fitting your needs, just up and leave.
We’ve got planet of information on this site that should hopefully allow you to form better decisions about which might fit best for you, so feel free to check our reviews out.