One of the risks of putting money where your mouth is that sometimes, you’re going to be wrong. This was amazingly illustrated recently by a series of screen-captures showing a punter boasting about their bet on Le Pen in the French election. After the National Front candidate lost, he came back to Betfair with cap in hand blaming the punt on his son. Unfortunately, having bragged throughout the blogosphere, the company soon shut down his request.
While that story was eventually proven to be a hoax, there’s not a punter alive who hasn’t – at one time or another – mis-clicked and put money down where they shouldn’t have. Or worse.
So, What Is The Best Way To Go About Getting Your Readies Back?
First off, it’s important to note that, betting sites are run by people that have heard them all. If you’ve lost £40 on Chelsea and want to claim that your cat walked across your keyboard, you’re probably out of luck. But if you have a legitimate, honest reason to request your money back, there are many channels to help you.
When pursuing the return of your cash, there are generally three distinct strands to claiming a refund:
a) Money has been added to your account by accident,
b) The money has been added to your account and staked, or
c) Money has been fraudulently taken from your card and staked without your knowing.
Money Has Been Added To Your Account
If you have added cash to your account accidentally and it has not been wagered, it can often be returned to you with little hassle. Many sites have pay-out functionality, and a quick email to support should help clarify any confusion where this is the case. However, most companies have a transactional waiting period for the refund that’s beyond their power to expedite. So, if you need the money now, you may just have to wait.
Money Has Been Staked From Your Account
If money has been taken from your account and then either staked or lost, this is much more difficult to resolve. To help streamline this process and make sure that you’ve done all you can, you can carry out the following steps:
- Review the Ts&Cs: Before you start the process of contacting the company, take a thorough look through their terms and conditions. Make sure you take note of the rules that apply to you and cite them when drafting your initial contact email. Once you’ve identified this, detail your issue in full to the company, breaking down a timeline wherever possible. Make sure your email is reviewed in full before sending off. Aim to provide any screenshots or relevant information that they need – obscuring sensitive data where required.
- Send the email: Most companies will have a specific email address for support issues and a standard process for dealing with complaints and issues. Make sure you follow this and send your detailed correspondence. If you need to make sure your issues are escalated, the UK Gambling Commission has a list of head offices in all firms. A direct call to follow up can be extremely helpful, especially if time is a factor.
- Await a response: The company will then conduct its own internal complaints procedure and aim to resolve the issue for you.
- Follow up if unsatisfied: If the issue is not resolved as expected, you are perfectly within your rights to pursue if further. Under UK law, all companies are obligated to provide you with a channel to contact an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) company which can enter arbitration on your behalf. While useful, remember that the ADR can only be contacted once you have fully gone through the company’s internal complaints procedure. If you still feel that the issue has not been resolved fairly, you can escalate it to the UK Gambling Commission for specific key advice and information on what actions you can take.
Money Has Been Fraudulently Taken From Your Account
If you discover that money has been debited from your account without your knowing, it is important to act quickly and decisively. First, contact your bank, report the fraud, and ask them to put a temporary freeze on your account. Then contact the gambling site or company and request a freeze to be placed on the account and, if necessary, alert the authorities. Luckily, as more banks are online and the regularity of fraud increases, you should receive a warning text or call to inform you about irregular payments or billings from your account. If you are not sure if your bank offers this, it is strongly recommended that you get in touch and apply for this protection.
What Should I Bear In Mind?
Set up protection: It is impossible to be too careful online and, even with a wealth of programs and services to secure your data, the best protection is common sense. Use strong passwords for sites, avoid direct card payments and use a pay-as-you-go online wallet to fund your activities. Always make sure the site you are using is secure and fully vetted and reputable And never EVER give your online details to another individual, no matter how much you trust them. Make sure you also regularly update your passwords and review your bank statements to make sure there are no suspicious transactions.
Get help: Unfortunately, a proportion of the claims that come through to companies are from individuals who have staked their own cash and had regrets, or had family members that have stolen their details. Gambling addiction is a real, serious problem and there are several sites that have been set up to provide help for those afflicted. Self-exclusion offers can be easily made with your regular brick and mortar betting shop or online site.
Pick a reputable site: Many complaints that are passed through to UK sites are related to offshore gambling, which has been and will continue to be a risk in a market that is changing due to a shift in the online sphere. UK and EU sites are answerable to EU and UK law. No matter how tempting, stay local or you won’t have a leg to stand on.
If all else fails: Regardless of whether you legitimately mis-click or your errant ‘son’ bet €400 on a proto-fascist, it’s worth remembering that you’re dealing with another person at the end of the line. No matter how frustrated you are, nothing will be gained by ranting and raving. No business likes to lose a regular customer, and a little respect goes a long way. If you want to apply additional pressure, traction can be gained by posting against the site’s social media profile and calmly stating your case.