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Disco
04 Aug 10 00:32
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Date Joined: 07 Jan 02
| Topic/replies: 25 | Blogger: Disco's blog
Hi, does anyone out there have any useful input they can offer about a Premium Charge dispute with Betfair?

I stopped using Betfair early last year when the poor initial implementation of the premium charge made it unusable. As I couldn't use the site, I taught a friend how to use my strategy and referred them to Betfair. They ran into the Premium Charge pretty quickly and had to close their account before the second (non-refundable charge) was due.

I have an overall lifetime loss, so was recently persuaded to come back to Betfair by their Outbound team as I ould would not longer be subjected to the weekly threat of the charge. Soon after returning, Betfair withdrew my friend's charge from my account without notice, saying that they were entitled to do so because our accounts were linked by referral and strategy.

I can't help feeling that this practice must be illegal. Does anyone have any useful previous experience of this with Betfair, and any expertise in this area? Thanks.

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Replies: 255
By:
no moves
When: 04 Aug 10 01:19
Do they think your friend is you?
By:
Avocado
When: 04 Aug 10 01:20
You shouldn't have been mucking about with your mate. Either pay the charge or fook off and bet somewhere else.
By:
The Investor
When: 04 Aug 10 01:48
Are you saying Betfair coaxed you back under false pretence in order to charge you? That sounds dodgy.

Although having said that, your story isn't really credible (I'm not saying your lying though). It sounds like it was indeed you betting on someone else's account.

Could you explain why the PC makes betfair 'unusable'?
By:
Avocado
When: 04 Aug 10 01:51
People complain about PC but where else can you make consistent profits from betting?
By:
Disco
When: 04 Aug 10 03:58
no moves - at first they had already decided that my friend was me. Now they seem to accept that my friend is simply employing my strategy.

avocado - it is perfectly reasonable to introduce someone to betfair and show them how I think it is best to use it. You can make consistent profits betting anywhere.

the investor - no they did not coax me back in order to charge me. But there is a serious absence of joined up thinking to offer a sizeable free bet to bring me back, but then charge me for my friend's account and risk losing me again. I only use betfair as an arbitrage tool, and roughly break even whilst generating plenty of comm for betfair. It was unusable to make a few percent on a hedge, but then risk being hit by a 20% charge if the betfair side wins - not unusable full stop, just no good for the way I wanted to use it until they introduced the lifetime criterion.
By:
Avocado
When: 04 Aug 10 05:36
Arbing is cheating. You should just bet on stuff and hope it wins.
By:
no moves
When: 04 Aug 10 07:21
Avocado.....why is is arbitragging cheating? I am jealous of anybody who can make it pay and I can't help but think you are too.
By:
no moves
When: 04 Aug 10 07:24
Disco..........Unless they can prove this other person you talk about is you then what Betfair hs done is surely theft.
By:
Avocado
When: 04 Aug 10 07:48
Arbitrage is cheating because odds are made by bookies to be bet on, not to be arbed between.
By:
no moves
When: 04 Aug 10 09:17
Pure jealousy Avocado..........admit it.
By:
BobSievier
When: 04 Aug 10 09:27
An avocado isn't even a real pear , it's a vegetable , explains everything really.
By:
SHAPESHIFTER
When: 04 Aug 10 09:38
Their side: they will show that the log-in records has the same ISP I.D. as your account. 

Your side: you will say you were teaching him (which will show in the beginning that your mate was at your place learning) then will show log ins from their place consistantly

Their side: you live two blocks from your mates and were using their PC like an office (won't really hold water).

Your side: I recently used this in small claims.  Someone claimed they were in London at a particular time.  I produced an email showing they were on holidays in Spain at the time.  Made everything else in their defense look like a lie against my support.  If you were out of the country at any time when your friend was using betfair, this will sit strongly.

As far as "linked by strategy", was your "strategy" so unique that you were the only person on betfair to use it?  I doubt it and so will the judge. 

Summary: your ISP I.D. is like a finger print.  Think hard on this basis before going forward.

Also, if your friend made any telephone bets, the phone number they called from (cell or land-line) would be stamped on the bets as well.

SHAPESHIFTER
Learned all his legal watching television
By:
.Marksman.
When: 04 Aug 10 09:39
I have never heard of the Betfair Outbound Team. I have a friend who left Betfair because of the PC, and went to another exchange.  After a week he received an email telling him that he owed them about £9 due to PC charge being applied after he had left. He did not pay it, and he never heard from Betfair again. He got the impression that Betfair were n't really bothered.
By:
1.01 Layer
When: 04 Aug 10 09:51
Avocado     04 Aug 10 07:48 
Arbitrage is cheating because odds are made by bookies to be bet on, not to be arbed between.

LaughLaughCry

That is the most moronic thing I have ever read on these forums.

Don't pay any attention to this bookie loving mug.
By:
jabmast
When: 04 Aug 10 10:26
I can't find it in their Ts and Cs now but I'm sure they have it in there that they are allowed to link any 2 accounts together at any time for the purpose of Premium Charge calculation.

However, just having that in their Ts and Cs doesn't make it binding if it is unfair.
By:
Disco
When: 04 Aug 10 11:46
Shapeshifter - we don't have the same IP address, but this is not necessary useful to me as he used Betfair for a few months during the 1.5 years I stopped using it. We don't live next to each other.

.Marksman - there is (or was) a team that tries to get lapsed customers to come back to Betfair by offering free bets etc. I think this is called the outbound team, but may be wrong.

jabmast - the Betfair Charges section states that 'Accounts that relate to one person, entity, API subscription or a Master Account with related Sub- accounts (Trading version only) are treated as one customer for the purposes of calculating Premium Charges. Note that no Betfair points will accrue for Premium Charges.' Our accounts relate to two people, and none of the other stipulations are relevant. The use of relate is vague here though, so Betfair might argue that a referral or shared strategy is enough for them 'relate' his account to mine. Under Unfair Contracts Law I don't believe a company can choose to define language to suit its own needs. If this were the case, then any referrals or accounts using similar strategy on Betfair could be made liable for one another's charges.

Incidentally, when you add the £1000 allowance used up to my friend's commission paid, his total charges come to more than 20% over the time he used his account. However, Betfair try to define total charges to be something other than what you would expect from plain English. Their definition gives them scope to charge more than 20% to customers whose commission rate is over higher than the market average, which I believe to be particularly unfair.
By:
Coachbuster
When: 04 Aug 10 12:07
another premium charge dodger to subsidise
By:
1.01 Layer
When: 04 Aug 10 12:18
Or, to look at it another way, Coachbuster... Another greedy internet firm treating our money as if it's theirs.

BF provide nothing but a framework for us to take risks.  They are massively overpaid for this service imo.
By:
Coachbuster
When: 04 Aug 10 12:37
maybe 1.01 ,but the truth is  their model is working better than ever since the charge .

Seems that 22% is a tolerable fee amongst most  succesful players who will cough up .
BF also know that these  succesful players  may become unsuccesful at a later stage ,so they wont be keen to charge too much and lose them  altogether .
I don't like the charge that much  ,but they're (BF) not going to do away with it ,they're a business out to make a profit,and i think we would all do the same if we could make it pay  .
By:
.Marksman.
When: 04 Aug 10 15:29
Coachbuster, how do you know that the model is working better than ever since the charge?  As see it several PC payers have left and Betfair is still trying to expand, by giving new customers free bets.
By:
hazel
When: 04 Aug 10 17:49
Data Protection would be my concern here.  One user would be seeing  another users lifetime profit/loss account.  I wouldn't want my betting history shared with another user without my agreeing to it.  If it turned out that the accounts were not linked Betfair might be breaching the data protection act.
By:
Disco
When: 04 Aug 10 18:07
Credit to Betfair, they have sorted this out for me at last. Thanks are due to Ben Lennon on the helpdesk for persevering with efforts to communicate with the Core Pricing Team (which can only be contacted by email apparently!!), and to Tom Large for applying a bit of common sense and business acumen to the situation. My account is now unlinked.

Hazel - you are right, data protection was a big concern of mine. If my friend rejoined Betfair he would have been able to see all my private profit/commission data in the premium charge statement, which is not for public consumption!!
By:
Coachbuster
When: 04 Aug 10 18:20
Marksman ,BF will be offering free bets to new customers ,thats the very base they are looking for .

Thats not saying pc players arent missed,some may never have been outright lifetime winners in the long term future,but thats the chance BF takes.
Also ,no one knows when  BFs first serious competitor will eventually  come along .
By:
Deadly Earnest
When: 04 Aug 10 22:16
Avocado Joined: 06 May 10
Replies: 2175 04 Aug 10 01:51   
People complain about PC but where else can you make consistent profits from betting?
 


Probably around 30 places I know of.
By:
Avocado
When: 04 Aug 10 22:20
Care to name them?
By:
Deadly Earnest
When: 04 Aug 10 22:39
Every one of about 20 UK/Irish firms.  Every one of about 10 Australian/NZ firms.  3 spread betting firms in the UK. 

I am sure plenty of posters could provide others, such as US firm Pinnacle.  Cricketbetlive are a specialist cricket betting firm as the name implies, they stand good bets with limits that would accomodate most punters easily.
By:
Avocado
When: 05 Aug 10 00:26
So if you were a professional punter then these firms would quite happily let you win 100k off them a year?
By:
Avocado
When: 05 Aug 10 00:27
Which Uk and irish firms are u talking about? Are you saying will hill, coral etc. would happily welcome winning punters to take money off them on a regular basis?
By:
Blessington
When: 05 Aug 10 00:38
Avocado....I imagine the idea is you spread your bets around. In this case 32 companies you win 3k off each and there's your 100k

To do this I'm sure you will also back a lot of losers as well. Making some firms very happy with you and others less happy with you.

I also imagine like most professional he would also have more than one account with some firms. Look at Harry and his accounts.

Its just a question of whether you want to have your money spread all over the place and whether your able to keep track of it.

Others do it why can't he I suppose.....Cheers
By:
Deadly Earnest
When: 05 Aug 10 00:41
That's it in a nutshell Blessington.
By:
Avocado
When: 05 Aug 10 00:47
Which firms are willing to take large bets?
By:
Avocado
When: 05 Aug 10 00:48
I've had 20k on with B365 before.
By:
catfloppo
When: 05 Aug 10 09:30
Disco, why don't you ask your friend for the money?
By:
baconONtoast
When: 05 Aug 10 12:30
Aside from pinnacle and a couple of the large Asian books, they all ban anyone who bets value over an extended period. Some do it quickly (bet365), some not so quickly (the larger american-facing ones).

Exchanges are the future, it's just a shame Betfair are so greedy with their charges.
By:
Avocado
When: 05 Aug 10 13:09
That's what I heard. I heard bookies will shut you down if you are consistently profitable.
By:
aspy65
When: 05 Aug 10 17:06
so if you claim betfair are breaking the data protection laws  then betfair have to unlink account,s?
By:
viva el presidente!
When: 05 Aug 10 19:12
the issue here is surely the arbitrary way in which they link or don't link accounts, and therefore the transparency of their charging.

as charges need to be explicit at the time a bet is made, it follows that criteria for linking accounts also need to be explicit. as soon as someone challenges them on this point, my instinct is they'll have no option but to back down.

the alternative is a situation where the charges you pay are variable, after the fact, at their discretion - which surely wouldn't stand up under consumer law.
By:
turtleshead
When: 05 Aug 10 21:07
or of course they could just charge every single person a flat 5%, no pc, no rebate, no discount, simple, fair, transparent, and very easy to explain and understand...so it won't happen....
By:
Avocado
When: 05 Aug 10 21:55
They are taking the p1ss by charging winners 20 percent. If they ever put the premium charge on me I will try and get bets on elsewhere. Hopefully the othr betting exchange (DAQ) will become more of a rival to Betfair in future.
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