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Tommy Toes
13 May 11 22:46
Joined:
Date Joined: 20 Apr 04
| Topic/replies: 55,651 | Blogger: Tommy Toes's blog
Dear Sir/Madam,

May I bring it to your attention that after over one year on from the disatsrous decision you made to change the forum on May 6th 2010, the few (and ever dwindling number of)  forumites who are left are still extremely unhappy about your decision.

I bring to your attention a current thread on  Football Betting titled: 'Has everyone left Betfair?' Which quite succinctly covers many of the problems people are still experiencing - and the appalling performance of the forum now, compared to how it used to work.

If you can't find it, this is the thread ref. no.

http://community.betfair.com/football/go/thread/view/94070/27555589/has-everyone-left-betfair


Take a look - and see for yourself/yourselves what a monumental mistake you've made in changing  the forum.

May I offer a suggestion: It's not too late to change it back to how it was (if you can swallow your pride) while there's still a few of us left.
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Report The Magic Flea May 14, 2011 10:12 AM BST
BCM2 has left the forum as well
Report club20 May 14, 2011 5:55 PM BST
Please note that it is the week-end. Expect no response until monday morning at the earliest.
Report Tommy Toes May 15, 2011 11:33 PM BST
Total posts on the 'In Play FA Cup final thread 14:5:2011' = 102.

Compare this with this post on the 'Has everyone left Betfair?' thread - and the teams involved:




brendanuk1     14 May 11 19:22

If you sort by replies you can see some large inrunning match threads

****FRANCE V REP OF IRELAND****LIVE IN PLAY, 18 Nov 09, replies 959

Barca v Sevilla, 05 Jan 10, replies 921

Ivory Coast v Burkina Faso, 11 Jan 10, replies 881
   
LIVERPOOL V READING, 13 Jan 10, replies 880

Barcelona v Malaga, 27 Feb 10, replies 814
Report Tommy Toes May 15, 2011 11:35 PM BST
You ought to hang your heads in shame in what you've done to the Betfair site.
Report Tommy Toes May 16, 2011 12:28 AM BST
It is now 00:19 on the 16th of May 2011 and  for at least the fifth time this week the threads on Betfair on the first page - which only shows 100 topics - are covering 3 days.

Prior to May 6th 2010 when you changed the forum, the main page showed 150 topics - which regularly only covered 8 hours out of any given day.
24 hours (at most) would see the 150th thread 'drop off the bottom'.

However, threads which had 'dropped off the bottom' could always be revived by use of 'fred77' - which was designed by a forumite - not Betfair, the latter of whom said a search facility was not possible on the old forum.
The forumite showed by producing fred77, in days, proved Betfair wrong.

Are you taking any notice Betfair?
Report Tommy Toes May 16, 2011 12:29 AM BST
Re above - First sentance applies on the Chit Chat forum.
Report Betfair Community Manager 2 May 16, 2011 8:01 AM BST
Hi Tommy

Sorry it has taken me a while to reply. As someone above did suggest, I wasn't working over the weekend - but I am here early on Monday, so hopefully that shows I am very interested.

I wasn't part of the team when the switch to the current platform was made - all I can say for the moment is that I am aware there are things which aren't working as we or users would like, and there are things which we are aware are unpopular.

I've got the thread you highlighted, and a few others, and I'm well aware of their contents.

I'd be happy to arrange to have a chat with you as you clearly have strong opinions and I'd be more than willing to discuss them - which would be easier and more productive for both of us!

Let me know?

Cheers

BCM2
Report TiptheOdds May 16, 2011 10:12 PM BST
There are only actually 6 forumites left, each with 10 usernames. The rest of us are long gone.
Report Lori May 17, 2011 3:09 AM BST
Just to explain the problem with the new (that includes classic as well as beta) forum.

I can't speak for chit chat and their quizzes, but in the sports forums the best use for any thread was the in-play discussion. The priority being speed over pretty stuff.

The old forum was brilliant for this, you could post "Nice shot" or something and it would appear nearly instantly so you could discuss the shot just played in a tennis match before the next point.

For prematch debate it was also fine.

Betfair claimed that it was no longer being supported by the maker (or something along those lines) and instead of buying the entire stuff from the maker, they made their own forum, which is the fine mess we see today.

The numbers are dropping because it takes ages to post anything and the layout takes up too much space, so you can no longer cast your eye over 20 posts at once all saying "Goalllllllll" or something similar and instead have to mess about with headers and footers and white space and more white space. (That is unless it's the blue space created in the recent downgrade of course)

Betfair had several meetings with customers on what to do, and every piece of feedback I found before the change said "Don't change it, it works just fine". This feedback was of course ignored.

It's frustrating because it's not an upgrade for the customers but it's also a bad move by betfair as the forum was often used for people to get bets matched. (I'd often post that I needed help matching a bet in tennis set betting and I was offering above match odds prices for the same outcome for instance. I've done this once (snooker world semi final) in the last year. - The bet didn't get matched. (Which was a good thing in case it sounds like sour grapes))

All in all, if you're trying to understand the frustration of the forumites look no further than the posts on this page (though that footy thread I remember being a good one too). There's no deeper meaning, just that something fast and efficient has been turned - for no logical reason - into something slow and unweildly.

There's also that sense, (and please don't go, you're all we have) of layers upon layers of committee structure here. "I'll get someone to phone you" etc.

It doesn't need all this, the problem is simple. It's slowwwwwwwwww on a site that needs to be fastfastfast.
Report Lori May 17, 2011 3:12 AM BST
Also, gamblers tend to be a secretive bunch. This community thing isn't a good way forward. I don't want to tell people who I am and I don't want to know who other people are. I just want to know who thinks what about situations and discuss what's going on in a game/match/etc. I don't give two hoots what they look like, what their hobbies are or what they had for dinner.
Report Ashley_Young May 17, 2011 10:24 PM BST
Betfair didn't make this forum they paid a third party to do it for them. They've obviously told them to keep it close to the old forum and they have done so in the styling department (for classic) but functionality falls way short. The trouble is the old forum was a very old format from the earlier days of the Internet - simple post and refresh. Nowadays the third party companies specialize in more advanced media rich scripting and social network content. This slows everything  down but the features and content are what attracts the big companies. The old forum wouldn't be an attractive purchase to most people at first glance, so no-one makes these types of forums anymore, frames in particular are seen as old hat. This is why the company who provided the old forum stopped providing supporting for it, because betfair were probably their only clients still using this ancient software!

Third party companies are unlikely to provide a forum like the old one, it's not in there portfolio. To replace the old one you'd need a free-lance individual to build it from scratch. I don't know how to do this but I imagine the script was very basic.
Report Ashley_Young May 17, 2011 10:44 PM BST
This is a chat room I used to go in years ago when I first went online in the late 90's.

alamak.com

I'm amazed this place still exists actually it hasn't evolved at all and still users the old style post and refresh via cgi-bin!! If you choose a nickname and go into one of the rooms you'll notice the instant refresh. There serves are based in malaysia I think yet it only takes me a fraction of a second to post a bit of text.
Report The Magic Flea May 18, 2011 12:32 PM BST
fair enough, but does that explain why they changed a perfectly good site into something that you would require nasa's computers to successfully navigate? Or the hideous in-play page, that no-one in their right mind would consider an enhancement.
Report Tommy Toes May 20, 2011 1:31 AM BST
Hello BFCM2.

I really can't see what a conversation with me would add to Betfair's recognition and improvement of the catastrophic demise of Betfair's sites.
I'm no technical bod.

All that is wrong with the site has been mentioned repeatedly on Site Feedback for over ONE YEAR (take a look at Lori's post on this thread on the 17th May at 03:09 for a good summing up) and under other fora headers, ever since the May 6th 2010 shambles.

All you, or indeed, anyone on the IT side of things, need to do is actually take notice of what the complaints are and rectify them.

This seems beyond either yours or anyone from Betfair's capabilities.

Which is a great shame, as this once the best gambling sites going - and is now a complete shell of what it once was. You only have to have a quick scan of the various fora on Betfair to see people have almost given up the ghost.

It seems to be getting worse for most users.

While that doesn't apply to me, I take notice of the overall picture and other people's concerns - which Betfair seem
completely reluctant to do - almost as if the Betfair policy is: If it's working for about 10% of the users everything is "fine, just fine".

I can assure it is not.

The people who are left are complaining about the increasingly disastrous usability of the site - that is, the people who can actually still be bothered/are able to post.

I realise if you're new to the company/site you may have no idea how it used to run, but believe me, it was 100% better than it is now.

Just as an inkling; the home page of the site we now use for quizzing shows a screen shot of the last morning before the May 6th 2010 debacle which was imposed on us.

http://bit.ly/ckCQUB

On it, you can see that in less than 3 hours on the morning of May 6th 2010 50 threads were posted on on Chit Chat between the hours of 10am and 1pm.

There is sometimes only 50 threads posted on in 24 hours on Chit Chat now.
That just about says it all.

The last week or so has seen an even bigger drop in forum usage. It may be due to people having even more problems with the site (which would seem a 1.01) or after 12 months of hoping for improvements, people think nothing is ever going to be rectified by Betfair.
Which, at this moment in time, seems another 1.01.

I appreciate  nothing of this is any of your fault, BCM2, but I hope you can understand in someway that the feeling of the Betfair users prior to May last year is  that they've been used to driving a Rolls Royce only for it to be replaced  by a one-legged donkey - with foot rot.
Report Betfair Community Manager 2 May 20, 2011 8:30 AM BST
Hi Tommy

Thanks for taking the time to go into such detail - sadly, most of that I was aware of already. And yes I do understand as I can see comparisons between a year ago and now. I wasn't doing this role a year ago, but I've been at Betfair for several years.

And I would defend myself on one small point - it is certainly within my capabilities to recognise the customer feelings. Admittedly, I can't fix them myself - but I think you accept that by what you say.

What is within my remit is to make those who do have the power and authority to allocate resources to work on these problems aware of the depth of feeling and frustration - and that is what I am doing. And I am confident we'll start to see improvements.

It would be wrong - and a bit foolish - for me to make promises. As many people have said on here, I am reliant on others. But I do believe, from what I see, that things are starting to move the right way and that we will begin to see the result of that.

So,yes, I share your frustration, I share your desire to want this rectified and I will do all I can about it. It's difficult for me not to sound like I'm just offering a sop and a bit of hot air - but if I really felt that was all I could do, then it would be far easier for me not to post here at all!

Thanks again.
Report Tommy Toes May 23, 2011 8:07 PM BST
Hello BFCM2.

As I'm sure you're aware if you do follow what's going on on the fora, things have not 'started to move in the right direction' at all. If anything, numbers of users are down even more significantly.

On Sunday the 22nd of May 2011, on the final day of the Premiership matches with nail biting scenarios all afternoon on who would be demoted, the football forum was, in effect, a ghost town - compared to what it once would have been with so much excitement going on.

Chit Chat, on the first page of only 100 threads now, at 1am today was showing 3 days worth of posts in total - again.

I've noticed continued complaints on football and horse racing, in particular, for the past week about how appallingly slow the forum is for many people. How long before they throw the towel in too?

Whilst I appreciate you may be doing your best to relate to the IT people that the situation is dreadful and things need to be improved, nothing seems to be being done to any improved effect after over ONE YEAR.

I'm sure you agree that this situation is not conducive to good public relations.

So, I'll make a suggestion which may just help.

Earlier on tonight I had the great misfortune of switching to the Beta forum to see a link to a quiz on another site via Chit Chat.
I haven't looked in on the shambles of Beta on Betfair for many months - as I shudder at its abomination.

However, once on Beta, I noticed that it performed in an even SLOWER way than the last time I looked - which is almost impossible to believe; constant 'whirligigging' of the page loading, reply box opening, etc.

If it were that you replaced the forum altogether with this piece of junk, I can assure you there'd be no one left other than Betfair staff themselves and a few 'social networking, give me the bells and whistles 'cos I'm not interested in betting anyway' types.

As it seems many 'old users' are unaware of how to get out of Beta once they get in there, or how to stop their computers grinding to a halt if they have the forum on at the same time as betting - or indeed, grinding to a halt when they are betting  and so have to log out and back in again (often causing a monetary loss on because they are forced into doing so) - how about putting a few recommendations from your users on all the fora about how said users are successfully using Betfair, and not your IT people's suggestions, who, it must be said, seem to recognise none of the problems mentioned, either because they have the latest equipment or only log in here and there to check things and don't use the gambling site/forum for sustained periods of time so have no idea of how things slow down after a certain period of time for some users?

Thus, my suggestion:

After experiencing many of the problems people are currently experiencing when you first changed the forum on May 6th 2010, that is, my computer on the browser IE whirring like an old Sopwith Camel until it became completely unusable using Betfair after about 20 minutes unless I constantly rebooted, I was at my wits end, until two suggestions by Chit Chat forumites solved my problems (note: not Betfair employees, who gave out various bits of bogus, useless information once the changeover had happened which solved matters not a jot).

Solutions

1. I changed my browser to Google Chrome.

2. I used the 'classic' forum via the popup, thus able to keep the horse racing/whatever gambling page I'm interested in open, as well as looking into the fora.


I now suffer none of the memory using/reboot problems, and can negotiate between pages in a relatively speedy way.

This solution seems to have been given the 'thumbs up' way of using Betfair (without exploding!) by a lot of people who are still left on Chit Chit - as well as by other folk on various other Betfair fora.

I realise that there seem to be so many glitches in the site that using Chrome and the 'classic' popup may not solve everyone's problems - but it does seem to cure a multitude of ills for a lot of users.

Surely an announcement of the above on your Service Page/Fora that a lot of users have found this way of using Betfair to be a 'cure' would help, instead of Betfair saying nothing at all for so, so long?

It would certainly show a bit more intent at solving things instead of relentlessly plugging away the Beta dross and thinking all browsers will work with Betfair (which they obviously don't) and hoping everyone will just accept it, which, I can assure you, they never will.
They just leave Betfair - as I'm sure you're now finally aware.

Regards.
Report Tommy Toes May 30, 2011 12:11 AM BST
Hmm, no response after a week.

Okay then; what's your favourite flavour crisp?
Report Crisp77 May 30, 2011 2:41 PM BST
Hello Cool

As another comparison, during the Man Utd Barcelona game meltdown the other dya top to bottom of the football forum was 35 minutes at its peak. When they last played in the final is was 4 minutes at one stage Shocked
Report Crisp77 May 30, 2011 2:41 PM BST
dya = day Plain
Report Tommy Toes June 5, 2011 3:59 PM BST
BFCM2, it is now 3.53pm on Sunday afternoon on the 5th of June - and the 100th post on Chit Chat (the first main page) is from just after 6pm FRIDAY the 3rd Of JUNE 2011.

As mentioned before; under the 'old forum' of 150 threads on the main page, most days, things would drop off the bottom after 8 hours.

Do you understand the catastrophic mistake Betfair have made on altering things?

Is there anyone big enough to just hold their hands up at Betfair and put things back to how they were pre May 6th 2010?

We don't want 'customer commitment' cobblers - just a super speedy, reliable site - which you had for so long and threw away like a piece of old rubbish.

Well more fool Betfair for getting things so wrong and not holding their hands up to a mistake - which they MUST know they've made by now,
but carry on regardless.

Perhaps when the fora are stone dead they'll be happy?

Who knows - but it's without doubt one of the biggest mistakes Betfair have ever made.

Is Gerald Ratner a major shareholder and have some input into decision making there these days?

PS - I know you're the unfortunate person to have to field everything when none of it is your fault, but as you do seem to have the unfortunate job, there's no one else to address - as everyone else from Betfair have studiously ignored this forum for so long.
Report Tommy Toes June 5, 2011 4:42 PM BST
Just to clarify my first sentence: It was the last thread of 100 on Chit Chat that (at the time) was showing a 6pmish date on Friday June the 3rd.

It's not far after that time the last thread is the 100th even now - 2 days later.

Appalling stuff Betfair - all instigated by you and you alone.

"You got cloth ears?!" as Benny Hill as a Chinaman used to say.
Report Tommy Toes August 18, 2011 8:55 PM BST
Bump, for the people having trouble with Firefox at present (see 23.5.11):



Solutions

1. I changed my browser to Google Chrome.

2. I used the 'classic' forum via the popup, thus able to keep the horse racing/whatever gambling page I'm interested in open, as well as looking into the fora.


I now suffer none of the memory using/reboot problems, and can negotiate between pages in a relatively speedy way.

This solution seems to have been given the 'thumbs up' way of using Betfair (without exploding!) by a lot of people who are still left on Chit Chit - as well as by other folk on various other Betfair fora.

I realise that there seem to be so many glitches in the site that using Chrome and the 'classic' popup may not solve everyone's problems - but it does seem to cure a multitude of ills for a lot of users.

Surely an announcement of the above on your Service Page/Fora that a lot of users have found this way of using Betfair to be a 'cure' would help, instead of Betfair saying nothing at all for so, so long?

It would certainly show a bit more intent at solving things instead of relentlessly plugging away the Beta dross and thinking all browsers will work with Betfair (which they obviously don't) and hoping everyone will just accept it, which, I can assure you, they never will.
They just leave Betfair - as I'm sure you're now finally aware.

Regards.
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