What To Do Should A Dispute Arise
If you’re looking through our complaints section, then there’s a good chance you’ve found yourself with a problem related to an online bingo site you play at. If you’re not sure what you should do, then we’ll give you some guidelines here.
Often when disputes or problems arise, too many bingo companies are less than helpful in sorting the problem out with their players. In some cases they completely shut down the lines of communication with the player and ban them from the sites. Others hide behind cryptic terms and conditions designed to dupe the player out of their bingo money, or set up terms to make it as difficult as possible for bingo players to get the money back.
The good news is, you don’t have to stand for this nonsense – if you know your rights and what forms of action you can take then the company needs to sit up and take notice (if they have any sense.) We can’t guarantee you success, but if you take the following steps, you should be able to improve your chances of getting the resolution you deserve as a paying customer.
Every bingo site is licensed by a gaming licensing body (if one isn’t avoid it at all costs!) If all else fails you can complain with these licensing bodies, and if they’re worth their salt, they won’t let sites rip their players off. If it gets to the stage where you need to make a complaint to a licensing body, then you’ll need to have the following stuff available. It’s also worth keeping this information for your dealings direct with the company.
What You Need To Help Your Case
- Take a screen shot should there be a problem with the game window freezing or something similar. Different systems have different ways of doing this, so it worth investigating how to do a screen grab before you need to do it. There should be a game ID somewhere on the screen that can help you to give the company more indication of when the problem happened. Make a note of it, or at the very least the time of the game that the problem happened at.
- Once you start talking about your complaint with the bingo site, treat the CMs (Chat Moderators) and support at the site politely at all times. Some have been known to completely ban players they think as troublesome. If you’re banned it makes it harder for you to deal with the company and easier for them to avoid tackling the issues they should be.
- Keep a record of all transactions – most of the time you can download them from within the bingo site’s banking platform. If not, you can request them from the company, they should comply and send you a log of your transactions.
- Keep a record of everything related to your complaint. Emails, chat-logs, live chats etc. In the case of chat logs, should you be in dispute with a CM (Chat Moderator) at a site, the company should also supply a chat log of the incident, so make a note of the date and time that any such problems happened in chat.
- Know your rights before you start playing at a site. Read the terms and conditions thoroughly before you sign up and spend. Personally I recommend avoiding any sites who’s terms and conditions are less than favourable, but appreciate that players like different things, so a site with bad terms might provide a more compelling entertainment than one that has fair terms. Also, sometimes you want to play where you friends are, and if they love a site that doesn’t treat players fair, you have to unfortunately put up with it.
Taking Your Online Bingo Complaint Forward
The best place to start is with the site’s support, or the CMs in one of the chat rooms. Personally, I recommend getting straight on the phone to their support – the CMs normally have their hands full and can’t give you their full attention. On top of this their answers can seem snippy (which is the nature of chatrooms) which in turn can get your back up and make you work in ways which are counter-productive to your desired ends.
If that fails, you will need to write to customer services at company headquarters, this has a couple of purposes – firstly it makes things more official and secondly, it gives you evidence should you need to take you complaints further. Waiting for replies from companies whether via email or snail mail can be time consuming. Be patient and give them time to respond fully.
One thing to watch out for is that you aren’t fighting a losing battle. If the complaint revolves around something that is fully covered in the company’s terms and conditions, then you will be wasting your time. It doesn’t matter if you think their terms are unfair, you agreed to them when you joined the site, so you agree to be bound by them. People will often not realise they are subject to ludicrous wagering requirements with some of the special offers provided by online bingo sites and find themselves stuck as a result. It’s wise to always check the Ts and Cs out so as you know, thoroughly.
The next thing you can do is let us know about your complaint and if we see enough similar ones we will let people know what’s going on. The hope is by making these complaints public we can get companies to reconsider how they treat players. We’re also building a Player’s Charter to that end. Sharing your complaint here is good as it makes other players aware of what to look out for, and hopefully public airing of these complaints will force companies to review how they treat their players.
The UK Gambling Commission
If you get nowhere with the company, or if you believe the terms and conditions you’ve fallen foul of are not acceptable, you can start by complaining to the site’s licensing body. I would suggest firstly going to the UK’s own Gambling Commission – there’s details on their complaints procedure here.
If the company you’ve had you complaint with have put you out to a third party dispute service, and they’ve found against you then it’s unlikely they will help you. However, in my opinion it can’t do any harm for them to be getting info on bad operators, so I recommend contacting them as well. The Gambling Commission deals primarily with the UK licensed operators, of which there aren’t that many in the bingo field. They will not be able to help you in the case of overseas operators.
Overseas Licensing Complaints
If the site you play at is licensed overseas, then you will need to complain directly to the licensing body that administrate gaming licenses in that region. You can find more detail on these at our Where To Complain page. It has contact details for all the major licensing areas that a UK bingo player is likely to need to deal with.
My best advice is to keep going, especially if you believe you have right on your side. It’s a shame the online industry doesn’t operate as transparently as the retail business here. There are exceptions, but they are few and far between. Whether your complaint is sorted out or not – be certain to keep us posted as your experiences could help us to help other bingo players in the same situation. Good luck with it!