Unibet Fails to Pay Up - Again…

Unibet Fails to Pay Up – Again…

Ok so we have written quite a lot about Unibet recently. Some of it has been light hearted and whimsical, which may make for entertaining reading but there is a serious message underneath it all.

The simple fact of the matter is there are an awful lot of people out there who feel cheated — who probably have been cheated in fact, and it’s a moral obligation as much as anything else to bring to light some of the misdeeds concerning Unibet which have been reported.

As with a previous item, we’ll only cover complaints and problems arising recently, over the past year I this case, instead of more historical stuff, though there is no shortage of the latter either.

The issues can be divided neatly into two categories: ‘minor’ gripes about customer service, and the more serious problems with blocked accounts and denied payment, so read on for the gory details.

Difficult to access customer service

We have already written about Unibet’s poor customer service in the recent past, but there have been other complaints, dating from April 2012 and June 2013, from gamers in the UK about the lack of live chat facilities, stingy bonuses and the difficult registration process. One correspondent on one of the forums had given up altogether after getting confusing emails about spam filters after registering. The significance of the location is that the UK is a significant market for Unibet, and also illustrates that it is not just betters from the ‘newer’ countries in Europe who experience problems with Unibet (See below). But there’s more I suppose? Oh yes..

Unibet often just don’t pay up

If these customer services glitches were the sole issue people had with Unibet we could probably put it down to having a bad day, but these are as nothing compared with the horrendous time many Unibet users around the world have had once they have actually won some money — you know, the whole point of using an online casino?

As we had previously noted, gamers from some of the former eastern bloc countries, the ‘new’ Europe if you will, seem to be disproportionately represented in those complainants who not only were prevented from taking advantage of promised welcome bonuses, but also lost their own money which they had put into their account in good faith. Whether this is because they are more likely to air their issues on forums or due to actual discrimination on the part of Unibet is anybody’s guess, but the following recent reports together form a pattern (please note in the interests of keeping it short this is a mere selection of some of the recent complaints that have appeared on various forums):

19 March, 2013: Report from a Latvian player, including full info on the bets (in this case on football matches) he made. The customer deposits 170 on 8 December, 2012 in order to take advantage of promised 25% welcome bonus up to 50 in time for the Christmas season. The player used trusted online payment channel Moneybookers. He made some modest gains and 2 days later on 10 December, 2012 tried to make a withdrawal, but his account had been suspended. Now, it’s true that the customer may not have met the wagering requirements to make a withdrawal, but this would not require closing down an account without warning by any stretch of the imagination. It transpired Unibet wanted some ID verification (as always when somebody commits the cardinal sin of winning some money), which the player claims he duly sent and Unibet confirmed receipt. What happened next?

Well, nothing very much. After numerous emails (20 in fact) and half a dozen phone calls each of which was met with the request that the customer be patient as it would take ‘some time’, we arrive at the date mentioned above, ie. some 15 weeks after the original deposit, with the issue still unresolved…

23 February, 2013: Another Latvian player reported a similar story (and provided details again). He was a bit luckier, receiving his original deposit of 200 back, but not the winnings he says he was entitled to, again with no explanation.

19 January, 2013: A similar story, where a customer deposited 200 on December 17, 2012, made a 140 bet, only to have the account…’altogether now’… suspended, with 119 winnings seized and his deposit returned.

It does seem that Unibet had a spate of this reneging on promises just before Christmas 2012, for relatively small sums of money, so you could be forgiven for thinking they were just going through a bad patch, right? Wrong…

What about this last example, picked up from a high profile betting forum and watchdog site:

12 November, 2012: Unibet closes a customer account without warning or explanation seizing a balance of 10,000 (thousand!!) despite all ID requested having been provided and deposits being made via a reputable channel (Neteller)!

So it seems Unibet don’t confine themselves to relatively small sums when it comes to money grabbing, but have an equally clear conscience about helping themselves to more spectacular amounts.

Always check the terms and conditions

The root of the problem probably lies in this little clause in Unibet’s terms and conditions, which we have highlighted before though it can only be a good thing to remind ourselves of it:

“2.3 Unibet reserves the right, at its own discretion, at all times, to:

-Decline to open a Unibet Account and/or to close an existing Unibet Account, without any explanation whatsoever;…”

This is really unique in the world of online betting. Naturally online casinos need to take precautions, but these always have to be reasonable, not just a wholesale right to arrogantly and arbitrarily close an account without cause shown — a basic principle of individual rights traceable as far back as the 17th Century!

As a contrast any reputable casino would operates along something like these (amongst other) principles with regard to customer accounts:

  • carrying out further ID checks when players make bigger winnings (or reserving the right to do so for smaller winnings as well);
  • if a player opens multiple accounts, closing all but one account and transferring balances from those into the one remaining account;
  • paying very large winnings in increments over several months, and setting a cap on the amount that can be withdrawn in one day (although prior arrangement may allow larger withdrawals).

We think you’ll agree these requirements are all sensible, ethical and beneficial to both parties and we believe that the online gamer has the right to expect treatment along these lines, however much Unibet might disagree.