Cassava Still Stealing?

conker

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Hi Ross

I am probably not the best person to ask, as I have never persued a casino for not paying out winnings before. However, I will offer you a suggestion as to how I might go about it.

From a few quick searches on Intertain I have found that the CEO is John Kennedy Fitzgerald
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If you can find a linkedin page for him, then I would email him through there.

Otherwise, email the contact us page of the Intertain website and see if you can get a contact for someone dealing with Costa Bingo, such as the site manager or head of bingo.

Once you have a contact write a very clear and concise email outlining the issues you have raised and wait for a response.

Be prepared to get brushed off or pinged around the office several times. Remember Intertain are the umbrella company that sits above all these brands, so a ranty email at their corporate email address will probably get binned.

I am heading out now, but PM me and let me know how you get on or add to this thread if you get an answer. It's certainly worth a try!

Good luck :thumbsup:
 

dunover

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Thanks conker.

Yea things have been very difficult, but life goes on.

As for contacting Intertain.....I am going to do so this very minute but wanted to ask your advice first. Firstly how should I approach them? Should I go straight in with what I initially posted here or mention that I wish to make a complaint regarding Costa first? And do you think I should mention I have posted on many forums and been in touch with people who are only too willing to go public with this? Also would it be Costa I am raising the complaint with or Cassava, or both?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated conker.

Ross.
It's pointless making ANY claim or contact unless you are 100% sure you never breached the terms applicable at the time you signed up.
 

Jono777

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....and even then its pretty pointless with these Bar Stewards

I was 100% NOT in breach of T&C and still got shafted.

* Gotta stop letting these 'skeletons in the closet' threads wind me up n all :p
 

Rossco37

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Scotland
Thanks for your comments guys.

Personally I feel nothing is worth giving up on, especially for that amount of money. As you would have read, I am a pretty determined person and so absolutely refuse to be taken for some mug by companies such as them. What they have done is immoral. I don't care about terms and conditions, most of them are designed just to scare folk, and if that ISN'T the intention, then somebody somewhere needs their P45!

Playing online should be fun, but with these 'rules' most of that fun is taken away. I mean I'm not surprised these places don't force you to take part in an assault course before signing up. Or insist you join a cult swearing on the word of some evil bingo god! It's ridiculous.
I'll keep fighting those crooks because I've done nothing wrong........despite what 'rule' I unintentionally broke.

Ross.
 

dunover

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Thanks for your comments guys.

Personally I feel nothing is worth giving up on, especially for that amount of money. As you would have read, I am a pretty determined person and so absolutely refuse to be taken for some mug by companies such as them. What they have done is immoral. I don't care about terms and conditions, most of them are designed just to scare folk, and if that ISN'T the intention, then somebody somewhere needs their P45!

Playing online should be fun, but with these 'rules' most of that fun is taken away. I mean I'm not surprised these places don't force you to take part in an assault course before signing up. Or insist you join a cult swearing on the word of some evil bingo god! It's ridiculous.
I'll keep fighting those crooks because I've done nothing wrong........despite what 'rule' I unintentionally broke.

Ross.
At the time you played they had no UKGC licence as unnecessary for UK players. Therefore you would need to go to the Gib version which bend over for their casinos. This failed if I read correctly. Then you've got the IBAS avenue but usually this would come before the LGA which failed as you said - what grounds did they dismiss your case with?
So, you have already been overruled by the statutory body at the time which makes legal recompense harder to achieve. That's if there are no limitations on timescale for gambling issues. So you are effectively challenging the terms as an 'unfair contract' which is a lengthy, costly and difficult process. You would be arguing that the term is unfair and you seem to think that because the chargeback was not at that actual site but another related one, it shouldn't affect this claim. It's like arguing that if Wetherspoons in Smith Street banned you for doing something wrong, the ban shouldn't apply to Wetherspoons in Jones Street.

Good luck with it.
 

vinylweatherman

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This may not be so easy for them today, as consumer law should protect customers who have fallen victim to fraud as it is the fault of the business that a fraudster was able to utilise their services in the pursuit of a crime. It may well be possible to sue for damages equivalent to the lost winnings due to the way they originally handled the fraud.
This probably won't help much for the past, but may well help UK players under the new regime as Cassava have a separate UK licence, and it has been noted that UK players are bound by a different and "less rogue" set of terms than the rest, so they are clearly aware that there are things that they cannot get away with under UK laws that they can freely get away with in Gibraltar. It's the result there of being such a huge employer in such a small country that they have "blackmail" like power over the government. If the government there push too hard, Cassava can simply threaten to leave for an alternate jurisdiction, taking thousands of jobs and significant revenue with them.
HSBC have just tried this form of "blackmail" on the UK government because they are not too keen on some of the proposed regulatory measures designed to curb excesses that are STILL taking place in spite of the near collapse of the Western banking systems in 2008. HSBC came under fire for actively getting involved with tax avoidance schemes, and are objecting to new proposals designed to make such activity more or less impossible in the future, this is despite the fact that they have amply demonstrated that the current regulations were clearly insufficient, and that the banks could not be trusted to behave responsibly without the straitjacket of regulation.
 

sigothx1

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This may not be so easy for them today, as consumer law should protect customers who have fallen victim to fraud as it is the fault of the business that a fraudster was able to utilise their services in the pursuit of a crime. It may well be possible to sue for damages equivalent to the lost winnings due to the way they originally handled the fraud.
This probably won't help much for the past, but may well help UK players under the new regime as Cassava have a separate UK licence, and it has been noted that UK players are bound by a different and "less rogue" set of terms than the rest, so they are clearly aware that there are things that they cannot get away with under UK laws that they can freely get away with in Gibraltar. It's the result there of being such a huge employer in such a small country that they have "blackmail" like power over the government. If the government there push too hard, Cassava can simply threaten to leave for an alternate jurisdiction, taking thousands of jobs and significant revenue with them.
HSBC have just tried this form of "blackmail" on the UK government because they are not too keen on some of the proposed regulatory measures designed to curb excesses that are STILL taking place in spite of the near collapse of the Western banking systems in 2008. HSBC came under fire for actively getting involved with tax avoidance schemes, and are objecting to new proposals designed to make such activity more or less impossible in the future, this is despite the fact that they have amply demonstrated that the current regulations were clearly insufficient, and that the banks could not be trusted to behave responsibly without the straitjacket of regulation.
im actively watching the election results so my post will be somewhat rushed, however! should the original poster make a claim against such a company the claimant in this case the op, would need to prove such a fraud took place, which is nigh impossible. that said the fees incurred to take an international company to court would be immense, the time it would take would also be very long, its just not going to happen. an IP address isn't proof someone else is using my PC it just means ive used a proxy, that's just one way id argue it was the op who did have a duplicate account, long post short, taking a casino to court is often mentioned, and never done. for the reasons i mentioned, and many, many more.

the op argued "so what i made charge backs at another casino that shouldn't affect my w/d's at another" unfortunately this is industry standard for casinos under the same umbrella, ive reads pabs that have raised the same issue, and have been unsuccessful. this is because charge backs are the plague of online casinos, as some are very legit for such reasons as the ops fraudulent claim, however the majority of people who charge back do it for a financial gain, and casinos have the right to ban/block/not pay players who do this.
 

vinylweatherman

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im actively watching the election results so my post will be somewhat rushed, however! should the original poster make a claim against such a company the claimant in this case the op, would need to prove such a fraud took place, which is nigh impossible. that said the fees incurred to take an international company to court would be immense, the time it would take would also be very long, its just not going to happen. an IP address isn't proof someone else is using my PC it just means ive used a proxy, that's just one way id argue it was the op who did have a duplicate account, long post short, taking a casino to court is often mentioned, and never done. for the reasons i mentioned, and many, many more.

the op argued "so what i made charge backs at another casino that shouldn't affect my w/d's at another" unfortunately this is industry standard for casinos under the same umbrella, ive reads pabs that have raised the same issue, and have been unsuccessful. this is because charge backs are the plague of online casinos, as some are very legit for such reasons as the ops fraudulent claim, however the majority of people who charge back do it for a financial gain, and casinos have the right to ban/block/not pay players who do this.
Perhaps a better, and cheaper, option would be a complaint against the bank. If the bank did not obtain permission to recover the money via a means that caused damage to the reputation of it's customer, it could be liable for damages. It is something that has happened before. A bank that bounces a cheque due to an error, rather than because the customer does not have the funds, can be sued for libel if the fact of the bounced cheque causes damage to the reputation of the customer. A chargeback made in error or without proper permission may well also be considered a libel, in this case this libel would be that the customer lied about the fraud and deliberately engineered their own fraud, and this is EXACTLY how this is being interpreted by third parties. This has also caused a quantifiable financial loss, the winnings.

It would be much cheaper to take the bank to the Ombudsman on the grounds that it's careless actions were the cause of financial loss to the customer, and it would then be for the bank to make good that loss, not the casino, if the ombudsman so directs. The bank would then be the one to go gunning for Cassava, and this might not be so easy for them to ignore.

The root cause of all this is that the banks do NOT want the police involved as it will draw attention to the level of fraud, and the insecurity of it's systems and procedures. This is why they lobbied for the change that PREVENTS victims from dealing with the police, and forcing them to recover their money through the bank. As fraud is a crime, it is for it to be proven that the OP did it, not for him to prove that he didn't.

The fact that the casino's systems are sufficiently weak that this type of fraud is so easy is their fault. Most casinos STILL fail to use the additional protections built in for card-not-present transactions, and this is what makes it SO EASY for this kind of fraud to take place on casino sites, but far harder now on regular retail sites.
 

Rossco37

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Thanks for the heads up guys.

I've absolutely no intention of going near a courtroom. I sought legal advice regarding this matter at the time, but nobody would touch it simply because they had no Idea how to go about suing an online gaming company. I have done a thorough search for specialty law firms who specifically deal with online gaming/gambling cases, but have yet to find one. I am also aware that should any event take place then of course it's gonna cost me, I'm under no illusions.

I will continue to annoy everyone involved with Costa even if it gets me nowhere. I know how these things work so am prepared to fail.
Having said all that, chargebacks aside for one moment. I think the important thing to remember is that Cassava Enterprise have a history of very bad business practices, ie: confiscating players winnings for playing free bingo or abusing bonuses. That's bad enough, but to then close their account permanently after and with no prior notice is just scandalous.........so surely that HAS to count for something! Yes I MAY of chargedback money, but even if I hadn't, they still would have found another excuse to barr me and keep my winnings because that's what they do.

So never mind what clout they have behind their terms. Fact is these D Heads have a history of pulling fast ones on people......FACT!
I personally believe that if everyone (who have had the misfortune of joining one of Cassava's sites and been stung out of money) got together and put our cases before Intertain, the UKGC, all major newspapers, watchdog and wherever else has power of influence......then there's always a chance. Forget legal channels, strength in numbers is the way to go! Trouble is there doesn't seem to be that many folk who have won as much as me, so they've probably accepted their losses put it down to a bad experience and moved on.........I'm afraid I just cant and I wont. 23 thousand pounds is life changing, and NOTHING I done warranted that amount to be taken away from me, not even a chargeback.

Ross.
 

dunover

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Thanks for the heads up guys.

I've absolutely no intention of going near a courtroom. I sought legal advice regarding this matter at the time, but nobody would touch it simply because they had no Idea how to go about suing an online gaming company. I have done a thorough search for specialty law firms who specifically deal with online gaming/gambling cases, but have yet to find one. I am also aware that should any event take place then of course it's gonna cost me, I'm under no illusions.

I will continue to annoy everyone involved with Costa even if it gets me nowhere. I know how these things work so am prepared to fail.
Having said all that, chargebacks aside for one moment. I think the important thing to remember is that Cassava Enterprise have a history of very bad business practices, ie: confiscating players winnings for playing free bingo or abusing bonuses. That's bad enough, but to then close their account permanently after and with no prior notice is just scandalous.........so surely that HAS to count for something! Yes I MAY of chargedback money, but even if I hadn't, they still would have found another excuse to barr me and keep my winnings because that's what they do.

So never mind what clout they have behind their terms. Fact is these D Heads have a history of pulling fast ones on people......FACT!
I personally believe that if everyone (who have had the misfortune of joining one of Cassava's sites and been stung out of money) got together and put our cases before Intertain, the UKGC, all major newspapers, watchdog and wherever else has power of influence......then there's always a chance. Forget legal channels, strength in numbers is the way to go! Trouble is there doesn't seem to be that many folk who have won as much as me, so they've probably accepted their losses put it down to a bad experience and moved on.........I'm afraid I just cant and I wont. 23 thousand pounds is life changing, and NOTHING I done warranted that amount to be taken away from me, not even a chargeback.
Ross.
I am afraid that's where you're totally wrong.
 

Rossco37

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I am afraid that's where you're totally wrong.
I understand. But as previously mentioned on this forum by someone else, It's near impossible for them to prove that I am the fraudster. Sure they SAY they have records of the chargebacks (I've never seen any documentation to support this) Cassava cannot prove that I deliberately set out to cheat them. My conscious is clear. It seems to be a simple case of my word against theirs. Without actual proof to back up their allegations, they have no grounds to accuse me of any wrong doing. At the end of the day it's up to the bank to prove otherwise, not Cassava. After all, it's the bank I went to to recoup my losses. I didn't report it to posh bingo because I knew it would fall on deaf ears. These guys are in the business of taking peoples money, not giving it back.......as that would NEVER happen, genuine fraud or not.

I know I'm probably fighting a lost cause, but if somebody doesn't have the balls to challenge these 'rules' then nothings EVER going to change, and the worse off for everyone it will be. I'm actually taking their word for this by the way. I haven't actually asked Cassava to send me proof of the chargebacks. I cant even gain access to bank statements from the time as that account has since been closed and I now bank with someone else. So really it's all hearsay until they can prove otherwise.

I hear you though dunover (great name) apt for me I think! lol

Anyway, it's not taking up a lot of my time to keep complaining. I work from home after all.
Maybe if I keep making a lot of noise, somebody somewhere will listen. As previously mentioned, I have a couple of folk who are royally pi**ed off with these people, not because they've been stung, but because they feel so strongly about unfair imoral rogue internet companies. They've been in the business a while and have helped other folk, so I'm optimistic.........It's the only way to be in life! :thumbsup:

Ross.
 

GoldenGhoul

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Decided to dig this up. I got some free spins on Slots of Dosh, which are a part of Cassava. Managed to fulfill the wagering requirements and have 80€ to withdraw. Now of course I need to make a deposit in order to withdraw. Their terms and conditions seem overly complicated, they have a few deposit / withdrawal methods and not all of them seem to work, e.g. one can deposit via MasterCard but not withdraw (they "prefer" VISA cards), I don't even know if I could withdraw via Neteller. Is it even worth trying to withdraw my free winnings? Suppose they don't want to pay me, they would have to return my deposit back to me, wouldn't they?
 

vinylweatherman

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I understand. But as previously mentioned on this forum by someone else, It's near impossible for them to prove that I am the fraudster. Sure they SAY they have records of the chargebacks (I've never seen any documentation to support this) Cassava cannot prove that I deliberately set out to cheat them. My conscious is clear. It seems to be a simple case of my word against theirs. Without actual proof to back up their allegations, they have no grounds to accuse me of any wrong doing. At the end of the day it's up to the bank to prove otherwise, not Cassava. After all, it's the bank I went to to recoup my losses. I didn't report it to posh bingo because I knew it would fall on deaf ears. These guys are in the business of taking peoples money, not giving it back.......as that would NEVER happen, genuine fraud or not.

I know I'm probably fighting a lost cause, but if somebody doesn't have the balls to challenge these 'rules' then nothings EVER going to change, and the worse off for everyone it will be. I'm actually taking their word for this by the way. I haven't actually asked Cassava to send me proof of the chargebacks. I cant even gain access to bank statements from the time as that account has since been closed and I now bank with someone else. So really it's all hearsay until they can prove otherwise.

I hear you though dunover (great name) apt for me I think! lol

Anyway, it's not taking up a lot of my time to keep complaining. I work from home after all.
Maybe if I keep making a lot of noise, somebody somewhere will listen. As previously mentioned, I have a couple of folk who are royally pi**ed off with these people, not because they've been stung, but because they feel so strongly about unfair imoral rogue internet companies. They've been in the business a while and have helped other folk, so I'm optimistic.........It's the only way to be in life! :thumbsup:

Ross.
If the noise is loud enough to cost them business, they may start to listen. It's likely to be very hard to find a lawyer who knows enough to take this on, but the new UK rules make it much easier as you are effectively suing a UK licenced gambling firm in a UK court, rather than trying to sue an offshore firm in Gibraltar as would have been the case before. You will need a lawyer with experience of international law if you are going to take them on, otherwise you will need to get the media interested in raising the more general story that the new UK rules are NOT protecting players as intended, and that the Consumer protection laws are also failing to protect customers from "unfair business practice".

As for the old bank, you CAN get those statements, you have to treat it as a request under the data protection act rather than a regular request for back copies of statements. If they still have these records, they will have to supply you with a copy for the statutory fee of £10, and have a certain number of days in which to comply. You still have the option of complaining about the bank who's actions in dealing with the problem caused this problem in the first place. It doesn't matter that you no longer bank with them. If the bank are in the wrong, the ombudsman may order the bank to make good your loss. This gets rid of the problem of having to sue Cassava.
 

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