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Bonus Complaint William Hill are reversing payouts after customers discover a loophole at the weekend

Discussion in 'Casino Complaints - Bonus Issues' started by lord flashheart, May 6, 2016.

    May 6, 2016
  1. lord flashheart

    lord flashheart Experienced Member

    Occupation:
    Lab technician
    Location:
    UK
    Hi All,

    Twitter has been going mad over the last 24 hours with reports of William Hill customers having payouts reversed due to a loophole being discovered with their 50% bonus of up £100 over the bank holiday weekend.

    Here’s the story so far:

    The previous weekend (Sat 30th, Sun 31st, Mon 1st May), William Hill advertised a “50% deposit match up to £100” offer in the Vegas section of their site. The terms of the offer were such that you had to wager 30x the bonus funds before you could withdraw any winnings.

    Some customers discovered a “loophole” whereby playing a certain game on the WH site voided the wagering requirement. Even still, this did NOT make the offer risk free. Some people lost the bonus money and their original deposit, totalling up to £300.

    Customers withdrew their winnings from William Hill accounts over the weekend and most reported the money had arrived safely in their bank until….
    Yesterday afternoon, reports started coming in of money being debited from their bank accounts to William Hill without permission of the customer.

    Some people report the unlawful debited amount was more than their original deposit to the company over the weekend. For example, 1 customer deposited £200 on the weekend but had £1000+ debited from his account on Thursday!

    The money is apparently showing up as a “correction” on bank statements via WHO (William Hill)


    I'm not actually part of this (luckily), but i know a few people who have had funds taken back because of it.

    I would like to know people's opinions on this. If William Hill made a cock up with how their software works with wagering requirements etc.. does this classify as bonus abuse or should this come down as a mistake on their part (i.e poor research / execution of a promo / bad quality control)
     
  2. May 6, 2016
  3. Jono777

    Jono777 Meister Member CAG mm4 mm1

    Occupation:
    Self- Employeed
    Location:
    Wolverhampton
    Don't play there but my general opinion on this one would be that it is a bit 'naughty' of the players involved BUT 100% the fault of WH.

    When setting up a bonus they should be the ones responsible for making it air tight, I bet their is no mention (at the time anyway) of the apparent 'dodgy' game in their T&C's.

    Requesting players replay their funds until wagering is completed and those who refuse, close their accounts and take the loss on their chin as it was their cock up!

    Helping themselves from players bank accounts would be an un-authorised transaction IMO and borderline, if not fully blow theft.

    There are ways of dealing with these situations, the way they apparently have is disgusting!
     
  4. May 6, 2016
  5. Steviedoo

    Steviedoo Senior Member

    Occupation:
    Writer
    Location:
    South
    sounds fishy all around to tell you the truth...
     
  6. May 6, 2016
  7. interlog

    interlog Senior Member MM webmeister

    Occupation:
    Manager
    Location:
    London
    So have they also refunded any losses players made? What is good for the goose and all that good stuff.....

    I would also have thought that taking the winnings off the player's bank account without prior authorisation is dodgy to say the least and surely must be against regulations. If that were to happen to me, I would question my bank why they did let that happen.
     
    2 people like this.
  8. May 6, 2016
  9. dunover

    dunover Unofficial T&C's Editor Staff Member CAG PABnononaccred PABnonaccred PABinit mm3 webmeister

    Occupation:
    International Money Launderer
    Location:
    the bus shelter, opposite GCHQ Benhall
    I didn't think they COULD remove money from your bank a/c - this should only be done via direct debit. The bank should check before summarily removing funds at the behest of a third party from your account, surely?

    When Vinyl sees this he'll no doubt tell you about Betfair doing the exact same thing which got them in the pit - this is NOT unprecedented unfortunately.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. May 6, 2016
  11. interlog

    interlog Senior Member MM webmeister

    Occupation:
    Manager
    Location:
    London
    A Google search tells me that companies just can't take money from your bank account:

    You must register/login in order to see the link.
     
  12. May 6, 2016
  13. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    They will quote "malfunction voids play", but even so, this is only the WINNINGS, and should also include the losses. There have been changes to banking guidelines that make it easier to retrieve a payment made in error, however WH could be misusing this if they are taking sums other than the amount "paid in error", so where players are claiming that more than the original payment has been taken, they would have grounds to complain.

    It would be better to take this up with the bank, because they can also yank the money right back from WH if the customer can convince the bank that WH abused this provision. If this fails, they can take the matter to the ADR (UK only). However, the ADR will probably agree that this is a legitimate case of "malfunction voids play" as WR had not really been met, but the glitch allowed the system to process the withdrawal thinking it was.

    Players who lost should also complain about this glitched game, and now that WH have used "malfunction voids play", they will have to "void play" across the board, and refund losses too. The UKGC may also want to look into the fact that WH were offering a glitched game for live play, and WH should take it upon itself to report this to the UKGC, as operators have an obligation now to report such technical failures in game operation under a UK licence.

    This is very similar to Betfair in some respects, such as unauthorised retrieval of money from customers' banks, however the difference is that Betfair was not the victim of a glitch, but a marketing fail, and fully intended the offer to work as set up, but failed to predict the level of demand, so got stung badly and resorted to a "spirit of the bonus" solution.

    WH at least have some justification for voiding play on that game, but they shouldn't be blindly retrieving money across the board, they should be working out the actual amount that is due to the glitch, whether win or loss, and either retrieving or refunding this amount on a case by case basis.

    They seem to have acted in haste, a knee jerk reaction of just retrieving the total of all withdrawals, and this is what could get them into trouble. This is more serious than them deciding to void the win before it's been paid, this is an after the fact retrieval.

    Players can tell the bank this was not a payment error, but a payment of winnings due from a UK regulated provider of gambling services, which the gambling provider decided to dispute after payment, so that the retrieval is them taking it upon themselves to resolve the dispute by misusing the provision for retrieving payments made in error, which is an abuse of the system. If the bank won't play ball, customers can then take the matter all the way to the ombudsman.

    Now, if WH have connected to players' banks via a variable D/D instruction, then players would have an even better weapon, the D/D guarantee scheme, they can use "claw back" to retrieve the money simply by saying the D/D was taken in error/wrong amount/not authorised. They do not have to explain the nature of the dispute to the bank, it is for WH to contest the "claw back" by showing that the D/D was in fact the correct amount and they had a D/D mandate authorising it.

    This is a reason why some players don't like using their main bank accounts for gambling. This kind of action could have had knock on effects by placing the account in the red, and causing important D/D payments like council tax or motor insurance to "bounce", and also the addition of bank charges. This would be even more likely if more was taken than the amount credited from the withdrawal.
     
    1 person likes this.
  14. May 9, 2016
  15. benmooe

    benmooe Experienced Member webby PABnononaccred MM webmeister

    Occupation:
    Social Media Consultant
    Location:
    England.
    If this has affected you and the transaction has been done as a card transaction definitely dispute this with your bank as a transaction that was not authorised, Under the Visa guarantee (Which also covers debit card transactions) any unauthorised transactions are not the liability of the card holder and an immediate refund is provided while an investigation is undertaken.

    An authorised bank transaction would be someone who had given prior permission for a payment to take place, What WH have done here is not allowed in the UK.

    However, if they had requested a reversal of the BACS, Your bank would hold a reversal request from the original bank with the exact reasoning, the frontline customer service teams might not have access to it but the fraud teams may. Unfortunately reversal of BACS transactions are a fairly new process allowed by banks in the past 2 years and it's had some quite predatory usage. You would then unfortunately need to take that to their ADR.

    Sorry if i'm repeating anything vinylweatherman has posted, I've just discussed this issue with a friend who works at a UK high street bank so wanted to help with more of a banking rights angle to this issue.
     
    4 people like this.
  16. May 9, 2016
  17. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    Any further developments on this issue, where it appears that Will Hill is pushing the envelope to say the least?

    Have any of the players affected by this reported the issue to an ADR or the UK Gambling Commission itself as questionable conduct on the part of a licensee?
     
  18. May 9, 2016
  19. dunover

    dunover Unofficial T&C's Editor Staff Member CAG PABnononaccred PABnonaccred PABinit mm3 webmeister

    Occupation:
    International Money Launderer
    Location:
    the bus shelter, opposite GCHQ Benhall
    Dunno, but I've booted them from my site. When I change the name to 'fastdebitingcasinos.com' I'll restore them.
     
    3 people like this.
  20. May 9, 2016
  21. lord flashheart

    lord flashheart Experienced Member

    Occupation:
    Lab technician
    Location:
    UK
    after being battered on twitter for 48 hours - It appears william hill have reversed the funds back to players accounts and given them all a £50 credit as a gesture of goodwill!!! Unbelievable really.

    I was expecting this outcome to have been confiscated funds, deposits returned and accounts closed. As far as it looks, no one has even been banned. I'm guessing the promotions team have their P45s in the post though
     
  22. May 10, 2016
  23. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Of course it has, and it cuts both ways too. A customer can rip off a trader this way because they increasingly ask for direct bank transfer as cheques are outdated and can be fraudulent, and taking card payments costs them money. Now of course with faster payments the trader thinks they have been paid within a couple of hours, and will then issue a receipt, but the unscrupulous customer can then go to their bank and claim they paid the wrong amount or the wrong account in error, and retrieve the BACS. I suspected this is how WH had pulled this stunt, however Betfair pulled the same stunt several years ago BEFORE we had this new service, and notably yanked back some €33K from a Portuguese player.

    A PR assault on social media is another way for the small guy to fight back at the big companies, and it only took 48 hours for a complete WH U-turn to result. Maybe they realised they could have acted outside the rules and decided to put out the fire before it singed their ass, rather than argue the "malfunction voids play" rule, which unlike Betfair, would probably have worked.

    I would hope that this BACS reversal is reviewed to ensure it is not being used as another way to scam people, both individuals and businesses. It is certainly useful to know that a reason has to be given and recorded by the bank as this could then be used to fight a fraudulent BACS reversal in court by proving that the reason given was false.
     

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