Interview with Maxd, our Complaints Manager

Interviews at Casinomeister

dionysus: With us today is maxd, CM complaints (PAB) manager

Good morning max, and thank you for agreeing to be the next staff interview.
Let’s begin with the work nitty-gritty, shall we?
You are CM’s PAB/complaints manager.
For anyone new reading in, what is a PAB exactly?

maxd: Back around 2001 or so Bryan started a complaints service for players, the idea being that his reach within the industry could help players get their issues looked at and hopefully resolved. He called the new service “Pitch-A-Bitch” or, obviously, “PAB” for short.

A few years ago one of our good friends in the industry convinced us that “Pitch-A-Bitch” was possibly not the best name for our service since not everyone would appreciate the “bitch” part in these politically correct and gender neutral times.

So, we had a contest on the forums for a new name with the proviso that the new name would allow us to keep the “PAB” short name. Everyone knew the process as “PAB” so we couldn’t really abandon that mid-stream. Anyway, it took a while but we finally settled on “Player ArBitration”. Admittedly we had to wedge it a bit to make that work but no one seemed too bothered.

To make a long story short a PAB is a process where a player — or affiliate — brings us the details of a complaint they are having troubles getting looked at and we approach the casino — or affiliate program — on their behalf. In other words we arbitrate the dispute.

Unlike pretty much everyone else in the business our complaints process is closed and private, meaning the negotiations are between us, the complainant, and the casino or affiliate program people and at no point is the process open to or viewable by the public. Furthermore we keep what the casino shares with us to ourselves. Our primary reason for that was (and is) so that casinos can share info — possibly sensitive — with us and not have to worry about that info going beyond our private discussion. It’s a privacy and security thing and we take it very seriously.

dio: Going by your profile date, you came into the forum yourself around 2004 so I’m gathering somewhere around that time, PABs became your purview? Can you tell us about how you began here?

maxd: No, I was working with WinnerOnline (aka “WOL”) back in 2004, had been since 1998. We had a forum too but sometimes it was necessary to come onto Bryan’s forum so that’s why I ended up on Casinomeister that far back. It was a much smaller scene in those days, everyone knew each other either online or off (or both), so Bryan and I were well acquainted. Back then it was well understood that it was much better for everyone to work together as much as possible as opposed to taking shots at each other. We got to know each other pretty well over those early years.

My WOL gig fizzled out in November 2007 and the first guy I called was Bryan. Turns out he thought he might have some work for me — taking over the PAB service — so we arranged for me to start working with him the following month, December 2007. I like to say that I was unemployed for about four hours. It’s been a full-time thing since then.

dio Could you walk us through what a typical day, or, considering that PABs are more a process, what your week would or might entail?

maxd: I start work around 7 or so, hammer away at as many PABs as I can manage until hunger and/or the interruptions derail me, eat lunch, putter around a bit and then back at it. GourdFollower — my assistant with the PABs — comes on line after lunch and sifts through the PABs to update their status, flag critical ones to my attention, etc. More work, another meal with something to watch, and then I start to wilt. She works on into the wee hours while I catch some Z-time. Rinse and repeat. The PAB work is never-ending. We take a little time for ourselves here and there but otherwise the PABs are always calling.

dio: By dint of your profession and immersion in the i-gaming world, it would be more than fair to say you’ve learned a great deal about some of its ins and outs over the years.
What would you say are some things that may have surprised you to learn or that you’ve learned in general.
Also what are some of the more rewarding aspects of your work? Perks, even, perhaps.

maxd: Things that surprised me? Not a lot I guess but there have been a few things. The PAB gig is the first time in my working life that I’ve dealt directly with the public and it took a while — with some judicious guidance from Bryan — to learn that sugar is better than napalm when it comes to public relations. It was even more surprising to learn that I was passingly able to pull that off. A few PABers from over the years would argue otherwise. (LOL)

Another surprise was how much money flows through people’s fingers without them having done their due diligence. I mean there are a lot of good casinos out there but there are also a lot of clip-joints that are going to steal a player’s money, plain and simple. The tragedy is that most of these crooks are well known, there are warnings about them posted all over the web, but players still end up there. Either they haven’t done their research or they think the end result will be different for them. Dunno.

In the end many of those players end up coming to me, or other people in the business who do what I do. So my job ends up being part councilor, part educator, part bad-news-bear, and once in a while I help change someone’s life by getting them that big win that the casino rather would not have paid. That’s pretty rewarding.

Other rewards are having met some of the coolest people I’ve met in my working life. There have been some great people in the biz, admittedly some have moved on to other things but a good number are still in the game. Also, I’ve had the chance to travel to some great places that I would not have seen otherwise: Barcelona, Amsterdam, Iceland, Munich, etc. And — last but not least — is having been able to work at home for the past 20 years. That’s a big one. I detested office life from my corporate days and it’s been a great gift to have been able to leave that horrible lifestyle (IMO) behind.

dio: Seems a perfect segue from work to home. What do you like to do when not busy behind the keyboard? Any hobbies of note?
Also, where is home? Can you give us a general view of your whereabouts? I think most members here know you’re Canadian,

maxd:
Yup, born and raised on the West coast. I loved it, idyllic way and place to grow up. But after I’d been away a while trying life in the big city they logged the shit out of it, turned it into a wasteland. The places I’d known and loved as a kid had literally been been obliterated. That killed it for me and I’ve been on the move ever since.

I recently got back into enjoying the woods, made possible by now living in small-town Scotland. When I’m not hill walking and spending time with the trees I’m either doing bits of woodwork in the garage or fussing over my collection of army surplus load-bearing equipment (aka “backpacks”). I know, “yawn” right? But it’s more interesting than it sounds, at least for me. There’s a good bit of military history and materials tech wrapped up in it, gear from the different eras of the last 100ish years. And it dovetails well with the outdoors thing, taking stuff out and trying it, modifying bits here and there. Good fun!

dio: I’ll take cottage country over big city any day. :) The pups enjoy it more as well.

Thank you max, for explaining a bit more in detail what it is you do around here and a peek into your life as well. I’ll let you get back to what I know is a busy day.
Any parting words for CM members?

maxd: Want to try a new casino? Do yourself a favour and Google it first! 5 or 10 minutes of research up front can save you weeks or months of discomfort and frustration later.

maxd is Casinomeister’s complaint manager and when he’s not busy liasing with players and casinos you can often find him in numerous threads putting out fires and lending advice.

You can read comments about this interview – or comment yourself here: Interview with MaxD – Casinomeister Complaints Manager

You can read more about the PAB process and information regarding how to file one, by clicking the links below >

Submit Your Online Casino Complaint – Casinomeister

Update – How to submit a complaint: new procedures for PABs

About the Author... Total Posts Written: 9
Dionysus

Dionysus

Dionysus has been a member of CM for just over 10 years.
He’s been pretty much everything under the sun including a DJ and English teacher but is generally keeping busy attacking assorted online projects.

After majoring in languages and communications in college(s), he spent most of his youth traveling and backpacking around the world but has wound down and prefers to chill with his 5 pets at home these days.
He’s lived on 2 continents, in 3 countries and about 30 cities but is a true Canucklehead at heart.

When he’s not busy behind the scenes whipping up new contests and ideas for members, you can probably find him out back feeding the wildlife or with his nose buried in a book but he promises he’ll get to writing his own one day.

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