This is an open letter sent in by one of our readers David Welburn…
Is Ladbrokes The Worst Bookmaker Ever?
Do you think a bookmaker should be able to take a bet and then change the conditions of the bet afterwards? I certainly don’t but this happened to me recently.
I placed a bet with Ladbrokes at 7/4 and was given it as a Best Odds Guaranteed bet, which means if the starting price is greater than the price taken you will be paid at the starting price.
A little later a horse was taken out of the race which meant there would be a 15p Rule 4 Deduction applied to the race (i.e. 15% taken off any winnings at prices taken before this horse was removed).
The horse I bet on went on to win at a starting price (SP) of 13/8.
Now 13/8 is greater than 7/4 with a 15p rule 4 deduction applied, so I should have got paid at 13/8; but I didn’t – I got paid at 7/4 with a 15p rule 4 deduction applied.
I phoned them up to query this, and at first they said it was because a horse had been taken out of the race. I said I knew about that, but I still should have got the SP of 13/8 as I took a Best Odds Guaranteed Price, and the horse that was taken out was removed earlier in the day – not withdrawn at the time of the race (which means the rule 4 would not be applied to the SP, but only to prices taken before the horse was taken out).
I was then told that it was because the traders had decided that I was no longer entitled to best odds guaranteed prices and that this restriction (together with a restriction on all other bonuses and offers) had been applied to my account.
I said that was fine, but I didn’t know this before I placed the bet. I was certainly not informed of this, so I should get the bet settled according to the terms of the bet when I placed it – i.e. best odds guaranteed. I was simply told that the trader’s decision was final and that was it.
I then asked if I could take it further and appeal to someone higher up to reverse this decision, as again, I did not know of this restriction when I placed the bet.
They said someone would call me on Monday about it. But no-one did.
I sent an e-mail to them about it, explaining all the details, and I simply got the reply that this restriction had been applied to my account.
I e-mailed them three further times about it, explaining what had happened and that surely I was entitled to have the bet settled according to the terms that I was actually given for this bet, even if restrictions were to apply in the future.
Each time I just got the same reply, and I was told that there was no-one higher up that I could take the matter up with.
So they simply refused to pay, even though it was only an extra £16.50, which to a big company like Ladbrokes is irrelevant.
Personally I think this behaviour is deplorable, especially considering the status of this company. What do you think? Should a bookmaker be able to change the conditions of your bet, once it is placed and accepted, like this, or should they stick to the original terms of the bet and pay you accordingly? I’d love to hear your views.