For those of you who enjoy online gaming of any sort, you’ll know how frustrating it is when you come across an unexpected issue. This could range from a fault with a game, a misleading promotional offer, a withdrawal problem or any number of other troubles.
Many people won’t know how to tackle such a problem, especially if it becomes necessary to take it beyond the realms of speaking to a customer support agent, although this should always be your first port of call.
This is why we have put together some information to advise you on all the alternative routes to take, some of which depend completely on the type of issue you have, so read carefully.
Start from the Beginning
“It’s a very good place to start” – 10 points if you can name the musical.
All problems should theoretically be resolvable by the platform’s customer support team. That is, after all, what they’re there for. Usually, online bingo sites will offer up various different ways to speak to an advisor, be that via live chat, telephone or email, so contacting them shouldn’t pose any kind of problem in itself. It is their job to assist you to the best of their abilities and in as pleasant a way as possible, and most difficulties with bingo games or websites can be resolved on the first contact.
However, there may be the odd occasion where you need to go beyond the support team and take it to the next level. As mentioned, there are certain companies whose entire reason for existence is to deal with these issues, but you’ll need to be sure that you’re speaking to the right people.
Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS)
Should you find yourself in the midst of a dispute with a gambling operator, the Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS) can act as an impartial judge to resolve the issue. The company is a non-statutory organisation which was set up in 1998 and charged with the delivery of authoritative adjudications to the betting industry – that just means they can decide who is in the right or wrong and how to deal with it.
Their existence is due to the recognition that the betting industry needs to provide better services to their customers, and with the commencement of the Gambling Commission in 2007 as the regulator of the commercial gambling industry, the IBAS gained legal endorsement.
The rules laid down by the Commission state that any complaint not resolved by the operator – if it relates to the outcome of the customer’s gambling transaction – becomes a dispute. When it reaches this stage, the site must be able to offer the complainant the opportunity to refer a dispute to an independent party that they’re registered with, and many of today’s online bingo sites are registered with the IBAS.
UK Gambling Commission
The Gambling Commission is the United Kingdom’s regulating body for all things relating to betting, including the online gaming market. It is an executive non-departmental public body of the UK Government, so it’s as official as it gets. Companies are able to apply for licenses here, customers can check on a site’s legal status and previous license infringements, and in addition, complaints can be directed straight to them in order to resolve an issue.
There are various different topics of dispute noted and detailed on the website, such as disagreements on whether or not you have won, how much you have been paid out, bonus offers, closure of your account, and many more.
The Gambling Commission is the very last port of call for disputes, and if you get to this point then court battles start becoming a real possibility. Most cases should be resolved before it gets this far, however, if it does, you’ll need to send your complaint in writing, over the telephone, or via email to the Gambling Commission who will then consider whether or not your complaint is valid and take it from there.
Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)
This one is for very specific complaints and grievances, providing support for those clients who feel they have been misled by an online bingo promotion.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is the UK’s independent regulator of advertising across all media, and as such, if you feel that you have been hoodwinked by misleading offers scrawled across a bingo site, the ASA is the organisation to contact.
All advertisements, be they bingo-related or not, need to fall in line with the UK Advertising Codes, so if you feel that these haven’t been followed by a gaming site, contacting the ASA is the best way forward, should the support team not work diligently enough to rectify the problem in the first instance, of course.