Thursday, 3 May 2012


I know there is little to no point in fighting against the restrictions that the bookmakers impose upon us. I am aware that resisting their unjust practices is an exercise as futile as attempting to persuade Joey Barton to enter the priesthood. But that doesn't mean that we can't try.

Expressing frustration in forums and on blogs is all well and good, but why moan about something and then meekly accept the status quo? Not much bulldog spirit in being passive, is there?

Let the battle commence...

Here are the facts.

I backed a WRT tip earlier this week at Boylesports. The early price was 7/1, which I took. When I struck the bet, I did so in the belief that Best Odds Guaranteed would be applicable in the event of the price lengthening.

Apparently not! After very strong on-course support for the favourite, the horse I had backed drifted to 14s before running well to finish in the places and entitle me to a return. Checking my account statement, I saw that the bet was settled at the price I took, and not at the longer price that was the SP.

Here is the "conversation" I had with the Boylesports customer service representative using their "Live Chat" facility:

Connected to
Session ID: 173727
Cathal has joined this session!
Connected with Cathal. Your Reference Number for this chat is 173727.

Welcome to Boylesports live help. How can I help you?

Hi. Can you please explain why my bet today was settled at the price I originally took and not at the BOG price?

One moment please and I will check that for you.

(after about five minutes of waiting): Any joy?

You placed the bet at the early price this is why you did not receive the bpg.

You advertised BPG - since when have I not been entitled to BPG? I have had no notice.

we offer bpg on the sp. Not on antipost prices or early prices. If the price is better then the sp we offer the better price.

What?!? Best Price Guaranteed means the best price is paid out, whether that be the SP or the early price. That is the way all my bets have been settled up until today.
What you have just typed is just plain wrong!

apologies .

So back to my original question - how come my bet has not been settled at the best price as you took my bet on a BPG basis?

Your account no longer avails of there bpg. You would have received an email in regard to this.
This was a management decision. It is nit just for your account but for numerous account.

I have just checked my in box on my email account - I have received no email. Can you please forward the original email sent so that I can check you have the right address? Please forward the original though, so I can see when exactly it was sent.

The email address I have for you is ******* is this correct.

Yes - but I still want you to forward the original email so I can see when it was sent. I have received no email.

I will organize for the email to be sent out for you.

The original?

That is correct.


After laughing at the rep's cackhanded explanation as to what the BPG prinicple is, the important points to note are that a) my entitlement to BOG had been withdrawn, and b) the customer services rep claimed to have informed me of this withdrawal via email. I got the impression that this claim was a lie. I did indeed check my email address and there was no email to be found anywhere from Boylesports. Hence the reason I asked for the ORIGINAL email to be forwarded to me, so that I could see when (if) it had been sent.

This conversation happened between about 6.00 and 6.15 pm. At a time after 7.00pm, I received the following email...

Further to your query,

We wish to inform you that we are making changes to the way we administer your sports betting account. As you are aware, provides extra value for its customers through regular promotional offers such as Cashback Specials, Best Price Guaranteed and Free Bets.

After a review of your account we have decided that it will no longer benefit from these and other gestures classified as ‘special offers’.

Should you have any queries regarding this change in policy, please contact our customer service team.

Kind regards,

Customer Support Team

This was not a forwarded email. This was simply an email that had been sent following the previous Live Chat conversation.

The next day, I engaged Live Chat again. The Boylesports representative admitted to me that in fact, I had not been sent an email warning me that the BOG facility was being withdrawn; that in fact I had been given the wrong information. However, they continued, their Ts&Cs did state that no prior warning was necessary before removing the BOG facility. In other words: tough luck, Buster.

So, I had been lied to, which is simply not good enough when it comes to providing any meaningful level of customer service. I also wonder if a company's Ts&Cs, even if agreed to by a client upon registration, supercede the laws relating to advertising standards. I would suspect not, although I don't know for sure. I would ask that if a bookmaker is advertising the fact that they provide BOG (and Boylesports certainly do so via a BPG and tick symbol next to the racecard that you visit when placing the bet), is that not attracting business under false pretences if subsequently and without prior warning, they do not honour the promise made by their advertising at the time the bet is struck?

These are questions that I am posing in an emailed letter sent to Linda Gray, the Boylesports Head of Customer Service. I look forward to reading her reply.

Today's Betting

Decent day in the end.

Northern Monkey had two each way bets, the second of which (My Girl Anna - Tipperary - 9/2) managed to hold on to third place. No luck today for The Market Examiner (0/2).

The profit was made by this evening's sole On The Oche bet (Andy Hamilton - 9/4).

Here are the figures (those in brackets being the month to date):

Northern Monkey: Staked 1.5pts, -0.745pts.
(Staked 3.5pts, +8.129pts).

The Market Examiner: Staked 2pts, -2pts.
(Staked 7pts, +5.575pts)

On The Oche: Staked 1pt, +2.25pts.

Right. I've decided that the fact that tomorrow is Friday should be marked by enjoying a beer, and there's a nice bottle of Ruddles County sitting conveniently on the top of the fridge. In a bit.


  1. You might as well send your email to Linda Gray who played Sue Ellen in Dallas for all the good it will do you mate !

    Best of luck anyway !!

  2. You're right, mate. I know they're not going to turn around and give me BOG back (and let's face it, this is just the intermediate step made before essentially closing the account by imposing a max bet restriction of about £0.25) with a nod and a wink.

    I'm just curious to see what their stance is on certain issues, like the potential infringement of advertising standards, etc. As and when they do make the account unworkable, I intend to ask for my records to be a. sent to me in full, and b. for their copies to be destroyed, which I am entitled to ask for under data protection laws. Having said that of course, Boylesports are based in Dublin - does a UK citizen have data protection rights for info held in Ireland? Who knows? Not sure they will - let's see.

    By the way, shouldn't you have a blog post to write? :)

  3. Ladbrokes and Boylesports hitlist this side of the Irish Sea

    My account has been stripped of the BOG Guarantees and Account is only about 6months in existence. I tend to place my sat bets on friday evening to secure best price and this has obviously peed someone off. received this email on tues this week.

    Dear Shane,

    We are writing to you to let you know that we have reviewed your account and based on your activity with us, you will no longer be eligible for our ‘Best Odds Guaranteed’ promotion on horse racing.

    Your account will remain open and you will still be able to place bets in the normal manner.

    We constantly review customer accounts and if the position changes in the future we will let you know.

    Your sincerely,

    Ladbrokes Customer Services Team

  4. No idea whether they are governed by our data protection laws but even if not then would imagine they have something similar over there.

    May as well play it for all its worth mate as the account is essentially dead now as you've realised.

    Everyone says they can do whatever they like as long as its within their T&C's - would be very interesting if anyone ever decided to challenge them through the courts.

  5. I have had differences with them in the past, they settled a Total Games bet in my favour when its was wrong, but instead of a corporate company signing off their own error of 120.00 Euros they stuck a minus ref figure, so i havent bothered doing business with them of late!

    Actually Boylesports head office is based in County Louth
    Perhaps take it further and write in to head office at

    Boylesports Finnabair Industrial Park Dundalk Louth.
    Tel: +353 42 939 3000. Fax: +353 42 939 3051

  6. Boyles are a joke. they firstly stopped me betting on line. the next step was one of those sickly sweet e mails with the "trading decision" bullshite and "thanks for your business but run along now"

    Jp... you are correct in what you say. I reckon if you can make enough to cover your hols each year from bookies, you r doing well

  7. Hi Shane,

    You're right - Ladbrokes and Boyles have obviously just had a cull. I received the same email from Ladbrokes earlier this week and I know many others have too. I did take a note of the Head Office address from Boyles' Live Chat but thought I'd start with an email and see what happens (although I think we can have a good guess what will happen - absolutely bugger all!). Thanks for the info though, and I may well still use it.