Betfair’s In Play Suspensions For…. Nothing

Don’t they drive you mad?  I’m talking about the matches that appear to be monitored by the piss taking entity known as the SUSPEND MONKEY.  You know the ones I mean…the ones where the ball is in the middle of the park and then the SUSPENDED splash appears on your screen.  Could it be that your feed is a few secs behind and a goal has been scored?  You watch in anticipation as the ball makes it’s way up the pitch and then the excitement begins to build….a free kick is awarded to the attacking team just outside the box.  Your lay of the 0-0 HT score rests on this goal…you’re quids in…you just need to see the goal for yourself.  The game is still suspended…always a good sign…then you return to the shitty streaming feed with foreign commentary and you watch as the free kick taker with the funny haircut coolly and clinically strikes the ball and wonder just how much practice it takes to get that ball to just clear the defensive walls heads then soar like a Storm Petrel to 500 feet and drop like a stone into Row Z of the stands.  Fucking uncanny.  The goalie puts the goal kick back into the centre circle and the action resumes.  Still SUSPENDED.  Minutes pass then, as if by some divine command, the SUSPENDED sign goes away and the markets are back in play.  Rinse and repeat for the rest of the match. WHAT THE FUCK BETFAIR ????

Then of course you have the other scourge of in play bettors and that is the suspension of betting as soon as the whistle goes for the start of the match.  Of course it’s lifted at the end of the first half only to reappear for the start of the second.  Again I’m inclined to cry WTF Betfair?

I’m quite amazed and bewildered at the fact that Betfair have no answer to these phenomena save to hide themselves behind their catch all terms and conditions.  I’m not the only one to have fallen foul of this and there’s currently a thread up on the first page of the Footy forum bemoaning this very issue.  If you complain to Betfair like I have in the past you get no sensible answer short of ‘We lost our feed’.  If I can find an uninterrupted feed then why can’t they?

Some weeks ago I mailed them about this issue and here’s the exchange that went back and forward…

Me:Hello, As I type this I’m staring at a screen that shows the correct score market for the in play game between Defensa y Justicia and Ferro Oeste (Argie game, last of the night)….bang in the middle of the screen there’s a big red SUSPENDED splash that first appeared about 20 minutes into the first half. It went away during half time then promptly reappeared at the start of play in the second half.

I actually called Betfair to ask why the match was suspended in the first half and was told that it was a problem with the feed. Now, if I can find a feed that works how in the hell can’t you lot with all your money and all the technical resources you have to draw from ?

It was suggested on the Footy forum that you only go by your ‘official’ feed and if that goes down then you have to suspend the markets until it comes back. WHY DON’T YOU HAVE A BACKUP FEED FFS ???

I don’t expect that this match will be returned in play so I am at the mercy of the game…if the score is 3-0 or 3-1 then I win, if not then I lose. No chance to trade out of my position (and by the way, the markets being turned in play at HT did no-one any favours…liquidity/prices were abysmal).

You keep banging on about how you’re improving our overall experience by making this improvement and that but situations like this where you only have ONE OFFICIAL FEED to go by is complete bollocks and you should quite rightly be hung out to dry for shafting your customers like this.

Yours, very pissed off,”

Betfair:Dear Sir/Madam Thank you for your e-mail.

Were sorry that you experienced technical difficulties during this game. While we work hard to make sure our feeds are functioning correctly at all times, we can not garenty that there will not on occasion be issues that are beyond our control and this is covered in our terms & conditions.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further enquiries.
Kind regards,”

Me: “Hmmmm…I’m assuming that your reply was actually typed by a human as opposed to being copied and pasted from a vast repository of stock responses that cover most of the questions/complaints that you receive. The giveaway is the fact that there’s no such word as ‘garenty’…I could be wrong…maybe the stock response didn’t get the proof reading it so desperately needed before being filed away ready for future use.

That reply was pathetic. I was looking for answers not asking to be directed to T&Cs. The question is why don’t you have a fail over method to protect those in play bettors when your primary feed goes down?…I’ll give you a clue, the answer I’m looking for looks nothing like the answer I got below.”

Betfair: “Thank you for your e-mail. Firstly I would like to apologise for the spelling and errors in the previous email, it was an admin error on our part that was not picked up before the email was sent on.

Once our primary feed goes down we have to suspend the markets as we are unable to manage these markets in play, it is not as simple as getting another feed on these markets to be able to manage them in play as we need to be sure that the new feed we have is going to be as secure and just as reliable. Whilst we appreciate the position customers are faced with when these markets are suspended due to these faults if we can’t manage the market in play due to this then we won’t attempt to as customers could then have bets on markets matched unfairly.

Kind regards,”

Me:Thank you for your reply…at least I feel that you are actually listening to what I’m saying instead of just firing off a pre-prepared statement. I have comments listed below which I would like you to read, digest, and reply if you see fit…

Thank you for your e-mail.Firstly I would like to apologise for the spelling and errors in the previous email, it was an admin error on our part that was not picked up before the email was sent on.

Once our primary feed goes down we have to suspend the markets as we are unable to manage these markets in play, This bit I understand…. it is not as simple as getting another feed on these markets to be able to manage them in play Why not ? A Secondary feed should be mandatory… as we need to be sure that the new feed we have is going to be as secure and just as reliable Your first feed clearly isn’t reliable so that makes no sense… Whilst we appreciate the position customers are faced with when these markets are suspended due to these faults No you don’t or you’d apply what should be a simple fix and get a secondary feed set up if we can’t manage the market in play due to this then we won’t attempt to as customers could then have bets on markets matched unfairly. So rather than attempt to avoid this by fixing the problem you choose to just ignore it and leave us all out to dry when your feed screws up. If I can find a feed on some dodgy internet site that shows the game uninterrupted in real time then so should you be able to. Just remember you are nothing without your customers and I’m sure at the end of the day this is a trivial thing to fix so do the right thing by them that pay your wages and sort it out.”

That was our final exchange.  No reply to that last mail above then the cheeky fuckers had the audacity to send me a Betfair Customer Experience Survey the following day.

I could understand it if this was a fledgeling company but it’s not.  It’s the biggest, most successful betting exchange on the planet yet they can’t protect their legions of loyal customers by sorting out a simple issue like guaranteeing that when they say an event is being offered in play they follow through on that.  If you’re reading this Betfair then get a grip.  Fix your in play issues and if you can’t then hire some people who can.

 

 

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2 Responses to Betfair’s In Play Suspensions For…. Nothing

  1. crotig says:

    I have re-added the link to my blog as you requested in the comment section of my previous post.

    Just read through your recent posts with interest. The suspend issue is something I have posted about on more than one occasion. I think in the end the Betfair’s attitude comes down to simple human nature. There success has made them arrogant. Even in the face of issues such as this and the ‘taxing’ of high earners they are still the number one website. They no doubt view those of us who continue to use their site in spite of these issues with contempt. Knowing that we have very few other reasonable options to tun to they continue to treat us poorly for their own amusement. Until a proper challenger arises thay have no reason to do otherwise. Just my thought. I may post this on my own blog next time as well.

    Good luck with your neural network. I shall follow your progress with interest.

    Crotig

  2. swearbox says:

    Hi Crotig, and thanks for the comment

    “They no doubt view those of us who continue to use their site in spite of these issues with contempt”……..you’re bang on there.

    The barriers to entry into setting up a serious competitor to challenge to Betfair must be almost overwhelming so we remain bent over and shafted unless and until some other exchange emerges to fill the slot available (either that or pack the game in altogether). Right now I have a lot of problems with Betfair and the way they do things and some of those issues will emerge in future posts I’m sure.

    Thanks for adding the link back in. As I mentioned in one of my recent posts I’m looking into setting up a new site that’s my own domain as opposed to being hosted by WordPress. Not only are Betfair running rough shod over their customers it seems that WordPress are coming down with their own ‘my way or the highway’ policies. They are about to take away a site Admins ability to browse his own site stats on his own site…so in future instead of clicking a stats link in our site Dashboard we all have to go to WordPress to find out who’s been visiting our blogs. WALOFS. It’s all about page hits for WordPress, nothing more. Google Analytics on my own site awaits …can’t wait.

    The neural net think is becoming problematic and I’m torn over what to do. I need a bit more time to look into the alternatives that are out there after learning that my proposed primary data source is to be canned. So far I’ve found very suitable alternatives (from a data gathering standpoint) but unfortunately they come at a price (ie enter your credit card details here) and I’m not sure that I want to pay for something that is given away for free on sites like the Racing Post…sadly the Racing Post doesn’t do Yank racing.

    Problems problems…but we shall overcome.

    Swearbox

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