Ladbrokes on Hot Seat After Imposing £800 'Dormancy' Fees

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A punter claims he has been waiting since 2014 to be paid by Ladbrokes and now they are trying to tack on a "dormancy" fee totalling £800.

The punter told the Guardian Newspaper he feels as if he's "being robbed".

The account was closed in 2014 due to a “business decision” on the part of Ladbrokes. £1,289.29 of the player’s funds were still sitting in the account.

From the Guardian:

The punter had largely been funding the account via UKash, a now-defunct service using vouchers bought for cash which Ladbrokes previously recommended as a “quick, easy and secure way to deposit to your account”. When he requested a withdrawal of his outstanding balance, Ladbrokes demanded evidence of receipts from his UKash voucher purchases, despite having a full list of the voucher numbers and making no mention of any need to retain receipts in its terms & conditions.

Ladbrokes started to deduct 5% of the balance in March 2016 under its policy on “inactive accounts”, and had removed a total of £827.11 by November 2017, when just £512.12 remained. The punter has been unable even to log on to his account since then, but believes further 5% deductions have been made in December and January.

“I think it is incredible that something like this can happen in the UK,” the punter, who prefers to remain anonymous, said on Tuesday. “I am an ordinary punter, some of my bets were as small as five pounds.

“It feels like a robbery. It’s like going to a bank and depositing your money and then they say, thank you very much but you can’t have it any more. It doesn’t make sense.”

Ladbrokes has long charged "inactive" or "dormant" fees.

A clause on their website, dating back to at least 2011, included the following language:

15.3 . If you do not use your account to carry out any betting activity for a period of 12 consecutive months, such account shall be deemed to be inactive (“Inactive Account”).

15.4. Any Inactive Account will be charged an administration fee (the "Inactive Account Fee") in an amount of £2 (or currency equivalent) or 5% of the balance of the account on the date the account becomes an Inactive Account (whichever amount is greater). Subject to clause 15.5, the Inactive Account Fee shall be deducted from the Inactive Account at the end of the day the account becomes an Inactive Account and on the first day of every following calendar month.

15.5. The Inactive Account Fee will be deducted until the earlier of: (1) the account balance being reduced to zero; or (2) the account being reactivated by you using the account to carry out betting activity. In each situation the Inactive Account Fee shall cease to be deducted.

15.6. We reserve the right to close any Inactive Account whose balance has been reduced to zero for a consecutive period of 6 months.

In 2016, Ladbrokes refunded a man £1,300 due to mounting pressures related to domancy fees after restrictions were placed on his account.

“I had two big wins last year and in September, there was about £8,800 in there,” punter Mark Mackay told the Guardian at the time. “After the wins, they started restricting the bets and the stakes they were offering me were silly, so I stopped putting bets on.

“I’d occasionally try to put a bet on, then get knocked back, so I’d check the balance and leave. Then I logged into the account last Sunday and I found there was £1,300 gone. I’d had no contact at all from Ladbrokes, and I complained to their customer services. They came back to me on Monday and said that the money had been taken because the account was dormant.”

Ladbrokes claims it is conducting an investigation into the latest matter.

- Aaron Goldstein,

Gambling News