As we get closer and closer to Christmas we all want to do less and less work, so I’m going to be quite lazy here in this post.
I’ve gathered a few bits and pieces of Koptalk owner Duncan Oldham’s words and actions relating to his Lauren appeal. I’ve decided I’ll not comment too much on them though, because I don’t think there’s much I need to add. He does himself enough damage.
I’ll just say this first though, for new readers to the blog: Duncan Oldham refuses to tell anyone whether he passed all the money he raised for Lauren to Lauren, or whether it helped fund his various purchases of consumer goods and paid for his summer car upgrade.
First of all, on 16th February 2006, Duncan Oldham was a bit unhappy. It seemed someone had ripped him off so he had to write an editorial. After all, if you see somebody being ripped off, or get ripped off yourself, you should make sure you let as many people know as possible…
PaddyPower cancel winning ‘special’ offer
Thinking of putting some custom the way of Irish bookmaker PaddyPower? Well think again. DON’T!
Last week a number of Liverpool fans – including myself – took advantage of a special promotion by PaddyPower which centred around Arsenal, Tottenham and West Ham. Those three teams had to score over last weekend, not win, just score. The odds advertised on this special were 10-3. They were attractive which is why I took up the special offer. I’d never done a similar bet before so I had no idea what the usual price would be for such a bet but it sounded a good offer so I took it.
On Monday, when West Ham stuffed Birmingham 3-0, I was buzzing. I’d had £300 on the special offer. I logged into my PaddyPower account and details of my bet were listed but after the match ended it said ‘Arsenal, Spurs and West Ham to score @ 10-3 LOSE’.
I naturally emailed PaddyPower to advise them off the error. They replied saying that they had made an error on their website and that under their rules 14 and 15 they weren’t obliged to pay out. They said the bet should have been promoted as teams “to win” not teams “to score”.
After examining rules 14 and 15, it states that if there is any “obvious” or “blatant” errors on their part, they reserve the right not to pay out.
However, as the particular bet was advertised as a “special” offer, you’d obviously expect a good price (good odds) or else it wouldn’t be special so there’s no “obvious” or “blatant” error as far as I’m concerned.
To add insult to injury, PaddyPower, through the kindness of their heart, decided not to void my bet which was placed on Thursday last week, two days before the event started, and instead changed it for me, without my consent, to teams “must win” – I don’t mean they just changed the wording on their website, I mean they changed my actual bet placed. I’d been given a receipt number etc and the bet was listed in my account history as teams “must score” but they never changed the wording within my account to teams “must win” after they apparently realised their “error”.
As the teams did not win, they decided to retain the £300 stake. They claim they spotted the error before the event started yet they didn’t void my bet, they just changed it without showing this change on my account so on logging in, there were no visible changes or notifications of errors or any announcements on their website.
Although PaddyPower claimed to have changed the bet, no change was made in my account bets history. Even as late as Tuesday of this week, the bet still stated teams “must score”. I know I’m repeating that fact but I’m just trying to get it in your head if you’re a PaddyPower customer.
The PaddyPower representative that dealt with my complaint wouldn’t refer it to head office for them to make a decision. Only when I threatened legal action did the representative, via his supervisor, offer me a £300 refund which I rejected. PaddyPower then returned that £300 to my account without informing me even though I refused to accept it and it still remains there until there is a satisfactory outcome.
On Tuesday of this week after I threatened legal action and after I continued to ask why the bet wasn’t changed in my account history or voided before the weekend, PaddyPower made the ammendment to my account with an ‘apologies’ note. There was also a brief note to say that the bet had been voided, this 5 days after the bet was placed, 3 days after the event started and 1 day after the event concluded in my favour.
Now I’m a big lad, too big some would say, so I can look after myself, but I’m concerned about other Liverpool fans who experienced a similar problem with PaddyPower with this special. If you are one of them, read on.
I’ve lodged a complaint with the IBAS – The Independent Betting Arbitration Service – as to this experience with PaddyPower. When I informed PaddyPower that I would do this, they then informed me that they would refer my complaint to their head office. Amazing.
It costs absolutely nothing to submit a complaint to the IBAS for review and if they believe you’ve been badly done to, they will advise PaddyPower to cough up. If you experienced a similar problem with PaddyPower at the weekend with this particular special offer which actually wasn’t that special, just download and print off the arbitration form on their website and send it to the IBAS.
If PaddyPower also kept your stake money – which they did with me until I kicked off – then ask for it back citing my experience. If you’re not satisfied with that and you feel entitled to your winnings, complain to the IBAS who will step in.
Thousands of Reds visit KopTalk every hour of every day. I hope that if you are considering putting custom in the direction of PaddyPower that you don’t for fear of them welching out. Mistakes are always possible and there has to be some kind of sensible protection but there should also be a void procedure before the event takes place, to make it fair, especially considering the amount of time that passed both before, during and after this particular event.
It does make you wonder though what a bookmaker would do if you said you didn’t mean to take a particular bet with them? Would they refund you? Of course not.
My complaint is the way they changed my bet to something completely different without my consent and that even as late as Tuesday, they still listed my bet as a teams “must score”. The special offer error was supposed to have been discovered well before the event even started, the previous day I believe, if so, why not void it instead of secretly changing the bet type without a) consulting the customer and b) hiding it from the customers account history.
Bookmakers can have a bad reputation. That comes with the territory but in all the years I’ve enjoyed a flutter, I’ve never had any problems with the likes of William Hill, Ladbrokes and Blue Square. You’d expect these kind of underhand tactics from an unlicensed bookmaker in your local pub and not from a giant like PaddyPower.
PaddyPower welched on a bet after it had come off, although they claimed to have tried to contact me – but they say that didn’t have time to call me. They didn’t void my bet before the event, they instead changed it for me (not the odds but the actual bet i.e from teams “must score” to teams “must win”) without speaking to me and without showing the change on my account, they then tried to keep my stake money. They’ve also kept my winnings of £1000.
If PaddyPower tried it on with you at the weekend, remember to contact the IBAS if you feel let down.
I’ll let you know if PaddyPower restore my faith in them (better late than never) and what the IBAS outcome is.
Although I’ll never use PaddyPower again, It hasn’t put me off a flutter. Now where’s that Racing Post?
Excellent stuff Dunk. You show ’em. How dare they rip you off? Although they did refund you that £300, so at least you lost nothing. And if you were an honest person (ha ha!) then you’d have admitted that you knew this was a pretty good offer, and almost certainly a mistake. Still, the betting world revolves around “honour” rather than any obligation to pay out. Legally as far as I know, bookies can pull out of any bet if they want to, or change the rules as the bet looks set to pay out too much. However, in most cases, they respect the idea of being “honourable”. Are you someone who respects this idea Dunk? Never mind whether or not something is illegal, is it moral or immoral, honourable or dishonourable, honest or dishonest? For someone who’s spent a massive part of his adult “earnings” in the world of gambling, you should be able to respect the concept.)
What’s this got to do with Lauren? Well, next day, the owner of the Paddy Power bookmakers, Mr Power himself, seemed to have got in touch with Dunk. (To be honest here I imagine it was actually someone lower down than Mr Power himself but Dunk would have felt better using the owner’s name.)
If you read my editorial yesterday you will have seen that I was very unhappy with Irish bookmaker PaddyPower who had changed a football bet of mine without my consent due to a listing error on their website. They also didn’t void it until a day after the event concluded and initially decided to retain my stake money.
It would make sense to read my previous editorial first as it’s a long story.
After highlighting the issue on KOPTALK, those fans including myself who took the original bet with them of Arsenal, Tottenham and West Ham “to score” will be paid out as the firm have admitted the matter was handled totally wrong. They had changed my bet to those teams “to win” without even consulting me.
Paddy Power’s Head of Communication Paddy Power (straight up, his real name!) called KOPTALK HQ today and had a chat with me about the matter.
I’d been receiving emails since yesterday from KOPTALK readers who had read about the incident and who pledged to boycott the bookmaker as a result, not just in direct support of myself or other Liverpool fans but because they’re fellow punters and to them ‘what’s fair is fair and what’s wrong is wrong’. Paddy Power’s top brass were unaware of the situation but staff alerted them today to look at yesterday’s editorial.
What became clear from my chat with Paddy Power’s top brass was that they were genuinely upset at what had happened. I explained that the image of Paddy Power to me had always been a fun, informal one and not stiff and serious like some of the other big players in the market. Paddy agreed with me and said the matter was damaging because this incident is exactly the kind of thing they try to avoid. He was genuinely angered about how the matter had been handled.
There was no back tracking or lectures about mistakes. Those who had taken the bet in good faith were right and not to blame. I was made to feel special. I’m no idiot and I know when someone is patronising me. Fair enough, Paddy Power don’t want any negative publicity but I sensed that the whole procedure would be reviewed to ensure it didn’t happen again.
Paddy was down to earth and ensured me that all Liverpool fans who took the bet would be paid the winnings that they were entitled to.
Not only that but Paddy Power also asked if they could make a donation to the YNWA Lauren appeal. Obviously this was welcomed with open arms so I’m pleased to report that they will be making a donation of £500 to Lauren’s progress.
We’re currently trying to raise funds for a plasma television for Lauren. The local authority recently paid for the demolition of the family garage and have replaced it with a purpose built annexe to enable Lauren to have some privacy and space. A television hung on the wall will provide her with more space to manouvre her wheel chair so this donation will go a long way.
Paddy Power have agreed to pay out all the winnings that would have been paid under this bet, they are making a £500 donation and they’re also giving Liverpool fans an opportunity to take advantage of a Steven Gerrard special against Manchester United!
A statement from Paddy Power’s Head of Communication to our readers said:
“Last week’s special bet on Arsenal, Tottenham and West Ham was posted on our site as a treble on the three of them to score when in fact it should have been a treble on them to win. The real odds of the three of them scoring is closer to 8/13 than the 10/3 advertised, some special!
“It’s no surprise that these mistakes happen from time to time considering the number of different bets on paddypower.com, however that’s not an excuse, we cocked up and didn’t deal with the cock up properly.
“As a gesture of goodwill anyone who had a bet on the special will be paid what they would have won had their bet stood. They will receive the same ex gratia payment, regardless of whether they voided it or not.
“Also, as a token of apology we’re delighted to donate £500 to Lauren Forsyth, Liverpool’s no. 1 fan.
“And to make it up to all of you Liverpool fans, we’ve pushed the price on Gerrard to score from outside the box against United on Saturday to 12/1 from 7/1!”
Paddy Power say that the winnings will be paid direct into the accounts of anyone who took the bet, hopefully by the end of today. Should you have any problems, may I advise that you open a support ticket with Paddy Power and refer them to this editorial if need be. Failing that, give me a shout.
I’m now £1000 better off today, plus my £300 stake on top of that will be returned, so yes, I’m a very happy punter. This means I can make a donation towards Lauren plasma myself, we might even be able to get a decent one now!
But I’m not happy just because I’m quids in. Obviously I’m also happy for my fellow Reds but best of all, I’m so happy with the fact that Paddy Power have opted to support Lauren’s cause.
Three cheers for Paddy Power! Now let’s get the Guinness in….
So Dunk got his £300 back, PLUS his £1000 winnings. Also, Lauren’s fund got £500, plus a “donation” to Lauren’s plasma from out of Dunk’s winnings. Did you get that plasma screen Lauren? If you did, it would have been last February. Dunk had a total of £1800 he didn’t have a few days before, including your £500.
That’s a lot of money he was implying you would be receiving, even if he decided to just donate half of his winnings (£500) plus the Paddy Power donation, that’s a grand.
Thanks to Google we can also see what he was saying on the http://www.laurenforsyth.com site before he pulled it. It happened around the time that someone on this blog had claimed to have reported the site to the police and the charities commission, although I’ve been told he didn’t finally ditch it until someone gave him some private advice to close it down – because it was illegal. I’m not sure at this stage if the police ever did receive a formal complaint after all.
Remember, if you are a new reader to the blog, we’ve never disputed that Lauren’s disabled. We’ve never disputed that she is a worthy recipient of any money collected. We’ve just disputed that she ever got more than some token amounts.
YNWA Lauren – Liverpool’s No.1 Fan
by Aunty Nettie on Thu 12 Jan 2006 06:56 PM GMT
This website provides updates regarding Liverpool fan Lauren Forsyth. At just 17-years of age, this very active sports girl was suddenly paralysed while watching television at home.
She was the captain of Scarborough FC Ladies team, a keen swimmer for town and county and a long distance runner. Today aged 18, she’s paralysed, stuck in a wheelchair unable to feel her legs or back. Not only that but there are other complications that would bring tears to the eyes of any parent if this was their girl.
Through this website you can make a donation to Lauren’s life. The website is maintained by Lauren’s aunty who along with her father deal with all the administration, donations and paperwork.
She comes from a proud family but life has been tough since 2004 and continue to be. Through this website you can offer support and learn about developments and progress.
You sing You’ll Never Walk Alone…. but do you mean it?
Maybe you can help? Lauren spends a lot of time stuck at home. We’re currently trying to raise money for a plasma television and a desktop PC for her room. Liverpool fans have already donated an MP3 player, a laptop and have helped support mum and dad too. Through this website we’ve managed to buy her a PSP and pay to have a telephone line installed. Books, CD’s, DVD’s… everyone has made a difference – for that her mum and dad are eternally grateful.
You can contact Lauren’s father by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org – this is also the PayPal address for donations for the running of the website and anything else that could help her cause.
Although it says you can contact Lauren’s father through that email address, this seems highly unlikely to have been the case. The same page told you to make all cheques payable to “J Oldham”, “Lauren’s Auntie”. Why make cheques out to Jeanette (Dunk’s mum) if you’ve got the paypal and email set up in Lauren’s dad’s name? Dunk owned that domain name and set the email addresses up himself. It’s no wonder people were starting to get suspicious – people had donated money they could probably ill afford in some cases, and even though they believed that the money was all going to Lauren, it was getting a little ridiculous. Why would a teenager who’d already got a new laptop from donations now also need a desktop PC?Dunk was determined to keep going with his appeals for money. He’d not been to a game in years, but still had access to get hold of certain tickets, which he sold at a profit. He’d already sold tickets for the Manchester United FA Cup semi-final match at Anfield through his site, an auction to supposedly raise money for Lauren.
Then he also did it for the FA Cup final itself, between Liverpool and West Ham.
Subject: 2 CUP FINAL TICKETS – SEALED AUCTION FOR LAUREN
The following auction is in aid of disabled Red Lauren Forsyth, my 18-year-old cousin.
Lauren used to be a very healthy sporty girl. She was the captain of Scarborough FC Ladies and she ran and swam for county and town.
However in late 2004, while watching tv at home, she was suddenly paralysed from the chest down and she’ll never walk again.
Various Gold Club members have been very supportive of Lauren’s plight and even helped prevent the family from losing their home when it was under threat when both parents were off work during her illness.
Fundraising is far from over. We are still saving for a plasma tv for her annexe (as this would be on the wall it gives her more room for her chair). But more importantly we are trying to raise money for a special bike that she can power using her hands.
I have absolutely no idea what kind of bike they are trying to get but I imagine it will be something like this:
Anwyays. I have never missed an FA Cup Final in my life but I am giving up the opportunity to try and help Lauren.
I have been promised 2 tickets for the final for the Liverpool section, where I don’t know as yet. I am prepared to make these available for auction with every penny going to the YNWA Lauren Fund. Even the cost of the tickets will not be deducted.
I must stress that I would never part with the tickets at face value for the simple reason that I would attend the match myself and make a donation instead. However, purely because this is technically a charity auction, the tickets will be offered under a sealed auction process.
This means that you can email an offer for both tickets to email@example.com (ignore the autoresponder you receive back as you don’t need support).
YOUR OFFER IS THE PRICE FOR BOTH TICKETS IN TOTAL, NOT PER TICKET.
I am not dealing with this auction because it will break my heart seeing people trying to not only help Lauren but also themselves in trying to get tickets. So Steve will deal with this.
The winning bidder will be required to cough up upon notification of winning. The tickets will not be sent out until close to the final to try and prevent people selling them on for even more money. Tickets online are trading around the £1,000 each mark and even though we could sell to an agent, we won’t let any scumbag have them for profit. We also won’t advertise them on KOPTALK or in the Insider. This is specifically to try and help a Gold Club member at the same time as helping Lauren.
When we have the highest bid we will not contact anyone else to make increased offers. Even though we want to do what is best for Lauren, we simply cannot participate in bumping things up further.
The sealed auction will be underway until this message is plugged. Because we expect a lot of interest, Steve may be unable to reply to every email so if you haven’t had a reply when this message is removed, then it is likely that the auction has been concluded.
The winning bidder can upon request have a receipt for the donation and they can if they wish meet Lauren and her family at home in Scarborough to see just exactly how they have helped.
Lauren is still in a real bad way because of other complications and not just the paralysis. The website http://www.laurenforsyth.com hasn’t been updated for a while but it will be updated with details of how we get on with looking for a bike.
Thankyou for thinking about Lauren.
By this time the Insider blog had been running for a short time, and Dunk was aware of it. At that time I still didn’t personally have access to the Gold Club, that came later thanks to others who helped me to get into that section of the site. So I didn’t see this scam unfolding. It was much safer at that time for Dunk to try something like this, because he knew I hadn’t been able to look at what he was up to in his Gold Club. He still had a lot of power at this time with his Gold Club members. He told them they were VIPs but banned anyone who mentioned any problems they had with Dunk’s begging.
Someone paid, and I later (much later) got hold of this screen shot:
http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/1996/winner4vc.png (in fact I’ve just picked that up from the Kraptalk forums).
How much did the tickets sell for in the end?
Earlier this month, more information was made public about this purchase. On the EST1892 forums, the recipient of the tickets came forward ( “Thread about Koptalk’s FA Cup Final tickets”.)
They’d paid a lot of money for these. And Dunk’s warning that they would leave it until the last minute to send the tickets out was pretty accurate – they arrived three hours before the recipient was due to go to the airport…
10-12-06, 10:14 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
koptalks fa cup final tickets
does anyone remember when dunk held a bid for 2 tickets to the final last may. highest bidder won the 2 tickets and the money would go to funding a bike for lauren. well i won that bid. paid 1600 sterling for the pair of tickets. had to convert the money from euro to sterling and sent it to dunk via paypal. he said he recieved the money but it was short 90 pounds. i checked the money that was sent and it was correct on exchange rates on the internet, i had to send extra money. then i had to pay 40 sterling for a next day delivery courier. he sent the tickets only after he recieved the money and it still took 4 days for mr to recieve the tickets. i only recieved them at 1pm on fri 12 may,3 hours before i was due to leave for the airport. sound bloke that duncan oldham. he told me i would see pics of the bike and hear from lauren. never happened. was great seats and a great fa cup final though
£1600! One-thousand six-hundred pounds. Sixteen-hundred quid!
I said I wasn’t going to comment and I’ve tried to hold back. The trouble is though that all of this gets me quite annoyed. I’m not Irish (although I would be eligible for the Irish national footy team if I didn’t have age and being crap at football against me). Even though I’m not Irish, there does seem to be a willingness from Dunk to rip off Irish people more than any others. It could be a racist thing (Dunk’s made it very clear on many occasions that he doesn’t like “foreigners”) but I don’t think that’s his motivation for ripping off the Irish. Even with all his emphasis in his Paddy Power rants about them being an “Irish bookmaker”. He knows it’s harder for the Irish citizens to give him any trouble. He lives in Wallsend, a few hours’ drive away for a lot of Reds, something they might be tempted to do on impulse if they feel ripped off. Like the Irish member who was featured on here recently having bought a signed shirt for £200 that never arrived. Or the Irish members (plural) who paid £100 for a ball signed by Dunk and Steve – forgeries, poor ones too, of Liverpool players’ signatures.
He knows he can get away with scams more easily if the victims aren’t from England.
There’s a load more evidence knocking around on the internet of Dunk taking money for Lauren. What we can’t find, anywhere, is any evidence of it getting into Lauren’s hands.
Can I also point this out – something I’d not spotted before…
“We’re currently trying to raise funds for a plasma television for Lauren. The local authority recently paid for the demolition of the family garage and have replaced it with a purpose built annexe to enable Lauren to have some privacy and space. A television hung on the wall will provide her with more space to manouvre her wheel chair so this donation will go a long way.”
So if anyone thinks they paid for the work on Lauren’s home by donating through Koptalk, think again. The local authority paid for the conversions to be carried out. I’m also told they would have helped out with mortgage payments too – so what happened to the money collected for that purpose?
Much more comment than I intended, but I hope that this “evidence” helps to sway a few more doubters towards my view – that Duncan Oldham cannot morally collect so much money, for so long, yet refuse to produce any evidence that it was handed over.
Please keep sending any evidence in that you’ve got, we’ll be needing it soon.