Consumer rights

Man whose winning bet of $ 110,000 was rejected has the right to appeal to the Litigation Court

A bettor who has had his multiple win of $ 110,000 rejected by the TAB due to a “technical malfunction” has the right to take the case to the Litigation Court, says Consumer New Zealand.

In the early hours of May 2, Corbin Nepe placed a live bet of $ 14 on a six-end English football multiple bet at a long odds of 7869-1.

After each result, he quickly realized that he had won $ 110,175.91.

The TAB initially deposited the winnings into their betting account. But that money was later taken back by the betting company after Nepe tried to withdraw it.

Last week, TAB chief executive Simon Thomas told the Herald on Sunday that they canceled and refunded all bets placed during the “technical malfunction” that occurred between 2am and 6.15am.

At the time, Nepe disputed the TAB’s allegations of malfunction and asked them to provide evidence.

However, Nepe was not satisfied with the evidence provided.

In a statement to the Herald, Consumer NZ said the customer could take the case to Litigation Court if they were not satisfied with the evidence and the response.

“The key question we ask ourselves in this case is whether the TAB exercised reasonable care and skill to prevent the ‘technical malfunction’ from occurring.

“If you’re a business that provides an online betting service, you need to make sure your systems are up to par. If it was shown that the company had failed, it would have to bear the costs of its mistake.

“The client can ask for information on what went wrong. If they are not satisfied with the response and think there is a need to respond, they might consider taking the matter to the Dispute Tribunal. . “

The TAB offered Nepe a $ 100 bonus bet following the incident, which the Herald said was used up.

Despite this, Consumer NZ says action could still be taken by the customer if they felt the compensation was insufficient.

“If a business were to mislead you about your consumer rights, you would have reasons to take action against them, even if you had accepted compensation.

“If you consider that the compensation is not sufficient, you should make it clear by accepting the company’s offer that you intend to solicit them for additional payment. The company will then have to decide whether to provide compensation. on that basis. “

Under the terms and conditions of the TAB, they can cancel and refund any bet when a “prize error is so significant that it cannot reasonably be attributed to an error in judgment on the part of the TAB”, and / or “demonstrable technology or software malfunction” had occurred.

Smith and Partners lead attorney Nathan Tetzlaff told the Herald last Sunday that the terms and conditions were generally a binding contract.

“The terms and conditions will sometimes address what happens if something goes wrong, whether it’s a technology failure, vendor error, or negligence.

“If the service provider and the consumer agree to terms and conditions that give the provider a ‘safeguard clause’ in the event of a problem, as long as the provider follows this clause carefully and it does not break the law, then they may be able to rely on this.

But that may not necessarily protect them.

Tetzlaff says there are three steps a consumer can take if they are unhappy with the company’s response.

“The end result can be a very disappointed consumer. In this kind of situation, I would do a three-part assessment first.

“The first step would be to determine whether the situation is truly covered by the particular clause of the terms and conditions.

“The second step would be to determine whether it is lawful for the supplier to rely on this particular clause in all the circumstances.”

“The last step is to make sure that the service provider can actually prove that the situation is covered by the clause. In the event of a technology failure, I would ask the provider for proof to support their claim.”

Thomas said on Friday that the agency “regrets the inconvenience caused by the serious technical problem which impacted our website in the early hours of May 2”.

“The magnitude of the technical problem that made it possible to place bets knowing the live scores of the events, which were virtually over, was unprecedented. We are confident that all possible measures have been taken to minimize the impact and that bets were legitimately void.

“We would be happy to discuss the matter with Consumer New Zealand if they ask for further details.”

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