Vernons Casino Suspend account and withhold balance

RESOLVED
posted on August 24, 2015.

I have held an account at Vernons casino for nearly two years. Over this time I have been a regular user of their casino, sportsbook and bingo products. My total deposits and withdrawls over this period are in the many thousands.

I have completed verification processes with them at least once before (I have an approved email from December 2014), however on July 7th 2015 I received an email requesting documents for verification, and explaining my account was suspended until this ‘security proceedure' was completed.
The documents requested were the most outrageous and broad reaching ID requests I have ever been asked for. The email read:

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Thank you for playing at Vernons!

As part of our security procedures we occasionally ask players to provide us with verification that they are the cardholder on the Vernons account. This is to allow us to comply with our legal requirements (stated in our terms and conditions) toverify all players. You may have received winnings already but this is not relevant to this procedure. If you do have any withdrawals pending, they will be placed on hold until we receive the requested documents. Please send copies of the following:

1) Your valid photo identification (e.g. passport or driving licence)

2) A utility bill or bank statement posted within the last six months that shows the address registered in your account.

3) Front and back copies of ALL of the credit or debit cards you used to deposit in your account. You can if you wish cover up the middle 8 digits of the long card number, along with the 3 digit CVV on the back of the card.

4) A clear picture of you holding your photo ID (this should allow us to see your whole face and your ID showing your picture)

5) A clear picture of you holding a copy of today's newspaper

6) A screenshot showing your account information for any other payment methods: Skrill, Neteller, PayPal, etc.

7) A screenshot showing confirmation of how you funded your  methods (your transaction history on Skrill, Neteller, PayPal, bank statement for your card etc showing BOTH the deposit between us and yourself AND the transaction that funded your account to make the deposit)

Once your documents are legible, they will be placed in a secure file and you will not be asked to re-send them in the future.

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On July 7th I obliged sent copies of all the requested documents via email. Having had an account here for years I had always had a positive experience, unfortunately that was about to end.
On July 8th I received an email saying:

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Thank you for playing at Vernons!

As part of our security procedures we occasionally ask players to provide us with verification that they are the cardholder on the Vernons account. This is to allow us to comply with our legal requirements (stated in our terms and conditions) toverify all players. You may have received winnings already but this is not relevant to this procedure. If you do have any withdrawals pending, they will be placed on hold until we receive the requested documents. Please send copies of the following:

1) A screenshot showing your account information for any other payment methods: Skrill, Neteller, PayPal, etc.

Once your documents are legible, they will be placed in a secure file and you will not be asked to re-send them in the future.

Please send all information to:

Email: [email protected]
Fax: +44(0)207 900 3155

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I replied the same day with a screenshot of my money bookers account information.
Four days later they wanted more screenshots, I received the following email:

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Dear T***,



We would like to confirm that we have received your documents and that they have been sent to the relevant department and saved on your file.

So as to fully validate your account , our Finance team would require the below mentioned documents.

1. A screenshot of the transaction you have made with Skrill showing how the account was funded. The one that you sent us did not show your name or Skrill ID. Also we would require a confirmation of how the account was funded (Card , Internet banking , Skrill)

2. A screenshot showing the transaction you made with Skrill to Netplaytv. The one you sent did not show your name or Skrill ID

Thank you for your cooperation.

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I have had my money bookers account for years, and it normally has some balance left in it, meaning that I very rarely need to fund it. I took a screenshot of my transactions which also showed my ID at the top and explained with the following reply:

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I have had my money bookers account for years, and the records only allow me to go back for 180 days of transactions. Therefore I can't find any transactions which explicitly show the money being loaded from my card, most of the time I just use the money in my account. If there is not enough sometimes I will fund the account whilst making a deposit somewhere, in which case it doesn't seem to show up on the statement. I have attached a screenshot of all the transactions i can fit in whilst showing my ID at the top. It shows my transaction to NetPlay and that my account is normally just funded from other withdrawals.
There is nothing more I can really do here, please get back to my ASAP because I would like to go in to my account

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That same day they emailed me to say that because it only showed money in from other casinos it was not acceptable and I needed to provide a screenshot showing an upload from my bank account. This is exactly what I had explained to them, but they obviously either did not read my email, or just wanted to stall paying me. Here is the email I received:

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Dear T***,



We would like to confirm that we have received your documents and that they have been sent to the relevant department and saved on your file.

However, please note that the screenshot which you have provided shows money in from only another casino.
We would request you to,provide us with another Skrill screenshot showing source of funds from bank.

Once your documents are legible, they will be placed in a secure file and you will not be asked to re-send them in the future.

We are sorry for the inconvenience caused and thank you for your kind co-operation.

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Over the next two weeks I tried to explain this to them, but they just replied with the same answer about needing this screenshot. Eventually on August 7th I went through my money bookers statement and found the last time I had uploaded money, dated December 2013. I provided nine screenshots showing my entire account history up until this point, and the various ingenious and outgoings. Here is the email I sent:

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OK. 

I've gone through all my moneybookers history for the last two years and the most recent direct upload was from December 2013. 

I have included all the screenshots showing money into my account and out of it up to this point. 

I have already explained that I have used my money bookers account for many years and have always had money in it so it is very hard for me to show source of funds from a bank. 

I would be happy to make a bank upload now and take a screenshot of the history if this helps?

Hopefully the screenshots I am attaching show enough.

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Having now supplied everything they asked for and more, on August 10th I received this copy and pasted email:

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We would like to confirm that we have received your documents and that they have been sent to the relevant department and saved on your file.

However please note that we are still waiting for a screenshot showing confirmation of how you funded your  methods (your transaction history on Skrill, Neteller, PayPal, bank statement for your card etc showing BOTH the deposit between us and yourself AND the transaction that funded your account to make the deposit)

We are sorry for the inconvenience caused and hope to see you soon.

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By this point, my account has been closed for a month and I feel like I have been jumping through hoops like a dog for no reason. I don’t understand what is going on, or why these ridiculous requests are being made, but I know they have about £1500 of my money in my account which is now locked whilst they make incredulous requests for my personal details.
I tried to explain my frustration, and surprise that despite fulfilling their requests they were still asking for the same thing!
Here is my reply:

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Good morning.

I am becoming increasingly frustrated by this. I have sent multiple screenshots of my money bookers and bank account statements. These are documents I would normally be quite unhappy to provide, and I already feel your requests have become quite unreasonable. Besides sending in proof of funding for my online wallet and my transactions between myself and NetPlay you repeatedly send me the same email which  I quote:

"We would like to confirm that we have received your documents and that they have been sent to the relevant department and saved on your file.

However please note that we are still waiting for a screenshot showing confirmation of how you funded your  methods (your transaction history on Skrill, Neteller, PayPal, bank statement for your card etc showing BOTH the deposit between us and yourself AND the transaction that funded your account to make the deposit)

We are sorry for the inconvenience caused and hope to see you soon."

I have repeatedly asked you to be clearer with what exactly you mean, since I have sent these documents in lots of times already.
What exactly do you need me to send in now. I have provided screenshots for my skill account and my bank account, what other payment methods do you need me to show confirmation of how I funded? 

I am at a complete loss what you want me to provide now, and my money is locked in my account, and I cannot log in. This has been the case for several months and it I am beginning to loose hope. If you cannot be more specific what documents you require, or unlock my account given that I have already provided you everything you have requested, I am going to have to seek resolution elsewhere.

Regards

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They explained that because they couldn’t see my account details as well s the transactions it was not valid. here is their email:

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Thank you for your e-mail.

We understand your frustration, however, please note that the screenshot you sent us was cropped and beared no useful information to our Finance Team. We require a screenshot showing the source of funds of your Skrill account. Please ensure that you take the appropriate screenshot displaying this information and make sure we can see the entire page and not just a portion of it.

We apologise for the inconvenience caused and rely on your understanding.

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So I sent off another screenshot showing the transaction between my bank and my money bookers account, and they replied with this same copy and pasted email on August 14th:

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We would like to confirm that we have received your documents and that they have been sent to the relevant department and saved on your file.

However please note that we are still waiting for a screenshot showing confirmation of how you funded your  methods (your transaction history on Skrill, Neteller, PayPal, bank statement for your card etc showing BOTH the deposit between us and yourself AND the transaction that funded your account to make the deposit)

We are sorry for the inconvenience caused and hope to see you soon.

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I replied to explain I have already provided this, and they didn’t answer.
On August 18th I sent them another email asking what was going on, and why had they not replied to my previous email. I included the screenshots again for reference. Here is my email to them:

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Did you receive my last email?
I am completely at a loss on what to provide now. The last screenshot I sent clearly showed how I have funded my Skrill account, and yet you have copy and pasted the same email reply back to me. I have sent in over 20 screenshots of my account now and there is nothing more I can do to satisfy this ridiculous request you keep making. I have over £1000 in my account and you've locked me out of it for months now. I have done everything I can to satisfy your verification requests and yet you just ask for the same thing over and over. I am attaching the last screenshot again and I want you to tell me how this does not show exactly what you are asking for?



My last email is quoted below for reference:
What on earth do you mean!?
This is the millionth time you have sent me the same bloody email. The screenshot I sent shows that my Skrill account was funded by my bank account. it shows my skill account details at the top of the page, AND it shows a deposit from card as well as other sources from withdrawals elsewhere. What more can I possibly provide? I have given you over 20 screenshots of my skill and bank account this is ridiculous and I am now going to raise a complaint with your regulator.
This is my last attempt to reach resolution with yourselves before I contact IBAS and the UK Gambling commission.

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They then said they couldn’t find my account and I should email my username.
On August 19th I received the same copy and pasted email for the same documents. By this point I have sent these documents in three times already.
Here is their email to me:

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We would like to confirm that we have received your documents and that they have been sent to the relevant department and saved on your file.

However please note that we are still waiting for a screenshot showing confirmation of how you funded your  methods (your transaction history on Skrill, Neteller, PayPal, bank statement for your card etc showing BOTH the deposit between us and yourself AND the transaction that funded your account to make the deposit)

We are sorry for the inconvenience caused and hope to see you soon.

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I have now had enough. And explain I will be making a formal complain against their regulators to give them one last chance to resolve this privately.
They reply saying they can’t find my account AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!
Today I sent the following email:

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My username is *************.

I will not conduct anymore communication with yourselves via email, since I now believe an impartial mediator is required to get this resolved. I have given you months to resolve this in-house, and you have failed. I have provided a lot of documentation for your verification process and you continue to make vague copy and pasted requests to me. You have shown no competency or desire to resolve this issue professionally. For that reason I am left with no choice but to escalate the complaint to your regulator.

You will receive a copy of the formal complaint and reference to an online mediation site this afternoon.

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To summarise.

I have spent the last two months attempting to provide documents, which have repeatedly been refused for no given reason. I have sent photos of my ID, me holding my ID, me holding the newspaper, my debit card, utility bills and bank statements as well as nearly 20 screenshots of my money bookers account and my online bank statement.
Almost every time I send in documents I have to wait days before they respond. Then quite often I get a two line response saying, they can’t find my account or copy/pasted reply for exactly the same documents again.
The documents they are requesting are already in excess of any documents required for ID verification and I believe they are just using this as an excuse to frustrate, stall payments and ultimately hope they can keep my account balance.
I feel like this dispute can not progress any further in private and I need assistance from their regulator and licensing body. I am also posting this to a public complaint service, and will now only communicate in public on the matter.

I hope this can finally be resolved and my account re-instated or balance returned to me.

posted on August 31, 2015.

We are reviewing the players account and will revert back as soon as possible.

Kind Regards,

Vernons

posted on September 2, 2015.

I have since been asked for the same documents again. This time I provided unobstructed screenshots of my entire Skrill transaction history. This shows all money in and out of my skrill account for the last two years. I was very unhappy to do this, but since every other time i have sent screenshots (where I have covered up transactions not between myself and NetPlayTV), they have re-requested them, I thought this time there is no way they could refuse these.
I have not heard anything from Vernons casino since sending these documents. I have contacted the UK Gambling Comission in the meantime and will be pursuing NetPlay through the small claims court if this is not resolved within the next few weeks.

posted on September 3, 2015.

We are happy to confirm that the documents the player sent on the 28th have been checked and approved; the player is free to request a withdrawal. If the player would like to contact us on our support email once this is done we will ensure it is processed quickly as we do understand that the verification process has taken some time.

Kind Regards,

Vernons

posted on September 3, 2015.

I can confirm that I have now been allowed to log back into my account and withdraw.
This was the worst experience I have ever had with any online gaming site.

AskGamblers
posted on September 7, 2015.

Dear @theawakeling,

Did you receive your winnings, can we close this complaint as resolved? Thank you.

posted on September 7, 2015.

I have received confirmation that the winnings have been processed and I have no reason to believe they will not show in my bank account soon.
I am happy for this to be marked resolved :)

AskGamblers
posted on September 8, 2015.

Based on the player's last comment we consider this complaint as resolved and it is now officially closed.