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Pricewise Special: PUNTERS' CHARTER; Early prices: what do bookmakers guarantee?

WHEN Pricewise tips a horse at early prices, what guarantee is there that you can get on at the advertised odds?

There is nothing more galling than reading in the Racing Post that Pricewise tipped a 10-1 winner, after you tried - and failed - to get on at the price.

We asked the ten firms whose odds feature in the Pricewise boxes to say exactly what they guarantee when it comes to early prices. Their responses, printed below, form a

charter for punters. Note that the replies relate to betting shops only, unless otherwise stated.

Hopefully, The Punters' Charter will help you, the backer, know

exactly where you stand.

Blue Sq:

We guarantee prices on phones for half an hour after opening time. On rare

occasions we may cut the price on the internet 15

minutes after opening time. We operate a Rule 4 policy over non-runners.

Skybet:

Skybet offer a 15-minute guarantee on all advertised and Pricewise races. As a minimum we guarantee to lay every customer (existing or new) at least pounds 25 on their selection within the

15-minute guarantee.

The 15-minute guarantee applies for all channels from our advertised call centre opening times, which are normally 9am on Saturday, 10am on Sunday and 9.30am on weekdays.

Ladbrokes:

There are two parts to the `Ladbrokes Guarantee' for horseracing customers. First, Ladbrokes guarantee to price up a minimum of four

early-price races every day. Second, Ladbrokes guarantee to hold all early prices for at least 15 minutes after shop opening for betting-shop

customers.

While many people expect bookmakers to honour a

15-minute guarantee, we

believe this is the first time that a major bookmaker has put that commitment in black and white to its customers.

We think customers have a right to know where they stand with their bookmaker and exactly what level of

service they can expect. We are putting our money where our mouth is by doing our very best to make sure that regular customers can always get their regular bet on at advertised or early prices.

Tote:

Any day-of-race list of prices that appears in our Racing Post advert or Pricewise box will be guaranteed for 15 minutes after opening time.

We guarantee prices on phones and the internet for 15 minutes after opening time.

Bet Direct:

All prices have at least a

15-minute guarantee in all our 59 shops.

There are no guaranteed time limits set in stone for our telephone/internet

customers. However, we aim to offer our prices to as many customers for as long as

possible.

For example, a Pricewise tip would prove to be popular

at 9am on a Saturday

morning. Instead of laying a few lumpy bets and cutting the price at 9.01, we like to limit the stake (depending on price) to, say, pounds 50 each-way per customer, so our clients can be accommodated. We aim to have the price available on the site for at least 10-15 minutes.

As a company policy, on making price changes we

always ease other prices, to at least maintain our agreed betting percentage on the race.

Coral:

Coral-advertised prices will be available in betting shops until at least 10.15am.

Victor Chandler:

We cannot give any firm guarantees as to how long we hold early prices. It can depend on various factors, like whether the horse is 4-1 or 33-1, and whether it's the Royal Hunt Cup or a

handicap chase at Market Rasen. We have no set figures or time scales to reach before we will shorten a horse, but we WILL endeavour to lay everyone a fair bet before changing. Sometimes the size of the bet may be restricted in order to keep the price available for everyone and for as long as possible.

Stanley:

For betting-shop customers we will guarantee the

advertised early price in all our shops until at least

10.15 am. The minimum bet stake guarantee is pounds 25 win or pounds 25 each-way per bet per customer.

Hills:

Due to the volatility of the market-place and the

apparent ease and speed with which a customer can now place a bet on the

telephone or internet, William Hill feel no need to impose a trading clause with regard to the availability of advertised early prices.

We endeavour to offer our regular customers as many early-price races as we feel is feasible.

Furthermore, we maintain the same trading policy

today as we have for the past two decades. William Hill has a trading reputation built on integrity and fair play and we hold our advertised prices to accommodate as many of our regular customers, with a reasonable bet, as long as is feasibly possible and for a guaranteed period of 15

minutes in our shops.

Our customers are aware of the way we trade and unless there are exceptional

circumstances - for example, revised market due to

significant non-runners or major change in the going - almost all of Hills early

prices are available far

beyond 15 minutes.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Mar 22, 2003
Words:831
Previous Article:Trading Bureau: Fast pace can set it up nicely for Marshman.
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