UKGC Reviews Complaints Policies

UKGC Reviews Complaints Policies and comes up with numerous tips as a reminder to online casinos to better handle customer complaints (Image from geralt at Pixabay.com)

The UKGC, a regulatory body that is always updating policies and practices published a new set of tips on its website a few days ago focusing on how online casinos should handle customer complaints. This advice was published as a reminder to online operators of current rules while also providing tips on how to better handle customer complaints.

This comes after the iGaming industry’s most respected regulatory body had conducted a review of the complaints policies of 34 operators. From those reviews, the UKGC identified a number of areas that needed improvement. The commission wanted to see if the policies were easily accessible and easy for the customer to follow.

That review followed findings from a UKGC publication that revealed 8% of gamblers had never bothered to make a complaint while a further 4% said they wanted to but never did it. The UKGC wanted to establish the reasons for this and upon research, discovered that customers who had not complained may not have due to a tedious complaints process or platforms being hard to contact.

The UKGC revealed that while almost all of the complaints policies it had reviewed had met basic requirements, the Commission found a variety of areas where the operators could make improvements.

Ian Angus, the UKGC’s Director of Policy said:

Having good complaints handling is vitally important in the gambling industry. We want customers to have easy and straightforward complaints processes to follow which do not have any barriers in the way.

Tips offered by the UKGC Regarding Complaints Handling

The following are some of the tips offered by the UKGC regarding player complaints policies:

  • Place a link on casino homepage that takes customers directly to the complaints procedure

As part of the reviews, the UKGC found it hard to locate the complaints procedures on a small number of platforms.

  • Make sure the procedure is written in clear English and without any technical or legal jargon

The UKGC found that using complicated jargon can intimidate customers or confuse them. This can lead to the customer not bothering with a complaint.

  • Ensure the process is short and clear

The Commission believes that a three stage complaints procedure is ideal. If an initial complaint is not easy to resolve, the customer support agent can escalate it to a senior team. If a resolution is still not met, the customer can escalate the complaint to an ADR provider.

  • Make it clear what information you will need from customers to investigate their complaints

Explaining this from the beginning can make the complaint procedure move quickly along. It will prevent delay and help to avoid more frustration for the customer making the complaint.

  • Inform the customer of the 8-week time limit your platform has for resolving a complaint or making a final response

Although many platforms aim to resolve complaints well within 8-weeks, the customer needs to know the official timeframe allowed as per the UKGC regulations.

  • When you have come to a final decision – describe that clearly to the customer

The customer needs to know when a platform has made its final decision and that there is a deadlock. If the customer knows the platform will take the matter no further, they can then move on to an ADR provider.

  • Include links and make sure that they work as intended

From the reviews, the UKGC noticed a couple of examples where platforms told people how to make complaints but did not provide links to where they could make them.

  • Ensure that there is an online (virtual) paper trail for all complaints received

The UKGC also discovered some examples where online casinos had not kept chat records of conversations between the customer and the customer support agents.

If you have ever had to make a complaint at a casino, you will know that sometimes you’re made to jump through hoops, chase the casino for a resolution, and sometimes wait a long time for a resolution. It is for those reasons that many people do not bother. The UKGC taking steps to remind online casinos of how to improve customer complaints is a good step.

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