Seriously, how could I refuse Neteller’s kind offer of some complimentary NETPoints? Well, probably because they’re the most worthless loyalty points ever, and I’d much rather just have them pay me the amount I got stiffed on my last withdrawal.
The sky appeared to be falling in yet again for online gamblers in America when Neteller announced last month that they were pulling out of that market. Last week, they revealed that they had $55m seized by the US Government and wouldn’t be paying out to any US players. In light of that, my beef does seem a little bit petty.
I decided that, even though in the UK we have the luxury Neteller being regulated by the FSA, that I’d be happier to see my money sitting in a proper bank than in Neteller right now. I cashed out $3000, paid Neteller’s $1 bank wire fee and then today got a text alert that a large deposit had been made to my bank. The amount: $2887.39. My last withdrawal was also for three grand and landed about $6 short (neither Neteller nor Citibank could explain where it had gone) and I decided it wasn’t really worth taking any further. But this time, $113 had gone walkabout.
It turns out Neteller don’t operate in US Dollars any more. Instead, they cashed me out an equivalent amount in Euro, leaving Citibank free to use whatever the hell exchange rate they felt like. Turns out it wasn’t a great rate – in fact, xe.net says the amount Netellersent works out at $3015, so it’s actually about $130 that Citibank are making on the deal – a handsome price, and the very reason I have a US Dollar bank account.
Some kind of warning that this is how they had to process a dollars withdrawal might have been nice. I’d definitely have found another way to withdraw if Euro was the only option, knowing that it was going to cost me to receive it into any account. My best option probably would have been to deposit into PokerStars and then ask for a cheque by mail. But if Neteller had offered to send the money in US Dollars using a reasonable exchange rate, that would work for me too.
As it stands, I’m $113 out of pocket and Neteller – so far – have basically told me tough cheese. I don’t think I should have to pay for this – after all, I asked for $3000, not EUR 2505. They recommended I lodge an official complaint, which I’ve done but don’t hold much hope for. You send that by email to email@example.com, for anybody who doesn’t want to have to wait forever on the phone to be told this. In my 45 minute phone call there was nearly five minutes of real actual talking, and almost none of that was useful.