Web problems force Tabcorp's hand

Web betting problems force Tabcorp's hand

Betting group Tabcorp has publicly apologised to customers for Internet and call centre service disruptions as it tries to create a common wagering platform across its business.

Tabcorp said sorry through advertisements in some newspapers last week for customer difficulties in activating Internet accounts to place bets, and for delays when calling operator-assisted betting.

As part of changes to its betting engines and call centre operations, some customers had trouble reactivating their accounts (required from September 4).

"Site access was affected by a number of customers not re-activating their accounts correctly, as well as some performance issues which caused the Web site to be slow in some instances," a Tabcorp spokesperson said.

The number of customer issues was greatly reduced after the company put a banner advertisement on its site reminding customers how to reactivate their account, according to the spokesperson.

However, the problems led Tabcorp's helpdesk to be flooded with customer calls. "Customers were asking us about their accounts, and the new bet types".

The average call time was "significantly lengthened" as a result, the spokesperson said, with a large quantity of customers trying to get through.

Customers also experienced delays "on busy days" for operator-assisted telephone betting, the spokesperson added.

Tabcorp managing director Matthew Slatter was forced to apologise in the advertisements, saying:  "We have disappointed many of our loyal customers as we introduce big changes in our wagering products and services.

"... while many of our services and retail outlets are operating very well, we have experienced problems in our call centre and on the Internet. This has made it difficult for customers to get through to our people to activate their account of place a bet," said Slatter in the advertisement.

"We'd like to say sorry to you, our customers, for the inconvenience that we have cause you.

In May, the company received state government approval to integrate its New South Wales and Victorian TABs, which will eventually lead to a common betting pool across the states and higher dividends.

As part of the move, by March, Tabcorp has to replace and consolidate its NSW TAB betting engines at two Sydney sites into one wagering platform. It also has to integrate call centre operations to a single Sydney site.