Customers are at the heart of what we do. We strive to deliver a high standard of customer service and to be fair and open in our dealings with customers. We operate dedicated customer services for each of our channels: Retail, Telephone and Online. We regularly measure the quality of our service performance through a mystery shopping programme. In 2011, we introduced the most recognisable customer loyalty metric – Net Promoter Score (NPS) – as part of the mystery shopping programme in order to benchmark ourselves against our peers and other industries. We also constantly monitor and improve our service programme to meet customers’ needs. During the first half of 2011, we developed and launched a more proactive and business-driven initiative – Service Evolution. Employees are encouraged to know their customers and their needs better in order to promote relevant products and new offers.
We endeavour to resolve all disputes in a fair, consistent and equitable manner. We also agree to abide by any ruling on disputes made by Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS).
We work closely with the Gambling Commission in the UK in furthering its three objectives as defined by the 2005 Gambling Act. We encourage a socially responsible attitude both within our organisation and within the wider betting and gaming industry. We work closely with the Gambling Commission in the UK and regulators in Gibraltar and Malta to ensure that we continue to adhere to the highest industry standards in responsible gambling. We are also committed to listening to the views of relevant stakeholder groups and an active dialogue with GamCare.
Helping problem gamblers
As a responsible organisation, we provide a range of services to support existing customers for whom gambling has become a problem rather than a pleasure.
Some customers take advantage of our self-exclusion facility, which is designed to prevent them transacting with specific parts of the business. Online customers choose an exclusion period of at least six months and up to five years. During 2011, we carried out a thorough review of the effectiveness of self-exclusion in Retail. Since April last year, all new Retail exclusions have run for a initial 12-month period, which can be extended annually either by telephone or in shop. Customers who wish to resume business with us at the end of their self-exclusion period with Retail or Online are still required to complete a further 24-hour ‘cooling off’ period before they are permitted to use our gambling facilities again.
We can only accept customers over the age of 18 in our shops, at the racetrack, on our websites and via the telephone. To help enforce this age restriction, we have adopted a ‘Think 21’ approach in our shops and at the racetrack, which requires our staff to seek proof of age from any customer who appears to them to be under 21. For Online and Telephone customers, we use an external agency to verify the ages of customer who open new accounts using deposit methods that may be available to under 18s. We take particular care not to target advertising at people under the age of 18. All our advertising in the UK is carefully considered in light of the Gambling Commission’s licensing objectives. In addition, we adhere to an industry code of practice designed to promote socially responsible advertising and the ‘Gamble Aware’ information website.
Preventing crime and disorder
As well as having extensive reporting obligations to both the Gambling Commission and the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority, our own risk management systems are designed to identify unusual betting activity. We have internal controls and specialist staff, including a Money Laundering Reporting Officer, to deal with disclosures to the relevant authorities and to service requests for assistance from law enforcement and regulators. Online gaming products fall within the requirement of the 3rd EU Money Laundering Directive, and we have systems and procedures in place to ensure compliance with those requirements.
With well-established Telephone and Online business, we handle substantial amounts of personal customer data and have put in place comprehensive security policies, procedures and standards to reduce the risk that information could be lost or stolen. These cover the handling of both electronic and paper-based customer information and we carry out security awareness training with employees. We achieved compliance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards across the Group in 2011. You can read more about the PCI Security Standards Council at www.pcisecuritystandards.org
Service Evolution was designed to improve customer service skills and customer retention. Employees are encouraged to spend more time with customers in the main shop floor area and promote new products and offers. The initiative was launched in early 2011 as an enhancement of the existing customer service programme, Competition Beating Service (CBS) which was introduced in 2007 and has provided an important framework for our market-leading customer service for the past four years. All 5,500 existing shop managers and deputy managers attended the Service Evolution training course during 2011.
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