Forum backlash over Party Poker withdrawal fees
At the beginning of August a thread appeared on the 2+2 poker forum alleging that Party Poker had abruptly changed its withdrawal policy and was levying a heavy fee on a number of popular withdrawal methods on Russian players. The charges later extended to players in other countries, all finding a similar $4 + 3% (uncapped) fee on Skrill/Moneybookers and Neteller withdrawals.
After a week or so the chatter died down (Party Poker never acknowledged or denied the new policy) and it seemed to be an isolated policy, perhaps only affecting players in certain locales. But the story resurfaced on the PokerFraudAlert.com forum yesterday which led me to investigate the matter and lo and behold, it can now be stated as a fact that Party Poker is indeed imposing this fee on Skrill/Moneybookers and Neteller withdrawals!
According to PokerFuse.com the merchant charge for Skrill withdrawals is below 2%, which means Party Poker is charging their customers a full 1% more. The site has yet to respond to this matter on any level, but will likely have to now that the matter has come to light.
There are other free options available depending on where a player resides, and checks are still available for a small $5 fee. That being said, many online players have grown accustomed to quick deposit and withdrawal options through e-wallets, allowing them to move money between online poker rooms and their banks seamlessly.
According to a number of posters on different poker forums the fees are being assessed on all skins on the network, including bwin and WPT.com.
Party never announced the policy change (which has many people who have deposited since it went into effect extremely annoyed and feeling duped by the site) but Party Poker’s withdrawal pages for each country do reflect the new fees that will be assessed. It’s unclear when the site was updated to reflect these changes.
The lack of an announcement by Party Poker, or any type of response since the issue came to light for that matter, is creating the most heated backlash on forums, as Todd “Dan Druff” Witteles stated on PoekrFraudAlert:
“Players should never be charged a withdrawal fee unless they are aware of it up front when they deposit, or if sufficient warning is given to where everyone can withdraw before that who doesn’t like it.”
The policy change couldn’t have come at a worse time for the site, which is in the process of moving towards the “Recreational Player Model” which has seen the site hemorrhage players in recent months after the elimination of high-stakes tables and the highest tier of their VIP Program, among other things.
In recent months Party Poker has dropped from the #2 online poker provider in the industry down to #5, according to www.pokerscout.com, and has also pushed a major software overhaul back, with some rumors claiming it will not be unveiled until 2014. Still Party Poker seems certain in its assertions that the site will flourish from these changes in the long-run.
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