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  • stv1313

    I apologize in advance for this lengthy post. My goal is to provide a warning for anyone who plays on Fanpicks. Here is my story:

    I started playing on Fanpicks on February 18, 2016. When I first registered as a new user, I was given $25 worth of vouchers that could be used for play. If I won tournaments while playing with the voucher dollars, my winnings weren’t converted dollar-for-dollar into “real” cash but, instead, a fraction became “real” cash and the remaining winnings were converted into additional vouchers. The terms surrounding the conversion of voucher dollars into “real” dollars is clearly detailed in Fanpicks “Terms of Use.” It was a free $25 worth of vouchers, so I thought I’d give the site a shot.

    As the year progressed, I found a fair share of success on FanPicks. Since only a fraction (10%) of voucher winnings are converted into “real” cash, it took quite a while to build a real bankroll of any substantive value. To be honest, the site’s interface was weak, customer service was poor, but since I was playing with a free $25, I didn’t have much to complain about.

    Eventually, I initiated my first $500 withdrawal in November 2016. It took a while to go thru the system but – again – since I never deposited a penny on the site, it was hard to complain about any delays. The money was eventually deposited directly into my checking account. In December, I initiated another withdrawal for $600 and received the money. So, there were no real issues or complaints from me. When the year ended, I received a 1099 from Fanpicks confirming my profits.

    During the first four months of 2017, I found more success. However, at the same time, I found that my withdrawal requests were taking longer and longer to process. Eventually, I learned that other users were having the same problem. I also learned that the site was growing frustrated at the limited number of good players that were withdrawing profits without ever having to make corresponding deposits. Admittedly, I fell right into that category.

    Side note: I’ve been playing DFS for quite some time and have seen a lot of sites fall by the wayside during that time, and slow withdrawals are one of the first (and most obvious) signs that a site is in trouble. It’s also a sign that the site probably isn’t segregating player funds.

    Two days ago, after I asked for an update regarding a modest $200 withdrawal I had initiated weeks earlier, I received an email from Fanpicks that politely informed me that I had violated the “Terms of Use” and that all current funds in my account (about $600) had been taken away. Sure enough, when I logged into the site, I saw that my account balance was now $0. Yikes! What had I done wrong?

    Well . . . the site offers a convenient link to the “Terms of Use” that I read thru last night. Like most sites, it is a lengthy document that was obviously created by a legal firm. The “Terms of Use” essentially offers 15 different sections (from “Eligibility” to “Game Rules” to “Dispute Resolution and Class Action Waiver”) that are all very legal-esque (if that’s a word). However, at the very bottom of this lengthy document is an asterisk with one final comment that reads: “*Non-depositing players may redeem a maximum of $300.00 in withdrawals. Any excess funds above the maximum allowed cash-out will be removed from the player account.”

    In the real world, I am an office professional and I’ve seen plenty of legal documents flow thru my desk. Candidly, as I review Fanpicks’ “Terms of Use”, it looks like this final item concerning the $300 was thrown on the end of the document by a non-legal professional. If I were to guess, Fanpicks contracted a firm to prepare the “Terms of Use” and, after the fact, the site determined that they weren’t comfortable having players succeed on the site without ever making a deposit, so the site threw this asterisk at the end, without legal consultation. In fact, I’m confident that any reputable lawyer would have deemed this final note worthy of more than a simple asterisk, as this statement voids a fair share of information contained in preceding parts of the document.

    So . . . as a result of this asterisk at the end of the “Terms of Use”, Fanpicks reserves the right to clear out my account. However, this asterisk should actually read “Non-depositing players may redeem a maximum of $300.00 in withdrawals. Any excess funds above the maximum allowed cash-out may be removed from the player account WHENEVER THE SITE FEELS LIKE ENFORCING THE RULE.”

    It’s important to remember that my first withdrawal ($500) last November exceeded the $300 threshhold. My second withdrawal ($600) last December put me way over the $300 limit and subsequent withdrawals during the first few months of 2017 continued. Yet, the site did not mention any “Terms of Use” violations until two days ago. Why is that?

    I believe that Fanpicks is barely treading water right now. In fact, I am aware of another user who has been having significant issues withdrawing funds lately. In fact, miraculously, on the very day that my funds were taken, his latest withdrawal request was honored. Is it possible that my funds were used to help fund his withdrawal request? Probably. Is this site so strapped for cash that they are looking thru individual accounts to determine if there are any “Terms of Use” violations that may help fund current withdrawal requests? Apparently.

    After all is said and done, I recognize that I violated the “Terms of Use” by never making a deposit – despite the fact that this asterisk at the end of the document is sketchy, to say the least. So be it. The $600 isn’t going to kill me and I’ve made plenty of withdrawals over the past year from Fanpicks. From that perspective, the site has been good to me. Of course, I’d probably owe them my firstborn son if such an asterick were strategically inserted at the end of the “Terms of Use.”

    As much as anything, the purpose of this lengthy post (thanks for reading if you made it this far!) is to alert the DFS community about this site. At this point, I believe that Fanpicks is operating on a bare bones budget, is not segregating funds, and could go under at any moment. If I still had any money on this site, I would try to withdraw it immediately. If I were contemplating playing on this site, I would avoid it. If you do elect to play on the site, please make a modest deposit – even if you’re playing with bonus money. Otherwise, you may find yourself playing with Monopoly money.

    So, if you’ve been playing against me on Fanpicks the past 15 months, you may notice that stv1313 has disappeared. Apparently, you won’t be seeing me on the site any longer. I am a “Terms of Use” violator!

  • stv1313

    Let’s pretend that this site somehow survives thru the start of NCAAF. Two weeks into the college football season, Fanpicks becomes frustrated at the number of accounts that are playing simple $1 leagues and, as it follows, rake revenue isn’t as substantial as they hoped.

    As a result, Fanpicks adds another “shady” asterisk to the bottom of the Terms and Conditions that explains that any user that doesn’t play in a real money contest for at least $25 during the first two weeks of the NCAAF season automatically forfeits the entire balance in their account. Then, Fanpicks starts cleaning out the affected player accounts – without any communication and without offering an opportunity for users to comply with this new term.

    In Scott’s fantasy world, Fanpicks could easily argue that this was an appropriate course of action. After all, it wouldn’t be “a sound business decision” for Fanpicks to maintain and track these low-revenue accounts while having to deal with the substantial costs of maintaining the site. As I’ve learned, Fanpicks has the ability to add anything to the Terms and Conditions that they wish and quietly enforce them.

    For other players who consider playing on this site and can’t relate to my exact situation, this is a quick example of how this site can screw you. There are countless other ways that Fanpicks can take your money by simply modifying the Terms and Conditions without notice.

    Don’t trust them and play at your own risk!!

  • Stewburtx8

    • 2012 FanDuel WFBC Finalist

    @ScottatFanpicks said...

    Hello Stv1313,

    This is Scott from Fanpicks. I wish you would have contacted us directly with these disputes rather than voice these misconceptions. As many on this board can attest to, I have always dealt with these types of issues fairly and directly— even providing my personal phone number and email address to loyal users. Many of your confusions could have been cleared up with a simple customer support inquiry.

    As we state in our rules and regulations, this is a living document and we reserve the right to modify our terms at any time. In trying to innovate in such a new industry, there are many issues we encounter that are unknown at the time of initial drafting and need new terms to apply. You must realize it is not a sound business decision to be paying out such large sums of money to users who have never made a deposit. This speaks nothing to the financial stability of Fanpicks, but rather to sound business practices that will insure Fanpicks will not fall into the pitfalls of other closed Fantasy sites.

    By your own admission, we believe you would be very satisfied being a user who took advantage of our mistakes and cashed out over $1000 off of free money given to you by the site, before we realized our mistake. There were many other users in the same situation as yourself who we honored withdrawals for and continue to honor withdrawals up to our $300 limit— which we feel is a phenomenal deal to receive $300 of free money for no deposit whatsoever. Further, I applaud you for your ability to turn your voucher cash into those funds, that is no easy feat.

    I would also like to address the idea of sharks taking advantage of recreational users on the site. We assure you, Fanpicks wants to be the DFS location of the recreational user and we have incorporated various features to make that the case. We limit entries on contests, insure the one account per household rule is honored, disallow all script use on our site to enter contests or make swaps.

    We assure you we have big developments in the works and do not plan on going anywhere. College football is our bread and butter and we are happy to offer NCAAF again this year, it is 100% legal and a customer favorite at Fanpicks.

    Thanks to all those who have supported us on these forums as a growing DFS site and I hope you continue to grow with us. If there’s any questions I haven’t cleared up I would be happy to do so here or through our live customer support at Fanpicks.

    This response is comical. If you could not afford to pay out all the $25 vouchers you gave out, you should not have given them out in the first place. That is the upfront cost of doing business to get people to play on your site (which was a terrible strategy but that is besides the point). Once they started playing on your site (whether via deposit or free voucher), they were playing for “real” money. You cannot just limit how much they can withdrawal when they were playing in contests with people who actually deposited real dollars. Contests that you raked. Basically you are stealing real dollars that they won in contests against people who deposited in an effort to recoup all the $25 vouchers you gave out and cannot afford. Brilliant.

    EDIT TO ADD: I know some others have commented on College Football. I know there are some states that have laws in place regulating fantasy sports and say amateur sports are not allowed. If this site is offering paid contests to anyone in those states, that would not be legal. Otherwise, there is nothing illegal about offering college DFS. Unfortunately the bigger sites decided to make a deal with the NCAA to gain political capital. They basically gave up on low revenue offerings to push forward on regulation in many states so they could continue to offer their higher revenue sports. They did this to get the NCAA off their back and to stop the NCAA from arguing against them when it came to state regulations.

  • stv1313

    As I originally mentioned in my first post, I’d be shocked to hear that a reputable lawyer signed off on this addition of this asterisk to the Terms and Conditions:

    *Non-depositing players may redeem a maximum of $300.00 in withdrawals. Any excess funds above the maximum allowed cash-out will be removed from the player account.

    It’s important to remember that the addition of this asterisk to the Terms and Conditions doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s legally enforceable. Unfortunately, I can’t sue Fanpicks for the $600 that they stole from me. Legal costs would far exceed my losses.

    So, in the interim, since it’s apparent that Fanpicks is sticking to their guns and keeping my money, I am going to do everything in my power to make things difficult for this unscrupulous company. If this company is offering NCAAF to players in restricted states, in particular, it won’t go unnoticed.

    At the same time, I want every DFS player to know what they are getting into when they play on Fanpicks. Over the years, I’ve seen plenty of sites go under – many without warning. When this site goes under and attempts to abscond with player deposits, I don’t want anyone to be surprised. The fact that they can’t even afford the funding of a $25 deposit bonus should be a HUGE red flag!!

    P.S. I am heading to Vegas next weekend to play some poker. In particular, I plan on playing in the $550 Wynn event on June 10th. If Fanpicks wants to initiate a wire to the Wynn to cover my entry fee, I’ll stop piling on. :-)

  • billsfan777

    • 48

      RG Overall Ranking

    • Ranked #39

      RG Tiered Ranking

    • 2015 DraftKings FHWC Finalist

    • Blogger of the Month

    Wow this is an absolute scam. Terrible response Scott. I look forward to your site going under. Sorry for the 600$ stv. 600$ is 600$ and it would piss me off to hear they stole 10$ from you. It’s amazing that more isn’t done to stop these criminals and the ones over at fantasy aces.

  • jokerswild22

    I’ll be looking for the 500% deposit bonus a week before NFL.

  • depalma13

    Runaway, the Ponzi is crashing.

  • ScottatFanpicks

    Hello Rotogrinder’s community,

    Clearly we have missed the mark here as far as customer satisfaction. We put great value into the user experience at Fanpicks and pride ourselves on having the best customer service in the industry. That’s where we even the score with the titans of the industry. Therefore, we want to make this right with all of you.

    We have decided internally to put your recommendations into action and return all those removed funds to users in the form of bonus funds. While those funds won’t be eligible for withdrawal right away, they will be able to be used as a substitute to real cash at our current drip rate (which may vary per contest).

    While our voucher system has it’s weaknesses as far as limitations to withdrawals, as you have faced here, we will be continuing to offer those promotions. Voucher’s allow us to let new users try out the site absolutely free and experience our continuously innovating platform. No other DFS site in the industry lets you to play for free and win money while never making a deposit. We want new users to try out our site without any risk on their part, even if it costs us a bit on our bottom line. The user experience comes first now and always.

    Additionally, we would like to reiterate that Daily Fantasy college sports are viewed identically to professional sports in the eyes of the law and are therefore 100% legal now and moving forward. Fanpick’s will remain your college football hub this Fall.

    We appreciate all those of you who have remained loyal and grown with us as a site. Our system is improving every day and for other’s who have experienced technical issues in the past, we assure you those have been ironed out. Hopefully we can retain your loyalty through this and in listening to your issues we have made things right. So if you have been affected by this please contact us so we can rectify.

    As always, we are open to suggestions and requests for how we can serve you better and continue to grow,
    Thanks,
    Fanpicks Team

  • dtrain187

    Scott, while I appreciate you trying to alleviate the situation, I don’t think this will make anyone happy (such as STV or myself). The bonus money appears to drip at 1% (not sure why you said it varies per contest, as it just appears to be always 1%). Most of your competitors drip the bonus funds at 4-5%. I personally have $190 in bonus money, that means I have to play $19,000 in entry fee’s (of contests that actually run) to get this money back…which would literally take decades on this site with the small amount of guaranteed contests. You also haven’t addressed my issue in that you turned real money that I won from others into “Bonus” money when I made a cash deposit. I’m not talking about the cash bonus from making a deposit directly, I’m talking about the money that I won initially when I started that was real money I won from other players. Until that is turned into real money (because it was) I will not be returning to play on this site.

    In STV’s case I’m assuming you are adding his $600 to his bonus funds. That means he would have to play $60,000 in entry fees to get that back…think about that for a moment. Do you really think that would be satisfactory for anyone?

  • FantasyDraft_Rep

    • FantasyDraft Representative

    Take a look at FanPicks and compare it to our site, notice any similarities?

    I guess it’s as they say- imitation, or in this case directly copying our consumer facing code, is the sincerest form of flattery.

    Good Luck,
    Steve

  • depalma13

    @ScottatFanpicks said...

    No other DFS site in the industry lets you to play for free and win money while never making a deposit.

    If you can’t cash out after winning money, you didn’t win anything.

  • timusbr

    wow cat fight between providers….hmmm where is the popcorn

  • ATL_Gunner

    So – theoretically if I come to the site… play in these vouchers, have some success and get up to say… $1,000. If I deposit $10 am I cool to withdraw the $1k?

    Why not just let the man do that and be done with this whole thing? Only allowing withdrawals of up to $300 is one thing, and I would disagree but understand. Confiscating his winnings seems shady and petty – at best. At worst it seems like you can’t afford to pay out all the money you currently have in accounts and have come up with some rules that let you go after a little low hanging fruit.

  • dcolton76

    “We have decided internally to put your recommendations into action and return all those removed funds to users in the form of bonus funds. While those funds won’t be eligible for withdrawal right away, they will be able to be used as a substitute to real cash at our current drip rate (which may vary per contest).”

    To Scott. So you give out a voucher to play for free. In REAL contests. Against players who deposited money. And these guys won money in those contests. You then took that money from them for violating a TOS footnote that was not present when they signed up. And you are now “returning” those funds as a bonus that drips at 1%. I’m sorry, but that is theft. Pure and simple. I’ve never heard of this site before today, but just read through this thread. This is the most unethical thing I’ve ever heard of in daily fantasy, and that’s saying something. I’ll be sure to spread the word to avoid this site at all costs, and I hope you fail miserably.

  • ScottatFanpicks

    Voucher funds can not and never have been able to be used to enter actual cash contests. The are used in Voucher only contests meaning voucher funds in voucher funds out at a 90/10 ratio. Before we start talking ethics I suggest you understand what exactly you’re talking about. This will be my last post on this thread as it has obviously become a pile on situation with where 90% of posters have no reference point on what the actual problem is. So if you have been affected by this issue I suggest you contact our customer service department and hopefully we can address this in and acceptable manner for all.

  • MrFantasy

    @ScottatFanpicks said...

    Voucher funds can not and never have been able to be used to enter actual cash contests.

    When I signed up on this site probably one week after they opened all voucher funds were able to be used in actual cash contests. So to say they have never been able to be used in cash contests is a lie.

  • joephoto

    After reading all this I have a question.

    If their excuse for stealing your winnings was because you were a non-depositing player-
    why didn’t you then make a $10 deposit ?
    Stop being a “non-depositing player”.
    Thats the first thing I would have done.

    Did you try that ?

  • stv1313

    After I was informed that I was in violation of these updated Terms and Conditions and after they had cleaned out my account (it’s important to remember that I received no prior warnings that this was going to happen), I sent an email asking if I could make an immediate deposit to rectify the situation. Here is the email response I received:

    Hello Steve,

    The Terms are disclosed on the Fanpicks website. Regretfully, we cannot override the rules and must follow the defined rules and regulations.

    Thank you,
    Cashier

    This – my friends – is the type of awesome customer service that you receive from Fanpicks after they steal $600.

  • joephoto

    @stv1313 said...

    This – my friends – is the type of awesome customer service that you receive from Fanpicks after they steal $600.

    Good luck to them.

    Did they really offer to give you back your money in a “drip” ?

    They are doomed. They must not realize that this is a DFS “Community”.

  • dcolton76

    @ScottatFanpicks said...

    Voucher funds can not and never have been able to be used to enter actual cash contests. The are used in Voucher only contests meaning voucher funds in voucher funds out at a 90/10 ratio. Before we start talking ethics I suggest you understand what exactly you’re talking about. This will be my last post on this thread as it has obviously become a pile on situation with where 90% of posters have no reference point on what the actual problem is. So if you have been affected by this issue I suggest you contact our customer service department and hopefully we can address this in and acceptable manner for all.

    OK. So. The stv1313’s 10% winnings from voucher only contests were converted to cash, and he continued winning in both voucher only contests and real cash as the 10% added up. He never deposited, but withdrew $1100 of real cash. So he won real money which your site took by adding a footnote loophole to the TOS agreement. Sorry you don’t like being called out, but that’s what you did. You stole his money.

  • moped_jones

    Well, this thread certainly sped up FanPick’s demise. Sounded like it wouldn’t have been around in a few years anyway, now I’d be shocked if they made it 1.

  • joephoto

    Yes, you did well and you were lucky.
    But you also spent many hours daily making your best possible lineups.
    When they took your money, did they offer to give you back your time ?

  • Jvanspro

    Guess who will never sign up on Fanpicks??? This guy!!

  • winsome

    Pretty sure Cashier Scott is the only person that works at ScamPicks and the dude is clearly devoid of any customer service and/or conflict resolution skills.

    They’ve been canceling guaranteed contests half way through the slate, do zero player pricing adjustments, blatantly/admittedly steal customers money and have at most 10 regular customers. Pretty sure they don’t use a live scoring service either as it’s probably just Scott watching box scores and updating the site scoring on the fly.

    Pretty sure the FTC would shut em down right quick if they knew they’re offering something “free” and then once they get the sign ups yanking the offer. How this tool thinks it’s not a crime to use TOS subterfuge to steal funds deposited by the losing players is beyond me.

    You gave STV voucher funds, he won contests against players who deposited real money and then you claim because he didn’t deposit he doesn’t get the money and instead line your pockets with those funds? An update to your TOS doesn’t mean that’s not outright theft.

  • Gambler

    This is why I stay away from these micky mouse operations. Thanks for taking the time to let us know.

  • dtrain187

    @ATL_Gunner said...

    So – theoretically if I come to the site… play in these vouchers, have some success and get up to say… $1,000. If I deposit $10 am I cool to withdraw the $1k?

    Why not just let the man do that and be done with this whole thing? Only allowing withdrawals of up to $300 is one thing, and I would disagree but understand. Confiscating his winnings seems shady and petty – at best. At worst it seems like you can’t afford to pay out all the money you currently have in accounts and have come up with some rules that let you go after a little low hanging fruit.

    Nope, that’s basically what happened to me and when I made a deposit, they converted all of my winnings into “bonus” cash that drips at 1%.

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