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7th November 2013
Good afternoon, friends,
In this issue of Punters’ Verdict….
Here at the Verdict we see it as our role to police the betting industry beat – speaking up for punter interests and ensuring that the sports-betting enthusiast gets a fair shake. And we hope we do a half-decent job.
Unfortunately, there are limits to what we can achieve. We can expose the bad behavior of bookmakers and we can encourage them to behave better – but we cannot hold a gun to their heads (much as we would like to) and make them change their ways.
And it’s the same with the worst of the tipping services that prey on the sporting punter by masquerading as experts, charging high fees for that so-called expertise and then consistently failing to deliver.
We can draw attention to these operators. We can publish their poor results. We can warn that their fees are not worth paying. We can advise you not to get involved with these rogues. But we can’t make them go away.
To some extent getting the message out there is the limit to what we can achieve. We cannot ensure that the message is heard. We have no control over whether or not the message is heeded. We cannot know how far or how wide the message travels….
Sometimes the message doesn’t travel far enough – and punters continue to suffer the consequences of using services that don’t deserve their patronage. And when that happens all we can do is reiterate our original warnings.
When a punter hands over money and joins a tipping service it is usually because he has been led to believe that doing so will enable him to use the service’s selections to bash the bookie.
Tipsters use many tools of persuasion to influence this decision – we don’t need to go into those methods of fabrication, hyperbole and deceit here. But all too often the outcome experienced by the punter is the exact opposite to the one he desired. Instead of the bookie taking the hits it is the punter who gets the bashing.
Take the Martin Bishop Racing service, for instance. We highlighted Mr. Bishop’s service back in August.
This outfit claims to be ‘the best performing service for UK Horse Racing bar none…. No other service has got close to consistently matching our results. We are the service that others aspire to based on a record of proven and consistent success….’
And Mr. Bishop charges subscription fees that suggest he believes this claim to be true. The usual price for a month-long membership of his Platinum service weighs in at an eye-watering £199.00. That’s not far shy of £2500.00 for the year.
If I were shelling out that kind of money then I’d expect success. But when we tested Martin Bishop’s racing selections we didn’t like what we saw. The results were disappointing. The winners – when they came – came at short prices. And we found there were far too many picks that corresponded with Spotlight picks in the Racing Post.
You can read exactly what we said – in its entirety – right here. Our comments are not particularly positive.
Bishop claims to have a vast network of contacts within the racing industry – a circle of informants built up over many years. My conclusion after trailing his selections was that he’d be better served ditching his informants, investing in a set of sharp darts and lowering his subscription fees to a level more in tune with the results he achieves.
But you have to admire Mr. Bishop. If nothing else he is clearly very resilient. He’s been around for a long time. On the Internet you can find an awful lot of negative comment about the selections he produces and the level of customer service he provides. But still he continues to operate. Still he continues to thrive. And still it is his clients who foot the bill.
How do we know these things? Do we have some kind of inside line on Bishop’s activities? Are we privy to the commercial ins and outs of his business? Do we have someone on the inside feeding us information?
No, of course we don’t. Everything we know about Mr. Bishop comes direct from the people who know best how he operates and what the consequences of getting involved with him amount to – his customers.
‘I have been using Martin Bishop’s phone service…. and I am very disappointed with the results. I have tried to ring his customer service number to ask why he does not have his results on his web site, but all I get is a message telling me to ring the premium rate number. I have also emailed him to express my dissatisfaction at his selections. Out of FIFTEEN selections in two days he has had TWO winners who were ODDS ON!! I left a message on his answer phone waiting for a reply but I have heard nothing from him. I was wondering if anybody else is feeling ripped off.’
‘A pity I didn't read your article about Martin Bishop before I took the plunge. I signed up for his Pay As You Win service about 6 weeks ago. So far he's given me 10 horses, 9 have been beaten out of sight, and I mean "out of sight"! He's given just the 1 winner at 2/1. Most of the nags have been low grade horses running on the AW. I've no idea where he comes up with them but in my 30 years of backing horses I have never been given such rubbish tips like these. Steer well clear.’
‘Just like to add to your trial on Martin Bishop Racing. I joined the Pay as You win service thinking it would be the best info as he would need to get paid. How wrong can you be!! His selections are quite frankly horses you could pick out yourself and never bigger priced than 3-1. Plus constant offers of free tips if you open an account with a bookmaker. It sounds too much like playing both sides of the fence!! I've had 9 selections & one winner at evens and that was selected by RP as their nap. I've started to use them as ones NOT to back. They say a fool & his money are easily parted. Thanks, from a fool.’
The Bishop service – whichever type of membership you happen to choose - doesn’t sound much like ‘the best performing service for UK Horse Racing bar none’ does it?
Of course, Martin ‘Basher’ Bishop is not the only tipster out there who consistently fails to deliver on the promises he makes in his promotional materials. There are countless other examples – all equally, if not more, exasperating.
But Bishop is a very good example of a tipster who has continued to operate and prosper over a long period of time despite an awful lot of negative comment on his performance.
You can’t blame Bishop. We might shake our heads at his audacity. We might weep at his performance. We might even grudgingly admire his ability to keep on sucking punters into his services at eye-watering prices.
But at the end of the day we punters only have ourselves to blame if we find ourselves paying tipsters like Bishop plenty of good money for information that fails to deliver – and costs more money still in the form of lost stakes.
The Internet makes it possible to research almost any tipster BEFORE we sign up with him. There are very few services around which have generated no comment at all – positive, negative or indifferent. And if you come across a service that hasn’t inspired a review than you are probably dealing with a newbie service – best left alone until the lie of the land becomes clear.
We cannot drum the likes of Bishop out of the market. He is free to ply his trade and peddle his wares however he sees fit. And who knows, from time to time he might even hit a winning streak. The law of averages is very much on his side.
I suspect Mr. Bishop will be around for some time to come – successfully ensnaring the unwary, the unwitting and the unlucky. And at £199.00 per month he isn’t going to do too badly out of it either.
All we can do as punters is seek to avail ourselves of the facts about other punters’ experiences – before we hand over good money and are forced to learn through bad experience of our own. It takes a bit of effort, for sure. But that effort can save an awful lot of money and heartache.
I’ll be back with the Verdict next week.