Grand Prive affiliates Independent resolution commissioned in payment dispute
12/7/09 – If you're one of the former Grand Prive affiliates and have what you feel is a legitimate and verifiable case for a financial settlement by the company's now closed Affiliate Program, now's the time to listen up.
This week the company started rather belatedly addressing a dispute that has created some acrimonious allegations on the Internet in recent months, issuing a press release on its intentions going forward.
The release refers to what the company characterises as ‘often inaccurate information exchanges on the Internet' regarding the closure of its affiliate program, and as a ‘responsible and respectable business' makes disclosures of fact.
"Management has reached the conclusion that there is a need to present its point of view, and more importantly to address any perceived shortcomings regarding payments to affiliates genuinely impacted by the Grand Prive Affiliates closure," the statement explains.
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The disclosures include:
* For purely commercial reasons, a decision to close Grand Prive Affiliates was taken, and a communication exercise aimed at affiliates commenced.
* This was followed by payment to all active affiliates of all amounts owed.
* The termination was, in Management's opinion, conducted according to the terms of Grand Privé’s contract with affiliates, and in addition to these Grand Privé also entered into mutually agreeable compensation settlements with all affiliates who at that time had players considered to be reasonably active.
* Following these initiatives, Management is not aware of one single affiliate claim for compensation being submitted directly to Grand Privé, despite a rising noise level on the Internet.
The comment regarding a paucity of complaints is especially surprising in view of the considerable and often heated discussion among affiliates that the issue generated, and the opprobrium heaped upon Grand Prive as a consequence.
However, the company concedes in its statement that ‘certain smaller and relatively inactive affiliate accounts may feel prejudiced by the closure' and acknowledges that this needs to be addressed with both an apology and a fair and reasonable financial settlement, all of which leads into its plan of action to deal with the situation.
That plan consists of commissioning the player protection and standards non-profit, eCOGRA, to deploy its audit-qualified professional staff to:
* Investigate the circumstances surrounding the Grand Prive Affiliates closure both within and without the company and issue a public report.
* Facilitate the submission of claims by any affiliate that considers an amount to be owing by the Grand Prive Affiliate program as a result of player wagering activity and
* Perform a full and professional review of the Program software and data to confirm amounts owing to claimants as at 21 December 2009.
The statement pledges that "Grand Prive will cooperate whole-heartedly with this process, and has asked eCOGRA to involve all leading affiliate watchdog organisations in informing affiliates of their opportunity to submit legitimate claims.
"We have accepted on eCOGRA's insistence that we will be bound by its findings and recommendations arising from the investigation, remaining at arms length from the enquiry unless asked for pertinent information," the statement avers, ending with an assurance that the company's primary concern is to address any genuine wrongs in a fair and forthright manner.
In summary, then, the door to payment of legitimate and verifiable affiliate claims is open and accessible through eCOGRA, which we understand will soon be issuing a statement of its own detailing its involvement and how claims can be lodged.