Oh my goodness, well, following on from yesterdays mention of Fives ‘Free Bingo Show’, I took the opportunity to try the game out. I signed up for the game at the site and claimed tickets for today’s game. Low and behold I was pleasantly surprised to find I’d won a fiver on today’s show. Now, there are two options – get sent a cheque (hardly worth it for £5) or double up to £10 at the Five Bingo site run by PartyBingo.
In my last post I had some quite stern words for the operator, and today’s mess around has done little to change my view. Taking the option to double my money, I get taken on what I would describe as a user journey nightmare. First up I’m forwarded straight to the Five Bingo lobby. Now I know a bit about online bingo, given the years I’ve spent reviewing it and playing it, so I figure I should be able to figure this out. If I was a newbie who thought they’d give it a go after seeing Five’s adverts for the show, then I would scream.
But no – I have to say I’m lost. Obviously, I need to sign up for a gaming account – which I do. I set up my cashier account which tells me I have £0 in it. Now, having signed up at the Free Bingo Show already, I would expect some sort of follow on between the two. Do I use the same username? Do I get given a hand with the details I’ve already given? I don’t know is the simple answer – there’s a disconnect between the two.
What’s more the disconnect seems to be bigger than that. I talk to a chat host who’s best advice to visit the how it works page or contact customer services (by which time, too much of my afternoon has been wasted). Checking the how it works page, I see this:
“If you are not already signed up for Five Bingo, Five?s play for real bingo service powered by PartyGaming, you can double your Free Bingo winnings by signing up for this service. If you chose this option, you will be redirected to Five Bingo (www.fivebingo.tv) to set up an account. We will then credit your Free Bingo winnings into your new Five Bingo account within 5 days of you opening the account and will match it with a 100% bonus (up to the value of £100). So if you win £10 on Free Bingo and are not already signed up for Five Bingo, if you sign up we?ll credit your Five Bingo account with your £10 winnings from Free Bingo, plus an additional £10 bonus.”
Ok, so I have to wait up to 5 days to receive the bonus, but I have a bingo account that I can play in now, straight away that I’ve signed up. Hmmm. Ok, so what happens if I make a cash deposit? Will I be allowed to still get my match on the £5 or will I lose it? I put a tenner in anyway, I’ve had a PaySafeCard lying around in my office from the last bingo summit, so I use that. I’ll be waiting to see if the double comes in – it had better have given I followed the poorly thought through instructions I already have.
Party are failing here with the way this is all set up, players will fall away in droves and write off the odd £5 they win on the show if the transfer to real money is so confusing. It really is a shambolic state of affairs. Given Party’s take over of Cashcade, I hope some of this rubs back on Party, and they learn how bingo players like to be treated. If it goes the other way, I really do fear for the future of for what my money is one of the best UK online bingo networks.