After Black Friday, like a lot of poker players living in the United States, I stopped playing online poker. I had money on one or two sites and dabbled here and there, but for the most part, I quit because a) there was little traffic where I had money and b) I decided it wasn’t worth the risk to goof with the sites that did still accept U.S. customers. I only played low stakes poker for fun (and sometimes for “research”), anyway, so I learned to not miss it fairly quickly. A couple years later (or whenever), I had the itch to play again, so I logged in to the account where I knew I had money and…it was gone. Had I been hacked? Nope. Because my account was dormant for so long, the online poker room took my money. I couldn’t believe it, but the warning was in the terms and conditions. Many poker rooms have had inactivity fees of one kind or another and though its fees were not nearly as bad as some, partypoker was one of the most criticized, probably because it was also one of the most popular poker rooms. Fortunately, partypoker announced last week that it has put an end to these punitive inactivity fees.
In a blog post, partypoker said that it is “removing the fee altogether as part of its pledge to listen carefully to player feedback and respond positively to suggestions for improvements.”
The site’s poker ambassador Patrick Leonard expanded on that:
It can be very frustrating for players who have taken a break from the game to find that the inactivity fee has been charged. It has always been super easy to reactivate accounts and get the fee refunded but often people are just getting on with their lives and totally forget about it. I think removing this fee altogether will be widely welcomed in the poker community and it also shows that partypoker really is making good on its promise to take players’ opinions into account. There are some big changes happening in the near future including further improvements to our new lobby and table design. Online poker is starting to become the cool thing to do after work and at weekends again and right now there’s no better place than partypoker.
Players at partypoker were deemed “inactive” if they didn’t play for 180 days. On the 181st day, partypoker deducted a €5 inactivity fee from the account, provided there was at least €5 available. If there was less than €5, the account balance was just zeroed out. Accounts were considered re-activated if someone played a raked cash game hand, a real-money tournament, or made a deposit.
“Listening to players is central to everything we do at partypoker,” said partypoker Chairman Mike Sexton. “That means absorbing all comments and complaints, whether in forums, chat rooms or on social media platforms, in conversations with our customer service team or face-to-face at live events. Sometimes players wish to take a break from the game, for whatever reason, without having to worry about their account balances. Players should not be charged an inactivity fee and we are pleased to be removing this historical charge with immediate effect. We also want to reassure players that, of course, they will be welcomed back at any time.”