Tuesday, 1 December 2009

The Form Guru service

I received an e-mail today from Rob at the Inside Rail in response to a comment I made yesterday regarding an enquiry on here about The Form Guru service.

I'll put it up here exactly as it was sent to me. I haven't got much time tonight but I will be sending Rob a reply later in the week, and he is keen to receive feedback about the service, so either contact him direct or leave a comment here.


Hi JP,

I am Rob, I work for the Inside Rail and have in the last few days taken over the day to day running of the service. Ian has recently left us due to personal problems, and it has come to our attention that he has not exactly been keeping on top of correspondence. I know that Ian and Chris have read your blog in the past, but I have just had a look at it myself. I have to say I am very impressed with your profits and indeed your dedication to the blog and answering all of the many questions you get asked. If possible I would just like to address a few issues that have been posted about our service recently, and I am hoping you will post this email on your main page, rather than the comments section, so that people will see it, and may ask any questions they wish to.

Firstly, as I said it seems that Ian has not been on top of the correspondence in the last few months, and some people may not have got an answer when contacting him regarding the service or indeed cancellations. I can assure everyone that now I am in charge this will not be an issue, and I will answer all emails as soon as is humanly possible.

The query regarding profit and advised prices is one that crops up a lot, and I have to agree it has caused a few problems. I check all of the prices on Oddschecker seconds before the emails are sent out every day, and the quoted prices is the best available as quoted by the site at the time of sending. I can categorically say that these are NEVER exagerated, and absolutely are quoted on Oddschecker at the time of sending. As you know, our selections are generally very well backed, and I guess a lot of it would boil down to how many people open the emails before you and how much they are backed before each subscriber manages to get on. We do have a few big hitters, and if they get on early then obviously the price is likely to crash.

The whole ethos of our service is based on value and long-term profits, so I am sure you will agree we have to put up advised prices. It really would not be fair for us to be judged on SP, when it is generally our information that drives the price down in the first place. Saying that, anyone backing our selections in 2009, even to SP, would still be comfortably in profit, which in itself is an indication of just how good the information has been. I believe we have one of the best form readers in the game in Chris, he has an uncanny knack of spotting value, and the prices absolutely are available at the time of sending. I understand the point that they may only be available at certain bookmakers, and not everyone will have an account with them all, but I would recommend that people do open accounts with all of the firms, then they should be able to match, or at least get close to our advised prices. I know that some people only use Betfair as well, and in fact selections have often been a bigger price on the exchanges than the advised prices. Taking today as an example, MY SHAMWARI was generally available at 4/1 when we sent the emails out, and was heavily backed into an SP of 2/1. The 4/1 was available at SIX firms at the time of sending. Some people may not have picked up the email until later, and managed to only get 3/1 or shorter, would it be fair for us to not quote the 4/1 in our profits, when it was so widely available? Likewise, POWER SHARED was available at 8/1 with SEVEN firms at the time of sending. He opened 13/2, and was backed in to an SP of 5/1. I am not sure what the answer is, if you have any ideas I’d be happy to consider them.

I feel we offer a tremendous service and exceptional value at £35 per month, after a 30 day trial. What I want most is for the service to be viewed as honest, open and transparent. Hopefully I can take the service forward and achieve this.

I am very happy to answer any questions,. If anyone has any, please email me at info@theinsiderail.co.uk and I shall get back to you as soon as possible.

I have also take on board criticisms of the website, and how confusing it has been in the past to work out what each of our 2 services offer. I am not a web designer, but I have updated it so that is hopefully now less confusing. It is still far from perfect I realise, but hopefully I will be getting a new website built in the new year. Any feedback on this is welcomed also.

The Inside Rail


Anonymous said...

POWER SHARED may have been available at 8/1 with SEVEN firms at the time of sending but that was before a non runner for which ladbrokes deducted 15p. Will I see what price the inside rail credit? Unlikely as they don't have a results area on their website.
Getting the advised prices is impossible if it's with the likes of sportingbet or boyles etc as they just wont lay even a few quid after a while. In my opinion the advised price should be available with at least 4 of the bookies on oddschecker to make it likely that regular punters can get on. Having said all that, like JP I'm happy with the selections and am in profit.

Anonymous said...

I Don't follow tipsters any more but used to. Neither do I use Oddschecker as use Betfair entirely - however from past experience I don't think it's enough to just look at Oddschecker web-site. One should click the price and see if it's on the bet slip. Many was the time I saw 13/2 with 2 firms so i clicked on the firm with the 7/1 or better only to find a price changed notification.....

Anonymous said...

I had a dreadful experience with 'Ian' and their then payment provider Netbanx. Inside Rail billed me for a subscription at the expiry of my trial period, despite me having emailed to cancel it. They repeatedly ignored a host of emails (as did Netbanx). In the end I had to cancel my credit card to stop them billing me. I know at least three others who had the same experience.

I'm afraid it's once bitten, twice shy for me as far as both Inside Rail and Netbanx go. Hopefully they will now sort their act out but they have a LOT of work to do to repair their reputation in betting circles.

Tony (Grofast) said...

I first came across TFG through JP's blog (which I find excellent). Having followed the results for a while I decided to subscribe. One of the best decisions I have made with regard to tipping services.

I managed to get both the prices yesterday. I know there was a R4 but the deduction was based on the advised price I obtained.

As for the backup service, on the few occasions I have contacted them, I have always received prompt replies.

I do appreciate the comments that other users have left.

This is one of the better tipping services and I'm sure that persevering with TFG will prove profitable, as it has done for me.

Anonymous said...

The advised price should be available with at least two bookies at time of issuing, this will reduce the chance of the price only being available at Sporting Bet, Fred or Boyles.

That would be the best way of doing things.

Birchy said...

Good to see Rob write that, as I think the obvious point that has put many off TFG has been the customer service - or lack of it. It's early days still for me, but Chris is clearly one of the best form readers around & can undoubtly make very healthy profits.
Regarding prices, I think the fairest way for both parties is to quote a best price that's available with a minimum of 2 bookies. The majority of us are going to be restricted by different bookies, and TFG can't be responsible for this - otherwise they'd never be able to quote an advised price!

Anonymous said...

Another service will quote 2 firms at the bigger price, 3 or 4 at the next best price and perhaps indicate the lowest acceptable price. If you want to help your customers more, this approach could be adopted. To the objection about payments: TFG uses Paypal now, which you can cancel yourself.
My one month trial has been very interesting and we have had some decent priced winners. All I would do to change after the above is give out less bets! I am currently very selective with which I back.
Keep up the good work Chris, and thank you JP for the ongoing superb and entertaining info.


colin said...

Come on people. A rule 4 deduction can't be factored in, and I've never had a problem getting close to the advised prices. I do my own spreadsheet anyway, so I know exactly how much I make with TFG (or not). It could be worse. Look at Hugh Talyor's (ATR) advised prices compared to what you can actually get.

Anonymous said...

TFG looks promising, I'm on a trial as well (based on JP's past experiences with them).

I don't see why they can't just report results with the official SP, Betfair SP and their advertised price. A bit of work I know, but that's I how calculate my own results and any tipsters I use.

Of course a big part of their service is the value aspect, but at least this way punters can compare how big the difference is.

Of course, the only real answer to loosing value is limiting the number of members a fair bit.


Anonymous said...

I disagree. Prices/results affected by a Rule 4 must be reflected in any spreadsheet.

Anonymous said...

i was thinking strongly of joining this service...its all there to see chris is a great form reader but i am totally put off by the number of stories i heard about problems in cancelling the service and funds continuing to be taken from your credit card...pity really...


colin said...

Steaurt said: "I disagree. Prices/results affected by a Rule 4 must be reflected in any spreadsheet."

They should be reflected in your own spreadsheet and will be reflected in your bank balance, but you can't expect a tipster service to factor them in. It's only fair that their figures reflect their advised prices when they put them up (as long as the price is actually available). As I said earlier, everyone should be doing their own spreadsheets anyway with actual returns, it's only then that you'll ever really know if 'you' are making a profit.