An open letter from Oddschecker MD, Andy Towers.
Over the years, Oddschecker has established itself as an essential tool for UK bettors to compare prices and offers across a huge range of bookmakers and markets. In addition, we’re increasingly being used as a hub for placing bets with all your favourite bookmakers under one roof without having to leave our app or website.
We try to provide a service that genuinely helps people to make better choices about where to place their bets, and our growing user base suggests that we’re doing something right.
However, with this comes a responsibility to our users, growing customer expectations and a lot of feedback. Frankly, it’s great that people care enough to talk to us, or indeed about us. I for one am very grateful for it, as it helps us understand what we should be improving for our customers.
One of the biggest customer issues has been how up-to-date our odds are. That moment where you think you have one price only to see it change (usually for the worse) once you try and place the bet can be frustrating. This typically happens because of the lag between a bookmaker changing a price, that new price being sent to us, then us processing it and presenting the new price through our apps and website. At peak times where we could be processing thousands of price changes, that lag can be minutes long. And as we’ve grown, covering more bookmakers, more markets, and serving more customers, the amount of feedback has increased.
It may not always be clear that were listening and acting on this feedback, but we are. That’s why, around 18 months ago, we took on a once-in-a-generation technology project, completely rebuilding the way we process odds from bookmakers. For the key sports of Horse Racing, Football and Tennis, we’re aiming to ensure the lag between the price on a bookmaker’s app or site changing, and that change being reflected on our site is as small as possible – under 10 seconds as an initial target. This is particularly important as we see more betting through our platform.
We’re really proud of what’s been achieved so far. It’s been tough, but I’m pleased to say that the majority of our partners are now updating within the 10 second target of what you would see on a bookmaker’s own app or website (for Horse Racing, and the major Football and Tennis markets), and we’re working on the final few in the coming weeks. It’s also worth mentioning that we do occasionally experience problems because of limitations set by the bookmakers, but we’re working through these as best we can, too.
This is the first – and probably biggest – step in transforming into a destination where customers can confidently compare prices and place bets without leaving our app or website. That’s why we’ve decided to take this opportunity to update our brand with a fresh colour scheme and a new strapline: “Your One Stop Betting Hub”. It doesn’t stop here though. Expect much more in terms of new and improved features (such as a new bet slip facilitating all bet permutations), and we’ll keep chipping away at that 10 second price lag to get it as low as possible.
Maybe you’ve noticed the difference already, maybe you haven’t. Either way, we’d welcome you to download our app or visit the website and let us know any feedback so we can continue to improve and build products our customers love.