Pinnacle is Threatening to Confiscate my Six-Figure Balance

sportsbettor5

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Cliffs: My Pinnacle account is in good standing, yet Pinnacle is threatening to confiscate my full six-figure balance and "donate it to charity" if I don't withdraw the full balance within 30 days using Tether (USDT), which is a sub-optimal withdrawal method which will almost certainly cause me to lose $1000s.


Cliffs (medium-length version): Moved to new country, found that I couldn't withdraw from Pinnacle, contacted customer support on Jan 1, 2022. First Pinnacle said I could withdraw from my account in CNY (the account currency) or convert the account directly to fiat currencies GBP or USD or EUR or MXP.

I liked these options and planned to convert since I had been happy with Pinnacle. Then they said I could only withdraw in bitcoin (Cryptopay) and that it was not possible to convert the account directly to GBP/USD/EUR/MXP. They pressured me to withdraw the full balance in bitcoin "as soon as possible" as bitcoin had been crashing (Jan 5 to Jan 10). I called them out on this, then Pinnacle waited until the bitcoin price started going up again, then disabled the bitcoin option and offered only the Tether (USDT) withdrawal option. Today they've started saying the direct conversion of my account into USD/EUR/MXP is still available for a "conversion fee" of 2.75%, which they of course never mentioned before and is nowhere in their terms and conditions. Finally, today they said if I don't withdraw in Tether (USDT) before February 15, 2022 that they will confiscate my balance and "donate it to charity".



Full version (long)
:


I have had my Pinnacle account for four years, since January 2018. My current balance with Pinnacle is 950617 CNY (about $150,000). I have never taken bonuses, never deposited other than the initial deposit (also in CNY), and to my recollection I have only ever taken one withdrawal. When I created the account with Pinnacle I was living in Taiwan. I funded the account with Chinese currency (CNY) via my Chinese bank account and until last week (Jan 2022) never attempted to change the account currency.

I moved to Mexico within the past few months so I started the process of uploading documents to verify my new address with Pinnacle. Pinnacle verified my new address. On Jan 1, 2022 I looked at my withdrawal options and noticed a message:

WITHDRAWALS BLOCKED. Withdrawals are currently not available for your account. Please contact the Customer Services Department for further information.”

I contacted customer support about this. They told me it's because the withdrawal methods are determined by the combination of country and currency. They told me I could 1) withdraw my funds in CNY or 2) convert my account to one of four different currencies (EUR, USD, GBP, MXP). They also listed all the withdrawal methods available for each currency.

I thought this was a very reasonable response from Pinnacle. I didn’t need the money, wanted to stay as a client with Pinnacle, and Pinnacle was giving me the option of converting into one of four major currencies with lots of good withdrawal options. I asked the obvious question: how would Pinnacle determine the exchange rate for converting the money in my account into another currency? I also asked about the timing of the conversion. I could lose $1000s on the conversion alone if these details were not fleshed out.

Eventually Pinnacle responded that their exchange rate would come from www.oanda.com. Two or three days passed and I got another e-mail from them (5 January). Here is the relevant portion:

-------------------------

As previously mentioned, the currency of your account will need to be changed in order for you to have payment options available. To do this, we will need to close your account and open a new account with the new currency you wish to use.



Before proceeding with the currency change, the funds must be withdrawn from your account. We have enabled the cryptopay withdrawal option on your account in order for you to withdraw your funds.



Kindly inform us once you've made the withdrawal request.



Also, please inform us which currency you would now like to use (MXP, USD, or EUR
).

----------------------

I added the underlines for emphasis. In case you didn’t catch it, in a single e-mail with no reason given, Pinnacle just took away the original option to convert my account currency directly instead of withdrawing my funds. They were now saying that I had to withdraw all my funds with the only withdrawal option being a bitcoin withdrawal (Cryptopay), then open a new account under a new currency and re-fund the account. Also notice that they removed the option of converting to a British Pound (GBP) account with no reason given.

I responded immediately, pointing out that they had changed their stance with no reason stated. I told them I wanted to convert my account to Euros as they had offered previously, unless they had changed the available withdrawal methods too. Finally, I said I hoped we could agree on a specified time for the conversion in advance so I would not lose significant money in the exchange.

They responded by doubling down. I responded by asking why they were pulling the rug out from underneath me with no reason given. The next day, January 6, they responded by doubling down and neglecting to answer my question:

=========

In order to proceed with the currency change, the funds must be withdrawn from your account. It is not possible to change the account currency without first withdrawing the funds. Once your funds have been withdrawn, your current account will be closed and a new account will be opened with the new currency.



We have enabled the cryptopay withdrawal option on your account in order for you to withdraw your funds.



Kindly inform us once you've made the withdrawal request.

================


Now at this point, bitcoin had started crashing and I would have lost a lot by taking a bitcoin payout. Take a look at a bitcoin price chart from the period January 5 to January 10 when they were pushing me to withdraw my full balance in bitcoin:


pricechart.png


It was a huge sell-off. The last e-mail above came on January 6, in the midst of this big sell-off. Then they e-mailed me again on January 7:

============

Dear XXXX,



We'd like to follow up with you regarding your account.



As previously mentioned, in order to proceed with the currency change, the funds must be withdrawn from your account.



We have enabled the cryptopay withdrawal option on your account in order for you to withdraw your funds.



We kindly ask that you make your withdrawal as soon as possible.



Please inform us once you've submitted the withdrawal request.

===================

Notice that Pinnacle was now pressuring me to withdraw my funds “as soon as possible” for no stated reason, and they were restricting me to only bitcoin withdrawals despite the fact that bitcoin was falling fast. I called them out on this. After four days (January 11) they got back to me. They told me that the only alternative to a bitcoin withdrawal would be a Tether (USDT) withdrawal. I told them I would consider it and that I didn’t like the way they were pressuring me. I then checked my withdrawal options and found once again:



WITHDRAWALS BLOCKED. Withdrawals are currently not available for your account. Please contact the Customer Services Department for further information.


The next day (January 12) they responded and told me they had enabled the USDT withdrawal option. I responded by asking them to please also re-enable the bitcoin (Cryptopay) withdrawal option. They refused and said I would no longer be allowed to withdraw with bitcoin. They gave no reason for this. The bitcoin price has started going back up by then, so it looks like they were playing the market at my expense.

I responded (January 12, 2022):



========================



You told me I could convert my account to another currency without withdrawing:





Do you wish to withdraw your funds in CNY?

Or instead of withdrawing your funds, could you consider to change your account currency from CNY to MXP, USD, EUR or GBP?





That was only 11 days ago. Nothing has changed with my account since then.



I never wavered in my position that I want that option. Then you took that option away for no stated reason. You said I could withdraw in bitcoin. You then pressured me into withdrawing quickly even as the value of bitcoin was crashing.



Now that the bitcoin price is more stable, you have taken away the bitcoin option as well. Do you think you are acting reasonably?



I request that return to me the above options which you took away for no stated reason.



==============================



January 14 (Pinnacle):

===========================



Thank you for your patience.



We did indeed provide you with the option to change your currency without withdrawing.



That option is still available, however there is a conversion fee of 2.75%.



We then offered you the option to withdraw your funds via Cyroptopay, but you declined because of the rate at that time.



We then offered you the option to do USDT and you are still unhappy about that option.



We unfortunately do not have any other options available. and the longer this is taking, the least options there will be available.



We have been more than accommodating with finding options available for you. We no longer have the option to do crypto, only USDT.




======================================

Me (January 14):

======================================

You never mentioned a "conversion fee" when you offered that option. Why not? Did you just make this up out of thin air?



Also, you are contradicting yourself again. You said that the conversion option was no longer available. You said that I would have to withdraw all my funds and then create a new account. Now you are saying no, the conversion option is still available without withdrawing my funds.



You tried to pressure me into withdrawing quickly into bitcoin ("please withdraw ASAP") as that currency was in a sharp downswing. Then you took the option away when the market shifted back the other direction.



You have been the opposite of "accommodating". All of your behaviors indicate you are trying to rip me off by enabling and disabling options in a way to earn money off of me.



Regarding the USDT method: please explain in detail how you would determine the withdrawal amount. My current balance is 950617 CNY. The current CNY/USD market rate from xe.com is 6.355. This works out to 950617 / 6.355=149585 USD or USDT. Would you send me this exact amount according to the xe.com exchange rate at the time?

================



Dear Client,



We use a 3rd party company (Cryptopay) which is an exchange service, which we would send your amount and they would convert your balance into bitcoins using their exchange rate. As cryptopay is a 3rd party exchange service, we do not apply the FX so you can check on their website for additional information on their exchange rates by clicking here.



Pinnacle currently works with third party exchange providers that convert cryptocurrencies into the FIAT currency of your player account. Although we work to ensure that all costs are minimal, there may be fluctuations in the fees charged and conversion rates. We do not offer Bitcoin as an account currency. For more information on their



We absorb all processing fees for deposits into your player account; however, we do not cover any USDT Tether mining and network fees.



We will be able to process the withdrawal until February 15th, 2022. After this date, the account will be closed and all funds in the account will be donated to a charity of our choosing.



Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us back.



Best regards,



=================



"we would send your amount and they would convert your balance into bitcoins using their exchange rate"



You told me the bitcoin option is not available. Now you say that Cryptopay would convert my balance into bitcoins. Are you confusing USDT with bitcoin? They are not the same currency. Please be more clear. My balance is in CNY. Do you mean that you will send the amount of my balance to Cryptopay as CNY, then Cryptopay will convert my balance to USDT and send it to me?



"After this date, the account will be closed and all funds in the account will be donated to a charity of our choosing. "



Please refer me to the entry in your terms and conditions which would authorize you to do this.

============
 

sportsbettor5

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As a penalty (my term) for moving countries, Pinnacle is telling me that I must either:



1) convert my account to another fiat currency for a one-time fee of approximately $4125 (2.75% of the account balance)


or

2) Withdraw my full balance via Tether (USDT), which will almost certainly cost me $1000s in conversion fees


or

3) Turn over my full ~$150,000 balance to Pinnacle so they can "donate it to a charity" of their choosing.


These are the only three options Pinnacle is giving me.
 

Ace7550

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I'd just take the full balance in Tether and get the money outta there. I think the conversion fees would be under $1,000.
 

sportsbettor5

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I'd just take the full balance in Tether and get the money outta there. I think the conversion fees would be under $1,000.
1% of the balance is $1500.


They haven't been transparent at all about how they intend to convert my CNY into Tether, and based on their sketchy behavior so far I don't think they will be reasonable.

When I asked them about the CNY->Tether conversion option they sent me some generic stuff about bitcoin and Cryptopay.

Probably they will do a CNY->USD conversion with a below-market rate, then Cryptopay will hit me for another 2% or so. I'm looking at losing maybe $3000 on this unnecessary procedure.

They should just wire me my CNY balance to my Chinese bank account, but they took away that option about two weeks ago for no stated reason.
 

kakad

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Their crypto provider screws you over on payouts. I lose 2 to 3% getting a Bitcoin payout from them. Would not be surprised if the same holds true using Tether.
 

sportsbettor5

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Their crypto provider screws you over on payouts. I lose 2 to 3% getting a Bitcoin payout from them. Would not be surprised if the same holds true using Tether.
Over the four-year history of my account I believe I only took one payout. It was a bitcoin payout and the exchange rate was below-market. That's another reason I'm convinced I'm getting screwed here if I go with Tether.


I only made one deposit in four years with Pinnacle.

The fair thing for Pinnacle to do is to allow me to withdraw my balance in CNY using the original deposit method---wire transfer to my bank account. I'll pay the wire fee.
 

BMR Forum

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Hi sportsbettor5,

Thanks for sharing and filing the complaint. We'll do our best to assist and offer our opinion concerning what would be a fair resolution. Look forward to having a conversation with you soon - we'll be firing over some more questions via email to understand the facts.
 

sportsbettor5

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Hi sportsbettor5,

Thanks for sharing and filing the complaint. We'll do our best to assist and offer our opinion concerning what would be a fair resolution. Look forward to having a conversation with you soon - we'll be firing over some more questions via email to understand the facts.
Thank you.

To be clear, I think the three options Pinnacle "offered" in post #2 above are ridiculous. At least two of them appear to violate Pinnacle's terms of service. From where would in their terms would they derive the right to confiscate my balance?

Where in their terms does it state that moving countries to a jurisdiction+currency pair which they have not made provision for should force a client to withdraw in USDT, and why can't they state explicitly how they would convert CNY to USDT?

They offered that I could withdraw CNY directly a couple weeks ago, then they removed that option as well as the direct account conversion option and tried to pressure me to hurry up and initiate a $150k bitcoin withdrawal as bitcoin's value was crashing. Then they then took the bitcoin option away as bitcoin stabilized.

It's impossible to deal with these people when they are clearly trying to take advantage of me at every turn.
 

sportsbettor5

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Also note this term from Pinnacle's terms of service:

All withdrawals must be made to the original debit card, credit card, bank account, or other method of payment used to make the payment to your pinnacle.com Account. We may, and always at our own discretion, allow you to withdraw to a payment method from which your original deposit did not originate. This will always be subject to additional security checks.


Pinnacle offered on Jan 1 to allow me to withdraw CNY (my preference), but then appeared to take that option away. They appear to have left me with only the options listed in post #2 above, though I can't say I'm 100% sure.
 

BigJay

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get the money outta there.
Honestly I would stop arguing with them and just get all of your money the hell out of there if they will still let you and find another book.

At this point I’d be more afraid of them not paying me than a 2-3% fee even if the fee is a few thousand.

With them threatening to “donate your funds to charity” it already sets the stage for you potentially not getting your funds.
 

sportsbettor5

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Honestly I would stop arguing with them and just get all of your money the hell out of there if they will still let you and find another book.

At this point I’d be more afraid of them not paying me than a 2-3% fee even if the fee is a few thousand.

With them threatening to “donate your funds to charity” it already sets the stage for you potentially not getting your funds.
On the advice of people with cooler heads than me, I requested the full withdrawal via Tether about 15 hours ago and have heard nothing from Pinnacle.

You're right though, better to lose $5000 by them violating their own withdrawal rules than to keep arguing and have them "donate to charity" with my full balance.
 

DontTailMe

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Honestly I would stop arguing with them and just get all of your money the hell out of there if they will still let you and find another book.

At this point I’d be more afraid of them not paying me than a 2-3% fee even if the fee is a few thousand.

With them threatening to “donate your funds to charity” it already sets the stage for you potentially not getting your funds.
Was that really one of the options they gave him up front, or simply what they said after he complained about all of the legitimate options they gave him? It doesn't sound like they were accusing him of fraud or anything so I don't believe confiscation was really on the table unless he refused to withdraw. It's Pinnacle, not 1xbet or MyBookie.
 

sportsbettor5

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Was that really one of the options they gave him up front, or simply what they said after he complained about all of the legitimate options they gave him? It doesn't sound like they were accusing him of fraud or anything so I don't believe confiscation was really on the table unless he refused to withdraw. It's Pinnacle, not 1xbet or MyBookie.
You are correct that the "charity" option was not on the table until Jan 14.

I want to be clear (and the e-mails above demonstrate this) that I did not start complaining until January 5, when they had already taken options away in a way that would cost me $1000s. In particular the CNY fiat withdrawal option which they offered on Jan 1 disappeared after I politely asked a few questions about how the other option (account conversion) would work. Again, the e-mails show this.

The other options changed repeatedly from Jan 1 (when this started) until Jan 14 when Pinnacle and I had our last correspondence. The bitcoin option was disabled then enabled and then re-disabled. The USDT option started disabled and later they enabled it.

The "convert your account into another fiat currency without withdrawing" option was offered on Jan 1, died a few days later prior to any complaints on my part (they said I must withdraw the full balance), and then came back from the dead on Jan 14 after I called them on this, with an extra ~$4125 (2.75%) fee attached.

After the way they have acted here, I strongly suspect that in the end they are just going to accuse me of some kind of nonsense fraudulent activity and proceed to confiscate my full balance. I guess that's the only way for them to save face. I shouldn't have posted about this until I had my money minus ~$5k.
 

sportsbettor5

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Now, their public view basically boils down to, "we've given you lots of options, and have been more than accommodating, so hurry up and make a decision or we will take your money."

The strong counter-argument is that they are not offering the option which their terms require (fiat withdrawal via bank transfer), that they abused the bitcoin option by only enabling it during the few days when bitcoin was crashing and disabling it when bitcoin stablized, and that there is nothing in their terms to allow them to restrict a client to only USDT withdrawals unless that's the method he deposited with. So to refer to themselves as "accommodating" is a joke.
 

DontTailMe

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Sure, you and Pinnacle disagree on what are reasonable methods of paying you out. All I'm trying to point out is that it's a little ridiculous for someone to say that Pinnacle is threatening to confiscate your money. All they're saying is that if you choose to not use one of their withdrawal methods, then the default outcome is the money stays where it is.
 

sportsbettor5

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Sure, you and Pinnacle disagree on what are reasonable methods of paying you out. All I'm trying to point out is that it's a little ridiculous for someone to say that Pinnacle is threatening to confiscate your money. All they're saying is that if you choose to not use one of their withdrawal methods, then the default outcome is the money stays where it is.
What percentage loss on my balance would it take for you to think it would be reasonable to refer to this as "threatening to confiscate" my balance?

For example, if Pinnacle had said "withdraw your balance now at a 30% loss or we will donate your balance to charity", then I'm guessing you would think that frame is reasonable.
 

DontTailMe

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@DontTailMe Remember, this is all with reference to the 0% fee fiat withdrawal method that Pinnacle's own terms require them to offer. They took that away for no stated reason.
You're arguing with the wrong dude. I'm on your side. But it's wrong to say that they threatened to confiscate your money, and I think you know that. Don't cloud your legitimate gripe by making outlandish claims. You run the risk of calling your entire story into question when you do that.
 

sportsbettor5

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You're arguing with the wrong dude. I'm on your side. But it's wrong to say that they threatened to confiscate your money, and I think you know that. Don't cloud your legitimate gripe by making outlandish claims. You run the risk of calling your entire story into question when you do that.
I'm having trouble understanding you. They are literally saying they will confiscate my balance and give it to charity on February 15. That is not an exaggeration and I posted the e-mail above where they say that. Do you mean that I should have written, "Pinnacle is saying they will confiscate my balance if I don't withdraw it in Tether or pay a $4125 conversion fee?" I agree that would be more complete but it probably wouldn't fit into a thread title.
 

sportsbettor5

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@DontTailMe I appreciate your input as it's helpful to have other people tell me how they perceive what I posted. I'm trying to be open with the situation, not hide anything (except some personally identifying info).
 
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