You could be forgiven for not knowing that Benjamin Disraeli was Prime Minister of Great Britain twice in the 19th Century.
And you don’t really need to know that the statesman is credited with uttering the famous comment that there are “lies, damned lies and statistics”.
In fact the quote is also attributed to Mark Twain but that’s by the by.
The real reason to treat statistics with caution is something I’ve asked MMR member and reviewer, Peter, to cover with you today.
You see early in 2010 Peter was emailed with a proposal for a lay betting service that sounded reasonable and published results statistics to back up their claims – this was before he found MMR and in his naïve view was that if they are publishing data the public could verify then it was probably correct.
But an expensive couple of weeks later he realised this was not the case and quite rightly he has treated almost every marketing letter since with a great deal of caution.
In the intervening period Peter has also written some reviews for MMR and a frequent element that we all see is this overstating of results.
I find this not only dishonest but incredibly stupid in that a service is not going to survive long if their results are rubbish.
As most of us would not now buy without a money back guarantee the providers are going to lose out in the long run. So why do they bother?
Now I expect outrageous claims from the marketing specialists – by this I mean the emails you get with the link to the latest wonder service with pictures of the former roadsweeper/drunk/whatever in his shiny new sports car and sun drenched villa.
Many emanate from a certain area and I have no doubt that you will all treat these with great caution until they have been reviewed on MMR and given a green light.
What makes me even more angry are published results that are technically correct but have no chance of being matched in the real world by the ordinary punter.
Also there are instances of published results being less than 100% complete or meaningless which are to my mind designed to overstate the potential of a service in the eyes of the potential buyer.
A recent review by Peter of a sports betting service on MMR highlighted this discrepancy and we have noticed that the service managers are currently promoting it heavily as being the best thing since sliced bread and claim it is making vast profits.
Well this is just not the case.
The prices which are advised to clients in the emails are rarely available by the time the email is received and often significantly below them.
Granted the service publishes results that show the actual SPs but they calculate their profit or loss on the advised odds. Naughty naughty and really it’s quite misleading.
These services are not exactly cheap and if you factor in the cost of the tips the bank would have been pretty well bust within a month of subscribing.
For example one advised price was 4/1 each way but the best price when email received was 7/4 – you don’t need to be a maths genius to see there is something seriously wrong here.
Here’s a quick selection of the services you need to be wary of:
True but economical with the truth – Nett Profits:
And this one could be true but how do I check? This always makes me suspicious – Pro Bandit:
Downright misleading – Sports Profit Network:
Note the inclusion of the word “proofed” which is trying to assure you of veracity.
The example above is from this service and you can see our full results of the trial at MMR
It’s MMR’s mission to protect punters from the false claims and rubbish systems that our testing programme can uncover as effectively as we can.
However, it’s fair to say we cannot possibly cover everything on the market and so if you feel the urge to buy before a review is available please make sure you delve very deeply into the results disclosed.
Here’s a quick check list to know what’s what.
Historic data – is widely available on just about any sports so it’s very easy for someone to back test a strategy and prove it works.
Remember that quote – “lies, damned lies and statistics”. It’s true it’s very easy to use statistics to prove any point you want. Even a week argument can be made stronger by refining selection periods or varying staked amounts.
An often used stat is points staked. Some unrealistic services say in the small print that results are based on £200 stakes. I mean that’s crazy, very few people can afford to bet £200 on every single selection given?
You could easily be betting more than a grand a week.
So always take those figures and break them down into £10 stakes or a level you are comfortable betting at.
If you do this you can then easily see how long it might take you to actually make the service charges back…
It goes almost without saying that if the results are impossible to check or are just not shown then the product should be given a very wide berth until there is concrete evidence that it works.
So that’s Historic Data and Staking sorted the final thing to always consider is money back promise.
Most services just fail to offer you any trial at all and to me that is just plain crazy.
They expect you to pay out several hundred pounds on the belief that they can deliver. Often you’ve never heard of these tipsters and certainly have no relationship with them so why pay them?
To me a tipster or any product producer has to earn your trust and that can only be done if you have a guarantee the money you pay today will be returned tomorrow, should you request it.
If a tipster offers no guarantee just walk away, save yourself the potential heartache and just keep on looking.
Fortunately some tipsters and publishing companies offer 30 days or longer, that’s excellent and certainly a starting point.
Better still some don’t take any money from your account for 30 days. That of course is ideal and puts you more in control.
So remember, check is it historical data or live and ongoing, is the staking sensible and not misleading and does it come with strong and open money back guarantee.
If you follow those three quick rules then you shouldn’t go too far wrong.
If you are ever unsure drop us here at MMR a line and one of the review team will gladly check it out for you.
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Category: General Advice
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