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Old 12-15-2017, 07:06 PM   #1
KossuKukkula
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Stars : Changes to currency conversion (update: they have decided not to make a change)

So received this today :

We frequently review our policies across all areas of the business including our currency exchange facilities. We, like any business, are subject to foreign exchange charges and do our best to reduce this cost to the bare minimum. We listen to customer feedback and closely monitor those rates and associated costs. For several years, we have applied foreign exchange margin at various times when our customers convert from one currency to another.

In the last few years, we have monitored foreign exchange closely and applied a small margin in a variety of currencies. To mitigate the risk associated with the volatility of certain currency conversions, beginning on 18th December, 2017, this margin will also apply to currency conversions in all gaming activities as well as intra-account transfers (between bankrolls). We are confident that the foreign exchange rate plus margin applied to your selected currency is very competitive with - and in most cases better than -- the exchange rate and margin that is offered by most banks, card issuers, and other payment providers.

Please note that as per our ‘Real Money Transaction Processing and Currency Conversion terms and conditions’, for deposits and withdrawals in most currencies, we will add a special margin to the mid-market exchange rate provided by XE (Source XE). Also, as detailed in our ‘Online Software End User License Agreement’, we charge a margin on currency exchanges effected via the Currency Exchange Facility which we may, at our discretion, waive for some types of transaction.

If you are frequently converting funds in your gaming activities, it may be favourable to consider maintaining your funds in the gaming currency in which you most often play.

For more information please visit the following links:
http://www.pokerstars.eu/poker/real-...xchange-terms/
http://www.pokerstars.eu/poker/room/tos/


So I'm not the smartest person and wondering does this mean that in the future I need to keep my bankroll in $ instead of € because they are planning to take a cent or two everytime I buy and cashout from a table? Or even everytime I reload? This kind of sucks because my skrill, neteller and bank accounts are all in € and I do not trust them at all that the rates are good.
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Old 12-16-2017, 12:48 AM   #2
aliku
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re: Stars : Changes to currency conversion (update: they have decided not to make a change)

top kek
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Old 12-16-2017, 06:59 AM   #3
SanchoHH
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re: Stars : Changes to currency conversion (update: they have decided not to make a change)

Quote:
Originally Posted by KossuKukkula View Post
So received this today :
So I'm not the smartest person and wondering does this mean that in the future I need to keep my bankroll in $ instead of € because they are planning to take a cent or two everytime I buy and cashout from a table?
Sounds like it, yes (assuming that you play USD games).
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Old 12-16-2017, 07:08 AM   #4
vesku
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re: Stars : Changes to currency conversion (update: they have decided not to make a change)

Another sick money grab by Amaya. One more reason not to play there.
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Old 12-16-2017, 07:23 AM   #5
raidalot
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re: Stars : Changes to currency conversion (update: they have decided not to make a change)

Yep. More greed.

On any one day there will be transfers in both directions in each currency so that GreedStars only has to convert the net amount (if any). However, they're pretending they have to convert the gross amount and thus charge players commission on the gross amounts.

Of course its delivered with the trademark GreedStars spin: "We listen to customer feedback". Like customers were contacting them asking to pay more!

Their claim that this is to "mitigate the risk associated with the volatility of certain currency conversions" is BS. It implies they are making a loss on these conversions and want to reduce it by charging us more. The reality is that they already make a big profit on this and are grabbing even more.

Nice Christmas present to players GreedStars.
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Old 12-16-2017, 08:21 AM   #6
MilkMan
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re: Stars : Changes to currency conversion (update: they have decided not to make a change)

I wonder would the banking regulator be interested in hearing about a company that systematically profits on forex margin but does not hold a banking license.
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Old 12-16-2017, 08:24 AM   #7
Monteroy
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re: Stars : Changes to currency conversion (update: they have decided not to make a change)

Quote:
Originally Posted by KossuKukkula View Post
So I'm not the smartest person and wondering does this mean that in the future I need to keep my bankroll in $ instead of € because they are planning to take a cent or two everytime I buy and cashout from a table? Or even everytime I reload? This kind of sucks because my skrill, neteller and bank accounts are all in € and I do not trust them at all that the rates are good.
Actually, this announcement sounds worse.

As I read it, any exchange of currencies in future within Stars will come with their normal fee, which based on their language (competitive with banks blah blah blah) is actually around 2-3%.

What that means is it will not be a penny or two (unless you are playing 1/2NL, rather if you convert $500 worth of Euros for the day, the charge will be in the $10-15 range, and you will win dollars and converting them back will cost another 2-3%.

In this scenario you would be paying an extra 5-6% rake if you keep money in a different currency, and the ability to cash out in Euros or Canadian dollars will now come with a built in 2-3 % cost regardless of how one cashes out, since converting within Stars is no longer at the xe.com rate.

Their wording is pretty unclear, so realistically one will have to test the rates when this change happens (ie: see what $100 exchanging within Stars will equal in Cdn/Euros/Pounds etc compared to what you will get if you cash out to a different currency from the US cashier and compare both to the xe rate).

Given all the games are pretty much in US currency this will force every player to pay a conversion fee when depositing and cashing out, except those who cash out US to a US e-wallet and then use that US currency (ie with a Skrill or Ecopayz card), so this is a fairly massive change as presented.

Many will look at this and start screaming about crypto currencies, but that does not really solve the problems all the time, as the conversion fees on using those can often times be quite a bit worse.
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Old 12-16-2017, 08:43 AM   #8
KossuKukkula
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re: Stars : Changes to currency conversion (update: they have decided not to make a change)

Thx guys. Yeah I play 99% $ games. Might be the time to abandon stars before cashing out $ - € is similar to 888 and you get screwed every time. Could allways open a $ wallet but the way stars is treating the customers I'll rather take my business elsewhere.

Last edited by KossuKukkula; 12-16-2017 at 08:44 AM. Reason: typos
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Old 12-16-2017, 08:46 AM   #9
Monteroy
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re: Stars : Changes to currency conversion (update: they have decided not to make a change)

You may not find it better elsewhere, unless it is a site that plays in Euros at the table only, and obviously those sites will likely get very few customers outside of countries that use Euros (or they are restricted like Portugal, Spain etc).

You did not say what country you are from, and I mention that only in wondering if this is a systemic change or one they are introducing to specific countries. I did not receive that email, and I cannot find anyone else who did yet, but if I knew your country I would then ask others from that country to get a better idea of the scope of this change.
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Old 12-16-2017, 09:45 AM   #10
Monteroy
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re: Stars : Changes to currency conversion (update: they have decided not to make a change)

The email I got when I asked

Thank you for your email.

At this time, the margin for currency conversions in gaming activities and intra-account transfers does not apply in your region.

Should this change, we will inform accordingly.

If there is anything else we can assist you with, please don't hesitate to contact us.


Regards,

Maggie
Stars Payment Services


so I will certainly still test it Monday to see if this is true, but as presented it looks like this change for now is only for specific countries, so it would help to know the country OP is in to verify that.
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Old 12-16-2017, 09:46 AM   #11
KossuKukkula
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re: Stars : Changes to currency conversion (update: they have decided not to make a change)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monteroy View Post
You may not find it better elsewhere, unless it is a site that plays in Euros at the table only, and obviously those sites will likely get very few customers outside of countries that use Euros (or they are restricted like Portugal, Spain etc).

You did not say what country you are from, and I mention that only in wondering if this is a systemic change or one they are introducing to specific countries. I did not receive that email, and I cannot find anyone else who did yet, but if I knew your country I would then ask others from that country to get a better idea of the scope of this change.
Finland. And I think party doesn't do this and I have my funds in € and the games are $.
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Old 12-16-2017, 10:30 AM   #12
Monteroy
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re: Stars : Changes to currency conversion (update: they have decided not to make a change)

I emailed them and they specifically said the following:

Thank you for your reply.

I can confirm that the changes will not apply to Canada.

With regard to the complete list of countries, I have escalated your email to our Management team for review. Please allow a few days for a response

Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.

Regards,

Maggie
Stars Payment Services



so it appears that specific countries are impacted for some reason, though no idea why. Perhaps players from Finland were bouncing money between currencies at a huge rate (not saying this is fact, just a wild guess).

Most sites do not charge an exchange fee when buying in or cashing out of a table (aside from the rounding penny which always goes in the sites favor), and indeed if Stars changes this then that is something all players from the impacted countries need to be aware of when playing.
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Old 12-16-2017, 11:13 AM   #13
frabb
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re: Stars : Changes to currency conversion (update: they have decided not to make a change)

This makes no sense, they have a EU based site and office? They could super easily avoid this stuff if they wanted, obv money grab.
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Old 12-16-2017, 11:22 AM   #14
Monteroy
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re: Stars : Changes to currency conversion (update: they have decided not to make a change)

I am not defending Stars here, as their communication is hardly detailed (ie: they should explain specifically what the charges will be for each type of transaction), however I doubt they woke up one day and sat around a table and brainstormed for "money grab" ideas and a random dude came up with - hey, let's charge Finland players when they exchange currencies within the client, with the reply being - Good idea Johnson, give that man a raise!

While I get the emotional reply to this announcement, the irony is going "LOL moneygrab!" is counterproductive in determining what the real cause of this type of change was, and that information is useful to have as it gives a bit of a blueprint as to how changes like this happen. LOL Moneygrab! may feel good to yell, but if that is all we do then Stars off the hook for providing an explanation for the change.

It certainly will be helpful to see what the list of countries impacted is ( I asked for that information and was told that request was escalated), but if I had to guess it would be that the affected countries have something to them which makes currency exchanges within the client more expensive for Stars and/or people from specific countries were overusing the facility.
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Old 12-16-2017, 11:28 AM   #15
frabb
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re: Stars : Changes to currency conversion (update: they have decided not to make a change)

I mean no other .eu site does this and they could change their main currency in games to € and £ like a lot of sites does these days.
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Old 12-16-2017, 11:59 AM   #16
Monteroy
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re: Stars : Changes to currency conversion (update: they have decided not to make a change)

Yeah, they could change their base currency in games to Euros, and maybe one day they will, however I suspect Stars has a much larger percentage of non Euro players than the Euro specific sites, so changing it to Euros is probably not a top priority for them at this time.

Will be interesting to see what other countries (if any) are impacted. If it is only Finland than something changed within Finland to make this change happen, as it makes no sense for Stars to want to do this for no reason (even LOL moneygrab).
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Old 12-16-2017, 12:06 PM   #17
Nooseknot
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re: Stars : Changes to currency conversion (update: they have decided not to make a change)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monteroy View Post
I am not defending Stars here, as their communication is hardly detailed (ie: they should explain specifically what the charges will be for each type of transaction), however I doubt they woke up one day and sat around a table and brainstormed for "money grab" ideas and a random dude came up with - hey, let's charge Finland players when they exchange currencies within the client, with the reply being - Good idea Johnson, give that man a raise!
That seems like a very plausible explanation to me. Doesn't seem like I'm the only one that sees this way either. In a sense that is their job right, especially to serve the shareholder-fleece the player side profitability as much as possible from the start of the user experience to the end of it. And to do this as fast as possible to service debts etc. I don't know why you would cut that possibility out, it seems perfectly likely they literally got together and praised themselves for coming up with the decision.

Their pr explanations are never satisfactory, and they are never written to the savvy player. They release political spins on decisions that are in general terrible for the general field.

How long will you wait for a satisfactory answer?
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Old 12-16-2017, 12:09 PM   #18
Loctus
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re: Stars : Changes to currency conversion (update: they have decided not to make a change)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monteroy View Post
I am not defending Stars here, as their communication is hardly detailed (ie: they should explain specifically what the charges will be for each type of transaction), however I doubt they woke up one day and sat around a table and brainstormed for "money grab" ideas and a random dude came up with - hey, let's charge Finland players when they exchange currencies within the client, with the reply being - Good idea Johnson, give that man a raise!

While I get the emotional reply to this announcement, the irony is going "LOL moneygrab!" is counterproductive in determining what the real cause of this type of change was, and that information is useful to have as it gives a bit of a blueprint as to how changes like this happen. LOL Moneygrab! may feel good to yell, but if that is all we do then Stars off the hook for providing an explanation for the change.

It certainly will be helpful to see what the list of countries impacted is ( I asked for that information and was told that request was escalated), but if I had to guess it would be that the affected countries have something to them which makes currency exchanges within the client more expensive for Stars and/or people from specific countries were overusing the facility.
This is literally what publicly traded companies do. Like, it's the literal core function of a company.
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Old 12-16-2017, 12:36 PM   #19
Monteroy
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re: Stars : Changes to currency conversion (update: they have decided not to make a change)

or they try to find more effective ways to generate money in this manner. Seriously, a Finland player currency exchange fee increase will generate literally nothing relatively in this regard, so while evil fatcats and backroom boys swagger around with their cigars and say MUHAHA a lot while twirling their moustaches as part of standard corporate culture (as believed here), I am still of the opinion that this change for select countries (ideally they will say which) was done for a different reason, because if they really wanted to MUHAHA it up then they would have done it for all the countries.

Anyway, my bad trying to find out more on this before passing judgement. People want to scream about money grabs and evil corporations, so that's fine - I will not get in the way of that cause any further by cluttering this thread with additional information or speculation.

All the best.
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Old 12-16-2017, 12:41 PM   #20
frabb
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re: Stars : Changes to currency conversion (update: they have decided not to make a change)

So this change wont apply to Sweden either, which means it's somethings specific to Finland since we're quite similar countries.
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Old 12-16-2017, 01:11 PM   #21
SanchoHH
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re: Stars : Changes to currency conversion (update: they have decided not to make a change)

Quote:
Originally Posted by frabb View Post
So this change wont apply to Sweden either, which means it's somethings specific to Finland since we're quite similar countries.
Not quite similar in this context. Euro vs. non-Euro is a very fundamental difference for payment processing.

It's not all EUR countries though; I am in Malta and have not received that email.
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Old 12-16-2017, 04:54 PM   #22
PumaPerez
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re: Stars : Changes to currency conversion (update: they have decided not to make a change)

i can confirm slovakian players got the email too.

"To mitigate the risk associated with the volatility of certain currency conversions". i dont get it. what is the difference when there is USD-EUR conversion in slovak account compared to austrian or irish?
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Old 12-16-2017, 05:38 PM   #23
Bobo Fett
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re: Stars : Changes to currency conversion (update: they have decided not to make a change)

Yeah, I think you guys who are disagreeing with Monteroy's post are missing the point. The possibility of an overall cash grab is always there, but the specificity of this (seemingly only a few countries) is what makes the idea of it being only about the money a little odd.
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Old 12-16-2017, 05:54 PM   #24
TreadLightly
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re: Stars : Changes to currency conversion (update: they have decided not to make a change)

they could be testing in a couple countries before they roll it out to the rest of the world similar to how they tested each rake cut that has taken place to see how much more $$$ they are making and if it's worth ****ting on their whole playerbase more (which will obv be a yes if this is the case)
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Old 12-16-2017, 06:55 PM   #25
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re: Stars : Changes to currency conversion (update: they have decided not to make a change)

Yeah, it's really confusing. I'm playing from Ireland and got no email but obviously withdraw in Euros. Anyone got an email yet about what's going on.
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