[SCA-AE] other group policies on event refunds
taranach at gmail.com
Sun Oct 4 18:10:45 EDT 2009
I have answered inline preceded by #
Melior abolesco in nostrum pedis quam ad servio in nostrum genua
On Sun, Oct 4, 2009 at 8:37 AM, Dorinda Courtine-White
<dcourtinewhite at stny.rr.com> wrote:
> Fellow AEthelmearcians,
> As I try to wrap up the books from Harvest Raid, I was curious as to what other groups do as far as refunds for people who cancel or do not appear? We have always had a pretty generous refund policy here, and it appears to be biting us. I have always figured that if someone cancels before the deadline when I have to tell the cook how many are eating, then all is refunded, no issue. We have always stated that if one cancels after that, we "may" refund the feast dollars, if we can resell the spot. In reality, even if we have had 20 people cancel and only resold 16 spots, we have refunded the money, because we aren't out to make a billion dollars of profit on our friends, and it is close enough. But now it seems to be getting out of hand. We had a sold out feast for 104 and ended up sitting about 82 because people just didn't show up. People on the wait list never came back to check if they got a spot. And others gave up and made other plans because we said we were !
> sold out.
> I have not yet deposited the checks for Harvest Raid - that happens tomorrow - so it isn't a question of "how much do I write the refund check for" - it is "do I even cash the check". (Unfortunately, I don't know how to legally cash only the feast portion of their check!) Here are the situations I have:
# When I have autocratted the checks get deposited as soon as
possible after receipt, mostly to indicate funds were received. The
events mostly follow a prepay from group funds followed by depositing
money made at the event gate which hopefully exceeds the amount of the
"loan" as it were. Events are planned to make a reasonable profit and
*if* (rarely) we get a sizable rebate or refund of expenditures we
have been known to issue a dollar or two refund at the gate at sign
> - people who told me a few days ahead they weren't coming. (I have pulled the check and don't plan to cash it).
# As long as they were prior to the cut-off for feast then they can
get a full refund if requested. Quite often we just return the check.
> - people who reserved for 7 people and 4 showed up. (I plan to cash the check and write some refunds)
# This all depends on whether the feast seats can be filled or not,
food has been purchased by that time and the funds are spoken for.
> - people who told the gate that day someone weren't coming
> - people who just never showed up.
This depends on the circumstances involved. Generally it would be no
refunds, but might be ameliorated by death in the family, hospital or
sickness, or other circumstances outside their control. It is kind of
> I would ask you: Does it mean anything to have "only paid reservations count" if people still believe they are not making a committment?
That phrase is more useful as far as feast seating is concerned,
generally the feast is the variable cost for an event. Location fees
and setup costs are relatively fixed. Feast and a couple other minor
details are where the variations (and losses) can occur if the fees
were not set up well in the first place. Commitment by it's very
nature means that you *will* be there or take the loss. Refunds, if
any, should be specifically requested and reviewed against a set
criteria or circumstances.
> If you have recently reserved for an event - what are your refund expectations?
> Thank you for your thoughts.
I only look for a refund if I have canceled at least a week in
advance, any closer and I consider it a donation for the inconvenience
I will cause by my absence. If getting a refund is that critical for
my financial well being then I should not have committed those funds
in the first place. That is my take on the situation and how I feel
Running an event is somewhat like any other business and despite the
non-profit nature of the SCA and the desires to keep costs to a
minimum, our funding model is not flexible enough to allow for
hemorrhaging red ink on an event. Events are where many groups earn
their only operating expenses for the year.
Æthelmearc Siege Brigadier
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