Event Cancelation and Refunds

WaterloggedWaterlogged United StatesMember

Simply a question of curiosity: Is it common for events to have a "no refund" policy for cancellation of an entire event? I understand that on the day of the event the cost of operation has already been incurred or when a swimmer simply decides not to participate that the fee may not be refunded, but what about cases of big storms/typhoons/hurricanes when the event is canceled weeks in advance...in this case is it common to refund event fees or not?

Comments

  • BogdanZBogdanZ Bucharest, RomaniaMember

    I think it is related to the rules of the event, the cost management by the organisation and their willingness to reimburse if they conclude the acrrued cost is less then what you paid. This can also be addressed to the time available, before event, to make changes to registrations - how relevant is a 2-3 weeks deadline prior to event date. We never know, but sign to accept registering in someone's event, including such rules.

    IronMike
  • flystormsflystorms Memphis, TNMember

    Sometimes when an RD cancels and event, they may choose to apply a reduction in entry for the next year. It may or may not work out for you the next year, but at least it's a token.

    Waterlogged
  • brunobruno Barcelona (Spain)Member

    In Spain (Mediterranean coast, I don't know about Atlantic side) the "no refund" policy is standard, regardless of the cause. In case of cancellation, the normal procedure is to offer a reduction for next year.

    Some events offer, upon inscription, a sort of "insurance": you pay something around 20 or 25 EUR, so that in case you have to skip the event (with a few weeks notice) you get your refund.

    IronMike
  • lakespraylakespray Senior Member

    For open-water event and race promoters, the monetary benefits are low to non existent, and many occur losses even if the event is successful for the participants. The race promoters themselves face many non refundable fee's and requirements to put on the event; including permits to use the lake, docks, beaches, dive/rescue personal requirements, parking and on and on. I don't think too many open-water event promoters have become rich in this game and in fact, I've noticed many have given it up with really nice events going by the wayside as no one is welling to take it on. So I've always signed up for most event with my eyes wide open, yea it sucks but the race/event may not occur and I'll be out some $$. This has happened to me twice, Big Shoulders in Chicago was canceled due to weather and I was crew for a English Channel crossing that was canceled due to weather.

    IronMike
  • angel55angel55 Granada (Spain)Member

    @lakespray said:
    For open-water event and race promoters, the monetary benefits are low to non existent, and many occur losses even if the event is successful for the participants. ...

    I´m agree with you in the case of clubs but in Spain many events are organized by companies, which could be allowed another return policy but I agree with you that you have to read the conditions well.

  • emkhowleyemkhowley Boston, MACharter Member

    @Waterlogged said:
    Simply a question of curiosity: Is it common for events to have a "no refund" policy for cancellation of an entire event? I understand that on the day of the event the cost of operation has already been incurred or when a swimmer simply decides not to participate that the fee may not be refunded, but what about cases of big storms/typhoons/hurricanes when the event is canceled weeks in advance...in this case is it common to refund event fees or not?

    @Waterlogged Yes, it's very common for races to have a no refund policy. We unfortunately ran up against this for the first time this year with Boston Light. All of the funds generated by the event have been spent by the time the swimmers turn up on race morning. We are an all-volunteer organization and we take no monetary compensation for our considerable efforts in staging this event. This event is what hooked me and @gregoc on marathon swimming, and we simply want to see a great open water event live on for the next generation of swimmers to find their way. The registration fees go to pay for insurance, swag, awards, the dinner the night before, and all of that was sunk cost when we had to cancel 15 minutes before the scheduled start time because of heavy fog and unsafe conditions.

    Now that video that @phodgeszoho posted--that strikes me as being a little different of a story. (Which looked dodgy as hell to me.) I don't know for sure, but Vigour Events appears to be a for-profit organization and because such entities are larger and have bigger revenues from multiple races, they sometimes have the ability to offer refunds. But many don't for the same reason as volunteer organizations like ours--the costs are usually sunk by the time a cancellation decision is made. And many of these organizations are likely operating on thin margins anyway. There might not be money in the kitty for a certain event depending on when the cancellation occurs.

    As much as we might wish we could, we can't control the weather--and that's one of the supreme heartbreaks and ultimate joys of open water. As with all things, open water events should come with a large "buyer beware" tag on them. Read ALL the information posted on the event website--it should detail exactly what to expect in the event of a cancellation.

    IronMikeevmothelittlemerwookiewendyv34

    Stop me if you've heard this one...
    A grasshopper walks into a bar...
    https://elainekhowley.com/

  • IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member

    @emkhowley said:

    As much as we might wish we could, we can't control the weather--and that's one of the supreme heartbreaks and ultimate joys of open water. As with all things, open water events should come with a large "buyer beware" tag on them. Read ALL the information posted on the event website--it should detail exactly what to expect in the event of a cancellation.

    Found your solution @emkhowley. Might have to raise the entry fee a wee bit. You're welcome! ;)

    Just here troubling deaf heaven with my bootless cries...

  • emkhowleyemkhowley Boston, MACharter Member

    @IronMike said:

    @emkhowley said:

    Found your solution @emkhowley. Might have to raise the entry fee a wee bit. You're welcome! ;)

    This is akin to nuking a hurricane... and yes, would require a big increase in entry fees!

    IronMike

    Stop me if you've heard this one...
    A grasshopper walks into a bar...
    https://elainekhowley.com/

  • IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member

    @emkhowley said:

    @IronMike said:

    @emkhowley said:

    Found your solution @emkhowley. Might have to raise the entry fee a wee bit. You're welcome! ;)

    This is akin to nuking a hurricane... and yes, would require a big increase in entry fees!

    It was interesting. I was there for 5 Victory Days and they seeded clouds each time. For 2012's parade, it didn't quite work. We had overcast weather and some drizzles. Every other year I was there, it was sunny.

    Just here troubling deaf heaven with my bootless cries...

  • WaterloggedWaterlogged United StatesMember

    @emkhowley - Well, this is all very helpful. Since I am new to the Marathon Swims I just wondered what was standard for the course. I don't think this is a case of a last-minute cancellation- It seems there is a Cat 3 hurricane wreaking havoc on the location of my first long-distance open water swim, and as the end of the registration period ends tomorrow it is going to be hard to tell if they will have enough time to recover and have the race. I think I will give the registration a go and hope that a month's time is enough time between the storm and the event. I don't think the fees are all that high given the time on the course, so it all seems quite fair.

    ChefKen
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