Refunding Entry Fees to Withdrawn Players

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Michael Flatt
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Refunding Entry Fees to Withdrawn Players

Post by Michael Flatt » Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:28 am

1. Has anyone ever encountered difficulty in getting their entry fee refunded after having withdrawn from a tournament due to an unfortunate clash with a prior commitment or other reasonable explanation?

2. What might be considered the minimum notice that one should give to the organisers?

3. Should a player receive a full refund or should they expect to pay a penalty fee in the form of an admin charge?

MSoszynski
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Re: Refunding Entry Fees to Withdrawn Players

Post by MSoszynski » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:58 pm

Michael Flatt wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:28 am
1. Has anyone ever encountered difficulty in getting their entry fee refunded after having withdrawn from a tournament due to an unfortunate clash with a prior commitment or other reasonable explanation?
Must an explanation be given? And why must it be "reasonable"? What would an unreasonable explanation be? The requirement for a reasonable explanation will mean that explanations will become exaggerated and standardly serious for fear of rejection.

Some tourneys will be more affected by late withdrawals - prize money levels, sections, or pairings may need to be redone (and readvertised) at short notice. So, I hope we all treat organizers with due consideration.

Personally, on about 3 occasions over 20 years, I have always had my fees refunded, and though I would have accepted a small admin charge (say £2 or £3) and in truth tolerated a much larger one, none was ever levied. Alas, the same couldn't be said for the hotel bookings.

NickFaulks
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Re: Refunding Entry Fees to Withdrawn Players

Post by NickFaulks » Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:07 pm

MSoszynski wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:58 pm
What would an unreasonable explanation be?
I changed my mind and don't want to play after all.

Michael Flatt
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Re: Refunding Entry Fees to Withdrawn Players

Post by Michael Flatt » Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:21 pm

MSoszynski wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:58 pm
Personally, on about 3 occasions over 20 years, I have always had my fees refunded, and though I would have accepted a small admin charge (say £2 or £3) and in truth tolerated a much larger one, none was ever levied. Alas, the same couldn't be said for the hotel bookings.
I'm pleased to hear that.

In terms of reasonable/unreasonable I would suggest it might depend on how much notice the organiser is given.

Personally, I've never objected to refunding an Entry Fee because the good will generated is likely encourage the player to sign up for a future event.

I have recently come across a case where an entrant entered but had to pull out more than two weeks ahead of the event. Not returning a £60 entry fee and claiming it to be normal UK practice does seem incorrect to me.

MSoszynski
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Re: Refunding Entry Fees to Withdrawn Players

Post by MSoszynski » Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:29 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:07 pm
MSoszynski wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:58 pm
What would an unreasonable explanation be?
I changed my mind and don't want to play after all.
I changed my mind - because of sickness - and don't want to play after all.
I changed my mind - because of another engagement - and don't want to play after all.
I changed my mind - for personal reasons - and don't want to play after all.


Is it, then, the length of the explanation that is the measure of its reasonableness?

Gerry_Jepps
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Re: Refunding Entry Fees to Withdrawn Players

Post by Gerry_Jepps » Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:34 pm

Competitions should state their refunds policy in Conditions of Entry/Competition Rules so everything is clear. Transparency reduces any chance of ill-feeling. Most players would think that a minimum notice period and a small admin charge were entirely reasonable. Organizers can additionally use their discretion in obviously unforeseen circumstances. (As suggested above, goodwill encourages future entries.)

Nick Grey
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Re: Refunding Entry Fees to Withdrawn Players

Post by Nick Grey » Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:22 pm

We ought to be aware there are lots of changes over the last 20 years on costs for organisers and I would not expect all of this being specified in conditions of entry. Some organisers are very active in asking for standbys and fillers at a low rate because of ensuring pairings (late change of 1/2 point byes.

Organiser's treatment of a regular customer is likely to be completely different to an irregular customer. And there are different overheads/numbers limits etc. Some organisers do this on behalf of some charities. In those circumstances I'm likely to e-mail sorry I cannot play, please release my place for another entrant, consider my payment to be a donation and I look forward to seeing you at a later event.

You are unlikely to get a refund if you bought a ticket to a football match, theatre, cinema, concert. Similar booking a table at a restaurant and paying but then cancelling (you lose your payment). And you ought to see your new refunds on travelling season ticket, which are not even close to my previous franchise (which would include free tickets for any journey on the line and not just my zone 1 to 4. Inputting every single item on their website (the incidents are around 4 per week at this moment).

I do not believe an unforeseen clash with a prior commitment is a reasonable explanation. A funeral, taking family member or yourself for emergency hospital surgery, or I have a the flu or something else that is contagious) and do not want to infect the players are reasonable excuses, but would leave that for organisers to consider.

MSoszynski
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Re: Refunding Entry Fees to Withdrawn Players

Post by MSoszynski » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:09 pm

Nick Grey wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:22 pm
I do not believe an unforeseen clash with a prior commitment is a reasonable explanation. A funeral, taking family member or yourself for emergency hospital surgery, or I have a the flu or something else that is contagious) and do not want to infect the players are reasonable excuses, but would leave that for organisers to consider.
A funeral - though whose? - may be a reasonable excuse for not playing, but that doesn't make it a sufficient reason for a refund. I don't see why organizers should be judging the quality of explanations before offering refunds - that's if they can offer them at all. One person's priorities may differ from another. Or are we all supposed to claim a crisis when having the effrontery to claim a refund? I'm sorry, I can't play - is a refund possible? ought to suffice. The answer could be in the negative, but the answer shouldn't be, Could you elaborate to our satisfaction? Only, we prefer to keep your money unless you can somehow shame us into returning it.

Nick Grey
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Re: Refunding Entry Fees to Withdrawn Players

Post by Nick Grey » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:36 pm

I'm saying they are reasonable excuses but it is up to organisers to decide on their own terms.
Your query is fine, if the answer is no it is fine too.
But has any organiser ever come back with your words in italics?

MSoszynski
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Re: Refunding Entry Fees to Withdrawn Players

Post by MSoszynski » Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:58 am

Nick Grey wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:36 pm
I'm saying they are reasonable excuses but it is up to organisers to decide on their own terms.
Your query is fine, if the answer is no it is fine too.
But has any organiser ever come back with your words in italics?
You seem to expect both an excuse and that it meets some standard. All that I'm saying is that organisers shouldn't be intrusive or judgmental about other people's lives. The reasons for not playing could be a marriage break up, an adverse diagnosis, a mental health event, falling in love, an unexpected bill, etc. What business are these of the organizers? Why should they need to know? What is the information for? A spreadsheet? Of course if the player wishes to volunteer the information up front, that's up to him.

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Michael Farthing
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Re: Refunding Entry Fees to Withdrawn Players

Post by Michael Farthing » Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:04 am

MSoszynski wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:58 am

Of course if the player wishes to volunteer the information up front, that's up to him.
This surely is the essence.

If the withdrawal is outside the published basis for making refunds then such additional information might cause an organiser to go beyond their normal practice as a matter of goodwill. In genuine cases such information may actually have been given simply as part of an apology for causing inconvenience and without the expectation of a refund.

I am often amazed that so may congresses offer unquestioned refunds right up to the entry deadline, but I suppose the 'commercial' reason for this is to encourage early registrations.

Paul McKeown
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Re: Refunding Entry Fees to Withdrawn Players

Post by Paul McKeown » Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:43 pm

At Richmond Juniors, running our junior tournaments, the Richmond Rapidplays and Richmond Blitzes, the following terms are included on our entry forms:
WITHDRAWAL
A player may withdraw at any point up to the closing of normal entries on [date], subject to a £5 administration fee. Withdrawal subsequent to this forfeits the full entry fee.
I have attached a copy of the entry form for our Rapidplay on Sunday, for further information on our terms.

We have a refunds policy, which can be found on our website. This applies across all our services, including our class subscriptions, school clubs, holiday camps, tournaments, etc.

Generally, we are happy to give a refund, and in cases of force majeure for a customer in good standing who has given as much notice as possible in the prevailing circumstances, we refund fully in good faith.

We are happier still simply to carry the credit forward to future event. We are also happy to retain prize money against future entry fees, which is a popular request. Generally happy to accommodate all reasonable entrants in any reasonable request.

We have had one annoying case of a player demanding his prize money, despite defaulting the last round without notice. We may update our terms to cover such cases.
Attachments
Richmond Rapidplay Entry Form 2018-02-25.pdf
(380.02 KiB) Downloaded 16 times

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Refunding Entry Fees to Withdrawn Players

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:19 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:43 pm
We have had one annoying case of a player demanding his prize money, despite defaulting the last round without notice. We may update our terms to cover such cases.
I've seen entry forms that disallow half point byes in the last round. Or rather they allow withdrawal for no points but that forfeits any prizes. Perhaps you extend that to defaults. Maybe you then get examples of a Fischer game from 1970, namely 1. c4 resigns.

A.Kluckova
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Re: Refunding Entry Fees to Withdrawn Players

Post by A.Kluckova » Sun Feb 25, 2018 1:04 am

Thank you Michael for this topic.

I see it is about Svetlana - I have recently come across a case where an entrant entered but had to pull out more than two weeks ahead of the event. Not returning a £60 entry fee and claiming it to be normal UK practice does seem incorrect to me. -

I will try to write to your topic also.

A.Kluckova
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Re: Refunding Entry Fees to Withdrawn Players

Post by A.Kluckova » Sun Feb 25, 2018 1:25 am

I entrid my daughter - WFM- 2100 - the 23rd of January to the Masters congress in Newcastle. At the 28th of January I cancelled her registration, because she needed to be in the school ( the University) , she had any test which was 25% of her exam. They accepted also her entry, also her cancellation. Tournament started the 14th of February.
When I asked him about refund her entry fee, I have got this answer :

Regarding a refund after a player’s withdrawal, I’m afraid we are not in a position to do that, due to the limited budget for the event.
Svetlana will of course be very welcome to take part in future tournaments.


I did not agree with this answer , but I did not get refund back.

I was chatting about this situation with both CZE players , who were playing in Newcastle. I have got message from WFM and from GM.
This one is from WFM:
" He just spoke with me about it and told me , that entry fees are not refund at no one chess tournament in England. And 18 days before is not long time. And another reason is , that they had limited capacity ( but never was full). But hard to believe it."
Another massage only confirmed, that in England is normally that entry fees are not refund.

So with these informations foreign players have returned home and my daughter became " a mandatory sponsor of the Newcastle congress".

I had a time spoke about it with a few English chess organizers ( Michael was on of them), but no one knew that entry fees are not refund at no one chess tournament in England, even only 18 days before.

So better no more Newcastle. I will try to ask about refund the official tournament sponsors.

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