Ballroom Dance > refunds

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by fascination, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    what is the usual, if any, policy on refunds for comps...I have noticed that they don't list that on their websites
  2. reb

    reb Active Member

    We've experienced both ways:

    Positive: I had forgotten about a refund due me from Ohio Star Ball. Almost a year later, I met Sam Sodano at a comp - upon hearing my name, he went into instant recall and said that I had a refund coming - and he sent it to me immediately. Amazing memory, amazing person. Made me into an instant fan.

    Negative: Our business schedules sometimes cause us to undergo significant rescheduling and sometimes we have had to cancel our participation in comps - our experience has generally been that most refund our money when we have to withdraw early enough and most do not when we have to withdraw too late (with some exceptions).
    scullystwin42 likes this.
  3. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    so, what is too late?
  4. avab

    avab New Member

    Refund policies are usually spelled out on the rules & regulations pages of the entry package sent with entry forms. If you are looking up things online, check the rules or the registration policies pages.

    SOP for most, not all, comps is cancellations out by about a month will be refunded except for a processing fee. As you get closer to the date of the comp, the amount refunded goes down, and usually you need to provide a doctor's note stating that you cannot dance for medical reasons. Some organizers will offer you credit toward the next year's comp if you can't get medical documentation or your reason for cancelling is other than medical. The other proviso that's fairly standard is that most refunds will be made 30 days AFTER the event runs, so don't expect your money back in a hurry. Because of that, I wouldn't hesitate to politely remind an organizer that you did cancel and that it's been 30 days....

    Also, keep in mind that cancelling the day of the event (scratching) is usually not refundable!
  5. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

  6. gingerbread

    gingerbread Member

    It is not on the Heritage website, I don't know why, but their packet has info about refunds, you get so much back depending how early you cancel. I cancelled the King's Ball for very good reason (my son was hospitalized in very serious condition), which I explained in a phone call before and a follow-up letter, but nothing was refunded. It does not make me want to go there again.
  7. reb

    reb Active Member

    uh, like definitely at the comp!

    The organizers would have to answer that, of course, but in our limited experience, it seems to be if it happens in that last week when all the work is going onto finalizing the heats, printing books, etc.

    Laura and some other organizers are needed to take this beyond our experience.

    and . . . avab!!
  8. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    of course they never send the Am. the packet and I am not talking about heritage tho' it is one of my two up coming comps...I have two coming in 2-3 weeks...I am just wondering what the percentage back would be at this juncture for either or both...I have never had to i am curious
  9. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    One of my friends has gotten a full refund from Ohio, but he has developed a knee problem 2 weeks before the competition.
  10. Cal

    Cal Well-Known Member

    Refund policies are really gray areas. Some of the issues that can get thrown into the mix:

    1. Does the State in which the competition takes place have a "Dance Studio Act" in place (these services often are defined to include "participation in dance competitions")? Does the competition refund policy violate any State laws on providing refunds for dance studio services?

    2. Did you write your check directly to the competition organizer (which more directly links you to contractural protection under the rules/regulations, if any, of the state in which the competition takes place); or did you write your check to your own studio/instructor (which more directly links to the contractural protection udner the rules/regulations, if any, of the State in which they work)? If you wrote your check to your studio/instructor and they paid the organizer with a studio check, you'd have to research a bit to find out if your agreement is with your studio/instructor or with the comp organizer, or maybe even both.

    3. If you don't like the refund policy of the competition organizer and/or your own studio/instructor, as applicable, how willing are you look into the State laws and threaten lawsuits? Not only is that time-consuming and expensive for you, but if people start doing that, it could lead organizers/studios/instructors to raise their fees to cover these kinds of items.

    The one time I was involved in a cancelled competition (in another state from the one in which I live), I had written one check to my (former) instructor for his pro fee, and a separate check payable to the organizer for entries/packages, etc. I'd given both checks to my instructor on the understanding that he would send the comp check to the organizer along with the entry forms and the money for other students' entries. Well, my instructor cancelled the competition at the very last minute, and that's when I found out that he'd sent the entry forms to the organizer, but not the checks.

    I confirmed with the organizer that they had received entries, but not the payments. The competition organizers assured me that, since the cancellation was through no fault of mine, they would not penalize me in any way or request a portion of the payment from me. If the organizers lost any money out of the cancellation, I don't think they went after my instructor for payment.

    My instructor returned both uncashed checks to me. So, in the end, I was not out any money. However, one of his other students had paid both the pro fee and the competition entries fees in one check, payable to the instructor. He had cashed that check, and she had to ask him to return her money; I don't know how long it took her to get it all back.

    What would I have done if my money had not been returned? The former instructor wasn't a crook; it was just a really, really unfortunate situation that created the cancellation. But, the amount I could have lost was sizable. So, would I have pursued legal action? I don't know, I honestly don't know. I'm glad I didn't have to find out.
  11. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    dear god... you are thinking about cancelling..!

    it can't be that bad...

    or can it?
  12. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    no, just curious...thought it would be a good new thread...last year when I lost my mom I almost had to cancel wisconsin....and my dad's health is sketchy now so I was, but I could see where you might draw that conclusion...not that bad...besides, he almost never cashs a check til the last minute...and is very good about THAT sort of thing..other things?...well...
    scullystwin42 likes this.
  13. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    so relieved... you've been working so hard. you deserve all that effort being... consummated... i think that's an appropriate word for it:cool:
  14. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Oh, thank goodness. (Not about your dad, of course.) What with your posts yesterday...and continueing into today...I'd drawn some really bad conclusions.
    scullystwin42 likes this.
  15. ChaChaMama

    ChaChaMama Well-Known Member

    We had to cancel for Capital Dancesport once because my husband had lyme disease...and only got over the Bell's palsy that sometimes goes with it around the time the comp took place. About a week before the comp, we asked John DePalma if we could have a credit until next year, and he said YES. It was absolutely no problem using the credit for our entries the next year.

    We scratched MAC one year (again due to DH's health--this time bronchitis complicated by asthma), and did not even ask for a refund, as it didn't seem fair to the comp organizers.

    Also--though not a cancellation--we once overpaid for Philly Dancesport, and got a refund from the Fortunas.

    There are some classy people in the dance world, and I really think they do want to do right by their competitors/attendees/customers.

    :) ChaChaMama
  16. avab

    avab New Member

    As ChaChaMama said, most organizers want to do right by their clients. Given a reasonable explanation of the circumstances, most organizers are understanding. After all, life happens to all of us, and unforseen situations arise that preclude some activities.

    In my experience, you can get the organizer to send you a package (even if you're an amateur). We get doubles of most comps at my house, one directed to me and one to Turtle. But even if you don't, and the refund policies are not on the website (which I would point out to the organizer as something he/she might want to include in subsequent years), if you call and explain the circumstances which are leading to your cancellation, you will probably at least be offerred credit toward the next year.

    Some organizers, like Sam, will make full refunds very quickly and close to the comp; others are running on a much tighter cash flow situation, and will need longer to process their money in before sending money back. The worst scenario is the one where the instructor has taken the money and not paid the organizer. You could go to small claims, but then you're investing money in trying to get money which has, in all likelihood already been spent, back. Difficult call to make.
  17. SlowDancer

    SlowDancer New Member

    The year I broke my wrist competing at Hotlanta after only having danced like 4 heats out of goodness-knows-how-many I'd signed up and paid for, I just scratched the rest of the comp and sat in the audience and cheered for my friends (after I'd gotten back from the ER--ha).

    Much to my surprise, my pro spoke with Eddie Ares and Eddie agreed to refund the entry fees for all my undanced heats. Classy dude. I also give my pro credit for even thinking about asking for a refund on my behalf. Another classy dude.
    scullystwin42 likes this.
  18. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    thanks guys...its good to know that this is the scenario, should things worsen w/ my dad...hopefully, it won't even be an issue ...but with heritage costing me ...well, a blue fortune...very nice hotel and many heats...well worth it mind you...I just had to wonder...I mean if you do, what?, eight a year...its bound to come up sooner or later
  19. reb

    reb Active Member

    From the web site of a comp this coming weekend . . . the California Open
    Cancellation and refund policy

    The deadline for cancellation without penalty is Saturday, January 27, 2007. Refunds will be made by mail 30 days following the completion of the competition, and will be charged a $50 processing fee per person canceling.
    Cancellations taken at the event cannot be substituted by another entry, and no refund will be made on such cancellations.
    No exchanges or refunds will be made on admission tickets after Saturday, February 03, 2007.
    There will be no substituting of a student with another student during the weekend.
    Since we understand that there are legitimate, unavoidable reasons for late cancellation, all entry fees that are not refunded due to late cancellations may be applied to next year's event.
  20. sbrnsmith

    sbrnsmith Well-Known Member

    Bringing up this thread again-
    I think there are 2 issues- one is if you have paid entry fees, package etc to the organizer- and then have to cancel with short notice due to illness, accident, death in close family, bad weather, cancelled flights etc. Will the comp refund the money? It can be a sizable amount if doing many heats.

    Second, what is the refund policy from your instructor, or studio? We split the pros expenses and pay his fees. If one student has to cancel, is the amount they paid for pros expenses refundable? Is it fair to expect the other students to chip in the difference? Or is it fair to just not refund the money to a student who paid but is unable to go?
    What about the instructors fees?
    So many potential do others navigate these issues? Any input appreciated.

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