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Refunds for Guest Nights

Acorn4 24 Mar 13 - 05:37 AM
GUEST,Raggytash 24 Mar 13 - 05:53 AM
Richard Bridge 24 Mar 13 - 06:19 AM
Allan Conn 24 Mar 13 - 06:27 AM
MGM·Lion 24 Mar 13 - 07:22 AM
GUEST,Peter 24 Mar 13 - 07:26 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 24 Mar 13 - 07:43 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 24 Mar 13 - 07:47 AM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Mar 13 - 07:40 PM
Uncle Tone 24 Mar 13 - 09:05 PM
Girl Friday 25 Mar 13 - 09:17 AM
John MacKenzie 25 Mar 13 - 09:38 AM
Uncle Tone 25 Mar 13 - 09:48 AM
GUEST 25 Mar 13 - 11:27 AM
breezy 25 Mar 13 - 11:39 AM
Acorn4 25 Mar 13 - 12:04 PM
RWJ 25 Mar 13 - 02:45 PM
GUEST,JHW 25 Mar 13 - 04:23 PM
GUEST,Raggytash 25 Mar 13 - 04:33 PM
MGM·Lion 25 Mar 13 - 06:19 PM
Phil Edwards 25 Mar 13 - 06:44 PM
Johnny J 25 Mar 13 - 07:13 PM
treewind 25 Mar 13 - 07:24 PM
Tattie Bogle 27 Mar 13 - 05:04 AM
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Subject: Refunds for Guest Nights
From: Acorn4
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 05:37 AM

Our folk club have recently started to book the occasional guest.

At our most recent one, some people booked tickets but did not turn up on the night. The question is do we offer them a refund?

In a couple of cases it was because of the weather (snow), but one person "just forgot".

Do we offer a refund as a goodwill gesture?

Some people reserved tickets but did not pay, and did not turn up on the night, so it seems a bit unfair to penalise those who had actually put their money down. Should we offer a partial refund?

What do other people who book guests do?


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Subject: RE: Refunds for Guest Nights
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 05:53 AM

A right can of worms this one Acorn4. No matter which way you jump you're going to upset someone. So, my twopence worth would be.

1. The Guest and some audience managed to get to the club, thus anyone who booked and paid in advance presumably could have done the same, therefore no refund. The same applies for someone who "forgot" their problem not yours.

2. Do not allow people to "reserve" tickets without payment up front.

3. Accept that in future, no matter what you do, it will be the wrong thing.

Cheers

Raggytash


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Subject: RE: Refunds for Guest Nights
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 06:19 AM

Booking is a contract. Must be paid for. You could offer goodwill refunds to those who PROVED that through no fault of their own they were UNABLE to get there - but do not make it a policy. I get pretty fed up with students who do not come to university on weather grounds when I have driven 40 miles through ice and snow to get there.


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Subject: RE: Refunds for Guest Nights
From: Allan Conn
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 06:27 AM

though to be fair during bad weather distance isn't always the issue. people can often drive through the main roads in the Borders or get up to Edinburgh etc whilst others simply can't get to the main road in the first place because of their rural location. even within the towns themselves during bad snow it may be ok on the main road but people in various estates can't get out their road or even driveways because resources are spent primarily on the main roads


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Subject: RE: Refunds for Guest Nights
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 07:22 AM

Have any actually requested a refund, Acorn? Or are you thinking of contacting them, off your own bat, to offer one? I cannot help thinking that this might set a precedent that you [or others, even] might come to regret.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Refunds for Guest Nights
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 07:26 AM

If you sell a ticket in advance then you have to keep a place free for that person even if they only turn up for the last song. If you didn't have the opportunity to resell that place then why should you return their money?


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Subject: RE: Refunds for Guest Nights
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 07:43 AM


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Subject: RE: Refunds for Guest Nights
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 07:47 AM

If you cancel, you must offer a refund.

If they decide not to turn up, for whatever reason, that is up to them. You have had to reserve seats which otherwise could have been sold on the door. You have had to pay the guest and incur other costs.

If they let you know in advance and you are then able to re-sell the tickets then they should be refundeded. Otherwise, its just bad luck.


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Subject: RE: Refunds for Guest Nights
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 07:40 PM

Basically it comes down to, did their not coming mean any loss for the club? If it did, it'd be quite fair to say no refund.   And most unfair of them to expect it. If it didn't (eg if you sold the unused places to someone whootherwise couldn't have got in) a refund would be reasonable, and would be a good idea if you want them to come in future.

The fact that it might not be their fault doesn't really signify.


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Subject: RE: Refunds for Guest Nights
From: Uncle Tone
Date: 24 Mar 13 - 09:05 PM

For me it would depend on the artist being there. If they can make it, then so could most others. The artist will still want paying even if nobody else turns up. So, no refunds.

On the other hand if the artist doesn't show, and the audience does, (Had this once a long while ago when the artist went to Australia at very short notice!) then everyone should get a refund.

Oh, and on another occasion an artist got so drunk that he couldn't perform. Luckily another artist, who wasn't booked but was there out of reverence to the first artist, did a covers gig for him, and quite frankly was better! We just about got away with it.

Tone


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Subject: RE: Refunds for Guest Nights
From: Girl Friday
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 09:17 AM

Thankfully, this problem has never arisen with my club. Generally, I take money on the door. I have booked a few artists that I knew would attract a large audience, and sold tickets in advance, as there is limited seating . I give people the opportunity to reserve a seat on occasion, but always try to follow it up with a request for payment. If the guest turns up, they must be paid. So, no refunds unless you can resell the tickets. Even so, a refund must be requested, not offered.

Sue


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Subject: RE: Refunds for Guest Nights
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 09:38 AM

Don't sell tickets in advance. If they want to hear the guest, they'll be there in the queue at the door, before the evening starts. If people say they can't get there on time, and want to reserve a seat, take the money first, and say, no refunds, except for cancellations. Even then you are entitled to deduct a percentage for admin.


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Subject: RE: Refunds for Guest Nights
From: Uncle Tone
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 09:48 AM

Or sell in advance through:

We Got Tickets

Tone


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Subject: RE: Refunds for Guest Nights
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 11:27 AM

Using an agent just adds another issue when the customer wants the booking fee back as well.


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Subject: RE: Refunds for Guest Nights
From: breezy
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 11:39 AM

as a former folk club organiser.

If any pre booked persons request a refund explain that the evening went ahead and their decision not to attend was unfortunate but as a goodwill gesture offer them free admission for a future visit.

Now, if they were coming from a long way away, - I once had punters travelling from the Isle of Wight to St Albans to catch one guest, - and the weather had made the trip impossible or dangerous, then ..........

be flexible and treat each case on its merits but offer some compensation but   avoid refunds where possible,

maybe even rebook the the guest ? and negotiate a fee to reflect, it would be good PR for the guest, but if the guest has already reduced the fee to reflect a lower than expected audience attendance ,

But no reservations without the money is sound advice.

All the best


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Subject: RE: Refunds for Guest Nights
From: Acorn4
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 12:04 PM

Thanks for all the advice so far. We're new to booking guests and had thought of most things but not this one.

If all those who had bought tickets had turned up then we would have had a full house with more or less exactly the right number. It may have been a question of the forecasted snow, but the band made it and they had a longer journey than any of the absentee ticket buyers.

Maybe thinking of offering a 50% refund or free tickets for the next book guest as a goodwill gesture.


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Subject: RE: Refunds for Guest Nights
From: RWJ
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 02:45 PM

Marin Carthy traveled about 150 miles through heavy snow to my old club some years Back, only half a dozen regulars turned. He told the orgaiser not to pay him. Organiser refused and paid. Martin Did a free gig later in the year. What a man.


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Subject: RE: Refunds for Guest Nights
From: GUEST,JHW
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 04:23 PM

Same as if I'd booked a theatre ticket. If I can't go I'd never think of asking for my money back.
Some places reserve tickets at a discount but you still pay on the door.
(they do this to assess demand; no advance sales once resulted in cancelled show)
I've always showed up in good time but would not feel aggrieved if I was late and my reservation was lost.


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Subject: RE: Refunds for Guest Nights
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 04:33 PM

Acorn, me thinks you are making a rod for your own back. If as you say the artiste turned up and the audience turned up, then the people whom you are considering giving a refund to, could have turned up.

If you go down this route once you may find you will be following the same route again in the future. "you gave them a refund/free ticket why not us"

Stand firm.

Cheers


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Subject: RE: Refunds for Guest Nights
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 06:19 PM

Absolutely. I cannot for the life of me see why anyone should think that a voluntary no-shower is either legally or morally entitled to a refund.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Refunds for Guest Nights
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 06:44 PM

I think the problem is allowing people to either buy tickets in advance or reserve them without paying any money. If you leave the unpaid reservations out of the picture, it's simple: you sold people the right to turn up for the gig and occupy a seat, and some people who bought those rights didn't exercise them. If they chose not to attend, that's not your doing; if they couldn't attend, that's not your doing either. You should refund money if you cancel or the artist fails to turn up; if audience members don't turn up that's their own lookout.

As for the free reservations and penalising those who put down money in advance, if there's no difference in practice between reserving a seat (free) and buying a ticket (£) then you're actually giving an unfair advantage to people who choose to 'reserve' rather than 'buy'. Next time, if somebody tells you they'll definitely be there, just tell them to make sure they get a ticket before they sell out.

All this is very cold and mercenary, I know, and it could put some people's noses out of joint. But that's always liable to happen when money gets involved. At least this way, if you bring in some clear policies and stick to them, you'll know there are good reasons for any temporary unpleasantness - and, hopefully, the other people involved will realise that too, once they've calmed down!


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Subject: RE: Refunds for Guest Nights
From: Johnny J
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 07:13 PM

There's usually a fair bit of "come and go" in folk clubs and our one is no exception.

We seldom sell tickets in advance and it's usually only for shows which we expect to be rather busy.
IF someone buys a ticket in advance and lets us know in good time that they are unable to attend, we would normally oblige with a refund although there's no policy laid down in stone.
However, if they just failed to turn up without any explanation then that's surely too bad. I'd suggest that they would have a cheek to even ask under these circumstances. Of course, even then, I hope that we might still consider a gesture of good will if there really were compelling and/or unforeseen circumstances.

More often, our members and regulars just reserve tickets without charge either by e-mail, phone, or in person the week before. Unfortunately, some of these people "fail to trap" on occasion but, if they don't arrive before we start, we can at least sell tickets to anyone else who arrives.
While we don't lose money as such from these non attendees, it does get a bit irritating as it can sometimes give us a false impression of our likely size of audience.

Arguably, we could insist that all tickets must be paid for in advance or otherwise they can take their chances at the door. That's what would happen in any "proper" theatre or concert venue. They could also purchase tickets through an agency or our own online box office(if we decided to have one!). Then, there would be normally no question of a refund under such circumstances.

We don't wish to go down that road yet although many suggest we should. However, even although we and many other clubs still like to take an easy going approach and "come and go", it should work both ways. Our customers should also try to ensure that they don't leave us in a difficult position either.


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Subject: RE: Refunds for Guest Nights
From: treewind
Date: 25 Mar 13 - 07:24 PM

If anyone pays for a ticket and then simply doesn't show up, I agree with everyone else that's their problem.

Reserving a ticket without paying - if they haven't turned up by the time the music starts and there's a queue waiting to get in, the people in the queue get the tickets instead.

Finally, a possible compromise in some cases of cancelling for good reason - not a cash refund but you could hold over the reservation for a future night, but really... it is worth the trouble?


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Subject: RE: Refunds for Guest Nights
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 05:04 AM

Slightly different scenario, as this was an annual event, but we did give refunds to 2 people who had pre-paid but then were unable to attend through illness. I had done all the ticket sales myself, so it was easier than if we had used a booking agency. Neither person had asked for a refund, but we felt it was a goodwill gesture, especially as one of them had done all the work of rounding up payments from her group. Moreover, we had fortunately covered all our expenses for the the event so could afford to do it.
I know of one person who no longer attends this event as she missed it through illness in a previous year and "lost all my money". She had not asked us to consider a refund, which might have been forthcoming, had she asked.
We would not do it for any "no shows" without good reason, or partial refunds for anyone who says they can only come for half of the day.


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