Big Race entries: transfer / swap / sell

Shiould there be some Customer Service?

1 to 20 of 27 messages
21/01/2013 at 12:05

Over the years we have all see people seeking or offering 'race places' for whatever reasons. This might become more frequent as the cost of entries increase.

Rightly or wrongly I have always thought that numbers were not transferable to avoid 'touts' and/or the administration costs of transferring/refunding (especially smaller local races).

All big races will be using computers that could easily handle returned numbers and refunds.

Most big races will even boast of the comparatively small number of DNS.

Generally runners/tri-athletes are known to get injured occasionally(!) so why perpetuate a rule that was perhaps more appropriate when race administration was all done manually.

Most businesses nowadays are into 'no quibble' refunds when taking goods back as a Customer Service initiative. Do big races believe that they are so popular they can afford to ignore Customer Service?

I am only thinking of BIG races and clearly not if a race is cancelled because there are always costs to be met. Though at the back of my mind I am thinking big races must already have certain insurances that are already reflected in their costs.

21/01/2013 at 12:26

A lot of races fill up quickly so you'd probably get a significant number entering all the top runs just in case

seren nos    pirate
21/01/2013 at 12:31

there are only a few numbers where numbers are not trabsfeable...and they calculate for that when issuing numbers.........

 why have a no quibble refund....they have worked out there costs acordingly...i recommend just reading the individual terms and conditions  and then decide.

theatre tickets and cinema tickets don't offer a no quibble refund do they...........i haven't noticed if you sign up for evening classes or for  swimming lessons a no quibble refund..you change your mind tough luck

21/01/2013 at 12:51
seren nos wrote (see)

theatre tickets and cinema tickets don't offer a no quibble refund do they...........i haven't noticed if you sign up for evening classes or for  swimming lessons a no quibble refund..you change your mind tough luck

Seren, being a little obtuse I think. I am quite sure that if you are injured your swimming instructor would reschedule your lesson. 

Nick, that is a good point!

21/01/2013 at 13:00

I don't enter big 'event' type races, so never pay much for my race entries.  

Then if I decide nearer the day that I don't want to do it for whatever reason, I've not lost a great deal.

The no-quibble refunds mostly apply to goods which can be sold to another customer at some future time.  Race entries are time-limited, re-selling them would have to be done in possibly a short space of time.

And finally, they don't need to give themselves the hassle.  GNR, VLM and a host of others can sell all their places, and then some.  They don't need 'good will' from runners.

 

seren nos    pirate
21/01/2013 at 13:03

martenkay.if you book a series of swim lessons for your kids and they are ill.its tough .. you lose it....

also horseriding lessons.wake up the day before with an illness and tough ... you still have to pay the £17 for the lesson.........

 

21/01/2013 at 14:06
Wilkie wrote (see)

I don't enter big 'event' type races, so never pay much for my race entries.  

Then if I decide nearer the day that I don't want to do it for whatever reason, I've not lost a great deal.

The no-quibble refunds mostly apply to goods which can be sold to another customer at some future time.  Race entries are time-limited, re-selling them would have to be done in possibly a short space of time.

And finally, they don't need to give themselves the hassle.  GNR, VLM and a host of others can sell all their places, and then some.  They don't need 'good will' from runners.

 

Hi Wilkie, many of the smaller or local races have more of a community attachment and I suppose many runners' do not mind if they lose their fee which may not amount to very much. The money may go to a local club or charity.

Big races could easily have a cut off point and not accept return of race numbers,say with a month or 6 weeks of the event. Yet able to sell on.

You have grasped my point about 'goodwill' why should BIG races disregard their runners' requirements - probably because the numbers having to drop out are small and have no voice. It is like so much nowadays "We are so big nothing can hurt us"

It is a pity that 'somewhere' a rule such as 'where there are over x number of runners' there must be a facility to return numbers'. 'Somewhere' might be where you get an athletics certificate for your race or trading legislation.

UFO
21/01/2013 at 14:18

The Brentwood HM and Dartmoor Discovery operate transfer schemes, so it's not impossible.

UFO
21/01/2013 at 14:21
UFO wrote (see)

The Brentwood HM and Dartmoor Discovery operate transfer schemes, so it's not impossible.

I am sure they are both are well thought of by their runners'

Edited: 21/01/2013 at 15:10
21/01/2013 at 15:26
Martenkay wrote (see)
UFO wrote (see)

The Brentwood HM and Dartmoor Discovery operate transfer schemes, so it's not impossible.

I am sure they are both are well thought of by their runners'

I don't think particuarly well of the Brentwood half - they never have enough toilets!

21/01/2013 at 15:28

Brentwood is a toilet

K80
21/01/2013 at 15:57

The thought of losing the entry fee could be a good motivator - it worked for me with the Cardiff half last October. I couldn't defer so I ran it anyway.

Having said that I was only thinking of deferring because i hadn't put the training in - i'd have been upset if injury had prevented me running and therefore lost the entry fee.

There were a significant number of DNS too.

22/01/2013 at 11:58

I have some sympathy when I read such posts on the Forum but have noted that requests for places / transfers do not always come from regular posters'

Clearly the demand like the DNS must be insignificant in the grand scheme of things and the RW Forum is a comparatively small sample of the running world.

 

22/01/2013 at 12:39

There were a LOT of people 'desperate' for a place in the Edinburgh mara after the deadline slipped by them.

I didn't recognise any of them as regular posters here.

Edited: 22/01/2013 at 12:40
22/01/2013 at 12:42
Edinburgh was also open for entry for quite a while before it sold out so I was suprised as to why people who were desperate to run it didn't enter in time.
22/01/2013 at 13:30

@seren - the theatres and cinemas around here offer refunds on cancellations, less a nominal fee (a couple of quid).

22/01/2013 at 13:31

I agree with you Martenkay.  It wouldn't be that hard to implement.

Within certain sensible time frames (up to 1 month or 3 weeks away from race day when the numbers are despactched) it would not be difficult to allow athletes to withdraw and receive a refund or race credit and then allow another athlete to enter.  This happens in some triathlon races.  The refund diminishes closer to race day and the race either re-opens entries or contacts people from a waiting list.  I don't think this is necessarily possible for very, very large races (VLM mentioned above) but certainly think it would be feasible for more than those which offer such a policy at the moment.  It isn't that hard to permit transfers either.

I don't think it's the same as no quibble refunds in retail setting though, and think that's not a strong comparison.

Equally, I don't think it's the same as Seren's no refunds for swimming lessons or horse riding lessons at short notice though.  The examples Seren cites are a shorter notice issue and those services will perish quicker (ie the place cannot be filled/sold on from notice given that morning), for larger races that sell out very quickly, people may know they can't race months in advance.

I have certainly worked with races who implement such a policy and it provides opportunities to make MORE money (based on the diminishing refund or that refund being a race credit in some cases and not cash), the race then sells the place again and the admin involved doesn't necessarily cost out to the money charged in the fee to withdraw.

Athletes swap numbers anyway and it would stop this happening.  This is a health and safety issue, when you enter a race you supply certain information with the medical team keep on hand should you be injured - they will look you up via your race number.  If that race number isn't you, unless you've filled out the medical info on the back, they have no idea about you, who you are and if you have any medical conditions they need to be aware of.  I think allowing athletes to withdraw or transfer is a good move.

Sadly, it's down to the race and, as Wilkie quite rightly says, if they don't want to do it, they don't have to.  We just have to read and understand their terms and conditions/refund policy.

Like Wilkie and everyone else, I pay my money and I make my choice but I do hold races like Sodbury Slog, Beachy Head Marathon, TriBristol, One Step Beyond events, Pacesetter events in higher regard for having these refund and transfer policies in place.  Even the Ironman brand has implemented a transfer policy.

 

22/01/2013 at 13:48

"This is a health and safety issue, when you enter a race you supply certain information with the medical team keep on hand should you be injured - they will look you up via your race number.  If that race number isn't you, unless you've filled out the medical info on the back, they have no idea about you, who you are and if you have any medical conditions they need to be aware of."

I've never been asked to provide any kind of medical information.  All a race organiser's ever asked me for is name, address, DoB (sometimes).

If you HAVE a medical condition people might need to know about, you should make sure that you've put the info somewhere people can quickly find it.  Some race numbers have a form on the back for you to fill in, but most (of those that I've done, anyway) don't.

Edited: 22/01/2013 at 13:48
22/01/2013 at 13:51

When you have filled out entry forms, you've never ticked or crossed any questions asking if you have any medical conditions?

UFO
27/01/2013 at 19:28

So, if you have to pull out of a race and you want to transfer your number, it's up to the race organiser whether they are competent enough or bothered enough to allow this to happen officially. Same with refunds, but I would never expect a refund if I couldn't make the race.

Slightly different is when the race doesn't take place for some reason, e.g snow. I would assume under some law (trades description?) that you are entitled to a refund, even if the race is postponed for a couple of weeks. A deferral for a year may be acceptable, but if pressed I wonder how it would stand up in law. Admittedly, not likely to happen for a few quid. Yes I understand the money paid up front by race organisers and that they would be making a loss if everybody applied for a refund (class action anybody?).

UFO
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