Monday, 16 March 2020

A lot at Stake: The £26 000 Metal Detecting Rally STILL Going Ahead [UPDATED: No it is not, but You're Not Getting Your Money Back]

Detectival 2020 Tickets. SOLD OUT - Spring Detectival UK Rally April 2020. 'Bringing the world of Metal Detecting Together'. Up to 450 acres of ground to detect. Some tekkie discussion here,
(and an international interview here):
The Detectival Metal Detecting 2-day tickets are for Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th April 2020 [...] Full 2-day event tickets are £52.50 per person with a £2.50 booking fee (excluding VAT). Camping is £15 (excluding VAT) for all 3 nights (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), camping is a set price regardless of how many nights you are staying.
Please be sure to read, understand and agree to our Terms and Conditions on the payment page before you commit to buying your ticket/s. Details on cancellations and refunds are in our Terms and Conditions also under the title 'Terms of Advance Payment'.
So that's £81 per head in fact. The Facebook page suggests that 321 people will be attending (that's  £26 000 the organisers are going to make from ticket money alone). In the terms, we find:
Cancellation by us:
Detectival reserves the right to modify the programme of any event up to the day of the event. If unforeseen circumstances cause Detectival to cancel an event, we shall inform you as soon as possible and offer you a refund or a ticket date transfer.

Cancellation by you:
If you wish to cancel a booking please note the following cancellation conditions:
4 months or more prior to the event – 100% refund minus any booking fees
2-4 months prior to the event – 50% refund minus any booking fees
0-2 months prior to the event – no refund

If you need to cancel within the 0-2 month period, tickets are non-transferable as they are purchased in the attendee’s name, however, we may be able to re-sell your ticket to another customer (only if the event attendee capacity is full), please contact us by email [...].com and we will get back to you to let you know if this is possible.
So basically, if any detectorist has cold feet about attending, the organisers get to keep the cash anyway. But if the organisers cancel it at the last minute, they have to give all the money back  or transfer the ticket to the next Detectival event - but they've already started selling tickets (July 4th) for that one. Awkward. Presumably the EU participants have cancelled - and will the UK borders be open in July?

There is a lot at stake. For tattooed Mark Becher of Hanson's Auctioneers and his partners, it's a lot of dosh. For the participants and their families, its their health.

Update 18th March 2020
It seems that the organisers finally saw sense: Heritage Action  Detectival rally canceled at last!. The website however does not say that. They said Spring Detectival UK Rally April 2020 - POSTPONED (and Summer Detectival UK Rally July 2020, for which they'd already started taking money, - CANCELLED). There is an update to the website:
'We are aware of the financial implications cancelling this event would have on attendees, traders, volunteers and our supported charity, who have all already made arrangements for attending this event, and the implications to any third party businesses associated with that too. This is why we are postponing this event rather than cancelling it'. [...]  We whole-heartedly apologise to all our attendees, traders, charities, staff and volunteers for this decision, we feel that it is the best decision we can make at this time.
It is being "postponed" exactly a year. The rationale for that is not clear, if only to avoid giving people the money back for a service that was promised and now is not available. The customer paid for a service on a particular day, that was the contract. In the same way, it sounds like they had a contract with traders and service suppliers for the event that possibly have also paid for their presence there. If the organisers are breaking that contract, they should refund the money at once and leave it up to the consumer to decide if - in their possibly changed circumstances - they want to invest that money in an event a year in the future or not. In global pandemic times, a year is a long time, many of those detectorists and businesses may not be around after this is all over. Surely, the organisers would have been properly insured against the possibility that the event would have to be cancelled, and traders and attendees should get their money back without further delay. If many of them are prevented from working by the coronavirus crisis, they and their families will need that money.

And how interesting it is to see that the thread on a metal detecting forum near you, the thread was locked immediately after the announcement was posted up there... could it be they wanted to deprive members a chance of saying what they thought about that, or could it be that they wanted to avoid comments on the arrangements made for them (not) getting their money back?

[It is disturbing to see that in their advice to their comrades, the organisers adopt the UK stance that I observed when I visited the UK at the end of February, focused on 'what to do when you get coronavirus', whereas here in Europe, the advice is geared firmly to 'how to avoid getting it'... ]

Any metal detectorists who have any comments on the cancellation of 'Spring Detectival' and the organisers scarpering with their 81 quid that the moderators of the MDF will not allow are welcome to share their views here. No swearing please. 


Brian Mattick said...

"For the participants and their families, its their health."

Not just them and their families, everyone they come into contact with. Imagine the elderly relatives of a shopkeeper, doctor, teacher or ticket collector being infected the next day by one of these selfish, greedy, unthinking, uncultured clowns. It's just not fair.

Paul Barford said...

Something I have not seen, and think would be worth looking at is what is the percentage of antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) [sociopathy] among metal detectorists and collectors in general. People with ASPD not only can't empathise or understand others' feelings. They'll often break rules or make impulsive decisions without feeling guilty for the harm they cause.
Pretty relevant if you are trying to get them to collaborate as partners in something as a 'policy'.

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