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Canceled Milsims, Refunds, Consumer Rights and a meta post about the community as well as those responsible for hosting events

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Old August 9th, 2017, 01:02   #1
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Canceled Milsims, Refunds, Consumer Rights and a meta post about the community as well as those responsible for hosting events

For the past little while on Social Media I have seen numerous people posting about this game canceled out in BC. Discussions get heated pretty fast, with two sides to the conversation quick to jump in and scream at the other. One side is demanding refunds and berating a company for bad business practices, the other then claims the first group has the potential to destroy Airsoft as what is needed right now is to come together and save the community. As you can imagine these discussions get locked down really fast since it turns into shit slinging almost immediately.

I'm posting this here both because I believe this community has the ability to react maturely to this discussion, as well as the admins here know such discussions are necessary to the health of Airsoft in Canada. So let's jump in:

So what are we doing today? We're going to examine the issue. We're going to start by examining the observable facts of the situation, and then build the other details on top of it.

So what exactly happened?

The facts of what occurred are as follows:
  • An event organizer wanted to host an event on a certain date
  • This organizer has hosted events in the past
  • People prepaid for tickets months in advance
  • For one reason or another, the event was canceled essentially the last minute
  • Refunds were not automatically given, and instead issued in chunks of partial refunds at an unspecified pace.

Before we can dig deeper into this topic, we need to understand these are the only observable, objective facts so far. The other details (the stated reason for the canceled event) we can't really say we know with 100% certainty this is happening. These details above are the most observable, provable, simple fact of the situation so far, and all the other details simple add additional context, which we will get to.

So what should have happened?

Well, in most cases in "real life" if something like this were to occur you would simply be issued a refund. If you paid for a sport or concert ticket and they canceled, it's not really your fault. You get the money back.

But Airsoft is a bit different than this. I don't personally know the CEO of the sports stadium, or the individuals members of a touring band. I don't really care how they fix their bottom line after the thing gets canceled. We frequently know, befriend and interact with people in the Airsoft community and also know it's not a massive multi-million dollar business with endless profits. It's usually a dude, or dudes, trying to put on a good time for Airsofters while making a few dollars in the process for their time and effort.

So the question is: What did you buy?

Did you give money ahead of time to a community member in order to buy props / front costs for an event that ended up getting screwed

or

Did you give money to a business to attend an event that isn't happening and essentially paid money for nothing?

Such a distinction is really important right now, and will help inform your decision of what to do. If you feel like the community should band together so a community member doesn't get royally fucked, this is a valid view point. Everyone was hurt by the event not happening due to, well, the event not happening, vacation time lost, travel expenses committed to, etc etc.

However, the second view point is also entirely valid. You paid a company who is making some degree of profit off the event to host an event - it didn't happen. You get your money back. If the company goes into debt or gets fucked isn't really your concern, because it's your money not theirs. It is actually your rights as a consumer to pursue this refund, charge back your credit card, etc. Like, you are 100% legally entitled to your money if you want it.

What complicates the issue here is, ironically enough, the organizers comments on the issue. Below are two posts from the organizer, colored blue, that I believe demonstrates his attitude toward this issue and the community.





So let us just inventory what these screenshots say -

1) If you attempt to issue a refund in any method or ammount I do not approve of, I will fight this endlessly for months

2) We will ban you from our community and you will not be allowed back at any events we host

3) I will push your refund back to the bottom of the list and delay giving you any money if you attempt to charge back or "be a douche"

4) If you attempt to take any legal action at all it will mean all the refund money gets spent on a lawyer and nobody gets refunds

Firstly, can I just say - Holy shit. When I first read the first screenshot back in July I was absolutely blown away. These aren't the comments of a member of the community. These aren't the comments of someone who is your friend. This is... Something else. The comment posted a few days ago about lawyer and the limited incorporated company is just bananas itself.

If you try and lawyer up it'll just mean nobody gets a refund. Like holy shit. You essentially have this organizer, under threat of you not getting your money back, demanding people not take any action or do anything at all that would be consistent with your rights as a consumer. You can either wait to get something, or get nothing. It's your choice, it's not my fault if you choose to get no refund!

This alone, probably, means this is more of a "I paid a company for a product I didn't get" situation than the the community oriented one. This isn't a member of a community asking for assistance, asking for the neighbors to help him build a barn with him - this is him demanding of you. This is literally a threat. This is a different relationship entirely. Any hint or semblance of this being a "community" effort has gone out the window here.

Imagine if your neighbor did this, like "Well, if you want your lawn mower back, it just means I'm going to have to keep your hedge trimmer. Sorry. If you wait you might get both back, but I can't say for sure if that will happen, or when." This is some crazy, bizarro world stuff going on.

Let's rewind back a bit

So what actually are your "rights" here? Well, it's your money. Period. Full stop. He can't decide to keep it if you want it back. Period. You paid for a product/service and didn't get it. Period. These are the facts. Everything else is window dressing that may morally compel you to act in a way, but legally it's your money. Whether or not he gives it back? Well that is the issue which this whole thread revolves around.

If you feel like want your money back, what can you do?

My understanding is there were three methods of making a payment for this event - Interact EMT, Paypal and Credit Card.

Starting with Credit Card: You must call your card issuer and initate a charge back. Visa, Master Card, Amex all have different procedures and methods, but usually you will need to call them, inform them of the situation and start a formal procedure. This may involve faxing them a form plus other supporting evidence. They will tell you everything you need to know. The process may take time, but you will get your money back 100% as the case is clear cut and dry. You have a limited time to do this, so call your bank and determine how long you have to start this process.

Paypal: Paypal has various dispute processes - I am not sure how it works if there is no "balance" in the other persons account, and if it will put their account into a negative balance, but it is possible you will get your money back under Paypal's consumer protection policy. Review their policy, open a dispute, and get ready to be taken on a wild ride as the screenshot shows. You will win the dispute but whether the money is returned isn't a sure thing. If you had paid through Paypal but using your Credit Card, use the credit card procedures. Like the CC procedures, you have a limited time to open a dispute.

Interact EMT: You are basically fucked. There are no formal procedures to "charge back" a transaction, and you typically would have to go to a formal legal process (ie small claims court) to recover the funds, which basically isn't really worth the time and effort.

What will happen if this occurs and everyone charges back? Well, he will basically be stuck with a negative balance and a debt oweing to Visa / Paypal and will have to deal with that. Will this personally fuck over the event organizer? Well he said he is a limited incorperated entity, so technically it would be the businesses debt and not his. You may have to consider the fact that those who paid via EMT might not get a refund because all the charge backs will "eat up" the money, but in some respects this is on them for making a payment through a system that offers 0 real protection for the consumer. It sucks, but it's life.

In Summary:

This situation is really messed up. I think the situation is insanely out of control and there were any number of infinite ways that this could have been handled better, with more tact, etc. I don't believe, in any way, this is how members of the community should behave let alone event organizers who the community looks up to for guidance. I do not believe bullying people under threat of keeping their money is any sort of behavior that should be tolerated, let alone expected. It just opens us up to some bad shit. If he is a community member, he should ask the community for their help and sympathy - which many would willingly provide if asked. If he is a company, he should act like a responsible company and understand his company fucked up and has to deal with it like any other company should.

There is a huge difference between asking for help from the community, and literally saying if he has to hire a lawyer nobody will get a refund.

As you can see I've taken some steps to avoid naming the individual party, the event company, etc. I don't want this to be a shit slinging fest of people personally attacking or insulting the other party. If you wish to contribute to this thread, stick to the facts and leave your feels at the door.

Last edited by W E W tastronk; August 9th, 2017 at 01:05..
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Old August 9th, 2017, 01:25   #2
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I'm not part of this but I've read some and there's a lot of shit flinging.

Taking pre payments for a game and then spending it on company assets before the game, you're sort of spending money that isn't yours. It was given to you as a deposit to secure a spot in an event which ended up not happening.

I don't believe the host intentionally screwed anyone. I believe the host made an extremely poor set of management decisions that were irresponsible. The game cancellation may not have been his fault, but the current money situation is. The host is acting like an ass, his reputation is nill. You have people's money, they have every right to harass you until they get it. YOU took peoples money, YOU took risks and mismanaged it.
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Old August 9th, 2017, 06:49   #3
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I hope he spent that money on English classes because I thought I was having a stroke reading some of the content in the Facebook posts.

Has this person been blacklisted from the airsoft community yet if they haven't been already? It's one thing to fail to make refunds, it's another thing to be a complete ass when shit hits the fan and it's his responsibility to clean up.

Was there a specific reason for cancelling the event?
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Old August 9th, 2017, 08:07   #4
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But in all seriousness, one of the lines I read that really bothered me read something like: "well, where do you think all the money went" since apparently there were game assets, vehicles and whatnot that were purchased for the event. You need to realize though that it's not like these assets are single-use consumables, they are capital assets that become part of the company that can be used over again for future games. Purchase of capital assets should come out of the companies expenses, not pre-subsidized by event fees.

Since I'm obviously not from BC it's hard to comment on this specific story. I'm of the opinion that people should exercise their consumer rights, else we as a community are leaving the door open for more poorly managed event hosts to come in and take advantage of airsoft consumers.
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Old August 9th, 2017, 09:10   #5
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Frye festival of airsoft is kind of harsh. The guy didnt spend the money on models and blow, he used it as a capital investment which is something that everyone does, even if you goto buy a condo pre-construction. Until airsoft becomes mainstream popular and we have virgin mobile sponsoring events, most of the people hosting these games are going to be people like you and I, who are operating out of their homes, who are doing it on the side for the sheer enjoyment of it and to hopefully make a little money on the side. As someone who has done event planning on a larger scale (concerts and managing international talent) there is a lot of risk involved especially if you want to events wih more production value. For this reason I am a bit more understanding about the amount of time it could take to get a refund to people.

*edit* I will go on to say that I dont think the while situation is heing handled very well, and even though I doubt anyone will "lawyer up" as there just is noy enough money involved to be worth while, the rhetoric surrounding those comments looks pretty bad.

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Old August 9th, 2017, 11:52   #6
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I don't agree with some of the comments that he has made, but I know the individual somewhat and he's known for being a bit of a hardass. He is endlessly being messaged, accused, etc, by people who don't know what happened but are making guesses or going off of hear-say. He should keep his cool and be polite to let everyone know that he's working on it, but that is why he's getting frustrated.

The event getting cancelled wasn't his fault and like every other group who's thrown an event they invest the event money into the event itself. I believe people are entitled to their money back and should get it. But those are the parameters everyone is working with. I don't know how he's setup his company or financials, but whatever it appears to be, it's actually an Airsoft team throwing the event, not some huge company.

Hopefully he finds a way to get everyone their money back.

Everyone has the right to be upset and should be pursuing the return of their investment and the individual in question has not been forthcoming with information to the community, which is a mistake he has made. Publicizing the known facts would certainly help the sympathy train considering where this situation has gone.

I'm not going to make excuses for him, but I will say this; he's not necessarily the bad guy in this situation and refunding people's money is one of a hundred different issues he's left to deal with following the games forced cancellation. Should he make it more of a priority? Maybe, but from what I do know of him he's taking this very seriously and he has every right to be mad as a hornet. This doesn't mean he should take it out on the bevy of people who are out time and money, but both sides need to play this cool and move towards a best case scenario. Internet fighting is the stupidest move anyone can do in a situation like this.

You all have the right however to file a dispute, grab a lawyer, if that's what you want, and attempt to get your money back through ethical means. You don't need anyone's permission for that.
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Old August 9th, 2017, 15:45   #7
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Yeah the folks running the event are trying to work the refunds so that everyone is treated equally. Folks that jump the line to get the first piece of the pie get a slap. from what I have seen in the posts they're trying to scale the refunds so that everyone gets an equal but not complete refund back to start and then as they unwind the other expenses they'll do that again.

if some players get a full refund to start then it upsets the apple cart.

I guess this all goes down to trust; just like calling hits. If you trust someone to call hits etc. then you trust them. If you don't trust them to refund you and need to start a dispute that's your call. But if that's the case getting a ban from the group's future events shouldn't bug you.

I understand that $150 is a pretty good chunk of change to just write off but at the same time since most of the tickets were paid for months ago it's not meaning your family will go hungry if you don't get it back today.

It all goes down to trust. If you don't like/don't trust this guy why were you signed up for this in the first place. And if you do trust him then I'd say keep the faith.

And for other organizers that run games that can be disrupted by weather or a landowner pulling the plug I would guess you should carry some sort of cancellation insurance and not roll on handshake agreements.

I don't know how well written the agreement the organizers had with the landowner but they should have a pretty good case to purse him for costs. The problem with stuff like this is that the dollars are so low it's likely going through the courts will cost more than they'll get back.
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Old August 9th, 2017, 19:19   #8
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Keep in mind the host has already given "select" people full refunds back because they were either good friends or embedded admins for the cancelled game. This is already favoritism, and is what has some of the others upset rightly.

Pushing those who are upset to the bottom of the list and saying they will now get refunded last instead of yet again equally like everyone should have been (including said friends and embedded admins) already shows lack of respect and false promises in my books.

Every single person should be going instantly to paypal and visa if I was them and getting full refunds, Paypal and Visa will go after him with collection agencies and the law where required. Him threatening to say tough luck to them will hurt him more in the long run, as everyone who paid via EMT should be taking screenshots of that and then filing in small claims court and contacting the RCMP with copies of those shots.

That is my 2 cents. If he was on the up and up, he would be giving out farm more constant updates to everyone and doing the progress payments equally to everyone, not periodically responding and only responding when he wants to once someone goes public because he is not doing it via PM.
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Old August 9th, 2017, 21:59   #9
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Well that's sure how not to win friends and influence people.
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Old August 10th, 2017, 09:16   #10
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You could tell that this event was never going to happen. First there were 2 other events scheduled earlier in the year and both were cancelled for "unforseen" issues at the venue. Second months before the big event he claims there was people going to the property and playing airsoft at night. This apparently ended with police being called etc. However I know people that live on the property as care takers and they never heard of the issue. Not saying it couldn't of happened but chances are strong it was an out as a short time after this was one of the results to the game being cancelled.

I also would like to point out that if the person and/or company knew how to run things they would have put all ticket sales into trust to protect the merchants and their money. Which means the company would have to be out of pocket to put the event on until such date and then could pay itself back. It's called overhead.

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Old August 10th, 2017, 11:21   #11
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You could tell that this event was never going to happen. First there were 2 other events scheduled earlier in the year and both were cancelled for "unforseen" issues at the venue. Second months before the big event he claims there was people going to the property and playing airsoft at night. This apparently ended with police being called etc. However I know people that live on the property as care takers and they never heard of the issue. Not saying it couldn't of happened but chances are strong it was an out as a short time after this was one of the results to the game being cancelled.

I also would like to point out that if the person and/or company knew how to run things they would have put all ticket sales into trust to protect the merchants and their money. Which means the company would have to be out of pocket to put the event on until such date and then could pay itself back. It's called overhead.

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If who youre talking about is who is mentioned in this thread:
http://airsoftcanada.com/showthread.php?t=184088&

The dude "Adrian who is out $52k" is in the hole for money. Sheesh, no wonder he's freaking out.

The guy needs to re-evaluate a lot of things going on... This was something that happened in July and it's still ongoing. Damn.
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Old August 10th, 2017, 11:57   #12
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If who youre talking about is who is mentioned in this thread:
http://airsoftcanada.com/showthread.php?t=184088&

The dude "Adrian who is out $52k" is in the hole for money. Sheesh, no wonder he's freaking out.

The guy needs to re-evaluate a lot of things going on... This was something that happened in July and it's still ongoing. Damn.
Absolutely needs to re-evaluate how he does things because if you burn your customers by making sure they don't get their refunds right away people will steer clear of any future events. It's going to be very hard for him and his company to bounce back after this. Could have been avoided if the ticket money was put into trust until after the event but thays takes capital. To play with the big boys you need to pay like them.

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Old August 10th, 2017, 19:58   #13
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Airsoft in the lower mainland isn't the tightest group of people as there are many cheaters and rule breakers. Groups over the years have tried to bring people together for more than just bb wars to fill that milsim experience. The drama thats in BC spans all over and what you see the community like from your points of view isn't to far off. What happened to some degree is that the land in which the game is taking place has some buildings that are filled with asbestos. Those buildings are quarantined properly but most of the buildings on the the site are still accessible for play. Last years event went really well but since the location is known some players have been sneaking on the field illegally trespassing and playing air-soft and the owners are holding the guy with the lease responsible for the community. So low and behold some guys decided to not only enter the field but destroy the quarantined houses filled with asbestos which in turn ducked over the whole site because of the hazmat issues. Now the land owners are pissed and shut the whole place down, and people were also harassing the caretakers of the land after the first couple of times trespassing happened. Some trespassing included drone surveillance to get advantages on intel months in advance, etc.

Now personally i think the drama that happened in Kelowna and this event being cancelled aren't coincidence though i have no proof, strictly because the community here in BC is pretty selfish and competitive from a big overview. Also half the players that play in the lower mainland are with no disrespect rich Asian foreigners (multicam lifestyle) and that dynamic with some of the local players don't mix well/ maynot follow standard rules of engagement.

It sucks that someone tried to bring milsim/bring the community together than bb wars and get crucified over it.

I don't know how to run a business but the $ was to increase the immersion and experience and not for personal gain. The guy has an armory of guns and toys and a nice house before he decided to do this for the community
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Old August 10th, 2017, 22:05   #14
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This is my 2 cents, having run some mid sized games around London area. My policy for larger games that are not just run of the mill skirmishes, each team or players EMT is transferred to an account, where it stays till game day.

Any props, rentals, and other overhead are paid for out of my own pocket. There are no refunds to the event, you are responsible to cover your spot.

Should the game be cancelled by me or extenuating circumstances cause the event not to go off due to whatever reason, then each player is given either a credit to future events or I return them their full entry.

Unless you are running a game for buddies and charging a minimal fee to cover costs, then its a business, and should be treated as such. Players are the customer and should be treated the same way any other customer is.
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Old August 11th, 2017, 00:40   #15
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Lots of people losing their shit, understandably, after two organizers havijg actually scammed people.
Ive had no reason to think this was ever a scam. Refunds have been going out, slower than stated by the organizer, but they're being sent nonetheless.
If this were a scam, i imagine the organizer would have, more traditionally, not given out any statement, let alone refunds, sold all their shit and fled the province then bought a tour bus to restore lol

Thus far all attempts to bitch and moan on social media have resulted in the most vocal being put last in line for refunds. Soooooo pretty counterproductive so far.
The airsoftcanada facebook group is remaining neutral on the issue, as we have no reason still to believe this may be a scam, but rather just an unfortunate series of events and improperly executed fiscal plan. But the latter is really none of our business. And quite frankly, we dont want a bunch of counterproductive and ultimately futile shitposting all over the page.

The only crime here is a bit of mismanagement.
Theres some mentally retarded people calling for class action lawsuit. But they're emotionally driven idiocy is made incredibly apparent by their lack of understanding of anything at all. If you sue someone who doesnt HAVE all your money for all your money, how are you going to get all your money? Answer is you wont.
But you'll waste a shitload in legal fees lol

Anyway refunds are still going out, so no reason to call a national community crisis just yet.
Word on the grapevine is some groups were going to the game specifically to fuck with it. My understanding is the BC community is quite polarized and many people wanted to see him fail.
Cause, you know, fuck this one guy and 300 other people incidently...
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