Class ReschedulingHave ticket insurance? Reschedule your classes and courses here.
This service is available to anyone who has purchased ticket insurance with a class. Reschedule requests must be made prior to the class start time. If you did not purchase ticket insurance, you are permitted to transfer your ticket to another person.
Have Ticket Insurance?
- You will be emailed a gift certificate code for the cost of the class, minus the cost of ticket insurance.
- It may take up to ten business days to receive the code.
- If you want ticket insurance when you reschedule, you must re-purchase it.
- The code does not expire. Ever.
- You can use the gift code to register for any class or course.
Don’t Have Ticket Insurance?
- Ticket insurance cannot be purchased after the fact.
- If you have discount tickets, you cannot reschedule. However, you can transfer your tickets to someone else.
- There are no exceptions to this policy.
Not Sure if You Have Ticket Insurance?
You can verify if you have insurance here: Discount Ticket FAQ.
This service is for individual classes only, not for courses or programs.
Important to Know
Once you complete your reschedule request, you will be sent to a confirmation page automatically. For a seamless rescheduling experience, make sure to review the details on that page.
Reschedule Request Form
Where Is My Code?
If you don’t receive a gift code within ten days, several things could have happened. First, please check your spam/bulk mail folder. It is possible it got stuck there. It happens, especially with Yahoo and Comcast email accounts. Second, you may have had regular tickets or your request may not have been made in a timely manner. If that is the case, you wouldn’t receive a gift code. In that situation, we typically send out a conciliatory note. If you are sure you had ticket insurance, and did not receive a gift code, simply resend your request via this page.
Why We Require Ticket Insurance
Ticketing is the way all cultural activities are organized. Theatres, schools, concert venues, and sports arenas sell seats to cultural events. As a school, we too sell tickets: for classes that are held on specific dates for a limited number of people.
There is a sticky issue that bedevils all cultural institutions: occasionally people buy tickets and can’t attend. As a rule, if you purchase a ticket (say, for a university lecture or a Broadway show) you cannot exchange it or get a refund. For us, that is the fly in the ointment with ticket sales: folks often have very good reasons to not being able to attend.
We’d love to help people out, each and every time. We looked into it and the numbers were harsh: It would mean bankruptcy.
We love what we do, but we hate the friction ticket sales causes. We hate saying “no” when people want to reschedule.
About ten years ago, the founder of the Wine School, Keith Wallace, looked into opening up ticket sales, so that all tickets could be used at any time. He talked with owners of other cultural institutions that had experimented with the concept, and he was disheartened by what he learned.
To a person, they relayed that allowing open tickets was a nightmare. Not only would they never know who was coming, or how many seats they had sold, they all had to hire additional people to deal with the huge increase in customer support. Worst of all was the bad feelings caused when they had to turn people away when seats were full. Allowing a free-for-all reservation strategy wasn’t a possibility.
The other way to insure the school didn’t go bankrupt was to increase prices significantly. We’ve always had very low ticket prices, since the school was founded as a not-for-profit institution: our classes cost 1/3 of what they should. For instance, our cooking classes are valued at $250/seat but we charge less than $100: When our Wine 101 class is run at other schools, students pay $85 a seat instead of under $50.
Since we are the top ranked Wine School in the USA, we could double our prices. However, the school was founded on the principles of integrity, community, equality, and stewardship. Our student population is amazing, and if we hiked up prices, some of them could no longer afford to come. That is a no-go for us.
Back to the Drawing Board
Keith went back to work. Several years ago, he came up with an innovative way to allow people to reschedule their seats: the idea of a Premium ticket, which would act like an insurance policy. It wouldn’t cost much for the student, but it would act as a buffer to the amount the school lost when it had empty seats.
Keith renamed the Premium upgrade to the more apt “Ticket Insurance” and let it loose on our website.
The concept turned out to be a very well received. First, it’s a great value for the student. They pay a nominal fee, which goes into a fund for covering the costs of rescheduling seats.
Second, offering Ticket Insurance allowed us to cut the costs of all our tickets! Within two months of starting the program, we dropped our base prices by 15%! This opened up our classes to people who otherwise couldn’t afford to come, while selling tickets at a higher price to people who want some extras (like the ability to reschedule).
As of this writing, we don’t know any other institution that is offering Ticket Insurance, and that is a shame. It keeps prices down, and it gives people a better experience.
Filtering out the Mean People
For the most part it’s a win-win. Even if they don’t have insurance, most folks realize that we’ve gone above and beyond. They see it as supporting a longstanding Philly institution.
However, there is always a few people who ask for an exception to the rule. Each and every one will argue their case, and very convincingly. For each of them, we offer our sympathies, but point out that our rescheduling policy is firm. Some accept this, but a tiny fraction of people get very angry and threaten the school.
This is not a great idea for several reasons. First, because they accepted these conditions when they purchased their tickets, Second, because being a bully is just plain wrong.
The Leonard Fischer Rule
We won’t give in to threats about rescheduling policy, ever. Just ask Leonard.
Leonard Fischer is the multimillionaire founder of Benetrends Financial , a financial firm in Pennsylvania. His son Matt had given him two seats to a Wine 101 for Christmas. However, Leonard and his wife Cheryl didn’t show up for the class.
Instead, Leonard and his wife showed up the following week and demanded free seats that day. They acknowledged that they didn’t have tickets, but didn’t care. Both of them threatened the sommelier instructor with bad PR if she refused. They acted like bullies, and our instructor felt threatened.
The founder of the Wine School had to come in and talk with Leonard Fischer. He offered to get them into another class, but they refused to budge. He eventually had to call the police, but the Fischers left before they arrived.
Sure enough Leonard posted a negative review of us on Yelp. And his wife did, too. We will never give in to extortion.
Still Want to Reschedule? Help Us!
Most people are not like Leonard. They are good folks who simply couldn’t make it to class. Our nature is to help people out, but we also believe in fairness above all else. We also know that the Wine School would go bankrupt if it allowed an open door policy. This is the sticky part, and the part that we haven’t resolved yet.
Should we allow some people to reschedule even though they didn’t purchase ticket insurance? If so, how do we choose who should and shouldn’t be given this privilege? Moreover, how do I make it right for the thousands of people who respect the process, even when it doesn’t benefit them? Is it okay to allow a few people special privileges while refusing them to everyone else?
Those are the issues at play here, and the reason we have a very cut-and-dry policy. However, we are always open to a new solution that benefits all our students and allows the Wine School to continue doing it’s awesome thing. Have a solution to the problem? We’d love to hear from you.