Discount Offered

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Hi – yesterday, I registered for the intermediate level global wine foundation course. A few hours later, I received the email offering the 30% discount. As a regular customer/lover of the Wine School, I was hoping you could refund my fee so I may repurchase with the discount? Thanks so much for your attention to this.

Also – the email address associated with the wine school is ************@yahoo.com, but no matter what I do to log in, it seems to kick me out, including trying to reset my password.

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Ellen,

I just checked, and we had two accounts for you. One from your old DiBrunos email, and another with your comcast email. I merged those accounts together, and you can login using the yahoo account you just supplied.


On to the issue at hand. We sent out an awesome sale a day after you signed up for a class. This isn’t the first time this has happened, and it won’t be the last.

Sales are a tricky thing. They do two awesome things for the school: they draw in students and gain peoples attention. This is important, especially during our historically slow period in the first few weeks of September.

There are some serious negatives about sales, too. The first is that the school loses money on every ticket sold; that isn’t a good business model, even for a school.

More importantly, when a student misses out on a sale, that can ruin our relationship with them. I’ve missed out on major sales, and I know how shitty that feels.

When we run a sale, we will get a number of requests for refunds. Mostly, it folks who ordered the class a day (or week) before the sale started. We will also get requests from people who missed the sale by a day or two.

A few of those requests will be from deal-seekers; the kind of people who will ONLY attend a class if we offer a sale. Those folks don’t support the school in any way, and are often very difficult, so I don’t think twice about them.

Then there are the folks like yourself who are supporters and friends of the Wine School. Folks like yourself are the lifeblood of the company.

The problem is that most of the people who miss the sale are our friends and supporters. We can’t say yes to one without saying yes to all. If we say no, we run the risk of losing some dear friends. If we say yes to all it would make running the class/program financially unfeasible.

I have put a lot of thought into this issue, since it’s been a problem since the school was founded, over a decade ago. I’m a smart guy, but I haven’t come up with a solution.

To offset the problem, I always make sure there are at least two full semesters of classes are posted. That way, someone who made a purchase just before the sale have the opportunity to purchase another class –with the discount– up to six months in advance.

I know it’s not a solution. Perhaps we shouldn’t offer discounts or sales at all? I am not opposed to that. Any and all ideas to fix this intractable problem are encouraged. The solution would need to be beneficial for all our students, as well as keeping the school out of the red.

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