Rescheduling

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To whom this concerns,
My friend bought us tickets to wine class 101. The first one was rescheduled due to weather. She had a concussion and wasn’t able to drink so had emailed about rescheduling. You never returned her email. Please let me know if we can reschedule for another date or I would like my money returned. Thank you.

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Kenisha,

Sorry you ended up with a concussion before coming to a wine class. Your doctor is right to advise you to not drink before you are fully recovered.

There are a few issues I would like to address, as this is the first time this issue has been addressed in our forums, so my response is more universal.

The first issue is why we sell tickets instead of take reservations. This is an important issue. Institutions that offer education or cultural activities often sell tickets or seats. These are always for a specific date and time.

The reason for this is that such institutions don’t sell products. They sell an educational or cultural experience at a certain time and place. If you purchase a ticket to a show or a class or even a game, you have to show up at that time and place.

People who don’t show up is a common problem for arenas, theaters and schools. Typically, not showing up means the ticket holder is out of luck. At best, the institution will try to get them into another date and time… but that is never guaranteed.

There is good reason for that. Such institutions rely on ticket sales to cover costs, and if people could just come when they felt like it… well, that would mean bankruptcy.

I love running a wine school, but I hate the friction ticket sales causes. About ten years ago, I looked into opening up ticket sales, so that all tickets could be used at any time. I talked with facilities that had experimented with the concept, and I was disheartened by what I heard.

Each and ever one told me 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.

Back to the drawing board.

About five years ago, I charged one of my staffers –the wonderful Beth Case– to come up with a way to work around this issue. She came up with the idea of a Premium ticket, which would act like an insurance policy. The cost of the upgrade doesn’t cover our costs, but the kitty of Premium purchases, theoretically, would.

It’s been very effective and innovative way to sell tickets. As of this writing, I don’t know anyone else who is doing it, and that’s a shame. It allows us to sell less expensive tickets 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).

For the most part it’s a win-win. 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. Most will ask nicely, but some will threaten us. Just last week, we had a gentleman call up and threaten us with bad PR if we didn’t give him seats.

My nature is to help people out, but I also believe in fairness above all else. This is the sticky part, and the part that I haven’t resolved yet. When you are feeling better, I would love your ideas to this issue.

The issues are these: Should I allow some people to reschedule even though they have discount tickets? If so, how do I 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, I am always open to a new solution that benefits all our students and allows the Wine School to continue doing it’s awesome thing.

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I reached out on my own earlier (April 21) via your website. I never received a response. I’m dealing with a brain injury I both cannot drink alcohol. Because of my sudden accident, I was hoping to get a credit to be applied to another class. My friend reached out to you on my behalf because it is fairly difficult for me to communicate.

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Several good questions,

We do cancel classes due to weather sometimes, usually due to snowstorms. We do not reschedule classes. Instead, we issue gift codes that the student can used for any class. That code is valued at whatever they originally paid.

You mention that a friend of yours purchased a few tickets to a class which was cancelled due to a snowstorm, and then rescheduled for another class.

Its very nice of you to reach out for your friend, but he (or she) is the customer on record. Please have them respond to this thread. I can answer any questions they may have.

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