May I rant for a moment? Pretty please?

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PrettyGirlJean
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May I rant for a moment? Pretty please?

Post by PrettyGirlJean »

Hi all,

wow... I'm just so annoyed that I'm... wow. Angry isn't even accurate. I am very frustrated... I not sure what anyone's experiences have been like with registering for the Artist Alley (AA) at anime conventions, but I've just had the worst experience with the Katsucon convention.

To make a long story short (or try to), about a year ago I started going to the con website everyday waiting for ANY kind of update whether it was an AA update or not. I emailed them conveying that I wanted a space in the AA. Understandably, tables were not available up until a few weeks (or about a month ago), so technically I was jumping the gun a little. Their "process" for registering has me at my wits end! I just sent an email detailing my aggravation. Everything they've done has been last minute, rushed, and pretty unprofessional in my opinion. Their lack of order is based on the excuse that they are volunteers and life got in the way. Which I understand, but I go by the belief that if you don't have time, then maybe, just maybe someone might not ought to volunteer in the first place. But, I suppose I could be wrong.

Anyway, I've had conversations on their forums asking how their process makes ANY sense. I understand that by only accepting money orders as the only form of payment they don't have to worry about checks bouncing and don't have to pay exorbitant fees to go through paypal. They are pretty condescending when telling people that it is a "Courtesy" that they are even notifying attendees that their "materials" (ie payment) has been received. In that email they don't even say whether it's been processed, just that it has been received. Which again, wouldn't be such a big deal if it weren't for the fact that it's freakin' last minute! There is one month now until the convention and I'm just -now- getting an email telling me I'm on a -waiting list-. Now, that wouldn't be so bad, but they told me outright in the email that there is no order (for what good reason completely escapes me) to the waiting list, it's on a first come, first served basis AND it's for saturday, the second day of the convention! Yet, reservation of a table was based on postmark... so, since I unfortunately had to pay rent and bills I couldn't send my payment till the end of the same week.... Gaaahhhh!! I hope my annoyance isn't without reason here!

For anyone interested, pasted below is the email I got from Katsu and then my response...I tried to be as polite as I possibly could in my anger... I just couldn't contain myself any longer. x(


Danni,


Thank you for your application for a table at Katsucon 12 Artist's Alley. All applicants were assigned to tables based on postmark date. Unfortunately, more people applied for tables than Katsucon will be able to accommodate this year.

* Your name has been placed on the Artist's Alley waiting list. *

There is no order or priority for artists on the waiting list. On Saturday, February 18th at 12pm noon, any tables that have not been claimed by their assigned artist, will be made available on a first-come-first-serve basis to anybody on the waiting list.

In order to claim a table in the Artist Alley you must first have completed your convention registration or picked up your Pre-Registration materials and badges. You then MUST CHECK-IN with the Artist Alley Staff and receive your Reservation Packet. As part of the CHECK-IN process, you are required to PRINT THIS EMAIL and bring it with you as proof of your reservation. Failure to do this will result in the delay of your table assignment.

Again, this is first-come-first-serve basis and no artist will have priority over another prior to his or her arrival on Saturday at noon.

If you are not able to get a table during the course of the convention, your reservation monies will be returned within 60 days of convention close via USPS to the return address on the reservation form itself.



Hi,

I understand that I am on the waiting list because I was unable to send my payment the first day possible. I would like to as politely as possible convey my complete and utter disappointment of how registration for Artist Alley has been handled. This is not because I have been told that I'm on the waiting list, however, being told such is the last straw for me.

Not knowing until one month before the convention whether I have a table or I'm on a waiting list for a table is ridiculous. Being told that it is a "courtesy" that I am even told when my money is received? I feel that this very unprofessional. No order or priority of the waiting list is a complete joke and downright insulting considering the fact that artists wanting to attend had to follow strict rules in the first place. Why is there no order for the waiting list as well? My main purpose for going to Katsucon was to be in the Artist Alley, I am not going to travel 7+ hours to possibly get a table the second day of the convention (when I've paid full price for a table!). Again, ridiculous. And now according to this email I have to wait even longer to get my refund back? I do indeed want my refund for both my table and my pre-registration to the convention. I no longer wish to attend this Katsucon or any future Katsucon conventions if this is how I am to be treated.

Sincerely,


If you think I'm in the wrong, please be honest, afterall I am ranting here... and I'm sorry if this is a no-no. I just don't know how to get my frustration out. Even writing to them didn't seem to help. I guess it's mainly because I'm so hurt that I can't be in the AA with my best friend. We've been talking about this for MONTHS now, almost a year. We've been in the Otakon AA together for the last 3 years... we wanted to try another con as well... this sucks. ;_;

Anyhow, I'll end this hear. Thanks for listening to my crazy rant guys. And again I apologize if I'm not suppose to rant, please delete it if that's the case.

Thanks again *hug*

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Post by drumlord »

That's pretty shoddy.

1) You should have been able to register online and pay online or later. If they don't like paypal or some other provider, TOUGH. Welcome to the real world. Every company on the whole friggin planet has to pay fees for every single credit card transaction. Deal with it.

2) Charging somebody for something you aren't actually going to give them is illegal in many places. At the very least you could find out what company like the Better Business Bureau you can contact to tell them how poorly this was handled.
-Rich-

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PrettyGirlJean
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Post by PrettyGirlJean »

Yes, shoddy is a nice adjective although quite an understatement :) haha

Anyhow, their reason for not going through paypal is that "unlike otakon" the conventions budget wasn't large enough to pay $10 per registration to do online payments. They come up with excuses for just about all of their inadequacies(sp?).

Here is the response I got this morning:

Danni,

Due to many issues with the new venue of the Omni Shorham much of the needed information for Artist Alley was delayed up until december. There was nothing we could do about this as we were waiting for the hotel to confirm with us. The reason confirmations or waiting lists took so long to get out this year was directly related to my decision NOT to open reservations until I KNEW I had tables to give artists.

How would you feel if I had opened reservations and accepted 80 people only to find out we could only seat 45 of them?

In order to avoid such problems, rules and guidelines that were not in place before had to be adopted. Some worked in the short time we had, some didn't. Those that didn't are going to be replaced. Moving forward the entire process will be streamlined, however the benefits of that will only be seen next year.

There are some corrections to the waiting list emails that will be sent out this weekend dealing with priority.

At this time in accordance with your request below your name has been removed from the list. You will have to send an email to prereg@katsucon.com in order to start the refund process of your pre-reg money. Your Artist Alley reservation will be returned to you via USPS within 30 business days of this date unless I hear back from you stating that you wish to remain on the list.


I haven't replied just yet... but I think their reason is a bunch of BS. Of course they're blaming the hotel. They knew at LEAST 6 months ahead of time that they would be in this hotel... they couldn't make arrangements BEFORE December? Despite it being a new venue...that is a load.

Anyhow, thanks for the reply Drum, I feel better I'm not the only person who feels they've got some pretty lame excuses.

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Kizyr
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Post by Kizyr »

Katsucon's been having difficulties with moving about. I mean, last time they were in Crystal City (where I live now) at two hotels, which created a whole mess of problems. The two years before that they were elsewhere in Northern Virginia (I wasn't here in 2004 to attend). Now, they're in Northwest DC.

I'd imagine their staffers have been shuffling around as well. I know it's real frustrating, but a lot of things about Katsucon are going to be handled unprofessionally just due to that fact. Sorry about the issues you've been having, though... It might be best to just forego trying to get into AA for cons that you find are handled badly until they shore up.

Smaller conventions can also be easier to deal with. KF
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PrettyGirlJean
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Post by PrettyGirlJean »

I thought the Katsu AA would be all right since I have been to one of the cons before. I really don't have too much against the con itself, mainly the AA. I've been told the reason they move around so much (unbenounced to me) was because they are so unprofessional and have a lot of staff that don't know how to run a convention. I think since I have invested so much time (and money) in it that I may still go, but unless there are some drastic changes to their waiting list I'll definitely forego the AA this time.

I did really enjoy Ohayocon in Columbus a couple of weeks ago. I forgot just how fun small cons can be. Usually Otakon was the only one I could attend since it was during the summer (and the only one my parents were familiar with and would take me too when I was younger). I was also thinking of trying out Matsuricon which is in Columbus as well, but I think it is too close to Katsu for me to be able to afford it :\

Anyhow, my only real experience with AAs have been Otakon's, it's really hard not to compare. I realize Otakon has much bigger budget, but even if they didn't they still handle things really well... well, there was a little worry and frustration with pre-reg and AA reg being later in the year, but still it worked out in the end. Maybe it will with Katsu too.

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