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Discussion: 2017 West Point Event Fees Refunded

in: West Point National Meet (Apr 22–23, 2017 - West Point, NY)

May 15, 2017 4:22 AM # 
I received a notice last week that PayPal was refunding my fees for the West Point event. I've sent them (West Point), a couple emails but received no reply. Perhaps they are busy with graduation? or other activities?

I'm curious if others who payed on-line using PayPal also had their fees refunded???

Does West Point even realize? or care? Seems as though there could be quite a bit of money involved.
May 15, 2017 5:10 AM # 
That happened to me (as RMOC registrar) when I had a typo in our PayPal remittance email address for a local meet. I didn't realize the mistake until I got a refund notice for my own entry fee about a month later -- and then I had to re-request payments from all the attendees. Not sure if that's what happened with the West Point meet...but I guess that's one possibility.
May 15, 2017 10:48 AM # 
We got the same notice.
May 15, 2017 11:33 AM # 
Same here.
May 15, 2017 11:40 AM # 
Not only was my original charge cancelled, but I got a refund on top of it. So at this point am $92 ahead. Hope this can be straightened out. No wonder the defense budget is going up.
May 15, 2017 11:51 AM # 
The account we use shows the payment "pending." I wonder if that means they're working on it, or that it's been sitting in PayPal for less time and thus has not yet been canceled/refunded.
May 15, 2017 12:51 PM # 
I had the same thing (netting to zero payment) and emailed them about it last week. Haven't heard back yet.
May 15, 2017 1:40 PM # 
Early this morning I received two emails, same timestamp.

First was from EventReg and said roughly: Thank you for paying online, your payment has been confirmed.

Second was from PayPal and said:

This payment was returned for the following reason(s):

USMA Orienteering Team is not a Verified PayPal member.
May 15, 2017 2:46 PM # 
@tp, who did you email?

I sent a note a few minutes ago to the commanding officer/ officer-in-charge.
May 15, 2017 3:50 PM # 
Janet - The registrar and, a few days later, also the officer-in-charge. (and I had gotten the same messages as fossil, but a week or two ago)
May 15, 2017 4:03 PM # 
Ditto on fossil's email (nearly two weeks ago) and also emailed the registrar shortly after, with no response.
May 15, 2017 5:12 PM # 
I got the same emails a couple of weeks ago, but figured somebody else would deal with it (and I'm surprised the discussion took so long to appear here). My guess is that all entry fees have erroneously been refunded, and that this will be a bit of a mess.
May 15, 2017 6:48 PM # 
Mine is still listed as pending in Paypal, as it has been since I registered in March. However, the charges definitely went through on my credit card. I have not received an email or had my money come back (at least not yet).
May 15, 2017 6:55 PM # 
Remember the good old days? When you'd read ON/A to discover the upcoming meets? And then tear out the Meet Entry Form from the magazine and mail it in with your paper check?

Simple, easy.....and no way to hack the paper form or check!
May 15, 2017 7:16 PM # 
yeah, right. Show of hands... how many meet registrars want to go back to the paper system?
May 15, 2017 7:17 PM # 
Having done it, I'm with fossil on this.
May 15, 2017 8:08 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
and no way to hack the paper form or check!

It is not challenging to find instances of mailed checks stolen en route and cashed by someone other than the intended recipient.
May 15, 2017 8:59 PM # 
Ten years ago, I did my first stint as registrar, for HVO's Surebridge Challenge. I used the predecessor of EventReg, which, at that time, had to be customised for each event by its developer, Kent Shaw. All waivers were paper, and all payments were by check (or cash at check-in). By the weekend of the event, I had a 3-ring binder filled with waivers.

While online payment via PayPal (or, earlier, GooglePay), was a timesaver, the bigger enhancement was the online waiver; that allowed the entire registration process to be paperless. I still have the same binder, but in recent years it typically gets just a handful of papers (a bit more for IS/IC Champs).

Long story shory: There is NO WAY I would serve as registrar without the current tech (occasional glitches notwithstanding)

As for this USMAOC matter, I got an EventReg payment confirmation e-mail, but thought it was just a resend of the original -- and hadn't noticed that the amount was negative.

[EDIT: The e-mail I got today had a positive amount; so, perhaps the PayPal recipient e-mail was corrected and payments were completed. For the cadets' sake, I hope so...]

I suspect the problem went unnoticed because cadets in general -- and the registrar in particular -- do not have access to the PayPal account for the Cadet Activity Fund. That being the case, there would be no way to readily verify that registrant payments were being received -- let alone refunded.
May 15, 2017 9:59 PM # 
As an occasional registrar -- no way do I want to go back to the paper entries and handling all those checks!
May 15, 2017 10:26 PM # 
I too have done it both ways and heartily endorse EventReg which has seen improvements since Kent Shaw's days, thanks to its new handler, Ed Despard. First time as registrar, 1998 Billygoat; a couple of Ski O Champs around the same era; first A meet, 2006 short/long (now called middle and Ultralong) champs.

Paperless is the way to go!
May 16, 2017 1:37 AM # 
Hello all, as you all have realized, there has been a problem with our Pay Pal account. Be on the lookout for an explanatory email in the next few days.

I apologize for the inconvenience.

- Trey Grindley
May 17, 2017 7:53 PM # 
I'm going to choose to believe Chitownclark's remark was intended sarcastically, as the preponderance of the evidence is that this is the only reasonable interpretation.
May 20, 2017 11:00 PM # 
Unless you actually know Clark. In which case the preponderance of evidence would point to taking his comment at face value.

I also would never dream of returning to paper registration but, it is important to acknowledge that there is a small, but vocal, minority that very much wishes for the good old days.
May 21, 2017 3:43 AM # 
I suspect Clark may never have experienced EventReg. It is a while since he has been at an A meet.
May 21, 2017 10:27 PM # 
I did not know this meet was free after rebate. I did not pay attention.

I remember the good old days of mid-1990's. America was still young and fresh.
The maps were high quality then, and factory-printed--could read 1:15k scale easily. Even the weather was better. I remember running in mid-summer at Devil's Thumb and White Ranch, it was cool and dry. Now it's too hot and humid in April.
May 22, 2017 1:26 AM # 
I remember the good old days of mid-1990's. The maps were high quality then, and factory-printed--could read 1:15k scale easily.

A Texan was showing a New Yorker his ranch, and commented that it would take him all day to drive all the way around it. The New Yorker replied, "Yeah, I used to have a truck like that, too".
May 26, 2017 11:10 PM # 
The cadets sent out an email, explaining what happened, asking us to re-submit a payment. Done right away, I think they deserve our support!
May 27, 2017 12:56 AM # 
Agreed, they deserve our support.
May 27, 2017 2:18 AM # 
My original payment never refunded to my credit card and is apparently still trapped in Paypal purgatory :-/ does anyone else have this issue?
May 27, 2017 3:03 AM # 
Yes, Julie; I do.

I don't know if it's something the cadets can release us from or if we need to "report a problem" to PayPal.

Otherwise, it'll disappear/be refunded after 6 months in unclaimed territory (so, mid-September for me) if I understand their website correctly.
May 27, 2017 4:19 AM # 
I did call Paypal and they said the issue was the receiving acount being unverified. If the cadets can verify the account, the payments would automatically complete. If not, I hope it can be cancelled because I'd rather not have to pay again and be out that money for months.
May 27, 2017 7:19 AM # 
The refund was listed as a PayPal balance. You can use it to pay West Point or to pay something else, or you can ask to have it returned to your bank account. At least that is what happened to me.
May 27, 2017 9:01 AM # 
Are you guys SURE you're ready to give up paper checks? :-)
May 27, 2017 9:34 AM # 
Clark - yes! This all caused a lot of talk, but it was not that big a deal. I just sent a paper check to pay for something and the check was apparently lost in the mail. A much bigger hassle. We have been using paypal to pay meet fees for a couple of years now, and this is the first glitch I've been aware of. Much easier to do, immediate verification of receipt, seamless.
May 27, 2017 10:00 AM # 
Sorry about your loss Charlie. But when I lose a paper check, I usually don't worry about it....banking restrictions protect me from fraud. I merely send another.

However, I just bought a couple of appliances...that were delivered with absolutely no operating instructions. A note included in the packing material indicated that if I wanted any further information, I was to send in my check for $106 and the operating manuals would be sent in a month or two!

So I wrote a letter I sent with my check, complaining that for a $3000 investment, asking for another $106 after delivery just to learn how to use the machines, was not only poor customer service, but questionable ethics.

The manuals were delivered by FedEx yesterday....along with my uncashed check and a note of apology. A nice grace note, with a lot more impact than a PalPal credit six months from now!
May 27, 2017 11:45 AM # 
Mark Domínie once handed me an envelope containing my registration, sealed in a plastic bag bearing an apology from USPS for finding it lost in their machinery, a year after the event that I was registering for. Since it was registration by mail in the old days, I arrived at the event not knowing that they hadn't received my registration. As a former event registrar, checks are a hassle to deal with. I don't see the advantages over credit card/PayPal.
May 27, 2017 11:45 AM # 
I'd be pretty surprised if the manuals for Clark's appliances aren't available online somewhere.

(My original payment refund showed up on the credit card statement that arrived yesterday, and I logged on just now and made the payment again --- piece of cake.)
May 27, 2017 2:46 PM # 
My payment was refunded by Paypal to my credit card on May 5.

Paying with the new USMAOC email address on Paypal took me a minute. This technology is amazing, using the interweb or whatever the young ones call it is much better than carrying around Swiss Francs in my shoes when I was traveling many years ago.
May 27, 2017 3:36 PM # 
I agree, Paypal is 100% vicious company, don't get me started on them. Based in California (enough said) and run by globalists. I now use paper checks and cash all the time. "Used Paypal -- helped Keyser Soze.."
May 27, 2017 10:05 PM # 
This registrar much prefers PayPal payments over checks (it also makes refunds much easier). That said, I do not see a time when I would not accept paper checks...
May 28, 2017 10:30 AM # 
...Otherwise, it'll disappear [or] be refunded after 6 months in unclaimed territory...if I understand their website correctly.

I'm glad some of you are getting refunds. But as Janet feared, what if you don't get yours? Who do you speak the huge, nameless, faceless Internet?

I like dealing with my local banker; he's right down on the corner! When I have a bank fee or charge I don't like, I sit down with him, whom I've known for many years, and he ALWAYS fixes it.

Small banks, stores, downtowns, and even some malls are losing business to the Internet. No question, using PayPal and Amazon are easier. Compared with 30 years ago, when I first orienteered, it's a whole new world! But at some point, I think we all should consider the price we are paying for such convenience, both personally, and as a society.
May 28, 2017 10:39 AM # 
European banks long had easy ways to make fund transfers, which was how people paid for orienteering events I understand. American banks never managed to make this both easy and well controlled. To a greater degree, PayPal and Amazon did.
May 28, 2017 2:40 PM # 
I'm glad some of you are getting refunds. But as Janet feared, what if you don't get yours? Who do you speak the huge, nameless, faceless Internet?

The registrar. No need to undo years of progress because of one snafu. The WP team is working hard to fix this. It hit them just as they were going into final exams. Which would you suggest they prioritize first? I think they made the right choice putting this aside until after their finals.

Funny thing, Clark. Every O meet I've ever been to has had a registrar with a name and a face. And anytime I've had a problem or a special request they've always bent over backwards to help me out. The sky is not falling. At least not over online meet registration/payments. Getting new people into the sport, now there's an issue you might want to get yourself worked up about.
May 28, 2017 2:48 PM # 
Totally agree, fossil. Having been registrar a few times, as well as an entrant (in orienteering events and other activities), I totally agree that the advantages of on-line registration and payment far outweigh any disadvantages.
May 28, 2017 4:27 PM # 
I didn't get a refund, and, according to PayPal (online), my payment is "completed". That tells me that the money should now be in the USMAOC account, rather than in limbo.

Is there any reason to think it will be refunded?
May 28, 2017 5:20 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Great documentary on checking security.

This discussion thread is closed.