The No Refund / No Exchange Policy (And Why We Have It)
Paine to Pain does not permit the sale or transfer of numbers. But it isn’t because we are money-hungry jerks. This is, after all, a non-profit and all of the race committee, myself included, are volunteer. These are the reasons:
We know that some people that registered for the race won’t show up. This happens in all races and we account for it when planning.
We also know that those who sign up far in advance of a race will have greater no-show rates than those who sign up closer to race date. There will be injuries, weddings, inclement weather and other parts of life that affect our plans for races we may have signed up for months in advance. We account for this by offering discounts for early registrations.
Some people will ask about refunds, deferments to the following year, or transfers to another runner, and some might be unhappy when we say no. But if we say no, the least we can do is offer you the reasons:
1. The reason we can keep the price of the race so low is because we factor in these no-shows. If discounted bibs are transferred, the whole point of the discount evaporates. And that means charging everyone a higher price to account for the transfers.
2. We don’t have any staff to deal with the transfer requests we get; with 200 no-shows in 2012 for example, you can understand the scale of the issue, and the race is organized by a non-profit running group, and our race committee is 100% volunteer.
3. Transferring numbers is also a headache, as it messes with the age group results. If a 30-year-old runs with the number for a 50-year-old, that person will foul up the age group standings. In February 2012 a marathon winner was disqualified for running with a friend’s bib. We will do the same, and reserve the right to ban you from future events. But we really, really don’t want to do that. We just want to have fun and raise money to improve the trails.
So please don’t use another person’s bib, not just because it’s against our rules or you fear our ungodly wrath, but because those rules were created for real reasons. If we did deferments/exchanges/refunds we would have to find more volunteers to handle the task, and then account for these items by raising the price. Yuck.
In essence, we hope you understand our simple-stupid approach meets our desire to do four simultaneous things:
- Put on a top quality event;
- Keep the registration fees as low as possible;
- Maximize the efforts of our volunteers toward race-related duties; and
- Raise money to improve the trails.