SF has disappointed me - A Story of Understanding

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wespom9

More than 500 posts
Certified Instructor
As the title says, for the first time in over 5 years of following and learning from this organization, I have come away thoroughly disappointed with a decision made by StrongFirst. Please allow me to explain.

I was registered for Chicago's late April KB Cert, which is of course cancelled as it should be with COVID-19 hitting everybody hard. This is happening to multiple events across the world and is putting strain on many organizations, small businesses, etc. After a short while, I was given an email regarding the future of the scheduled course.

The options given to me were to:
- A new date in August and a direction to "make the new date your priority" (of which I cannot due to a family wedding)
- attend in one of two other cities (I will not, because they cost far more in travel and hotel costs)
- attend in Chicago one year from now (my flight fees may not be able to be moved that late and would force me to lose out on all my flight fees AND which means that I would have paid the course fees for over 16 months before finally taking the course- a huge loss of )

or finally, my biggest gripe here: get a refund minus $500

StrongFirst, I am sorry, but a cancel fee of over 40% ( I bought an early bird pricing of $1195) during this time is outrageous to me. The main response I was given to this complaint was that "I signed the box that said "I agree to the above terms", which is slightly infuriating to me for a number of reasons. I know that I signed the box, but we are so far out of the realm of normal here that I thought there would be something done to alleviate the concerns.

Of course I understand that this is an economic disaster that will be told in history books for years to come. I understand that it will take years to recover, and that some businesses may not even recover. I understand that businesses incur fees to run these events. I understand businesses have to put up upfront costs. I understand there are no winners when disaster strikes. I understand that business is going to be at a standstill for many people, participants and event organizers alike.

But you know what? That applies to businesses AND participants as well. I lost a ton of money in future contracts because of this disaster. We the participants have small businesses as well that are taking an income hit. Is it my fault that this happened? When the organization "checked the box" to deliver the course, is it not on their part to incur risks such as these or others like low participation? Why is it the burden of the participants to insure those costs?

StrongFirst, I am not unreasonable. Many businesses have been giving out refunds, no questions asked. I myself have. I may not have expected a full refund from you, but I surely did not foresee being asked to pay such a high cancellation fee. I may not be or run a large organization, but I do know that unreasonable fees like this are no way to keep existing customers happy. I again


I really hope I don't sound insincere here everyone. I have taken two certifications, I've bought the books and e-books, you've all seen me post on here for quite a while. I enjoy the company, I enjoy the forum, and have never once been given a reason before this to develop animosity to SF. But I am going to speak up when I sense something unfair like this. I hope that comes across in this post.

Thanks,
Wes
 

Al Ciampa

> 2k Posts
Certified Instructor
As the title says, for the first time in over 5 years of following and learning from this organization, I have come away thoroughly disappointed with a decision made by StrongFirst. Please allow me to explain.

I was registered for Chicago's late April KB Cert, which is of course cancelled as it should be with COVID-19 hitting everybody hard. This is happening to multiple events across the world and is putting strain on many organizations, small businesses, etc. After a short while, I was given an email regarding the future of the scheduled course.

The options given to me were to:
- A new date in August and a direction to "make the new date your priority" (of which I cannot due to a family wedding)
- attend in one of two other cities (I will not, because they cost far more in travel and hotel costs)
- attend in Chicago one year from now (my flight fees may not be able to be moved that late and would force me to lose out on all my flight fees AND which means that I would have paid the course fees for over 16 months before finally taking the course- a huge loss of )

or finally, my biggest gripe here: get a refund minus $500

StrongFirst, I am sorry, but a cancel fee of over 40% ( I bought an early bird pricing of $1195) during this time is outrageous to me. The main response I was given to this complaint was that "I signed the box that said "I agree to the above terms", which is slightly infuriating to me for a number of reasons. I know that I signed the box, but we are so far out of the realm of normal here that I thought there would be something done to alleviate the concerns.

Of course I understand that this is an economic disaster that will be told in history books for years to come. I understand that it will take years to recover, and that some businesses may not even recover. I understand that businesses incur fees to run these events. I understand businesses have to put up upfront costs. I understand there are no winners when disaster strikes. I understand that business is going to be at a standstill for many people, participants and event organizers alike.

But you know what? That applies to businesses AND participants as well. I lost a ton of money in future contracts because of this disaster. We the participants have small businesses as well that are taking an income hit. Is it my fault that this happened? When the organization "checked the box" to deliver the course, is it not on their part to incur risks such as these or others like low participation? Why is it the burden of the participants to insure those costs?

StrongFirst, I am not unreasonable. Many businesses have been giving out refunds, no questions asked. I myself have. I may not have expected a full refund from you, but I surely did not foresee being asked to pay such a high cancellation fee. I may not be or run a large organization, but I do know that unreasonable fees like this are no way to keep existing customers happy. I again


I really hope I don't sound insincere here everyone. I have taken two certifications, I've bought the books and e-books, you've all seen me post on here for quite a while. I enjoy the company, I enjoy the forum, and have never once been given a reason before this to develop animosity to SF. But I am going to speak up when I sense something unfair like this. I hope that comes across in this post.

Thanks,
Wes
Is this your first contact about this issue with anyone at SF beyond the email you were sent?
 

wespom9

More than 500 posts
Certified Instructor
Hey everyone,

I want to put it out there that I posted this prematurely, because as Al pointed out I wrote this before the situation was truly resolved. I thanked him privately for pointing that out but have no problem admitting that publicly as well. Unfortunately, as much as we strive to be good people, sometimes we have to make mistakes to learn lessons. Situations get the best of us, but there are good and bad ways to handle that. My choice to write this before a true conclusion was not optimal. I strive to be a stand up individual, but chalk this up as a mistake in my process. The situation is stressful on everyone.

Strength comes in many forms. I was not strong in decision making and controlling anger/disappointment, but hopefully I am strong in owning and correcting those mistakes. I'll leave that for you all to decide.

I have asked Steve to close this, although it can serve a lesson about patience in decision making to others.
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Alright, Wes. Thread closed for now, and when it's resolved, if you want me to reopen, just let me know.

-S-
 
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