Cancelled Events and Refund Policies
It's never easy to cancel an event. Matter of fact, it really sucks.
If an event has been cancelled because of COVID-19, it’s crucial to know what participants are entitled to when it comes to refunds, credits and other options.
Consumer Affairs Victoria media adviser Anna Basil-Jones has been quoted "if an event is unable to go ahead due to COVID-19, consumers are entitled to a refund for any services not provided." A booking could become a ‘frustrated contract’ if it is impossible to perform or carry out the contract due to events beyond the control of all parties.
In such a case the participant/customer has the right to a refund but the business or service provider may be entitled to deduct reasonable costs they have already incurred. Further information from the ACCC website is shared below.
Before registrations even open, event organisers should have clear terms and conditions of refund policies in place.
Refund policies will vary business to business, but it is something that event organisers and their team should have a clear understanding of. Policies should be included in the registration journey or confirmation participants receive or displayed on the event or event organiser’s website.
In most cases it will be clear about whether participants are entitled to:
- a full or partial refund
- a full or partial credit note
- transfer to an alternative or postponed event - Postponed Events and Deferred Events
L'Etape Australia 2021 - Recently cancelled and participants were contacted regarding refunds
If you cancel your event, Register Now have a couple of options for refunding your participants:
1) Bulk Refunds
If you would like Register Now to refund your participants in bulk for you, we can, but we can only refund all participants 100% of their payment.
Please note that this will include any fees that you had initially passed on to them and you will then become liable for these fees as well as the refund processing fees ($1.00 plus GST per refund).
2) Individual Refunds
Alternatively, you can process the refunds individually from your end and can decide exactly how much you're wanting to refund. Information on how to process a refund can be found HERE.
When a refund option is chosen, please let our team know and we can advise what needs to happen if you don't have enough funds within your Register Now client account to cover your refunds. If you receive an Insufficient Funds notification, you may need to transfer additional funds back to Register Now, in order for the refunds to be processed.
│ Image by Moreton Bay Triathlon │
From ACCC (Australian Competition & Consumer Commission) website:
I bought tickets for an event that has been cancelled. Am I entitled to a refund?
- If your event is cancelled the ACCC expects that you will receive a refund or other remedy, such as a credit note or voucher, in most circumstances.
- If the event is cancelled due to government restrictions, this impacts your rights under the consumer guarantees. However, you may also have other remedies outside of the Australian Consumer Law. For example, you may be entitled to a refund under the terms and conditions of your ticket.
- If you had a right to a refund under these terms and conditions at the time you purchased your ticket, businesses are not permitted to change the terms at a later time to deny you a refund.
- Depending on your circumstances, you may also have other rights under common law, contract or state legislation.
- You should contact the business directly to request a refund or other remedy such as a credit note or voucher.
- If you receive a credit note or voucher, it should have an expiration date which is long enough to allow you to use the credit note or voucher.
- State and territory consumer protection agencies may be able to assist with guidance or conciliation involving relevant state legislation. Consumers may also wish to seek independent legal advice about whether they may have a remedy under common law, contract or state legislation.
- Given the exceptional circumstances, the ACCC encourages all businesses to treat consumers fairly.
How do you know what your refund policy should be?
Here are some examples of event organisers displaying Refund Policies:
The Event Crew, QLD
Refund Policy: https://www.theeventcrew.com.au/event-faq/transfers-refunds/
Total Sport, New Zealand
Taupo Marathon Refund Policy: https://www.taupomarathon.co.nz/covid19-policy
Sole Motive, VIC
Run Melbourne Postponement: https://runmelbourne.com.au/faqs/
Covid Safe Plan: https://solemotive.com/pages/covid-safe-plan-vic