Saturday, April 14, 2018

is there a general lack of transparency in the convention scene? or just in this one in particular?

I'm not sure about other people's experiences with choosing which conventions (hereinafter "cons") to attend and which to skip, but until recently I hadn't put much thought into constantly checking the con website, and whether I should  be worried about guest appearances being canceled, especially less than 2 weeks before the show. 

On April 4th, I bought tickets to East Coast Comicon which is being held on April 27-29, 2018 in Secaucus, New Jersey because I love Sylvester McCoy's portrayal of the 7th Doctor in Doctor Who and was very excited about the opportunity for a photo op with him and Sophie Aldred who plays Ace, his unforgettable young companion. Earlier this week, around Tuesday or Wednesday, my husband noticed that for some reason the guest bio pages for Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred were missing, and the option to purchase photo ops with them as individuals and as a group had disappeared. (If you type "Sylvester McCoy East Coast Comicon" into Google, you can still find his bio page, however if you go to the main Media Guest Page on the con website now, it is not there, and if you click on Photo Ops the "Doctor Who" packages are no longer available for purchase.) Naturally, when I realized that the con was no longer actively advertising Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred, I started to panic irrationally. After calming down a bit, I began to think about the possible explanations --- the first being that it was simply a website error that would be fixed. Testing that theory, I waited about a day, monitoring social media and the con website for any announcements. By Thursday when there had been no change on the website nor any cancellation announcements, I emailed the following message to the con via the "Contact Us" form,

"One of the main reasons my family and I bought tickets to East Coast Comic Con was to see Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred. As of this morning, I checked the con website and I can no longer find anything about them appearing but no cancellation news either. Please let me know. Thank you."

Later that day, when I hadn't heard back from the con, I took to Twitter to inquire:

I also checked the con's Twitter history for the past week, and found a tweet that I don't think its author necessarily wanted to be public:

(M&M Famous Faces is the booking agency that represents Sophie Aldred.)

Soon, I received the following reply from Sylvester McCoy's official twitter:

When I did receive a response from the con, it was as follows: 

"We are still waiting for an official statement to post on the site, but yes they are now canceled. Sorry to disappoint you."

When I read this response, I was a tad bit upset. I became more upset because when I checked the con's website and the con's social media, there was still no announcement about the cancellations. I thought to myself, well I know about it, but what about all the other fellow Doctor Who fans who were looking forward to meeting the 7th Doctor and Ace at East Coast Comicon??? Adding to my anger, was the fact that these were by no means unforeseeable guest cancellations, and I was charged for tickets, service charges and tax, not to mention I booked a non-refundable hotel room near the Meadowlands Expo Center in Secaucus, NJ. With all this in mind, I composed & sent a rather long email to the guy running the con requesting a refund:

Dear Mr. G____________:

I have been reviewing the terms and conditions for purchasing a ticket to the East Coast Comicon. Under “Legal Notice - Guest Appearances” on the East Coast Comicon website, it states “While all guests are booked in good faith and we have their guarantee that they will appear, at times, unforeseen events may cause a particular guest to cancel. Reasons range from health issues to family emergency, to simply being grounded at the airport due to weather.” [bold and italics added for emphasis] It is my understanding that the reason Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred are no longer appearing at the East Coast Comicon was not unforeseen, nor is it due to health reasons, family emergencies or bad weather. Instead, it appears that you, Crucial Entertainment LLC and/or East Coast Comicon disagreed with terms and/or provisions set forth in Mr. McCoy’s and Ms. Aldred’s respective booking agents’ contracts. Further, under “Ticket Information” on the Con website, it states, “Guests listed on website are not guaranteed. We cannot control unforeseen reasons for cancelation [sic] of appearance or cancelation [sic] of panels.” This language is confusing and arguably contradictory in that it claims that guests are not guaranteed, yet in the section I mentioned previously, it states that you have the guests’ guarantee that they will appear --- so has either party, East Coast Comicon or the guest(s) guaranteed anything or not? Under normal circumstances, and with consideration to actual unforeseeable events/causes (e.g if Mr. McCoy or Ms. Aldred cancelled due poor health), I would accept the cancellation and still be satisfied with attending the event despite the 2 media guests that I originally would have gladly drove 2 hours to see will not be there. But that is not the case here, and it is troubling that you have known as early as April 11th that these appearances would no longer be taking place and yet there has been no public announcement to date on social media nor the website itself about this significant cancellation. The lack of transparency about this cancellation could be viewed as misrepresentation or acting in “bad faith”. In light of the above, I am requesting that I receive a full refund of the $_____.___ I paid for 2 Saturday Adult Tickets, 1 Saturday Child Ticket, 1 Saturday Photo Op at 4pm with Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred, service charges and taxes. Thank you.

I am wondering if this lack of transparency about guest appearance cancellations is business as usual amongst convention organizers or if this is an unfortunate anomaly? Either way, I'm still extremely disappointed about not meeting Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred, and I will be more cautious about which cons to attend, and about carefully reading the ticket purchase terms in the future. Needless to say, I will NEVER purchase tickets to East Coast Comicon again. 

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Fish Fingers and Custard...

So it's been quite sometime since I posted...In fact, I haven't been much on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Blogger or Wordpress in quite some time. I still watch wrestling, and am still a fan of the Lunatic Fringe, but he's been injured for months...I've become rather obsessed with Doctor Who...Since November 2017, I've been watching classic Doctor Who on RetroTV...Before that, we had been watching Doctor Who on Amazon Prime starting with the 9th Doctor...We are currently in the process of watching the 12th Doctor's run via Amazon Prime, and the 1st Doctor's run is currently running on RetroTV on weeknights. From the classic series, the 4th and 7th Doctors are my favorite so far. I have not seen enough of the 2nd Doctor, but was fortunate enough to get an "introduction" of sorts when "The Two Doctors" storyline was on RetroTV featuring the 6th and 2nd Doctors. Of the "modern" series, the 10th and 11th are tied in my book since I like them both for different reasons. Anyway, I plan on posting more about miscellaneous Doctor Who stuff soon... 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Monday, June 27, 2016

the Lil Architect and the Lil Lunatic Fringe

I'm going to collect WWE Teenymates until I get the Lil Lunatic Fringe....Also, I hope to eventually get the WWE Stackdown set w/ the Shield guys...

Thursday, June 16, 2016

*NEW* Flight of the Conchords Shirts

SEAGULL!!! I don't even like orange as a color but SEAGULL!!
2016 FOTC Tour Shirt (Front)
2016 FOTC Tour Shirt (Back)
Great show at the Mann Center in Philly! The shirts we bought are above. Need to focus on homework...Plus I'm really not that great doing show reviews...