The Trot"Con" Fallacy: Anyway, No Refunds

Brony conventions are finally heating up again!  COVID appears to be on the decline, and we're finally able to meet up with our horsefriends in person.  But as you're buying your tickets, remember to practice that old adage: caveat emptor.  One of the newest things conventions are doing is changing their terms of sale after you've bought your ticket (and possibly even after "refund windows" have expired) but before the event is held.  If you can't meet these new changes in their terms, their response is often a simple, "Guess you're fucked lol."

TrotCon — a popular fandom convention being held this July in Columbus, OH — is one of these conventions.  They recently modified their vaccination policy from requiring attendees be "fully vaccinated" to being "up-to-date," meaning a third shot is now required for most attendees.  This change was made after the last refund window closed, and people asking about it are being redirected to this excerpt from their COVID policy FAQ:

Reading this carefully, one will see what they are stating is that they can change anything about their rules and policies before the event and the consumer has no recourse at all, not even a refund.  Thus giving themselves unilateral rights to modify a contract without the approval of the other party.  They could literally require all attendees shave their heads and you'd have to comply.  I'm no lawyer, but this doesn't seem to be normal for a sales contract.

Amending Contracts

So, I did some searching and found that the American Bar Association published an article on this topic (focusing mainly on the End User License Agreements and Terms of Service often found on Web sites) that contained this little nugger concerning more traditional contracts that seems to suggest that type of clause is generally verboten:

Traditional contract doctrine clearly forbids the unilateral modification of contracts and treats a proposed modification as an offer that is not binding until accepted. Although state contract law may vary, there generally are three requirements in traditional contract law for modifying contracts. First, the offeree must have proper notice of the proposed modification. It is axiomatic that no offer can be accepted unless the offeree knows that the offer has been made. In addition, the offeree must manifest assent to the proposed modification in some manner, either explicitly or implicitly.

No Recourse

When attempting to inquire about this policy on their Discord server, their official response was that the only remedies available were to "not purchase a ticket," "not attend," "give your ticket away," or "sell your ticket."  I also asked a few times for their terms of sale, but nobody on their server was able to provide a link to me.

What is a consoomer to do when a vendor won't issue a refund they believe they're due?  According to the United States Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, consumers can dispute the charge with their credit card issuer (a so-called "chargeback").


Banished to the Moon for Speaking Truth

While I was having this conversation, another user asked about chargebacks and was "warned" for "encouraging commission of a crime (specifically fraud)."  Unfortunately, we were unable to capture the exact text of their message before it was removed, but I recall the user was responding to another person asking how they could get a refund, suggesting they might "contact their bank to dispute it."

This behavior by TrotCon staff was perplexing to me since — as posted above — this is precisely the situation where the CFPB recommends disputing charges.  I pointed this out in the Discord server by posting a screenshot from their site and was summarily "banished," a state in which I no longer had access to any part of the server except for a "moon" channel where I could chat with the mods and other users who had likewise been locked away in gay baby jail.

I was told by their friendly moderation staff in their "banished" channel that I was "encouraging people to commit fraudulent chargebacks" by posting a screenshot from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Web site.


TrotCon has not issued any official response to my last message there, only that they "...are discussing this internally, [...] while we sort it out and decide how to handle things."  If they ever do get back to me, I will post their response as an edit to this article.

What To Do When a Vendor Refuses a Valid Refund

In conclusion, dear readers, remember that if you feel a vendor is reneging on their sales agreement with you and not providing the product or service for which you paid, you can legally call your bank and request they dispute the charge on your behalf.  This is a process that even I have had to resort to in the past, and contrary to what TrotCon wants you to believe, it is not illegal and it is not fraudulent if done in good faith.

And in the future, you may want to be wary of giving money to organizations that have displayed poor fiduciary responsibility (like spending money from ticket sales that should have been in a deferred liability account).

Comments (87)

  1. Every convention thats had the ability to do this will, wether its vaccine requirements or just a covid test. Whinny City Pony Con recently has been fluxuating its strictness on Covid policy, and I wouldn't be surprised if they make it stricter with all the permanently masked in their server crying any time rules aren't strict enough to keep them feeling safe.

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    1. Whinny City Pony Con spells out their no-refunds policy and links to their other policy pages on the registration form, while TrotCon doesn't as far as I can tell. Seems like the solution would be for TrotCon to start doing that to make the terms explicit.

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    2. Con's happening on the moon now. Sorry fag, you're SOL. Shouldn't have paid for it if you weren't willing to commit.

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    3. MLP is grooming

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  2. It's not like that haven't started clearly that they'll be following the CDC guidelines that apply. If you read that ignored it and then got upset when they followed through, you have no one to blame but yourself.

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    1. Can you show where in their terms of sale this is stated?

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  3. It's all just a matter of enforcing their agenda is all it is. They're gonna force people to get vaccines or pay the price for not doing so. Which means no fun for you at our convention unless you abide by our mental way of thinking otherwise you won't be going and as a real kicker we'll just keep your money kek

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    1. Good. Fuck you antivax pieces of shit. You're getting what you deserve.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. I never said I was an antivax. Funny how the more radical vaccinated people jump to that conclusion. No I'm just a person who doesn't feel like they need to take it yet. I don't go out in public often, I live by myself, and my job doesn't require it. On top of that I'm still young with the immune system of steel and I do in fact wear my mask whenever I do decide to be out.

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    4. GET VAXXED OR STAY HOME AND SEETHE YOU FUCKING FAGGOTS, TROTCON ROOMS SOLD OUT IN A DAY AND PEOPLE ARE WAITING TO TAKE YOUR PLACE

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    5. Jokes on you fucko. I'm still going and I ain't even getting the vax. You're not taking my Trotcon room from me.

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    6. Literally no one with a brain corrupted their DNA. Pureblood supremacy worldwide!

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  4. The copium being huffed in this article is strong. They always stated CDC guidelines would be what's relevant and a negative test not bring enough was never a secret. ITA: people can't read and now are upsetti spaghetti because they aren't coddled by their moms

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    1. People really are okay with this way of thinking? The covid vaccine mandate was already bullshit enough. Then they go and double down on it despite the more deadly virus no longer being as much of a danger as it was 2 years ago.

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    2. My point is they already were clear on the issue before. If you had an issue with them following CDC guidelines why would you buy a ticket in the first place, when they'd stated clearly that they would do so from the beginning? Putting on surprised Pikachu face or going full baby tantrum when they follow through on what they were clear on from the start, doesn't make much sense to me. To me it looks like people who are upset they didn't read what they agreed to looking for an easy out.

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    3. Yes. People are OK with this way of thinking because it actually involves THINKING instead of conspiracy "MUH FREEDUMB!!1!one" reactionary BS masquerading as thought. The virus is still deadly, long COVID still fucks up people's lives months and years after infection, and failing to be vaxed and mask up only gives the next variant a big ol' petri dish to evolve in.

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    4. Covid's been bout as deadly as tripping and scrapping your knee in the 21st century just don't be a made of paper skin and bones and you'll live. If you're still this terrified of covid after multiple shots that everyone got still just go put yourself in a bubble you hypochondriac schizo

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    5. >they always stated CDC guidelines would be what's relevant
      They changed the language in the "COVID" page, which is incorporated into their terms of sale, from "fully vaccinated" to "fully vaccinated and up to date"
      Both of these terms are defined by the CDC and have different definitions.
      "Fully vaccinated" means two doses of Pfizer/Moderna or one of J&J
      "Up to date" includes the booster after 5 months
      So, their terms never said "we will always follow CDC guidance and incorporate that guidance into our terms."
      So, what they did was a material change to the terms of sale, and you can only do this with the agreement of both parties, according to contract law.

      https://u.smutty.horse/mgxpwnutvdj.png
      https://u.smutty.horse/mgxpwpswxyq.png

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  5. What conventions DO offer refunds?

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  6. Oh wah fucking wah. Find me any *event* anywhere that offers refunds aside from the event being canceled. You're butthurt because you don't understand how the rest of the world works so you make some kind of BS "scam" theory out of it.

    Cry more.

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    1. You will never be fully vaccinated. You will never be on the correct formulation, you will never have the correct dose, you will never be on the correct manufacturer. You may have gotten a booster shot but all of that can change on a political whim and now you are a plague rat and crude mockery of nature’s perfection. All the “validation” you get for your Fauci Ouchie on social media is two-faced and half-hearted. Behind your back people mock you and take bets on how soon you’re going to die. Your employer has taken a million-dollar life insurance policy out on you and implores you to get one more booster. And even when you do, you will still never be fully vaccinated. Your parents are disgusted and ashamed of you, your “friends” laugh at your sickly appearance, your clammy pale greasy skin, and your coal black glassy meth addict looking vaccine eyes behind closed doors. Your parents will find you, heartbroken but relieved at the six-figure settlement they’re offered in return for telling everyone you died of natural causes or covid-19. And that it was your fault because you were not fully vaccinated. They’ll bury you with a headstone marked with your false cause of death, and even though you took the vaccine, and you took the booster shots, every passer-by for the rest of eternity will know that it was your fault for not being vaccinated. Your body will decay and go back to the dust, and all that will remain of your legacy is a skeleton that is unmistakably unvaccinated. This is your fate. This is what you chose. There is no turning back.

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    2. Good little Qshit. *pat pat* Keep on seething.

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    3. imagine being delusional enough to think anyone who dislikes this inconsistent bs is a qtard tough grass nigga

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    4. Go back to 8chan Qtard

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    5. That's easy, in my day job I work at a company that books events in advance as well as sells tickets to attendance in the future. We always end up having to offer refunds upon consumer demand. This is a normal way of running a business.

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  7. >all the twitterniggers seething in the comments
    lol, lmao even

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    1. Thank you for showing your racist ass, dipshit.

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    2. This place has been pozzed for years now. It's really nothing new. Site's fucked.

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    3. And homophobia! If we can get some sexism up in here it'll be the 4chan trifecta.

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    4. Reminder nothing is stopping you who have bought rooms at the main hotel to contact the hotel and its corporate numbers about your dissatisfaction with how the con they're hosting are handling this and should feel free to bring that dissatisfaction with why they are probably gonna have to cancel their rooms to the hotel venue. If Trotcon is gonna be unfriendly to the customer see how the corporate chain running the hotel will feel about losing possible sales for hosting such venues at their establishments people. Please let management at the venue know also so they can understand your disappointment at how people they host at their hotel conduct themselves and ask if this is a reflection of their own customer service policies also.
      https://imgur.com/a/KZZe6fa

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    5. Go ahead and cancel your room. They're so limited that someone else will snatch it up again in a heartbeat.

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    6. I'll just cancel the room last minute the day before the con then.

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    7. Trotcon rooms sold out in half a day, everyone is begging for a con hotel room, and this guy really thinks canceling your room is a threat. Lmao move aside so that a relatively sane horsefucker can take your place while you hide your gay pony toys from your dad because he thinks MLP is Grooming now or some shit

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    8. "I'll just cancel the room last minute the day before the con then." And eat the full credit card charge while you seethe at home, that'll show Fauci

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    9. Why does horse news even pretend to have any sort of chan legacy whatsoever. People here in the comments having their skin dissolve just because someone called them niggers. I don't care if people don't find that sort of culture bad but don't put the fucking meme arrow on your site and act like chan people when you are absolutely divorced from the culture of the site.

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  8. PeppermintSwirl1 May 2022 at 04:48

    I mean, if they've had this policy for a while now it would make sense that they wouldn't allow refunds because paying for them means agreeing to the terms of your staying there. That being said, I think not allowing refunds is quite an unfriendly thing to do and also goes against setting up a friendly public image for themselves.

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  9. Lmao at people who will defend scummy business practices and horrible public relations because "muh covid". The same people who will talk all day about how they hate corporations and the elite, yet bend over backwards for them cus they're scared of a flu. People who will waive their rights and principles so readily don't deserve to have them in the first place.

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    1. This post was written while on break at Amazon

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  10. What’s your recourse? Get fucking vaccinated. Just get another jab and get “up-to-date”. It’s quite obvious what the policy change is telling you to do so just go and do it.

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    1. Nah money back or charging back and reporting the scummy practices to the venues corporate. Heres hoping these shitters lose their connection with that hotel and hopefully others in the area cause goddamn corporate chains bend over if enough people bitch

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    2. Trotcon is basically known as the con with the hotel that lets them get away with murder, but you think a couple of autistic lisp phone calls from neckbeards with the social skills of Chris Chan will change that. Cute.

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    3. According to TrotCon's interpretation of their terms, they can tell everyone they must shave their head to attend, and your only recourse is to shave your head.
      They could say all attendees must receive an enema and have it be witnessed by TrotCon staff, and your only recourse is to get fluid shot up your ass by a TrotCon volunteer
      You really think this is enforceable?

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    4. I was extremely sick for three days straight when I got the JnJ jab. Fuck that shit, not doing it again. I ended up getting COVID anyways too.

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    5. Eat shit, retard. I'm not going to give myself VAIDS over vaccination like you. Enjoy your immune system subscription diminishing returns for life, you really earned it

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  11. So many fucking commies in this thread holy shit

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    1. NO WAR BUT CLASS WAR, GET SOME BITCHES INCEL

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  12. BOO HOO GET VAXXED FAGGOT

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    1. Most of the people affected by this article are vaccinated. For whatever reason, they may not want to get a booster shot (perhaps they had poor reaction to the first two shots).
      You should work on your reading comprehension.

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    2. Commit 41%, eunuch.

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  13. I knew this fandom was full of beta cuck bitches but holy fuck there's a lot more of them in the HN comments than I expected. Everybody's got to be a good little sheep and not call out the leaders of these cons.

    Everyone who donated to Trot's fundraiser without questioning why they got themselves there in the first place should never be trusted with money again.

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    1. Funny how BABS went through the same shit, Offering refunds, cancelling the con for 2 years, but didn't spiral into debt.
      They also at least said we needed boosters a reasonable time beforehand too. Trot never has its shit together.

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    2. Kill yourself and free up a Trotcon room plox

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  14. Can we fucking have an irl /mlp/ event formatted like those masquerades in Venice where all the politicians would party anonymously, big opportunity for the con market

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    1. No one want channers mass shooters in their city. Russia is where nazis are welcome so get yourself killed there, you and your Qanon, Brenton Tarrant worshipping ass. Death to 4chan and to channers

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    2. Channers are based and muh cue was an alphabet psyop I observed in real time and called out immediately on based HateChan, try again.

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  15. God i fucking hate these vax commie niggers so much, always shoving their bullshit down everyone's throat. Get out of our fandom already, 4chan created this, not you Twatterniggers.

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  16. Edgy little faggot fuck aren't you? Kill yourself. You have clearly been playing too much games fucking retard.

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  17. I wan't you dead tk47.

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  18. NO FUCK YOU AND DIE TK47!

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  19. GOD I FUCKING LOVE TO HATE! MORE HATRED! I WANT TO HATE AND KILL AND RAPE PEOPLE FUCK YEAH! MORE FUCKING HATEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!
    HATE IS WHAT MAKES THE WORLD GO AROUND!! HATE IS WHAT MAKES THE FUCKING MONEY! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA LOOK AT ALL THOSE JEW TUBERS!!! ALL THEY DO IS HATE EVERY DAY AND LOOK HOW MUCH MONEY THEY MAKE!! BUT HEY GOTTA PAY THEM JEW BILLS SOMEHOW!

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  20. This whole comment section needs meds. MEDS NOW NOW NOW!!!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Lemmings, the comment section.

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  22. NTMA, also we’ve only had one mass shooter in the pony fandom, and he wasn’t even from 4chin

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  23. Judging from the comments, many a twitter troon should have been removed from HN long ago. Who ever said they were welcome?

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  24. Our fandom, you disgusting troon. Head off to SU or the noose or something.

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  25. CHARGE BACK

    CHARGE BACK

    CHARGE BACK

    CHARGE BACK

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  26. Keep fighting the good fight, Corp.

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  27. Maybe the conspiracy theories were true. Maybe taking the vax really does make you retarded. There's a whole lotta cattle here.

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  28. P U R P L E T R A N N Y
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    1. what did she do for u to right this all the time cause only a loser dedicates this time to write this out

      Delete
  29. You're going gods work Twifag, fuck these con trannies.

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  30. Cope, seethe, and dilate, trot trannies.

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  34. Tbf at this point there's no reason not to be fully vaccinated and you shouldn't be rewarded for endagering others. Are you scared of needles? is walking 10 or 20 minutes to a clinic too much for you?

    Notice the countries with antivaxxers got hit way worse by Covid than the countries where antivaxxers were told to stfu man up and get the vaccine?

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  36. >And in the future, you may want to be wary of giving money to organizations that have displayed poor fiduciary responsibility (like spending money from ticket sales that should have been in a deferred liability account).

    FUCK. I KNEW THE GHOST OF CMPC WOULD BE BACK TO HAUNT US ONE DAY

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  37. I cant wait for this con to not come back next year

    ReplyDelete