Then, I found out about another group that was having one and it was the weekend before my birthday. Boy, was I excited. The price was right, but there was one draw back... it started on a Thursday and I was going to have to take some additional time off and rearrange my work schedule. Piece of cake... everything worked out and I was granted the 2 days off of work.
I invited some friends to go along with me, but they couldn't make it happen. I then asked some other scrapbookers if they were interested since they'd never attended one before and got excited when they agreed. I contacted the organizer and she sent me the information. I was told that for 4 in a room, the price was one thing. But if you only wanted 2 in a room, then it was an additional $20/day. We decided on doing 2 in a room. I stopped past her store and paid my deposit. Then the fun began. I started getting emails outlining the event, but things kept changing. A week before the event, an email went out to most requesting information such as your request for lunch. The email was a bit discombobulated to say the least, and I thought I read it right and responded to it. The next day I get a response of "the email clearly stated" ... hmmmm, ok. I see how business is done. I'll deal with it.
So, the event is to start at noon on July 12 and the day before, an email is sent to all with " I also wanted to emphasize that lunch on Thursday will be served from noon to 1pm in the Copper Canyon room. Lunch will be over at 1pm. Please understand that we cannot extend lunch beyond 1pm. Thanks for your understanding." I'm thinking, what kind of ish is that. Ok... we'll deal with it. Alas, what was I in store for.
The scrapbook retreat day arrives. I get there just about noon to check in and the drama... I mean ... fun begins. SMH!
I was soon to find out that one of the ladies that was supposed to attend, had not paid her money in full, nor had she returned any calls to the organizers or responded in any way to them. So instead of there being 4 of us, there were 3 of us. The person that she was sharing a room with was left hanging and that person was not informed prior to the retreat date that there was an issue. When she arrived at the event, she was told that they were unable to get in contact with "M" and they needed to discuss the hotel room with her. Since we arrived prior to check-in, it was stated when the rooms were ready, the keys would then be passed out.
We were the first table at the door. A couple on the far side of the room leave out with their bags and state they are going to their room, they just received their keys. I look at my soon to be roommate and we're wondering why we were bypassed given they had to pass by us to get to the others. All of the others receive the keys to their rooms and we are finally approached. "G" and I are given our keys. "S" is told "we need to speak to you about your room" and is pulled away from us. And it continues to go downhill from there. "G" had left to get her bag from the car and take it to the room. I continued to work. "S" leaves, comes back and starts packing her belongings. "G" comes back and says what are you doing.. to "S". She says, I'm leaving. Because "M" was a no-show, they want "S" to pay additional fees for the hotel room. She breaks out in tears and thats when I got involved.
I leave the room to find the organizer, and confront her in the hallway outside of the room. I ask to speak to her privately and this other person stands there. I said I'd like to speak to you alone, and the other person says "we're a team".... to which I respond "Oh, I didn't know because I've only dealt with her". I then say "S" is in tears and packing her belongings because you're not giving her a key to the room and requesting more money from her. She's paid the stated fees and she should be allowed to attend this crop as paid for. They then tell me that "M" has not responded to their emails/calls and in order for "S" to stay, she must pay the additional money. I said I don't think that is right seeing that she is only responsible for herself and not another cropper that didn't show up. I then ask, if she leaves are you refunding her money... to which they responded "No, the money has already been spent". More was stated and they agreed to go speak to her.
Into the crop room we go. "S" is still packing her belongings and the conversation continues. She was asked what can we do to make this right... to which she responds "nothing". After further conversation, "G" and I agreed to share the room with "S" so that she didn't have to leave. I then stated if we do that, then you owe us money for having 3 in the room vs 2. They at first said no, and I said yes... if we were charged an additional $20 each per night for 2 in a room, then it should be less for 3 in a room ... so it should be @$30 that all of us should be refunded. The organizer says Oh no, its not that much... I have the calculations over there and walks to get the figures. She returns and says it will be a refund of $26.75 each, but I can't pay you until next week because I don't have my checkbook. "G" jokingly states, but I want my money now. (you can sing kumbaya at this point). Things are worked out, hugs all around .. sort of. "S" makes a note to herself in her phone of the amount.
Now, here is where I have issue. If you are organizing an event and you have a deadline of when the final payment is due and someone doesn't pay it, they don't respond to your phone calls or emails and they are rooming with another person, in my opinion, the organizer should have contacted the other person to let them know there is an issue and these are the options. They did not do this , and this is where I find fault with the entire fiasco that shouldn't have been.
The point that I attempted to bring to them is this. You're having an event. I'm a single person that wants to attend. You tell me the cost and I say ok. I send you the money and pay it in full. If I didn't have anyone to attend the event with, would you have placed me in a room with others? Would you have told me that I would have to find my own roommates for the event? Would you have given me a price for a single person in a room? My thinking is this... you gave me the cost for the event and you should honor it and if you can't then you need to reimburse me my money.
Well, we decided to make the best of it.
Now, on to the retreat events. We were given 3 tickets for prizes, one of which is the grand prize of $100. You put one ticket into 3 different baskets. Both "G" and I's numbers were called, but "S" numbers were never called .... coincidence... you decide..... but she was allowed to pick out 2 prizes at the end.
Lunch ... the lunch choice that we were asked to send to them for Friday....... was lost by Subway. About 1130, the organizer comes running in the room and states to each table, they lost our order. Please write down what you ordered so we can resubmit it right now. I'm thinking, didn't you keep a copy of what we requested so that you could make sure we all got our correct orders when it was delivered. Nonetheless, we wrote down our selections so we could eat.
Dinner .. hmmm... dinner. Ok... it was tasty, but ... lol.... if you wanted something to drink with your dinner, you had to bring it into the restaurant with you. We were reminded of this as we headed out the door to the restaurant. Is there something wrong with that picture? Could you not have had the hotel to put out pictures of water, or iced tea at the tables???
On the table were goodie bags....... uhhhhh, if you can call them that.
What does AVON, Professional photography advertisement and
Pampered Chef have to do with scrapbooking??
These are the only items in there that were scrapbook related, along with 4 sheets of alphabet stickers that I forgot to pull out. LOL! I dunno why I pulled out the nail file.
There were supposed to be 5 challenges, but one was pulled because there were only 2 of us submitting something for that challenge. I won 2 of the 4 challenges. "G" took my picture showing what I created during those 2+ days.
Don't say nothing about my hair. LOL! It was hot, and musty in the room. A really bad moldy smell that no one seems to know where it came from.
On the final day, with all of the issues that were occuring at the hotel, we were allowed to stay to 9 pm on Saturday night. At dinner , the grand prize drawing was being selected. Just prior to this happening, I had stated that I was winning it because it was my birthday week and I deserved to win it. Well... guess what??
What a way to end a drama filled weekend retreat!!
On Wednesday, July 18, we had not received our refunds that were due to us. "G" calls the organizer to find out if it had been sent. She was informed that she would only be receiving $6 back because the hotel was charging them $20 for getting chalk on the 'white' tablecloth that were put on the tables. Yes, I said "WHITE" tableclothes at a scrapbooking event. She calls the hotel to find out if this was true to which she was informed no, it was not. She then calls the organizer back and states you have lied to me. I called the hotel and they stated they were not charging for the table cloth. To be fair, other conversation and hang ups occured. Long story short, "G" had called me with the scoop about the refund and I stated that I would called the organizer and let her know that I would just stop by to pick mine up. In one of her conversations with this person, she was informed that she had already sent my check to me. An email was sent to the organizer to state that if she didn't receive all of her money, she would be filing a small claims suit against her. "G" received an email response with other verbiage and this to state that "Any invitations for monthly and annual events are withdrawn effective August 2012."
I received my refund on Thursday as well as "G".... although I probably should have received mine before "G" did given the phone calls and email exchange that she had with the organizer.
Needless to say, I will not attend another event sponsored by this group. It was not worth it by no means given the way that we were treated.