Baltimore Comic-Con cancels 2020 event

Organizers for the Baltimore Comic-Con announced yesterday that this year’s event scheduled for October 23 – 25 is canceled.

Anyone who purchased tickets to the 2020 Baltimore Comic-Con will have their tickets automatically converted to tickets for next year’s event. What if you want a refund? Good luck with that.

From the official Baltimore Comic-Con website:

Funds received from ticket (as well as from exhibitor booth sales) enable the continuity of our show, paying for real costs such as the rental of the Baltimore Convention Center, ongoing operations expenses, and costs associated with marketing activities as examples. If you are suffering from a financial hardship due to the pandemic and simply cannot justify the wait until next year, we will do our best to issue refunds on a case-by-case basis, which may take us time to do (we hope you don’t choose that option, as we want to see everyone in 2021!). We appreciate your understanding and patience.

Is the Baltimore Comic-Con broke?

It sounds like the organizers of the Baltimore Comic-Con are experiencing a bit of a cash flow problem. What did they do with everyone’s money? None of it went to renting the Baltimore Convention Center. At least it should not have had. It was converted to an emergency COVID-19 care center early on in the pandemic. It will remain one until the end of the year.

I would imagine if the organizers paid a deposit for the Baltimore Convention Center, that money would have already been returned.

File a chargeback

If you purchased tickets for the 2020 Baltimore Comic-Con, you should immediately file a chargeback with your credit card company. What I would not do is plead my case of “financial hardship due to the pandemic” to the organizers and gravel for my money back. That’s not the way things work. As a consumer, you should never have to beg for a refund when a merchant cannot fulfill their end of the agreement.

It is not the fault of the organizers that this year’s event cannot take place. Blame the pandemic for that. That said, it is ridiculous to expect the consumer to wait for next year’s event. What if there is not a Baltimore Comic-Con next year? By then, the consumer would not be able to file a chargeback. Too much time would have transpired to file a chargeback.

Keep in mind the Baltimore Comic-Con is not a non-profit. It is a business like any other business. The organizers should have immediately issued full refunds when they learned this year’s event would not take place.

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