Please see RunSignup.com/Coronavirus for recommendations and tools.
Things have changed drastically in Week 4 ending Saturday March 21, 2020 from Week 4, Week 3 and Week 2.
The transaction volume we saw the past week is 81% lower than the same week last year (and since we were seeing growth of 29% from Jan. 1- Mar 7 because of more races moving to our platform, the drop is probably steeper for the industry in general).
The other point is that of that lower volume, of the 20 top races over the past week:
- 8 are brand new virtual races
- 5 are races scheduled for this spring that have converted to virtual – so those are new virtual race registrations
- 4 are races that were rescheduled from the spring to the fall
- 3 are races normally scheduled for the fall.
What this means is that the regular race registration revenue these race organizations are used to operating on has fallen probably 90% or more in many cases.
As of March 29 2,079 races have used our postponement tool, up from 1,800 last week:
We also have stats on what participants have chosen. Virtual seems to be the most popular choice that races are offering, and participants are selecting:
We continue to see about a 10-15X increase in Chargeback volume. We discussed our concern in this past week’s webinar – like the coronavirus numbers, this could become exponential. Chargebacks are being processed against even the most iconic races including Broad Street and Pat’s Run even though they both have communicated great options to participants very clearly. Here is an email we received last night:
We appreciate everything that you and Run Sign Up has done for us, the running and the racing community and our race. Your support has been outstanding in these troubled times. A question on charge backs, we are giving a 75% refund ( $45.00 ) on our entry fee, but we have a few of our participants who are asking for a full refund, entry fee, plus your processing fee and 1 person even wants his donation back. How will the banks handle these charge back requests? Since we are refunding a partial refund ? We did have a no refund policy. We have spoken and emailed those who have threatened to request a charge back without much, if any success. As of right now we have 2 and I am sure we will have more to come.
Unfortunately, we did not have good news for them. This past week we started to receive decisions on our challenges from VISA – and lost all of them to date in spite of no refund policies and many accommodative policies for deferment, virtual and more.
We continue to encourage customers to have a reserve compliant with our reserve policy to stay in compliance with their legal and fiduciary responsibilities to credit card holders. In an effort to help races minimize chargebacks, we instituted a new notification when chargebacks come in to that the race director can reach out to the participant and try to convince them to reverse the chargeback. We do not yet know if this will help or not, as we have heard stories of someone who is called by a race director decides to tell more of their friends to do a chargeback. Ouch!