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Refunds uncertain as .nxt says sorry for cancelation

Kevin Murphy, August 24, 2012, 10:53:10 (UTC), Domain Services

It’s not yet clear whether people who paid for tickets for the .nxt conference will get full refunds.
In an apologetic email sent to attendees last night, organizer Kieren McCarthy said that .nxt is “trying to recoup” money already paid to the conference venue. The email states in part:

For a number of reasons – the most significant being the fact that the ICANN process is still in flux – we were not able to get the number of attendees or sponsors needed.
Having communicated with a large number of people that the conference was directly aimed at, the conclusion would appear to be: right idea, wrong time. The conference was designed as a meeting place for a new industry to meet and interact. It is now clear that that effort was premature.
Unfortunately that does not resolve the fact that you are currently out of pocket, whether through a conference ticket, hotel room or flight to London.
.Nxt is currently trying to recoup money we have paid to the hotel venue so we are in a position to reimburse at least some of those costs. We will keep in touch with any developments.

Fewer than 100 people were registered for the $950-a-ticket three-day event, .nxt said. The first two conferences, held in San Francisco last year, attracted closer to double that number.
The company plans to offer some of its planned sessions online instead, according to the email and a statement on the conference web site.
McCarthy is currently calling would-be attendees to explain the situation. Many have been understanding, according to the email.
Some attendees have told us they want full refunds for their tickets and hotel rooms, when the hotel was booked via .nxt. Recouping money spent on airfare is a different matter, of course.
The conference, which also left some attendees out of pocket when it was postponed in June, is unlikely to return.

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Comments (7)

  1. As pointed out elsewhere, McCarthy is on the payroll of All he needs to do is get an advance on those future earnings (or borrow against them), and he can likely easily make whole those who are expecting full refunds.
    The idea that the conference attendees should be out by even one penny is absurd. We’re talking about $950 multiplied by a number less than 100 in revenues, so that’s a number below $95,000 for tickets. Although, if one adds hotel and airfare, perhaps it’d be $300K or more. Mortgage the house, borrow from parents/family, cut back on expenses (switch to Ramen noodles, etc.), sell assets (laptop, smart phone, TV, car, etc.) and it can be done. That’s what a business is all about, making sacrifices.
    If you’re not bankrupt, and you owe other people money (and say you can’t pay), every penny you spend is at the expense of those other people. Similarly, every personal asset not being used to repay people truly belongs to those other people.

  2. Their words “.Nxt is currently trying to recoup money we have paid to the hotel venue so we are in a position to reimburse at least some of those costs.” don’t suggest that he’s taking things seriously. It’s saying that:
    (a) the money to make people whole will only come from money that the hotel venue might refund (i.e. they’re compartmentalizing and limiting the potential sources of funds, rather than looking at ALL their assets, and future earnings)
    (b) even that’s not likely going to cover it
    It’s like someone runs a number of ventures, and one of those projects is losing money. It’s unacceptable to say “we can’t make you whole” by only looking at that single project, when there are *other* funds/income/assets available. e.g. profit from past projects, income from other assets, the clothes on one’s back, etc.
    We once had a tenant that was not paying her rent (ultimately had to evict her), despite the fact she had a fancy phone, huge TV, etc. I guess my point is that the decision *not* to pay what one owes is a conscious *choice* and that choice should have consequences. If one tries to partition and compartmentalize things, suggesting that “oh, the money is only going to come from these narrow sources”, then one is obviously making a conscious choice.
    If it was me in this kind of position, I’d make a clear statement that *everyone* would be paid in full, period. At worst I’d say it might take time to raise the liquidity, but everyone would get paid (with interest if need be).

  3. KD says:

    If people paid for a service and are not getting it, a 100% refund is in order. Not to mention airfare these people already spent.

  4. bill says:

    As I noted elsewhere, it seems to me that the guys at .xxx have perfected the art of getting something for nothing–the art of taking people’s money and offering virtually nothing in return. Just ask American Universities.

  5. gtld Gerry says:

    This is a sign of what is ahead.
    I’m just wondering if suckers who register one of them new fangled gtld’s will be offered refunds when their vanity registry realizes it underestimated the cost of business and suddenly needs to close down. Gonna get ugly!

    • Rubens Kuhl says:

      With new gTLD registries, if the registry fails the EBERO (Emergency Back-End Registry Operator) takes his job while ICANN finds a replacement registry, which could be the provider running the EBERO system or not. Failure of a conference is just that, no matter how much ICANN blaming Kieren McCarthy does.

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