Friday, November 26, 2010

Ironman Canada Ripoff

Hey guys,

Today I got the following email from Ironman Canada (I'm sure many of you got, or will get it as well).

2011 Subaru Ironman Canada

Dear Subaru Ironman Canada Entrant,

As many of you may be aware, effective July 1, 2010 British Columbia moved to a harmonized provincial and federal sales tax at a combined rate of 12%. This has been a controversial and confusing tax change but it is the law and therefore must be collected on all sale of goods and services. Unfortunately when your entry to the 2011 Subaru Ironman Canada was processed through Active, HST was not collected on the entry fee. This has recently been brought to our attention and we are obligated to collect that tax.

To that end, the credit card that you used to enter the race will be charged $69, the amount of the HST on the entry fee. We will begin processing the charges on Monday, November 29th and these will be complete by December 10th. Should you wish to have this charge applied to a different credit card or if the one you used to enter has expired, please contact our athlete services center or 877-377-2373. We apologize for this error and any inconvenience it may cause.

Ironman Canada Triathlon

My initial reaction to this was, WTF?!?!

These guys screw up and then 3 months later inform their customers that they will be charging their credit cards for the screw up? Imagine if Walmart made the same mistake. Does anyone believe that they would be hunting down their customers and telling them, "oops we screwed up, but since we have your credit card info we're going to fix it by charging your card"? All of this is beside the fact that they've already charged GST. We paid $603.75 entry fee. That includes $575 which included GST for the actual entry fee plus a $28.75 convenience fee (don't get me started on that boondoggle). HST is a tax that combines the GST and PST. By any rights, they should only be charging PST which works out to something like $38.50ish.

I've already sent them an email complaining about this and demanding explanations on both how they justify this from a "good business" perspective, as well as how their crack team of accountants came up with the $69 figure.

I encourage everyone who gets the above email from them, or anyone else who's interested, to reply with a complaint and let them know that this terrible business decision of theirs is losing them their customers.

Rant over,


Dennis said...

When did you pay the Ironman registration online? Airlines and other companies that charged in advance for products to be consumed after July 1, 2010 didn't have to start collecting the HST until May 1, 2010.

So if you paid your registration before May 1, 2010, I would definitely protest the charge. If they refuse, call your credit card company and get the charge reversed for the above reason.

Personally I think the credit card processor and/or the organizer should swallow the charge for being stupid.

Simon F said...


As a "convenience" Ironman now requires you to pay onsite when you register for the race. In effect that means you pay the entire amount 364 days before the race. So, this year people paid on either Aug 28th or 30th.

Either way, we were given an invoice with a total, no one authorized them to take more money out at a later date.

I haven't heard anything further, so we'll see what happens.

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