Board refusing cancellation despite offering to other members?!?

Grant85

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Haha, can’t do that unfortunately. It’s member owned but i wouldn’t feel too bad for them. They told their DD members that they could stop their payments - essentially cancelling membership - but that meant that they would go to the back of the ‘waiting list’ when the club reopened. Some of those members have been at the club for over 20 years. And they’ve refunded some members who were quite rightly outraged at having April’s subs taken an hour before receiving the email to let them know they could cancel. Wrong ‘uns they are ?

Yes - it does sound that those in charge have really made a mess of things and hacked off a high %age of the membership at the same time.

FWIW... my club doesn't have a DD option. Their might be a finance company you could approach to pay your fees in advance, but if their is, they don't promote it much.

I used to think this was a negative for the club as they were losing out on potential members. Especially younger people who were very much used to the subscription / monthly payment route... you want an £800 iphone? Well it's actually £40 pm. You want an £18,000 car? Well it's actually £249 pm. etc. No need to even save up a deposit.

But my feeling is that what it's done is create a single tier of membership of people who are all financially sensible and budget for their golf fees in advance. Not saying people who pay monthly aren't sensible necessarily, but it does seem that most clubs who have problems are ones with monthly DDs and people equating 1 single DD as fees for that month.

Given the current crisis, I am really hopeful that this has put us in a really good position as the vast majority of people would have had the money set aside to pay their fees last month. No doubt there are still people who are impacted and haven't been able to pay, but hopefully it's not too many.

We have gotten rid of a lot of costs via the furlough scheme while probably still being able to retain most of our revenue, via membership fees.
 

Parsaregood

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I think you possibly would have a claim if you went down the route of not having access to any facilities etc like in the winter when the course is closed you can still use the clubhouse/showers/practice area and all the rest of it. I'm not sure any club would have an argument against that, you pay your annual subs on the basis of receiving use of these facilities. Whether or not its actually worth going that route is another story, for what your fees are, 600 quid you say I'm not sure I'd bother with the hassle. Cut your losses and move on. I plan on being a member at my club for years so it really makes no difference if they defer the subs for a month or whatever as I'll still have to pay them next year anyway
 

Beeky

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I think you possibly would have a claim if you went down the route of not having access to any facilities etc like in the winter when the course is closed you can still use the clubhouse/showers/practice area and all the rest of it. I'm not sure any club would have an argument against that, you pay your annual subs on the basis of receiving use of these facilities. Whether or not its actually worth going that route is another story, for what your fees are, 600 quid you say I'm not sure I'd bother with the hassle. Cut your losses and move on. I plan on being a member at my club for years so it really makes no difference if they defer the subs for a month or whatever as I'll still have to pay them next year anyway
I’m not normall one for this, but it’s now a matter of principle. They are in breach as confirmed by Consumer Law advisor. But!! I want to come out of this with some good karma so have asked the club to donate the money they are withholding to the local NHS. Hopefully, some good can Coe from this
 

Beeky

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Golf membership is a SUNK cost

If you can afford to pay for a year's sub, it doesn't matter if you play or not, you sunk that disposable income

Black swan events should not change that.
You should write poetry - not legal poetry - but poetry nonetheless ?
 

Beeky

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Yes - it does sound that those in charge have really made a mess of things and hacked off a high %age of the membership at the same time.

FWIW... my club doesn't have a DD option. Their might be a finance company you could approach to pay your fees in advance, but if their is, they don't promote it much.

I used to think this was a negative for the club as they were losing out on potential members. Especially younger people who were very much used to the subscription / monthly payment route... you want an £800 iphone? Well it's actually £40 pm. You want an £18,000 car? Well it's actually £249 pm. etc. No need to even save up a deposit.

But my feeling is that what it's done is create a single tier of membership of people who are all financially sensible and budget for their golf fees in advance. Not saying people who pay monthly aren't sensible necessarily, but it does seem that most clubs who have problems are ones with monthly DDs and people equating 1 single DD as fees for that month.

Given the current crisis, I am really hopeful that this has put us in a really good position as the vast majority of people would have had the money set aside to pay their fees last month. No doubt there are still people who are impacted and haven't been able to pay, but hopefully it's not too many.

We have gotten rid of a lot of costs via the furlough scheme while probably still being able to retain most of our revenue, via membership fees.
... and now their ‘conciliatory’ offer. Not to me but to furious members who are pissed about having to go on a waiting list to rejoin:
“We’ll let you freeze payment for 3 months while we’re shut but you’ll have to pay that next year on top of the usual subs!”
You couldn’t make this *** up ?
 

Beeky

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How about golf holidays? ? ?‍♂️
This is the point. Club’s, unless specifically written in their terms and conditions, are not covered by this. Same goes for holiday companies, hotels... anything that requires booking essentially. It’s a good faith thing, however none of them would be able to stop refund requests. There’s bound to be a landmark case where a claimant takes a company to court and that decision will set a legal precedent... I might just sit tight until that case is done. Got 6 years to claim ?
 

IanM

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If you can afford to pay for a year's sub, it doesn't matter if you play or not, you sunk that disposable income


Of course it matters, if you don't play, you've had no value from that! :) I was going down the marginal utility route, but it's so long since I was a student!!

Sunk cost is different. That's, "it's gone, and can't be recovered." Although you are correct about it being a sunk cost, that won't stop the "paid paid but can't play" annoyance! Hence it does matter if you don't play!
 

Beeky

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Holidays are a sunk cost as well

You pay for the holiday. Then the day of the holiday, you either go on it, or stay at home.

You spent the same amount either way.
Not if you can’t go on it because there’s a global pandemic. The grey area here is whether this is ‘force majeure’ - likelihood is that it won’t be this time, but will be next. There is no legal precedent for this... it’s not an act of terror or a natural disaster. And, in English Civil Law a company can only call on this if it’s expressly termed in the contract. And, and. For a force majeure clause to kick in, the specifics of said force need to be laid out in the contract - i.e. a global pandemic. And, and, and. And this is the real key. It could and will be argued that a global pandemic could’ve been predicted - there’s more than enough evidence and scientific prediction that it’s been coming. Therefore, a company is on majorly rocky ground if they haven’t inserted this in the clause.
 

chrisd

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This is the point. Club’s, unless specifically written in their terms and conditions, are not covered by this. Same goes for holiday companies, hotels... anything that requires booking essentially. It’s a good faith thing, however none of them would be able to stop refund requests. There’s bound to be a landmark case where a claimant takes a company to court and that decision will set a legal precedent... I might just sit tight until that case is done. Got 6 years to claim ?

For a legal precedent, a case (I could be wrong) would have to go up through the legal system to at least the High Court and possibly the Supreme Court. I doubt that the cost claimed for a years membership would either need a legal precedence as contract law is pretty well defined in law, nor as much funds as a claimant would require to fund such a road to recover.
 

Beeky

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For a legal precedent, a case (I could be wrong) would have to go up through the legal system to at least the High Court and possibly the Supreme Court. I doubt that the cost claimed for a years membership would either need a legal precedence as contract law is pretty well defined in law, nor as much funds as a claimant would require to fund such a road to recover.
All I mean is that a precedent will be made, or current law will apply. No force majeure clause in the contract means rocky ground for the company. That may be where things change, I believe
 

chrisd

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All I mean is that a precedent will be made, or current law will apply. No force majeure clause in the contract means rocky ground for the company. That may be where things change, I believe

The contract is everything !
 

sunshine

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For a legal precedent, a case (I could be wrong) would have to go up through the legal system to at least the High Court and possibly the Supreme Court. I doubt that the cost claimed for a years membership would either need a legal precedence as contract law is pretty well defined in law, nor as much funds as a claimant would require to fund such a road to recover.

Although 600 members of a club could jointly pursue a claim and share the costs.

I'm sure there are lawyers around the country busy planning their corona compensation advertising campaign. "Affected by the virus? It's time to hire us".
 

chrisd

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Although 600 members of a club could jointly pursue a claim and share the costs.

I'm sure there are lawyers around the country busy planning their corona compensation advertising campaign. "Affected by the virus? It's time to hire us".

Yes, I'm sure they could if they had the will.

My post was about creating a legal precedent and I doubt that 600 members, faced with claiming losing about £1000 each would want to fund the costs of attempting to create a legal precedent as the costs would be massive and, if they lost, they would probably pick up the defendants costs too.

This matter imo is a Small Claim in the County Court matter and no more, and a circuit judge would be adequately able to adjudicate on the legality of any contract between the parties involved.
 

Reemul

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I do find it a little strange, I pay by DD for golf membership. My loan company is Premium Credit (chosen by the GC) but there is another Close Brothers Premium Finance who get used a lot. Both also supply credit to DD payers in insurance.

Normally you ask for DD, the loan company pays the full amount to the company, eg golf club at the start and you actually owe the money to the finance company and not the golf club.

Most people don't seem to realise paying by DD for most things is a loan and not just paying over 12 months to the company you are buying from.

Most clubs do this specifically to stop you quitting after 6 months and not having to pay for a year.
 
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