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This is building off of my other article on this years Rhode Island Comic Con out in Providence, RI. If you didn't read the first article on the Convention Click here to brush up on the early developments.
More Issues with Refunds
As mentioned previously, RICC has a horrible track record with refunds. Here we see a number of complaints regarding refunds that have not been received for Walking Dead cast member Norman Reedus, who was unable to attend the convention due to recording the season finale. The cancellation had fans disappointed but it was understandable. However, the ire they have is fueled by the lack of refunds they were promised on November 10, 2017 via RICC's Twitter account. While some of these are complaints about not getting the full refund, I can understand why, and one attendee said it perfectly: "Think of it as a restocking fee if you have to return an item." While it justifies the surcharges not being refunded, it does not justify no refund at all, let alone the inconsistency of full to partial refunds.
"If you have a question pertaining to your particular photo op refund, please contact them directly at [email protected]" This is what I received when I asked RICC what they were doing on their end with Celeb Photo Ops, as it's a company they utilize for the photographic moments attendees pay for. It's a little disconcerting, to say the least.
Over The Top and Negligent
Now here is where things start to get a little odd. Just the other day, we here at Cosplay Chronicle were contacted by one of the EMTs on the medical team at RICC. This EMT wishes to remain anonymous for obvious reasons.
The medical team was on the same channel as the RICC Security at all times so the EMTs were aware of any situation that may occur on the show floor. The EMT stated, "There were people sitting on the floor in front of the bathroom to eat food because there was nowhere else to sit or eat, lost kids that the security staff had no idea what to do with." This just shows how unprofessional staff were in handling any situation that came up. People sitting on the floor could make rescue missions for EMTs more difficult and more importantly, how do you not know what to do with a missing child? Did the convention have no safety plan for lost children?
The EMT went on to say, "They wanted to send a 7-year-old kid alone from convention center to the Dunkin' Donuts arena." When I asked for them to elaborate they said the following, "The kid got separated from their family and was pushed with the crowd to the convention center side while the kid's parents were still on the DD side. So the supervisor said to send the kid back and the other guy said 'but they are like a baby'." It seems they had little protocol when dealing with a missing child. Sending a young child through a sea of people, unattended, is extremely dangerous. What if someone abducted the child? The Security being that of RICC's would make the abduction of a child the responsibility of RICC. When asked why this instance had even occurred, RICC said "We will look into both issues." "Both" referring to the photo ops, as well.
While they had no idea how to handle lost children, RICC security wanted to pat down vendors that were just trying to get to and from their booths. This is yet another detail the EMT noted, saying, "They wanted to pat down the vendors. They were so rude to the vendors." While I understand the need for a pat down, I am not sure what regulations they had for them, let alone if they had any at all. I can only imagine how many people felt uncomfortable.
As per the TSA, "A pat-down may include inspection of the head, neck, arms, torso, legs, and feet. This includes head coverings and sensitive areas such as breasts, groin, and the buttocks." And by those same guidelines "You will receive a pat-down by an officer of the same gender." TSA guidelines also allow for a private chamber for a pat down with a companion of your choice so you don't have to be touched in front of the masses. Two security officers for the TSA would process the pat down. If you want to read over these guide lines Click Here. We should be asking as attendees if these guidelines were followed and if not, why?
That being said, you majestic con goers, I hope you enjoyed this article and don't forget to head on over to my Facebook Page Cosplay Chronicle to get alerts whenever I post a new article or video!