Below are answers to some questions that have come up recently:
Question: Why do we have to follow the payment plan? Why can’t I just pay it all at the end?
Payments for the trip to Florida are not made to the boosters just to provide a balanced pay schedule. For each payment, we will be purchasing transportation, food reservations, hotel rooms, and tickets for the several activities that will be attended. Our dinner entertainment , for example, will be reserved for a certain number of members and a deposit from the membership is needed to reserve those seats. Participants must pay on time because the boosters must also pay on the date these deposits are due. There is not enough funds in the booster account to cover for members who are late with payments.
Question: Can I get my money back if there is an emergency and it prevents me from going?
Getting your money back depends on when and what the reason is for the drop. For example, if a student pays the full amount in September and then moves in October, we MAY have enough time to make changes in room assignments and ticket numbers. In this case, the student would probably receive all their money back. On the other hand, if a student drops in November or later, the money would be harder or impossible to get back because numbers are set and the money may have already been spent on something that can’t be returned.
It makes sense that if you don’t attend, you should get your money back. However, due to cost breakdowns by room and bus seats, it is not that simple. Another reason for this is the cost of the trip is divided by how many students attend not just charged by each individual student. Because of this, most Tour companies charge a penalty for dropping out and it is this “penalty” that covers the cost of the bus so other students and parents attending don’t have to eat the cost of the student that dropped out. We do not use a tour company to cut down on an unnecessary profit margin keeping the cost of our trip down. However, the same rules apply as the Band Boosters can’t possibly cover the costs of students dropping out. This is why we ask for cash deposits early in the year to firm up commitments and continue to have payments throughout the year because a handful of students dropping out can take a huge toll on the cost of the trip.
Question: How is the cost of the trip determined?
As stated above, the cost of the trip is not a pay “per person” rate. If it was, it would not matter who dropped from the roster. The pay is based upon Quad occupancy and the division of seats used on the bus. For example, housed are 4 students in a room splitting the cost of the room 4 ways. We then collect the money from each student. If someone drops the trip, the occupants could be charged for Triple occupancy costing them more money. Who pays for the difference? We can’t ask the remaining kids to put up the 4th person’s cost nor should the boosters be responsible for covering the cost if there is a drop out. This also includes your seat on the bus. Transportation is a set fee divided by how many people agreed to participate. For every person that drops, the cost of the bus stays the same resulting in the rest of the tour group compensating for those that dropped out for those empty seats.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Mr. Barbaro as soon as possible to get them answered. Thanks.