I was going to write this on Thursday night. However, I didn’t want this to be a curse filled tirade and that didn’t properly convey my thoughts on this matter. Originally I was going to send this to Drekken personally but realized that this matter affects the entire GTASF and should be brought up in open forum.
I attended the POWNZ Launch Party for Tekken 6 on Thursday October 29th. This event was promoted as a free pizza/pop party for POWNZ members and as has been the standard for launches there was no venue fee for the evening. As the night progressed the members were told that pizza had arrived. I went to grab a slice and was informed that the pizza was for members only. Please keep in this mind this was done in open forum in front of other members. To say I was confused and embarassed would be an engrossing understatement. At this point I was informed that my year long membership had expired.
This is the first time I have ever been informed that memberhip was to be renewed on an annual basis. I dont have a POWNZ membership card or written contract for my personal records. I did not receive an email or voice mail to inform me that renewal was upcoming. I believe standard practice in situations requring annual membership renewals is 4 - 6 weeks to avoid situations exactly like this one. Further to the point, your own staff wasn’t even aware of it considering my sign up date was apparently in early September 2008 and I was only now being informed of my changed status in late October 2009.
As such, I was blindsided by a $15 venue fee that I was ill prepared to be paying on a night that was promoted as being free. As stated earlier, I was originally going to file this complaint with POWNZ staff specifically until I realized the scope of this situation. The community that I have come to know and help grow over the last 8 years have been growing the POWNZ ranks over the last year. The majority of those players having done so starting on February 28th 2009 when I promoted my first fighting game event at POWNZ. Considering the fact I was blindsided in this manner, it would be irresponsible of me not to inform the members of the GTASF that on top of the venue fee they would have paid at an event posted after 02/28/2010, they would have had to pay an additional $15 membership renewal fee.
It is my suggestion to the staff at POWNZ they make adjustments moving forward to better inform their growing membership of fees both new and impending as time passes. It would be unfortunate in the future if continued participation in POWNZ events was decreased or boycotted because its current membership felt the venue they’ve been supporting for the last year wasn’t looking out for their best interest.
Case in point, as of this writing I am respectfully pulling my support both personally and intrinsically as a player/director/promoter within the Greater Toronto Area Street Fighters for future POWNZ events. I wish you all the best of luck in your future endeavours and hope you continue to grow the gaming community. It is also my hope you do it in a far more transparent manner as well.