A tipster has supplied MHProNews with this following item that begins with how to get a refund on registration fees for the cancelled 2020 Manufactured Housing Institute spring event that they call “Congress and Expo.”
Instead of just automatically refunding all money, MHI makes those who registered and paid to specifically ask for a refund. Those who don’t get credited to their plan for a 2021 event. But what if there is no 2021 event? Then what?
Let’s first look at what MHI’s Lesli Gooch said about this topic, and then MHProNews will unpack it. If this issue impacts you or someone you know, MHProNews suggests you immediately submit your refund request to MHI at email@example.com.
— start of MHI email —
May 5th Deadline for 2020 Congress and Expo Registration Refunds
The deadline for submitting requests to refund registration for MHI’s 2020 Congress and Expo is tomorrow, Tuesday, May 5.
MHI made the decision to cancel the 2020 Congress & Expo in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. This was a difficult decision to make, but our highest priority is the health and safety of our attendees, exhibitors and staff.
For your convenience, any registration fee for the 2020 Congress and Expo that is not refunded will be applied to registration for MHI’s 2021 Congress and Expo, scheduled for April 6 to 8, 2021 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. If for some reason you won’t be able to join us next year, we are happy to refund your original registration. Please submit refund requests to firstname.lastname@example.org before the end of the day tomorrow.
As we navigate these unprecedented times, we want our attendees, members and industry professionals to know we are here to help each of you.
We look forward to the future, and we are confident the 2021 MHI Congress & Expo will be the best one yet!
— End of quoted section of MHI email —
Unpacking the Claims by MHI’s Lesli Gooch, Additional Facts, Analysis and Commentary
Let’s note that the same email had other topics, but our focus for the next few moments will be the one above.
As those who have been readers this year or for years before may recall, MHProNews repeatedly raised the issue of the risks from COVID19 with MHI, the Tunica Show and others. One example is below.
To the Tunica Show’s credit, they took the no doubt difficult step of cancelling their event.
MHI by contrast kept delaying their decision. That’s the clear facts as their own communications record reflects. MHI routinely – and this is an example – use a subtle form of ‘revisionist’ history by repeating their talking point until it is accepted. But the facts belie Gooch’s smooth sounding claim of “our highest priority is the health and safety of our attendees, exhibitors and staff.”
If that were true, why didn’t MHI promptly cancel and issue refunds to all involved, as other holding events did?
Next, contrast what MHI has done with Ticketmaster’s event cancellation policy.
With Ticketmaster’s if your event is cancelled, “No additional action is needed and you won’t need to reach out to us. You will be notified that the event is canceled. Your refund is” automatic. Simple, straightforward. No posturing, no rehetoric. Just the correct action promptly without a need for jumping hoops.
On Mar 12, 2020 the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that “For tickets bought online, most cancellation refunds are automatically processed to the same card used for purchase.”
In a March 16 report by left-of-center CNBC, “Ted Rossman, industry analyst for CreditCards.com” had this advice for getting refunds for cancelled events. “Give it a week or two,” Roseman said. “There is a good chance you will see an automatic refund processed onto your card.”
So while Roseman, an analyst and expert says that most will automatically refund, MHI instead – on May 4th, about 7 weeks since that comment, and Gooch is telling their members that they claim to care so much about how they can get their refunds if they act immediately. Otherwise, they are stuck waiting until next year.
Roseman says you may have to be your own advocate. “You may have to be your own advocate on this,” he said. “In some cases, you will get an automatic refund.” But “In other cases, you may have to be a little bit persistent,” Rossman stated.
Rossman told CNBC that credit card companies can be contacted to dispute a charge on a cancelled event. So, for those who may not read this until after 5.5.2020, you still can complain to MHI, and perhaps more importantly, can file a complaint with your credit card company, per Roseman.
But the fact that MHI, unlike Ticketmaster’s or others doesn’t automatically refund the money arguably belies MHI’s claims to care so deeply about their members welfare. If so, why are MHI event attendees being made to jump any hoops by a deadline?
This is one more instance that is arguably more disgraceful evidence that MHI events are a fundraising profit center for the trade group, as MHProNews has previously and satirically suggested.
Once that concern is grasped, the rest of their posturing email comes into clearer focus. For instance, MHI postured about their Waters of the United States (WOTUS) comments letter. They fail to clearly state that WOTUS is an Obama Administration regulatory overreach.
Billionaires such as Warren Buffet, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway which owns Clayton Homes, helped put Mr. Obama into the Oval Office where Buffett’s grandson worked.
Clayton Homes and MHI posture one thing, but if they wanted to use their clout to advance the industry’s interests, they have clearly had years of opportunities to accomplish that goal. Instead, MHI postures efforts while delaying actual implementation of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA 2000), the Duty to Serve (DTS) provision of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008.
Who says? See what Mark Weiss, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) had to say in his most recent “issues and answers” that is part of the report linked below.
The latest email from MHI CEO Lesli Gooch – properly understood in the broader context of the facts and evidence – is actually spotlighting the kind of cronyism and posturing that MHProNews has warned about for years about that Arlington, VA based trade group. But look at how MHI dresses that up?!
The fact that MHI’s elected leaders didn’t act when a whistleblower revealed that Gooch was ‘double dipping’ in an apparent conflict of interest speaks volumes. To see those details, click the reports above, below and following the byline and notices.
In fairness to MHI, there is one item in MHI’s email that MHProNews may agree with. The industry could indeed potentially benefit from the return to HUD of Dana Wade. More on that another time. That said, MHI – per Gooch’s own words to the Washington Post, did nothing to have Pam Danner Removed from her arguably destructive role at the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs. Put differently, Gooch and MHI have ample opportunities to push for good laws to be enforced, or to push for problematic personalities such as Danner, to be removed. How can they so consistently get it wrong, unless that is the plan – which will have as an outcome the tendency to slowly foster consolidation?
If you or someone you know paid MHI money for Congress and Expo, the time to ask for a refund via email@example.com is on 5.5.2020. If you read this after that date, you should still ask them and if they refuse, then Roseman said you can go to your credit card company to dispute the charge since the paid for service was not delivered.
But all of it betrays MHI’s costume party or pretending to be the friend of industry independents, when in fact the evidence strongly suggests that they are the friends of only those “big boys” who want to consolidate the industry. See the related reports for more evidence, and keep in mind that MHI, Clayton and their allies have all declined to debate that allegation. That’s fine, because the evidence and their actions speak volumes. Besides, MHI backer Andy Gedo tried to defend MHI and their ‘big boys’ in a public debate, and he tossed in the towel. The evidence against MHI and their puppet masters only continues to grow.
That’s a wrap on this window into manufactured housing industry “News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © where – “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## See Related Reports, further below. Note that text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them. Any third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)
By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.
Tony earned a journalism scholarship and was recognized with the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he also studied business management with a perfect 4.0 and made the Dean’s List. Tony has earned multiple awards in manufactured housing and in history. He’s a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.
Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
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