Avoid UX STRAT conference series

2017/05/28 by Lassi A. Liikkanen

Do you call this sham or proper conference organizing?

UX STRAT is one of the few companies organizing events related to managing and leading UX/Design work. This story warns you of not supporting their style of work.

Earlier this year, I tried very hard to participate in the upcoming UX STRAT Europe conference. I spent some precious time submitting a talk proposal and once it was rejected I immediately bought my “early bird” ticket for 799€ since my interest did not yet fade.

But it all ends with this writing.

However, I got effectively banned from both UX STRAT conference and community after two emails leaving a permanent distaste for the show organized by Paul Bryan and anonymous staff.

The farce began with a simple email. Anonymous staffer requested me to buy a new ticket for the event. I had, a Finnish company representative, had bought a ticket to the event held in the Netherlands over web. However, my purchase excluded VAT, as is the requirement in EU trading between companies. I couldn’t thus understand their request and had bad experiences with credit card returns, so tried to ask why was this possible – however, letting them know that I’d be willing do the ticket switch if absolutely necessary.

After my second email, I received a stern response that my ticket was cancelled and I was not welcome to attend any of their following events. Any consideration whether I had made a 450€ non-refundable flight purchase in between was not given.

After this, I didn’t receive replies over email or Twitter, and my membership in their LinkedIn group and Slack was discontinued without particular notice. Probably trying to maintain a good face for their better customers.

I eventually got the money back but that did not help with my frustration.

My original emails, I’ve redacted their part to maintain some integrity.

Do you call this sham or proper conference organizing?

Email 1 hello! Well, as I tried to say, from my perspective, the business is fine. Businesses inside EU are not required to pay VAT in trade between nations. BUT if me buying the ticket (I think this was due to me taking a wrong turn on the way and starting the purchase from the ticketing system front page) without VAT is a problem for you, then something probably must be done. Email 2 Well, then I guess it has to be done. There will be all kinds of complications thou. I had to exceptionally make the purchase with my own credit card as our company card was not accepted. I haven't apparently yet reimbursed it so you can try to refund it (this will create extra work for me) Then again I can't but complain about Dutch interpretation of EU regulations, they are very clear: http://europa.eu/youreurope/business/vat-customs/cross-border/index_en.htm But if we do this you should offer a payment solution which we can complete, our company credit card (Mastercard) was not accepted on the site.

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Keywords: [critical_consumer] , [design] Document's status: Ok (Document dates explained)

This document created: 2017/05/28
Modified: 2017/05/28
Published: 2017/05/28

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