This newsletter covers one topic, the COMPMNGR registration fee. Over the past months we have had to spend too many hours dealing with problems in assessing and collecting registration fees. So we are going to change our registration fee policy in three respects. This newsletter explains how and why.

Elizabeth and I are proud of the fact that we used the same formula for calculating the basic COMPMNGR registration fee (excluding new web page options) for over twenty years. The most important factor in calculating the registration fee was the hotel cost/day quoted to us by the competition organizer, which was supposed to be (at least approximately) what the organizer would pay out-of-pocket to put Elizabeth and me up for one night of the competition. This was an honor system, in that we hoped organizers will be honest with us in quoting the hotel cost used in the fee calculation. The system worked very well in the early days when we often attended competitions and were dealing with organizers we knew well. The situation has changed, in that we now rarely attend competitions and don't know many of the organizers. We have been informed that there are some organizers who quote hotel prices well under their actual price. We either had to accept this problem or spend our time trying to correct it, neither of which was very appealing to us.

Moreover, we have always allowed organizers to delay paying the registration fee until after their competitions, as long as the payment was made within a month of the end of the competition. We are now having more problems with organizers who, for whatever reason, put us off longer than that. We do not like to spend our time dealing with such problems.

Finally, we have always allowed small events, those with fewer than 750 entries, to use COMPMNGR at no charge. We have recently learned that some competition organizers are using some tricks to use COMPMNGR for competitions with more than 750 entries. We know who some of these organizers are and could prevent them from using COMPMNGR at all. But, again, we do not like to spend our time dealing with such problems.

So we are making three changes to simplify our lives. First, we are going to start calculating the registration fee based solely on the number of days in the competition. The basic rate, excluding web page options, will be $350 for a one day competition, which has been our minimum fee since the beginning. The fee will then increase by $150 per day for each additional day. Using this new fee schedule around one-half of COMPMNGR's past users, mainly the ones who have been quoting very low hotel prices for multi-day competitions, would wind up paying more than they have in the past. Around one-half would pay about the same or less. Second, we are going to require payment before sending out registration files. Although we now prefer payment by credit card we will still accept checks on U.S. banks. However, we will not issue the registration file until the check clears the bank. Third, we are cutting the maximum number of entries for free use of COMPMNGR to 250 from 750.

We are sorry that we find it necessary to make these changes. We hope that it doesn't inconvenience our good customers too much and that they understand why we are doing it.

Thank you for using COMPMNGR.

Elizabeth and Richard Douglass