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FAQ Entry #497

Home > Support > Frequently Asked Questions > 497

This is a respond to a previously asked question about the A' Design Award and Competition. The full list of frequently asked questions can be accessed here.

#497: You said no further fees and I was just charged a ridiculous amount for using my brand name! I am representing a very large international company! What is the meaning of this! What does wrong account type even mean!
Basically, at A' Design Award we have nine (9) different Account Types: Enterprise, Agency, Professional, Non-Profit, Academic, Young, Start-Up, Media and Government, each having a different costs for taking part in the competition: the price of nomination is different for each different account type but services provided are equal (except for enterprises which are eligible for express judging on request). The price differentiation system was designed in a way to subsidise young designers and individual professionals by making companies, enterprises and agencies pay more. Now, the problem is that you most likely used a Professional, Academic or Young Account Type, which have very low entry fees, in return these Account Types requires you to note yourself or a real Individual’s name for the Designer name for account profile, yearbook name and certificates. When you choose Professional, Young or Academic account type you pay a fraction of the cost when compared to companies, but in return you must use your own name or an individual’s name. However if you get charged it means you used a company name, a brand name or an institution name. (As a side note please note that John Doe is an individual, John Doe Design Consultants is a company name). As per our terms and agreements, you cannot use professional, academic or young Account Type together with a brand name, company name or an institution name. To make it very clear; technically speaking you have cheated our pricing system which favours young designers, academics, professors, teachers, professional designers and freelancers; and you paid lowest entry fees but you are using a brand name, company name or institution name. Our terms and agreements note that we could charge you up to forty (40) times the fees you had technically cheated, but of course we do not want to believe you would have cheated our pricing system on purpose, so it is most likely that we just noted the fee difference (instead of fining you 40 times the difference of fees) and we might have even make a discount at that. We explain these facts so that you first clearly understand why you get charged; in summary with or without intention (we considered this happened without your intention thus we did not charge you 40 times the fee difference but just the fee difference itself) you have cheated our pricing system and to repeat once again we charged you difference of price of entry fees (instead of 40 times the fee cost as the fine as we hoped you did not cheated the pricing system on purpose; so you were not actually fined; we just want you to pay the correct fees). Also this should not come as a surprise as 1) this is clearly noted in calculate nomination fees page, 2) noted in account types information page, 3) most importantly we had actually sent an email also containing information about account types and fines to all winners and the email clearly states that we will charge all entities that are cheating the system. 4) But please allow us to apologize using the word cheat even. All that being said, I am sorry that we put you in this position. Now that we have a clear understanding, we will absolutely help you if you could make the necessary changes to make your account type compliant; if you choose professional, young or academic account, a real person name and surname should appear on your profile name, name on certificates and yearbook. For young, professional and academic account types, we do not allow usage of brand, company or institution names for profile, yearbook or certificates. (Also If you choose Start-Up account type, company must be 3 years or younger and Young Account type applies for young people, less than or equal to 25 years). On the other hand if we already printed your yearbook page, if we already printed your certificate, we cannot cancel all the fees but we could still help. You must understand that we are almost obliged to print whatever name you put to the certificate or yearbook; sure we would correct any ALL CAPS or all lowercase letters to Title Case but we would not change the whole name because in the past, we fixed the wrong account types by putting designers’ names to yearbook and certificates thus we did not need to charge any fees but this did not create any solution; indeed it created a bigger problem; many people stated that they want to actually use company or brand names, as it was the company winning the award, plus other participants had their secretaries create their accounts for them therefore it is not feasible for us to fix the names on behalf of participants and not charge them; many said they would have rather paid fee difference then to have person name announced as the winner; thus given all these issues we were obliged to print company name if you put a company name there but then you are obliged to pay for it. If you are in this situation 1) you did not read our nomination fees page 2) you did not read account types page 3) you ignored our email 4) when we first charged you, you did not take action and revert back the changed 5) you wanted the company name instead of your name, so you have put a company name there or perhaps you just made a mistake and we just want to help however; if we already printed the yearbooks, certificates and published you as a winner, using your company name, we cannot help you completely; we cannot cancel all the fees; you technically cheated the pricing system that was designed to subsidize entries of young participants and individuals and put a company name there; if you say you are a big company, you get charged like a big company; for example you could have stated you are a start-up and use much lower entry fees if you had a young company; likewise design agencies pay much less then enterprises, in any case, you should remember the whole system is designed such that young designers, academics and professionals pay less because the companies pay more; otherwise we would have to increase entry fees for all entrants; the price is differentiated; when you are cheating the pricing system you are cheating young designers, freelancers, design professionals, academics, professors; because the price differentiation system allows us to offer these people lower entry fees. When you want to use company name; it is very similar to flying business class; the service is almost the same; you get to the same destination but you pay different for the additional comfort of using the “business seat” – using the company name. In your situation; imagine you boarded a plane, you sit at business seat, we sent you email that we will charge you if you sit in business seat, you ignore, then you get charged via negative account credits, you ignore (if you opened your account balance page; that page included instructions on how to cancel such fees by making changes swiftly; i.e. that page recommended you standing from business seat and sitting in economy – removing company name from certificates, yearbook and profile name); you did not make the required changes; now that the plane has landed, you are sad that you are being charged for business class. I hope this analogy helps you understand the situation very clearly, even though you have sit in the business class wrongfully initially, you did not move from that spot after we ask many times; we cannot obviously use force to move you; we did not use force to move you; we did not change the company name you wrote to certificates, yearbook or profile as this would be like moving you forcefully from your business seat (in very small cases, we actually moved people; if we were able to confirm them via phone or if we were very sure that their profile name was a designers name, we did the best we could but please understand we are unable to confirm this information for all especially considering how haptic that period is). To remind you again, we would cancel all these fees if you make changes that are required to make your Account Type compliant on time; i.e. if you choose young, academic or professional account type, you must remove company name, brand name or institution name from yearbook, certificates, profile details before we publish the results, make the book, print your certificates. If you do all these changes before we print your certificates, before we print your yearbook pages, before we update your profile page; no problem, we cancel all these fees. If you make changes after we already print your certificate, already prepare your yearbook page, already prepare images and deliverable and your profile page, then we have a problem, but we can help. It is important for you to know that you are in violation with our terms and agreements are required to pay up to 40 times the fee difference that you had technically cheated. But did you get charged 40 times the fees? I can guarantee you, absolutely not; you are most likely charged just the original difference amount and not only that we did not actually charge your card; we just registered negative account credits so that we could hopefully sort this out with you. If you do not want to pay these fees what can we do? We have a special form that you will be required to fill. Depending on your own unique situation, we reserve the right but not legally obliged to cancel the fees (but charge you a small account type conversion fee), or make a reduction (and charge a small account type conversion fee) or not make a reduction (and ask you to pay). So what you need to do is to request form #10333 available at documents repository: “Reconsideration Request Form #10333 for Cancellation or Reduction of Fees and Fines for Unintentional Exploitation of Price Differentiation System” and fill it. If this is the first time (first year) you are technically cheating the system, we will for sure help you, because we believe you. If this is the second or third time (two or three years in a row) you find yourself in this situation we will most likely not be able to help you except for changing your account type to ensure it at least does not happen in future. Once you fill the document “Reconsideration Request Form #10333 for Cancellation or Reduction of Fees and Fines for Unintentional Exploitation of Price Differentiation System”, please send it to our support so that we could check the form; understand what happened and reconsider. Please note that if you just want to keep using company names, the most we could potentially do is to offer some reduction and change your account type but we cannot help more; if you want to use company name you must pay for enterprise, agency or start-up fees (indeed if your company is less than or equal to 3 years old, you could use Start-Up account type and a company name with much less fees, we can help with that but we will need a proof your company is less than or equal to 3 years old); we can help you to cancel the fees only if you make your account compliant with young, academic or professional account types (by removing company, brand or institution names from certificates, yearbooks and profile details). If you remove company, brand or institution name from certificates, yearbooks and profile before results are final, before the book is prepared, before your certificates are printed than great; we will cancel all the fees; if you make the changes late, still don’t worry; while in most cases we cannot cancel all the fees, we can make a substantial reduction if this is the first time you did this; indeed if you give us a good explanation we will try to help you, especially if you kindly explain us, we will for sure do our best.
Keywords: account types, account type fees, wrong account type, bad account type, cheating, credits, negative credits, pricing system, price differentiation


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