Just off the phone from “Mr Mountain Mayhem” Patrick Adams

by Matt Letch 30

provelo_logo_topThat nice man Mr Adams has asked us to pass on a message to you all regarding his website.   robcrayton “Provelo support your first place of call for all things Mayhem, sleepless, Enduro 6 and Nice Price Series has changed it ‘s URL. The new URL is www.provelosupportuk.co.uk Patrick. So there you are. Bookmark it!

Comments (30)

  1. That ‘nice man Mr Adams’ of scam-tastic on-line entry admin fee fame?

  2. how much was the on-line admin fee? I shall be the official unappointed judge of such matters!

  3. Which online entry fee? AFAIK, Pat has never had online entries to Mayhem or any other events…

  4. Just checked the website – It’s £2.

  5. £2 ‘admin fee’ if you enter on-line for the (Singletrack sponsored/endorsed) ‘Nice Price Special’.

    Straight from the Ryanair school of ripping off consumers…

  6. What! a whole £2. Outrageous!!!!

  7. A £2 ‘hidden extra’ on an event that was sold on the basis of being ‘just £30’.

    That’s £2 as an admin fee for processing your application when you’ve provided all the details electronically; as compared to filling them in on a paper form for someone to transcribe…

    It’s not the amount it’s the principle. It stinks.

  8. You use a credit card and the banks take up to 7% of that depending on the service or card you use. Pay by cheque and it’s a set fee of between 20 – 70p depends on the bank and the business account in question. Then there’s the annual fee to pay for being able to take plastic and if you have a terminal there’s a monthly rental of that machine. Either way, a business starts to use plastic as a means of payment and it costs them more.

    £2 I don’t reckon is very much at all and you can still send a cheque if you prefer.

  9. 2 races for £32 not bad and thats with the charge.

  10. But payment is taken through Paypal, whose fees are going to be less than 3% plus a 20p transaction fee.

    That doesn’t add up to a £2 additional cost.

    There’s also the convenience of money being processed electronically, rather than needing to be sent/taken to the bank, and the savings of not having to process paper forms.

    And why start charging for one particular type of transaction? Why no ‘admin fee’ for a cheque payment? Why no fee for someone whose name is ‘a bit longer’ so takes extra time to process? Maybe one for someone that sends in a postal entry and uses sellotape to stick the envelope shut? After all, that would take time (and possibly tools…) to open.

    If it costs £32 to enter, just say it costs £32 to enter.

    The fact that the NPS is being presented ‘in association with’ a certain well-known on-line biking website makes it even more ironic that on-line entrants are being penalised. Personally I think that reflects badly on that website, particularly when key personnel aren’t / weren’t even aware of the charge… After all, I don’t see an ‘admin fee’ for paying for items in the on-line shop of that certain well-known biking website. Presumably because they accept that those charges are a cost of doing business, and factor them in to their business model and sale price, rather than adding them on to the headline price when the customer gets to the checkout…

    As I said before, I think the whole hidden charges issue stinks. So does the Office of Fair Trading; that’s why they’re trying to clamp down on it in the airline industry.

  11. But if Pat’s events are going to sell out anyway, regardless of whether he carts cheques to the bank or not, then the whole ‘it’s more convenient’ argument is moot. The ‘convenience’ argument is only an issue if it really IS an issue. We can only assume it is or it isn’t. If electronic payment is taking money off the bottom line (and since I happen to know that he’s pared the price back as far as is he can in order to make this event as affordable as possible) then walking to the bank with a bag of cheques is perhaps something worth doing.

    And Paypal fees for a business account start at 3.9% not 3% plus the transaction fee of 20p.

    So 3.9% of £30 = £1.17 plus 20p = £1.37.. x 15% VAT = £1.58. If you are now going to argue that he’s profiteering by 42p on each entry for an event that scores you a whole weekend of racing and three nights free camping then I put it to you that you are being a little over sensitive in this particular case.

    UPDATE – Actually I completely forgot that in addition to the paypal charges the receiving bank also levies a charge for each deposit. This can be offset by not making lots of transfers from Paypal to your bank and instead waiting until there’s a large amount there first but it’s still a cost that adds pennies to the costs of each transaction, so i reckon we can knock that 42p down into the late 30’s 🙂

  12. “Presumably because they accept that those charges are a cost of doing business, and factor them in to their business model and sale price, rather than adding them on to the headline price when the customer gets to the checkout…”

    Well, since you seem to be almost accusing us of being complicit in some kind of scam I’ll respond to this as well..

    a) You can ONLY use plastic to buy our stuff in our shop so the price already includes the associated ‘plastic’ costs.
    b) If you turn up at our office and pay by cheque or cash we will do you ‘a deal’ since that way will be cheaper for us. We’ve done this many many times in the past when we’ve had callers.

    Fundamentally, the easier a system is to use the more it costs to run. An online entry system you may think is much more efficient and therefore less costly to administer but that is not always the case at all. For an event with a total customer base of a few hundred that happens once a year then I’d also be very watchful of my bottom line when it came to taking entries.

  13. If 50 people enter (as seems likely) and pay via Paypal then he breaks the threshold for 2.9% as the fee. Hence my 3% comment.

    If the charge for processing a cheque was at the higher end, 70p, then the additional cost for the electronic payment isn’t significant. Certainly nowhere near £2.

    The VAT may or may not be applicable as a cost, but with entrance fees, sponsorship and other revenues from a couple of events it’s perfectly conceivable that these would be recoverable as a VAT registered business.

    I’ve never suggested anyone’s profiteering, and have clearly said that if the cost is £32 then simply pitch it at £32. My issue isn’t £2; but if this time it’s £2, next time it could be more.

    Again, it’s the principle of advertising a headline price, then adding hidden costs. It leaves a nasty taste in the mouth. Let’s face it if Michael O’Leary thinks it’s good practice then it must be a bit shady 😉

  14. I’m not “almost accusing” anyone of anything (whatever “almost accusing” someone actually is…).

    I am saying that, for me, I find it a distasteful practice, and am disappointed that a business that I trust has publicly associated itself with an event organised by another business that engages in such a practice – apparently unknowningly.

  15. “If 50 people enter (as seems likely) and pay via Paypal then he breaks the threshold for 2.9% as the fee. Hence my 3% comment.”

    That’s an assumption. What if the threshold isn’t crossed? As a business it’s prudent and sensible to cost based on the worst case scenario.

    Vat IS applicable in this case. And the VAT collected on the cost of an entry is just that… a collection. It is collected and passed on to HMRC. It cannot be ‘recovered’ and is an additional cost that has to be born by the customer.

    “I’ve never suggested anyone’s profiteering”

    You called it a scam. What is a scam if it doesn’t profiteer?

  16. That’s cheating; we can’t edit our comments 😀

    The cost of an electronic funds transfer even for a small business is trivial; if you saved it up and did it in one go it really would be pennies per transaction. If VAT is recoverable than I think we’re taling about 90p rather than 30p. If the saving of not banking a cheque is added to that then it could be £1.60 😉

  17. That’s what I said.. I said it was ‘pennies’. But £2 is just 200 pennies so that’s exactly what we are arguing over here. And my point is that once you get over the initial, ‘What a rip off!’ reaction and then look under the hood at where all the costs actually are with any business you quickly see that contrary to most conspiracy theories there is very little evidence of anything untoward going on and quite often if you put yourself in the position of the person managing the money, you realise that you would make the same choices yourself.

    Pat’s events are fantastic value for money and always have been. His margins are frighteningly small, a fact that will be born out by everyone who has ever tried to organise a bike event in order to make money. The risks are huge but Pat is possibly the best in the business for making sure that he balances out those risks in order to make sure that the riders get the best out of the event while he manages to stay in business long enough to do the same thing again the following year. He’s managed that task for over 10 years now.

  18. I said it was scam-tastic. A scam -> a swindle -> use deception to deprive someone of money.

    I believe that it is a deception to advertise something based on a headline figure, but then to add on hidden costs later in the process.

    That’s not profiteering. I would never have used the word profiteering because I have no intention of begrudging anyone’s right to make a profit out of their particular business activity. As I’ve said several times, if it costs £32 then charge £32, but have the balls to advertise it as £32 rather than £30.

  19. We’re overlapping on posts. I’ve attended Pat’s events; I have no truck with Pat or his events. I have no problem with Pat making a profit. If he wants to charge £32 then charge it.

    Just don’t advertise it as £30.

  20. Habving known Patrick for some time, using his name and rip off in the same sentence is laughable- Maybe not being very internet savvy, and not realising a cost incurred until after the online site was set up ,all of those things could be said but not rip off.



  21. Sod the £2.
    None of our group are entering this year because of the consitant wall to wall mud, it’s sad to say.
    We can stay home and ride trails that cope with rain far better

  22. “using his name and rip off in the same sentence”

    No-one used them in the same sentence until you did…

  23. -m- do you have a paypal account?

    I’ll quite happily send you two pounds as I’m 100% convinced that you’ll make better use of it than me, on the one condition that you promise to:

    a) tell me what you are spending it on


    b) can assure me that you will spend it better than Pat Adams

    I would like to extend this very same offer to Mr Pat Adams and I shall declare the winner on the basis of their £2.00 spend.

  24. Mr Nutt, I do, but I’m afraid that I must refuse your very kind offer of £2 (or 200 finest new pence as it has alternatively been referred to above) as I would not wish to be accused of obtaining money under false pretences 😉

    Just in case anyone has missed my point, or been distracted by the boring bit in the middle about the best/worst way to spend £2 on the administration of payments:

    1) I don’t care how big or small Pat Adams’ margins are
    2) I don’t care how much he charges for his events – the market will set the price…
    3) I don’t think that £32 is outrageously expensive


    4) I just think he should charge the actual headline price for entries, rather than adding on hidden charges for certain entries.
    5) If that means charging everyone £32 then I’m sure that wouldn’t be a problem for anyone that wants to enter; after all the price paid would match the expectation set from the headline figure…

    To be honest, I’d be less bothered if he’d said “We’re really sorry, but because of the extra cost to us of processing on-line payments through Paypal, we’ve got to charge you an extra 96p for this event. We’re looking for ways to avoid having to do this in the future.” But he didn’t.

    Of course, alternatively we could simply have an open bartering system where everyone negotiates their own entry price individually 😉

    Now can we move on to the more serious issue of talking about the punctuation in the original article?


  26. Precisely why it’s an excellent rant!

  27. Lol Check http://www.rideallnight.co.uk on the tickets bit
    £75 to watch, this still on?

  28. some people just have too much time on their hands….jeez.

  29. They’re not still trying to push that Ride All Night thing are they? Does anyone know anyone that’s signed up for that?

    I’ve had to pay £3 ‘on the day’ fees to enter races before (got charged £8.50 at Cheddar once!) so while I think Pat should advertise the fee as being £32, does it really matter?

  30. I heard it was ment to be on last year but they didnt get the entries, i wonder why!!

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