Australian Pole Camp and Convention UPDATE
The drama is still unfolding regarding the Australian Pole Camp and Convention that was cancelled this past January. With the event less than 48 hours of taking place, the organizers pulled the plug, telling already traveling polers that there would not be a convention due to the illness of the founder, Sabrina Waller. Upon discovery of this cancellation, the pole community went into a tizzy. Largely, because many people spent a lot of money on this trip and for their workshops that were now cancelled. Gary Waller, husband of the founder and director of the APCC promised full refunds within 45 days of the cancellation. Almost twice that time has passed now and many polers find themselves struggling to get their money back. A few in particular were able to have their banks reverse the transaction. They are considering themselves the lucky ones. Many others that used different banks and some paypal, are still attempting to retrieve their money, but they are losing hope and feeling very frustrated. Many polers have emailed Gary several times and are no longer receiving responses. When a general mass “update” emails go out from Gary’s email address, only some of the potential camp goers receive them, while others don’t receive any emails. Other emails from The Wallers are very long with many excuses of why they haven’t made refunds and that they are still working on it. In a couple emails, they are urging polers to use a refund form to get money back through Paypal. There have been several complaints against The Wallers made with Fair Trade. But some polers fear that no action will be taken against them as Gary has told the Fair Trade that he is issuing refunds. Not only that, they have relocated to the United States, making it more difficult for the Australian organizations to take action. They have since started a new business in the states called Petsicles, “The pets popsicle.” This website was functioning several weeks ago, but now appears as if it’s been taken down. Upon doing research into their history, The Wallers have been known to start new businesses in different types of industries, including the farming market industry. It seems as if they move from one type of business to the next. The latest on Sabrina Waller’s health, which was the original reason for the cancellation, is that she has had a few cancerous lumps removed. Therefore they will be pushing back sending refunds for another 60 – 90 days. In other emails, they assure polers that they are not scam artists nor are they trying to steal anyone’s money.