Has anyone bought To Flame bus tickets?

Bikes, trikes, personal mobility and getting to/from the event - this is the place to discuss general transportation issues.
amypotenger
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2013 1:27 pm
Burning Since: 2013
Camp Name: Huddleville

Has anyone bought To Flame bus tickets?

Post by amypotenger » Sat Jul 20, 2013 1:31 pm

Just saw the announcement that To Flame buses are not permitted to enter Black Rock City! My friend and I have already purchased tickets and are wondering what to do. There is no information about this on the To Flame website or Facebook page.

User avatar
Eric
Moderator
Posts: 9360
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 9:45 pm
Burning Since: 2003
Camp Name: BRC Weekly
Contact:

Re: Has anyone bought To Flame bus tickets?

Post by Eric » Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:08 pm

We're not affiliated in any way with To Flame, so all I can suggest is contacting them for a refund since the tickets were sold under false pretenses, and if that fails contacting your credit card company to get a refund based on the same information. Hopefully To Flame will be accommodating.
It's a camping trip in the desert, not the redemption of the fallen world - Cryptofishist

Eric ShutterSlut
Former Ass't Editor & columnist, BRC Weekly

User avatar
servicio
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:51 pm
Burning Since: 2013
Location: seattle

Re: Has anyone bought To Flame bus tickets?

Post by servicio » Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:45 pm

I called them several times yesterday from the number 8557555928 on their website but they never answered.

I just reached them today and provided my confirmation number to them, they said they will cancel it but I am not sure, they are not customer friendly on their call center system.

User avatar
Elderberry
Moderator
Posts: 14824
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:00 pm
Burning Since: 2007
Camp Name: Mudskipper Cafe
Location: Palm Springs
Contact:

Re: Has anyone bought To Flame bus tickets?

Post by Elderberry » Sat Jul 20, 2013 3:00 pm

If the refund doesn't appear on your card within a week, like Eric said, call your credit card company and dispute the charge.
JK
Image
http://www.mudskippercafe.com
When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle.
Then I realized that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me

User avatar
NikkiG
Posts: 86
Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:12 am
Burning Since: 2013
Camp Name: Ritual of Victory

Re: Has anyone bought To Flame bus tickets?

Post by NikkiG » Sat Jul 20, 2013 10:56 pm

I cancelled my trip with them last week because they refused to leave BRC at 10am Friday. My bank account was credited a few days later.....So yes, they do refunds.
Keep away from small people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. - Mark Twain

ronjon
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2006 7:31 pm

Re: Has anyone bought To Flame bus tickets?

Post by ronjon » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:52 am

Their Terms of Service page says they'll honor full refunds through August 18 - http://brc.toflame.com/Event/TermsAndConditions

User avatar
McStrangle
Posts: 68
Joined: Wed May 23, 2012 5:49 pm
Burning Since: 2011

Re: Has anyone bought To Flame bus tickets?

Post by McStrangle » Mon Jul 22, 2013 3:57 pm

[removed link]
Something Pithy

maladroit
Posts: 2375
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:37 pm
Burning Since: 2012

Re: Has anyone bought To Flame bus tickets?

Post by maladroit » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:46 pm

McStrangle wrote:[removed link]
That thread has provided me with my yearly ration of burner drama, quite enjoyable.

User avatar
McStrangle
Posts: 68
Joined: Wed May 23, 2012 5:49 pm
Burning Since: 2011

Re: Has anyone bought To Flame bus tickets?

Post by McStrangle » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:20 pm

I know right? It's odd that they havent come on here to ''state their case'' as it were.
Something Pithy

amypotenger
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2013 1:27 pm
Burning Since: 2013
Camp Name: Huddleville

Re: Has anyone bought To Flame bus tickets?

Post by amypotenger » Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:03 am

I asked them for a refund and they asked me if I could hold tight while they try to resolve the issue. Do you think they'll be able to get the permits that they need? Don't know what to do! Maybe we look for another ride and if we can get one then we can get refunds from To Flame... It's all a bit stressful!

User avatar
McStrangle
Posts: 68
Joined: Wed May 23, 2012 5:49 pm
Burning Since: 2011

Re: Has anyone bought To Flame bus tickets?

Post by McStrangle » Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:20 am

They've stressed they're going to refund up until the 18th of August. I'd say go with the burner express bus and get your refund. Don't leave it to chance.
Something Pithy

User avatar
Canoe
Posts: 3956
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:01 pm

Re: Has anyone bought To Flame bus tickets?

Post by Canoe » Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:04 am

amypotenger wrote:... Do you think they'll be able to get the permits that they need? ...
If you look at:
  • the first hand accounts of the range of experiences of those who have gone with them in the past,
  • they claim to be 'by burners', yet there was no one from them on-playa? they emailed the playa pickup point change to people who were on the playa? wtf? their posts show they're unfamiliar with the published basic event/gate rules
  • they post/claim they secured a permit from BLM, while they failed to get the required permit from BMOrg and that process date is past, and given the complaints by the first point this is highly unlikely to change,
  • they state that they plan to bypass the BMOrg vendor approval process by: they have a ticket for their bus drivers and plan as a vehicle full of people with tickets to get in line on-playa and wait in line with all of the cars (which will swamp swamp the regular Will Call), instead of getting to use the direct bus lane and dedicated Will Call that is for approved bus vendors.
Do you really want to go there... with them?
I can't see anyway that going with them doesn't look like Not A Good Idea.

I don't know how much space available there is on the approved vendor buses, that will be using the low traffic bus lane with a dedicated Will Call.

Look at:
http://eplaya.burningman.org/viewtopic. ... 92#p954279
and
http://eplaya.burningman.org/viewtopic. ... 30#p955337

I'd be getting my money back A.S.A.P., while that is still happening.
4.669
.
That's one word I regret googling during breakfast.
.
Video games are giving kids unrealistic expectations on how many swords they can carry.
.
, but don't harm the red dragon that frequents the area from time to time. He and I have an agreement.

User avatar
VultureChow
Posts: 2328
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:08 pm
Burning Since: 2012
Camp Name: Hookers & Makers @ Barbie Death Village

Re: Has anyone bought To Flame bus tickets?

Post by VultureChow » Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:34 am

maladroit wrote:
McStrangle wrote:[removed link]
That thread has provided me with my yearly ration of burner drama, quite enjoyable.
That was entertaining. Though for some reason, every reddit thread reminds me of that classic sci-fi short story, wikihistory: http://www.tor.com/stories/2011/08/wikihistory
Sic Semper Spectatores

User avatar
gibson_
Posts: 118
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:44 pm
Location: Phoenix
Contact:

Re: Has anyone bought To Flame bus tickets?

Post by gibson_ » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:40 am

It sounds like they're trying to force BM to let them into the city by getting a permit from the BLM.

It also sounds like it's going to be a total nightmare for anybody on any of their busses.

User avatar
Canoe
Posts: 3956
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:01 pm

Re: Has anyone bought To Flame bus tickets?

Post by Canoe » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:10 am

gibson_ wrote:It sounds like they're trying to force BM to let them into the city by getting a permit from the BLM.
They've posted that they intend to enter as ticket holders in a vehicle, with their drivers having tickets too.
But as they're a commercial operation, they're likely just covering their butts by getting a the BLM permit to operate on federal land?
The rest is likely spinning or posturing.
gibson_ wrote:It also sounds like it's going to be a total nightmare for anybody on any of their busses.
I saw a lot of unhappy people dragging their luggage to their bus last year. Now I understand why.
4.669
.
That's one word I regret googling during breakfast.
.
Video games are giving kids unrealistic expectations on how many swords they can carry.
.
, but don't harm the red dragon that frequents the area from time to time. He and I have an agreement.

User avatar
gibson_
Posts: 118
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:44 pm
Location: Phoenix
Contact:

Re: Has anyone bought To Flame bus tickets?

Post by gibson_ » Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:43 pm

>They've posted that they intend to enter as ticket holders in a vehicle, with their drivers having tickets too.

Can't the LLC eject somebody from the event at their own will? I mean...what happens when "To Flame" gets to gayte and they just say no?

User avatar
Canoe
Posts: 3956
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:01 pm

Re: Has anyone bought To Flame bus tickets?

Post by Canoe » Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:28 pm

Canoe wrote:They've posted that they intend to enter as ticket holders in a vehicle, with their drivers having tickets too...
I missed the most obvious.

BM is a week long event. If you're arriving by bus:
  • Do you want to travel with a non-approved vender with a questionable track record, hit the playa and then spend what may be nine hours or more with the bus in line getting to Will Call, plus time at Will Call (which just got flooded by your bus), and then through Gate?
  • Or do you want to travel with one of the approved vendors, hit the playa and drive in a dedicated bus lane to a dedicated Will Call, not delaying those in other vehicles, and getting as smoothly as possible into BRC to start your Burn?
With the unapproved vendor option, you could end up spending many many more hours just getting from where the playa starts to Gate. Time that you could have spent in BRC, exploring, participating & experiencing - making the most of your Burn.

Time with the bus, or time in BRC?

Your call.
4.669
.
That's one word I regret googling during breakfast.
.
Video games are giving kids unrealistic expectations on how many swords they can carry.
.
, but don't harm the red dragon that frequents the area from time to time. He and I have an agreement.

User avatar
trilobyte
Site Admin
Posts: 16909
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2004 10:54 pm
Burning Since: 2004
Camp Name: Brainy Bar
Location: San Francisco
Contact:

Re: Has anyone bought To Flame bus tickets?

Post by trilobyte » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:49 am

My understanding is that they are not and will not be permitted by the BLM. My understanding is that, ticketed or not, their buses WILL be turned away at the gate. Burning Man does not *have* to let anyone into the event, much less a commercial operation without BLM permit that has not cooperated with numerous requests from Burning Man.

User avatar
BBadger
Posts: 5901
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:37 am
Burning Since: 2010
Location: (near) Portland, OR, USA

Re: Has anyone bought To Flame bus tickets?

Post by BBadger » Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:00 am

If they don't refund your money in short order call up your credit card company and issue a chargeback. Don't issue chargebacks to punish companies, but only as a last resort. You get your money back, and they get hit with an additional $30 penalty or something for their sleazy operations (not accusing To Flame of this, but if it happens...).

I remember one sleazebag online shop I ordered some screwdriver from, but who fucked up the order and wanted me to ship it back (which would cost more than the value of the item), tried to warn its customer customers that they can't issue chargebacks to them "by policy". Yeah, what are they going to do? Try and charge me again? UNAUTHORIZED CHARGE BITCHES. I got my money back via the bank and was good to go.
"The essence of tyranny is not iron law. It is capricious law." -- Christopher Hitchens

Hate reading my replies? Click here to add me to your plonk (foe) list.

User avatar
gibson_
Posts: 118
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:44 pm
Location: Phoenix
Contact:

Re: Has anyone bought To Flame bus tickets?

Post by gibson_ » Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:22 am

Trilo: Actually they're claiming that they *have* been issued a BLM permit.
Edit 2: Update from BLM as of 7/22 6:33pm ET: We have been issued BLM permits!! BRC, LLC will be informed of BLM's decision today and we'll keep you updated on their response.

Which is why it sounds like their plan is to just demand that gate allow them into the city. Their logic being that Burning Man takes place on public land, and that they've gotten permission from the BLM to be there.

That's why it seems like potentially a Big Deal to let people know how much they need to avoid the service. It's possible that a LOT of people are going to end up getting to gate, and getting sent back to Reno because they're being used as part of some company's vendetta against BRC.

Which would really suck :(

User avatar
BBadger
Posts: 5901
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:37 am
Burning Since: 2010
Location: (near) Portland, OR, USA

Re: Has anyone bought To Flame bus tickets?

Post by BBadger » Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:40 am

Since when does a BLM permit entitle anyone to being allowed inside a private event, public land or not? I'd be like: your signed scrap of paper is just one requirement in a long list of requirements -- including me liking you in the first place -- that may convince me to allow you in. It's not like it's a warrant.
"The essence of tyranny is not iron law. It is capricious law." -- Christopher Hitchens

Hate reading my replies? Click here to add me to your plonk (foe) list.

User avatar
lemur
Posts: 3600
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:07 pm
Camp Name: Plug N Play Camp
Location: Madagascar

Re: Has anyone bought To Flame bus tickets?

Post by lemur » Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:50 am

all ive got out of this is that reddit is full of whinging gits.

i already knew the brc llc bureaucracy was, at times, intolerable ;-)
Don't link to anything here!

User avatar
trilobyte
Site Admin
Posts: 16909
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2004 10:54 pm
Burning Since: 2004
Camp Name: Brainy Bar
Location: San Francisco
Contact:

Re: Has anyone bought To Flame bus tickets?

Post by trilobyte » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:21 pm

I can assure you that the announcement that ToFlame will be denied entry into Black Rock City is 100% accurate. If it were me, I'd take the word of the company that runs both the event and the gate over the company with a terrible track record who's scrambling to hang onto your cash.

Cancel and get a refund, or face a long and most likely way behind schedule (if their track record is any indication) road to disappointment.

User avatar
lemur
Posts: 3600
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:07 pm
Camp Name: Plug N Play Camp
Location: Madagascar

Re: Has anyone bought To Flame bus tickets?

Post by lemur » Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:53 pm

as much as the running their name through the mud by some seems unpleasant to me, and the actions by the BRC LLC seem unpleasant to me it does in fact look like, from my reading of a bunch of stuff, that the stipulations of the Burning Man 2013 Special Recreation Permit that BRC LLC has an equal/final say on who is allowed to operate a commercial operation at the event.

as per part 12 of their permit:
12. Commercial use is prohibited within the Black Rock City closure area unless specifically
authorized by BRC and the BLM.

Any OSS and AIR operators found operating unpermitted by BRC and/or the BLM at the event will be found to be noncompliance and will face eviction and/or citations for noncompliance with 43 C.F.R. § 2932.
(source: https://www.blm.gov/epl-front-office/pr ... ations.pdf )

a look at the document about special recreation permits shows that theres basically no way that under section 2932.5 that the to-flame bus operation could be described as anything but 'commercial use'.. because of their advertising/public seeking out of participants.

(source: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2004-t ... rt2930.pdf )


there doesnt seem to be anything in the SRP document, or other land use stuff that i looked at (source: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/granule/CFR-20 ... etail.html ), that means having a SRP of your own allows one to violate the stipulations of another permit (actually, there doesnt seem to be much at all in the way of dealing with two permitted people vying for use of the same land where one permit holder is basically the one setting the rules (along with BLM) for the usage of the land)

none of the claimed law in the reddit post by the toflame people seems applicable to this situation

the only recourse to-flame seems to have is the appeal process that is laid out in the SRP document.. which says that all decisions by the BLM will go on as the appeal waits, unless a stay is granted.... but that in itself seems a difficult proposition if, as they say, the BLM has granted them a special recreation permit for the event.. as they would have nothing to appeal... but, in a way.. they would still be able (i suppose) to appeal the previous decision of the stipulations of the Burning Man 2013 SRP.

(source: http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/43/4.21 )

if an appeal were to occur... a stay may be granted if it is determined that a stay benefits the public interest, that irreparable harm could occur if the stay is not granted and that if the stay is granted.. and the appeal goes on.. that the appeal would be likely to succeed..



my guess is that any such appeal would not be likely to be held up, because of the Burning Man 2013 SRP stipulations basically granting BRC LLC the right to decide whom they do business with at their event...


theres also the problem with ticket holders agreeing to the terms and conditions part 17 which grant BRC LLC the right to deny access for any reason.. including issues relating to unauthorized entry.

(source: http://tickets2.burningman.com/info.php?i=2386 )


as much as their "WE PICKED PEPSI AND ALL VENDORS MUST SERVE PEPSI" mentality on this issue pains me, BRC LLC is well protected and TO-FLAME doesnt appear to have any leg to stand on.

they appear to have no legal recourse (that is likely to succeed) and no justification for bringing their busses to the event

even their wish to come as "a bus of ticket holders" does not stand up to the scrutiny of subpart 2932 section (ii) of the SRP document which says that people sharing resources are NOT commercial use....... because of the other parts which will exclude them from such a claim.

so.. we neednt even get into the fact that to-flame may have been scumbags or not.. last year... theyre screwed and you should get a refund.
Don't link to anything here!

User avatar
Canoe
Posts: 3956
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:01 pm

Re: Has anyone bought To Flame bus tickets?

Post by Canoe » Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:07 pm

trilobyte wrote:I can assure you that the announcement that ToFlame will be denied entry into Black Rock City is 100% accurate. If it were me, I'd take the word of the company that runs both the event and the gate over the company with a terrible track record who's scrambling to hang onto your cash.
Yup.
Although ToFlame is trying to sidetrack people,
Burning Man organizers want participants to know the To Flame bus operated by Rally Bus will not be granted access to Black Rock City in 2013.
is definitive.

I hope they can be stopped from getting off the highway and onto the playa road to gate, where such a large vehicle turning around could prove disruptive. Or is that their intent?
4.669
.
That's one word I regret googling during breakfast.
.
Video games are giving kids unrealistic expectations on how many swords they can carry.
.
, but don't harm the red dragon that frequents the area from time to time. He and I have an agreement.

User avatar
lemur
Posts: 3600
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:07 pm
Camp Name: Plug N Play Camp
Location: Madagascar

Re: Has anyone bought To Flame bus tickets?

Post by lemur » Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:57 pm

while some points made are admirable on the to-flame side..... the final say is that of BRC LLC.. and thats that... get yer refund now!


In the future I hope those involved in this arena(observers, and brc/bus services) will learn something from the apparent need of this service by many in the community..


-more choice in ways to get to the playa is a good thing.. having one approved contractor vendor lock-in seems less good and more akin to the behavior of other less than desirable festivals/events

-allowing more capable and credible businesses access to provide vendor services on playa is a good thing.. (for choice and fostering an environment of even more competition/choice/better services)

-allowing other services(and perhaps individuals/camps) access to the special use lane and will call in the future would be good.. perhaps they can add a hoop to jump through for a credential to access this.. but I think anything promoting sharing of resources would be good.. coming in, and leaving... one bus of people can easily represent MANY vehicles.

-if you dont play nice with eachother innocent people might be hurt



with a limit of 1000 vehicles per hour allowed on exodus..and a BLM estimate of 1.5 persons per vehicle.. just 500 people on buses may save 300 vehicles from attending the event... that kind of stuff starts to add up quickly if people catch on to the benefits of the bus/pooling resources thing.. quicker entry (for everyone), quicker exit (for everyone), and for some..drop off in the city, grocery trip.. haulage.. prices cheaper than car rental.....

as is for this year, we will have to see how succesful the burner express thing is.. considering it seemed to appear VERY late in the game (shoulda been something they had offered in may or june) it may not have much impact/success..... maybe it will, but whatever the result is.. i think this is something we really need more of at the event: if for nothing more than we cant fit extra cars on the road.

its a shame that another option (in the form of to-flame, however maligned) isnt available for this year.. but, as is the burner express thing seems available.. and maybe it will work out to be good and start an awesome trend of freeing up the roads of hundreds of cars and offering hundreds, or thousands.. another option to get to burning man.... cuz i think we need it.


(oh and also.. ditch that to-flame thing now its doomed!!!)
Don't link to anything here!

User avatar
Mojojita
Posts: 1165
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:17 am
Location: Under your bed

Re: Has anyone bought To Flame bus tickets?

Post by Mojojita » Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:59 pm

amypotenger wrote:I asked them for a refund and they asked me if I could hold tight while they try to resolve the issue. Do you think they'll be able to get the permits that they need? Don't know what to do! Maybe we look for another ride and if we can get one then we can get refunds from To Flame... It's all a bit stressful!
If I were in your situation, I would insist on a full refund immediately. There are just too many inconsistencies in the story from To Flame, examples from riders of poor execution of services, and their expectation that they can shove their commercial enterprise on a private event without their approval or permission. Anyone riding with this service can expect drama IMHO. Just because their driver has a ticket does not mean he is going to get through the gate - having a ticket does not guarantee entrance to the event. If not, then neither will the riders.
Ut ballista es interdico, tantum interdico mos fui ballista.

User avatar
Mojojita
Posts: 1165
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:17 am
Location: Under your bed

Re: Has anyone bought To Flame bus tickets?

Post by Mojojita » Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:11 pm

I agree with Lemur except for maybe the part about needing more vendors on the playa. (In my mind, the fewer commercial vendors, the better, but I'm open to having my mind changed about that!) I think that the practice of setting out a fair Request For Proposal and sifting to get the best contractor with the most promise for professionalism and reliability may be the best and cleanest method of handling this.
Ut ballista es interdico, tantum interdico mos fui ballista.

User avatar
BBadger
Posts: 5901
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:37 am
Burning Since: 2010
Location: (near) Portland, OR, USA

Re: Has anyone bought To Flame bus tickets?

Post by BBadger » Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:29 pm

More authorized transportation vendors would be nice, and some means for providing goods transportation via freight (e.g. flatbeds, etc.) would also make it a lot easier to attend, while also reducing the resources needed for transportation. Of course, that may also run counter to the idea of that the difficulty of accessing the event also reduces demand on tickets. Then again, the limitations on event population size are in many ways tied to the road capacity. Perhaps specific classes of tickets could be sold based on the type of transportation used. It'd be like an HOV lane for Burning Man.

There would, of course, be a lot of whining that this would be like seeing busloads of Korean tourists visiting national parks. However, the only real difference would be visual: the people arriving and departing via bus, with their gear hauled in via freight, rather than the same thing happening but in separate cars. Funny how appearances seem to make all the difference in the world. And what about those Thursday-night douchebags? Well, just make the buses only arrive at the beginning of the week. That's when the most people are arriving anyway, so it'd help cut down on those lines.

But anyway, that'd probably be very far off, if it happens at all.
"The essence of tyranny is not iron law. It is capricious law." -- Christopher Hitchens

Hate reading my replies? Click here to add me to your plonk (foe) list.

User avatar
gibson_
Posts: 118
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:44 pm
Location: Phoenix
Contact:

Re: Has anyone bought To Flame bus tickets?

Post by gibson_ » Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:18 am

One of *the* reasons that Burning Man has survived for as long as it has, is that it filters for people willing to haul their things out to the desert, wait in line for 6 hours, forget something at home, and deal with it.

Locked

Return to “Bikes & Transportation”