Warning on room exchanges

2 MAY 2017

Incredible as it seems, some people wound up with downtown rooms yesterday that they don't want. If that's you, or if you're one of the lucky people inheriting said rooms, a word of caution.

Try to minimize the information exchanged. 

In previous years, Travel Planners/onPeak didn't need much information to transfer a reservation. You give them the original name, email address and OnPeak ID number and ask to have yourself listed as the reservation holder. Once it's transferred to you, you'll be asked to pay the deposit and you'll have the ability to alter other information on the reservation.

You shouldn't need to give or receive much more personal information - so don't. As I've noted before, I've seen people carelessly circulate someone's details after deciding they didn't want the room after all. I know it's easy to feel like we're all friends here so why not, but there are unscrupulous people who observe the SDCC community. For instance, last year after we got our badges in the mail, some people posted their badge photos online. Scammers stole the photos and used them to create Ebay auctions, and one guy whose photo was stolen (it showed his name) had his badge cancelled. You really don't know who's hanging around, following threads and looking for an opportunity to make some cash or find a way into the Con. So be careful.

Work with people you trust.

I know this is hard because we're mostly all online. But if you have a room to give away and you don't want to hand it off to some rando on Reddit, you have options. Friends of Comic-Con does a great room exchange, very organized. Pretty much any SDCC blogger will know reputable people who need rooms, myself included. If you're looking for a room, the same applies. I know you might feel desperate, but I would not necessarily work with a complete stranger unless they have some kind of anchored digital persona you can reference.

So many of the things we do for Comic-Con - buying groups, room exchanges, event tickets sold second-hand - are founded on a precarious notion of trust. Our shared generosity is part of what makes our little community so great. But it only works when we respect each other's privacy.

If you can't find a room, don't despair; next week will bring new opportunities. Good luck.

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