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  • Badge-less

    So I paid for my DEF CON badge a couple of months ago through the BlackHat prepay option. Waited in line only to find out there are no more electronic badges, but I did get a flimsy piece of plastic that says"Human" instead. The person who took my voucher said the electronic badges are out and that is that. Aside from being unbelievably pissed (I'm sure hundreds more share my feeling) I don't understand how you can not know the minimum number of badges you need with so many prepays? WTF?

  • #2
    Unscientific and informal poll of others sharing my plight - 5/5 want a refund (myself included) Still puzzled and disappointed my collection will have a gap...

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by HoneeBadger View Post
      So I paid for my DEF CON badge a couple of months ago through the BlackHat prepay option. Waited in line only to find out there are no more electronic badges, but I did get a flimsy piece of plastic that says"Human" instead. The person who took my voucher said the electronic badges are out and that is that. Aside from being unbelievably pissed (I'm sure hundreds more share my feeling) I don't understand how you can not know the minimum number of badges you need with so many prepays? WTF?
      That is an item that would be best taken to Blackhat people to get resolution and have them address this as you are a paying customer of BlackHat.

      Good to post on the forums. If you or other Blackhat people want to complain about this, you are welcome to discuss it here, but there is nothing I can do about the decisions at Blackhat or any agreements they might try to make with DEF CON.

      Many modern businesses care about customer satisfaction, so having this public in a place where it can be referenced may help you to get some sort of resolution.

      We at DEF CON are interested in your feedback, good or bad. If you find things that you like at DEF CON 24 that you want to see return, please let us know. if you can improve it, suggest how. If something at DEF CON was bad, and you have an idea on how to fix it, please tell us.

      For all DEF CON feedback for DEF CON 24, please let us know: https://forum.defcon.org/forum/defco...-con-25-better

      Good luck!
      -Cot

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks, I appreciate the sentiment Cot. Unfortunately, that is a bit of a black hole solution. BlackHat as a business was contractually permitted to pre-sell passes to DEF CON by DEF CON the business. I doubt the terms of that agreement will be shared so I guess we end up with finger pointing and zero resolution for the disappointed paying customers. Wow, just like big business!

        Comment


        • #5
          Same here. Very VERY annoyed by this.
          ​​​​​​Defcon is the only conference in the world where the badge actually means something.
          Please be responsible organizers and find a way to help us.
          Pointing at someone else is unacceptable.
          Thanks.

          Comment


          • #6
            Spoke with BlackHat and they stated that the badges were handed out by DefCon Representatives and that we should speak with DefCon about the issue. So basically taking no responsibility. Is there a way to swap them for real badges?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by R33t View Post
              Spoke with BlackHat and they stated that the badges were handed out by DefCon Representatives and that we should speak with DefCon about the issue. So basically taking no responsibility. Is there a way to swap them for real badges?
              Historically, when this has happened, when badges are found, sometimes there is an opportunity to swap a paper badge for an electronic one. Sometimes part of incomplete badges are found, and then people have the option of switching a paper badge for PCB, but it is not functional. Sometimes this is announced in hallways for people to hear in-person, first-come, first served. Sometimes on Facebook, though the defcon or dcib twitter feeds are also possible sources of announcements like this.

              Some accounts to follow on twitter:
              https://twitter.com/defcon
              https://twitter.com/dcib
              https://twitter.com/DEFCON_NOC
              https://twitter.com/thedarktangent
              https://twitter.com/v3rtig0
              https://twitter.com/Niki7a
              https://twitter.com/defcon101

              https://twitter.com/hashtag/defcon?src=hash

              And unofficial:
              https://twitter.com/defconparties

              I know there were reports today of the lines to redeem tokens for DEF CON badges at BlackHat had lines that took longer to run though, while lines at DEF CON seemed to have reports of time to wait for about 40 minutes with some reporting a bit over an hour, and others reporting a bit under 30 minutes. On social media, images showing the lines at DEF CON were mostly gone (little waiting) appeared at around 11:32am, while images of long lines at BlackHat seemed to persist to the afternoon.

              I read a complaint online where someone claimed they tried to take the token to badge redemption up to get a badge, but were refused a DEF CON badge, because their name on the token did not match the name on their BlackHat pass, but it is not clear if this was at DEF CON or BlackHat.

              If there were DEF CON representatives on-site at BlackHat, what direction would you provide them on how they could decrease the risk for this problem?

              I am guessing, your first suggestion would be to ensure there are enough electronic badges to cover the total number of pre-paid DEF CON badges by people at BlackHat. However, if this is not possible for whatever reason, what alternatives wold you suggest?

              If there was no way that BlackHat and DEF CON are able to find an agreement where DEF CON badges could be pre-purchased by BlackHat attendees and also *guarantee* them a non-paper badge (so-called "real" badge, or better, "electronic" badge) would you prefer to not have that option, but instead go to DEF CON to pay cash for a badge?

              Why could this happen? Badge designed and manufacturing could start 12 months before con manufacturing orders may start 4 to 6 months before con, where numbers of electronic badges are specified. Time to build, validate, ship, pass customs are all consumed in window. Selection by BlackHat attendees to buy a badge for DEF CON may happen after the day and time when the order for badges is completed. This necessarily would mean risk for shortage or surplus is much more likely than having the exact total needed, making ordering of badges a best guess. Surplus of badges harms other services as money wasted on surplus can't be spent on other things for attendees. If something like this limits the total number of electronic badges, then some people will have paper badges. How would you decide who would get the paper badges?

              Letting people know of problems is a good step towards discussion. The next is providing suggestions to solve the issues, and consider how to solve other issue that may make the preferred solution impossible,

              Much of the DEF CON side of things works as it does because volunteer take the time to volunteer ideas to solve problems like this. What suggestions would you have for the DEF CON people that may be involved?

              Like the other thread I linked to, content and suggestions made here (and there) will be included in a summary of what was liked and what was not for DEF CON department heads to aid in future planning.

              How would you solve the issues described above? If there is a guarantee that there will almost always be a shortage of non-paper badges, how would you choose who gets which kind of badge?

              Thanks for your idea on this and any other issues you find,
              -Cot
              Last edited by TheCotMan; August 4th, 2016, 18:36.

              Comment


              • #8
                There are reports on twitter that at DEF CON, they have been exchanging paper badges for electronic badges. Assuming this is true, while supplies last?

                Good luck!
                -Cot

                Comment


                • #9
                  Wth...first day...no real badge...i pay 240 for a plastic card.... ant even be apart if the contest...no cool souveneir for my future haxor at home (who's 15 and looks forward to the badge i bring home)...really what has become of DEFCON....my husband who also attends blackhat couldnt even get his and he registered in Feb.... @darktangent come on now you brag about the attendance on the website and about expecting many more this year wouldnt it be logical to make dam sure you have enough badges to cover it....but hey you probably dont care right? You got my $240 and thats all this has become.....

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cm0n3y7117 View Post
                    Wth...first day...no real badge...i pay 240 for a plastic card.... ant even be apart if the contest...no cool souveneir for my future haxor at home (who's 15 and looks forward to the badge i bring home)...really what has become of DEFCON....my husband who also attends blackhat couldnt even get his and he registered in Feb.... @darktangent come on now you brag about the attendance on the website and about expecting many more this year wouldnt it be logical to make dam sure you have enough badges to cover it....but hey you probably dont care right? You got my $240 and thats all this has become.....
                    Have you checked at DEF CON badge sales to see if you can exchange your paper badge for an electronic badge? On twitter, people were reporting the paper badge they received at BlackHat could be exchanged for an electronic one.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Assuming this is at DEF CON, and recent , they may be out at DEF CON now too:

                      https://twitter.com/Rootpwner/status/761391184774168576

                      https://twitter.com/JimStLeger/statu...05466727505921

                      You can always try again tomorrow morning and times during the day, up to Saturday or Sunday.
                      Last edited by TheCotMan; August 4th, 2016, 21:05.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I really don't care that I don't have an electronic badge during the conference. But I would love to have one eventually, so I can play with it. I'd be willing to pay shipping and handling. Any possibility of this happening?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Here is a suggestion, YOU come up with a solution to make it right instead of calmly patronizing your upset paying customers. If you really want our ideas, share the cost to stamp out each badge, dev, test, and shipping included. Please also share all revenues \ expenses \ totals donated to the EFFso we can weigh in on your accounting practices, revenue and expense forecasting, etc. Since we all know this level of detail will not be shared, maybe save everyone's time and just let us know when the extra badges will be available and how you plan to deliver them.I

                          n the future, make extra badges and sell the extras as swag or post a LARGE disclaimer stating the coveted electronic badge may or may not be included with the price of admission to DEF CON.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mikecandoit View Post
                            I really don't care that I don't have an electronic badge during the conference. But I would love to have one eventually, so I can play with it. I'd be willing to pay shipping and handling. Any possibility of this happening?
                            After con, people sometimes sell them on ebay.

                            As for DEF CON, if they have/find any new boxes of badges, they try to get them to attendees accepting paper badges in exchange. There is no advantage for DEF CON to keep any electronic badges behind. Everything "we" keep, we have to ship back with "us" and ruin fun for attendees. Usually, the number of badges we order is all that we order. I don't think we have ever gone back to order more after con for a con that has passed. The only time DEF CON sold badges after con was one year when there was a huge surplus, that cost us missed future opportunities.

                            If you still have a paper badge, the best advice is re-check with badge sales daily, mornings are slightly better than evenings, and check on twitter or FaceBook for any announcements if they do find more electronic badges somewhere.

                            HTH,
                            -Cot

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I managed to find a line of Black Hat attendees that were swapping the plastic badges for electronic ones and managed to swap mine late on Friday. The disappointment I had (being my first Defcon) was that it wasn't made clear by Black Hat that the badges they provide are not the electronic ones, nor that it was possible to swap them at all.

                              I think there a few solutions for Black Hat they could limit the number and date of pre-sales to ensure there are a number of electronic badges available on site for pickup, or ask their attendees to redeem their voucher at Defcon (benefit of not missing Thursday morning talks / workshop registration), or make clear on their website that they are not selling electronic badges but plastic badges.

                              Hopefully they will consider these solutions next year and Black Hat attendees should comment in their feedback.

                              Comment

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