TRIBE 2010: The Silk Road Registration Horror

TRIBE 2010 Saturday registration was a horror story! And days later, I still am dismayed.

Every year, except 2007 since TRIBE's inception, I have been online, waiting minutes before the start of my allocated registration date which is "ONLINE REGISTRATION FOR THOSE OF US WITH TLC CODES," a date allocated for overseas revelers, since it usually is days after TRIBE registration at Cascadia (POS, Trinidad) for those with TLC codes. So my habits were no different for TRIBE's 2010 Silk Road registration, I was online waiting!

Only this year, I did note that certain things were different. There were no pre-dates allocated for open house/mas camp registration. This time around, "ALL TLC CARD HOLDERS ONLY" were to register on Saturday, August 15 & Sunday August 16, from 1Pm to 6PM. There were 2 registration options either at the usual Cascadia Hotel, in Trinidad or Online (available during registration only)

This came to mind, "Why would a TRIBE reveler in Trinidad take the trek up to and line up to register by going to Cascadia when they can conveniently register online?" Only advantage of registering at Cascadia would be if a TLC holder wanted to register 4 people, including their-self, I thought!

Anyway, I chose to remain positive, especially since I made up my mind that my 2010 registration would not work me up like my 2009 registration when there were rumors of a smaller band and "the early bird catches the worm!"

Even the day before registration Trinidad Carnival Diary, Saucy posted "Pissed off at Pre Registration Rumors." ... And though, I felt that reveler's pain, even knowing the issues last year with SENVIA payments (the then ONLY PAYMENT OPTION for overseas revelers), I felt "Ahh, I've always gotten my first choice, so I could not imagine settling for even a 4th choice costume!

Even in this complaint letter, "pissed-off-pre-registration rumors," ... I recall sweating last year when first-time ever TRIBE revelers, also friends of mine were teasing me that "THEY WERE ALREADY REGISTERED IN THE BAND!" I felt betrayed by TRIBE because I have been loyal. Saucy even would comment that there were numerous other carnival band options. I was not hearing or having it ... I felt rightfully, I was a TRIBER!

So SENVIA online payments proved to be a disaster last year, if my memory serves me correctly it crashed! But since the early bird catches the worm, I did! Once again, I got my first choice. 

Also different with TRIBE 2010 registration was "CREDIT CARD ONLY PAYMENTS FOR ONLINE REGISTRATION" & "CASH & LINX ONLY FOR IN-HOUSE/CASCADIA REGISTRATION."  Once again, I felt majorly confident that I'd get in and out of registration in no time!

In my house, when it's time to register ... my husband and I both are in the same room, each on our computers. All that too is part of the TRIBE experience! Minutes before registration we're geared up for the sprint. Only this time, it was a horror story!

With registration due to start at 1PM, at 1:03PM the system let us in! By 1:05PM we were both done and clicking ready to pay the US$250 registration, only to see this message on our screens:

"The web server has returned an error. This may have occurred because the server is temporarily unavailable due to maintenance, upgrades or other similar reasons. Try visiting the Home Page of this site. If the error occurs again, please emailsupport@excelovation.comand advise our technicians of the problem. Thank you. "

... But we were not the only two getting that message, SO MANY paying with a credit card got this error message, confirmed by members of The Trinidad Carnival Diary chat box. 

I kept going back, and clicking "PAY." ... doing that numerous times, concerned that eventually I would have more than 30 payments to TRIBE. As seconds passed, emotions of stress, fear, anxiety, all began to set in. Instant head-ache.  At that point, not even getting my costume of choice was a concern, instead I saw the nightmare of a completely sold out band!

Within minutes, we were both totally booted out of the TRIBE registration system. Yes, now my username and password were no longer accepted. What did that mean? Were any of my previous registration transactions accepted? Did it mean that the band was sold out? What really was happening? Now, I was truly baffled ... this was a first!

Flustered, I began to call the registration hotline, one number was a busy tone, if not busy I got a pre-recorded voice message. More stress! Minutes later, word got round that in house and online registration were ceased and would start again at 6PM. Mind you, it's 3:30PM and I was still glued to my computer in the Trinidad Carnival Diary chat room.  Trinidad Carnival Diary's blogger, Saucy never got the boot.  So she was able to keep us informed on which sections had sold out. Yes, my first few choices were gone!

Anyway, I just moved ... my house is in disarray, I felt confident that since there were issues, at 6PM, TRIBE would make it all fine. 

I was back online for the 6PM registration which was pushed back to 6:30PM. I called the TRIBE registration hotline at 6:20PM, only to be told by a lady on the other end that just wait my section of choice would re-open. Just wait!  I told her that word had it, that my particular section was already sold out (confirmed by TRIBE'S twitter and Trinidad Carnival Diary on the last 4/5 sections that were still available!)  Fully aware of this up to the minute info, moreso thanks to Saucy, I felt forced to make a decision since most of the band was sold out. 

But again, again, again, again, again, again, and again, paying by credit card posed a problem, I sat there for more than 15 minutes trying to register.  Until someone in the chat box mentioned using the in-house registration option of "paying by cash and printing the receipt."

But how was TRIBE to get their money, if I chose that CASH option?  Anyway I did just that and got into a section.

Very disappointed and bothered.  I felt anguish that's what should have been the course of action I should have taken at 1:05PM to be granted at least one of my choices.  Instead, I settled for the last costumes available for sale.  I feel penalized for just following TRIBE's directions! ... And what stings, is that TRIBE is not offering any recourse!

No fault of mine, I just never got a fair shot!  More concerned about trying to pay TRIBE the $250 down payment, I wasted time, trying and hoping that it was probably something, I had done wrong when there was nothing I could do.

So MAJOR DISASTER!  How many credit card revelers ... chose the CASH OPTION?  When am I to pay $250 registration down payment to TRIBE for 2010 costumes?  Hmm ... I see plenty of issues in the future due registration from this weekend.  Instead, no money has been charged to my credit card and I am left with a confirmation number and receipt for not just my costume but also my husband's. 

After many years of jumping TRIBE, this year has proven to be the worst. Along with disappointment and dissatisfaction, I am finding it a hard pill to swallow to now pay US$650 plus for a costume that I dislike.  No joke, TRIBE after this weekend seriously has made me consider starting on my second child, even spending my money on traveling to the real Silk Road instead. 

... And though, I'm glad to have used my TLC code and get credit. I am considering buying/exchanging a costume later in the year from people who will be trying to sell/exchange! 

Then again, the principle ... to think that a band that I have chosen to be loyal to would treat me in such a way. 

Wouldn't it be nice if TRIBE reconsiders the registration glitch of Saturday and start anew?

What were your experiences? Were you able to get into a section of your choice?


  1. Girll.....the HORROR!!!!!!! The same crap happened to me!!! and really, I just gave up!!! I LOVE playing with TRIBE, but do not get me wrong....I REFUSE to give people my money if they cannot get their act together!!! I will NOT pay Big $250 for a costume I do nt like just to play mas!!! After G.W Bush take all my money and run....choops!!!! I was all ready to get into Loulan, and had 4 back-ups!!!! But lord....TRIBE did me wrong eh...... I'm taking that money and treating myself to a grenadines vacay for new years.....LOL I hope you can pretty up your section, at least you and hubby were able to get in....


    nyree VENT my girl!!!!!

    this is the longest post ive read from u. i honestly do feel ur pain, esp from this post. believe it or not worrying about carnival can take a toll on sum peeps (@ 1 time i shedded hair) if it was me, ill wish and pray to God that TRIBE will reconsider a new online registration, it is all a mess!

    i no trinidad is a big island, but i think there should be a lock or something in tribe's online system to prevent locals from registering there.

    good luck on carnival junction, if not then release ur stress and travel or make a 2nd 1 yes!!

  3. I agree that they should have made people fully aware of the PAY BY CASH option on the website, if it wasn't for someone mentioning it on the chat box, I would have never known either to advise my friends to choose that option; 3 guys all got costumes that way as their CC was rejected. I was told yesterday to come in TODAY to pay for their costumes in cash. No deadline but I think there is a 48 hr hold.

    Very good article.

  4. I was number one at TRIBE's in house reg and i am still enraged at how the whole thing went down. I got my sections of choice but at the end of the day it is not all about me.. i think it was a horrible injustice to the 1st 1-10 ppl all who were there before 7am in the morning..number 9 didnt get her section of choice.. she was told it was sold out.

  5. although i don't share your sentiments on not getting in your first section because i got into mine.. but i do share your complaints with the system... i made several attempts to pay for the down payment on my costume via credit card and i got decline twice... after i made an attempt to try the third time i was logged out of the system... i immediately made a call to my bank who told me that i had more than enough money... soon after i got a message saying that the system had crashed....

    i emailed the people at TRIBE immediately and told them my story, they claimed that I am registered but no payment... and sent me a copy of my receipt... i asked when it is possible that i can make a payment... they then replied that it will be posted on their website...

    i completely understand how u feel and i personally feel that TRIBE needs to adopt a better system such as paypal to use as a method of payment...

  6. JV, thanks for your comment ... it did make me feel somewhat better then there is hope that I did get my first choice then too. Only problem is like you when i did not initially got the error message not only did I call the band, but I also emailed them too ... I still have not gotten a response from TRIBE.

    After the weekend, and further thought, I again emailed the band ... and still no response to that either.

    Also the inaccurate info given to me by the lady when I finally was able to get through to TRIBE, leaves a lot to be desired. I am not certain with anything at this point!

    So I can't wait to get the TRIBE email.

  7. I find it amazing that people are so disgruntled yet at the end of it all are still willing to fork out their hard earned $$$$$ to a band that doesn't give a hoot about their loyalty. when would ppl realise that the only way things would change is to hit them where it hurts ($$$). But say what TRIBE experience iymc.WE LIKE EEEEET!!!

  8. Hi Trini,

    Thanks for your comment. I totally get what you're saying and as much as I am unhappy with the recent registration events ... I just love TRINIDAD CARNIVAL.

    And knowing that I am spending lots of money to even get to your island for carnival from airline tickets, accommodations, fete tix, etc. I want a fun and organized band. No additional hassles. ... And there are many reasons why I love TRIBE:

    Like Saucy mentioned on her site "The good far outweighs the bad!" ... but I feel with all that said, if s/thing is not up to par, as someone who loves TRIBE, I feel the need to speak up.

  9. Tank Yuh! I have to applaud you for so accurately depiciting your story, as the exact same thing happened to me. It is complete madness that as a loyal Tribe masquerader for the last 4 years, that I can't get me first, second or third choice. And de have people who played in Island people for de last how many years got their first choice because of a hook up. Nah. I love Tribe, always have and probably always will, but after talking to some higher ups in Tribe only to be told that my card failed because it was foreign and that they are aware that there was a problem with the system, shock is the only sentiment that comes to mind. And now to hear that there was a cash option, and some of these costumes still have not had a downpayment and Non TLC registration begins tomorrow, MADNESS!
    Something has to be said for loyalty and something must be done to make ammends. I can't justify paying money for a section ah don't like at all, what is that? Yes, there are other choices, but when de whole lime is playing in Tribe and has been for years, where ah going. Not to mention, Tribe on de Road is boss. Ah just want somebody to make ammends for Saturday, when it clearly wasn't my fault that I didn't get in. I have always registered online, and have NEVER not been able to get into my first choice, which btw was Spangled Cotinga last year, so I know how to get into popular section.