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Old 09-12-2013, 06:16 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by StevieG View Post
We live near a KOA Kampground in upstate NY, so on those spur of the moment weekends, we go there just to get away for a couple of days. When we realized that we would spend as many weekends there as we would, or any KOA for that matter, we became VKR members to recieve the 10% discount off of our stays. After a couple of stays at this local CG, we found a couple of sites we preferred to stay on in making future reservations. On our next reservation call, we requested a specific site. The site was open, however in order to "guarantee" the site, we were told we had to pay an additional $15 or we could be bumped off by another VKR member by them paying the $15 fee. In that case, we would still get a site that we would fit in, just not the one we requested. So in making reservations there, I have been paying the $15 fee every time. BTW, the 10% translates to about $7 per night... This coming weekend, they have a customer appreciation weekend, which I was unaware, where you get 2 nights for the price of one. Most of the sites were reserved, however there were 3 sites available that would fit my rig... Except not in an area I want to be in. When I asked if I could "VKR" into a better site for $15, I was told the only sites that were available were the three in this undesirable section. When I asked the reservationsit (at the cg itself, not an 800 #) if every camper had "guaranteed" their site, I was told that nobody could be moved and that "everyone" (over 200 rv sites) guaranteed... Honestly, I didn't believe her at all... I think she didnt want to deal with the repocussions of an angry camper checking in 2 days from now only to find out they've been moved because of a horrible policy... at this point, I am wondering if this is a real KOA policy practiced elsewhere, or if I've been duped into paying extra for no good reason other than to pay more... I understand this KOA is owned by a consortium of attorneys.... Figures!
I, like many others, feel KOA is pricey. My guess on this one is it is a franchise and not owned by KOA. Rereading your post: This explains it: "I understand this KOA is owned by a consortium of attorneys"

In the 20 years or so we have been traveling we hit a KOA once or twice a year and have never heard of this scenario. Personally, I'd avoid that location if they did that to me.

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Old 09-12-2013, 06:30 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by 1ciderdog View Post
Personally, I'd avoid that location if they did that to me.
We just avoid ALL KOA's now. Just too much Keep On Adding and usually, other, just as good but cheaper sites, nearby.

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Old 09-12-2013, 10:30 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Hikerdogs View Post
You can always call your credit card company and dispute an "undisclosed additional fee". The merchant can't add fees or any other charges to your credit card without your approval. If they do the credit card company will dismiss them immediately when you contest them.

The practice of adding charges after the fact was something I had to deal with when traveling for work. Sometimes crooked hotel or rental car clerks would add a second car or room to the bill after the fact. Then they pocketed the money from the next cash paying customer.

It probably worked as long as the employee sent all the bills to an accounts payable department. The accounting department would "assume" the bill was correct and the employee had just forgotten to include the reciept. The company I worked for required every employee to fill out and submit their own expense reports. When double billing or additional fees were detected everything went directly to the legal department. Offending businesses didn't get a second chance. The company stopped doing business with them until the situation was resolved and the guilty party was identified and prosecuted.
The extra charge was immediately reversed as soon as we telephoned the KOA and asked about it.... all these extra charges started as soon as the new owners took over. The previous owners who bought the property out of bankruptcy were fantastic people, they bent over backwards to make sure their customers were happy which was why the place was always sold out for long weekends. In the 3 years under the new ownership, half the park is 1000 trails and a good long weekend is less than 50% occupancy! It won't be long before this place goes bankrupt a 2nd time in less than 6 years.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:45 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Statgeek View Post
I'm surprised to hear if these problems, and I sympathize with the OP and others who have experienced poor service through KOA.

Having said that, I have a very different experience. We typically have no problem booking the sites we want when we call the KOA campgrounds--as long as they aren't already taken. Of course, the early bird gets the worm, and sometimes we are too late for the ideal site. But we have (so far, knock on wood) received what we believe to be fair treatment from KOA.

In my observation, this boils down to the individuals running the campgrounds--whether it be KOA or not. If they are descent people, you'll get descent service. If not...well...

Perhaps there is a benefit if the campground is KOA because the customer has a higher authority to voice a complaint. It's a big benefit for a campground to be granted KOA status--advertising, name recognition, an expected minimal standard. So one would expect that they'd not want to have KOA stepping in to question them about bad service, right? And with repeated interventions from KOA, they could loose their status. I know of one such campground who did, and I must say that they deserved to loose it!

So my suggestion is to keep on sharing your experiences in forums like this (and other campground review sites) so that others can benefit from it. But also call the KOA folks and let them know too. If they hear that you tend to like their image, and use it in part to select where you spend your money, but that "PLACE X" clearly didn't represent the KOA name well, I'll bet they will follow up.

Just my 2 cents..
Thanks for posting this. You've saved me a bunch of typing as I would have voiced a similar opinion.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:55 AM   #19
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KOA was featured on "Undercover Boss" a while ago.

What I would recommend as a first step is to write the company CEO and tell him your story.

After that.. Well there is the usual set of letters.. BBB, Chamber of Comerence, State regulatory authorities and such.
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Old 09-17-2013, 01:41 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Just For Fun View Post
I have NEVER liked KOA CGs nor the latitudes of the owners.
And here is one reason: how is you can build an end destination cg, have indoor swimming, multiple income sources and not be able to have level sites in either direction?
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Old 09-17-2013, 01:54 PM   #21
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I just made a reservation at the KOA in Williamsburg, VA for the week of Thanksgiving after staying there this past weekend.

Requested a specific site as well as a cabin for my father and his girlfriend that will be visiting. No additional fees.

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Old 09-17-2013, 02:07 PM   #22
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We too have the Value card. Just returning from Vermont where we stayed at multiple KOA CG. No add ons what so ever! We always called ahead with our requirements and always received a good if not excellent site. One KOA in Lickdale, PA., even takes your food order and brings it to your site via golf cart. Loved it!
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Old 09-17-2013, 02:08 PM   #23
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Where is "Undercover Boss" when you need him? Oh, wait there was one on a KOA. Mmmmm.
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:58 PM   #24
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I donít like KOA CGs scam artists.
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Old 09-18-2013, 08:09 AM   #25
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If there is a nice cg where I want to go, I don't care who it is... I will pay the cost to be there... In speaking to the KOA desk personnel (again), it sounds like the "guaranteeing" fee policy is determined by the individual franchise owners and is mentioned to a prospective camper if it's a holiday or traditionally busy weekend (like when a car show or Balloon fest is going on). If you come in on a nomral Tuesday and leave on a Thursday, I think it's extremely doubtful the reservationist would even mention it, unless (maybe) you pick "the most desirable" campsite at the cg... since the cg would not be normlly full... I personally think it's as close to a scam as you can legally get. IMHO, he who makes the reservation first, should get the spot. End of conversation...
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:58 AM   #26
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We would rather stay in parking lot. KOA is not for us since we do not get value for fees. I want cg with good level sites, spaced a little distance from neighbor so our door doesn't hit their slide, good strong electric and good water pressure.
Will say staff is usually friendly, but that ends at the check in.
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Old 08-14-2014, 11:27 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by JMacy View Post
We would rather stay in parking lot. KOA is not for us since we do not get value for fees. I want cg with good level sites, spaced a little distance from neighbor so our door doesn't hit their slide, good strong electric and good water pressure.
Will say staff is usually friendly, but that ends at the check in.
My wife and I travel from our home in West Virginia to Tonopah Ariz (we have a mining claim in the area we putter with) 4 times a year and stay at walmarts on the trip, we were at one walmart in Oklahoma that stated no semi parking, there were at least 12 semis intermixed with 4 RV's as we were coming out of the store we saw 2 local police going from semi to semi telling them to leave but not the RV'ers - another Walmart in if I remember was in Kentucky or Tenn had a special section marked of for RV's only that was in the far corner of the lot.

We do have the VKR membership and stay at KOA's once in a while but the last 2 did not impress me - in Ariz we stay at Saddle Mountain RV Park which gives a excellent good sam discount, has big lots and always has something going on
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Old 08-14-2014, 11:45 AM   #28
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I stay at KOAs when I have to. They all seem to have a minimum standard they go by for conviences. One I stayed at had so many pet droppings at the site that I worked for an hour to clean it up before I would let my dog out to set on the patio area. Just about every site was like that. So just because it is a KOA does not mean it is better or cleaner than other CGs. Another time they would not honor my rewards but later I got an apology for the error a few days later.

I still use them but only if nothing else is available. I like to try CGs that l haven't stayed at before. KOAs all seem very pricey.

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