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Old 09-11-2013, 09:28 PM   #1
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KOA for real or scam?

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!
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:51 PM   #2
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I have NEVER liked KOA CGs nor the latitudes of the owners.
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:01 AM   #3
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We are staying this weekend at a KOA not far from us. I've never stayed there before, but purchased the VKR card to save the $78 for Saturday night's stay. This KOA is rated very high so I am expecting good things... the national operator told me about the "$19" to guarantee our site, but when I booked 2 sites next to each by phone with the on-site reservationist, I wasn't even offered the option.. All I know is that I had better get the two sites that I have paid a deposit on!! After our trip this weekend we'll see if we ever stay with KOA again in the future!
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:11 AM   #4
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scam artists
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Old 09-12-2013, 02:25 AM   #5
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I've had a KOA card for many years.....never heard of a VKA card.

What is it?
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Old 09-12-2013, 04:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch Hoagland View Post
I've had a KOA card for many years.....never heard of a VKA card.

What is it?
Value Kard Rewards.
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Old 09-12-2013, 05:06 AM   #7
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We have always requested sites we previously stayed at different KOA and have never been charged extra for the request. Must be KOA owners option
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:15 AM   #8
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Keep
On
Adding.

Sounds like a new way to suck money from the public.

Ken
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:20 AM   #9
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Nice "policy".

That's not too far away from getting someone bumped from their site by slipping the clerk a $20 when you check in.

They just Keep On Adding.
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:39 AM   #10
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We used to go to the KOA in Concrete, WA, among others, until they started charging extra for reserving a specific site plus an undisclosed additional fee, we didn't know about until our CC statement arrived at the end of the month, for arriving before noon. A letter to KOA corporate was unanswered. That was 3 years ago, we'll never stay at a KOA again!
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:40 AM   #11
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We stayed at several KOA's this summer on our way to and from Alaska. We do have the VKA card but were never asked for additional money above and beyond the price of the campsite to gaurantee it. Several times we did have to pay in advance for 1 day as a gaurantee to hold the site.
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:53 AM   #12
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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..
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:57 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 95f5334j View Post
We used to go to the KOA in Concrete, WA, among others, until they started charging extra for reserving a specific site plus an undisclosed additional fee, we didn't know about until our CC statement arrived at the end of the month, for arriving before noon. A letter to KOA corportae was unanswered. That was 3 years ago, we'll never stay at a KOA again!
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 immediatly 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.
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Old 09-12-2013, 03:31 PM   #14
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I hope in my original post, you can all see that I don't mind paying a little extra to get what I want... I absolutely understand it's a cost for being a little more "selective" than maybe the next guy... If you see any of my other posts around the forums here, you will notice most times I answer with a similar attitude to the habitual complainers (the grumpy old men!) or cheapskates... So my issue here with the local KOA isn't that they "gouge" you for another fee ... when they are already overpriced... it's that their "guarantee" policy works only to the CGs advantage...

I'll try reaching out to Corporate as suggested above and see if I get a response. If I do, I will let you know... Thanks!
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