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Old 04-19-2016, 05:14 PM   #1
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KOA [or any big name c/g] Cancellation Policies???

Good evening folks!

Full disclosure, I'm fairly new to the RV lifestyle and as much as many of us don't like it, sometimes it takes a hit to the wallet to learn life lessons but man, I gotta tell ya this one has me peeved immensely.

Last month, I searched for an RV site for the weekend of April 8-10 in the Austin, Tx area. We were attending the MotoGP race weekend, as luck would have it, there was also a large car event going on the same weekend so RV sites were booked solid in the immediate area and up to an hour away.

It took me awhile but I finally located someplace that had a site available (online) so I booked it (4/6-4/10 - 5 days).....it was the KOA-Leander. During booking of these dates, I received NO WARNING about this being a "special event - no cancellation weekend" at all....nothing.
A day or two later, I receive a call that a closer c/g had a site open up so I booked it KNOWING that I saw on the Leander site that they only needed 48 hr notice for cancellations, we were still 2 weeks away from the event. It's not until you get to the bottom of their T&C's where you see the "SPECIAL EVENT" garbage.

Well, as it turns out they refused my cancellation but later decided to offer me ONE DAY cancellation, apparently, their "SPECIAL EVENT WEEKEND" = FOUR DAYS.... So they took me for $278.00

I hope they/KOA chokes on it, because they will NEVER see another dollar from me again in my lifetime.

So for all you new RV'ers....BEWARE of these kinds of shady practices from even big name c/g's.

A question to the more experienced, is this common practice?
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Old 04-19-2016, 05:18 PM   #2
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KOA [or any big name c/g] Cancellation Policies???

I think it is a common practice for special events. I've run into a few times. I'd be concerned if it wasn't in writing and they refused a cancellation. I don't see the issue here as you do.
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Old 04-19-2016, 06:35 PM   #3
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Yep, you were correct. A lesson learned. You my want to write a review on www.rvparksreview.com if further venting would help.
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Old 04-19-2016, 07:39 PM   #4
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As Cliff stated, it is common practice for holidays & local events, not just with large/national chain campgrounds, but with small ones too.

When making reservations, one must be sure to read over all the information on the campground's website. I particularly check for any "activities", "special weekends" or "events" tabs because those always have conditions & I make sure I read & understand the entire cancellation policy, if I'm planning on reserving a site during one of those event dates.

I've made reservations at dozens of KOA's & once a reservation is in the process there is always a Cancellation Policy icon at the top of the page. In this case, it lists the Moto GP & states "all reservations require a full deposit at the time of booking with no refunds." Also, under the Events tab from the main page, the MoTo GP is listed there. The campground did their job by noting the event & listing it in their cancel policy.

With all due respect, the campground was not at fault & was within their rights to enforce their policy. Sorry, but you'll know next time - no matter what campground you reserve with.

Lori-

P.S. As for "venting" on rvparkreviews.com, they have a similar policy as we do. They will publish reviews from RV'rs who've had less than satisfactory experiences, but they won't allow a rant.
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Old 04-19-2016, 09:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clifftall View Post
I think it is a common practice for special events. I've run into a few times. I'd be concerned if it wasn't in writing and they refused a cancellation. I don't see the issue here as you do.
I suppose if it were 30 yrs ago, I wouldn't either but in today's high tech age, what harm would it be to add a 'flag' of sorts on their booking page when the dates chosen fall into one of these no refund dates???

Simple answer, is NO HARM....but then they wouldn't be able to steal someone's payment THEN rebook the site and make twice the profit. I have a problem with that.

And don't get me started on the reading the entire site/page 'business'.......please....had I known the KOA was THIS shady, I wouldn't have stopped reading after the 3rd paragraph that states > RV & Tent Sites: 48 hours cancellation notice is required. Notify your KOA by 4 p.m. two days before your scheduled arrival.

Also, just to put things into perspective, just imagine if one of your fav local retailers whose normal return policy is 30 days, decides to post up a notice behind their customer service desk stating all sales on Holidays are final.....would that also be ok, I mean it's in print right?? It's our responsibility to seek out any possible fine print of theirs or would it be a shady practice that might end your relationship with them?
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Old 04-19-2016, 10:04 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by NLOVNIT View Post
I've made reservations at dozens of KOA's & once a reservation is in the process there is always a Cancellation Policy icon at the top of the page. In this case, it lists the Moto GP & states "all reservations require a full deposit at the time of booking with no refunds." Also, under the Events tab from the main page, the MoTo GP is listed there. The campground did their job by noting the event & listing it in their cancel policy.
That wasn't my experience with THEIR site at all. As a matter of fact, I just went to their site and attempted to book another "Special Event" weekend coming up....no such icons/flags or warnings come up at all.

Like I said earlier, if they were an honestly run organization, they'd have a warning/pop up window/red print stating NO REFUNDS for these chosen dates to give the CONSUMER an opportunity to back out. Simple and HONEST.
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Old 04-19-2016, 10:07 PM   #7
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With all due respect, the campground was not at fault & was within their rights to enforce their policy. Sorry, but you'll know next time - no matter what campground you reserve with.

Lori-
Was it also within their right to not waste any time to 'officially' cancel my booking, knowing full well I wasn't getting a refund........think they didn't rebook my site, Lori?
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Old 04-19-2016, 10:27 PM   #8
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The site did show their cancellation policy, you didn't read it. You admitted to both.
I don't see where you have a valid complaint.
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Old 04-20-2016, 12:32 AM   #9
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Been 65 years or so since I've heard anyone running around the schoolyard yelling "No fair! Cheaters! Cheaters!"

Please refer back to para 1 of your original post.


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Old 04-20-2016, 07:57 AM   #10
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Just wow......lol....y'all c/g owners or lawyers? LOL!


The point of the thread was 1) to learn if this was standard SOP for most RV places and 2) to warn other newer RV'ers of this practice.

No where did I claim to be more correct than the vendor, just angered by what I felt was clearly shady practices but WOW amongst this crew nothing was wrong because they happened to have additional info at the very bottom of a page where the very top of said page clearly laid out a '48hr cancellation period'....(No flags, no asterisks, no warnings, etc...)
I'm sure each of you who think I'm just whining always read ALL the fine print with each and every retailer you've ever visited. (rolling eyes)

Amazing! This is why shady practices still continue.

Thanks for the replies folks....

Oh and oddly enough, the OTHER KOA location I wound up going with near Bastrop which was half the distance to the event I was going to, NO SUCH policy seemed to exist with them and they're literally right down the street from COTA. Weird huh? Unlike Leander, who charged me the entire amount (knowingly) for a NO REFUND weekend, the Bastrop location only charged me a day for the same time period. But hey, I'm the problem.
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Old 04-20-2016, 09:13 AM   #11
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The KOA policy sucks. I have already stopped using KOA unless there is no other option. For that amount of money contact KOA I have gotten refunds in the past.
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Old 04-20-2016, 11:22 AM   #12
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Every time I see posts like this I stop and wonder why we as RVers put up with this nonsense.

I travel for business A LOT!!! ... and I have never.. ever been charged a cancellation fee at a hotel. Just call the the same day by 5:00pm or so, and they cancel. End of story!

Now in this case, the OP may or may not have read and been aware of the "Special Events" cancellation policy, but I've got to ask... did the KOA in question really earn that money? NO! They used a legal loophole, a technicality to take what wasn't theirs. Would you treat a friend or neighbor that way. OH well... these things have a way of correcting themselves over time. Karma can be a real bugger!

As for KOA's, I used to be a pretty big fan, but now I avoid them. Last time I stayed at one (about a month ago), I was there for 12 hours and it cost me $52. Man I felt dumb!
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Old 04-20-2016, 01:22 PM   #13
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KOA [or any big name c/g] Cancellation Policies???

Our KOA confirmation email always states:
"Need to Cancel?
Please call 800-562-8741 before the deadlines listed below to receive your deposit refund, minus a $10 cancellation fee. Text and email notifications of cancellations are not acceptable.

RV & Tent Sites: 48 hours cancellation notice is required. Notify your KOA by 4 p.m. two days before your scheduled arrival.
Camping Cabins: 7 days cancellation notice required. Please notify your KOA one week before your scheduled arrival.
Deluxe Cabins & Unique Accommodations: These units may have special deposit and cancellation requirements. Please check with your selected KOA campground location when making your reservations.
Holidays and special events may have special deposit and/or cancellation requirements. Special conditions may apply during high-demand periods and special events. Please check with your selected KOA for details.
Reservations made after these deadlines require nonrefundable deposits. Cancellations made after deadlines will result in forfeiture of all deposits.

Campground Cancellation Policy: Cancellation Charges

A $10 cancellation fee is charged whenever a reservation is cancelled.

RV sites: If you cancel no later than two days prior to your arrival date,
you will receive a refund of your deposit less the $10 cancellation fee.

Lodges & Cabins: If you cancel no later than seven days prior to your arrivl date, you will receive a refund of your deposit less the $10 cancellation fee.

If you are unable to honor your reservation, call and cancel prior to the
above deadlines.

There will be no refund for a cancellation after the above deadlines."

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Old 04-20-2016, 01:25 PM   #14
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Little different perspective on this. Saw this happen at a very popular So Cal beach area facility two summers ago. The facility was booked months in advance to capacity by RV'ers who made the reservation knowing how popular the place was during the summer. Then, many cancellations occurred within a couple of weeks of the reserved dates. Many of these sites sat unoccupied because when others called in prior to the first groups cancellation they were told nothing was available. Many of these sites were only filled by last minute arrivals & usually only on weekends. Because of a huge medical situation, we were one of the group that had made reservations & cancelled a month out, before the cancellation fee would have been assessed. The following January, while staying at the park, we walked in to reserve a site for 3 months the upcoming summer. At that point, the aforementioned was share with us, as was the new policy that sites reserved for the summer season must be paid for at the time of reservation. And that, a huge penalty would be assessed if cancellation occurred within 6 weeks of the arrival date or something like that. The owner was very apologetic, but we spent so much time there, I fully understood that this move was necessary for his business to survive so that we could enjoy this beautiful facility. Having been made aware that some RV'ers apparently make reservations so that they have a place to go if they decide to go is apparently problematic. I've certainly seen evidence of it now that I have been made aware of it.
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