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Old 05-31-2014, 07:48 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Clifftall View Post
That may not work if it was a posted policy. Visa would protect the CG ( which IMO , they should ).
This would only matter if the campground could prove that you agreed to the terms.

Say for instance if you booked online, and during the checkout process they had a checkbox you ticked.

If you did the reservation over the phone, unless you had a recording of the call, the business loses.

I'm not sure I understand why some campgrounds are so bitter about the whole arrangement.

I've called some places to cancel, and sweet talked them, and they were super nice about it, and then I've cancelled others who were really really really mean + rude about the cancellation.

Maybe some of them just aren't making enough money to survive well? Or maybe, some people are just plain old miserable, period. If I owned a campground, I'd have a stellar, friendly cancellation policy. I'd be asking you to go online and sing praises about me.

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Old 05-31-2014, 07:50 AM   #30
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[Moderator Edit] you made a mistake, if it means that much to you cancel the check and that has a fee. I am a campground owner and it is your responsibility to check cancelation policy. Lots of people thank reservations can be canceled any time because they are to lazy to check the policy. We tell everyone our policy. [Moderator Edit]

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Old 05-31-2014, 08:07 AM   #31
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As was mentioned earlier. Call them up and tell them you are coming so they can't rent that space. I don't think it is right for them to double dip. They know they will fill that spot on a holiday weekend, especially this far in advance.
Scotty and Kristen, Airedales Dagny and Wyatt
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:20 AM   #32
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Seems to me that the campground (owner?) is being punitive about a refund considering the lead time. The policy of no refunds covers many parks, shows, businesses, etc for special events or times. You see minimum stays required for certain weekends, etc so it should not be much of a surprise when refund conditions are set for holidays or other special times.

What is disappointing is the lack of offer for a refund considering the lead time before the stay date. The CG may argue that they were unable to fill the spot or they turned someone away because you had made a commitment for that spot. The owner could do a "good faith" refund and considering the amount of time be able to rent the location to another unit. What likely started as a policy to encourage people not to book a bunch of spots and then not show up at the last moment has expanded to include 'double dipping', a nice addition to the bottom line.

This is another one of the "buyer beware" situations that consumers have to be wary of. The owner is well within their right to set the rules.

We are spoiled nowadays with generous return policies from most stores. "If you don't like it bring it back for a full refund." It is market competition. We enjoy the policy but it does not carry into all businesses or all situations.

You mentioned you sent an email asking for a refund. Likely went to a clerk who applied the rules they have been given. I suggest you call the park and ask to speak with the manager or owner. I would be calm and courteous, lay out the facts and ask them for the refund or credit for future camping. Based on the amount of notice you gave them you could have success.

Failing that I would take my losses and be extremely careful in the future to avoid a similar situation. Complaining to BBB, AAA or Attorney General may make you feel good, but will be time consuming and will not gain anything because I believe the campground is within their rights.
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:22 AM   #33
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Having been in the lodging business myself for 10 years, I can tell you the cancellations are the biggest problem I had. What happens is you make the reservation (contract, you keep your end of the contract and the other person cancels leaving you with no income. They don't seem to understand that there are two sides to the contract. What we did was charge the full price unless we rerented and then we charged nothing. This is why you give a credit card number and most people get the concept. We even had folks that made reservations at multiple place and then drove by and decided the same night. Credit card companies usually backed the merchant. Some merchants abuse this, but many more customers do.
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Old 05-31-2014, 09:14 AM   #34
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I appreciate all the comments and see that it is indeed a controversial topic. We all use campgrounds and want to keep them in business but at the same time, as RV'ers we are still consumers and have become used to the practices of those businesses who cater to consumers.

Most Hiltons, Marriotts, Holiday Inn's require cancellation on the day before you arrive. Even cruise ships have a cancellation policy that is more consumer friendly than I encountered.

I admit, I didn't seek out and find the cancellation policy of the campground before I made my reservation. I had dealt with campgrounds where I actually cancelled the day before arriving and expected to pay a fee but never was one assessed. By the way, I am not making a habit of cancelling reservations but it's happened before.

Here's where I feel it could have gone better. The owner simply said no. They don't take credit cards, are not part of the KOA system, they accept cash or check only. With KOA there's a pretty clear policy and the few times I've had to avail myself of it, owners were even more forgiving than the policy required.

If the owner (yes, I was dealing with the owner) would have said "if I rebook that space, i will refund you less a small administrative fee" I would have been fully satisfied and would look forward to rebooking at a future date. If he would have said "our policy is not to accept cancellations for the 4th of July even if it is 6 weeks before the actual holiday, but I will make an exception because I know we are always short our premium spots, but I do hope to see you sometime in the future" I would have been thrilled, appreciative and anxious to get back there and meet this gentleman.

I realize that I could damage the business by posting the name of the campground here, on Yelp or other review sites, but I won't. I have owned and run businesses all my life and I don't believe in harming another business unless it's such a gross violation of human behavior that it's unethical not to.

Here's where I stand: No business can, in this day and age of internet review sites, BBB and other consumer rights organizations, piss off clients. Quite the opposite, business owners should go out of their way to get testimonials, positive reviews and social media interaction to counter any future complaints or problems AND boost business. Testimonial selling is proven to be the most powerful way to attract new clients and keep them. That's why Amazon reviews are so important. We don't even listen to what the manufacturers say anymore, we go right to the reviews. We trust random, anonymous customers more than we do the very people who make the products we are buying.

If this CG owner would have graciously let me off the hook I would have rebooked in the future. It's a beautiful park and now, due to the ill will created, I'll likely never get to visit and they will not have me as a guest. Maybe no big loss but as a FMCA chapter member I do have influence where our rallies may be located. So potentially I could be responsible for 50+ reservations at once.

I have had dissatisfied clients before, even those that used my services and still requested a refund. I had others who booked a seat in my training sessions, never showed up and demanded a refund. Luckily those numbers are a tiny fraction of the whole and in my world, I try never to make an enemy (unless absolutely necessary :-)) and never leave a bad taste in the mouth of anyone who might have interacted with our company. I know what problems they can cause with social media and review sites. This does open the door to abuse and certainly there's been a few who did, but so what. That number is so small they don't matter anyway.

As IRV2 members, we read about campgrounds nickel and diming campers with visitation fees, parking fees and resort fees, yet I want them to stay in business so we collectively can enjoy our travels.

I know how hard it is to run a business and I know that cancellations only make it more challenging, but it is part of doing business which comes with owning a campground. If I've learned anything over my 40+ years of business it's that my clients collectively make my lifestyle possible. That means I need to do what it takes to satisfy their needs and when a special accommodation is required, most of the time I know the payback will be a "happy camper" and a return customer.

Unfortunately for both the CG owner and myself, this was not the case.
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Old 05-31-2014, 09:23 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Musikboy View Post
I realize that I could damage the business by posting the name of the campground here, on Yelp or other review sites, but I won't. I have owned and run businesses all my life and I don't believe in harming another business unless it's such a gross violation of human behavior that it's unethical not to.

I simply don't understand your position. Posting a truthful review of your experience not only protects others from similar treatment, but seriously motivates the owner to improve his policy. He is free to state his side of the argument.

If all we leave is "friendly people, clean park" kind of reviews, what's the point of reviews. We need frank and honest reviews, not soft soap or exaggerations.
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Old 05-31-2014, 10:44 AM   #36
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Folks, please refrain from personal attacks and discuss the issue not the people involved.
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Old 05-31-2014, 11:28 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by bdickson View Post
Folks, please refrain from personal attacks and discuss the issue not the people involved.
I 100% agree, and my comments were totally out of line. I apologize. Best of luck with your summer vacation plans!
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Old 05-31-2014, 01:30 PM   #38
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I've run into similar situations, made a reservation and then (fill in the blank) occurred where we were not going to be able to keep the reservation. I call them campground and ask them to put the reservation on "hold" (NOT CANCELLED). Then call them back at a future point in time, activate my reservation and go camping. Beats losing your money... And I've never been turned down on delaying the reservation!!
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Old 05-31-2014, 02:28 PM   #39
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Stop payment on the check. Thhey are not gonna spent money and time to take you to court. Let as many people know what happened and where it happened. They will not have a problem rebooking the site for the 4th of july.
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Old 05-31-2014, 03:12 PM   #40
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I am not a lawyer and have not played one on TV, but it seems to me that there was not a completed transaction, if you called before he had cashed the check. With a credit card, there would have been. I wold cancel the check with no remorse and tell everyone I knew about the campground. Then, I would start a website-- what(campground name)didtome Dot com.
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Old 05-31-2014, 03:24 PM   #41
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OP said they made the reservation, "third week of May." That would have been between May 11 and 17. May 17 was two weeks ago. If the check has been deposited and bank made payment, you're SOL on getting a stop payment.
A nice, polite email asking for a partial refund if the site is rented over the holiday, admitting it was your mistake in making a reservation without clearing it with the better half first, is about the best you could hope for. Then forget it, any refund mailed to you will be a pleasant surprise. These things are just not worth, 'Coulda, shoulda' second guessing. Get a good night's sleep.

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Old 05-31-2014, 03:49 PM   #42
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The real question is did you make the reservation before canceling? If sent a reservation request with payment then the reservation is not made until the request has been received and accepted. If you canceled before this then they have no right to accept the request or cash your check.

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