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Old 05-30-2014, 09:02 AM   #1
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Campground refuses refund?

I thought I would check in and ask the question. What would you do?

I made a 4th of July reservation, the 3rd week of May, at a campground. As soon as I sent in the check a few days later, I realized that I had booked that week to conflict with other plans my wife had made. I emailed the campground and told them that I would like to cancel my reservation and when my check arrives to please rip it up.

They refused and said it was their policy that NO Cancellations were allowed on that weekend. The owner told me he has the right to take me to court and that he would win. He also said that since I couldn't follow the rules of his campground I probably would not while there either. (kinda insulting)

What would you do?

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Old 05-30-2014, 09:09 AM   #2
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Firstly put a stop payment on the cheque, secondly state which park it is so no one else camps there and thirdly write to your BBB and tell them of the situation also may be advisable to write AAA and inform them.

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Old 05-30-2014, 09:11 AM   #3
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If the Cancellation Policy is in writing and posted, unfortunately you have no recourse . The snooty attitude, well maybe you are better off scratching that place off your list.
Be sure to tell all your friends.
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Old 05-30-2014, 09:14 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by pops2 View Post
Firstly put a stop payment on the cheque, secondly state which park it is so no one else camps there and thirdly write to your BBB and tell them of the situation also may be advisable to write AAA and inform them.
Add to this the state attorney general's office, it is surprising what they can get businesses to do.
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Old 05-30-2014, 09:16 AM   #5
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Back in January I plotted out and made reservations for a spring/summer midwest tour through Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, SD, Montana & Washington. In March we learned of a health issue that needed to be addressed ASAP and would prevent us from taking this trip so I started canceling reservations. Despite my cancellations still being over 30 days (in some cases 6 months!) out I lost about $100 in non-refundable deposits.
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Old 05-30-2014, 09:33 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
If the Cancellation Policy is in writing and posted, unfortunately you have no recourse . The snooty attitude, well maybe you are better off scratching that place off your list.
Be sure to tell all your friends.
^^ This. Be sure you read the campground's policies before making your reservations. Holiday weekends typically have more stringent cancellation policies, too.
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Old 05-30-2014, 10:39 AM   #7
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Those are prime dates & many GC's we've visited have little or no refunds on holiday weekends, clearly stated in their terms.

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Old 05-30-2014, 11:06 AM   #8
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If that is their written policy, you have no recourse and should not expect a refund.
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Old 05-30-2014, 11:27 AM   #9
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First let me write that I agree with you that a refund is in order if the cancellation is made in such a timely manner, it is just good customer relations. That said: Many if not most places will no refund for holiday or special event dates. Even though your reservation was cancelled just a few days after being placed it is possible that some other group did not make it into the park because you took the spot they wished to reserve. You probably have no recourse other than filing a complaint and posting your dissatisfaction on-line. However; did you talk to the owner or the manager. Perhaps an explanatory letter to the "owner or ownership group" will get you some recourse.
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Old 05-30-2014, 11:50 AM   #10
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Likely this will not work now since a controversy has arisen, but we had such an occurrence a month or two ago. I contacted the CG and explained the situation and told them I knew they did not do refunds but would it be possible to for me to put that one day 'in the bank' and they just credit me for a future stay. No problem at all and the desk staff was very accommodating.
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Old 05-30-2014, 12:07 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Pepper2 View Post
If that is their written policy, you have no recourse and should not expect a refund.
X2 it is your responsibility to know the campgrounds cancellation policy BEFORE you make a reservation. It is not their fault you got your dates mixed up. I know it sucks but we've had reservations and had things come up so we couldn't go and never expected to get anything but what was in the cancellation policy. Cancelling the checkk would be a poor decision and leave you open to further legal action.
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Old 05-30-2014, 12:09 PM   #12
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If it were me, i would stop pay the check and never speak of it again. IF THE MONEY is really critical to you.

I mean I kind of agree that it stinks but what i think stinks more is they will probably double your spot out to someone else and get twice the money.

The dude IS NOT going to take you to court over a deposit. You didn't SIGN anything, you have no contract, even it's "posted" on their website, that would NEVEr hold up, who's to say you ever even saw their website.

Under no circumstances should you:
A) Announce what you have done.
B) Take any phone calls from him.
C) Answer or even acknowledge receipt of any emails, or uncertified letters.
D) Get into a verbal argument.
E) Make threats

Just cancel the check and move on.

IF for some reason you get a certified letter from a court saying you must be there, then simply pay it - but you won't get one. He'll forget all about it.

The second thought is this:

Stop the check, and mail a certified self serving letter.

The letter would read exactly this and only this.

Dear XYZ,

Thank you for your time and help during our phone conversation about canceling my reservation at your campground on XYZ Date.

As requested, enclosed is my written confirmation of the cancelation of my reservation at XYZ Park on XYZ date through XYZ date.

Thank you so much for your understanding, and I genuinely appreciate your generosity and help with this cancellation, and I will happily recommend your amazing campground to everyone I know.


and nothing more.
Cross your fingers he doesn't have a call recording device. probably best to just say nothing at all, and cancel the check.

third thought, chock it up as a loss and move on. This is also why I always use a credit card. If they didn't have you sign or agree to anything, guess what? You win. 100% of the time.
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Old 05-30-2014, 12:59 PM   #13
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Now, 3 or more weeks after mailing the check you might be a little late in a stop payment. Many campgrounds have a no refund policy, it's your responsibility to read all the fine print before making the reservation. I wouldn't flame them with bad reviews or bad mouthing them by name, you'll end up looking like the bad guy.
In the future, request refund info before making the reservation, if you find their policy or attitude unacceptable, thank them, hang up, and make reservation elsewhere.

Unfortunately so many businesses get abused, they tend to get dogmatic about doing the 'right thing.' Years ago I organized and made reservations for 30 people to go Whitewater Rafting in Jackson, WY. I had used the outfitter many times before. In the days leading to the trip, one person bowed out due to illness. When we arrived and were a person short they wanted to charge me. (I was paying for my own spot) I took the manager aside and pointed out that most tour guides or drivers (I was both) were 'comped' --- I've never paid for a meal in Yellowstone while being a van driver for over 20 years. (tradition going back to stagecoach drivers) Manager said it wasn't their policy. I then turned to group, who were enjoying pool, hot tubs, meal, etc. part of package leading to raft trip and asked how many would bring family back? Everyone raised their hands. I then asked all to chip in to pay for missing person and explained why. Someone asked for a revote, and now no one said they'd return. I got my point across to the manager and how his behavior could cost more than all his advertising. He agreed to forget the fee. Sometimes you can point out a business's inflexible policy can cause more damage than their profit on the transaction, sometimes you can't.

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Old 05-30-2014, 01:06 PM   #14
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I'm with pops2 - I'd put a Stop Payment on the check. If they want to fight it in small claims court, over what is likely not a huge amount - let them.
Had they had a better attitude, I might have done otherwise - but be belligerent to me, you will get that attitude right back.

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