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Old 06-24-2012, 12:29 PM   #15
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First, I want to make sure that I understand the problem. You said "site" which I assume to mean that you could still get into the CG but that they had given away the specific parking spot that you reserved (or thought that you reserved). In the latter case, it is a different problem, at least to me, than if you showed up at the CG and there was no room at the inn.

I've had the hotel industry do this to me several times. I made a reservation, paid the full amount up front and then arriving at the hotel (one time at 1am due to flight delays) found out that I couldn't get a room in that hotel and that they had made a reservation for me at another hotel that was miles away. In that industry, the consumer has not appear to have many rights. At a minimum, I would have expected to have my room charges comped by the first hotel but that didn't happen (though the charges at the 2nd hotel were lower than what I booked for).

I've decided that life is too short to worry about this kind of stuff. Yes, you probably had less than an optimum situation but I have been things to do with my life than to spend a lot of time after the fact on a matter like this. Don't get me wrong, I'll post my experience and share it if the conversation I'm in ever permits but I'm not going to throw good time after bad with this kind of a problem. You've learned your less (hopefully after 3 times). I'd report it and move on.
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Old 06-24-2012, 01:59 PM   #16
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Someone did bring up a valid point.. Was the person on that site a registered camper, Leaving soon (like 2pm check out time) or a "Squatter" who swooped in and took the site?

True story: I was in a state park (Hartwick Pines since you are in MI) and late one evening a family came in like 7 Kids, they parked the RV, plugged in, used electricity, the showers and other facilities, and then long about 7:30 split, never registering or paying the fee.

The park office opened a bit later.. So they got away with basically theft of services.... Or so they thought.

The park MANAGER... Gets to work early in the AM and job one is inventory of the campground. He had their rig description and license numbers written down (OOPS)./
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Old 06-24-2012, 07:07 PM   #17
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Someone did bring up a valid point.. Was the person on that site a registered camper, Leaving soon (like 2pm check out time) or a "Squatter" who swooped in and took the site?

True story: I was in a state park (Hartwick Pines since you are in MI) and late one evening a family came in like 7 Kids, they parked the RV, plugged in, used electricity, the showers and other facilities, and then long about 7:30 split, never registering or paying the fee.

The park office opened a bit later.. So they got away with basically theft of services.... Or so they thought.

The park MANAGER... Gets to work early in the AM and job one is inventory of the campground. He had their rig description and license numbers written down (OOPS)./
When I used to own a beachfront motel, I got several chargebacks from credit cards from guests staying and then after leaving disputing their credit card charge. After many arguments with the charge processor, we had to develop and have them SIGN A FORM that they had been advised that they had to pay for the room even if they arrived late and left early. Not uncommon AT ALL to have them book for 5 days, arrive Friday, have a great weekend , nice and chatty and pleasant, then leave Monday and claim some unpleasant thing (dirty sheet, bug, too much chemicals in the hot tub put spots on their swimsuit ...) then cancel the charges for the ENTIRE 5 days because they were "so traumatized" - ending up with a free weekend at the beach. Truly amazing what some people will do.

He (ALL CG managers) should have a pre-printed form - Carry forms with him when he does inventory, so he can stick it on their door or window, then take a shot with his phone camera of the form on their vehicle.

Have the form state he has taken their description and tag numbers, and taken a picture of the notice posted on their vehicle, "...so don't forget to stop at the office and pay so I do not have to file a police report..."!!!

If they know they are caught, they will probably pay rather than have the police report filed. If they leave anyway, then you have a form that clearly informed them of their fees, and a photo of it posted on their vehicle so they can't claim they "thought it was free if they left early.." or some other garbage.

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Old 06-24-2012, 07:39 PM   #18
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Happened to us at a Ohio State Park where they double booked a site. If I remember we were comped one night and given a full service site instead. But if there were no more sites left, and my receipt showed I reserved first. I would have the park move the party involved.

I thought it was going to happen last week at a Smoky Mtn. Federal campground. A day after we arrived a couple pulled up in their MH and said we were on their site. First thing I asked was how long ago did you make your reservation? They said 3 weeks ago. I made mine 6 months ago. So then and there I know I was OK. I said lets get our reservation paperwork together and I'll go up to the office with you to get this settled. Here when I looked at their reservation paperwork the park office gave them the wrong site # tag. Their site was a few away....
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Old 06-24-2012, 08:36 PM   #19
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We live not far from Haas Lake and went there one year just to use the dump before winterizing. It is a private campground with a generally good reputation and you followed all of the rules they set. What excuse did they give you? They have a coded gate so I'm not sure a sqatter could just come in. They seem to have many repeat visitors and I'm imagining that they gave your primo spot to one of their repeaters figuring they had a site for you and that all would be good. Maybe it isn't that big of a deal - but I would be furious (although my habit is not to show the steam coming out of my ears) and would have just left as you did as well. I'd rather camp in front of my house, I think.

I'm glad you got into Proud Lake. The state parks are supposed to hold your reservation for 24 hours because you have paid for it. We just came back from Sterling State Park in MI and it was a busy weekend. There were open sites on Friday that people wanted but were told they were reserved. Folks came in on Saturday so I know the system should work. People can make mistakes but three times at the same campground tells me the worker probably gave your site to a friend or one who comes often. I guess we'll never try camping there. Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:34 PM   #20
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To answer a few questions posted. Yes Chasfm11 we really did make a reservation. We camp locally and know which sites we like. Not all sites are the same. If I reserve a suite, don't give me a single room. I thought I'd share my experience with other forum members. The party that was on the site said they reserved in April and I saw their paperwork. They were'nt squatters. Just probably a clerical error. Asked the staff to have the owner call me and I got a call from her today. She apologized and offered us a free weekend of camping. I turned down the offer but she insisted and said she was going to note that the next time I made a reservation it would be free. And howdy Fencebuster, were almost neighbors. Were over in Novi, hence we visit Haas lake several times a year. Don't want to keep you away from there, it's a nice enough CG. With the size of your rig you would probably fit best on the back lake which is s/w/e.
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:45 PM   #21
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This is a great example of the changes brought about by the internet. It is a different world now for service industries. The customer has a much greater ability to highlight problems as well as great experiences. Owners who don't convey this to their employees are doomed to have problems. If you had posted this on rvparkreviews.com, you would have also reached thousands of campers looking to stay there. A targeted audience. Wal-Mart tells their new hires in their training that a Wal-Mart customers family spends about $200,000 in their lifetime and to treat each each customer with this in mind. I recently had a Home Depot employee walk me half way across the store to find something.
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:14 PM   #22
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Pepper2,
We are most certainly neighbors! I actually graduated from Novi High in its very early days. We lived on a cow path. Wasn't even a grocery store in that town when I lived there. Dramatically different now - great town!
Thanks for the suggestion on where to stay at Haas Lake. For visits of a few days, we are in great shape with just electricity. What is the difference with their full hookups to other sites (other than the full hookup)? Is it more of a size thing, do you think? We've had pretty good luck getting into some tight spaces.
I think it is a bad sign to have the same place mess up three times - it seems to indicate they have a lot of clerical errors. You are awfully understanding.

Hope you enjoy your holidays at Proud Lake!
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Old 06-27-2012, 04:59 PM   #23
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Hey Fencebuster
A lot of the sites are seasonal. Google Haas Lake's web site, they have a CG map there. You'll see most areas are wagon wheel shaped with a large hub in the middle. There is an unshaded area by the office. I don't know it's letter designation and area D and E and I think it's Z on the back lake that I have camped at. D is our first choice. D-6 being our favorite. Right on the lake, view of the beach and one of the larger sites. E has a creek behind it and some smaller sites backing up to it. Area Z sites are on pretty much straight roads, with I think slightly larger sites. Also seems quieter back there. Don't let me talk you out of staying there, the only reservation problems I have had were at area D.
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Old 06-27-2012, 05:37 PM   #24
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I misread your post. If its the third time at the same place , then you know what they say. " do it to me once, shame on you. Do it to me twice, shame on me". I don't know what they say when it's the third time , but I don't think it would be allowed here. Glad you found another place.
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:46 PM   #25
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Didn't read all of the replies to the OP, so I hope I'm not being redundant. We book most of our reservations through recreation.gov and fortunately have not had it happen yet.

A buddy of mine had it happen one time, also using recreation.gov. They worked it out with the host and other campers at the CG and the host even told him how to register a complaint. He registered his complaint and got another 3 free nights of camping at his choosing on time and location.
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:09 PM   #26
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When I used to own a beachfront motel, I got several chargebacks from credit cards from guests staying and then after leaving disputing their credit card charge. After many arguments with the charge processor, we had to develop and have them SIGN A FORM that they had been advised that they had to pay for the room even if they arrived late and left early. Not uncommon AT ALL to have them book for 5 days, arrive Friday, have a great weekend , nice and chatty and pleasant, then leave Monday and claim some unpleasant thing (dirty sheet, bug, too much chemicals in the hot tub put spots on their swimsuit ...) then cancel the charges for the ENTIRE 5 days because they were "so traumatized" - ending up with a free weekend at the beach. Truly amazing what some people will do.
We used to sell a small, high quality table at RV shows. At one we had a buyer try to do a charge back ($450 purchase). Had the signed charge slip to show the CC company. We won but it still cost us $25!
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Old 06-29-2012, 12:49 AM   #27
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We never had that happen. We like first-come-first-serve CGs better but there aren't that many where we live.
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