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Old 01-10-2005, 12:26 PM   #1
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Just to let people know about a policy these people have regarding their reservation policies. We made reservations for a campground and my wife was looking at the wrong month. After finalizing the on line reservation I noticed this discrepancy. There is no way to change the dates on line. She called reserveamerica and they will change the date for a $10.00 fee. If you cancel the reservation there is a $10.00 fee. So it appears that any change or cancellation means that they are going to stick you for more money on top of the initial $9.00 reservation fee. I talked with their customer service and they let me know that they were not going to back down on this charge. Beware making reservations with this company as customer satisfaction is at the bottom of their list.

Dave
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Old 01-10-2005, 12:26 PM   #2
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Just to let people know about a policy these people have regarding their reservation policies. We made reservations for a campground and my wife was looking at the wrong month. After finalizing the on line reservation I noticed this discrepancy. There is no way to change the dates on line. She called reserveamerica and they will change the date for a $10.00 fee. If you cancel the reservation there is a $10.00 fee. So it appears that any change or cancellation means that they are going to stick you for more money on top of the initial $9.00 reservation fee. I talked with their customer service and they let me know that they were not going to back down on this charge. Beware making reservations with this company as customer satisfaction is at the bottom of their list.

Dave
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Old 01-10-2005, 03:01 PM   #3
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It seems like they would give you the benefit of doubt on a simple mistake like this. I've made a lot of reservations online for airlines, hotels and car rentals in addition to camping and it takes my TOTAL attention.

I didn't understand the $9.00 initial fee. I have used RA for Florida State parks and I didn't get a fee that I'm aware of.

I'll add one more thing--I hate making reservations several months in advance to ensure you get a camping site and then they get to use your deposit money for free!!
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Old 01-10-2005, 03:25 PM   #4
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I really did not think their response would be what it was. All the time I was speaking with them the credit card commercial with the guy saying "NO" kept going through my head. Live and learn.

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Old 01-10-2005, 03:46 PM   #5
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A simple way to handle reserveamerica, is to say NO TO DOING ANYMORE BUISNESS WITH THEM and suggest to your friends, that they do the same.

They would do better to listen to us boomers or else they'll be looking for a reason why their out of business.

I don't think we ask anymore of these businesses then what has been asked of us all these years. If they want to succeed and prosper, they need to ease up.

Tomcat F15
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Old 01-11-2005, 05:00 AM   #6
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I hate making reservations, they're too confining on your plans leaving little or no flexibility to spend an extra day or two at a recently discovered. Unfortunately, reservations are a necessary evil when traveling to a specific destination if you want to have any accommodations.

We also forfeited a $10 ReserveAmereica cancellation fee about 6 hours after booking due to an unexpected injury that necessitated a change in plans. I also ate a $20 private campground's first night charge and spent 2 months getting a $300 prepayment for a 30 day reservation back from a private park in FL.

Point is that it isn't only the public parks that are inflexible
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Old 01-11-2005, 06:25 AM   #7
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As a fulltimer I never make reservations,because our plans may change from day to day. We were in a Florida Sate Park and I ask the lady why they use reserveamerica and she said it was suppose to take the work off of them and make it easier. She also said actually it make it harder. They have to look at the computer to see if reserveamerica has book a site before they can make it. If you are there and she ok's you a site and at the same time reserveamerica makes a reservation for the site you are out off luck. She says"I hate it."
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Old 01-11-2005, 11:55 AM   #8
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I emailed reserveamerica with this topic
While making reservations for Houston Mesa Campground in Payson AZ. my wife had mistakingly given me the wrong dates as she was looking at January instead of February. We called reserve america to get the date changed to February and were told a $10.00 fee applied to any change or cancellation on top of the already charge of the $9.00 reservation fee. I talked with customer service and was abruptly told there was nothing that could be done about the fee but he would change the dates. It was obvious that reserve america does not care about customer satisfaction and that it is probably the last thing on the list. That is if it is even on the list. I was very disturbed to find an organization like this that is associated with the Forrest service that treats customers with the attitude that yes we can fix your problem but you will pay for it. I did not charge you a fee when I hauled a trailer 80 miles to a closed campground when the reservations were made on reserveamerica. Everyone makes mistakes but reserveamerica appears to want to profit from those mistakes. This appears to me to be a very sorry way to run a business.

And the reply
Dear Valued Customer:

Thank you for using ReserveUSA for your camping needs.

You agreed to this policy at the payment screen of your reservation:

I acknowledge and have verified that the reservation I am making is correct. I have read and understood all the warnings, information, policies, and general rules that are relevant to the reservation I am making. I am responsible for any misunderstanding or mistakes that are made including, but not limited to, incorrect sites, dates and unintentional reservations. I agree to pay all associated fees and penalties.

You where able to check all of your information about your reservation at this point. Please keep in mind that we are a business, and it does take time and money on our end to make sure we have these reservations for you as well as making any changes to your reservation.
Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.

Reply back to reserveamerica
Thank you for the worthless reply. You have justified my previous email with customer relations.

Dave
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Old 01-11-2005, 12:24 PM   #9
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Well it really is no different from cancelling airline tickets or hotel reservations. Even Expedia and Orbitz now charge for making changes. A few years ago I made reservations at Acadia and then our vacation dates changed. I knew it was going to cost me as I had read the directions.
Oh and by the way, I don't use Orbitz or Expedia for hotel resevations anymore for that reason. Usually I can get the same price directly from the hotel and there cancellation policy is more flexible.
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Old 01-11-2005, 01:37 PM   #10
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I agree that it stinks,I have been charged those fees a couple times.I know I am reading the fine print a lot more these days.We use to camp at a great state park in our area,but all the good sites are reserved in Feb.Its a gamble trying to go up on a weekend for thier non-reservable sites.I was told by a ranger that it is a neccisery evil because of cut backs by the state. Oh well
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Old 01-11-2005, 02:24 PM   #11
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Can you elaborate on the $9 reservation fee? I have used ReserveUSA which appears to be the same as reserveamerica and have never been charged a fee for booking a reservation. Is this something new or only applies to specific things or areas?

As for the other side of it, yes, it is a pain to have to book on Jan 1 if you want to go camping Memorial day but thats how it is, whats a guy to do. Sure takes the (grab the dog and lets go camping) fun out of it, doesn't it.
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Old 01-11-2005, 02:50 PM   #12
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I do not know at this point what the $9.00 reservation fee is for. I had assumed it was for using their service. Now I find it costs more to make a change or cancellation than the original fee. The money is not the center of my attitude with these people. It is the attitude that they are going to shove it down my throat and I am going to like it.

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Old 01-12-2005, 08:18 AM   #13
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I guess I have a different viewpoint. They are in the business of making reservations and their only revenue is from transaction fees. They aren't making money off the campsite fee itself like the campground itself does. There is a definite cost for making a change and it has to be paid for somehow, whether it is rolled into the upfront fee or charged to the person making the change. There is no free lunch.

Clearly they have decided to make changes painful in order to encourage you to "get it right the first time". Each reservation makes a site unavailable to someone else who wants one. They may change their own plans as a result or may go elsewhere. Business may be lost as a result of the mistake.

And there is no way to distinguish a "simple mistake" from someone who reserves a site and later changes his mind. Every resort knows that when the weather turns sour, suddenly a whole bunch of people have sick children, deaths in the family, car breakdowns, etc. and cancel or change their reservation. It's a fact of life.

Depending on the park system's contract with reserveAmerica or ReserveUSA, the park may absorb the expense of the first reservation or you may be charged a reservation fee. I suppose the park could also elect to absorb the cost of changes, but none of them seem willing to do that. I suspect it is part of the "savings" the park gains by contracting out its reservation handling.

Yes, it is pain to pay substantial change fees, but more and more campgrounds are charging them. My wife has worked the reservations desk at a campground and knows first hand who much of the day is spent handling changes, even in a moderate size place. Several changes by the same person is not at all unusual.
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