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> Extra Cancellation Charges Koa, KOA Penalty Charges
webmeister
post Jul 11 2012, 09:33 AM
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Just discovered something I didn't know about KOA. I made a way in advance reservation on line. The next morning discovered I reserved the wrong location. There was a $10.00 penalty charge! Less than 24 hours & they charged me $10.00 - Come on Really! Customer service pointed out to me the fine print at the bottom of the reservation email I received. Wondering if it is worth being a member or not... unsure.gif
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Ontario Traveller
post Jul 11 2012, 02:03 PM
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Yes they have been there for a while. I have been a member for about three years and got hit only once with that cancellation fee. But then I have also gotten free night camping by being a member.
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NYDutch
post Jul 11 2012, 05:21 PM
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Try using ReserveAmerica to reserve a state park campsite. Here in NY, there's a $9 fee to make the reservation, and then another $9 fee if you cancel at least 8 days in advance. Less than 8 days, and you're charged the $9 cancellation fee plus the first night's site rental.


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joez
post Jul 11 2012, 06:04 PM
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Just made reservations today at 6 campgrounds in TN/KY/IN - one KOA and the rest non franchised, Mom and Pop type places. All of them have cancellation policies that start as soon as the reservation is made. Most required a non refundable deposit of the first night's charge. That is what was lost if you cancel. We stayed last week at a park in Tampa where the cancellation policy requires full payment for the length of your reservation if you cancel within 72 hours of making it. After the 72 hours the penalty shifted to one night's.

I guess we all get used to different things. I would not be surprised to pay a penalty for a cancellation, and I would never think of asking that it be waived.
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kcmoedoe
post Jul 11 2012, 07:30 PM
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If they took a deposit, they will incur costs of about $.35 for the transaction plus approximately a 2% fee. On top of that they will incur the same costs on any refund of that deposit. If they are using a reservation service, rather than their own labor to process the reservations, there is a fee of that as well. That deposit could have easily cost the park $5.00 before you get into any labor costs. The length of time is a deposit is held really doesn't make a difference.
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Texasrvers
post Jul 11 2012, 07:31 PM
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QUOTE(Dutch_12078 @ Jul 11 2012, 06:21 PM) *

Try using ReserveAmerica to reserve a state park campsite. Here in NY, there's a $9 fee to make the reservation, and then another $9 fee if you cancel at least 8 days in advance. Less than 8 days, and you're charged the $9 cancellation fee plus the first night's site rental.


ReserveAmerica gave me fits one time. I had a reservation for 3 nights at a COE park. On the morning of the night we were supposed to arrive, we could not leave where we were due to bad weather, so I called to say that we would not be there that night only. I still planned to be there the other two nights, and in fact, still wanted a third night after the first two. I understood the cancellation policy and planned to have to pay the $9 fee (that was all you had to pay back then).

Here's what got me--I could not cancel just the one night; it had to be the whole reservation. So I told them to cancel it and make a new reservation for the next 3 nights. But they couldn't do that either because I was within the time limit to make a reservation. Reservations could not be made within 3 days of the stay date. So I then said to keep the original reservation, and in order to hold the spot, I would just pay the entire fee for the first night. Nope, couldn't do that either. If I did not show up the first night even though I was paying for the site in full, the rest of my reservation would be canceled.

I have never encountered any reservation system this ridiculous. I finally called the campground directly and explained the situation. They could not do anything about the cancellation fee (and that was OK), but they assured me I would have the spot on the 3 days I needed it. When we finally got to the park the spot was ready and waiting for us thanks to the park personnel. I have not made a reservation through Reserve America since.
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Florida Native
post Jul 12 2012, 08:21 PM
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QUOTE
That deposit could have easily cost the park $5.00 before you get into any labor costs. The length of time is a deposit is held really doesn't make a difference.


Having been in the lodging business for a decade, I can tell you that cancellations are a horrible thing. The problem is not the processing fees (2 to 3% plus swipe fee) or the labor, but the fact that when you reserve, they have to hold the site for you and may turn away others. Then you cancel and they don't rent it again leaving zero revenue from the site. They keep their side of the bargain and you cancel and cost them $40. The cancellation fee is to keep people from making frivolous reservations or just hold them in case things work out. It eliminates the "tire kickers". We used to have a one week full price cancellation unless we rerented the room where it dropped down to no charge. If you are charged $10 and the owner loses $40 consider yourself lucky. This is one reason we rarely make reservations except the day of stay. Some owners try to overbook assuming a percentage of reservations will cancel at the last minute. This is bad business too. The real culprit here is the yoyo's who make reservations willy nilly and cancel a lot. We all suffer due to them.


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rkw99
post Jul 13 2012, 08:47 AM
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QUOTE(Dutch_12078 @ Jul 11 2012, 05:21 PM) *

Try using ReserveAmerica to reserve a state park campsite. Here in NY, there's a $9 fee to make the reservation, and then another $9 fee if you cancel at least 8 days in advance. Less than 8 days, and you're charged the $9 cancellation fee plus the first night's site rental.


We made our first reservations with ReserveAmerica for our upcoming trip. What got me was that for one of the parks we couldn't get all the nights in a full hookup site so the first nite we reserved a primitive site so we had to pay the $9 fee twice because it was 2 reservations for the same consecutive stay. After we reserved I thought about it and we should have just stayed at the local Walmart the first night (I wanted to just get in the area so that's why we took the one night primitive site). But with the cancellation policy just sticking with the reservation. I don't even see a way to reserve a NY state campground without using ReserveAmerica. Is there a way?
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NYDutch
post Jul 13 2012, 10:41 AM
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QUOTE(rkw99 @ Jul 13 2012, 10:47 AM) *

I don't even see a way to reserve a NY state campground without using ReserveAmerica. Is there a way?

I don't know of any other way to make a reservation either. You can drive in the gate and take your chances on getting a site, but that's pretty risky this time of year.


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joez
post Jul 13 2012, 10:53 AM
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QUOTE(Dutch_12078 @ Jul 13 2012, 10:41 AM) *

I don't know of any other way to make a reservation either. You can drive in the gate and take your chances on getting a site, but that's pretty risky this time of year.


I do not remember where it was exactly, but DW and I drove to the office of a state park hoping to snatch a site for that night without going through Reserve America. We were directed to a terminal in the office with a direct connection to RA. Ranger said, sorry, that is the only way to book a site. I guess it should not be surprising - RA is, after all, a part of Ticketmaster. As an investor, I admire their business acumen, and for us the reservation system has worked well. As a consumer, however, I think their fee structure s**ks big time.
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NYDutch
post Jul 13 2012, 12:33 PM
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QUOTE(joez @ Jul 13 2012, 12:53 PM) *

I do not remember where it was exactly, but DW and I drove to the office of a state park hoping to snatch a site for that night without going through Reserve America. We were directed to a terminal in the office with a direct connection to RA. Ranger said, sorry, that is the only way to book a site. I guess it should not be surprising - RA is, after all, a part of Ticketmaster. As an investor, I admire their business acumen, and for us the reservation system has worked well. As a consumer, however, I think their fee structure s**ks big time.
There are a number of state parks listed with RA that have some sites listed as "Walk up only", although I don't know the specifics of registering for those sites. It's certainly possible that RA still gets their pound of flesh I suppose.


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pianotuna
post Jul 13 2012, 10:52 PM
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KOA = Keep On Adding (fees)


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Don
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NYDutch
post Jul 14 2012, 07:50 AM
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QUOTE(pianotuna @ Jul 14 2012, 12:52 AM) *

KOA = Keep On Adding (fees)

I keep hearing about all these add-on fees at KOA, but I've never found one that charged me anything more (other than taxes) than the single site fee that was quoted online. They have different rates for different sites and amenities, but that's pretty normal for most campgrounds.


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Dutch
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pianotuna
post Jul 14 2012, 08:08 PM
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Hi Dutch,

The last KOA I stayed at had additional fees for (very poor) wifi. I was able to connect just once. When I asked for a second "key" the owner wanted a second fee. It was the last time I will willing stay at a KOA. I'd rather park in a rest stop.


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Don
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NYDutch
post Jul 14 2012, 08:48 PM
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QUOTE(pianotuna @ Jul 14 2012, 10:08 PM) *

Hi Dutch,

The last KOA I stayed at had additional fees for (very poor) wifi. I was able to connect just once. When I asked for a second "key" the owner wanted a second fee. It was the last time I will willing stay at a KOA. I'd rather park in a rest stop.

I don't think I'd condemn all KOA's over the actions of one private owner. To date, the only KOA we've stayed at that had a pay WiFi system was in Williams, AZ, but they give you free coupons for the duration of your stay anyway. We normally use our Millenicom/Verizon 20GB data service anyway, so I don't normally pay much attention to what the campgrounds offer for WiFi. KOA or not, there's not many of them that seem to have a service worth bothering with.


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