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> A Request From A Campground Owner
campergal
post Sep 1 2011, 08:14 AM
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Hi everyone

I own a park and regularly try to keep up with reviews done on my campground. I have a peeve that I am hoping you will allow me to vent.

I totally understand the importance of reviews and use them a lot myself when I travel (always taking them with a grain of salt as I realize that people may not think like me). Here is my complaint - you come to my park and stay a few days and then leave, end of story as far as I am concerned. Then I come on here and find a negative review about some things that I had no idea were concerns. If you have complaints, please stop and tell me on the way out - at least you have made me aware. If I receive an email from a camper who has a complaint - I will immediately respond to it - either telling you how I plan to rectify it or explaining why it is what it is. But I will respond! Please give me the opportunity to fix the situation rather then just leaving then posting a negative review that might impact on my business down the road.

When I see a negative review here I do work on the things that are wrong, but have no way of getting that message out there.

Thank you for allowing me to verbalize this.

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KETTERMN
post Sep 1 2011, 09:24 AM
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Campergal,
I think you are completely right.My husband and I always give feedback first to the campground and then leave reviews if nothing is responded to or fixed. We always say that you can not fix what you do not know about.I believe it unfair to leave bad reviews of a place until you have tryed to get a problem solved first.Good luck and I hope all the good reviews over rides the bad.
On another note if you have constant bad reviews then there is something wrong at the campground.So it is always good for us, campers to read reviews before traveling.We have to put our trust in the campground for our saftey and that of our families, we need to know if anything is amiss where we are paying to stay.





QUOTE(campergal @ Sep 1 2011, 07:14 AM) *

Hi everyone

I own a park and regularly try to keep up with reviews done on my campground. I have a peeve that I am hoping you will allow me to vent.

I totally understand the importance of reviews and use them a lot myself when I travel (always taking them with a grain of salt as I realize that people may not think like me). Here is my complaint - you come to my park and stay a few days and then leave, end of story as far as I am concerned. Then I come on here and find a negative review about some things that I had no idea were concerns. If you have complaints, please stop and tell me on the way out - at least you have made me aware. If I receive an email from a camper who has a complaint - I will immediately respond to it - either telling you how I plan to rectify it or explaining why it is what it is. But I will respond! Please give me the opportunity to fix the situation rather then just leaving then posting a negative review that might impact on my business down the road.

When I see a negative review here I do work on the things that are wrong, but have no way of getting that message out there.

Thank you for allowing me to verbalize this.

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Florida Native
post Sep 1 2011, 11:47 AM
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I quit doing this after being snapped at several times by the campground employer/owner. I had a situation recently in Berlin, OH (Amish country). I mentioned a valid complaint and the owner was very nasty about it. We rarely give bad reviews, but give average reviews if it is an average campground. Good employee attitude goes a long way with me. What really gets a poor review is when the campground owner just flat out lies about something. (Like good WiFi reception or level sites.) We consider ourselves very easy to please, but don't lie to me. We also take the price into our expectations of amenities. If we are paying $20, we don't expect a pool and hot tub. We might give the campground a 8 if everything is clean and neat and the employees are friendly and helpful. I it is all relative to us. We also hate to be nickled and dimed to death by extra little charges. Good Luck with you park and we hope to meet you someday.


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Lindsay Richards
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Montana Folks
post Sep 1 2011, 12:22 PM
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I fully understand the CG owners point of view. But you are selling a product, maybe you should be proactive and ensure that when I arrive at your park, I am getting everything in tip top shape. If you advertise WIFI does it work for all sites that pay and expect it? Are your level sites really level and what about filling some of the pot holes that have accumulated during the season. How about strict enforcement of the pet policies! There is nothing better than to pull into a site and have to step and dodge dog poop.

Maybe this will help with your reviews.


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campergal
post Sep 1 2011, 01:54 PM
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Thank you all for your input - I understand why one would be hesitant to approach if you're going to get snapped at for sure. Bob and Nancy, I totally agree that I am selling a product - we have a "family campground" as opposed to an RV Park, and I truly believe there is a difference. We promote our park as that and in doing so I hope that someone coming in looking for an "RV Resort" will realize they are not going to get pads, 50 amp etc here. I have actually suggested to some to go to the park down the road when they tell me they really don't like having kids around etc as we get so many here on the weekend. I would much prefer to see a tourist have a good experience in this area even if it's not a my park and have then go home talking about the area in a positive way. Oh, and dog poop....give me an answer to that problem and I will be indebted to you forever! smile.gif We are constantly going after people asking if they would please pick up after their dog. Trust me, I hate stepping in that just as much as you do! That's why I don't own a dog!

Again, thanks for the input....I just felt I had to say something as it was really bothering me!

Trish
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Meyer Camping
post Sep 1 2011, 02:03 PM
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QUOTE(campergal @ Sep 1 2011, 10:14 AM) *

Hi everyone

I own a park and regularly try to keep up with reviews done on my campground. I have a peeve that I am hoping you will allow me to vent.

When I see a negative review here I do work on the things that are wrong, but have no way of getting that message out there.

Thank you for allowing me to verbalize this.

campergal, I must admit that your post struck a chord with me since I have left negative reviews and never mentioned the problems to the campground owners/employees. mea culpa huh.gif I think this is something that I will have to change. Lindsay did have a good point though, that pointing out a problem or a concern does not always get met with, shall we say, enthusiasm but now that you have pointed this out to me, I can't use that as an excuse. Thanks for bringing up the subject. Now I have yet another area in my life that needs improvement!


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John Blue
post Sep 1 2011, 04:05 PM
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I have been dumped on at a lot of parks as I ask owners if he could look into my problem. Most told me it was my problem not the parks. I ask about the Wi-Fi in a KOA and was told it is your laptop not our equipment. Said his system was working, show me how (your laptop) is working and he walked off, end of problem. Worked in next park. KOA as a rule has problems with Wi-Fi.

Berlin, OH (Amish country) and same park as Lindsay. Wi-Fi again and two ladies in office dumped hot oil on me. Told me it was working and all over the park, go away. Owner later said it would only work around 50 feet from office and that was it. Other problems come up and ladies in office did same thing again. Nice park with poor staff.

Only a couple owners were OK with input, most do not wish to hear it. If I were a park owner I would love to have feed back as well. Like you said, cannot fix a problem you do not know about.



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John
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joez
post Sep 1 2011, 05:58 PM
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QUOTE
If you have complaints, please stop and tell me on the way out - at least you have made me aware. If I receive an email from a camper who has a complaint - I will immediately respond to it - either telling you how I plan to rectify it or explaining why it is what it is. But I will respond! Please give me the opportunity to fix the situation rather then just leaving then posting a negative review that might impact on my business down the road.


I appreciate the attitude of let me know and I will fix it, but that still does not change the review, in many cases. If the sites were small or not clean, the pool was green, the grass needed cutting, then that is the way it is. If you take all the negative complaints and throw out the manager/worker attitude issues and reservation issues, they all are things that can easily be seen by workers at the park. The OP seems like one of the good ones, trying their best to make things better but a review is a review, not a suggestion box. Many (most?) cg managers are not easily accessible, We have stayed at several parks for a month or more and never seen a manager. The opposite side were a couple of cgs where the manager/owner actually knocked on the door and said hello, anything I can do to make your stay better?
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RFCN2
post Sep 1 2011, 10:30 PM
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campergal - Welcome to the fairly new World of on line reviews by users. There is a radical change in the way consumers buy things and services. I used to view Woodalls and TL big books as the bibles of RV park knowledge. I still read those, but 95% of the time back up their information with user reviews on this site. I do the same thing when I buy clothes from LL Bean and software for my computer. I use owner feedback as a key to my buying decision.

This is a recent change. I usually write a review when we stay at a park. I try to be objective, but my own likes and dislikes figure into the reviews I write. I have found that it is very rare that the reviews on this site are not more informative and more accurate than the big books.

So what should you do to make sure you get great reviews? Be a great RV Park. If you get a negative review act on it and the negative review will get buried soon.


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Richard & Samme Buck
post Sep 2 2011, 03:54 AM
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QUOTE(RFCN2 @ Sep 1 2011, 11:30 PM) *

So what should you do to make sure you get great reviews? Be a great RV Park. If you get a negative review act on it and the negative review will get buried soon.


This is the best advice....if it really was a problem and not just an opinion, fix it, and it will soon be buried. I have written both good and critical reviews of campgrounds, but usually a critical one is where the staff and management didn't respond or care. If a campground is not to our liking, I try to simply say why, for example, "too many golf carts driven by young children without supervision". This was a recent complaint I had with a campground, but when I addressed it with the owner, she said, "well, its a right of passage when you're a kid camping".....but their rules stated no carts driven by under 16 unlicensed drivers. So I wrote that review so other campers bothered by the golf cart craze would know it was probably going to happen. I have nothing against golf carts in general, it's the music blaring from them that annoys me and I don't believe children should be using them unsupervised. But it was the only negative thing I said.....I said many good things about that park.

It's all subjective. I read ALL the reviews on a campground before making a decision. I have found RVPARKREVIEWS to be one of the most accurate sites out there for rating campgrounds. If I see a one in a sea of 8's and 10's.....I'm still going there. If I see nothing but 1's and 3's...I won't. If I see a 10 in a sea of 2's....I figure its a friend of the park rolleyes.gif


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campergal
post Sep 2 2011, 06:55 AM
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Thanks again...will take all you've said and remember it. I am a cg owner who takes pride in having people leave happy and 95% of the time that's what happens. We have a huge seasonal wait list and are constantly filled on weekends so I **know** we do things right most of the time. I guess it's just when something doesn't go right and I don't have a chance to fix it it ticks me off.

Case in point....a camper left yesterday upset because they couldn't get on wifi....our wifi is unique only because of the way the company has it set up - our cg is situated that I can't offer blanket free wifi because we have so many seasonals and they would use it to the point where it would be too slow for anyone else. Therefore I give you specific instructions on how to get online and I can track if you are able to access the WiFi. This customer left saying ours was the "most confusing he has ever seen and he couldn't access it all". He definitely was not happy and if he's the type to post a review, that's what he will remember and the review will be negative. The thing is - he WAS on line as my staff told me later they saw his address online (they had checked to make sure he got online) and we have literally hundreds of other people who use the WiFi the same way all the time.

Anyway, I guess what I have to do is hope that most folks can read through a review and see it for what it really is. This site is a very good site and again, thanks for letting me vent my "little frustration" lol. I know deep down I have a nice park and I'm the type of owner who will stop by your campfire in the evening to chat with you for a bit - it's how we've made many wonderful friends!
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Florida Native
post Sep 2 2011, 07:17 PM
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I am still hoping WiFi will become a thing of the past as the nation becomes a giant 4 G network. Everybody will handle their own from cell towers. I will be thrilled and I know all campground owners will be thrilled also.


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RLM
post Sep 3 2011, 11:22 AM
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QUOTE(campergal @ Sep 1 2011, 06:14 AM) *

I own a park and regularly try to keep up with reviews done on my campground. I have a peeve that I am hoping you will allow me to vent.

As long as you're not venting hot air. With temps over 100, we've got way too much of it already. LOL

QUOTE
Then I come on here and find a negative review about some things that I had no idea were concerns. If you have complaints, please stop and tell me on the way out - at least you have made me aware.

I think most of us who would read a single bad review among several positive ones would not give it much weight. One thing that does catch my attention and carry weight is when I read that a reviewer had a favorable opinion of the campground staff. I figure staff attitudes come down from the owner and are an indication of how well the CG is run.

QUOTE
I know deep down I have a nice park and I'm the type of owner who will stop by your campfire in the evening to chat with you for a bit - it's how we've made many wonderful friends!


In all the years that I have been RVing, never once have I been approached by a campground rep, much less the owner, asking for an opinion on how they were doing. I also have found that it generally doesn’t do a lot of good to voice a concern to an employee of a campground. 95% of those don’t have the same attitude about being successful in the business as you might.

This reminds me of the old saying - “You can’t please everyone all of the time” – so 95% seems to be pretty good. That’s an A grade in anyone’s book. It’s always good to strive for perfection, but if that is a true figure, then I’d say you have done your campground homework. Perhaps if that other 5% is so frustrating, you could consider implementing a customer survey form. Just about everyone likes to give opinions. That’s what I am now doing. wink.gif
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The Other John Doe
post Sep 5 2011, 09:05 AM
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When I write a review I am very careful about separating personal feelings from campground facts. For example, are my fellow campers the cause of my bad feelings or is it something about the park itself.

I've read plenty of reviews complaining about highway noise nearby, people walking through "my site", a train went through in the middle of the night ruining someone's sleep, etc. All things out of a campground owner's control yet appeared in RV Park Reviews.

I'll comment on the condition of the facilities, the staff, and was the campground truly as nice as it appeared in their advertising.

If I see a trend of negative reviews I will not waste my time visiting that campground. If a campground owner doesn't care to fix problems reported over the course of a year then they certainly don't want my money.

A negative review here and there won't keep us away, however. I understand that some people want to be treated like royalty and feel pretty special in their own world. Nothing will make them happy. You can usually see through that type of review. They look for the cheapest campground they can find then complain about its lack of 5-star amenities.

I find RV Park Review very helpful as long as I read between the lines.
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wpr
post Sep 5 2011, 09:43 AM
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QUOTE(Gunship Guy @ Sep 5 2011, 11:05 AM) *


I've read plenty of reviews complaining about highway noise nearby, people walking through "my site", a train went through in the middle of the night ruining someone's sleep, etc. All things out of a campground owner's control yet appeared in RV Park Reviews.



I like to know about highway noise or trains, I'd rather drive 5 miles out of my way and have a good night's sleep than be kept awake by tractor trailers passing by every 45 seconds. I noticed that many reviewers do not take noise into consideration, for example a few campgrounds that I know are within 100 yards of interstate 95 and very few reviews mention the noise, but for my wife and me that is an important consideration.
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