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gilda
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Beastdriver
Gillda:

You are correct that, oftentimes, people give strong negative ratings to a park because of something that has nothing to do with the quality of the park. On the other hand, if you note several reviews that criticize the park because of dealings with the office or manager, or several comments that say that wi-fi wasn't as promised, then there is some merit to these complaints. I would prefer to see the park given a rating it deserves, but let the comments warn readers about problems that are unrelated to the park quality and convenience. On the other hand, rating a park down because of the weather is just plan silly and not even worth considering.
gwbischoff
You can almost hear it in the posts sometimes. The "I didn't get what I wanted", dripping from the words on the screen.

You can almost visualize the foot-stomping, breath-holding, rolling-on-the-floor tantrum that happened in camp when the free WiFi didn't work or there was a leaf in the pool.

I'm sure we've all witnessed those.
DXSMac
I try to be fair in my reviews. I try to find "good news" and "bad news." I try to make my ratings as an "overall" experience. Because of that, my reviews are kind of lengthy.

Which leads me to a question. Are lengthy, wordy reviews helpful? Or too much to read? Short reviews of one or two lines usually doesn't tell me much. So I try to write about as much as I can see. This web site, with their "Comprehensive" set of questions, really forces me to look at things I usually don't care about. For example, I usually don't care about bathrooms because I don't use them.

JJ huh.gif
Beastdriver
DSX: I would encourage you to continue to write lengthy reviews about the places you have stayed. I really dislike reviews that have descriptions like "It was a nice place" or "It had level sites" and nothing else. IMHO, it is impossible to write too much about a facility and is certainly better than reviews that tell you nothing.
wpr
I agree with Beastdriver that reviews should give more than just "it was a nice place" description, but on the other hand some people write hundreds of words telling us in great detail how they were treated by staff. (Mostly people with negative experiences do this.) We should try to find a good balance that describes well, gives pertinent details but is not too long. My pet peeve is the number of people that basically repeat what 32 other people already wrote about the same park. Once we have about 10 recent reviews of a park we should add our point of view only if it is significantly different from the others.
BBear
I find complaints dealing with the weather very comical as well. I mean there are some that can be of use such as how the park's drainage system works or perhaps sites that are prone to flooding during a heavy rainfall and such, but the ones I find really funny are the ones that complain that it rained and it's muddy and the restroom floors are all dirty...ummm, maybe if the people frequenting the park would clean their muddy shoes off before going into the restrooms they wouldn't be so dirty, LOL. Or the ones that complain of sand in the restrooms...same thing wash your feet off before you track sand in the restrooms would lessen the amount of sand being carried into them.

I treat the facilities at parks as if they were my home...I certainly wouldn't track mud through my home and I certainly wouldn't track mud through a restroom at a park.

I also don't mind lengthy reviews so long as what's contained in the review is relevant and to the point.
DXSMac
QUOTE(wprigge @ Oct 11 2007, 07:14 AM) *

Once we have about 10 recent reviews of a park we should add our point of view only if it is significantly different from the others.


I agree with this. On this website (I also post reviews at two other web sites, but I gotta admit, this one is COMPREHENSIVE!!!), if the campground has, oh, 10 reviews already, and my opinion is no different from the 10 reviews, I won't post one. But if there are only 2 or 3 reviews, and they say nothing more than "nice place," then I'll post my very detailed wordy review. Ones with "good news is..... bad news is...." are usually mine. So far, I've only posted reviews for Washington and Oregon.

JJ
John Blue
More information is always better than to little. One post couple days ago said park was OK and beer was cold. Numbers said kids had hot dogs on Sat. night, pool was cool, weather was hot or cold, wind was up, people in next site over were bad, someone had a dog that pooped in our space, the list of "useless" information will go on from now on.

Now that summer is over we see more and more very good reports from people who travel a lot. Tons of good detail information on sites and the park. All the stuff we all need to pick out nice places to go.

We always rate parks on what we see and hear not what we eat or drink. I check all bath and showers houses but do not use them. Other people may need this information. I also walk the park to see everything in it. Is the sewer plant next to some sites? Water, power all good?
At check in what happen, did you received all noise or the correct information. High and low points about the park, roads, sites, level, tables, fire rings, dumps close by, speeding in park, the list goes on.

Everyone will rate a park up or down for some problems or good things in park. This is part of life.
From all this information we can see a very good picture of what you will find in the next park.
Butch
Some reviews posted are personal experiences that are of little or no information to others, except that some information maybe obtained if one reads between the lines. The " number" rating system means different things to different people. As an example, read one the other day, in the review this person stated numerous deficiencies that one would think should have rated a low number. After stating that, "they would not return", gives the establishment a "7", What ??? uhn ??? Different strokes for different folks. We personally start every establishment at a "5", and adjust the pros and cons from that point. In our thinking a ten has to be perfect or so very near perfect, in every way, to warrant that "ten". So We have posted a number of nines, but few tens. Most overnight stops do not give a totally accurate overview of the park, as the short staying time just does not allow for observations into the total overall operation. John has made some very good observations, in the previous posting, and we would agree with those assessments. Let's not miss the point that everyone has an opinion, and that they should have an opportunity to voice that opinion, wether we agree, or not.
BJMA
QUOTE(gilda @ Oct 10 2007, 11:12 AM) *

Just my observation, and has most likely has been covered in the past.

I find it quite comical, when you go into (most) posts that have given only one star (or half of one); it seems to usually be because the reviewer had an issue with ie: the office, the manager, the WIFI, the weather. Many times they have had an argument with the office. We never hear both sides of the story, do we?

Now, I know that all of you rv'ers out there are intelligent people and see right through these posts. rolleyes.gif


The park management, owners, volunteer hosts, employees has every bit as much to do with the review as whether the sewer is backed up or the trees knocked the satellite dish off the roof. A manager with a bad attitude can spell doom on an otherwise enjoyable experience.

I select a park by "the book", and if they do not offer what they claim to offer in "the book", I would have liked to know that before I made reservations.

and, as for "both sides", having been in retail at one time, I know that right or wrong, the customer is always right.
gwbischoff
QUOTE(BJMA @ Oct 15 2007, 04:48 PM) *

QUOTE(gilda @ Oct 10 2007, 11:12 AM) *

Just my observation, and has most likely has been covered in the past.

I find it quite comical, when you go into (most) posts that have given only one star (or half of one); it seems to usually be because the reviewer had an issue with ie: the office, the manager, the WIFI, the weather. Many times they have had an argument with the office. We never hear both sides of the story, do we?

Now, I know that all of you rv'ers out there are intelligent people and see right through these posts. rolleyes.gif


The park management, owners, volunteer hosts, employees has every bit as much to do with the review as whether the sewer is backed up or the trees knocked the satellite dish off the roof. A manager with a bad attitude can spell doom on an otherwise enjoyable experience.

I select a park by "the book", and if they do not offer what they claim to offer in "the book", I would have liked to know that before I made reservations.

and, as for "both sides", having been in retail at one time, I know that right or wrong, the customer is always right.


Follow this thread if you haven't stumbled on it already:
http://www.rvparkreviews.com/invboard/inde...p?showtopic=836

I will agree that the park management is equally as important as the fixtures. However, a camper/customer with a bad attitude can also spell doom on an otherwise enjoyable experience. I had ringside seats watching a camper complain that he returned from sightseeing one day to find that the camp store had closed (at their posted time). This guy came unglued that the staff was "not there to serve his needs". I'm sure that if he were a member here, he would have given a very scathing review of that campground. Just 'cause no one was there to wipe his behind.

The customer is only "always" right if you choose to do business with that customer.
Butch
Having been in sales, the customer is always right, even if he,or she is dead wrong. Most times the customer is looking to vent their displeasure, no matter what the subject, to anyone who will listen. One of many good sales practises is to be a good listener, and then to repeat the subject matter back to that person(s) so that you fully understand their position. This also gives that customer an opportunity to hear his own words from someone else. This gives sometime for a cool down on the customers part. More often than not the customer rethinks his words, and a true dialog will be exchanged to solve the customers position. There are two classes of customers who are dissatisfied, for whatever the reason. The customer who will voice his,or her displeasure, and the upset silent one who will say nothing. The silent one will do you the most damage. There are signs that you must read that this individual is not happy for whatever the reason, and you should engage him, or her in conversation to see what the problem is, and act from that point. A dissatisfied customer will voice that displeasure, and over the course of time, about 100 people will be made aware, or at least listen to their words. All may not agree with the point, but the seed is planted. There is not any reason, nor room, for poor customer relations. A customer is a customer no matter what, with a need and money.
Texasrvers
Here’s my take on reviews. I think we all agree that this site gives better information than the standard directories, and here’s why. The directories give basic information. You can find out about the sites, and amenities, and cost, etc. However, the directories do not tell you if the place is safe or attractive; or if it is next to an all night lumber yard; or if it is party central; or if the pool is green; or if it has the manager from hell. You get the picture.

Now I know that anyone can have a bad experience at even the best of parks, and I do not think it is fair to slam parks for things that are beyond their control, but it is still good to know about these things. The decision to stay there anyway is mine. Trav-L-Park in Virginia Beach comes to mind. There is no mention in the directories of the NAS jet noise, and I fully understand that the park has no control over this. We read the reviews on this site and decided to stay there anyway, and we are very glad we did. Because of the reviews we knew what to expect and were not surprised by the first loud roar. In spite of this drawback the place is very nice; we had a great time; and the noise was not that bad. However, if I had not known about the jets beforehand I might have had a little different take on the situation.

All this rambling leads me to my point. I think it is good to include as much information as possible about a campground. I would prefer that reviews tell more about the park rather than the person’s experience, but the line between the two can be very blurry. Also some information may be a bit biased because we are judging the place with our own personal preferences, but that's ok, too. Finally, those of us who read the reviews are smart and capable of deciding if the information is significant enough to affect our decision about staying at that park.
gwbischoff
Hoping we don't head into a philosophical sales discussion, let me say that your point about a ssalesperson being a good listener is well taken. But that also means that the salesman should also be listening to make sure that their product (in this case a campground) is the right fit for the customer. If it isn't, the salesman needs to be aware of when to walk away from a sale.

Now, Texasrvers hit the nail on the head. Put as much info into your campground reviews and we'll figure out if we want to stay there or not. And if you do have a bad experience with a campground, say why and what was or wasn't done. For example, if you stayed at a campground and everything worked fine and it was in a good order, but the WiFi didn't work and you didn't get satisfaction from the management. I need to know that. I'll figure out that WiFi was important to you (it isn't for me), the management may not be the best at handling problems, but the campground is in relatively good order. I might take a chance on staying there given what else is in the area. But if the WiFI didn't work, the pool was green, the hookups were rusty and the management was crappy, I need to know that too.

To me, slamming a campground with no basis to back it up (other than you didn't get what you wanted) is just as bad as a park not delivering what it advertised.
DXSMac
QUOTE(gwbischoff @ Oct 16 2007, 12:24 PM) *

To me, slamming a campground with no basis to back it up (other than you didn't get what you wanted) is just as bad as a park not delivering what it advertised.


Good point. I try to be balanced, but one time, I had so much trouble finding a certain state park, my Magellan kept going bonkers on me (It was cloudy, Magellan doesn't work too well when it's cloudy), I took a wrong turn, ended up in a residential area at a dead end, no place to turn around, I had to BACK UP for 2.5 miles on a winding road, well, by the time I found the place, I was NOT going to give it a good rating! That's the one time my emotions got the best of me on a review and it wasn't the park's fault! (Turns out another reviewer had trouble finding it, too!)

Well, I still gave it a 5, but said I would not come back! (and I now print out Mapquest.com routes as backups when Magellan goes bonkers!) dry.gif

JJ
florida08
I must say that most of the reviews I’ve read pertaining to parks of interest to me have been very helpful. Sure some are a little over biased one way or another but I’ve found many to be accurate. I disagree with your charge of not gigging a park for the actions of the office or park management. Numerous times I’ve had planned reservations mishandled by park officials. In those instances it was noted in my review and reflected in the overall score I gave the park. If check-in protocol is confusing or down right user-unfriendly that too will be a determining factor in the park’s overall rating. When I return from a three-day weekend camping trip I’ll have over 100 emails waiting to be answered back at the office. The last thing on my mind while camping is WIFI or cell phone reception. But to many these are major issues and should be considered part of an overall rating. Our primary reason for camping is to escape from the hectic Monday thru Friday workweek. We never camp at “resorts”, opting only for National, ACOE or State Parks. So issues such as campsite seclusion, quiet hours, bear activity and restroom cleanliness are high on our list when we rate a park. To many full timers and “private campground” people, you all have a whole different set of priorities in determining a “killer” campground compared to us. cool.gif
Butch
florida08,

Have to agree with you, we do not want nor do we want to pay for wifi. Those campgrounds or parks, without wifi are called: COE, State, County,or City, and seem to fill a niche within the Rving community. We also want to get away from the everyday problems and enjoy some time together in peace and quiet. Our only need is cell phone coverage, as we have a 95 year old parent that we check in on daily.
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