Mar 3 2010, 11:53 AM
First let me start by saying this is a very informative site. I am going to be opening my own RV Park in the pacific Northwest this year.
I have been reading a lot on this site. and have a few questions.
First, on the main page it is great to read all of the park reviews. However, on some it seems like people just blast the parks and it would be great to hear the other side of the story. Remember there are always to sides to a story right?
For example, a camper goes into a bathroom and says it is disgusting and gross because the previous person did not flush. However, it is not practical /financially feasable to have an attendant in the bathroom 24 hours a day to make sure people flush. Maybe the staff had just cleaned the bathroom and someone then went in and did not flush. Then the next person thinks nobody cleans bathrooms.
I think it would be great to have a response area for park owners to be able to respond to customer complaints to keep the reviews fair and balanced.
What do all of you think of this idea?
Mar 3 2010, 12:38 PM
Welcome to the site.
Since you are new I am sure you have not had time to read many of the older threads. Concerns have been voiced in the past about people blasting parks for things like your bathroom example. When this happens most members say they can distinguish between a valid complaint and comments that are unfair to the park. Most of us realize that any park anywhere at anytime can have a problem, and someone may just be unlucky enough to discover that problem before the park has had time to react. Most of us will overlook this type of comment if it is made only one time. However, if all the reviews mention the same situation then we know that the park really does have a problem that they need to address.
I think you will find that most individual reviews are fair and honest, but it is all the reviews combined that tell the true story about a park.
Mar 3 2010, 03:02 PM
We have some other RV park owners on the forum also. They will probably chime in and there have been several threads that you should read. My wife and I were in the lodging business for 10 years and lived through the invention of the review site. Trip Advisor was very important in our business towards the end. It was estimated that as much as 70 % of the reviews on it were bogus. In my town we had about 10 places and the 70 % bogus was probably a low figure. Owners were frequently writing glowing reviews about their own places and horrible reviews about their competitors. Some would even brag about it. Here, the administrators have tried to curtain it. No review is posted until the reviewer has 3 total reviews and other technical things try to keep out the jerk. I usually look at the totality of the reviews and toss out the highs and lows, but I suspect that one bad review will be a tie breaker for us. A bad review by a competitor will do a lots more damage than several good reviews about their own place. We all have different expectations and things that would bother others may not bother me. I always try to take into consideration the type of place it is and the rate. I donít try to rate a small, private park against a destination place with all of the bells and whistles.
Mar 3 2010, 03:31 PM
While I personally like the idea of park owners/managers having a mechanism for responding to reviews that they believe are unfair, bogus, submitted by competitors, etc., I don't see how it would fit into the current site.
Currently, the first time the owner posted, his post would disappear into the Hold Queue, waiting for him to post about a different park. If he tried to respond more frequently than once every six months his posts would be rejected. Also, there would be no mechanism for a user to rebut a park owner's response.
I can see any attempt to allow for park owner input quickly devolving into a discussion forum, not a campground review site.
I guess the current forum is the only workable venue for such discussion, and unfortunately users who look at reviews have no way of knowing that there is a discussion about a particular park in this forum.
Mar 4 2010, 11:54 AM
It is amazing to me how one person can rate a park a 7 and the next a one. It's all in the perception.
When I see a negative review with only one review for a campground I will look at that persons previous reviews and see if they are being over critical. I have stayed at some parks with low ratings and found them to be enjoyable. I sometimes have to read between the lines.
Mar 4 2010, 04:44 PM
QUOTE(nedmtnman @ Mar 4 2010, 09:54 AM)
...I have stayed at some parks with low ratings and found them to be enjoyable...
As well as the rating too low, we have also scratched our heads in wonderment at the infrequent, off scale, too high ratings. Are we at the same park?
I generalize when planning out a route. Anything consistantly rated 7 and above, is considered as we travel. I then pay attention to the 'issues' someone takes the time to spell out in past reviews.
Of course camping covers a broad spectrum these days: from tents and campfires to magnificent coaches that need more space and power than a house.
If it were mine: much like a fine hotel, I'd design the front entrance and customer check-in to welcome (even 'wow') the customer. You'd be amazed how many establishments blow those first two facets of the camping experience.
Mar 4 2010, 09:11 PM
One more trick that may help is to look at number of reviews at bottom of a review. Click on it and you will see how this person rated other park he or she has posted reviews on. The people who write up lots of parks are the people who know the right information. The one trick pony's are of little help as everything is a 1 or 10 rated.
I agree with Foster on the first impresses! This item from staff can kill off a lot of good at the start. A person at the desk that hands me a lot of crap will move me over to my bad side. Staff should not pass our crap to people due to the day has not been a lot of fun for them. I do not wish to hear it. A good clean park that has everything in place and a nice staff person will see me again. One staff lady was on my case over my dog and telling me what she would do if I did not go by the rules. Then I told her first we do not have a dog and next have a nice day we are out of here. Most staff people are helpful and happy to see you.
Mar 4 2010, 09:19 PM
One thing that I try to always do is not write the review until after we have left. This can sometimes be hard if you rely on WiFi and might not have it for a while. Sometimes I write the review in word processing and save it on my computer. I have written the review and then had something food or bad happen as we left and was glad I hadn't already posted the review.
Mar 5 2010, 08:58 AM
Always keep in mind that most reviews are written as the user's impression of the park on the day that they stayed. There could be several factors taking place that day that were not present on other days. It also matters whether or not the person was an overnight guest, and just looking for a place to park and sleep, or a guest that stayed several days to enjoy the park amenities or local sights. What each of us expect from any RV park can differ greatly as can our own personal standards. I have seen many travelers that are comfortable in a Walmart parking lot or truck stop and some that would not be comfortable in anything less than a first class resort. Some people are grateful for most anything that makes their travels easier and more enjoyable and I have met some that feel they are entitled to be treated as royalty wherever they go. Different strokes for different folks which can help to explain why reviews on any park can go from good to bad.
I just try to read the parts of a review that may affect me if we stay at that park. In other words if someone complains about a dirty swimming pool or bathroom, and I don't plan on using either, I may disregard that portion of their review. By the same token, if they say everything was great except the interior roads were very narrow and difficult to maneuver, and I'm driving a 45' coach with a toad, I may bypass that otherwise nice park for one that would provide easier access. Review are at best a compilation of opinions. We need to sort out what info we need to make our own decisions.
Mar 5 2010, 10:15 AM
As a Campground owner, I check the reviews everyday. I have one question. When I look at a review of our campground, and check on it to see what folks have to say, it won't come up. Then in a couple of days the review shows again and I can read what they have to say. We always get great reviews, we are doing something right. I can't complain, just get frustrated when the rating shows, but can't read the comments. Thank you all for letting us know that we treat you right. It's not that hard to keep your bathrooms clean, and welcome folks when they come in. I love this site!
Mar 5 2010, 08:06 PM
Would you sent me a PM and tell about this problem you are have. I need to find out what is wrong here.
"I have one question. When I look at a review of our campground, and check on it to see what folks have to say, it won't come up. Then in a couple of days the review shows again and I can read what they have to say."
Mar 6 2010, 07:55 AM
I will put my two cents in. I read all the reviews. If they are all saying the same thing then there is an issue. If you read only two for instance on a new park I will read other reviews that poster has had and see if they look for the same things I do.
It is not the number but the written review that is helpful. I stayed in one park in WY that lost its water had no propane for the dryers and was a dust bowl. I left early. It could have been one of the most desired parks in the country with a little work. Oh and they would have to stop the buses of hundreds of wild unsupervised teenagers staying in the dorms behind and having a bonfire that lit up the night and music you could hear inside my Foretravel. As an example I stayed at Liberty harbor and they tell you upfront on weekends there is a nightclub in a canvas building. I did not hear a thing in the week I was there but the one in WY was industrial strength and I was further away. Bad place and bad reviews and everyone had the same comments with a few slightly different horror they had. You can laugh about it now.
Mar 12 2010, 11:27 AM
Sorry, I haven't gotten back to you, been busy getting ready for spring. If I look under the state in which I'm located and click on my campground I find two latest ratings that are 10 stars. When I click to read the comments, only one of the 10 ratings come up. the other one is not even listed for comments under my campground. if this does not make a lick of sense, and you have no idea what the heck I'm talking about, I thank you inadvance and I will fumble along.
Mar 12 2010, 11:35 AM
We would still like to resolve your problem, but as John said above you will need to send one of us a PM stating your state, town, and park name. That is the only way we can check out what is happening.
Mar 13 2010, 11:08 AM
QUOTE(campatkoa @ Mar 5 2010, 08:15 AM)
When I look at a review of our campground, and check on it to see what folks have to say, it won't come up.
Right click on the screen and try refreshing (or reload) it.
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