Archaic Reservation systems ??

Discussion in 'Destinations and RV Parks' started by P and K, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. P and K

    P and K
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    Can anyone shed some light on why so many parks won't let you make an online reservation?
    Instead, you have to go through this archaic system of filling out multiple fields of information just to get
    them to tell you if anything is available. Honestly, you don't even provide much of this info when applying for a credit card? What gives ? It is 2018 Right ?
     
  2. docj

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    Are you aware that almost all parks that offer online reservations are using commercial services that actually make the reservation, not the park's website? Those services cost money and many RV parks are small, low budget operations with small operating margins.

    When I encounter a form that I have to complete in order to make a reservation I usually just call the park. That way I can get the answer I want a lot faster and with less effort.
     
  3. NYDutch

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    Can you give us an example of a park reservation system that asks too many questions? Most of the sites I use don't ask for much more than the information needed to determine what types of sites would be a good fit and the rates for those sites so I can make an informed choice. Sometimes there's a marketing related question as well, typically where did I learn about the park.
     
  4. Texasrvers

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    I would imagine that if a park requires you to give information before telling you if anything is available, it is because they want to be sure they have a site that will accommodate you. For instance what if you have a 40' coach and a tow car. You need 50 amp service and you travel with 3 dogs, but none of this information is conveyed to the park. All you say you want to know is if there is a site available on a particular date. The park responds (or maybe not) and says sure we have sites available on that night. Then you get there and discover that the longest site available is 20' with only 30 amp elect or maybe no hookups at all, and they do not allow animals. Wouldn't it be better for them to know what you need in a site before telling you they have sites available.

    On a personal note, I do not make a reservation online. I want to talk to someone at the park and be sure they have a site with the amenities I want. This also gives me the opportunity to ask how late the office is open, what their late registration procedure is, what their cancellation policy is, and any other questions I have. And I always ask for the person's name. Seems like if I have a name, things don't get messed up.
     
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  5. BankShot

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    I agree with the comments made by texasrvers in the last paragraph of his post above. We never make reservations online simply due to how some websites don't really show what the park or campground is really like in the pictures they show of it., or in what amenities they say are available when in reality they aren't. I want to talk with a live person and ask them questions prior to making a reservations and have those questions answered that many times a website doesn't or can't answer. I always get the name of the person I speak with and takes our reservation followed up by requesting that a emailed confirmation outlining our reservation's site number and number of days being reserved, etc. This has paid off several times over the years when we have arrived to find that "something" has been changed and the person at the desk at check in time doesn't believe otherwise until I show them our written confirmation stating we have a confirmed space number or pull thru space etc. when they are trying to say no such thing shows in their records. Love for them to have egg on their face instead of me.......... :D

    BankShot................(aka Terry)
     
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  6. P and K

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    Okay, that makes sense DOJC. I get the economics part.
    Texasrvers, Most online bookable site will have you check that stuff off when trying to book.
    Some examples are private camps in Navarre, FL and Charles Lake, LA.
    I too would prefer to speak with someone BUT when you call you'll have to leave a message and they call back. Bank Shot, this gets to be quite a confusing mess when you are booking multiple camps in multiple States for multiple months travelling from FL. via various States to get to CA, OR, WA, ID, MT, WY, CO, and then back to FL. I guess, I use ratings and online where possible and the rest via the phone. I'll just have to create a list of who I have called and who has called back, striking their name if we opt out or book. Guess I've gotten to use to doing most stuff online which generally works out well for us. What the heck camping is about people to people contact. I/we all can use a break from Zuckerberg, Et Al anyway. Thanks for the relies. PAT
     
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  7. docj

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    Different strokes for different folks. I love KOA's online reservation system. All I care about is what kind of sites are available; I rarely, if ever, care about amenities that we're not going to use anyway. And virtually all KOA's have a standardized cancellation policy. If I want to cancel it will cost me an agreed upon $10 (and sometimes the parks will even waive that).

    My comments about the cost effectiveness of online reservations was, in no way, intended to be an indication that I don't enjoy using them if they are available. Since RV park staff are often poorly trained workkampers, over the years I've encountered more errors when calling and talking with whoever picks up the phone. At least an online system provides me a written record of what I've reserved.
     
  8. P and K

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    I understand completely. I just never took into consideration that these small businesses have to watch their budgets and I guess that includes paying a cut for the online reservations. like I said where available I'll use online. Where it's not, I'll go the old fashion way and call. BTW, I'm sure you have noticed that RV Camp workers are not the only ones poorly trained. Seems to be a prevalent problem throughout other industries too. Anyway, thanks for shedding some light on something I had not considered before. PAT
     
  9. Cyclonic

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    Honestly, I rarely call to make reservations, preferring to make them online. It is just easier for me, I can do it at any time and don't have to wait for a call back, if it ever even comes (recently one didn't call back, so I choose the next one on my list, which I could reserve online). I have run into a few systems recently with easy to use and understand park maps where you can choose your exact site. This worked out very well at a recent campground in Galveston that got me right on the beach with a great view.
     
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  10. BankShot

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    It's apparent that some of us prefer to make our reservations with a live person and others prefer to use today's technical ways to do the same. Had we not run into a number of parks that misrepresented themselves on their websites as to what they offer and don't offer, we would probably use the automated way also. Burn me once and I'm the fool, burn me twice and they're the fool is my take on all this. To me a phone call takes no longer to make a reservation than does filling in all the "blanks" the automated way. At least this is my take on it, other's of course may vary and that's what makes the old world turn as it does...................:D

    BankShot..............(aka Terry)
     
  11. NYDutch

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    I typically use RVPR to make my initial park selections, and then use Google Earth or Google maps get a better idea of the park layout, surrounding area, and even site selection when that's offered. I'll then use the park's website to make the reservation if available. I've had more misleading information given to me by phone than I care to deal with anymore, so I avoid calling as much as possible.
     
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  12. mdcamping

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    Putting aside the state & goverment campgrounds. Most but not always I will make my reservations over the phone. I get that important reservation # and as much info as possible. Most times I will inquire to whats around my site that may not show up on those lovely hand drawn campground maps. I will also "work" the conversation to where they may give me a better site. Just being polite over the phone sometimes goes a long way.

    Mike
     
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  13. NYDutch

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    When I'm standing in a park office and overhear a clerk tell someone on the phone, "Yes, we have very good WiFi here, we get 47 channels.", I wouldn't have a lot of faith in anything else they tell me on the phone... o_O:)
     
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  14. BankShot

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    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Whattsa matta you Dutch!!! You dona trusta nobody what tells you they have 47 WiFi channels. You must be one hard guy to please...........:rolleyes::D

    Movin' on down the road, BankShot............(aka Terry)
     
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  15. linywiny

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    I think it's like this in every business it's just a new generation of our work force no pride in what they are doing they just do it and barely.
     
  16. John E. Baker III

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    After a few false starts on correcting this dilemma, here's what I do and have found to work the best: I create a "Trip Bible" for each & every destination/return trip; particularly a multi-state one you mention, P&K. I take a small binder which allows me to fill the pockets on the front & spine w/the title page of the trip; i.e., Prince Edward Island. I map out stops/CGs along the way online; in larger metropolitan areas, I consider alternate CGs as well. I print something from the website, usually enough to show the 1st page with a phone number, and insert that into a sheet protector. I have created a separate 1/3rd printed sheet with the name of the CG, phone, check-in/out times, other notes, the exact dates of our stay, etc. along with check boxes for □ FHU, □ E/W Only, □ 30/50A (do I need a dogbone?), □ C'nfimd (Confirmed) reservation and a line for the name of the person I talked to. I tuck that sheet into the sheet protector in front of the "main" website page I printed out. I do this for each and every campground with which we have a reservation. The day before leaving home, I confirm, by phone, the date(s)/check-in time for the first CG, then put the "bible" in the rig in one of the cabinets over the windshield so I'll have ready access to it when I take it in with me to check in. Every time I contact the CG, I use a grease pencil to note the date, time and person giving the information... I use the back if I run out of room on the front. The day before our departure, I confirm the next CG on the route... And so on. I'm working on setting up a database (Excel) file for all of the CGs we've patronized and those for future trips and linking it to a "Word-type" text file that will print out the info of the CGs I pick 'n' choose onto the short pages. Ultimately, when the trip's over, the pages in their sheet protectors get filed by CG name for future use; those closer to home get re-visited (if we liked them) and just end up in a different binder for another trip. I have some binders that aren't broken down/separated if it's a trip we're going to make again... I.e., Branson or St. Louis or Breckenridge.

    All this is way more involved in the telling than in the doing. Each part of The Process is quite simple, easy to accomplish in one sitting and invaluable for keeping one's stops & starts without mishap. Full disclosure: I killed WAY too many brain cells in the 80's than I care to admit and relying on what Sally (my sis) laughingly refers to as my "burned-out hard drive" of a "memory" just won't cut it anymore! With this system, I get to focus on the task(s) at hand, one at a time, and write down what I'm told w/my trusty grease pencil... And present the results to that person behind the counter who wants to try to tell me "I didn't talk to you yesterday."

    Meanwhile, watch your tail swing, keep th' greasy side down and keep it 'tweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen th' ditches, Y'All!!
     
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  17. mdcamping

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    I do something similure, I use a journal/binder. besides what you have mentioned, I also keep my state & goverment reservation passwords, info regarding my truck & TT. :cool:

    Mike
     

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