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 > reservation system cheating still prolific in ontario parks.

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ReneeG

Meridian, Idaho

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Posted: 04/29/22 08:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

toedtoes wrote:

ReneeG wrote:

toedtoes wrote:

The "must occupy the site on the first night of the reservation or you forfeit the entire reservation" is the standard to thwart this.

Some folks don't like it for various reasons, but it does stop the behavior.


This doesn't always work. We have a favorite FS CG here and they have this policy, but we've seen the reservers not show on the first, second, third nights and yet the site is still empty!


There are three things at play here:

1. just because a reservation is forfeited doesn't mean the site will be filled by another camper. This only opens up the site to folks who drive to the campground looking for first come first serve sites, or for people to make reservations online two-four days out.

2. it doesn't work if the individual campground doesn't enforce it. It requires a camphost or ranger to check the campsites each day at checkout time to see if it was occupied or not.

3. If the campground isn't booked solid, they may not worry about it as there are other spots available.


1. A lot of campers drive through looking for sites and these always remain empty and I've seen some stop at the host and some don't.
2. I think this is the case, yet, the FS drives through too.
3. This particular CG is always booked solid. It's a popular site.


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valhalla360

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Posted: 04/29/22 08:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ReneeG wrote:

toedtoes wrote:

The "must occupy the site on the first night of the reservation or you forfeit the entire reservation" is the standard to thwart this.

Some folks don't like it for various reasons, but it does stop the behavior.


This doesn't always work. We have a favorite FS CG here and they have this policy, but we've seen the reservers not show on the first, second, third nights and yet the site is still empty!


If they never show up, that's likely a different issue and they aren't gaming the reservation system...presumably if the reservation and full site fee is forfeit, there's some pain and the are less likely to do it in the future, so over time, the problem should be reduced (maybe not 100% but even 95% will have a big impact). Also, if those sites go back onto the system right away after they miss the first night, people will learn to look for last minute openings. Net effect is fewer unused sites due to people gaming the system.

Now if they show up on the 4th night and the park staff lets them have the site, it defeats the purpose and encourages bad behavior.


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SideHillSoup

South Eastern British Columbia

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Posted: 04/29/22 08:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

StirCrazy wrote:

SideHillSoup wrote:


Can’t modify a reservation, so if you book a 7 day reservation, you can’t go back in and cancel a “couple” days on either end.
However you can cancel the entire reservation with restrictions ( ie. penalties, cancellation limitations).


Is that part new? you could modify your reservation to your hearts content last year as long as it was before the checkin date and you did it online or by calling in. this will be great if thats a new addition as it will stop people from booking a two week span then modifying it to the long weekend they were originaly wanting as the actual dates for that weekend came into the booking period.

Steve


Morning Steve, how’s the North Country?
BC Parks “supposedly” put a stop or changed / modifications to reservations that can be made. You have to pay your $5 bucks to find out if you can.
I know if you make a reservation in the first week of the 2 month window, you can’t change “modify “ you arrival date.
That’s also the same reason that if you don’t show up to your campsite by 11:am the second day, you loose the entire reservation.
However if you have vehicle issues etc and you have contacted the site contractor and explained your situation they can make considerations.
Now you can cancel and make modifications to your reservation for a $5 fee, but what modifications you can make or can’t make I’m not sure. When the new reservation system was rolled out there was a lot of news reports and interviews with Govt spokes people taking about the changes and the modifications was one of them.
In saying all that, it may not have changed

Now I haven’t been out this year yet as it’s still snowing …. However next week we hit the road for our spring ( cold spring) shake down trip. I will ask Ricky Ranger about the changes.


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toedtoes

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Posted: 04/29/22 11:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

StirCrazy wrote:

SideHillSoup wrote:


Can’t modify a reservation, so if you book a 7 day reservation, you can’t go back in and cancel a “couple” days on either end.
However you can cancel the entire reservation with restrictions ( ie. penalties, cancellation limitations).


Is that part new? you could modify your reservation to your hearts content last year as long as it was before the checkin date and you did it online or by calling in. this will be great if thats a new addition as it will stop people from booking a two week span then modifying it to the long weekend they were originaly wanting as the actual dates for that weekend came into the booking period.

Steve


When we booked for a US national park this year, we were locked from modifying the reservation for 15 days. With a 14 day max stay, this stops those who used to book the 14 days right before the holiday, thereby holding the site hostage, and then modifying the reservation to include the holiday as soon as possible. Technically, they could do this for an entire season, just repeatedly modifying the dates over and over - and no one else would ever be able to get that site away from them.

With the 15 day no modification freeze, they cannot modify the reservation until 24 hours AFTER their original reservation stay end. So, everyone else can book the site starting the day of the scammer's check out, while the scammer is still frozen.

That doesn't stop folks from booking a full 14 days including the holiday and then changing it to just the holiday weekend later. They are moost always "must occupy the first night" so they have to change the reservation beforehand, which opens up the site to folks wanting the week before the holiday.


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toedtoes

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Posted: 04/29/22 11:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ReneeG wrote:


1. A lot of campers drive through looking for sites and these always remain empty and I've seen some stop at the host and some don't.
2. I think this is the case, yet, the FS drives through too.
3. This particular CG is always booked solid. It's a popular site.


I would recommend writing a letter to the overseeing district and voice a concern that the first night must be occupied rule is not being enforced and folks are being turned away while sites sit empty from no shows.

Rules only work if they are enforced. It may be the district that is failing to enforce, or it may be the host.

At one of my favorite FS campgrounds, there is no host. In peak season, a ranger drives through daily after check out time and checks for occupancy. If not occupied, they pull the reserved tag.

Off peak season, the ranger only comes through a couple times a week. Usually on Monday to post reserved tags for the following weekend and then again on Thursday to make sure someone hasn't squatted any of the reserved sites. As the campground usually doesn't fill up off season, there is always another spot. But, if you drove up on Saturday after check out and the reservee hadn't shown, you could simply take the spot - tag or not. If they appeared later or the next day, they wouldn't be able to claim that site and kick you out. Instead, they would need to take a different site. The rangers wouldn't have bothered to cancel the reservation, but they wouldn't enforce the reservation site.

ReneeG

Meridian, Idaho

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Posted: 04/29/22 03:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

toedtoes wrote:

ReneeG wrote:


1. A lot of campers drive through looking for sites and these always remain empty and I've seen some stop at the host and some don't.
2. I think this is the case, yet, the FS drives through too.
3. This particular CG is always booked solid. It's a popular site.


I would recommend writing a letter to the overseeing district and voice a concern that the first night must be occupied rule is not being enforced and folks are being turned away while sites sit empty from no shows.

Rules only work if they are enforced. It may be the district that is failing to enforce, or it may be the host.

At one of my favorite FS campgrounds, there is no host. In peak season, a ranger drives through daily after check out time and checks for occupancy. If not occupied, they pull the reserved tag.

Off peak season, the ranger only comes through a couple times a week. Usually on Monday to post reserved tags for the following weekend and then again on Thursday to make sure someone hasn't squatted any of the reserved sites. As the campground usually doesn't fill up off season, there is always another spot. But, if you drove up on Saturday after check out and the reservee hadn't shown, you could simply take the spot - tag or not. If they appeared later or the next day, they wouldn't be able to claim that site and kick you out. Instead, they would need to take a different site. The rangers wouldn't have bothered to cancel the reservation, but they wouldn't enforce the reservation site.


I'm going to do that next time we stay there.

relaxin

Fenwick, Ontario

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Posted: 05/01/22 10:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

toedtoes wrote:

StirCrazy wrote:

SideHillSoup wrote:


Can’t modify a reservation, so if you book a 7 day reservation, you can’t go back in and cancel a “couple” days on either end.
However you can cancel the entire reservation with restrictions ( ie. penalties, cancellation limitations).


Is that part new? you could modify your reservation to your hearts content last year as long as it was before the checkin date and you did it online or by calling in. this will be great if thats a new addition as it will stop people from booking a two week span then modifying it to the long weekend they were originaly wanting as the actual dates for that weekend came into the booking period.

Steve


When we booked for a US national park this year, we were locked from modifying the reservation for 15 days. With a 14 day max stay, this stops those who used to book the 14 days right before the holiday, thereby holding the site hostage, and then modifying the reservation to include the holiday as soon as possible. Technically, they could do this for an entire season, just repeatedly modifying the dates over and over - and no one else would ever be able to get that site away from them.

With the 15 day no modification freeze, they cannot modify the reservation until 24 hours AFTER their original reservation stay end. So, everyone else can book the site starting the day of the scammer's check out, while the scammer is still frozen.

That doesn't stop folks from booking a full 14 days including the holiday and then changing it to just the holiday weekend later. They are moost always "must occupy the first night" so they have to change the reservation beforehand, which opens up the site to folks wanting the week before the holiday.


When our reservation system went online, ( 25 or so years ago) We had a huge problem with that, they called it "roll over booking" where someone would book a site at the beginning of the season ( late april early may park dependant), for the max of 23 nights, then before the 23rd day comes to the 5 month mark, bump the whole reservation forward 20+ days, and do that over and over to get to the dates they want then shorten to the weekend they want, and it use to only cost the $5 res fee. after several years of complaining by a lot of people and they looked at the booking patterns, they changed the ability to change a reservation to 4 month ahead opening up the site for 7 or so days past the booking, however if you have a spouse or friend you could get them to open an account with a separate credit card and keep rolling it forward, using 2 accounts.
It would be nice if they would track this stuff and boot the people who do it constantly. and the park system adding at least another 2000 sites across the province would be a start to reducing the need some folks feel to cheat the system.

https://reservations.ontarioparks.com/


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