Reserve America Reservations

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RVfixer

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Aug 12, 2012
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This is not a big deal (I guess) but it sure wasn't fun!  I have reservations for December and two for March all in South Carolina.  I made the reservations through the Reserve America website and got conformation letters.  I went on the Reserve America website today to confirm my dates and make sure I had my calendar filled in correctly.  The site looked different but I signed-in fine and it had all my personal info.  I clicked on Past Reservations and was surprised that it showed old past reservations but none of the more resent past reservations.  I then clicked on Current Reservations and it showed "No Reservations."  What???

For the next three hours I kept redialing the Reserve America phone number only to get a continuous busy signal.  I finally gave up on that and went back to the web site and clicked on "Chat."  When I asked for confirmation for my South Carolina reservations I was told that RA no longer handles reservations for South Carolina.  I replied that they made these and took the money and the agents reply was "Read Above."  Kind of like "Watch my lips."  I wasn't happy to say the least!  After a few more exchanges the agent finally sent a phone number and sent "Call it."  At that point I thought I better click the X and get out before I sent something inappropriate. *(&^&*(*&^%[email protected]

I called the number and got through.  It was the South Carolina Parks Department.  A recording said, "for this park press one, for this park press two, for this one press three and so on.  I guess it was going to go through every park and Historic site in the state!..?  I pressed four, for one of my reserved camps and a nice lady sent new SC Park confirmations to my email address with a link for cancellations, etc.

I though I would pass this alone.  I don't know what other states the Reserve America no longer services.  If you have reservations made through Reserve America I would confirm them even if you have confirmation letters from RA that may be worthless.  Obviously I will not be using Reserve America again in the future for anything!!!  I will call all parks and campgrounds directly.   
 

NY_Dutch

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It was not RA's decision to drop the SC contract, it was SC's decision to go their own way. RA can only give you what their now expired SC contract allows them to give you, which as you found out, isn't much. Blaming that on RA is just wrong, since it was SC's decision to make the change last year. Also, for national park reservations, the Recreation.gov contract has moved from Aspira to Booz, Allen, Hamilton, and they do not have all the past reservation history online yet, nor do they have all of the park maps available yet. It's an entirely new system.
 

JudyJB

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Jul 6, 2010
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If you want some real excitement, go into the newly "updated" and "improved"  recreation.gov web site.  I tried to make a reservation at Zion Watchman Campground, but the only map they have of the campground shows only lines of the roads going around the campground--no locations of campsites at all!!

And you can only see a few days in the Availability view.  Very hard to use.  Even scrolling back to earlier dates is awkward.

Wish people would leave a good thing alone and quit trying to make it "better."
 

NY_Dutch

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As I noted in my post above, Recreation.gov has a new operator using an entirely new system. The transition from the previous Aspira run system to the current Booz, Allen run system has not been the smoothest as you've seen. Hopefully they'll get caught up soon. As for the availability, if the dates you want are within the reservation window, try clicking on the blanks. I found for a reservation I made a week or so ago for next April, that on the first day the site was available for the time I wanted, only that day showed up as available. But when I clicked on the following blank dates, they also showed up and I was able to complete the reservation. The new setup will definitely take some getting used to...
 

Oldgator73

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Dover, DE & Mouth of Wilson, VA
If using ReserveAmerica.com reservation read the fine print very carefully. I made a reservation for last weekend Cape Henlopen SP, DE. and then realized I already had reservations starting Sunday for Cayuga SP, NY. I cancelled the Delaware reservations and was  $36 fee. My fault but still hard to stomach. If I make a reservation at a hotel I normally have up to 24 hours before checkin to canx. Sometimes they will canx without penalty up to checkin day.
 

Old_Crow

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Nov 20, 2016
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Tom's Place, California
If you think its hard to make reservations at the "new" site, you ought to be a camp host trying to decipher the new Daily Arrival Reports.
Due to "security concerns" by the new company, they won't print the customer's full name, reservation number and phone number on the same sheet of paper.  Makes it really hard to make out reservation signs for the site if you don't have the customer's name.  Also makes it hard to fill out your daily paperwork if you don't have the reservation number.  Also, the DAR we used to get showed reservations 2 weeks in advance.  The new one is only a weeks worth.  Small things, maybe, but a PITA none the less.
OH, well, the season is almost over.  Maybe they'll get it squared away by next year.
 

HappyWanderer

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Apr 21, 2014
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The fees charged by Reserve America are determined by the state, and how greedy they want to be. I?ve seen fees as low as $3 for reservations.

Also, to say that you won?t use Reserve America just might meant that you?ll never sleep in the state park of your choice. Other than walk-in registrations, you can?t call a state park to make reservations. That?s why they contracted with Reserve America!
 

NY_Dutch

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Old_Crow said:
If you think its hard to make reservations at the "new" site, you ought to be a camp host trying to decipher the new Daily Arrival Reports.
...
OH, well, the season is almost over.  Maybe they'll get it squared away by next year.

Is that with the new Recreation.gov system? I'm seeing a lot of complaints about it, so hopefully you're right and Booz, Allen will get their act together soon. They're the "new kids on the block" in the park reservation business, so I'm sure they have a substantial learning curve to get past.
 

RVfixer

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Aug 12, 2012
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Humm, I am surprised at some of the replies....and confused by some...I wasn't tying to make a reservation...I didn't say anything about fees..??  Oh well, no matter.  After the way I was treated by RA I won't use them for anything again.  You can make reservations at park campgrounds directly with the park by phone.  Also, I looked at the SC Parks website and it is also very easy and simple to make online reservations there.  Just because SC canceled the contract with RA (if that is true) doesn't mean RA should treat their customers poorly.  I asked a simple question and got sarcasm.  If it was South Carolina's responsibility to inform customers, that doesn't mean RA should treat their customers poorly.  I should think they would have an incentive to keep their customers for all the other states that they service...but they have lost me for sure.

Bottom line is that I passed this along in hopes to prevent others from going through the trouble I did.  It took hours to get through on the phone to RA only to be insulted. 

 

NY_Dutch

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Oldgator mentioned fees in relation to cancelling a reservation. I'm not sure what was insulting about RA telling all they could about reservations made for a former client though. RA has no access to the current SC SP system where your reservations are. SC didn't "cancel" their RA contract, they just didn't renew it at expiration. There are several states that don't use RA for their park system reservations, some are former RA clients, some aren't, and a few states have left RA and eventually came back to them. I don't know when you tried to call RA, but just now they answered after 4 rings. If you called soon after the hurricane, they may have been getting blasted with calls from folks wanting to know about park conditions where they had reservations in the affected states.
 

ChasA

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Mar 21, 2009
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2,325
Concerning recreation.gov cancellations.  I recently had to cancel my reservations at a COE in Florida due to health issues.  They only charged me $10 of the $60 I had paid.
Also, a few weeks ago I tried making reservations at a city cg in Augusta Georgia.  The only way to do it was through Reserve America.  We called the cg directly and they told us they couldn't make reservations for us and we had to do it through RA period.
 

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