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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

GRUMPYCAMPERREVIEWS.COM

I think I should start a new website just for rv park/resort owners.

There are many websites dedicated to people who camp where they can go online and review a campground. I think eventually most campgrounds get a “bad” review, but that doesn’t make it easier to swallow.

However, I don’t always think these ‘bad’ reviews are justified (since we HAVE camped at some of the campgrounds that we have seen reviews for and we don’t normally agree with the reviewer). I think sometimes people who write the bad reviews are extremely picky or got ticked off about something or are just mean spirited.

We talked about some of the reviews on our park before and I gave you the link where you could go read them if you wanted to.

At RVparkreviews.com you get rated on a scale of 1-10 and when the review shows up, along with whatever the reviewer’s comments are, there are little stars. You may recall that one person gave us 5 stars and was upset because you had to hold the faucet on at the sinks in order for water to come out.

Recently we had a couple other very bad reviews…all the way down to ½ a star! And I KNOW exactly who these people were.

The first fellow wrote a very negative review because he had too much voltage at his site and was glad that he had a “suppressor” on his motor home or there would have been extensive damage. He said it shot up to 134 volts at one point. This is very rare; normally we get people who complain if it drops down to 118 and usually it is a steady 120-122. But what really ticked him off and what he did NOT mention in his review was I had to go out and ask him to take his clothesline out of the tree. He had purposely parked on his site, headed in the wrong direction so he could tie that clothesline to the ladder on his motor home and to the tree.

We specifically say to guests when they check in, “There are two rules we point out so we don’t have to visit you later…we don’t allow rugs or mats on the ground and do not rope, tie, or chain anything to the trees and do not cut them down for firewood or hot dog sticks”. So, when I asked him to please remove the rope, he said “I didn’t see it in the rules!” I said it IS in the rules PLUS I pointed it out to you in the rules when you checked in. Nope, he didn’t mention that in his review; just complained about the juice!

The next review was another 1 star. When these people showed up, the very last full hook up that I had reserved for them was not vacated and the people who were supposed to have left that site were not here; they were out sight-seeing. I apologized to these people and told them that I would have to put them on water and electric or they could go to a different park if they wanted to. Long story short, they were very upset and it was very noticeable which about brought me to tears.

They went to a water and electric site. When the OTHER people returned, we told them what had happened and asked why they hadn’t checked out at noon. They thought they had signed up for an additional day, which they had not. They offered to move so the OTHER people could have the full hook up. Since the other people were not here, and I couldn’t ask them if they would want to move for the ONE NIGHT they were here I told the other people to stay put for now.

The people who didn’t check out offered to pay for the OTHER people’s campsite so I charged their card and refunded the other people’s card. It gets more confusing from here. The people who were “put out” did return and we told them that the other people had paid for their campsite and I had refunded their credit card for $22.00. I forgot to even ask them if they wanted to move to the full hook up for that one night, so my fault on that part.

Two days later, there is a very nasty review about the whole thing and she even said we were a “rather primitive campground” and she always feels threatened by our rules and signs.  I don’t know if she is referring to the sign that says “IF YOUR SEAT IS BIGGER THAN THIS SEAT, PLEASE DON’T PLAY ON THE BABY SWINGS”, or the one in our yard by the sidewalk that states NO PETS BEYOND THIS POINT (since there is 76 acres behind us AND a dog walk area). She didn’t mention, in the review, that they had a free campsite for the night.

I emailed her and told her I thought it was too bad that she felt it was necessary to give us such an awful review and asked her if she would have been so unkind with her remarks if the full hook up had been available for their one night stay. Several email conversations followed (BTW, she said the review wouldn’t have been so bad if the site had been open when they arrived). I finally asked her what more she thought I could have done…SHE SAID THAT WE COULD HAVE GIVEN THEM A CERTIFICATE FOR A MEAL IN TOWN! AND that is something I should do in the future should this ever happen again. As far as I’m concerned, I won’t be taking any reservations for them again and if they show up, I will ask them if they would like me to call the KOA because they aren’t as primitive as we are! (Yes, they HAVE camped here before; she said this was their 3rd time here!)

OK, so they had a free campsite, even though it WAS water and electric and NOT full hook up, I apologized until I was about in tears plus they wanted a free meal??? I could be very wrong on this but I think THAT is a little overboard!

Since those two reviews we have had about 5 GLOWING reviews, but it makes me wonder how many people in the meantime read those two reviews and changed their mind about staying here. One of the people who DID write a good review said “after reading the previous reviews, we almost didn’t come here but we read the other reviews too and decided to camp here” And she went on to state they were glad they DID stay here, they had a lovely full hook up site with nice pine trees, and that she had no problems with any of our rules. She also said that people who DO have problems with rules are usually the ones who don’t take the time to read them (or to that effect).

So, last night, Dan was out checking the bathhouse and then the laundromat.  There was a man in the laundromat with one of the dryers going.  Dan said he could tell he had something large and heavy in the dryer because it sounded like someone inside the dryer kicking trying to get out!  He asked the man what he had in the dryer.  The man replied 3 pairs of jeans and my hunting boots.  HUNTING BOOTS???? IN THE DRYER???!!!  Dan told him that unless he wanted to buy us a new commercial dryer to get those boots out of the dryer right now.

Dan couldn't believe it when he saw the boots!  They are like Dan's boots and I betcha each one weighs close to 3 pounds!  THEY ARE HEAVY BOOTS!!!  HARD RUBBER SOLES!!!  AND IN THE DRYER!  When Dan told me about this I told him he better go back out and check that dryer to make sure there isn't any melted rubber on the dryer or any big dents in the drum or door. 

WHAT DO YOU BET THAT THIS FELLA WILL FIND HIS WAY TO A PLACE ONLINE AND WRITE A BAD REVIEW???!!!!  ARRGGGHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I really do wonder how campers would like it if RV parks/resorts had a website where THEY could go online, mention the person BY NAME and tell other parks/resorts what kind of a guest that particular person was???? Hey, if I had the time and thought the interest was there, I’d be ALL over that!

Anyone got any ideas on what the domain name should be??? How about www.grumpycamperreviews.com?? Nah, I don’t like that…what can YOU come up with!?

11 comments:

  1. That's a funny post, as in it provided me amusement. Campers are definitely a funny bunch and I love the grumpycampers domains name, lol!

    People (especially grumpy campers) can always find something to gripe about and when they can't find some random stranger to rant on over coffee, they turn to the Internet.

    As a social media consultant, I can tell you that the best thing to do is try to turn these reviews from positives into negatives. I imagine that any of these sites allow for commenting, so sign up and post your (maybe slightly modified :> ) reply there and open a discussion about it in public. You will find that if the person is so unreasonable as to demand free gifts from around the community, a car wash and maybe a private laser light show.. then the community will take over and rip into them pretty good!

    The other thing that you can do is develop a robust and well-rounded Internet presence.. control the search results surrounding your entity so well that any negativity gets pushed well beyond the first (hopefully several) Google pages. ;)

    It sounds to me like you probably run a fabulous camp ground, hopefully I will be able to visit next year!

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  2. Anonymous12:51 PM

    I can't believe how some people can be so demanding! ONE NIGHT AND THEY HAD TO HAVE FULL HOOK UP??!!! Plus being wined and dined??? Give me a break!!! No wonder you are counting the days till you can go!!

    Dick from Indiana

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  3. Anonymous1:50 PM

    I'm thinking "a--holeswithrvs.com"
    I don't pay ANY attention to most park reviews because so many people are just jerks. FWIW we have full timed for 6 years now. Murf

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  4. Jason had some good ideas there!
    Yes, people will complain no matter what!
    I was the Administrator at a hospital-owned Assisted Living...believe me, when I tell you that relatives were something else there too...especially the ones that never visited, never sent anything to their parent at Xmas,never called...and then visited once and had all KINDS of comments that were completely unwarranted. Believe me, this AL was the top of quality, like a four star hotel...and they would STILL find SOMETHING to complain about. Often, after they left, the Resident would come in and APOLOGIZE for how awful their relative was. Some people just like to think they can control the world (which obviously revolves around THEM) ha

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  5. Anonymous3:20 PM

    what IDIOTS!!! And who puts boots in a dryer???

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  6. Jason, thanks for becoming a follower (I will check out your blogs tomorrow a.m. if I have time). And thanks for the idea of the forum. I know there is a forum at RVparkreviews.com but I don't want to start a war of words. I know from updating the Eastern U.P. snowmobile trail report for 8 years how powerful those message boards and forums can be...either good or bad. But I may think about that a bit longer! And hopefully you can make it to our neck of "da woods" and camp with us next year!

    Dick, from Indiana...People want what people want and when you can't make it happen whether you are at fault or not, people get upset. To top it off, they didn't even go to the dump station, so don't know how badly they really needed full hook up, ya know??


    Murf, I LOVE your domain thought!! HA!!! I think the grumpy ones were coming out of the woodwork this year but thankfully most of the time our guests are very wonderful and we are anxious to have them come back.


    Retired One, yes, the world does revolve around them, right? HA! Like you, I've dealt with the public pretty much all of my working life and it seems like the public just gets harder to please. I hope Dan and I aren't like that!

    Anonymous, yep BOOTS IN THE DRYER!!! It's bad enough when you know there are canvas shoes in the dryer going around and around...

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  7. that's just terrible, I was going to leave a bad review for a campground one time (not yours, having never had the privilege of staying there) but couldn't find a spot to write one...You seem like a very kind and compassionate person and I would like to think that the people writing the bad reviews are the ones who are just ticked off at the world and have nothing better to do than be nasty....

    I love the domain name...grumpycampers.com...

    Amy

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  8. It doesn't seem to matter what business you are in, if you work with the public you will have confrontations. Some people will try anything to get a freebie, be it a nights stay, a meal, a carwash etc. Just stay honest yourself and God will sort out the rest.

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  9. Amy, There are a LOT of areas online to put campground reviews and I will agree some of the bad reviews probably are justified (like the bathhouse being filthy for more than one day...sometimes things happen and you can't get to it immediately, but surely after the first day someone should address a nasty bathroom). I like Murf's idea for a domain name but glad you liked mine too!!

    Chers Shots,I agree with everything you said. Amen!

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  10. Kendra4:31 PM

    We have stayed at your campground several times over the past 5 years or so and have NEVER seen any reason to complain about anything. You and Dan do an excellent job of keeping things "spic and span" so try not to worry about what someone who didn't get her way has to say!

    Kendra and David from Sturgis MI

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  11. Kendra and David, Thanks for the high praise! That's a lot to live up to!! Hope you keep coming back!

    ReplyDelete

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