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RE: Who is responsible for discounts?

I notice the question and replies are addressing who is responsible to ask for a discount. Who's responsibility is it? Wrong question. What about rather addressing the issue from a public relation aspect? If a business asks a customer if they have any of their qualifying discount the business will grow in the customers eyes and admiration. If the customer has to ask has to ask for a discount the customer feels negative toward the business in that they have to ask for a lesser price. I remember in my high school days while studying the psychology of business that the customer felt much better toward the business, if for instant they were buying loose seeds, (that was back in the day) and the clerk measuring out the seed would make sure not to over scoop the requested amount but make sure to re-scoop a second or third time making sure to get the exact amount the customer was requesting. It made the customer feel that the merchant was an extremely honest person and desirous to make sure the customer was not cheated. The difference was if the clerk put too much seed into the scale and then proceeded to remove some to correct the amount. It made the customer think the merchant was a stingy and cheap person. The question for the campground owner is which image do they wish to relay to their customers? What lingering "taste" do they wish to leave on their customer's palate? I have witnesses a lot of businesses succeed and a lot of businesses fail in my 79 years and I do not believe any failed because they were overly nice and customer oriented. There is a saying in my neck of the woods; "The customer is always right." One unhappy customer is one too many for any business. Who's responsibility is it to make and grow a business?I put "the customer is always right" in the same bucket as feel good sayings like "follow your dreams" and "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again". Fact is the customer is not always right, following your dreams can be stupid if you have unobtainable dreams and not everything will be successful no matter how much you try. And thousands of businesses that were customer oriented have failed. The local pharmacy has likely lost out to Walgreens and CVS. Your local hardware store and lumber yard went kaput not because they weren't friendly but because Home Depot and Lowe's crushed them. The local cafe lost to McDonalds and goodness knows Walmart put many nice, friendly people out of business. And when was the last time the milkman delivered fresh dairy products to your back door? Customer service is only part of the big puzzle that is a successful business.
westernrvparkowner 02/19/20 07:31pm General RVing Issues
RE: Who is responsible for discounts?

We ask about Good Sam. I feel asking about senior discount could be offensive to some people. Where we have had issues is two different situations. One is where only one person comes in to register and sometime down the road they come back in wanting to collect a discount they were reminded they had coming by their significant other. I am amazed at how many people didn't know their spouses signed them up for Good Sam. This isn't a problem if they come in on the same day, we can easily fix the transaction, but if it is a few days later, the books get messy since it is a discount without a corresponding site rental for that day.. It is also a loophole an employee could use to skim money. If it was a four to six 5 day stay and the stay was paid by cash the refund due a customer who neglected to get their Good Sam Discount would be $30.00 to nearly $50.00. Therefore management approval is required in these instances and that can take time. The other instance is with online reservations. We have check boxes for all the potential discounts. If it is a one night stay, we take payment in full. If the customer doesn't check the appropriate discount and then requests it at check in, we have to process a credit card refund (we only refund in the same manner as payment was made to avoid any potential for fraud and all online reservation deposits are card payments) Those refunds cost us a substantial percentage of the refund amount due to transaction charges on top of the percentage we are charged on the actual amount. And just like your personal credit score can effect your interest rates, how many refunds we issue can effect our final negotiated credit card rates and if we don't get the best rates due to excessive refund transactions that can amount to $1000s of dollars in additional costs in a year.
westernrvparkowner 02/19/20 05:44pm General RVing Issues
RE: Who is responsible for discounts?

The reason we ask to see the card is to verify expiry and that names match. Cant have someone borrow uncles card. That has happened. That's your privilege. Apparently that extra few bucks is very important to your business model. The guy down the street must be less profit constrained. I guess I appreciate the hotels that cheerfully want to help me save a very few bucks, instead of looking for any reason to get out of the discount. I'm sure there are folks who go around just saying they are XXX members. If your bottom line is so thin that you feel you have to weed those out, then I guess you'll need to card everyone. It's the only way to be sure.We see verifying eligibility for a discount as being responsible to the guests who qualify. Good Sam members paid for their membership so why should someone who didn't pay get the benefit? We offer an active duty discount in respect for those who are serving in the military, it would be disrespectful to those service members to offer it to someone who wasn't in the service. Or, to quote the old American Express commercial: "Membership has it's privileges."
westernrvparkowner 02/18/20 04:03pm General RVing Issues
RE: Who is responsible for discounts?

It's the customers responsibility to request applicable discounts. It can be nice to remind them if there's reason to believe they would be eligible, but that's not a requirement on the merchant, just a nice neighborly thing to do. Possibly one exception I'd suggest would be for the campground to automatically apply a lower total rate for a longer stay than actually requested/used. For instance, if staying six nights at $50 a night and the weekly rate is $275, it seems to me the campground maybe ought to, as a matter of course, use the weekly rate for the six days, possibly without even asking. But even then it is in no way unethical or scummy to charge the posted, agreed-upon rate for the length of the stay. (Similarly, I think it would be nice if mail order and online merchants that offer free shipping on orders over $x would automatically bump an order up to $x if doing so results in a lower total cost than the actual order plus non-free shipping...or at least offer the option of buying nothing at $.01 per unit, rather than forcing one to add random, not-really-wanted low priced items to bring the total up to the free shipping threshhold.)That is how they sell those random, not really wanted, low priced items. Probably some legal issues with just raising the price of an order above the advertised price.
westernrvparkowner 02/18/20 01:05pm General RVing Issues
RE: Who is responsible for discounts?

If the camper has the information about possible discounts easily obtainable, the CG owner has covered his/her 'good faith' responsibilities. DH and I have been RVing for over 45 years and we always ask - I almost always do when making a reservation. Agree with others, however, that a detailed price list for each type of site should be readily available at the check-in desk so I can always be certain the applicable discount was properly given. As for extended-stay discounts, that should be simple. If the guest is staying for one day short of what is required, simply ask if they would like to extend for a better rate. Doubt that would happen too often. Sounds like you have been 'challenged' because someone didn't receive his 10%. Too bad, but not your fault IMHO.Actually, there was another thread that ran about a customer not getting a discount when they forgot to mention they were Good Sam members and now want to get it retro-actively. But that thread was on life support and circling the drain, so I posted this one.
westernrvparkowner 02/18/20 11:52am General RVing Issues
Who is responsible for discounts?

Is it the obligation of the business or the customer to determine whether or not that customer is eligible for a discount? We honor discounts for Good Sam members, seniors and active military. That information is clearly posted on our website and at that registration counter. Should the park question each guest as to whether or not they are eligible for one of those discounts or is the onus on the customer to tell us they are Good Sam members, over 55, or are actively serving in the military? If you feel it is the park's responsibility, does that obligation extend to further investigating the customer's planned itinerary and pointing out they could save money by either staying longer, thus qualifying for a weekly discount, or arriving earlier or later in the year thus getting the shoulder season rate? It is my opinion that the customer is responsible for their reservation details. Any thoughts, pro or con?
westernrvparkowner 02/18/20 10:13am General RVing Issues
RE: Good Sam discount

Good Sam has absolutely no say in the policies of any "Good Sam" affiliated park. If the park's policy is Good Sam discount must be applied for at time of reservation, that is their policy. Marcus Lemonis nor any other employee of Good Sam Enterprises can force the park to change them. Curious if you got another discount applied to your reservation such as Senior, Military, multi-day stay etc. If so, almost all parks will not stack discounts on top of each other so the the issue would be moot anyway.
westernrvparkowner 02/16/20 11:55am Good Sam Club
RE: Recurring Roadside yearly bill.

For every person who refuses to sign up due to those terms there are probably a dozen renewals that otherwise wouldn't happen should they be required to actively approve that renewal. I admit I am one who doesn't bother shopping around on minor expenses should the service renew automatically but might if I had to be proactive.
westernrvparkowner 02/11/20 08:30am Good Sam Roadside Assistance
RE: Would You Camp at a Place Like This??

I'm picturing more of a cow pasture, 20 miles from the nearest gas station situation. But maybe that's because I'm used to the West. Me too ... we don't need to camp near any "attractions" other than what Mother Nature supplies ... but it sure would be great to have full hookups out there so we could save up for and stay put for, say, a couple of weeks. I'm thinking of a, say, 500 acre or more ranch out in beautiful country (and with a private lake too) that had maybe 50 FHU sites scattered throughout it, with a two week maximum stay to eliminate wealthy squatters, and at a price of around $70 per day. We'd of course leave the rancher's cows and/or sheep around us alone ... but might insist on being able to fish the lake! There are private fishing arrangements out in wild country similar to this - but they would be drycamping and are expensive. Bingo. That’s part of what I was picturing as well. A place to really stay a while. Something to enjoy.Your first hurdle would be running a business on 500+ acres of pastureland will assuredly cause the ranch/farm to lose it's Agricultural exemption for property taxes on that acreage. And most states have a look back provision in their tax codes that would allow them to collect back taxes even if you got away with it for a few years. Then there is the not insignificant costs of running miles of utilities and roads. There are pretty strong economic reasons most RV parks are not what you are describing. Oy. This guy still? Why don't you worry about your own business? ThanksI bet it is annoying that I completely knock down your half cocked business ideas in a couple of sentences. I don't have to worry about my own business because it is doing exceptionally well, in no small part because I know what I am doing. In the beginning of this thread I thought I was being helpful in pointing out the pitfalls of a two site RV park in the middle of nowhere, perhaps saving someone a financial loss. My mistake. Apparently you are much smarter than me, and your expertise far outdistances mine. So go for it. Build a two site RV park, or go buy a section of farmland and scatter 50 RV sites across it. The sooner the better, thus proving: "A fool and his money are soon parted."
westernrvparkowner 02/09/20 08:20pm General RVing Issues
RE: Would You Camp at a Place Like This??

I'm picturing more of a cow pasture, 20 miles from the nearest gas station situation. But maybe that's because I'm used to the West. Me too ... we don't need to camp near any "attractions" other than what Mother Nature supplies ... but it sure would be great to have full hookups out there so we could save up for and stay put for, say, a couple of weeks. I'm thinking of a, say, 500 acre or more ranch out in beautiful country (and with a private lake too) that had maybe 50 FHU sites scattered throughout it, with a two week maximum stay to eliminate wealthy squatters, and at a price of around $70 per day. We'd of course leave the rancher's cows and/or sheep around us alone ... but might insist on being able to fish the lake! There are private fishing arrangements out in wild country similar to this - but they would be drycamping and are expensive. Bingo. That’s part of what I was picturing as well. A place to really stay a while. Something to enjoy.Your first hurdle would be running a business on 500+ acres of pastureland will assuredly cause the ranch/farm to lose it's Agricultural exemption for property taxes on that acreage. And most states have a look back provision in their tax codes that would allow them to collect back taxes even if you got away with it for a few years. Then there is the not insignificant costs of running miles of utilities and roads. There are pretty strong economic reasons most RV parks are not what you are describing.
westernrvparkowner 02/09/20 01:51pm General RVing Issues
RE: wiring a 30 Amp Power Outlet 30A Circuit Breaker {{UPDATE}}

It really doesn't hurt anything to just plug in your RV without switching off any breakers. Of course the manufacturer put a label right next to the outlet telling you to turn off before connecting. Why would they do that? Maybe they understand that the arcing will damage the contacts, like found in nearly all campgrounds. I don't understand a park owner saying "doesn't hurt", as he will be paying for pedestal component up keep, as well as having to listen to customer complaints concerning the burnt, or worn receptacles. JerryBreakers are not intended to be switches. The physical damage caused by normal plugging and unplugging is what usually ruins a receptical over time. Do you turn off breakers every time you plug something in at home? Unless you unplugged the rig with everything on there won't be a big load to cause arcing when you plug it in. Breaker on or off isn't something I lose any sleep over.
westernrvparkowner 02/08/20 03:04pm Tech Issues
RE: wiring a 30 Amp Power Outlet 30A Circuit Breaker {{UPDATE}}

It really doesn't hurt anything to just plug in your RV without switching off any breakers. If there is already a 30 amp outlet on the side of your house, I wouldn't do a thing other than use it. If it bothers you to plug and unplug your rig with the circuit live because you think you will somehow damage something in the RV, just switch off the main breaker in your RV before you plug or unplug, exactly the same as flipping off the an outside breaker. That way you don't have to buy anything or wire anything up.
westernrvparkowner 02/08/20 09:11am Tech Issues
RE: Renting out your RV--Help

Wow. That was not the response I was expecting.I'm sorry if I offended anyone. I prefer to do research in person, but I don't know anyone who has rented out their RV, and I don't want to rely on the owners a rental company would hand pick to share their experiences with me. I was hoping to get honest data from real people. So let's start over. My name is Ann Eichenmuller. I write the "Classic Ride" column for MotorHome as well as articles for boating publications. You can find out more about me at www.anneichenmuller.org. I would appreciate any help you can give. Thanks.I believe the owners of a rental company would be glad to share their experiences with a qualified journalist. If you don't have those bona fides, then you are probably correct, they aren't going to just help out potential competition. I will return to a point I made in my first post, one off, anecdotal stories do not make for an accurate appraisal of how any industry or activity will play out. If all you want to do is write a story about nightmare experiences people have had renting out their RVs (and that would be a nice black comedy story) then ask for people to relay to you those bad experiences. But if you are trying to determine the financial viability of renting out personal RVs, you have to gather statistically viable data and you can't do that just by asking for random personal experiences.
westernrvparkowner 02/08/20 09:01am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Renting out your RV--Help

Why does this feel like hit and run post?I'm with you.. it is. Writers, college students, poll-takers.. they're all fake.All that is missing is the "respondent" who posts they have fantastic results using XYZ company to manage the rental. They normally try to put the contact information for XYZ in the glowing post that brags about how much money their otherwise idle RV is earning them.
westernrvparkowner 02/07/20 01:36pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Renting out your RV--Help

Hi all, I am an RV owner and freelance writer, and I am working on article about the pros and cons of renting out your RV. If you've ever rented your Class A or any previous motorhome you owned, I'd really appreciate hearing about your experience, good or bad. Thanks!If you want to write an actual, factual article, interview people in the rental business, not seek out individual, one off, experiences. Individuals offering anecdotal evidence won't be an accurate account of how renting RVs actually works. The individual will likely have either a good experience or a bad experience that sours them totally. Someone who won the Powerball Jackpot would might tell you the lottery is a great way to invest for retirement. Someone who got struck by lightning might say that venturing outside is foolhardy. Only the large sample size that an actual rental company can provide will give you an idea of the actual costs, actual rate of problems and an insight into what really is involved. Interview a few Cruise America operators and executives if you really want to write a factual article on RV renting.
westernrvparkowner 02/07/20 10:45am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Would You Camp at a Place Like This??

Ok. Thanks for all the feedback. Seems it may work, but it's not a complete home run. That's why I asked here. One big variable is price. I think that depends heavily on location. It's $120/night to stay in a parking lot in Jersey City, NJ with quick access to NYC. It's booked nearly solid too. Can't determine the price of the KOA nearby to where I am in Florida since it's sold out for the next 6 weeks and the site only shows pricing if they have a spot. Not a single spot or day available on their calendar. If I look in Montana or something, low prices and plenty of availability. Don't think you are going to find a lot of people going to Yellowstone or Glacier National Parks (yes, Montana is where most people access both of those parks.) during the season who feel the local campgrounds are either low priced or empty. While we don't get $120.00 a night for a parking lot experience, we do get $80.00 for providing a good experience. If you can't find local prices on the KOA website, just go to campgroundreviews.com. The reviews post what the guest paid. It won't be 100% accurate, since you don't know if the prices include taxes, if the site they rented was subjected to a premium charge or what discounts they might have had but it will get you a ballpark figure. You seem to believe I am paranoid about competition. What I am actually concerned about is two things. First, if RVers have bad experiences with parks, they will eventually become ex-RVers. That would in the long run hurt my business. Therefore it is to my benefit if people who wish to enter the business do so with a business plan that works and they ultimately offer the guest a good experience. My second concern is it is not good for me or the industry to have RV parks fail. If multiple parks fail the resale value of my parks fall. Parks that go broke make lending institutions leery of the industry making financing more expensive or not available at all. Sears going bankrupt a was not a boon to the remaining department stores and all the other shops in the malls. I want a tide that lifts all boats, not a tsunami that crushes everything in it's path.
westernrvparkowner 02/07/20 08:51am General RVing Issues
RE: Would You Camp at a Place Like This??

Continuing the Airbnb vs hotel argument; here is something Airbnb offers to hosts https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/937/what-is-host-protection-insurance And guidance Airbnb provides to hosts https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/1376/responsible-hosting-in-the-united-states General regulations What local regulations apply to me? Taxes Ensure you look up any local taxes or business license requirements that may apply. This may include things like hotel/transient occupancy tax, sales, and other turnover taxes such as Value Added Tax (VAT) or Goods and Services Tax (GST), or income tax. Permits or registrations Ensure you look up any permitting, zoning, safety, and health regulations that may apply. The governing authorities that regulate the use and development of property in your area may have useful information on such regulations.See Had Enough's previous post and you will understand that none of that really applies. He is the true expert on the subject, by his own admission.
westernrvparkowner 02/06/20 04:49pm General RVing Issues
RE: Would You Camp at a Place Like This??

I assume your business plan includes just ignoring the mundane things actual park owners have to contend with. Things like liability insurance, permits, licenses, inspections, environmental rules, water testing etc. I suppose the "I hope nothing goes wrong" approach may work for a two site park, or it may not. If it does work, no problem, if it doesn't, only you know what you can lose. If you have assets, being sued for a few hundred thousand because someone tripped and broke their hip may or may not be a big hit. If you are otherwise broke, too bad for the injured party. But how do you expect people to find these sites in the first place? You surely can't afford to advertise with only two sites to potentially generate income. Even if you do some basic advertising, most people are going to just discount everything you say about the place and assume it is really just someone looking to collect $50 in exchange for allowing them to park in their driveway. If getting there requires turning off the main roads and down side streets, alleys and country lanes you lose a big percentage of potential customers. Very few people are going to take a two site park seriously. Today, with the internet, it is easy to research places to stay even while traveling down the road. For almost everyone, an unknown place with two sites in the middle of who knows where for $50.00 isn't a chance they are going to take. How do you plan on collecting the site fees? Are you going to be there every day and night 365 days a year? Doubtful you are able to take credit cards, so are you going to be strictly cash? Our real life experience is that less than 10% of customers pay in currency, if it wasn't for our ability to accept credit and debit cards we would be out of business instantly. There are a whole lot of roadblocks for something like you propose to actually work out. Good Luck. Said by an RV park owner. Ha ha ha. That's like a hotel owner posting their opinion about AirBNB. Nothing but sour grapes and fear. You'd probably say the same thing to someone opening a competing RV park in your town too. Well, you're 100% wrong on nearly everything you posted.Good to see an expert has chimed in. To think I have been in business for 20+ years and never realized I actually didn't need to have permits, insurance, licenses or the need to actually follow all the rules and regulations the state laid out for operating a RV Park. This proposed new park in Florida is actually something that will cause me to lose sleep, I mean Florida first and before you know it all fifty states will be awash in two site parks. It will only take about 250 of them near my parks to suck up all the business. Obviously, You have hit upon the business plan that will completely disrupt the RV park industry. You saw right thru my phony red herrings about regulations and costs and saw right away my post was an attempt tamp down the firestorm that will eventually engulf the entire RV Park industry, leave my parks a vast landscape of vacant sites and send me to the poor house. Can you really blame me for trying to keep the date of my demise as far into the future as possible? Just one quick question, however. If you know so much about RV parks to know everything I posted was 100% wrong, why did you feel the need to start a post questioning whether or not your park idea would work? And since you know that my post was only about sour grapes because RV park owners are threatened by your business plan, wouldn't it follow that all the RV parks near you will go out of their way to make sure your business fails, and hopefully fail spectacularly?
westernrvparkowner 02/06/20 04:46pm General RVing Issues
RE: Would You Camp at a Place Like This??

I assume your business plan includes just ignoring the mundane things actual park owners have to contend with. Things like liability insurance, permits, licenses, inspections, environmental rules, water testing etc. I suppose the "I hope nothing goes wrong" approach may work for a two site park, or it may not. If it does work, no problem, if it doesn't, only you know what you can lose. If you have assets, being sued for a few hundred thousand because someone tripped and broke their hip may or may not be a big hit. If you are otherwise broke, too bad for the injured party. But how do you expect people to find these sites in the first place? You surely can't afford to advertise with only two sites to potentially generate income. Even if you do some basic advertising, most people are going to just discount everything you say about the place and assume it is really just someone looking to collect $50 in exchange for allowing them to park in their driveway. If getting there requires turning off the main roads and down side streets, alleys and country lanes you lose a big percentage of potential customers. Very few people are going to take a two site park seriously. Today, with the internet, it is easy to research places to stay even while traveling down the road. For almost everyone, an unknown place with two sites in the middle of who knows where for $50.00 isn't a chance they are going to take. How do you plan on collecting the site fees? Are you going to be there every day and night 365 days a year? Doubtful you are able to take credit cards, so are you going to be strictly cash? Our real life experience is that less than 10% of customers pay in currency, if it wasn't for our ability to accept credit and debit cards we would be out of business instantly. There are a whole lot of roadblocks for something like you propose to actually work out. Good Luck.
westernrvparkowner 02/06/20 12:19pm General RVing Issues
RE: Camping World Holdings Fiscal Health

A much deeper examination of the financials is necessary to actually determine if the business is in financial trouble or not. Net loss is an indication of not much. The net loss figures could be created by accounting for depreciation, disposal of unneeded or unused assets, it could be cyclical or a host of other things. The increase in long term debt is likely due to acquisitions. They may have also consolidated other debt into lower interest long term notes. Those changes and acquisitions may prove over time to be very valuable, or a total flop, but you can't tell from a snapshot earnings report.
westernrvparkowner 02/04/20 09:24am Camping World RV Sales
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