Club sites - advance booking system

ask66 replied on 20/03/2018 09:24

Posted on 20/03/2018 09:24

Hi all, I'm sure this has been discussed before but here goes...

We normally use CLs as we like the peace & quiet and are happy to use our onboard shower and toilet etc., but on a certain weekend towards the end of June we want to visit Castleton in the Peak District.  There are no CLs in the village, leaving the Club site as the only option.

Looking online I see that no pitches are available for that weekend, or indeed for most weekends!

Now I have no problem if everyone who has booked actually turns up - good for them for planning ahead - but with the current system there is nothing to stop people making a large number of advance bookings, then cancelling right up to 72 hours before.  I can't wait that late - if the site is going to be full, we will want to book a B&B or hotel instead.

Would it not be a better idea for all pre-bookings to require a deposit of say £5 or £10 per night (more for the most popular sites, e.g. near London), refundable where there is a genuine reason for cancellation?  I believe a similar system may be operated by the Camping & Caravanning Club and this would surely deter people from  making advance bookings when they haven't really decided whether or not they will be going!

It would be helpful to know how many pitches are booked and then cancelled before the 72 hour deadline, just to give an idea of how much of a problem this really is.  Perhaps the Club could make some figures available.

Just to repeat, I have no problem with the site showing as full if all those who have pre-booked actually show up (give or take the odd one or two with genuine reasons for cancellation).

What do others think?

ask66 replied on 20/03/2018 11:12

Posted on 20/03/2018 10:57 by Tinwheeler

You cannot categorically state you will not cancel so what is so different when others cancel? All of us have genuine reasons at times. 

The club has said it does not measure cancellations outside of the 72 hour deadline. You’re sure that it does. Oh well, that settles it then - you have superior knowledge and the club tells lies. 

I suggest you read what the moderator has written and take that on board along with the other points we have all made as you seem unwilling to accept the realities of the situation. 

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have other things to do. 

Posted on 20/03/2018 11:12

Apologies - instead of:

"I'm sure the Club does measure the cancellation rate outside the 72 hour limit"

I should have said:

"I hope the Club does measure the cancellation rate outside the 72 hour limit"

It seems to me to be one of the things a professionally-run organisation should be doing, and fairly simple to program into the system.

I do think we as members ought to be encouraged to question the system, highlighting potential problems with it and suggesting solutions.

I don't feel very encouraged at the moment!

I'll pop back later on and see how the discussion is progressing...

 

takethedogalong replied on 20/03/2018 11:15

Posted on 20/03/2018 09:55 by ask66

I'd rather KNOW that those who've booked will show up rather than cancelling right up to the last minute (or the last 72 hours to be accurate) - that's where our Club could assist by providing some figures.  Maybe I'm in a minority on this!

Posted on 20/03/2018 11:15

That's going to be a bit like plaiting fog I am afraid. We have been members for 30 + years, in all that time, we had never cancelled a Club Site very close to arrival date. However, last 12 months have been a nightmare. OH was taken seriously I'll couple of days before we due to set off. I rang Site as soon as I could ( they were excellent). But you can't plan or know such will occur. Deposits of a few pounds make no difference to such occurrences.

As for booking specific dates, despite all we are going through, we have an event booked at York RP and our fingers are crossed we will get there. I logged on for first time ever on Frenzy Day and very easily got what I needed.

On the plus side, allow me to recommend The Nags Head Inn, slap bang in the middle of Castleton, and very nice. There's lots of other places to stay not far away as well, including Scotsman Pack Inn at Hathersage.

eurortraveller replied on 20/03/2018 11:23

Posted on 20/03/2018 11:23

It's best to stop obsessing about getting in to honeypot Club sites. Things won't change in my lifetime. In this particular case I would go to Laneside Caravan Park at Hope village and drive or take the bus into Castleton. What is it ? Two miles ? 

ask66 replied on 20/03/2018 11:31

Posted on 20/03/2018 11:15 by takethedogalong

That's going to be a bit like plaiting fog I am afraid. We have been members for 30 + years, in all that time, we had never cancelled a Club Site very close to arrival date. However, last 12 months have been a nightmare. OH was taken seriously I'll couple of days before we due to set off. I rang Site as soon as I could ( they were excellent). But you can't plan or know such will occur. Deposits of a few pounds make no difference to such occurrences.

As for booking specific dates, despite all we are going through, we have an event booked at York RP and our fingers are crossed we will get there. I logged on for first time ever on Frenzy Day and very easily got what I needed.

On the plus side, allow me to recommend The Nags Head Inn, slap bang in the middle of Castleton, and very nice. There's lots of other places to stay not far away as well, including Scotsman Pack Inn at Hathersage.

Posted on 20/03/2018 11:31

Hi takethedogalong, obviously I am not talking about members like you!  I hope your OH is better now, and thanks for your Castleton tips - it is a lovely part of the world.

takethedogalong replied on 20/03/2018 11:36

Posted on 20/03/2018 11:36

Or do what I have just done, and take a look on UKcampsites. I quickly found over 10 sites listed as being in Hope Valley area. Some are large, some are small, there appear to be reviews on each example.

There are four sites on the Club network that are notorious for being ultra busy, booked up very quickly, Castleton is unfortunately one of them. When I cancelled at York, our three nights were gone within hours of me phoning, according to the website. On the other side of the coin, we have not infrequently got a booking through a late cancellation, so have also benefitted from system.

ask66 replied on 20/03/2018 11:40

Posted on 20/03/2018 11:23 by eurortraveller

It's best to stop obsessing about getting in to honeypot Club sites. Things won't change in my lifetime. In this particular case I would go to Laneside Caravan Park at Hope village and drive or take the bus into Castleton. What is it ? Two miles ? 

Posted on 20/03/2018 11:40

Thanks for the tip, eurotraveller.  Yes, that's what we would normally do, but on this occasion we want to be right in Castleton - evening pub meals and a few drinks are planned.

I hope I'm not obsessing about Club sites though!  If there were any CLs in Castleton, I would be delighted to use them instead!

On the subject of improving booking systems though - another idea which would just require some simple programming - if a site is showing as full, you could join a "queue" so that if a cancellation is made, the first person in the queue is contacted.  Sounds a nightmare on paper, but dead easy for a computer to do!

 

takethedogalong replied on 20/03/2018 11:48

Posted on 20/03/2018 11:48

Don't we wish Ask! The Club's computer system is not bad at basic stuff, but doesnt raise the bar high for coping with anything too fancy! 

NevChap replied on 20/03/2018 11:52

Posted on 20/03/2018 11:52

Yes, popular sites do get booked up early and a few people will cancel for very good reasons (illness, problems with outfit, weather conditions etc) nearer their booked time but this is what happens in life. Even hotels in popular areas get fully booked. It may be frustrating but hey, not worth getting worked up about. You may have booked your stay back in December and it might subsequently get cancelled in which case you would be in the same position as those you choose to be frustrated with. Swings and roundabouts. We have all been disappointed at some time in not being able to get what we want but as is said in many other comments, deposits wouldn't solve the problem. 

ask66 replied on 20/03/2018 11:53

Posted on 20/03/2018 11:48 by takethedogalong

Don't we wish Ask! The Club's computer system is not bad at basic stuff, but doesnt raise the bar high for coping with anything too fancy! 

Posted on 20/03/2018 11:53

Nothing wrong with having big ideas!