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?

JVB66 replied on 20/03/2018 16:05

Posted on 20/03/2018 15:59 by Takethedogalong

Personally, I think too many folks look at the booking system and take what is on there as gospel. We usually phone the sites direct and talk to Wardens, and it can often tell a different story, due to changing weather or ground conditions. Always found staff very helpful, especially if there is maybe just one night showing full that would spoil a long stay. I understand some visits need a firm booking though, if it involves an event or meeting up with a group.

Posted on 20/03/2018 16:05

Thats what i have been saying all the time "it pays to talk" as the pitch availability can be very fluid at times as there are numerous reasons that wardens have to withdraw some and also when more can be released,

Takethedogalong replied on 20/03/2018 16:15

Posted on 20/03/2018 16:15

Castleton Club Site serves two very large conurbations as well, so weekends will always be busy, same as Chatsworth and one or two other sites. Working folks like to weekend away if they can, I know we did when I was working. We used to send menfolk off with vans on Thursdays, they would take dogs, get everything set up, then the Ladies would follow on Fridays after work, taking train to Hope, get picked up at station and expect a meal cooked! Mind you, back then it wasn't half as busy, and sometimes you could move vans off pitch, leave elsewhere, and pick up late on Sunday's. Those were the days!

ForestR replied on 20/03/2018 16:18

Posted on 20/03/2018 16:18

Suggest you have a look at previous post in UK sites and touring on 26/2/2018 by Bandgirl titled New Booking System from April 2018 to which many on here contributed. Some of the questions raised here about cancellations and the percentage were partly answered in entries 91-98  only a few weeks ago.

Just to add I personally prefer the present booking system as since we are often out for lengthy periods across two or more months I am concerned that I will have to spend much more time on the this site to try to ensure continuity of a holiday and not having to leave at the end of one month because I could not continue the booking into the next as at present. Hope this makes sense.

As for deposits last year we only used one C &CC site for 10 days compared to 13 CMC sites for 16 weeks because I don't like their deposit system.

cyberyacht replied on 20/03/2018 17:12

Posted on 20/03/2018 17:12

Notwithstanding the "Groundhog Day" aspects of this thread, there are idiosyncrasies in the financial side of the booking system. No shows incur no financial penalty but early departures do. There does appear to be a degree of inconsistency in policy.

ask66 replied on 20/03/2018 18:03

Posted on 20/03/2018 16:18 by ForestR

Suggest you have a look at previous post in UK sites and touring on 26/2/2018 by Bandgirl titled New Booking System from April 2018 to which many on here contributed. Some of the questions raised here about cancellations and the percentage were partly answered in entries 91-98  only a few weeks ago.

Just to add I personally prefer the present booking system as since we are often out for lengthy periods across two or more months I am concerned that I will have to spend much more time on the this site to try to ensure continuity of a holiday and not having to leave at the end of one month because I could not continue the booking into the next as at present. Hope this makes sense.

As for deposits last year we only used one C &CC site for 10 days compared to 13 CMC sites for 16 weeks because I don't like their deposit system.

Posted on 20/03/2018 18:03

Thanks ForestR.  I don't spend much time on Club Together so missed the original discussion.  I did a search for "Booking System" before starting this discussion, but nothing showed up (as others have said, maybe the search facility could be improved?).  Anyway I've just had a look at the discussion you referred to and found at least one poster who seems to share some of my opinionssmilesmilesmile

I was beginning to think there was something wrong with me!

 

Takethedogalong replied on 20/03/2018 18:15

Posted on 20/03/2018 18:15

There's nothing wrong with you ask66, you still exhibit an enthusiasm and hope that your questions and suggestions will get a good airing and elicit a positive response from HQ. I used to be like that, wanting this that and the other improving on the forum, make things easier to use. I am less prone to such hopes for here nowadays, the two years waiting for new website, and the underwhelming changes when it did finally happen, dissolved most of my illusions. It is what it is, most of us get by, hope you get sorted for late June. If you haven't done already, phone Castleton Site direct, a bit closer to your dates.

ask66 replied on 20/03/2018 18:19

Posted on 20/03/2018 18:15 by Takethedogalong

There's nothing wrong with you ask66, you still exhibit an enthusiasm and hope that your questions and suggestions will get a good airing and elicit a positive response from HQ. I used to be like that, wanting this that and the other improving on the forum, make things easier to use. I am less prone to such hopes for here nowadays, the two years waiting for new website, and the underwhelming changes when it did finally happen, dissolved most of my illusions. It is what it is, most of us get by, hope you get sorted for late June. If you haven't done already, phone Castleton Site direct, a bit closer to your dates.

Posted on 20/03/2018 18:19

Thanks for the vote of confidence (and the tips) takethedogalong!

clarinetman replied on 20/03/2018 20:03

Posted on 20/03/2018 20:03

Hi think this has been suggested but it has worked for me a few times when in your situation.

It is always worth ringing the site the wardens are generally very helpful and they know more about the site availability than the head office or the computer it as I said worked for me with a pitch being available I could have.

The Castleton site as others have said is a very popular site at weekends, I was trying to book late one week and the system showed full, rang the site told sorry they were full, my daughter was staying on site and we were hoping to meet up with them so we kept ringing each day upto the Saturday still no luck we visited our daughter on the Saturday as we are only 30 mins away leaving at 8.30 pm Saturday night, we walked around site at close of play there were seven empty pitches disappointing but what the answer is is difficult to determine.

ask66 replied on 20/03/2018 22:11

Posted on 20/03/2018 22:11

Many thanks to all those who've made constructive comments and suggestions during the day - even if you didn't agree with me.  I guess there won't be many more comments made here, as new discussions push this one further back.  Anyway, I've made my point and will watch with interest how things develop in the future.  Thanks again!