A few days ago I reported in a blog about Thousand Trails that several members had reported that their reservations have been shortened from three weeks to two with no notice from the company. These were on reservations that they had booked online and received confirmations on, some more than three months ago. That left several of them stuck with no place to go when they suddenly found themselves shorted on their reservations.
Because there is a lot of discussion about this I and even more members had complained about it, yesterday I decided to call the Orlando preserve, where we have two different three week reservations booked to make sure we were not going to get an unpleasant surprise when we arrive.
The first person I talked to was a woman who could only tell me that yes, my three week reservations were not going to be honored, but she had no idea what weeks I could have. Any time I asked her a question, she had to ask somebody next to her, who then told her what to say. The best she could do was suggest I call Member Services and let them deal with it.
Not being one to give up that easily, I eventually got to talk to a woman who identified herself as Beth Ann, the property manager. Now, I have to tell you, we have enjoyed our Thousand Trails membership and I have brought several new members into the system, but if this woman had been my first contact with the company, it would have been my last.
She rather briskly informed me that no, my three week reservations were not going to be honored, and then informed me that I had broken the rules by even making them. Huh? Just a few months ago I paid several thousand dollars to upgrade to the Elite membership so I could have access to more parks in the system, and so I could make three week reservations. That was touted as one of the main benefits of the upgrade. I paid my money in good faith, I went online and made my reservations as instructed, and now I’m somehow breaking the rules? I don’t think so!
Beth Ann told me that the company recently implemented the high use clause of their contract for the busy season, and that there was a glitch in their online reservation system that was allowing members to make three week reservations. It should have only allowed me to reserve for two weeks. Okay, they recently implemented the high use clause. My reservations were made months ago, long before they did that. And because they have a glitch in their system, she tells me I broke the rules?
And she couldn’t even tell me which weeks they were going to cancel on me! Her best advice was to cancel my reservations and then try to make new ones for two weeks. First of all, that screws up all of our reservations for the winter, because one follows another. So I’d have to cancel all of them and start over. And who knows if I would even be able to do that this late in the year?
I called Scott Woolley, the manager of the Verde Valley Thousand Trails, where I purchased our upgrade, and he was not thrilled with this development. Scott advised me not to cancel any reservations and that he was kicking this whole issue up the chain of command. Hopefully he can get it resolved.
To be clear, I can handle the implementation of the high use clause for their busy season if I would have been made aware of it when I tried to make my reservations. I wouldn’t have been thrilled, because again, that’s why we upgraded, but I’d have dealt with it. But for them to change the rules mid-game, months after my reservations were made, not to even tell me which weeks they were not going to honor, and to then rudely tell me that I’m the bad guy breaking the rules is way out of line! No, I’m the dues paying customer who paid big bucks and who is now getting the run around.
I’ll keep you updated on how this all works out.
Thought For The Day – I am thankful for all of the rude, arrogant, and difficult people I have ever had to deal with, for showing me who I never want to be.