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Rant: recreation.gov

cptqueeg
Explorer II
Explorer II
After 3 years of attempting to get reservations at recreation.gov, they piss me off. First let me say this is a .gov web page, but it's run by Booze Allen and their sub-contractors.

This year after getting a REALLY hard to get spot which I was shut out of 2 years ago and cancelled out last year due to the campground being closed entirely and this year shut out because they changed the advanced reservations from 6 months to 5 months w/out notice I finally got a spot that was available on 2 week notice.

As it happens the campground was closed again for the 1st day of our reservation. Rec.gov sent 1 generic, cryptic (word salad) email which required me to modify my 14 night reservation in order to maintain it with no deadline for that modification to happen. Of course they also sent me a reminder that my reservation was good 2 days prior to our first night.

(Does everyone travel w email access available 24/7?)

So all was apparently well until the night before our departure at 10:30pm I get an email notifying us the reservation was cancelled. The reservation was put back in the pool and resold in a heartbeat.

In the end we only live a 7 hour drive from the location, but it's a National Park that people travel to from all over the US and the world so I figured I'd do my part to make sure what happened to us doesn't happen to anyone else.

My 3 issues are:

1. Why is the default cancelling a reservation that was paid for in full?

2. Based on all their communications to me rec.gov had the information and software writing skills to write an appropriate, clearly written email stating exactly what I needed to do; why didn't they do that?

3. Why when I get a Customer Support case set up they ghost me TWICE?

PS A Park Service employee went out of his way to find us an administrative spot to use instead. He wasn't successful, but he did try.


Rant over.

I'd like to fix this. Anybody know anyone at Booze Allen?
2024 Chev 3500 CCLB Diesel
Four Wheel Camper Granby Shell
31 REPLIES 31

valhalla360
Nomad III
Nomad III
cptqueeg wrote:

No chance of me getting starlink........I'm out there to disconnect from civilization.


If you are anti technology, that's a choice. Choices come with consequences.

You do realize you can turn devices off for a bit if you want to disconnect?
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

cptqueeg
Explorer II
Explorer II
valhalla360 wrote:
cptqueeg wrote:
valhalla360 wrote:



So yeah, email access while traveling is steadily improving and more people have it even in remote areas.

It's only going to get better with time, so the OPs idea that some people don't have access will become rarer and rarer, so he can adapt to the modern world or become the old guy yelling at kids to stay off his grass.



And those areas with no coverage are becoming more and more rare.

Add in options like Starlink...We've been around the Yukon this summer with high speed internet 50-75miles to the nearest city or cell coverage.

So while it's not 100% yet, it is steadily getting more and more common for folks to have access to their email even in remote areas.

There are plenty of areas w no cell coverage, particularly when out camping. As mentioned above just spent 4 days w no cell service.

And in my complaint in the OP no notification by any method should have been necessary at all. I did have a fully paid reservation before the arbitrary cancellation by rec.gov



No chance of me getting starlink........I'm out there to disconnect from civilization.
2024 Chev 3500 CCLB Diesel
Four Wheel Camper Granby Shell

dodge_guy
Explorer II
Explorer II
bucky wrote:
WAAAAAAAAAAAA!


So you’re upset too! That makes almost all of us.
Wife Kim
Son Brandon 17yrs
Daughter Marissa 16yrs
Dog Bailey

12 Forest River Georgetown 350TS Hellwig sway bars, BlueOx TrueCenter stabilizer

13 Ford Explorer Roadmaster Stowmaster 5000, VIP Tow>
A bad day camping is
better than a good day at work!

valhalla360
Nomad III
Nomad III
cptqueeg wrote:
valhalla360 wrote:



So yeah, email access while traveling is steadily improving and more people have it even in remote areas.

It's only going to get better with time, so the OPs idea that some people don't have access will become rarer and rarer, so he can adapt to the modern world or become the old guy yelling at kids to stay off his grass.



And those areas with no coverage are becoming more and more rare.

Add in options like Starlink...We've been around the Yukon this summer with high speed internet 50-75miles to the nearest city or cell coverage.

So while it's not 100% yet, it is steadily getting more and more common for folks to have access to their email even in remote areas.

There are plenty of areas w no cell coverage, particularly when out camping. As mentioned above just spent 4 days w no cell service.

And in my complaint in the OP no notification by any method should have been necessary at all. I did have a fully paid reservation before the arbitrary cancellation by rec.gov
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

cptqueeg
Explorer II
Explorer II
valhalla360 wrote:



So yeah, email access while traveling is steadily improving and more people have it even in remote areas.

It's only going to get better with time, so the OPs idea that some people don't have access will become rarer and rarer, so he can adapt to the modern world or become the old guy yelling at kids to stay off his grass.






There are plenty of areas w no cell coverage, particularly when out camping. As mentioned above just spent 4 days w no cell service.

And in my complaint in the OP no notification by any method should have been necessary at all. I did have a fully paid reservation before the arbitrary cancellation by rec.gov
2024 Chev 3500 CCLB Diesel
Four Wheel Camper Granby Shell

valhalla360
Nomad III
Nomad III
NamMedevac 70 wrote:
From my experience a great many of the tourist are from other countries with money to burn in their pockets, short on time and simply not aware of all this and not concerned about it and many are RV renters. They seem to be on a whirlwind itinerary to see as many places as possible before return to homeland. Therefore a massive boycott will not happen that would get the attention of the D.C. politicians, bureaucrats and lobbyist corrupters.


Yeah, the parks are focused on crowd control and limiting visitors right now. When you are running at capacity, not a lot of emphasis on making it easier to get people into the parks.

Best bet is to go off season and/or learn how the system works. For example, in a week we will be at Glacier NP. All the vehicle entrance passes for Going to the Sun are booked. As we get closer, we'll try to book the last minute entrance passes but if we don't get them, you can get in without a pass by entering before 6am.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

valhalla360
Nomad III
Nomad III
Dutch_12078 wrote:
How come I don't recall all this controversy when the Reserve America/Aspira folks had the Rec.gov contract with pretty much the same fee structure?


I don't know where you were but there were complaints back then.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

valhalla360
Nomad III
Nomad III
StonedPanther wrote:
valhalla360 wrote:
Yes, most people have access to email and it's only getting more common.


Huh? Wow, I thought it became fairly common about 20 years ago? I believe it was @ then that I was getting work calls on my original RAZR discussing work emails I read on my Blackberry, right after we turned in pagers LOL. I guess I keep forgetting that the demographics of this board are somewhere in the range of 70-80 yrs old as far as one can tell by reading threads.


Yes, email existed 20yrs ago and some people had email on their phone but:
- Not everyone had email on thier phone. Particularly old folks and non-managment workers didn't have email on their phones.
- Many more areas had little or no internet when camping in remote areas. Now it's only the really old dinosaurs who don't but they are dying out. Also, cell coverage has only gotten better and with systems like starlink, even in very remote areas, people have access.

So yeah, email access while traveling is steadily improving and more people have it even in remote areas.

It's only going to get better with time, so the OPs idea that some people don't have access will become rarer and rarer, so he can adapt to the modern world or become the old guy yelling at kids to stay off his grass.

Example: I recall 20yrs ago having to go to the local library or a coffee shop so you could get wifi to check your mail.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

bucky
Explorer II
Explorer II
WAAAAAAAAAAAA!
Puma 30RKSS

dodge_guy
Explorer II
Explorer II
cptqueeg wrote:
dodge guy wrote:
The problem is, it’s a park owned by the government (We The People) and they sold it out from under us to a privately owned firm that does what they want when they want. And we get screwed all the way around.
And don’t get me started on the fees they want to get into the parks that we are already paying for as well as the “now required because it’s a money maker” timed entry pass” at most NP’s!

And we should be happy that they allow us to enter our parks? Ya right.

As far as checking email? Anyone ever tried to do that on the road? No cell coverage or signals dropping out? Seriously!

Almost makes me happy for the private campground prices and site lock fees.

Ok rant over!



To make Dodge's point


Exactly! It makes me sick what has happened to the NPS and how it’s run!
Wife Kim
Son Brandon 17yrs
Daughter Marissa 16yrs
Dog Bailey

12 Forest River Georgetown 350TS Hellwig sway bars, BlueOx TrueCenter stabilizer

13 Ford Explorer Roadmaster Stowmaster 5000, VIP Tow>
A bad day camping is
better than a good day at work!

StonedPanther
Explorer III
Explorer III
valhalla360 wrote:
Yes, most people have access to email and it's only getting more common.


Huh? Wow, I thought it became fairly common about 20 years ago? I believe it was @ then that I was getting work calls on my original RAZR discussing work emails I read on my Blackberry, right after we turned in pagers LOL. I guess I keep forgetting that the demographics of this board are somewhere in the range of 70-80 yrs old as far as one can tell by reading threads.

Dutch_12078
Explorer
Explorer
How come I don't recall all this controversy when the Reserve America/Aspira folks had the Rec.gov contract with pretty much the same fee structure?
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
Bigfoot Automatic Leveling System
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox baseplate

NamMedevac_70
Explorer II
Explorer II
From my experience a great many of the tourist are from other countries with money to burn in their pockets, short on time and simply not aware of all this and not concerned about it and many are RV renters. They seem to be on a whirlwind itinerary to see as many places as possible before return to homeland. Therefore a massive boycott will not happen that would get the attention of the D.C. politicians, bureaucrats and lobbyist corrupters.

I suspect many tourist are using a third party to book and hold their reservation for them for hard money of course.

Also BAH refers to itself as an intelligence company and has been subject to serious controversies with government security contracts and data leeks of National intelligence data. Edward Snowden was one of their employees. See Wikipedia.

Maybe a massive write in or email campaign to Senators and Congress persons would get results. It worked for us veterans a few years ago. Time marches on.

cptqueeg
Explorer II
Explorer II
dodge guy wrote:
The problem is, it’s a park owned by the government (We The People) and they sold it out from under us to a privately owned firm that does what they want when they want. And we get screwed all the way around.
And don’t get me started on the fees they want to get into the parks that we are already paying for as well as the “now required because it’s a money maker” timed entry pass” at most NP’s!

And we should be happy that they allow us to enter our parks? Ya right.

As far as checking email? Anyone ever tried to do that on the road? No cell coverage or signals dropping out? Seriously!

Almost makes me happy for the private campground prices and site lock fees.

Ok rant over!



To make Dodge's point
2024 Chev 3500 CCLB Diesel
Four Wheel Camper Granby Shell