Sorry but I have a rant this morning with a caveat to our fellow travelers. If you aren’t interested, just skip down to the last paragraph. Remember the last time we had a problem with a reservation? It was back in Arkansas at the Tom Sawyer RV Park in West Memphis on the Mississippi River. The moment the owner heard how unhappy we were, he immediately made it right by tearing up our check and we stayed free for that week. Needless to say, our attitude did a complete reversal about that park and we gave it rave reviews, both on the Escapee’s Forum and in our blog. Well, no such luck at the last one.
The park I'm ranting about is our last stop, called Summer Breeze Campground in Iron Mountain, MI. We called ahead twice … the first time we talked to the owner, Carol and checked on whether the park had any open sites with FHU and when we were told it did, made a reservation for a week (our minimum stay on this trip) and paid the deposit with a credit card. Then a week later, Phil called again to confirm and once more, stressed our need for a clear shot of the southern sky for our Datastorm Internet satellite dish. Again, he was told they had the perfect site for us. When we arrived they had our reservation (so far, so good), but the woman (Carol’s mother) behind the desk seemed confused about the need for a site out of the trees and then Jerry, the owner came in to lead us back to our site while she took our money for the balance due. She mentioned several times we were getting an Escapee’s discount and we told her we knew that and it was one reason we had chosen this park.
Well, owner Jerry assured us we would have no problem with clearance at site 64. I walked back to the site while Phil unhooked the Lone Ranger and within minutes, I could see we were in trouble. There were big trees up close to the south side of our site and the hookups were laid out in a curious way. I pointed out several other sites out in the open and asked the owner if we could have one of those. He said, “Sorry, they are all reserved.” I said, “Have they reserved those specific sites?” and he assured me they had. I explained our needs for the Internet connection and he proceeded to mock my need and say that he hated computers and never touched them. He said as far as he was concerned, they should all be thrown out an upstairs window. I said, “Well, I think they are the way of the future.” And he said, “Not my future!” I decided not to mention his business’s web site and dropped the subject. Since, there was no other space for us we decided to make do where we were.
We analyzed our predicament and decided if we drove into the site backwards and put Penny’s nose right at the road, we might be able to sneak by the trees. It would mean we were over 30 ft from the sewer connection but we decided we would rather do without sewer (even though we paid for it) than Internet. We leveled our faithful Penny the Pace and pushed the button to raise the dish. Thanks to our experience at maneuvering the coach, our incredible Datastorm locked on the first try! Okay, so far, so good.
Okay, fast forward six days and owner, Jerry shows up at our site in his golf cart about noon while Phil is outside doing his pre-travel checks and he says, “Getting ready to leave?” (Check out is noon) Phil said (I heard it all through my open window), “Yes, we’ll be leaving in the morning.” Jerry said, “You are scheduled to leave today.” Phil responded with, “No, we paid for a week and we will be leaving tomorrow.” Jerry said, “Well, I will go back to the office and check because it says here you are leaving today.” We are sure he will come back and apologize for the error but guess again! He came back in a few minutes and rudely informed Phil we had only paid for six days and we had better “check our paperwork”. He said you owe another $27.40 if you are going to stay another day. There was no mention of a discount because we couldn’t reach the sewer connection. At this point I must admit, we had not checked our paperwork at check in and assumed (big mistake) the lady who checked us in knew there were seven days in a week, not six.
Live and learn as they say! Phil paid and informed them we would be reviewing and reporting their business practices on our blog. The point of my tirade is: be very specific about your need for an open site (if you have a roof mounted Datastorm or TV dish) and DOUBLE CHECK the paperwork at check-in. Also, avoid this park because in MHO, the owner is belligerent, overbearing and obnoxious. Obviously he has never been trained in customer relations and BTW, we did NOT get an Escapees discount on the weeks rent. That is only on the daily rate but of course, it didn’t say that on the website.
Now, on a lighter note, I can now mark off another “to do” on my life-list of “things I want to do before I die” aka the “Bucket List.” Last Wednesday, we drove south across the magnificent Mackinac Bridge to get to Mackinaw Mill Creek Campground here on the shores of Lake Huron. Believe me, after all the hype about how scary it is … both Phil and I loved it. What a beautiful bridge, what a view and what a gorgeous day we had for the adventure! Tomorrow will be another big day for us as we take the ferry ride to spend the day on Mackinac Island. I’ll tell you all about that next week. Since we arrived we have done some exploring and found many miles of gorgeous Lake Michigan coastline with hundreds of outstanding homes on the west side of the peninsula but not much to look at except trees driving south along the eastern coast beside Lake Huron. While we were in Iron Mountain, we drove north to Marquette to get a look at Lake Superior so now we have see three of the Great Lakes. Hopefully, before heading south in the fall, we will have seen them all.