No Smoky Campsite Refund

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No Smoky Campsite Refund

Postby Always Sunny » Aug 29th, 2015, 6:55 pm

http://www.castanet.net/edition/news-st ... htm#146821

A Kelowna woman with an asthmatic son is looking to get her camping fees reimbursed after an evacuation alert and a smoky skies advisory kept her and her family away from the campsite.

Rhonda Langford booked an end of summer camping trip at the provincial park at Christina Lake three months ago for this weekend. She paid $100 for the three nights and the two other families they were going with did the same, for a total of $300 between all of them.

Langford said once the heavy smoke hit the area, and an evacuation alert was instituted, they waited until the last minute to cancel, hoping it would clear by the weekend.

It never did, and by waiting, they missed the one-week notice cancellation period.

“We phoned and they won’t take any cancellation, they won't give us any money back because it is in that seven day period,” said Langford. “Because it’s only an evacuation alert, it says on their (website) ‘No refunds for wildfires.’”

Langford then submitted a medical request to the province, in an attempt to recover their costs based on the smoky skies and her son’s asthma.

“I can’t put my son through it,” Langford said.

According to the BC Parks website, “BC Parks will only consider issuing refunds for serious medical reasons that prevent customers from honouring their reservation.”

Langford said BC Parks wouldn’t accept her request.

The Ministry of Environment said that pre-existing conditions, like asthma, aren’t grounds for a refund.

“If you went camping to a campground and you had asthma, there would probably be a reasonable expectation that there would be campfires going and that could aggravate your asthma, so that wouldn’t be a situation where we’re going to be giving people refunds,” said David Karn, media relations with the Ministry of Environment.

When questioned about the difference between a smoky skies advisory and campfire smoke, Karn said anyone who reserves a camping spot must check a box that ensures they have read the park policies on reservations, and should know that asthma would not constitute a valid medical reason for a refund.

In addition to the medical concerns, Langford said she doesn’t feel safe camping under an evacuation alert.

“If you’re under an evacuation alert you’re not going to want to camp, because if you even have a drink you can’t drive,” Langford said. “We’re families but you know, the boys will have a drink, and we can’t get our stuff all gone in a matter of minutes … so we just decided to cancel.”

Three campsites sat empty at Christina Lake this weekend, paid for by Langford and her friends.

Fair enough, this lady booked the campsite 3 months ago, long before these fires affected the area. But admittedly they waited until the "last minute" despite a one-week policy from the campground. I think that's the chance you take by allowing the cancellation date to lapse.

Her reasoning of her son's asthma seems to be pushing it a bit considering most campgrounds (usually) allow for campfires, which can create a great deal of smoke. While the area wildfires are blanketing the region, there is a campfire ban. To me it would seem to balance one another out.
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Re: No Smoky Campsite Refund

Postby motorhomebabe » Aug 29th, 2015, 7:55 pm

I guess that's 3 campers who wont be booking with them again , not to mention all their friends that might have booked. It seems to me sometimes a little good will goes a long way.
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Re: No Smoky Campsite Refund

Postby Always Sunny » Aug 29th, 2015, 8:06 pm

motorhomebabe wrote:I guess that's 3 campers who wont be booking with them again , not to mention all their friends that might have booked. It seems to me sometimes a little good will goes a long way.

And then how many exceptions to the rule might the campground face in the future?

People going to the media after blatantly ignoring policies is becoming a form of bullying to businesses. Instead of holding steadfast to their posted policies they're essentially being shamed into providing refunds and compensation to make up for cutomers' choices.

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Re: No Smoky Campsite Refund

Postby motorhomebabe » Aug 29th, 2015, 8:33 pm

Normally I would agree with you, but this is an exceptional circumstance.
I was under the assumption that people help one another in times of crisis.
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Re: No Smoky Campsite Refund

Postby Osoyoos_Familyof4 » Aug 29th, 2015, 8:43 pm

Would our opinions change if this were a private campground as opposed to a Provincial Campground?

Would a private campground be entitled to a "loss of business" Insurance claim?

I don't know how I feel on this one, but I'm curious if opinions change private versus Provincial.

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Re: No Smoky Campsite Refund

Postby Always Sunny » Aug 29th, 2015, 9:01 pm

motorhomebabe wrote:Normally I would agree with you, but this is an exceptional circumstance.
I was under the assumption that people help one another in times of crisis.

I think they lost my vote when they said they took the chance waiting. They had three months to decide and allowed the one-week cancellation period to lapse.

You either wait until 7 days out and go "alright, this doesn't look like it's letting up, we're going to go ahead and cancel".

Or you allow the 7 day timeline to pass and risk the possibility of there being a lot of smoke. They consciously made that choice.

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Re: No Smoky Campsite Refund

Postby motorhomebabe » Aug 29th, 2015, 9:48 pm

I woke up this morning socked in and tonight I am not. Yes the campground is fully with in its rights. was it the right thing to do?
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Re: No Smoky Campsite Refund

Postby Iamsomeone » Aug 29th, 2015, 10:01 pm

Here's the thing....

She said that SHE AND HER SON had issues with the smoke but that doesn't mean other campers would have been so bothered by it. I bet there were lots of sites still used that weekend. Some Provincial Parks are in demand all summer long regardless of the weather or fires.

If she had of cancelled a week ahead like they ask, they could have easily rented her site out to someone else. Even with the smoke. She may have ended up missing a good trip if she cancelled a week ahead and then the smoke cleared but that's a risk she needed to take. She can't ask the Provincial Park System and all the other campers who are waiting for sites, to just step back and wait to see if she wants the site at the last minute. There is no way the system could function that way.

She took a gamble and lost. Sucks to lose but that's all there is to it.

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Re: No Smoky Campsite Refund

Postby Always Sunny » Aug 29th, 2015, 10:39 pm

motorhomebabe wrote:I woke up this morning socked in and tonight I am not. Yes the campground is fully with in its rights. was it the right thing to do?

Was it the right thing to do on the part of the campground? If you're asking me the question, my answer is "absolutely". Iamsomeone made an excellent point about basically wanting the keep the campsite on hold until the last minute. If they didn't think it would be rented out to another camper, why not cancel it and then rebook it if the conditions were to their liking? Probably because they knew they'd lose their spot to another camper.

As the article states:
- the campground requires one week notice on cancelations
- their website states no refunds for wildfires
- BC Parks refused on refund on the grounds that asthma doesn't qualify as a serious medication condition
- the Ministry of Environment stated that pre-existing conditions are not grounds for a refund

Why this lady seems to think none of this applies to her is beyond me.

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Re: No Smoky Campsite Refund

Postby Auto1 » Aug 29th, 2015, 10:55 pm

Always Sunny wrote:Was it the right thing to do on the part of the campground? If you're asking me the question, my answer is "absolutely". Iamsomeone made an excellent point about basically wanting the keep the campsite on hold until the last minute. If they didn't think it would be rented out to another camper, why not cancel it and then rebook it if the conditions were to their liking? Probably because they knew they'd lose their spot to another camper.

As the article states:
- the campground requires one week notice on cancelations
- their website states no refunds for wildfires
- BC Parks refused on refund on the grounds that asthma doesn't qualify as a serious medication condition
- the Ministry of Environment stated that pre-existing conditions are not grounds for a refund

Why this lady seems to think none of this applies to her is beyond me.



Best post on this thread yet, Always Sunny.

I am all for helping mankind in trial. But why didn't she phone at the seven day mark and ask about the policy? (Better yet, phone more than a week ahead, and ask questions etc).

They went past the dead line, they lost $300, the rules were clear...

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Re: No Smoky Campsite Refund

Postby jvdlee » Aug 30th, 2015, 6:55 am

I believe you have all missed the mark here. A few campfires are like what we have been experiencing? If I leave my home I can barely breath. You are going to tell me the smoke we are dealing with now is like a few campfires? Really!
In my opinion no one should of had to pay for a campsite in these conditions! But oh no the government has rules! They must be followed no matter what.
*bleep*!
There has to be a time when some semblance of what is really happening is not quite what one payed for! Let's get real.
Rules are one thing reality is another.
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Re: No Smoky Campsite Refund

Postby Fancy » Aug 30th, 2015, 7:11 am

The wildfires didn't start yesterday - she should have cancelled on time and got her money back.
Fancy this, Fancy that and by the way, T*t for Tat

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Re: No Smoky Campsite Refund

Postby V-Rated » Aug 30th, 2015, 7:55 am

I am agreeing with the majority here. The fires weren't planned and the fact she cancelled within the 7 days does not entitle her for money back. The long and the short of it for myself would be the health of my children. These rules are common for hotels and campsites...she certainly could have cancelled long before her trip.
I don't understand the world of "self-entitlement even if I break the rules"
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Re: No Smoky Campsite Refund

Postby skydawg » Aug 30th, 2015, 8:10 am

No money back and dont come back
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Re: No Smoky Campsite Refund

Postby Whyme2 » Aug 30th, 2015, 8:14 am

What next? I want a refund because it rained, it was too hot, to many bugs, no fires allowed. Our son had Asthma when he was young and we had to be careful where we camped because of the amount of fire pits in the campground.
If we knew Washington State was on fire we would have cancelled a week in advance no questions asked and got our refund. You don't use the Asthma card when it's to late,

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