How's that new reservation system working for you?

Our legal eagle wanted us to start a new blog where we can discuss how good/BAD the new reservation system is. The one time I used it I found it to be rather hard to figure out. I tried to go back and change the number of people in my party and could never make that happen. It kept telling me that if I went back it would delete my work. That would be fine, but when I tried to make a new reservation it said I already had one on that date. As I said, I finally gave up and went with my original number. What has everyone else encountered while using this "marvelous" new system?

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Comment by Jo Neuspickel on August 3, 2013 at 10:52am

OMG I just used the reservation site for the first time and WOW!!! It was not a very good experience! But I guess for now if we want to camp in the backcountry we have to use it. I couldn't believe how many screens you had to go thru and how much "junk" you had to agree to just to sleep on the ground in the backcountry!!

Comment by Gregg Bostick on April 13, 2013 at 3:03pm
What would happen if you dispute the charge to your credit card since you are not able to receive what you paid for? That is what a dissatisfied "customer" does. Things that make you go hmmm...
Comment by Erik Gerhardt on April 13, 2013 at 4:57am

Only the Feds could spin the change from the previous system where for 80% of the Park's backcountry sites one simply self-registered to the new format of putting everything on a reservation system and charging $4 per person, per night as "improving service."

"And just think of the added service we'll be able to provide with a nominal increase in the fee."

Sadly, if they say it enough, with our local media repeating verbatim the press releases, more than a few will "buy" it.

Comment by Tom Johnson on April 13, 2013 at 12:00am
I had a reservation for 2 nights, 4 people, this week. But my son got sick and we couldn't make it out there. I call the BC info line and they tell me no worries you're allowed one change to the reservation. So in this case just change the reservation date to whenever you'd like - as long as it's in the next 30 days. Well for a few different reasons we can't go anytime in the next 30 days. So I'm out $32 with no recourse. I understand the 30 day advance reservation limit but there ought to be a mechanism in place to avoid punishing people who can't reschedule a trip inside 30 days.

With vast majority of hotels you have up until 24 hours before arrival to cancel the reservation. And then there are other places that may not refund but offer credits for a future stay instead. And they'll give you some period a lot longer than 30 days to use them.

This is a deficiency in the system and completely unfair. Where is the improved level of service I'm supposed to receive as a result of the fee?
Comment by Myers Morton on March 10, 2013 at 5:42pm

Is a solution using both the old and new reservation systems together?

You would not have to sign up on the internet.  You register just like you always registered.  Or you could use the internet if you were out of state.


Comment by Myers Morton on March 10, 2013 at 5:38pm

That sounds like a service they are providing.

On the other hand, (I think) Adam suggested, as a hiker who often hikes and camps alone, broadcasting on the internet that someone was alone at a campsite could make him a target for robbers....the nongovernmental kind.

Comment by John Harrell on March 10, 2013 at 5:23pm

I haven't actually made it all the way thru the check out.  but as a daily computer user, I'm used to navigating around.  What I did like is that you can see if a site is available or crowded and select to go elsewhere.   It also was a bit slow and difficult to switch from CS to CS staying at the same ppoint in the process.  Also what it does not do is allow you to access it from a smat phone.  I don't normally have a printer at home or on the go with a laptop.  I suspect most hikers these days will have a smart phone and a phone app or downloadable permit will be needed.  Of course that may raise the fee another dollar each.

Comment by Tom Johnson on March 7, 2013 at 1:18pm

Yep kicked out once I think.

Comment by Myers Morton on March 7, 2013 at 11:32am

Outstanding question Mr. Bostick.

Tom, did the reservation system cut you out or off after 15 minutes?

Did you have to start over after 15 minutes?

Comment by Tom Johnson on March 7, 2013 at 11:19am

Took me a solid 20 minutes the first time.  There are so many different pages you have to click through.  Then once you've paid, you still have to go to another page and enter an order number and ID or the like to generate another page which you then print out.  Seems like they could have made it a lot simpler.  Cumbersome is the right word.

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