We booked at pair of sites with Happy Hills Family Campground for a family gathering for the weekend of June 30, 2012. We had family coming from afar to meet for a summer reunion.
We drove from the Baltimore area to Happy Hills. Upon arrival we noticed that the pool was closed (it was 1pm) and found them to be without power. It had been knocked out the day before and they were unsure as to when it would be restored.
We were traveling and had a 6 year old child in the group that NEEDED A/C. He has a serious cardiac issue. Lack of A/C with the temps that were hovering in the upper 90’s with high humidity made the need for electric imperative.
The girl at the counter apologized and was going to refund the deposits to our cards, but they also had no phone service as well!
She asked why we needed the electric and we added we would also need the availability of telephone service as well in case we needed to call 911 for the special needs child. Again she apologized and asked us to contact them in a week or so hoping the power would be restored.
We left and began looking for a site to try and salvage the weekend for the kids. The closest we could come was in Gettysburg. We headed that way.
We contacted Happy Hills a week later and were told to call back again after the manager returned from vacation. We did so and were told she would return our call. This never happened. We tried again a week later and were told it would be handled. We then received a voucher for a future stay at Happy Hills. (This was only good for the course of 1 year from date issued which restricts us to a time frame). We wanted the refund to our credit card instead, not knowing when or if we would return to Happy Hills.
After a brief discussion with the manager via the telephone August 15, 2012; we were told there would be no refund. Period!
I feel like we paid for a service they could not deliver, a site with water, sewer and electric. I felt we should be refunded the deposit and not a voucher. They breached their contract.
Beware of Happy Hills. Their business practices are questionable and reliability is poor at best!
We will never return to Happy Hills due to this business practice!
Do they have a written refund policy? As a matter of good customer relations, I agree they should refund your money. HOWEVER, it was through no fault of theirs that the power was out and they had no control over its being restored so they were probably not legally required to return your money. It is unfortunate for both parties.
This is plane and simple, it's a CONTRACT case. You have every legal right to expect your money returned. you CONTRACTED with them for a site with electric service and they could not provide one. Not THEIR fault but certainly not yours.
I was staying at Patspco valley State Park the night the storm came through and the State of Maryland refunded my money (difference between electric and primitive site) within just a few days. HAD I chosen to LEAVE their campground instead of staying, I WOULD have received a full refund.
The owner of this lot MAY be mistakenly believing that since the storm was an act of God it is not necessary for them to return your money but that is NOT correct. YOu can't SUE them to make them comply with the contract but you DO have the right to revoke the contract for failure to provide the contracted services.
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Contact the credit card company. Since the service was not provided they should and probably will assist you in getting a refund if it is entitled.
We have often traveled with adults and children with disabilities. It is important to not only know what emergency services are available in your area but also you must not rely completely on the facility being visited. As you have learned, power goes out and with it telephone and even water pressure as the pump stops working. Most emergency organizations suggest you travel with food, water and medication for at least 3 days, 5 days is better. Before cell phones people used to keep flare-guns in their emergency kits. Even if the phones were working in the campground, many campgrounds close the office in the early evening and access to the phone could be very difficult.
Questions to ask when making reservations: Will my cellular service work in your area? How far is nearest medical facility that can handle my needs? How isolated is the road?...many campgrounds can easily become issolated by a flash flood or a vehicle accident on a narrow access road.
I do hope this has not spoiled you RVing experience.
Sorry to hear about a terrible campground, and it starts with the owner and comes down!! I'd make sure to contact the Better Business Bureau and lodge a complaint. Also, there is a campground review site, make sure you go there and state the facts. If they don't get any business, then they will either fold, sell out or change their way of doing business. Having been to Cumberland, just West of there, I have been around that area, but fortunately never had to use this joint. Safe travels.
Due to this habit of requiring a credit card to reserve a campsite, we just wait until we get there. Unless it's a rv rally where we have to get it ahead of time or it's a high use area. I for one, don't like this practice.
I would also dispute it through your credit card company for not being able to provide services you paid for. Alot a campgrounds have a policy related to weather but mainly cover rain or snow or other weather but not the kind that totally disable the campground. I agree that you should have gotten a refund back on your card. Let them also know that you have posted on a popular forum your problem and that you would type an update if the problem resolves.
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