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 Post subject: Whats with the new deposit system on booking?
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:21 pm 
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Location: Delmas, South Africa
I booked today for 13th March, and to my astonishment was told that I must pay full amount within 7days? This is my 52nd visit to park, 7th within 12 months, and find this ludicrous! :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Whats with the new deposit system on booking?
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:31 pm 
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Hi John

This was announced by SANParks on 8th October 2012 - refer to the Media Releases and you will find it there. Sorry I don't know how to post a link to the media release, but I have cut and pasted it below for you as well :

Quote:
Media Release: New accommodation bookings terms and conditions for 2013
Back to all newsDate: 8th October 2012

The South African National Parks (SANParks) will embark on a process of introducing new terms and conditions for accommodation sales as of 01 January 2013.

This according to Bheki Zwane, SANParks General Manager: Sales and Marketing who said the new rules will apply to all accommodation bookings made from 1 January next year and will affect the general public, pensioner clients, travel trade – tour operators and donor clients.

According to Zwane the reason for the new rules are to be in line with industry standards and also to increase short and long term availability of the accommodation. “The problem that SANParks encounters with its current terms and conditions is that, customers hold bookings for longer periods and only decide at a later stage not to utilize such a booking… “and this often results in loss of sales and revenue.”

He said often people complain about camps being fully booked but upon arrival several units will be vacant. “The new terms and conditions will encourage full payment long before arrival and minimize no shows without payment.’

Zwane said the last review of the deposit terms and conditions was done more than ten years ago. The new rules state that the first deposit to be paid 30 days after the booking was made will be increased to 50% as compared to the current payment of 33%. The second deposit of 50% must be paid 60 days before arrival in the new rules, whereas in the past 67% payment had to be made 30 days prior to arrival. “This will minimize last minute dumping of inventory especially by the public and travel trade that leaves SANParks with reduced time and opportunity to sell unused accommodation inventory.”

“This new rule will not affect old bookings that are already in the system unless a new arrival date is requested by the client. Web and online bookings will not be affected as they require full payment upfront.

The current public cancellation fee rules will also not be affected by these changes,” he said.

With the new rules, the due date of the deposit will not be able to be extended as reservations consultants at Central Reservations and at Camp receptions will not be able to change the date as the system is programmed to only confirm reservations that have an exact amount of the deposit due paid on time… “any reservation with a short payment of the deposit or no payment will be automatically cancelled,” concludes Zwane.

For more information on accommodation sales contact Bheki Zwane: GM: Sales and Marketing on telephone 012 426 5054 / 083 675 0332 or email: bheki.zwane@sanparks,org


Issued by:
SANParks

For media enquiries:
Reynold “Rey” Thakhuli
GM: PR, Media and Stakeholder Relations
Telephone 012 426 5203 / 073 373 4999,
email: rey.thakhuli@sanparks.org

Unquote:

Hope this clarifies things for you.

Linda

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 Post subject: Re: Whats with the new deposit system on booking?
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:40 pm 
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LindaS wrote:
Hi John

This was announced by SANParks on 8th October 2012 - refer to the Media Releases and you will find it there. Sorry I don't know how to post a link to the media release, but I have cut and pasted it below for you as well :

Here is the link Linda meant.

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 Post subject: Re: Whats with the new deposit system on booking?
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:53 pm 
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Location: Delmas, South Africa
Thanks guys for the reply, I found it just after posting! Was still in shock after booking.......That's why I love the Forum!!

However, I have a problem with this system, as when booking so many months in advance, I don't agree with the writer with full payment to Sanparks! Sanparks is covered by the cancellation clause, where they keep all monies if cancelled within 30days! Ample time to sell cancelled booking!

I do agree within 30days full amount upfront.


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 Post subject: Re: Whats with the new deposit system on booking?
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:03 pm 
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Hi John T...

Unfortunately we are all going to be inconvenienced by this new rule. Sadly, there has been a lot of abuse of the old system. We are reaping the consequences of thoughtless booking behavior. A theme that has come up time and time again is the anger and disappointment people have felt when they have been told that the camp is fully booked and they have noted many empty bungalows.

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 Post subject: Re: Whats with the new deposit system on booking?
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:52 pm 
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I have looked aSanparks website many times to see what accommodation is available and always found the camps mostly fully booked many months ahead. Very difficult to find any continuity in accommodation.

For me and family coming from overseas, these new booking arrangements appears to be more helpful.

To book a lot of accomodation months ahead and then dump it at the last minute, is not only bad for Sanparks business, it is very inconvenient for other guests who may not be able to take up last minute bookings.

It will be interesting to see now how much more accommodation becomes available now.


Last edited by missings.a.! on Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Whats with the new deposit system on booking?
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:15 pm 
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To Quote,

According to Zwane the reason for the new rules are to be in line with industry standards and also to increase short and long term availability of the accommodation. “The problem that SANParks encounters with its current terms and conditions is that, customers hold bookings for longer periods and only decide at a later stage not to utilize such a booking… “and this often results in loss of sales and revenue.”

He said often people complain about camps being fully booked but upon arrival several units will be vacant. “The new terms and conditions will encourage full payment long before arrival and minimize no shows without payment.’


Unless I am missing something, for individuals, you can still get a full refund if you cancel 30 days or more before your arrival date. You paying 17% more for your first deposit and you paying your second deposit 30 days earleir than on the old system but you can still hang to your accommodation unitil the last minute and then dump it. You will still get a full refund, so people who can will still play the system.

I am not sure this addresses the problem. It does however, IMO, make it more difficult for an average cash strapped South African to get into a SANPark.

Bookings opened today for December 2013/January 2014. How many can pay for half their accommodation costs in a month time? December is peak holiday season and I feel for parents who still have children in school and all the related costs that involves at this time of the year.


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 Post subject: Re: Whats with the new deposit system on booking?
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:28 pm 
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AMEN!


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 Post subject: Re: Whats with the new deposit system on booking?
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:08 pm 
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Duke, while you comment is very valid and I did notice that myself, from a cash flow point of view, it does make it more difficult to make a large number of bookings and pay deposits when there is no intention of using them.

The proof will show over the following months and perhaps it can then be fine tuned.

Just looked myself at December and there is a lot of accommodation that would never show to be available in the past.

It is very decent of Sanparks to make a full refund possible as many people can have serious problems hit at the last minute.


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 Post subject: Re: Whats with the new deposit system on booking?
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:33 pm 
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Being an overseas visitor this policy doesn't bother me at all
It is more helpful to me to have a bigger range of availability up front,8 months before I leave which is how i usually plan my trip
having availability open up a month before is useless to me

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 Post subject: Re: Whats with the new deposit system on booking?
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:10 pm 
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While it is understandable that it will put some financial strain on those making bookings way in advance, I actually hope that this will help curb the mass booking of accomodation that never gets used and leaves people who actually do want to visit that particular camp unable to do so.

It is seriously frustrating trying to get a booking at your favourite camp because it is 'full', only to find it half deserted during the many times you stop by there.

I support this change, time will tell if it works or not.


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 Post subject: Re: Whats with the new deposit system on booking?
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:38 pm 
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I think too is a good way to be sure, for both parts... :hmz: but where are going the interests of the 11 months in advance payment ???
normaly I reserve for 4 weeks... :hmz: a big amount and lot of interest :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: Whats with the new deposit system on booking?
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:22 am 
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The interest will presumably got to SANParks. Hopefully they can save enough money to keep on extending conserved land in some of the new parks like Mokala.

I welcome the changes as it should improve availability lists, as available but provisionally booked (by someone else) accommodation won't be lying hidden as unavailable.

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 Post subject: Re: Whats with the new deposit system on booking?
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:30 am 
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It may be that visitors will not need to book so far ahead anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: Whats with the new deposit system on booking?
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:53 am 
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Good point, Missings.

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