Wisc. - Wilderness Campground UNFAIR TO SEASONALS

Discussion in 'Destinations' started by Cigarsmoker1, Aug 1, 2002.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Cigarsmoker1

    Cigarsmoker1 New Member

    The following describes our ongoing dispute with Wilderness Campground in Montello, WI. I will update this thread with developments as they occur. You may want to reconsider staying with this customer unfriendly facility.
    Wilderness Campground refuses to refund our 2002 Seasonal Camping fee. Third party mediators have also failed to convince Wilderness Campground to consider the CUSTOMER’S view in order to attempt a settlement.

    The following is our story regarding how we feel we are being cheated out of $919.51 from Wilderness Campgrounds.

    1. On September 21, 2001, we paid Wilderness Campground in full, the balance of our 2002 Seasonal Site rental fee totaling $1010.00; fully six months in advance of the due date.

    2. On the last day of the 2001 camping season, while we were winterizing our camper at site C-11, Our Neighbors from the site next door at site C-12, told us that after 28 years of camping, that they felt they were ready to sell their trailer, and asked if we would be interested in purchasing it. After touring their trailer, we said we were interested. We were in no position at that time to immediately purchase the trailer, and agreed that we would contact each other in the spring. This would allow the Our Neighbors the flexibility to change their mind and camp another year, whereby we could stay at our camper another year as well, should they so choose. We felt that after 28 years, they may change their mind and decide to stay another year since they have many friends at the campground. However, to signal our intent, we said we would send them a deposit of $500.00, which we did.

    3. The camper we owned at that time had been on the C-11 site for 17 years and in our extended family for over 10 years. Our Neighbors had camped there for 28 years. We assumed that there would not be an issue with transferring our site fee to C-12 upon purchase of their trailer, and sale of ours, in the spring, since both parties represented longtime paying seasonal CUSTOMERS of the campgrounds.

    4. In March of 2002, we contacted the Our Neighbors by phone to inquire as to whether they still intended to sell the trailer and they indicated they did.

    5. We then placed a for sale ad in the Milwaukee Journal for our trailer. Apparently our asking price was very attractive in that we received many calls indicating interest in seeing the trailer.

    6. On April 7, 2002, we left a message on the Wilderness Campground answering machine. The following day, April 8, we followed up with a phone call whereby we informed The Proprietor that we were going to purchase the camper at site C-12 and that many people would like to see our camper at C-11 as soon as possible. The phone call lasted 30 minutes. The Proprietor indicated that no vehicles were allowed in the campground until opening day, but we could personally escort prospective buyers into the campground. This was not an option for us given the distance that we live from the campground. We informed her that we would ask the buyers to come to the campground on opening day. She seemed very pleased when we told her the number of people interested in seeing the camper, and said she had other trailers for sale to those who may be interested.

    7. We subsequently received 2 phone calls from parties willing to purchase our trailer sight unseen for the full asking price. Both parties had other uses for the trailer and were not interested in keeping it at the campground.

    8. We had been told by The Proprietor in our earlier phone conversation that no vehicles would be allowed on the campground until opening day. This would then preclude our ability to vacate the site prior to the start date of the contract, noted as April 20, 2002 - October 12, 2002.

    9. On April 13, 2002, we contacted The Proprietor by phone and told her of this development. There was no guaranty that the prospective buyers we had lined up to view the trailer on opening day would actually show up, and a sight unseen buyer willing to pay the asking price was indeed most attractive. Upon hearing this information, The Proprietor made it immediately clear in tone and in no uncertain terms that we signed a contract and are responsible for the site fee at site C-11, even if the camping unit is removed from the premises.

    10. We then discussed the possibility of moving Our Neighbors trailer from C-12 to C-11, and were told that she didn’t feel that their 29-foot trailer would fit on the site. But, it dawned on us that, since the Our Neighbors had also paid in advance for lot C-12, that they could be out their lot fee, given the stance toward us taken by The Proprietor. And Our Neighbors had not included the lot fee in the asking price we had agreed upon.

    11. After considering the stated contractual inflexibility of The Proprietor toward her long term seasonal CUSTOMERS in this situation, we then felt it was not in our best interest to purchase Our Neighbors camper, as we would need to pay site fees for both C-11 and C-12 and were not in a position to do so. We had also promised to sell our trailer to the sight unseen buyer.

    12. Additionally, this most recent conversation with The Proprietor caused us to conduct research of Civil Court cases involving Wilderness Campground. Upon review of the facts of Marquette County Case 01SC000119 Tom/Cindy Hertzberg vs. Bea Weiss filed 05-17-2001, whereby the plaintiffs found it necessary to sue (successfully) in small claims court to get their trailer back from Wilderness Campground, our interest in reinstating any contractual relationship with The Proprietor or Wilderness Campground beyond 2002, was severely dampened.

    13. The buyer of our trailer at site C-11 removed the trailer from the site the morning of April 20, 2002, opening day of the camping season. We encountered Our Neighbors packing up their belongings from the trailer at C-12 that day, and they told us that they had sold their trailer to individuals that were among those who were coming to see our trailer on season opening day, but had contacted The Proprietor to inquire about others for sale upon hearing ours was sold. We were very pleased to hear that Our Neighbors were able to still sell their trailer, and that we had still in some small way made it possible for them to find an alternate buyer for their trailer, after we had deemed it necessary to not purchase their trailer ourselves.

    14. Upon trailer removal, we entered the campground office and informed The Proprietor that the trailer had been removed, and we once again inquired as to our options. Her immediate response was “well, you don’t get your money back… you signed a contract”.

    15. Then began no small amount of mostly unilateral discussion, consisting mainly of The Proprietor discussing how she can’t run a business that way. She would in no way listen to our point of view.

    16. We then exasperatedly indicated to her that we would, since we had already paid for the site for the season, still utilize the site this year by pitching a tent to camp on the site. She immediately said that you can’t have tents on the site per the contract.

    17. We then further exasperatedly indicated that we would, since we had paid for the site for the season, utilize the swimming and fishing facilities a couple of times during the summer. She then said “ No you can’t. You relinquished your rights to use the site and facilities when you removed our camper from the site”. We told her we disagreed and asked several times for our seasonal car passes, contractually necessary for vehicular access by paid seasonal customers and she refused.

    18. Upon further examination of the contract, we find the statement “NO SLEEPING TENTS PERMITTED”. Therefore we concur with her in that regard.

    19. Upon still further examination, we find that nowhere in the contract is it stated that permissions to utilize the fully paid site (for a picnic for example) or facilities is predicated on there being a camping unit on the site.

    As the above narrative makes clear, we signed the Seasonal Lease Agreement in good faith with the intent of remaining a solid Wilderness Campground customer for many years to come. But The Proprietor insists on using a tool (the contract) intended to protect a decent business owner from unscrupulous customers, as a club to be wielded against all customers, good and bad, and without regard to customer need.

    We only ask that Wilderness display some measure adherence to the principles of consumer consciousness espoused by the Wisconsin Campground Owners Association (WACO), of which they are a member, and apply the satisfaction guarantee extended to visiting campers, proportionally, to bread and butter seasonal campers as well.

    That guarantee:

    WACO Satisfaction Guarantee
    Full refund to any camper requesting a refund on campsite fees and leaving within one hour of check-in. Guarantee applies to campsite fees only and is not valid on holidays or holiday weekends.

    A full refund to any seasonal camper requesting a refund on campsite fees and leaving within one day of first check-in, would exemplify fully their commitment to those principals.

    None continues to be forthcoming.

    In a response letter from The Proprietor, she has made it clear that the contract is iron clad and she will not refund any money whatsoever.

    We feel that the Contract is Unconscionable in that it contains, among other clauses, the following:

    ‘IT IS ALSO UNDERSTOOD BY THE UNDERSIGNED LESSEE THAT NO REFUNDS OF DEPOSITS WILL BE MADE, except the Security Deposit, if all is okay when you leave, NOR WILL ANY PORTION OF THE SITE RENTAL FEE BE REFUNDED IN THE EVENT THAT YOU SHOULD LEAVE EARLIER THAN THE SEASON ENDING DATE, EITHER OF YOUR OWN VOLITION OR BY MANAGEMENT REQUEST. LESSOR IS NOT REQUIRED TO MITIGATE DAMAGES UNDER THIS LEASE AND HAS THE RIGHT TO RELEASE AND USE ANY SITE THAT HAS BEEN VACATED REGARDLESS OF REASON AT ANY TIME.’

    Taken to its logical extreme, this contract clause could allow the Lessor (Wilderness Campground) on any given day, to evict all Lessees (Seasonal Campers) who have paid their fees in full for any or no reason, and have no obligation to refund any fees!

    We also feel that since The Proprietor both considers the contract as sole arbiter of business relationships, and the fact that she would not allow us to use the site or facilities we paid for, that we are entitled to a full prorated refund under the following contract clause:

    ‘IF, AT ANY TIME, DURING THE tenure of YOUR LEASE AGREEMENT, Wilderness Campground Management finds that it is not in the best interest of WILDERNESS CAMPGROUND for your family to continue to be at our Campground, you will be asked to leave, not to return. Any refund to you will be prorated based on the monthly rate from the Seasonal contract date to date you leave.’

    We feel that the practical effect of not allowing access to the Campground site or facilities is the same as being asked to leave.
     
  2. fjohn56

    fjohn56 New Member

    Wisc. - Wilderness Campground UNFAIR TO SEASONALS

    Hello! :) I really do hope that you plan on taking the CG to court. While I am no lawyer, it seems to me that there are a few arguable points that the court needs to define and address. Whether you would win, or not, I don't know. This would definitely be something that you should discuss with an attorney. I, myself, feel that you were within your seasonal lease rights and that if you can't use your site
    , then you should be accorded a refund. JMHO John
    I wish you the best of luck, and hope that you will keep us informed as to how things turn out?

    Edited by - fjohn56 on Aug 12 2002 11:01:20 AM
     
  3. Cigarsmoker1

    Cigarsmoker1 New Member

    Wisc. - Wilderness Campground UNFAIR TO SEASONALS

    Thanks John. Our small claims summons goes out in the mail this week. Will keep you informed.
     
  4. Memoryof3theMan

    Memoryof3theMan New Member

    Wisc. - Wilderness Campground UNFAIR TO SEASONALS

    advice...chalk it up as bad experience..forget about it...life is to short........just never let it happen again.....
     
  5. Cigarsmoker1

    Cigarsmoker1 New Member

    Wisc. - Wilderness Campground UNFAIR TO SEASONALS

    Our small claims lawsuit was successful. Court trial was 10/8/02 in Marquette County, WI. Judgement was entered in our favor for $550 plus court costs (the diffence being an adjustment for storing the camper over the winter). Thanks for your encouragement John.
     
  6. Cigarsmoker1

    Cigarsmoker1 New Member

    Wisc. - Wilderness Campground UNFAIR TO SEASONALS

    Just wanted to refresh this posting to council those who may be out looking for for a new seasonal campground this fall.
     
  7. Cigarsmoker1

    Cigarsmoker1 New Member

    Wisc. - Wilderness Campground UNFAIR TO SEASONALS

    Just wanted to refresh this posting to council those who may be out looking for for a new seasonal campground this Spring.
     
  8. Cigarsmoker1

    Cigarsmoker1 New Member

    Wisc. - Wilderness Campground UNFAIR TO SEASONALS

    Just wanted to refresh this posting to council those who may be out looking for for a new seasonal campground this Fall.
     
  9. jhfnmm

    jhfnmm New Member

    Wisc. - Wilderness Campground UNFAIR TO SEASONALS

    We had a similar experience with an extended warranty company, Heritage Warranty Inc., in Lincoln, NE. Our tranny went out on June 4th, this year. Their inspector said that we drove it with little or no fluid, but that wasn't the case, and we had several witnesses to the breakdown and the fact that the fluid ran out when we stopped the unit. Because of his finding, they wouldn't cover the repair. We filed a small claim against them, and they sent a letter saying that it would cost approximately 2800 dollars to defend the claim, and even though they felt they would be victorious in court, (we aren't so sure they would), they would be willing to send that 2800 dollars in "legal" fees to make sure we didn't end up with nothing. The motorhome had been on the "disabled list" for almost three months, so we took the money and got it repaired. You should be aware that once a contract is signed, it is usually ironclad, unfortunately, so you need to consider that if you intend to file a claim. We had witnesses to our event, so it is different than your problems, but you may get a sympathetic judge. We intended to fight our claim without an attorney, but you may need to have one as your dealing with a difference of opinions about the contract, and what may or may not be right, morally. If you are going to do it, be also aware that there may be a statute of limitations on any dispute you have with them, so you need to know if there is one. The time may have run out by now to file a claim. We wish you luck, and do hope you are as successful as we were.
     
  10. janicenlarry

    janicenlarry New Member

    Wisc. - Wilderness Campground UNFAIR TO SEASONALS

    You now have a judgement. Any luck collecting on it?
     
  11. Cigarsmoker1

    Cigarsmoker1 New Member

    Wisc. - Wilderness Campground UNFAIR TO SEASONALS

    Yes...We did collect.
     
  12. janicenlarry

    janicenlarry New Member

    Wisc. - Wilderness Campground UNFAIR TO SEASONALS

    Good for you! :laugh: :) :cool:
     
  13. Cigarsmoker1

    Cigarsmoker1 New Member

    Wisc. - Wilderness Campground UNFAIR TO SEASONALS

    Just wanted to refresh this posting to council those who may be out looking for for a new seasonal campground this Spring. :laugh:
     
  14. Cigarsmoker1

    Cigarsmoker1 New Member

    Wisc. - Wilderness Campground UNFAIR TO SEASONALS

    Just wanted to refresh this posting to council those who may be out looking for for a new seasonal campground this Spring. :laugh:
     
  15. lhollatz

    lhollatz New Member

    Wisc. - Wilderness Campground UNFAIR TO SEASONALS

    Enough is more than enough. Please stop posting this and just get over it!
     
  16. Cigarsmoker1

    Cigarsmoker1 New Member

    Wisc. - Wilderness Campground UNFAIR TO SEASONALS

    Just wanted to refresh this posting to council those who may be out looking for for a new seasonal campground this Fall.
     
  17. Cigarsmoker1

    Cigarsmoker1 New Member

    Wisc. - Wilderness Campground UNFAIR TO SEASONALS

    Just wanted to refresh this posting to council those who may be out looking for for a new seasonal campground this Spring.
     
  18. Cigarsmoker1

    Cigarsmoker1 New Member

    Re: Wisc. - Wilderness Campground UNFAIR TO SEASONALS

    Just wanted to refresh this posting to council those who may be out looking for for a new seasonal campground this Spring.

    Hi Bea! :cool:
     
  19. TexasClodhopper

    TexasClodhopper Senior Member

    Re: Wisc. - Wilderness Campground UNFAIR TO SEASONALS

    Cigarsmoker1
    Date registered 8/1/2002 11:01 AM
    Last logon 11/13/2006 10:24 PM

    Talk about carrying a grudge! This guy registered here in 2002 just to tell everyone about his bad experience. That's OK by me! He had a bad one, and we want to try to avoid those.

    But then the only thing he's ever contributed to the forum is to 'bump' the thread 12 times to make sure it keeps showing up! For 4 years!

    Wow! Give it up, Cigarsmoker1! The place might have changed by now! :laugh:
     
  20. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: Wisc. - Wilderness Campground UNFAIR TO SEASONALS

    Give the man/woman an "A" for effort. ;)
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page