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Beware "National Park Reservations" - this site is a SCAM

Redwood City...
1 post
1 review
1 helpful vote
Beware "National Park Reservations" - this site is a SCAM
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This site is a SCAM. They are intentionally deceptive and designed to lure traffic from bona fide sites that are commissioned by the National Park Service and that charge minimal fees. They prey on people who think they are booking with the (real) National Park Service. They will not refund the fee once they've got your credit card number in their hot little hands. Oh, and when you call to complain, they gleefully cancel your reservations, keep the fee, and re-book to someone else charging an astronomical and unjustified booking fee.

70 replies to this topic
Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
91,547 posts
196 reviews
166 helpful votes
1. Re: Beware "National Park Reservations" - this site is a SCAM
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I was just thinking that we needed to again warn folks about this 3rd party booking company as I read a recent review from folks where misled by this company. We try to bump up warning threads a few times a year.

Sorry that you got taken in.

AVOID NationalParkReservations threads:

"Don't book with National Park Reservations!" www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g61000-i315-k10906563

"AVOID National Park Reservations" www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g61000-i315-k5274940

"Yosemite Lodging" www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g61000-i315-k9386586

The best way to book lodging in a National Park is to open the NPS.gov website for that National Park, and then to follow the links on that page to the official concessionaire.

Brighton, Michigan
Level Contributor
876 posts
182 reviews
66 helpful votes
2. Re: Beware "National Park Reservations" - this site is a SCAM
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Yes ... noticing that these sites are popping up more & more on Google searches for ALL parks around the country (believe they pay/sponsor to be put at the top of searches)

I generally look for the “.gov” at the end, and only follow links from the government website (or state site if state park)

South Bend, Indiana
Level Contributor
1,799 posts
934 reviews
475 helpful votes
3. Re: Beware "National Park Reservations" - this site is a SCAM
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So, they are a National Park reservation type of travel agency that actually charges the customer a fee instead of getting a kickback from the hotel, like a regular travel agent would get. Good to know.

Nevada
Level Contributor
2,031 posts
4. Re: Beware "National Park Reservations" - this site is a SCAM
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Frank -- they TRY to ALSO get a kick-back from the lodging facility. They tried it on me when I was a lodging owner. I told them, No *tank* you! At that time there was a very hard sales & marketing team that did not want to take NO for an answer, as in *No, I do not want to sign up to be on your web site*. (I think I had to actually hang up on them a time or two -- which is not my nature. Maybe it was a different company, but it certainly sounds like the same database / on-line directory name that kept calling my property. My property was somewhat near to Yosemite.)

Edited: 3 years ago
Rehoboth Beach...
Level Contributor
129 posts
8 reviews
2 helpful votes
5. Re: Beware "National Park Reservations" - this site is a SCAM
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Also trivago- which sends you to Cancelon - another scalper.

So Cal
Level Contributor
14,646 posts
78 reviews
112 helpful votes
6. Re: Beware "National Park Reservations" - this site is a SCAM
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The word "scam" implies a complete fake, as in you're not getting what you paid for, or maybe not getting anything at all. And that is not the truth with NPR - you *will* get that room inside the park or whatever. However, they *will* charge you more than if you had booked it direct, and they *will* charge a much higher fee to change or cancel than if you booked direct, if in fact they can make changes at all.

They're not a scam, they're just completely unnecessary. They add no value to the transaction whatsoever, and in fact devalue it.

Always, always start your search from the official www.nps.gov individual park site. The lodging links there will take you directly to the official concessionaire, who is pretty much always who you should book with.

Edited: 3 years ago
Rehoboth Beach...
Level Contributor
129 posts
8 reviews
2 helpful votes
7. Re: Beware "National Park Reservations" - this site is a SCAM
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Scam, rip off, scalper. Don’t over pay. Trivago also sends you to a scam site- Cancelon.com

This is scalping rooms at 2-500 over cost.

Edited: 3 years ago
2 posts
8. Re: Beware "National Park Reservations" - this site is a SCAM
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Maybe you should read as you certainly agreed to their terms if you booked with them. I searched them on line after reading this thread and it is VERY obvious they tell you who they are and what they charge. Curious why people can not take responsibility for their own issues. I found this company VERY helpful in booking my multi park trips and it was one phone call rather than finding all 8 different places and then trying to call them all. Sure if you know how and can book direct do it and save some money but why blame a booking company for your failure to read their terms? Explain that to everyone please. Here is the terms I saw right up front from their website:

National Park Reservations provides lodging and activity reservations both inside as well as in the gateway communities of the United States National Parks. National Park Reservations is not an authorized concessionaire of any National Park nor are we in any way affiliated with the National Park Service of the Federal Government. National Park Reservations provides the ability for its customers to make reservations through a toll-free telephone number or by submitting an online request form.

For this service, National Park Reservations charges a 10% non-refundable reservation fee based on the total dollar amount of reservations made. This reservation fee will be billed separately to your credit card and will be billed under the memo “National Park Reservations”. By using National Park Reservations, the customer authorizes National Park Reservations to charge their credit card the 10% non-refundable fee.

Customers using National Park Reservations to make lodging and activity reservations agree to use our service, either by telephone or email, to make any changes or cancellations to their reservations.

Rehoboth Beach...
Level Contributor
129 posts
8 reviews
2 helpful votes
9. Re: Beware "National Park Reservations" - this site is a SCAM
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Same goes for Trivago- another ripoff.

Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
3 posts
14 reviews
11 helpful votes
10. Re: Beware "National Park Reservations" - this site is a SCAM
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Hi all,

We didn't notice this post before booking the lodge in Yosemite West area via National Park Reservations.

In July-2018, Yosemite had a wild fire and the authority issued a mandatory evacuation order in the Yosemite West Area. The lodge is very kind to provide a full refund of our booking. However, the National Park Reservations refused to do the same and reiterated that it was a non-refundable 10% fee for the booking.

For all travellers, please avoid booking via National Park Reservations unless you are willing to forfeit your 10% fee for any circumstances.

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