7.30.2009

Xanterra Camping Reservation in Yellowstone Review


I am constantly amazed by the progress of technology.
Some of the things that have caught my attention recently are:

Forced blinking for video gamers. I guess that when one plays a first person shooter for 5 hours straight, the tendency is to not blink lest you are pulverized by a rail gun in your momentary lapse of concentration. Medical "experts" have found that not blinking is bad for vision, so a Japanese manufacturer has come up with an attachment to a pair of glasses that will monitor your blinking. If you don't blink in 5 seconds, it will fog up the lens, and your brain will dictate a blink. It's like 150 bucks.
For 25 bucks, my daughter will stand next to you and blow in your face every 10 seconds for an hour. I guarantee you'll be blinking.

I saw a new IPOD app called "run and pee." It is an app that will tell you the best time to go pee while you're watching a movie so that you don't miss any good scenes. Word on the street, is that you can urinate during any Twilight movie from minute 0 to the end credits without missing anything.

They even have a USB-interactive "self-pleasuring" device for men and women. I'm not lying. Someone has decided to send signals to the "rumble pack" in your device that corresponds with whatever "online entertainment" you are enjoying. On a separate note, I have a friend who "says" he thought of this on his own, and wanted to patent it. It turns out that he was a little late in the idea. He has also suggested cotton penis caps for those that drip pee in their pants when they're finished. He's well on his way to becoming a millionaire methinks.

With all the modern technological advancements, you'd think that making a reservation to camp in Yellowstone National Park would be a piece of cake. I mean, it's the Nation's first National Park, with over 3 million visitors yearly. Their budget would make small countries jealous.

So how would you guess that they handle their reservations?? They pass it off to a 3rd party company called Xanterra.

The name Xanterra brings to mind striped tigers racing through a national preserve. What I really found out is that it is translated to mean "give me your money sucker" in white trash speak.

I conveniently logged on to their website to choose a campsite for which me and my family could enjoy the wildlife of Yellowstone. I'm a fairly regular camper, and enjoy most state and national park websites where I can choose my campsite, and see if there is availability. This gives you a little glimpse as to how close you are to the bathrooms, where the nearest neighbors reside, and a chance to pick a campsite off the beaten path.

Xanterra does not believe in the theory of choice. Instead, they want you to call an actual human being to set up your reservation over the phone.

I gave them a call, and was interrogated over the size of my party, tent, and vehicle. After giving him my Visa number, he obviously wanted to end the call.
I asked the hickish gentleman if I could choose my campsite if I arrived early.
He strictly read me the policy that campsites are chosen randomly a day before your arrival, and would be suited to the needs of my party.
I asked him if I could switch if I hated the site?
He slightly giggled, and told me no.

Fearing a gestapo-like response to any further questions, I hung up the phone.

Weeks later we arrived at our destination. We checked in at the main cabin, and were given our tent site.
Remember that old commercial where everybody was holding hands across America with Barbara Streisand? (fine...I'll just post it below)




This was the basic setup of the campground. We really didn't need to take a couple steps before we were standing next to the campers in the site beside us.
On the other side of the street, there were people playing flag football and staging musicals in their sites without encroaching into other sites. It was ridiculous.
I've never felt more cramped at a campsite, but knew that according to the turd reich Xanterra, I wouldn't be able to switch.

What would it take to enable online reservations on their website? 2 over-the-hill city IS employees could throw together some code in a couple of weeks.
By being able to choose my campsite, I would visit the park sooner rather than later in the next few years.

Hail Xantera...to the tune of 1 star...only because they didn't double charge my credit card and hassle me because of my Jewish roots.


2 comments:

Major Undeclared said...

I didn't blink the entire time I read that post!

Matt said...

Is it because you were captivated or that the fat corpuscles around your eyelids won't allow blinking?

I kid...

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