After 19 years on the road, full-time grey nomads Nigel and Lesley Shotton have seen a few changes – some of them good and some of them bad – but there’s one thing above all others that gets their blood boiling … online booking systems!
And it’s not just the fact that the innovation gives them less flexibility with their travelling schedule. Indeed, the couple has become so frustrated with the flaws they say they have discovered in the NT national parks system that they have just cut short their stay in the Territory by two months … and they might not be back.
“We have been to the NT many times,” said Nigel. But we will seriously reconsider if, and how long, we spend there in the future.”
Nigel and Lesley travel in a big rig, so ‘inaccurate’ site descriptions on the online booking site are a major issue.
“When NT Parks and Wildlife released their online booking system in March they did a lousy job of it,” said Nigel. “It did not work from an iPhone for around six months, they stuffed up the site sizes, the photos did not match the sizes, and they had no descriptions!”
The couple say that, as a consequence, many people found the site they had booked was too small or there were other issues like low-hanging trees, or poorly-placed bollards had made access difficult.
“Some of these campers have relocated to a bigger site which often someone else has booked so, when they turn up, there are arguments and refusals to move,” said Nigel. “We speak with many caravanners during our travels and are yet to find one who is happy with the new system.”
After complaining directly, Nigel and Lesley were told by NT Parks and Wildlife that the online booking system had recently been upgraded and that the issue of sites displaying incorrect measurements was in the process of being corrected.
It said however that the majority of customers had reported ‘a smooth booking’.
The GNT contacted NT Parks and Wildlife for comment but, at the time of going to press, had received no response.
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