Rec.gov sucks - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 10-23-2018   #1
 
fdon's Avatar
 
Christopher Creek, Arizona
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Rec.gov sucks

Well,

I was one of the lucky few to score a Lodore October date in the first come-first serve bullshit session last March. We planned the trip as a small group and had a couple of on the fence members so I did not attempt to finalize and print the permit until we were certain of our group. Come to find out, rec.gov had recently overhauled their website, screwed up my initial choices and I could not print the ticket to go. Spent a couple of hours with some polite folks there but alas, no results. They promised a return call asap from a permit specialist...its been a weak DICK and we are back home!?

So, I called the Dino main number and it was answered politely and I told the story, got put on hold, a minute later a ranger comes on the line and directs me to email my participant list to the river office (it was Saturday), drive up, check in, and we would indeed go down the river. Sure enough, we drive the 12 hours up, check in without a permit, and were allowed to have the finest adventure ever.

As much as rec.gov sucked this time, the Dino's were the finest folks ever.

I long for the old days. Rec.gov needs to step up or fade away. Quickly

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Old 10-24-2018   #2
 
Denver, Colorado
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Running afoul of website hickups is no fun, but I've used rec.gov for all sorts of purposes and it's been pretty easy in my opinion.
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Old 10-24-2018   #3
 
Jenks, Oklahoma
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Remember when commercial airports check in was nationalized because the private operators were not thought to be qualified to do the job ?

Same politicians most likely gave us Rec dot gov

I will take the Ranger for the Salt River in AZ any day over rec dot gov. And, I believe he did the entire deal in his spare time. I remember when he sent folks who got a permit emails on weather, flow and such.
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Old 10-24-2018   #4
 
flagstaff, Arizona
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his name is Don Sullivan- aka Donnie Jesus! he's the greatest!
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Old 10-25-2018   #5
no tengo
 
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Baytopia, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fdon View Post
Come to find out, rec.gov had recently overhauled their website, screwed up my initial choices and I could not print the ticket to go.
I had a camping reservation during this time. I clearly got an email beforehand saying the site would be down and I should print it ahead of time. Yeah websites upgrade every now and then. Sound like user error to me.
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Old 10-25-2018   #6
 
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Lakewood, Colorado
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I do like the format and ease of use of the new website now that it is up and running. It is more streamlined and easier to see when stuff is available. Might be a double edged sword though... easier to use means more people will use it.

For what its worth...it sounds like the contract to run Rec.gov has changed hands and that was a major reason for the down time. Hopefully this new group won't be quite as crooked and shady. For all I know... its just the same people with a new name though...so I'll withhold judgement.
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Old 10-25-2018   #7
Be Like Water
 
Rivertime, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mania View Post
I had a camping reservation during this time. I clearly got an email beforehand saying the site would be down and I should print it ahead of time. Yeah websites upgrade every now and then. Sound like user error to me.
Or more than likely you're full of crap. River permits are much more complicated than your camping reservation.

I have a Lodore Permit for next week. I was aware the site was going to be down so I dialed things in prior to that happening. Once it was back up my group size was dropped by the system to 2 people instead of 15 and there were other problems. I was unable to correct online. 3 calls and lot of time on hold finally solved the problem, but only after talking to Rec.gov folks who couldn't help. The "permit specialist" didn't call me back as scheduled. I was again on hold for almost an hour because their "call back" feature doesn't work. The system for river permits is a joke.

Besides ongoing problems within the permit system the ability to score a cancellation permit has become severely compromised.

I sure miss the days of the river office being in charge of permits. But those days are over.

I agree that Rec.gov Sucks!!!
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Old 10-25-2018   #8
 
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Lakewood, Colorado
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Funny...I too have a launch next week and I was and am still able to modify my permit on rec.gov as soon as the new site was up and running a couple weeks ago. I ended up moving my date from October 21st to the 30th, which I had to call in to do. The ranger I talked to said she had to get creative, but that was mostly because she was still learning the new system.

Like I said in my previous post... this all happened because the whole rec.gov system changed hands from one private contractor to another.

As far as I can tell...it went from being "Everyone called in at 8am and hope they got lucky" to now everyone does the same thing with the website (except its not clear what time they actually put the cancellations up when they happen).

I'm willing to give this new system the benefit of the doubt. The last crew doing it seemed to be kinda sketchy and didn't respond quickly to concerns about flaws and loopholes in the system....so hopefully the new outfit can at least do better with that.
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Old 10-25-2018   #9
Be Like Water
 
Rivertime, Colorado
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Funny, you needed to make some of your changes thru the ranger at the river office and not Rec.gov., but Rec.gov worked great for you. Good thing you didn't have to call Rec.gov for resolution. I too talked to the river office who said many were locked out of the system after the change. If it gets better then great. Glad it worked for you. So far I think it sucks!
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Old 10-26-2018   #10
 
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Westminster, Colorado
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Another perspective...campsite reservations through Rec.gov are now available anytime between 7:02am (MDT) and 7:22am (MDT)...silly me, I've been keeping tabs.

When I contacted them regarding the "change" from 8am (MDT), the response was, "we suggest you start checking at 9am (ET)"...even though the site still lists the call center opening at 10am (ET).

I forwarded the response to FOIA and USDA contacts listed on their site...no response, none expected.

And, with the time change coming up in November...just be aware if you are making camping reservations for April onward, start checking earlier than the time posted.
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