Bronco Off-Roadeo Warning

mrdale14424

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In September, I was registered for the New Hampshire Roadeo as a new purchaser of a '23 Sport Heritage.
My wife and I set out for our Laconia, NH resort reservation on the Friday prior to the event the next day. We had travelled from Western NYS and had just crossed the Vermont border when my wife started throwing up in the Bronco! She became so sick that we had to immediately turn around to head back home only getting back as far as Saratoga where she had to rest for the night. My wife suffers from chronic kidney disease and is on dialysis three days a week. This does limit what we can do but we are still able to travel weekends or longer periods when a dialysis chair is available where we are traveling to. But unexpected regurgitation is a condition that can suddenly develop without explanation and just something that you live with.

While we were traveling back, I immediately called both the Roadeo Headquarters in Dearborn and the Resort in Laconia to cancel. The resort was most understanding and even though they had a "no cancellation" policy, they said that they understood and not to worry that my non-refundable deposit would be returned. HOWEVER, the Roadeo people were less than kind and said that there was a cancellation confirmation policy that meant no cancellations for ANY reason. I said "even for a chronic unforeseen condition?" Yup, even that; NO Cancellations!

I tell you this background as a warning to those of you or have family members traveling with you that may be affected by a chronic condition.
Is this outfit's policies really the kind of affiliate business that represents Ford Motor Co. in a positive light? I think not.

Be forwarned. I'm sorry that I got burned for $200.
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Mark S.

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This is the policy published at https://broncooffroadeo.com/ (see FAQs):

What if I need to cancel my Off-Roadeo reservation?

We hope this won’t be the case! In the event you need to cancel your Off-Roadeo reservation, the following terms will apply:

  • 31+ days before your Off-Roadeo event – $150 cancellation fee, plus the $50 non-refundable reservation fee.
  • 30 days or less before your Off-Roadeo event – $150 cancellation fee, plus the $50 non-refundable reservation fee. All other event costs (e.g. Guest Fees) will be non-refundable, except the optional vehicle damage waiver. Owners who cancel in advance will retain complimentary attendance of Bronco Off-Roadeo for as long as they are eligible.
  • No Show to Event – If you fail to cancel your registration in advance and do not show up on your scheduled event date, you will be charged a $150 cancellation fee, plus the $50 non-refundable reservation fee, and no event costs will be refunded. You will forfeit your complimentary attendance of Bronco Off-Roadeo for the vehicle associated with your reservation.
  • Option to Postpone Your Off-Roadeo Reservation – If you are unable to attend your Off-Roadeo event but aren’t quite ready to reschedule yet, you may postpone your reservation. Postponing your reservation puts it on hold and allows you to come back within 30 days to reschedule your experience. Your deposit, reservation fee, and any applicable guest or damage waiver fees will be held for your future reservation. You will be charged any relevant rescheduling fees at the time of rescheduling or cancellation fees if you choose to cancel. Your rescheduling fee is based on how many days out from the event date the reservation was postponed. If a new reservation is not made within 30 days, your reservation will be cancelled, and all cancellation fees will apply. Your cancellation fee will be based on how many days out from the event date the reservation was postponed. For more information or to postpone your reservation, please contact Program Headquarters at (888) 260-5744 for assistance.
 

Mark S.

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I am totally aware of their policies which have absolutely NO provisions for a sudden & chronic illness or medical emergency; that's the point of my warning.
If your only point is to warn others about the refund policy than why say you "got burned for $200?" This implies something nefarious. I posted the published policy because I think it directly contradicts that implication. I'm sorry to hear of your wife's medical issues--no one deserves that--but you noted she can experience symptoms at any time that might interfere with travel. In light of the published no-show policy and your wife's condition, I would think it incumbent on you to clarify refund policies for scheduled events you plan on attending together.

Again, I'm not trying to minimize your wife's condition. I just don't think it's fair for you to criticize Ford for enforcing a published policy. In fact, I'm with @Dude on this one: I think you could get a satisfactory resolution with a bit of time on the phone. That seems like a much more effective way to deal with this problem.
 


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mrdale14424

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If your only point is to warn others about the refund policy than why say you "got burned for $200?" This implies something nefarious. I posted the published policy because I think it directly contradicts that implication. I'm sorry to hear of your wife's medical issues--no one deserves that--but you noted she can experience symptoms at any time that might interfere with travel. In light of the published no-show policy and your wife's condition, I would think it incumbent on you to clarify refund policies for scheduled events you plan on attending together.

Again, I'm not trying to minimize your wife's condition. I just don't think it's fair for you to criticize Ford for enforcing a published policy. In fact, I'm with @Dude on this one: I think you could get a satisfactory resolution with a bit of time on the phone. That seems like a much more effective way to deal with this problem.
Mark, you may be right; I didn't anticipate a medical problem because it never happened before on our trips to the Adirondacks or the Maine coast each year. I had read the no cancelation policy but interpreted it as to the no show, no real reason cancellations; not for a unforeseen medical issue.
 

sajohnson

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Mark, you may be right; I didn't anticipate a medical problem because it never happened before on our trips to the Adirondacks or the Maine coast each year. I had read the no cancelation policy but interpreted it as to the no show, no real reason cancellations; not for a unforeseen medical issue.
That's how I would interpret it also.

It's understandable that they do not want no-shows because someone simply changed their mind or forgot, but I'd like to think they would make an exception for something beyond the control of the individual/couple -- like sudden severe illness.

Of course it's 'their house, their rules' but it's a bad look to not cut some slack to a person who is unable to attend for legitimate health reasons.

From a strictly financial point of view, the negative PR from this thread is bound to cost them well over $200. In fact if just one person/couple decides not to attend, the Off-Rodeo program has lost money
 

davidg4781

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That's how I would interpret it also.

It's understandable that they do not want no-shows because someone simply changed their mind or forgot, but I'd like to think they would make an exception for something beyond the control of the individual/couple -- like sudden severe illness.

Of course it's 'their house, their rules' but it's a bad look to not cut some slack to a person who is unable to attend for legitimate health reasons.

From a strictly financial point of view, the negative PR from this thread is bound to cost them well over $200. In fact if just one person/couple decides not to attend, the Off-Rodeo program has lost money
I wonder how much money they make off of the Off-Roadeos. They said they have pretty good attendance which means the income is good. But they're renting out those properties, paying for the vehicles and upkeep, and paying for the to be there throughout the week to maintain the trails. I'm sure there are other costs involved too.

I know it sucks to have to be out the $200 and have your trip ruined, on top of the missus being sick. Do I wish they were move flexible? Sure. But after working in retail so long, I remember working at a store that excused school activities. I had a lot of employees missing work after school because they had to stay for school. After I put an end to that, they started requesting off or planning better, or they didn't have to stay. I say that to say if Ford started excusing sicknesses, a lot of people would get sick and they'd be out all the food and have empty Broncos sitting around.
 

sajohnson

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I wonder how much money they make off of the Off-Roadeos. They said they have pretty good attendance which means the income is good. But they're renting out those properties, paying for the vehicles and upkeep, and paying for the to be there throughout the week to maintain the trails. I'm sure there are other costs involved too.

I know it sucks to have to be out the $200 and have your trip ruined, on top of the missus being sick. Do I wish they were move flexible? Sure. But after working in retail so long, I remember working at a store that excused school activities. I had a lot of employees missing work after school because they had to stay for school. After I put an end to that, they started requesting off or planning better, or they didn't have to stay. I say that to say if Ford started excusing sicknesses, a lot of people would get sick and they'd be out all the food and have empty Broncos sitting around.
Are you suggesting that humans might embellish the truth? :cool:

My suggestion would be that Ford "trust but verify". It's reasonable to request some confirmation of the illness/medical condition -- maybe a brief doctor's or pharmacist's note.

That way Ford could create some goodwill while protecting themselves from false claims.
 

davidg4781

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Are you suggesting that humans might embellish the truth? :cool:

My suggestion would be that Ford "trust but verify". It's reasonable to request some confirmation of the illness/medical condition -- maybe a brief doctor's or pharmacist's note.

That way Ford could create some goodwill while protecting themselves from false claims.
That’s where it gets hairier than my back.

I was sick early last week (start of my vacation too!). I threw up, slept a lot, felt like dog squeeze for a couple of days. I didn’t go to the doctor. Compare that to one of my employees that goes to urgent care any time they feel a little off. They pay $60 or around there for a monthly plan where they can be seen multiple times a month.
 


sajohnson

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That’s where it gets hairier than my back.

I was sick early last week (start of my vacation too!). I threw up, slept a lot, felt like dog squeeze for a couple of days. I didn’t go to the doctor. Compare that to one of my employees that goes to urgent care any time they feel a little off. They pay $60 or around there for a monthly plan where they can be seen multiple times a month.
I hear ya. People cheat.

Still, it seems like good business, not to mention the right thing to do, to not add insult to injury by charging a loyal BS owner $200 because they got sick and couldn't make it.

As a practical matter, I can't imagine there are many cancelations/no-shows. Of that small group, the vast majority of them know the $200 is non-refundable and will not even bother asking for a refund. That leaves a very small number of people who: a)canceled, b) asked for their deposit back, and c) claimed to be sick. That's gotta be just a few. It would not be much effort to confirm their claims.

Something else just occurred to me. If Ford takes a firm "no exceptions" stance, there will be people who show up with a mild cold/flu/COVID/etc. because they do not want to forfeit the $200. That "mild" case may be major for someone else.

What is most effective is when companies give a little when warranted. That doesn't mean getting walked on, just treating customers as individuals and giving them the benefit of the doubt (unless/until they show that they cannot be trusteed). I've had good luck just saying that a) I realize they do not owe me anything, but b) I'd appreciate some consideration because of X.
 

gatornek

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I'm sorry to hear about what happened with you and your wife. If you're dead-set in recouping your money, I would try to provide as much documentation of what happened to you, INCLUDING pictures and "Doctor's Notes" ... to as many Ford customer service channels as possible.

What others have said about the 'printed rules' is correct. It's their protection against other people (NOT YOU) who would abuse a reservation with no deposit. However, in my experience, there are always exceptions to rules ... it just depends on what your available tools are.

Good luck, and Im glad your wife is feeling better.
 
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mrdale14424

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I'm sorry to hear about what happened with you and your wife. If you're dead-set in recouping your money, I would try to provide as much documentation of what happened to you, INCLUDING pictures and "Doctor's Notes" ... to as many Ford customer service channels as possible.

What others have said about the 'printed rules' is correct. It's their protection against other people (NOT YOU) who would abuse a reservation with no deposit. However, in my experience, there are always exceptions to rules ... it just depends on what your available tools are.

Good luck, and Im glad your wife is feeling better.
Thank you for your thoughts.
When one has kidney disease, they never fell "better", only that it's more tolerable. As her caretaker, I see what dialysis 3x a week does to her and virtually everybody else on her clinic days. It leaves all of them drained and tired with some days worse than others.
Travel, while taxing on her, lifts her up from the tedium that "this will never end or get better". She wasan't going to participate with me on the event. Instead I had made arrangements for a room with a kitchenette, a view of the lake and room service from the restaurant while I was up the mountain during the event. But her stomach issue wouldn't quit and left her in poor condition. I tried to take her to a hospital but she resisted without being in her medical group. She got dialysis on Monday and that helped immensely although she felt terrible for me missing what I had been looking forward to in the New Hampshire off-road event.
Such is what you accept as a caretaker to someone who has a chronic disease.

(This was probably more than you wanted to know)
 

gatornek

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Thank you for your thoughts.
When one has kidney disease, they never fell "better", only that it's more tolerable. As her caretaker, I see what dialysis 3x a week does to her and virtually everybody else on her clinic days. It leaves all of them drained and tired with some days worse than others.
Travel, while taxing on her, lifts her up from the tedium that "this will never end or get better". She wasan't going to participate with me on the event. Instead I had made arrangements for a room with a kitchenette, a view of the lake and room service from the restaurant while I was up the mountain during the event. But her stomach issue wouldn't quit and left her in poor condition. I tried to take her to a hospital but she resisted without being in her medical group. She got dialysis on Monday and that helped immensely although she felt terrible for me missing what I had been looking forward to in the New Hampshire off-road event.
Such is what you accept as a caretaker to someone who has a chronic disease.

(This was probably more than you wanted to know)
I can definitely empathize with your situation and also want to commend you for the love and commitment towards your wife. It’s pretty awesome. God bless.
 
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mrdale14424

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I can definitely empathize with your situation and also want to commend you for the love and commitment towards your wife. It’s pretty awesome. God bless.
Thank you! This forum group is very kind! I don't know any of you and you don't know me and yet you find it in you to empathize with me.

I am grateful just for that even if there is no financial resolution for me. I had challenged the charge on my CC and the Roadeo people doubled down on their refusal even to the point of sending every last cancellation legalese to the CC people which I then received Monday. I don't know, it just felt like a slam especially in light of the resort's reply to tell me to take care of my wife and the "no cancellation" deposit of $250. was being returned to my CC.
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