Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Rafting Clients & Outfitters

We're in full swing on our American River rafting trips. Commercial rafting companies are busy with reservations, scheduling, employees and guides and the rafting clientele. I just got off the phone with a fellow outfitter who was grousing about unprepared clients. What's a rafting outfitter to do? Here are suggestions on how to make life smoother for you, the rafter and us, the outfitter:
  • Take some time to read the websites: It helps to at least look at the pricing and the basic river descriptions
  • Have paper & pen when you call: Take notes, you're talking to several rafting companies & we all have different logistics
  • When making a reservation: Have your credit card in your hand and not out in the car in the parking lot across the street
  • Ask questions: Let us answer them
  • Have lunch before you call: Chewing, slurping may interfere with your lousy cell phone reception
  • Have a calendar with you when you call: Or at least have some dates in mind
  • When making a reservation: Use a credit card that's not maxed out or w/a limited credit line... like $0
  • If you have a question about your reservation: Know your confirmation number or at least, the date of the trip & the name of the river
  • Identify yourself by the reservation name & not as "charlie": We file by reservation name"
  • Don't brag: We know you're a class 5 rafter, but you have your 8 yr old kid w/you, so take our suggestions on appropriate trips
  • Don't complain about heat: We're dripping sweat over the fire you asked us to build
  • Don't ask for refunds on no-shows: Having a major hangover is not a good excuse
  • If you're late: Don't be surprised when the other paddlers boo hiss when you board the bus
  • When boarding the rafts: Don't announce that you're allergic to water & you hate rafting
  • And finally: Don't forget to have fun... it's a rafting trip; not a freeway of road rage.
Notes from the W.E.T. gallery of sarcasm!

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