ACSI Books. Beware the trap for the unwary!!

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ACSI Books. Beware the trap for the unwary!!

Post by Gromit on Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:11 am

Quote from Vicarious Books website . . . "ACSI are publishing a new campsite guide in January 2018 that also has a Europe-wide CampingCard in the front cover. The guidebook details campsites selected specifically for UK visitors in France, Spain, Portugal, the UK and Ireland. ACSI know where we like to go because they have been inspecting over 9000 campsites every year for decades."

Great news on the surface, but be sure to read this carefully before pre-ordering. 

https://www.vicarious-shop.com/blogs/vicarious-view/acsi-2018

Near the bottom it says, "Details 2,340 campsites in the countries above, however only 380 of the camp grounds are in the CampingCard scheme."

It might suit some people, but we (and I guess many others) have little or no interest in ACSI inspected sites which are not in the scheme. They are all in the "Archies Campings" data set anyway so easy enough to find when planning, or to install on the satnav.

I bet loads of people will order the wrong book, then complain that most of the sites it lists do not give a low season discount. Daft idea in my opinion, but as I said, it might suit some people.

Hope this helps.

Edit. Please see this and following posts for updated information.  
http://www.autosleeper-ownersforum.com/t22917-acsi-books-beware-the-trap-for-the-unwary#193587


Last edited by Gromit on Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:26 pm; edited 5 times in total

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Re: ACSI Books. Beware the trap for the unwary!!

Post by Les W on Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:51 am

That's a good reminder Gromit.. best to avoid the France Spain Portugal UK & Ireland edition.
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Re: ACSI Books. Beware the trap for the unwary!!

Post by mikethebike on Sun Oct 22, 2017 12:09 pm

Even worse in the normal book avery large number of discount sites are closed in winter.


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Re: ACSI Books. Beware the trap for the unwary!!

Post by Bad Penny on Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:14 pm

Thanks for the info Gromit.

Leighton.
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Re: ACSI Books. Beware the trap for the unwary!!

Post by Maasai Warrior on Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:12 pm

Yes, thanks Gromit. We are undecided whether to renew or not. We passed their stand at the NEC Show and wanted to ask a few questions but they were incredibly busy at the time.

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Re: ACSI Books. Beware the trap for the unwary!!

Post by Gromit on Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:23 pm

Hi Pete

Send a PM or ask on the forum as I may be able to answer some of your questions. I recently stood and listened while a friend quizzed them quite exhaustively, so I've heard most of them.

My only comment about renewing would be to say that we have only once been on a sub standard ACSI site, and have on occasions saved the cost of the books in a single night. One site that sticks in mind would have been €36 without the discount, but we paid only €17.

On a few sites you can find yourself at the less desirable end on a smaller pitch or one without shade, and a few sites try it on by charging extra for electricity in excess of a 6 amp supply. These are not the norm however, and any extra charge is only a couple of Euros.

Overall we have nothing but good to say about the scheme, and over the years it has saved us a lot of cash.

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Re: ACSI Books. Beware the trap for the unwary!!

Post by bikeralw on Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:20 pm

I echo what Dave says above, we've used ACSI many times over the years, and we've found although savings are to be made at some higher end sites, this year in particular we noticed no saving over the public prices advertised at many lower end sites. 
So next year we're not bothering buying the book, and instead will use last years as a location guide.
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Re: ACSI Books. Beware the trap for the unwary!!

Post by Traficlady on Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:27 am

A quote from a comment on the web site : .....Depending on the target audience ( which In the main is elderly and in general unadventurous) .....

Elderly?? Wish he’d come here and say that!

We use ACSI a lot and also downloaded both the apps last year. The one you pay for also includes the inspected sites. I can’t remember how much it was but it wasn’t as much as the new book.

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Re: ACSI Books. Beware the trap for the unwary!!

Post by TravelKat on Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:01 am

Thanks for the heads up.  I found it totally confusing when I first read it (couldn't understand that only 380 sites were in the scheme for 2018), but digging into it, it appears that the guide as we've always known it, has 3319 sites in it, which ALL accept the discount card.  However, the "new" guide has less sites (2340), in less countries (5) of which only 380 accept the ACSI card.  

Seems totally pointless to me, all I want is a guide which tells me which sites accept the card, no more, no less.  If I want to know about regional facts and ferry info, then I'll look online for that, I wouldn't buy that guide because it had that extra info.

Very confusing at first glance, and I'm sure some will order the "wrong" guide, because both have the card in it, so will assume it's the same guide.

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Re: ACSI Books. Beware the trap for the unwary!!

Post by Gromit on Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:36 am

TravelKat wrote:Seems totally pointless to me, all I want is a guide which tells me which sites accept the card, no more, no less.  If I want to know about regional facts and ferry info, then I'll look online for that, I wouldn't buy that guide because it had that extra info.

Very confusing at first glance, and I'm sure some will order the "wrong" guide, because both have the card in it, so will assume it's the same guide.
My thoughts exactly TravelKat, which is why I thought it prudent to warn our members.

The only way it might be useful (to some people) is to supplement this year's books. If you want the discount next year you have to buy the card, and it's the same price whichever version of book you buy. Some people might want to use this year's discount scheme books or the App to locate the sites (they won't have changed much, if at all) and glean extra information from the new 2018 publication - at no extra cost.

However, I entirely share your opinion. I can't be bothered to faff around like that! We're only interested in the discounted sites, and I would quickly become highly irritated with a book which features 2340 sites, very few of which offer the discount.

That's not to say we never stay at non-discounted sites, but we obviously prefer the discount, so the only worthwhile book for us is the one which features those sites exclusively. Can't understand why they have made an already complicated system even worse!!!  shrugg


P.S. Yes I can, of course.  Some people, particularly those inexperienced in taking their van abroad, will see the words. "Specially selected for UK travellers" and will fall for it without realising they are not getting what it appears to "say on the tin!".

Still can't see the point though. It will only cause complaints and dissatisfaction with the scheme from those who don't fully understand its machinations.  shrugg

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Re: ACSI Books. Beware the trap for the unwary!!

Post by inspiredron on Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:10 am

I have now had 2 requests from ACSI to authorise €14.95 plus postage for next year's guide despite the fact that they have my CC details. They have not given the Club ID discount or told me how much postage is
They seem anxious to get money in before printing the guides - or am I being cynical. Maybe they want a new 2 year contract? I don't need the guide by Christmas anyway.

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Re: ACSI Books. Beware the trap for the unwary!!

Post by mikethebike on Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:45 am

My friends had two sent and two paid for without authority.
I bought one from them,despite not wanting one again.
So few discounts in the winter  for me with sites closed.

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Re: ACSI Books. Beware the trap for the unwary!!

Post by TeamRienza on Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:13 pm

Perhaps people need to revisit this page,

https://www.vicarious-shop.com/blogs/vicarious-view/acsi-2018

It compares the two books and CONTRARY to what has been stated there are 2340 sites listed of which 1430 are in the discount scheme.this is the total number of sites in France, Spain, Portugal and the uk and Ireland. It compares favourably with the pure discount scheme book. The new book ‘campsite guide’ Simply extracts this info from the discount book and bundles it with other sites in the popular destinations for the Brits in Europe.


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Re: ACSI Books. Beware the trap for the unwary!!

Post by Gromit on Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:10 pm

Hi Davy

The text has definitely been amended since I and TravelKat saw and quoted from it.

The quotes I gave in the opening post were a direct copy and paste from the site you highlight, so I couldn't have misread it or made a mistake in reporting it.

Have a look at this page, assuming it will not be amended in the near future
https://www.vicarious-shop.com/products/acsi-campsite-guide-britain-ireland-france-spain-portugal-2018?variant=44425910162

At the moment it says:-

"Key Features

[*]Countries included: UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal
[*]Details 2,340 campsites, in the countries above, however 380 of the sites are in the CampingCard discount camping scheme.
[*]Written specifically for UK users"

This is another copy and paste, so again there is no possibility of a mistake.

On the same page it also says:- "This is a brand new campsite guidebook that is still being edited by ACSI, so we cannot guarantee 100%  accurate details."

Curious or what. I wonder which figure is correct???  shrugg

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Re: ACSI Books. Beware the trap for the unwary!!

Post by TeamRienza on Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:36 pm

Hi Dave,

I was wondering wether something like an amendment had taken place. The link I put up has a date of 20th sept. It looks as if it may be too soon to pass final judgement on the publication. I think the concept is good since France, Spain and Portugal tend to be the honeypots. Not so many threads on other countries, but as you rightly say there is potential for confusion given the similar cover design etc.

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Re: ACSI Books. Beware the trap for the unwary!!

Post by Gromit on Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:40 pm

I quite agree with you Davy - the restricted geographical coverage would suit a majority I think, including us.

Difficult to make a decision when they quote two very different statistics. There's quite a difference between 1430 and 380!!!

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Re: ACSI Books. Beware the trap for the unwary!!

Post by mikethebike on Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:04 am

Has it still got the micky mouse map book?

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Re: ACSI Books. Beware the trap for the unwary!!

Post by TravelKat on Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:29 am

Gromit wrote:Hi Davy

The text has definitely been amended since I and TravelKat saw and quoted from it.

The quotes I gave in the opening post were a direct copy and paste from the site you highlight, so I couldn't have misread it or made a mistake in reporting it.

Have a look at this page, assuming it will not be amended in the near future
https://www.vicarious-shop.com/products/acsi-campsite-guide-britain-ireland-france-spain-portugal-2018?variant=44425910162

At the moment it says:-

"Key Features



[*]Countries included: UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal
[*]Details 2,340 campsites, in the countries above, however 380 of the sites are in the CampingCard discount camping scheme.
[*]Written specifically for UK users"

This is another copy and paste, so again there is no possibility of a mistake.

On the same page it also says:- "This is a brand new campsite guidebook that is still being edited by ACSI, so we cannot guarantee 100%  accurate details."

Curious or what. I wonder which figure is correct???  shrugg



[*]
Well, I too saw the figures of 2,340 sites, of which only 380 accept the discount card.  That is really confusing.  I wasn't interested in this particular guide anyway, but that makes it (to me) even less attractive.  On the one hand we are being asked to pay "now", yet it appears that the final product is "still being edited by ACSI", so how do we know what exactly we are paying for at this stage?

But, saying that, the fact remains that this "new" guide doesn't list ALL the sites which are in the discount scheme, despite the "new" guide now listing over 1,400.

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Re: ACSI Books. Beware the trap for the unwary!!

Post by bikeralw on Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:00 am

I can't understand how they come up with this limited list of countries that appeal to UK users. I would've thought Holland and Belgium would be higher on the list than Portugal, especially for campers who don't want to drive too far. Myself, I've visited the Low countries dozens of times, but Portugal only once.
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Re: ACSI Books. Beware the trap for the unwary!!

Post by TravelKat on Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:08 am

bikeralw wrote:I can't understand how they come up with this limited list of countries that appeal to UK users. I would've thought Holland and Belgium would be higher on the list than Portugal, especially for campers who don't want to drive too far. Myself, I've visited the Low countries dozens of times, but Portugal only once.
Al.
Agree totally, we've never been to Portugal at all and only to Spain once.  But then we're obviously in the minority according to ACSI!

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Re: ACSI Books. Beware the trap for the unwary!!

Post by Gromit on Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:14 am

Hi Al and Kat

That makes three of us already then. Our experience is just the same as Al's.

I might have been interested simply because it's only one book, and it seems daft to buy two and never look inside one of them.

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Re: ACSI Books. Beware the trap for the unwary!!

Post by mikethebike on Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:18 am

Same with me, never been to Portugal. I think the sites are more dictated by those sites that want to be in the book rather than what we want.

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Re: ACSI Books. Beware the trap for the unwary!!

Post by Gromit on Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:36 am

I just phoned Vicarious, and as far as they know at the moment the figure of 1430 participating sites is the correct one.

Messrs ACSI are still fiddling with the book, so it is possible that figure may change again.

What was that you said? Was it something about hiss-ups and breweries!!!  lol4

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Re: ACSI Books. Beware the trap for the unwary!!

Post by rogerblack on Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:18 pm

I used to buy their software program on disc which was excellent as it listed the inspected sites as well as the discount sites, with the ability to select only the discounted when searching. It also allowed selection of sites by loads of other categories related to facilities, location, price etc and then showed them on a zoomable map. It also had rudimentary route planning.  We found it much more user friendly than the books, but of course still had to buy those to get the card.

This software is no longer available as it has been replaced by the app, which we did get last year but sadly due to family illnesses and bereavements never managed to get away outside the UK and actually use it, so I can't give a comparison. I still keep the last version of the software on my laptop as it will still be useful even if out of date.

As we only usually go only to France, the new version would actually suit us quite well as we have used some listed but non-discount sites in the past if no suitable discount site was available in a particular location.

We don't buy from Vicarious but subscribe directly with ACSI as we get a discount and also get the ID card to avoid parting with our passports, this is acceptable as ID even on non-ACSI sites.  However we haven't yet been given the choice of the newer style book for next year so will have to wait and see.  

Hopefully we'll actually be able to make use of whatever we receive barring any further problems.  Fingers crossed.
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Re: ACSI Books. Beware the trap for the unwary!!

Post by Maasai Warrior on Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:06 pm

I am Caroline, Maasai Warrior’s wife. Like Roger Black we also subscribe directly with ACSI and also get the ID card for the same reasons. I only ever use the App as I don’t find the books especially user friendly but you have to have them to get membership. The App is very easy to use and each site includes reviews. So far as I am aware the App coverage will remain the same.
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