Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Host Hotel and USDAA Shenanigans

Maybe this is obvious and most people already do this but I found out it pays to check on the regular rate of a 'host' hotel for an event.  Xterra Nationals has a 'special' rate of $99/night with the Marriott in Ogden but I got a rate of $89 by booking through the Marriott's site and not putting in the special Xterra code.  So anybody going to USDAA Nationals might want to check other booking options before going with a 'special' host rate.  I wonder if the hotels figure people will automatically book through the special rate link or with the special code and assume it's the cheapest rate?  Or maybe I just got lucky with a cheaper rate somehow since I booked so far in advance.

The other scam was the website trying to tell me, 'quick, hurry up and book, only 3 rooms left at this price'.  I refuse to believe that a 257 room hotel has only 3 cheap rooms left over 2 months out in September, which is low season.  Xterra Nationals is a big race but I doubt that that many people are as neurotic as I am about planning and have booked their room in July.

In other completely unrelated news it seems USDAA will be using 22" weave poles at Nationals.  Because . . . ummmm . . .  they like pissing off their customers??  Lots and lots of irritated people ranting on USDAA's Facebook page.  And their response is basically, 'Screw you all,' without so much as an explanation.  And then they delete the post and the 42 comments altogether as well as maybe half a dozen other posts about the weave poles.  I guess because they can?  Maybe if they stick their fingers in their ears and sing, 'La la la,' we'll all just shut up and go away.  After handing over our money of course.  I'm not sure which is more angry making, the 22" weave poles or the, 'We'll do whatever we want dammit because we're USDAA and who cares what you all think,' attitude.  It seems that lately they've been having an improvement in their customer relations but they still have a long way to go. 

My old school backyard weave poles are around 21" and I almost never use them any more for that reason but I've pulled them out recently due to the hot weather and Strum's continuing issues in trials with getting entries.  My backyard is shady so we can do a quick few reps here and there throughout the day.  But in general most months I practice on the 24" weaves at the practice field and all trials these days have 24" poles so I don't know what USDAA is thinking.  Do they think the tighter spacing looks better for the crowd?  And if so, why do they care more about the crowd than the hundreds of handlers, and even more importantly, hundreds of dogs?  In the meantime they're offering no explanation so all we can do is speculate.

Edited to add:  It looks like USDAA did not delete the Facebook posts.  I just suck at Facebook and couldn't find them at first but I see them now.


  1. Thanks for the humor that you brought to the USDAA weave pole scandle! Yep, can't figure it out either.

    Mary-Tip, Split, and Tangle

  2. Yeah, I don't know, sometimes I think the powers that be at USDAA are living on another planet or something.

  3. I had a similar experience about booking a hotel for a technical event--special rate offered for the organization but got a cheaper rate going on my own thru probably expedia. The thing is, though, that sometimes organizations get special deals that they're counting on if they get enough bookings under their names--like maybe the conference rooms are free instead of a couple thousand bucks or like that. I don't know how one knows if that's the case for any given event except by asking the event organizers.