A parent asks…

Anonymous asks:

Hi, I am a parent and have sent my kids to two camps both of which use Bunk1. I have been increasingly frustrated with the user-unfriendliness of Bunk1, the cost of sending email, the hidden costs of adding extras to the emails, the ridiculous cost of photos, the inability to post camp photos on other web sites (it should be allowed with a clear watermark across the photo) and just the general clunkiness of the site. I wanted to see if Bunk1 had any competitors and through my search I found you. I will send feedback to the camps about Bunk1 (I’m not the only dissatisfied parent) and I want to offer an alternative. But, I don’t know how competitive you are on price for the camps vs. Bunk1 nor do I know what you charge the parents for email and photos. I think it’s price gouging to charge $1 per email per kid and then to charge another $1 or more for a border, etc. I also don’t know of anyone who would pay $3.99 for one 4×6 photo. I guess people do because Bunk1 is in business!

 But, I surely will not. I understand it’s a business that needs to make a profit, but these prices are unjustifiable. So, before I offer up your site as an alternative for my camps to look into, I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t be suggesting one high-fee camp website over another. Thanks for your time!

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for your question and concerns about the service and fees Bunk1 offers.  Being a parent myself, I can appreciate your frustrations.

 Although, I can’t attest to the unfriendliness of Bunk1 but I can assure you that eCamp is designed with the parent in mind.  A photo service such as Bunk1 or eCamp should be user-friendly otherwise it is only providing a disservice to the parents, the camp and the company itself. 

 Let’s talk about “hidden costs”.  If it is not clear that “add-ons” like boarders and replies cost extra, then I think it is safe to say these costs are truly “hidden”.   However, these things are considered “Add-Ons” and are just that, options that you can “add-on” to the product.  Much like almost anything you purchase, if there are additional options, they usually have some sort of added cost.  If you do find a product with “add-ons” you can reasonably expect that there will be some sort of added cost.

 Now, this brings me to the point of “Value”, although the price of $3.99 for a 4×6 photo might seem high compared to what you can get your prints for at Costco, the real value is what’s pictured.  The memory of your loved one engaged in a camp experience requires more than just a developed picture.  It is a snapshot of the people; resources and planning that go into a great camp experience.

 Please feel free to check out http://www.campregister.com/features/ecamp-photos-and-parent-email.htm to learn more about eCamp.

Have a great summer – Ryan Miller, Camp Business Contributor LTC