Originally Posted by miatared
Is Concertone controlled by Berkshire Hathaway ? Must be.
I would imagine so.
My reasoning is simple.
1. They seem to be installed on all BH controlled RVs...
2. Their web site is just as crappy as any other BH web site, case in point FR's web sites are sooo bad it is not even funny - no phone number, no name, no address, no email, nothing - Concertone's site has the same design (if we can even call it that). Funny one would think that Bill Gates would have shown the Oracle' web guy how to at least use FrontPage... (I'm an IT guy)
3. The entire Concertone line seem to be plagued with many issues, if I was FR I would have switched vendor a loooong time ago.
4. The user manual is so bad, even worse than a bad English manual from mainland China. Another 'feature' of FR's manual. 3rd generation photocopies is what I got with my trailer.
Call me curious.
Awesome - Just awesome!
You have side tracked me from answering a technical question, but I indeed appreciate your interest (ie curiosity)!
First, Concertone is not a BH company, but we and ME would enjoy keeping company with such smart guys!
And in answer to each:
1. Other than a relatively recent effort to sell products directly to consumers via their website, Concertone has been an RV OEM supplier for more than ten years. In fact, almost one million Concertone Entertainment systems have been installed in a variety of RVs and we have no real aftermarket strategy in place today.
2. Because Concertone was solely an OEM supplier with the manufacturers/dealers being responsible for the warranty and service process as well as communicating with the customers Concertone had no “reason” to provide these services directly. The business relationship in fact dictated that Concertone take a “backseat”. (let’s not debate the wisdom of these decisions YET as I am first trying to give you the background). As far as the web design itself, I believe the Concertone website as started just BEFORE the economy crashed (any similarity to FR websites is purely coincidental). The plans were to grow the site as the business grew. You may or may know that the RV (and marine) industry is now less than half of what it was in 2006. Many companies did not survive. Concertone is positioned well coming out of this situation, but our website did not fare as well! ;-)
3. As I mentioned in answer one, the number of Concertone units in service as compared to the number of issues actually seen are in fact very low. I understand that the problems have indeed been real and painful for those that have experienced them (and for that we are very sorry), but the fact remains that they were low. Hopefully, if “you were FR” you would have looked at ALL the FACTS and made your decision according. Maybe you still would have chosen to drop us or maybe you would have chosen to include us in the customer resolutions sooner, who knows. I can tell you that the people responsible for Concertone both within FR and Concertone are indeed concerned with the brand(s) and customer satisfaction. Whether it gets executed properly and via independent dealers is a completely different answer. (Again I am trying to give you the background here).
4. Manuals may contain very bad Engrish indeed. ;-) Again, any similarity with FR is coincidental.
I HOPE you appreciate my CANDOR here and use this as a positive step in moving forward and not using it as a club for personal gain. I am personally taking a huge risk discussing these topics so frankly ESPECIALLY ON A PUBLIC FORUM. I know we agree all should conduct business this way, but we can also agree most businesses (and individuals) try to control the spin.
That said, here is my SPIN:
I started my participation here while working on a special project for Concertone. They, like you wanted to understand where they stood in the marketplace, but they also wanted to know what the opportunities might be for growing their business (yes I said growing their business). During my investigation, I of course discovered some of you - my new friends here as well as a couple other active forums. You were not all HAPPY to say the least, but I did begin to discover certain similarities in your experiences and complaints.
The majority of your “beefs” included the perception that no one was willing to help you resolve the problem(s) to completion. Many folks with problems experienced the following:
- Dealers took the easy road and simply blamed Concertone because of “all their problems” blah blah blah.
- The Factory did not hold the dealers accountable to ensure they actually tested the systems AND checked/verified the installations which further enhanced the poor quality concerns in both the dealers and consumers mind.
- And Concertone, heck we don’t talk to anyone, we require folks to jump through hoops and at the end of the day only offer to sell them a replacement (for the unit they are dissatisfied with).
As I have often said, people don’t remember the problems but they do remember how their problems were handled! That is what makes or breaks customer satisfaction (and in this multi-tiered distribution setup, we had a bunch of customers we were not satisfying!). Many people (both consumers and dealers) that I have talked to recently are surprised and pleased to hear from Concertone AND are hopeful we can figure out a solution to their challenges.
All that said, as a business Concertone still has the challenge and the responsibility to ensure products are installed properly and that the appropriate entity honor the warranty and service appropriately. I can tell you stories about how 50% of what is sent back from dealers has NPF – No Problem Found. The rewiring that took place during the “swap” was more likely the issue. I really like the doors broken off the unit, but returned as defective – I hope you can understand that is DAMAGE or ABUSE not defective! Many (if not all) who made these “claims” had their units replaced for NO CHARGE. We are going to front loaders by the way to solve that issue!
There are many more “things” that I have found but I can tell you that I was so EXCITED about the opportunity for Concertone to expand and grow their business, I have accepted their offer to become Vice President of Sales & Marketing!
I know, I know – some of you already thought I was crazy (and now you may know it) and felt bad for me by being associated with Concertone, but I can tell you that I look forward to continuing our "discussions" and indeed raising the YOUR satisfaction with Concertone by demonstrated commitment . More on these efforts to follow! ;-)