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Old 01-20-2015, 08:35 PM   #1
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Difficulty getting service

I have a 2015 Prism 24J. I love it! We're just completing a 2 month maiden trip. Essentially no problems, despite this being a tough trip. Everywhere we went, people wanted to see our rig. I felt like an ambassador for Prism.
I have one serious complaint. We bought our Prism in Oregon, live in N. California. The nearest dealer to my home is over 100 miles away. When traveling, who knows?
I have a problem with one of my Jensen radios. Until ASA (the Jensen service group) kindly agreed to let me deal with this problem myself, I was unable to obtain warranty service at any Coachmen dealer in a timely manner, and in one case (Sky River RV, Dublin, CA) they actually told me that they would not provide service unless I had bought it there.
When I bought it,I was erroneously told that I could get warranty service "at any Forest River dealer." This is not true. Apparently, each dealer is free to provide warranty service or not, their choice. Nobody is willing to provide immediate service to transients. This results in the absurd situation that someone in my position must drive hundreds of miles, and/or wait many days for service when traveling.
Dan at Coachmen Customer Service has tried to help, by calling numerous dealers for me to find one that would help me in a timely fashion, or at all. No luck.
Coachmen should do something to correct this. They should have a readily available list of service centers by zip code. Nether the customer nor Dan should have to waste their valuable time begging someone to provide warranty service.
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Old 01-20-2015, 08:44 PM   #2
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Issue such as you describe, bite the bullet and take it back where you bought it.

Some dealers will service you if your passing through and did not buy from them but usually only if it is a required service. Something in which you cannot drive it any further or back to your dealer.

Another option is to contact Jensen directly, if it is the unit they may warranty it and send you a new one.

Was it the dealer you bought from who told you that it could be serviced anywhere? When I bought my Forest River had printed on the front pamphlet that warranty work would not be supported outside the local dealer of purchase.
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Old 01-21-2015, 01:20 PM   #3
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I bought the Prism in Oregon, about 350 miles from my home, and 600 miles from where I am now. I'm not crazy enough to drive there for an appointment 2 weeks from now to get a radio fixed. The nearest dealer to my home is 150 miles away, and 250 miles from where I am now.
Yes, the dealer I bought it from actually told me "I could get it fixed at any Forest River product dealer". It was one of the reasons I bought it so far from my home. I looked at the brochure, and mine "suggests" in small print that you should buy it close to home to establish a relationship. It doesn't say I can only get it fixed at the selling dealer (google Coachmen Prism brochure). I bet a good lawyer could have a field day with that.
Jensen (actually ASA) agreed to send me a new radio, after several phone calls, as a "favor". I am grateful to them for their excellent service.
My point is that warranty service from Coachmen (and perhaps much of the rest of the industry) is absurd. It should be easy and clear how and where, close to your home or current location if traveling, to obtain warranty service. No other industry operates this way. I know several people who simply give up, and pay for repairs themselves, despite still being under warranty.
Coachmen's policies would seem to encourage people to not only buy "close to home" (or not at all if there isn't a dealer close to home), but also to never travel during the warranty period, a ridiculous idea for a motor home.
I am eagerly waiting for my warranty to run out (and hoping I have no more issues) so that I can purchase after market coverage.
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Old 01-21-2015, 01:36 PM   #4
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jeffrapp, sorry for your experiences! Unfortunately, your experience is how it works. RV dealers are not like car dealers and have no obligation to service your camper just because they sell the same brand. The resistance of dealers has actually gotten much worse since the internet has empowered buyers with tools to find better deals, buy parts themselves, and have communities like this to help one another out.

Also, if you actually talk to someone in Coachmen (or any mass produced line for that matter) it's not Coachman's policy at all. It's not a policy at all. It's what dealers want - they want you to buy the units from them, have service from them, and buy parts from them - and because they are the customers of the manufacturer it's the real power. In legality of the transaction, the dealer is actually the customer of the manufacturer and you are a customer of the dealer and not a customer of the manufacturer. So, only your selling dealer is obligated to honor the warranty, which they gladly will so there's nothing for a lawyer to take on.

It is an unfortunate reality, but sometimes you will find helpful dealers while traveling and Forest River will always authorize warranty repair at Camping World and many times by an independent camper repair companies.

Hopefully you motor happily on after resolving this and enjoy your new camper!
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Old 01-21-2015, 01:50 PM   #5
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BTW, I'm writing this from Paso Robles, CA, where I was yesterday when I discovered the radio problem. I googled Coachmen dealers, and found to my delight that there is one here in town (Sky River). Before calling them, I called ASA tech support. They told me the radio needed to be replaced. Then I called ASA customer service. Josie (a wonderful woman) told me to go to the nearest Coachmen dealer to confirm that the radio needed replacement, and start a work order.
I then called Dan at Coachmen customer service, asking him to call Sky River for me. I have had previous problems with warranty service, and thought he may have more juice than me. He called back and told me they would give me an appointment in 2 weeks (way more time than I want to spend in Paso Robles, despite how nice it is here).
It was only when I called Josie at ASA back with this info that she agreed to do me the favor mentioned above.
No matter how it is presented, this is ridiculous. An official Coachmen dealer refused to spend 5 or 10 minutes on a simple problem for a customer passing through their town, unless I was willing to wait 2 weeks.
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Old 01-21-2015, 01:53 PM   #6
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as was said, this an industry-wide issue, not just a Coachmen issue.
if you'd done some research on forums like this one or RV.net, you'd have found out that you have to do some digging before buying out your area.

we made a 4000 mile round trip to go and get our HTT. but i called the Rockwood warranty dept. BEFORE i closed the deal. they gave me a list of nearby dealers willing to do the warranty work. i called them to make sure that they would do what Rockwood said they would.
the only thing was i would be behind those units that they sold, which was fine by me. i accepted that by not buying locally, i had to be at the end of the line.
you used the term "timely". don't know what you think that means but if you didn't buy from them, you can't expect them to put you ahead of their own customers.

and Coachmen should reimburse you if you go to an independent rv shop, as long as you get pre-approval from Coachmen.
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Old 01-21-2015, 01:57 PM   #7
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Also, in the RV industry "timely" repairs are rarely the same day or even the same week. You are lucky to get in and out of your SELLING dealer in the same month when it comes to warranty work.
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Old 01-21-2015, 04:22 PM   #8
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@jeffrapp

I was in the same boat as you, my comments are coming from experiance and not thoughts. I bought from a local dealer then moved about 300 miles away, dealer 15 miles from my home told me he would not work on it, not even gave me the drop it off and we will get to it when we can speach. I was faced with a 600 mile round trip with a very poor tow vehical which is another story. I got lucky, the local RV repair center who does not sell RVs was able to repair my AC working with Coleman, the RV at the time was an RVision by moneco.

The pamplet I have does state what you say regarding buying local but also adds three more items, if not bought in Canada it may need additional inspections, scheduling warranty repairs through a local dealer is faster and more convienant for you the customer, and last but not least, Forest River inc dealers are privately owned and operated, service and warranty work is at their discretion.

It is a sad state the way it is run and stinks it is not more like the auto industry. There is very little regulation in place that protects a consumer of an RV. In Canada the goverment actually released a phamplet that basically states, buy local, if you didn't, don't call us. Found on another thread where there are not even regulations around the breaking systems on tow behind RVs. My only recourse, have bought two more RVs and the dealer who told me know I shopped just to waste his time, no intention of buying there. Make it a point to kick tires as often as I like and spread the story every chance I get.
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Old 01-21-2015, 05:35 PM   #9
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Don't think just because you purchased it locally makes it any better all the time. We purchased locally and it is still a 2-4 week wait to get it in then take it back home and wait for parts. The travel trailer dealer we had on our first unit was great. fast service when called normally 1 week or so. Parts ordered and received fast. The current dealer for thee motor home is the complete opposite. weeks to get it in, weeks for parts and just hope like hell its fixed correctly, and then wonder what they messed up during repairs.
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Old 01-21-2015, 06:08 PM   #10
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Despite what some have said here, this issue could easily be resolved by FR if they wanted to. There are many companies out there that require their dealers to repair or do warranty work on their products as a condition of franchise. Traveled the country on my Harley Davidson and had work done at many dealers and never was told you didn't bu it here. I have even had them open the service dept on a weekend just to repair my bike.
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