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Old 07-21-2016, 08:13 AM   #111
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Originally Posted by DreiHunde View Post
Agreed
X3 - exactly!

We fulltime and cannot agree more with point #6! (and yep we have owned our share of sticks & bricks )
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Old 07-21-2016, 08:52 AM   #112
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Originally Posted by bclemens View Post
No problem. I am a consumer too and I try to approach things as I would want to be treated. The more I know, the better I feel about the process, so I just want provide some insight.

We do try, very hard to go above and beyond.
As does a LOT of other Forest River Divisions -- I believe this is because it is a Corporate Culture and I applaud Forest River for it! This is the biggest reason we are Forest River Owners for life!

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Originally Posted by bclemens View Post
Example: Customer had an issue with a unit, we set up a dealer (within a day) to do the repair but he wanted to bring it to the factory. Brought it by the plant, we fixed a few things and mentioned something else we saw offered to fix it. Said, not to worry about it, it was no big deal had to get home. Got it home and it became a big deal. Had a couple of other issues that became MOUNTAINS. It was all our fault, and he's already had to bring it back to the factory once. (Uh, we had a dealer set up, you chose to bring it here it didn't need to come back).

Long story short, we sent a drive away company (same ones that delivers our units every single day) to go pick up the unit from his residence. Driver gets there at 5pm. Customer asks...its 5 pm, what will you do Dynamax is closed. Driver said, I will take it to our holding yard and transfer it over in the morning. Customer refused to release the unit...wanted us to put the driver up in a hotel, so that in the morning he could take it straight to the plant. Would only release the unit when my head of service agreed to meet the driver at the plant, 9pm at night....and of course all its going to do is store in our holding yard until the morning (which we tried telling him).

When we dig into it...the first two "trip ending" major factory flaws, were user related issues, not factory defects.

I know that there is story after story of poor mfg service and I can relate story after story of consumer gone insane....but I think in the end, they are really the exception to the norm...they just happen to be the ones that get the most media coverage.
X2

Almost Every (I'll bet EVERY but someone would flame me if I said that LOL) Customer service issue I have heard/helped with boils down to 3 things:

1. Rushed/incomplete/nonexistent pickup PDI
2. Unreasonable customer expectations/demands (see bclemens comment above) Oddly enough, I have heard similar situations from 3 other FR divisions. WTH?! FR bends over backwards to help and the customer rants for unreasonable requests? Customers need to get a life!?
3. Decent dealers try to help customers but customers have unreasonable demands (see 2 above).

Finally, I am a FR Customer Service poster child: last year techs noticed delamination on our 5er at the Goshen rally but we could not stick around to have it fixed. Long story short they sent a driver to our house in AL picked the unit up, fixed it, delivered it back to our house (with several unexpected upgrades done as well). No Charge.

I'm unsatisfied/unhappy/mad...how?!

Thanks Again Forest River.
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Old 07-21-2016, 09:46 AM   #113
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Originally Posted by BamaBob View Post
N
How is it that a RV dealer (or plumber, electrician, auto mechanic or other service tech) justify their hourly labor rate? $125 a hour for repair services? Really? REALLY?

Our son Brian, BSRN, CCRN and soon to be Nurse Practitioner makes $29/hr. with shift differential. As a CRNP, he will boost that salary to $53/hr. 7 years of college education & student loans to repay.

So a person who saves lives in a Emergency Room (maybe the life of you, your wife, or your child!) Makes 1/2 the pay of a trade school trained technician?!?

Really? REALLY!?

(Yes I realize that RV dealerships pay techs crap, but independent techs, electricians & plumbers still charge the same rates)


(And before someone tries to justify those outrageous salaries - don't forget that the medical profession writ large is vastly overpriced in my opinion as well!)

All I am doing here is addressing the issue of fair wages for services preformed.

/rant

(Northstar - at $20-30/hr. I believe you are charging a fair rate for services performed so this rant is NOT directed toward you!)
I agree that if you do not have the overhead of maintaining a shop that the price per hour should drop but you also need to consider that the mobile tech often has to cover transportation costs including wear and tear, gas, and time lost so yes, if I call a tech out for a repair and they drive an hour to get there I will expect to pay 125.00 for their hour of work, the hour they drove and the hour it takes them to get back home. Their office is mobile just like a taxi and you have to pay for their transport time just like you would for an ambulance etc. Now if they charged a flat rate of 125.00 per hour instead of 125.00 for the first hour and a decreasing rate for each hour thereafter then yeah, I'll have a beef with that rate model and I doubt that person will get very many call backs but 125.00 for the first hour of a mobile techs time is not uncommon or IMO unreasonable considering what it's covering.
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Old 07-21-2016, 10:02 AM   #114
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I won't flame you, but...

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Originally Posted by BamaBob View Post
As does a LOT of other Forest River Divisions -- I believe this is because it is a Corporate Culture and I applaud Forest River for it! This is the biggest reason we are Forest River Owners for life!



X2

Almost Every (I'll bet EVERY but someone would flame me if I said that LOL) Customer service issue I have heard/helped with boils down to 3 things:

1. Rushed/incomplete/nonexistent pickup PDI
2. Unreasonable customer expectations/demands (see bclemens comment above) Oddly enough, I have heard similar situations from 3 other FR divisions. WTH?! FR bends over backwards to help and the customer rants for unreasonable requests? Customers need to get a life!?
3. Decent dealers try to help customers but customers have unreasonable demands (see 2 above).

Finally, I am a FR Customer Service poster child: last year techs noticed delamination on our 5er at the Goshen rally but we could not stick around to have it fixed. Long story short they sent a driver to our house in AL picked the unit up, fixed it, delivered it back to our house (with several unexpected upgrades done as well). No Charge.

I'm unsatisfied/unhappy/mad...how?!

Thanks Again Forest River.
I can give you at least one data point where you are wrong.

Our motorhome was 2 months old. We were boondocking at Oshkosh and the generator quit. I called CoachNet for assistance. They could have it looked at in three days. We would be gone from Oshkosh by then. I called FR, talked to Customer Service. He promised a call back within an hour. I got a voicemail from him 3 days later telling me to return it to my selling dealer (in Michigan).

I took care of the generator issue myself with Cummins directly once we returned home.

Made an appointment at the one local dealer that was willing to service the motorhome to take care of a list of discrepancies. They were one month out. Left the motorhome there for a month, the only item they "repaired" was the generator tailpipe that fell off and got beat up. They re-used the old tailpipe and the beat-up clamp. It failed again the next time we took the motorhome out. By now it was out of warranty and I fixed it myself.

So at least in my case, the issues we had were not due to inadequate PDI or an unreasonable demand or request. My issues have been 100% component failure, poor assembly quality and poor customer service from FR and the dealers.

One data point, I realize - but I think there are plenty more folks who have similar, if not much worse experiences. And I am convinced it is not because we are unreasonable. Unlike you, if I ever own another MH, it won't be a Forest River.
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Old 07-21-2016, 11:07 AM   #115
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Northstar, I applaud your hourly rate of $20-30 a hour. Where do you live? You are my tech for life!!

As I get to the end of my career (I retire next Year) service fees are yet another area that irritates the 'grumpy old man in me'

How is it that a RV dealer (or plumber, electrician, auto mechanic or other service tech) justify their hourly labor rate? $125 a hour for repair services? Really? REALLY?

Our son Brian, BSRN, CCRN and soon to be Nurse Practitioner makes $29/hr. with shift differential. As a CRNP, he will boost that salary to $53/hr. 7 years of college education & student loans to repay.

So a person who saves lives in a Emergency Room (maybe the life of you, your wife, or your child!) Makes 1/2 the pay of a trade school trained technician?!?

Really? REALLY!?

(Yes I realize that RV dealerships pay techs crap, but independent techs, electricians & plumbers still charge the same rates)


(And before someone tries to justify those outrageous salaries - don't forget that the medical profession writ large is vastly overpriced in my opinion as well!)

All I am doing here is addressing the issue of fair wages for services preformed.

/rant

(Northstar - at $20-30/hr. I believe you are charging a fair rate for services performed so this rant is NOT directed toward you!)
20 to 30 is what dealers pay there techs not enough ! i charge $95 which is cheap . no benefits , lots of expenses , $53 is good he will not have to buy supply's will get no doubt great benefits , 401 health etc work a set schedule . 7yrs of collage is not much different then 7 yrs working to gain the master license .

IF you think plumbers , electricians , Mobile techs charge to much then you should learn to do it all your self . go buy the thousands in equipment . take the time to learn the systems then you can save your money . just trying to make a point here not going after you personally
I'm out of pocket for thousands in parts that i may or may not need you try to cover your bases . my last months gasoline bill was $750 . not to mention wear and tear on the truck . oil changes tires ETC . so that $95.00 drops to 25 real quick .
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Old 07-21-2016, 11:08 AM   #116
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[QUOTE=BamaBob;1265501]
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Originally Posted by B and B View Post

Brian (and others)

Not sure the thread should be closed - I am enjoying reading Bclemens forthright replies -- refreshing that a Forest River rep is actively participating in the forum (Thanks Bclemens!!)

I DO think that the 2000 lb. elephant in the room DOES need to be addressed - and simply put: why do people think that a $20,000 RV needs to have the fit and finish of a $100,000 one?

RV manufacturers can only do so much and still make a profit - you really do get what you pay for.

Having said that, I really DO wish that the RV industry can move forward to adopt automobile industry-like standards whereby dealerships are held accountable by the manufacturer. Only when this happens can buyers be assured that the product they purchase will be adequately warranted.

THIS is the next big thing that the RVIA should address if they want to be seen as anything more than a $165 decal added to the purchase price of a RV.
My $17,000 Honda Fit Toad does not have the same creature comforts as my wife's $55,000 Acura. It does, however, have the same level of reliability and build quality. The Fit was built in Mexico, the Acura in Japan.

I know the RV industry is much different, but how much money do you have to spend to get great build quality, good component life and reasonable creature comforts on a very reliable chassis? And who makes one?
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Old 07-21-2016, 11:25 AM   #117
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I never want to close any thread, as long as anyone has something more to say.

Y'all are missing one key ingredient, and Mr. Clemens told you about it above. Cars sell 17 Million units. RV's sell less than 1/2 million.

You can't legitimately want them to operate identically.

I will agree, there are too many manufacturers and too many models. There should be about 3 manufacturers and about 25 models each. Then quality would improve.
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Old 07-21-2016, 11:42 AM   #118
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As usual the Forest River glee club comes out to defend them at all costs, while having a good long sip of the kool aid. What's funny is Greg's opinions in the series are directed at the entire Industry, but the faithful here feel they must defend Forest River.

I was handed, well lets say almost handed, a total POS of a trailer. No PDI involved....we never made it that far. I saw it a few hours after the dealer received it. I have copies of the 19 pages of warranty work orders approved to the dealer (official Rockwood forms) to repair that unit to the tune of $5000, and I did not even own it. I have resisted posting those pages here, along with the massive amount of pictures I have, but maybe I should? I had discussed the issues directly with the factory on more than one occasion prior to and during those approvals. There was only a few items they refused to do or considered "unreasonable". One was the TV antenna hits the radio antenna when rotated. Why? 184 sq ft of roof and you can't mount one antenna 6" further from the other? Nope, that's the way we build them......so was the official response. Maybe I was unreasonable.

Long story short. The ball was dropped, not by the dealer but the manufacturer, as they could not get parts to the dealer to repair the screw ups they shipped. I was intimately involved and know almost to the hour when the parts orders were sent by the dealer. Ultimately the unit was rejected by us. Unreasonable? I was being patient for weeks and trying to remain positive. I was trying to buy something and the manufacturer could not provide it.

We wanted the model / floorplan, and gave them a second chance. Add another 7 weeks. We had discussions with the factory more than once. We were given some excellent advice behind the scenes here that I will not mention regarding factory inspections. We were told things and promised things. Not by the dealer, by people at the factory.

The 2nd unit showed up in much better shape but still had some of the same issues as the first, and not minor inconsequential things either. By that time I was tired of it and I gave up. I'll fix it myself, where do I sign. Its now April and I placed the original order in October. I have already missed a yearly fishing trip and the season has started. I just want this entire ordeal over with. I am guilty of exactly what Greg describes in part 7....

On the way home the water tank started falling out. The first trip out the fridge stops working and the microwave go's up in a plume of smoke. I know....... those are components not made by Forest River........ A very common response here...................BS!

It was not rushed/incomplete/nonexistent pickup PDI nor unreasonable demands. All I expect for my lowly $20K is something I don't have to rebuild and repair right out of the gate.....It's not the dealers fault, unless hes building trailers in Indiana. I didn't have to work on my cheap $50K GMC pickup yet or my wife's measly cheap 22K CRV. I remember when we bought the CRV and drove it home. The next day I did not have to tighten up the fuel tank.


Well guess what?..I am actually happy with the unit now. That's after I have spent countless amounts of time and effort, along with who knows how much money, to finish building it correctly. I am also quite happy with Rockwood's support after the fact. They reimbursed me for the fridge element, and sent a new microwave to me. Fairly painlessly too. I am thrilled with the dealer, Campers Inn of Pittsburgh (formally Clems).

This industry has some huge problems that they created themselves and Forest River is just as guilty as anyone else, no matter what the fan club thinks or says. When I see the Kumbaya posts I want to stick my finger down my throat and hurl on my monitor. Believe me, the below does not solve much. I need a drink..........and not Kool aid either.

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Old 07-21-2016, 12:01 PM   #119
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It's funny that people that post their complaints don't like to get bashed for it...but yet when people post positive results those same people are bashing them for it. Really, I think no one should be bashing anyone for their opinion. (unless that's bashing right there...then it is so totally acceptable)

Maybe, just maybe we have two people on here and they had two different experiences (both accurately described). A person that says they love Forest River and will always buy is not saying that you are stupid and overly picky (at least I hope not) but on the same token, someone that had an issue cannot possibly say that everyone will.

Greg did in fact generalize the entire industry and he is entitled to his opinion....but posters are also entitled to post their positive experience as a counter point. That does not mean the industry is perfect....simply sharing their personal experience just as Gerber did his.
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Old 07-21-2016, 12:28 PM   #120
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It's funny that people that post their complaints don't like to get bashed for it...but yet when people post positive results those same people are bashing them for it.
This is why we have in the guidelines, this part often ignored by some members, even when being reminded of such repeatedly:


Dealer/Vendor and Customer Disputes: This forum is not intended to be a mechanism for people to vent frustrations about vendors or sales from private parties. Please settle your differences with sellers, manufacturers and dealers through the long-established legal or arbitration systems or the Better Business Bureau but not through our community.

These type of threads have historically turned into what this thread HAS became, a disrespect of others opinions and bashing of same.

Threads do evolve normally into other subject matters, as from what the original intent was. Since these type threads are not really asking a question that members can help with, then there can be no "correct" answer, but just opinions. What's one opinion may not be what's another...nor even if based on experience, they may not be the same as bclemens has so correctly articulated.

The site team tries to let our members 'vent' some, but these same members cannot keep opening threads or using several threads to keep "venting". That's not friendly and becomes "trolling and baiting" when the same people keep doing it, even after seeing the discourse they are causing. They just can't let go.

These are also against our friendly site guidelines:

  • Do not post the same discussion topic more than once or in several areas of the forum.
  • Do not take every opportunity to express your disagreement, incite argument, insult each other, or fan flames. Voice your opinion respectfully and then let it go.
  • Trolling and cyberstalking are NOT allowed and are grounds for account restriction or banishment. Trolling on this board includes posting controversial and often irrelevant or off-topic messages with the intention of (or anticipated result of) baiting other users into an emotional response or to generally disrupt normal, harmonious on-topic discussion, especially when a pattern of such posting is apparent.
What this thread started out as, has really strayed away from.
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