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Old 08-03-2011, 06:01 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by MovinSue View Post
SabreSam; I get that. It is not right to characterize everyone with the poor performance of a single person nor is it right to "beat up" on reps who try to help but for whatever reason comes up short in the customer's eyes. I have privately messaged bclemens as he said he would whack my Factory Rep upside the head. There is no need to personalize issues--if a rep is not competent, it will eventually be revealed to management and/or the customer can always escalate the matter. I am glad that you have not been so burned as to not want to help anyone anymore. The damage to the company name, however, cannot be quantified.

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Old 08-04-2011, 09:51 AM   #82
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Would it not be better for Forest River & the customer if factory reps were contacted thru an official FR contact? As I posted before very little contact info for the customer. The FR website doesn't even have a "contact" button. When I did contact a rep @ HQ it was a Flagstaff rep, not a Rockwood. I really can't see the need for the different reps when aren't Flagstaff & Rockwood models identical other than graphics?
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Old 08-04-2011, 10:04 AM   #83
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Part of the issue is the dealer. If you have a problem with your Ford Truck, you don't call Ford....you call the dealer. We depend on our dealers for a support system, but I do understand that is not always sufficient. There are not contact names on the website, because we'd like you to contact your local dealer first, who is in a better position for immediate help.

Some of the sales reps and possibly the warranty reps monitor these sites as a courtesy. Myself, I just like to help when you hit a dead end. I learn a lot in doing so.

As an example, I have a dealer that I have never had a single email/text/call from any of their retail customers. The dealership does a phenomenal job of taking care of their own customers and that is how the system is supposed to work. We have limited retail support, our support system is set up for the dealer.
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Old 08-04-2011, 10:16 AM   #84
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Yes, the dealer network SHOULD be where we go, but as you have already realized, the dealer's do not have the mentality, that they should be taking care of the owner's. They come up with a ton of excuses not to look after customer's who do not buy from them, and FR, unfortunately supports this approach. The end result is, we need support and as the dealer after dealer fails us, we turn to FR.

I am NOT badmouthing FR or dealers or their approach to customer service. I am just stating what I see as a customer.

Maybe, just maybe, FR might look at the whole RV industry (as they are all doing this) and say, ok, we WILL differentiate ourselves from the rest of the industry and set an example of how things should be, and make it possible for us to take our RV's to any authorized FR dealer who sells the same brand, and expect it to get fixed without arguing about how FR only pays a fraction of thew time to fix something and since we did not buy it from them they now can;t look after it etc ?

You guys would be leaps and bounds ahead of competition if your dealer network would welcome any brand for repairs also sold by them regardless of where it has been purchased from ! We all know that FR takes care of their customers, I have been proven that twice at the factory ! I know that is what you guys want too. Why not incorporate your dealers into the same philisophy ? If they do not want to do it, they are probably lousy dealers anyways and you should probably not deal with them ....


Please read this in the positive tone I am writing it ... I am not bashing any dealers or FR ... just an idea that maybe can put FR ahead of everyone else when it comes to service ..... And then maybe we will not "need" factory/warranty representatives in the forums .....
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Old 08-04-2011, 10:28 AM   #85
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One other issue is the location of dealers. If I have a problem with my GMC dealer (which I do NOT), there is a Chevy or GMC dealer within 30 minutes in any direction I care to drive.

Not so for RV dealerships. If I have a problem with my local dealer's service department (which I do); I am kinda screwed. That means I need to suddenly have to become an "expert" at RV repair just in self defense. Parts are a real problem and the Internet becomes your friend. Finding a service station that does PA trailer inspections is also problematic.

Flagstaff specific parts mean calls to the factory or to dealers 50 to 100 miles away. This is not a problem for me as I would travel a thousand miles; than give another dollar to my local dealer .
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Old 08-04-2011, 11:11 AM   #86
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I would love to see some way to contact the manufacturer directly. To give suggestions and address some issues. One beef that I have over the service policy.

What if/when you move? When you are on the road? Automobile dealers don't care where I bought my vehicle from. It never even comes up. RV Dealers seem to either remember you or ask you quite frequently where you bought it from or if you bought it from them. I'm not going to tow my trailer hundreds of miles or more back to the dealer I bought it from for service. I shouldn't have to. What if I can't tow it back? A continual reoccurring problem that I see and hear about is that most dealers will either give priority to those who bought from them first..understandable and a bit more tolerable...but still feel it should be on a first come first served basis or by appointment. Or you didn't buy from us, so no we won't help you. The problem here is that this practice seems to be supported by the manufacturers. There also seems to be a lack of knowledge maybe due to inadequate training or educational materials. Are RV repair techs required to be certified like many of the automobile mechanics are? If not, maybe they should be? Do the manufactures provide sufficient enough and easily accessible repair manuals, assistance and parts?

I'll get off my soap box now...
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Old 08-04-2011, 05:32 PM   #87
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Goomph, herk & scor1pion make valid points.

Yes, take my RV back to the dealer. They don't even have a shop building to work in during inclement weather.

Here's a bit of info from page 7-2 of the Owner's Manual of a 2006 Pontiac Montana:

STEP ONE: Discuss your concern with a member of dealer management. Normally concerns can be quickly resolved at that level. If the matter has already been reviewed with the sales, service or parts manager, contact the owner of the dealership or the general manager.

STEP TWO: If after contacting a membership management, it appears your concern cannot be resolved by the dealership without further help, contact the Pontiac Customer Assistance Center by calling 1-800-XXX-XXXX. In Canada, contact GM of Canada Customer Communication Centre in Oshawa by calling 1-800-XXX-XXXX (English) or 1-800-XXX-XXXX (French). We encourage you to call the toll-free number in order to give your inquiry attention.

STEP THREE: ...However, if you continue to remain unsatisfied after following the procedure outlined in Steps One and Two, you should contact the BBB Auto Line Program to enforce any additional rights you may have. Canadian owners refer to your Warranty and Owner Assistance Information booklet for information on the Canadian Motor Vehicle Arbitration Plan.

Similiar steps (including phone numbers) are included in the Owner's Manual for my 2011 Chevrolet Silverado. I would think I could find the same in the manual for my 1986 Monte Carlo SS.

W/o any direct contact w/ the manufacturer, people get the opinion that the "factory" is hiding.
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Old 08-04-2011, 07:17 PM   #88
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Is there a Georgetown Rep. around?
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Old 08-05-2011, 09:50 PM   #89
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I want to weigh in too. I would not take anything to my dealer unless it was a real emergency. Not going into details but, like Lou, I would not want the dealer service department (a separate entity but connected to the dealer) to have access to my vehicle. Also, I moved 200 miles from my dealer, so the dealer is not accessible even if I wanted service. There is a service dealer 15 minutes from my home. The obvious dilemma is that these products are made for travelling and, that is when problems will most likely be identified and need to be diagnosed. We cannot expect dealers in Florida to mind-meld with a distressed motorhome owner in Montana and blindly guess what the problem is! I need warranty service in Montana! In my experience, I found that many dealers in the Western US would not work on motorhomes, even though they were FR dealers! One dealer that was referred to me by FR Denied that he was a dealer! All dealer service departments that I have dealt with in Florida--11 years and 5 rigs--have been one frustrating fiasco after another. I don't believe dealers really care about aftermarket service; they grudgingly give you an appointment 2 months away and then make you wait 2 days after you arrive. They let their "technicians" loose on your vehicle, many of whom are just out of 10 week technician school and were flipping burgers 3 month ago. Gosh, I could go on but I will just give a "second" what Goomph is saying. Unfortunately, the retail customer can't make any difference with the pocketbook, since all the manufacturers are doing business the same way---so it is up to the manufacturer to pull away from the pack.

I would spend more money on an RV from a manufacturer with a reliable, open-access and technically proficient dealer service network.
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Old 08-06-2011, 11:22 PM   #90
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I guess I've been fortunate.My dealer"Great Outdoors RV" in Evans,Colorado has been top notch and the two times I have contacted factory for problem's dealer doesn't handle I have had the factory reps go above and beyond each time.
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:29 PM   #91
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2nd year warranty

We ordered a new Silverback in March was delivered in May. Our dealer did not have the extended forms for 2nd year warranty. Can we get the form somehow and is it too late now? We were gone camping 5 weeks and are now stuck home with puppies until September. Would still like the extended waranty.
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:50 PM   #92
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http://www.disruptiveweb.com/images/warranty_addon.pdf


This is a sticky somewhere in one of the subforums but I couldn't find it ...
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Old 08-11-2011, 08:55 AM   #93
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I am currently at a large dealer service lot in Louisiana, attempting to get Warranty Service on my 2011 Lexington GTS motorhome. Here is the sequence of the hoops I am expected to jump through by Forest River and sadly, most other RV manufacturers with few exceptions.

Throughout my 4 month trip, the brand new microwave has not operated; when I attempted to use it and there was no display. I bought a tiny Walmart unit to use, and vacated an entire cabinet to house it in.

Tuesday, I arrived for my appointment and the service dept tested and found it to be defective. They began the time-consuming telephone/paperwork claim with FR. That afternoon, Service received the authorization for return TO THE MICROWAVE manufacturer.

Now, Service must await delivery of a special box which is being sent to package and return the microwave. Turnaround: maybe 3 days. The box might get here tomorrow (Fri), and the Dealer might be able to get it sent back tomorrow, but most likely it will be next Monday.

Let's say Service gets the box and is able to immediately send the microwave back to the microwave manufacturer, Half-Time, on Monday. (Incidentally, Service reports that Half-Time is a very poor product that they have constant problems with.) Let's assume the Microwave manufacturer receives the defective product on Thurs--I'm sure that nobody is going to pay for expedited shipping!

Maybe Half-Time sends out the repaired unit or a new one on Friday. A Friday return of a new/repaired unit to Service next Friday would be a best case scenario. By that time, I will have been sitting on the Dealer's lot from Tues-Friday--11 days!

Let's say Service receives the new unit on Tues and can even replace it and send me along on Tuesday--that would be 14 days--TWO WEEKS--from the point of diagnostic and beginning of the warranty process! And that two week timeframe is full of "maybe's" at several stops/starts in the process.

It's no wonder that legislation has been attempted--and defeated by the RVIA--to enable dealers and customers to be treated fairly by enacting a law requiring "sole-source warranty". This law would require the RV manufacturer to warrant all the components in the vehicle (other than chassis/drive train). Winnebago, Jayco and Newmar already accept responsbility for processing warranty claims for their vehicles' components.

This would be a place for Forest River to jump in and treat their customers with respect. Having to sit on a dealer's lot for 2 weeks while Half Time fixes/replaces their poor product is not being respectful to me and reflects very badly on Forest River.

Half Time owns me nothing--Forest River is their client! I am Forest River's client and reasonably expect to have a common malfunctioning part replaced in less than 2 weeks BY FOREST RIVER! Forest River should be dealing with Half Time and, when their supplier fails to deliver a decent quality product, renegotiate the association.

I have never had a manufacturer-warranted component failure in my previous 5 RV's! The more I learn-the smarter I become. Perhaps I will be paying more attention to the Winnebago product line for my next purchase.
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Old 08-11-2011, 11:34 AM   #94
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I sympathize with your issue, but I made a comment earlier how an RV falls between a house and a car. When I built my house I got a list of all the components. If I have an issue with an oven, I call the oven mfg, not the builder. The supplier is most qualified to handle a warranty issues.

Let's say we did do sole source warranty. I'm not sure it would be any faster. We still have to send a box to return the oven. It comes in, gets repaired or is deemed unrepairable we then send a fixed one or new one out. We add time as the middle man...we can't repair half time ovens. Most suppliers still want to see the old unit to make sure it is not customer damage before they honor a warranty.

I just had the exact same issue with a Playstation 3. Box came, I sent it in, 7-10 days for repair, they box it up and sent it back...all ground shipping. Frustrating, but that is their stated warranty policy.

Other than not being defective in the first place....what would be the perfect case scenario?

PS. Winnebago uses half time ovens as well.
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Old 08-11-2011, 12:24 PM   #95
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An RV does indeed have attributes shared by a house and a car, but it is still has it's own unique product identity! It is both a moving and a stationery shelter as well as vehicular transport. This hybrid product presents more challenges, but a specialty manufacturer is expected to have solved some of the basic problems of both building and servicing them.

When one has a failed component in a home, the situation is much different; the homeowner is not hostage to a provider until a distant 3rd party decides whether or not and how to act! You have other resources available at home. I don't agree that this is comparable.

This is how I would expect a manufacturer to act. First, I would expect some level of Quality Assurance at the factory. Example: my factory-installed backup camera (over $800 option) did not work. This is a safety feature and especially necessary for a sole traveler. Now, you can put the responsibility on me--I should have tested it on the Dealer lot before accepting delivery. Shame on me after purchasing 5 units over 11 years to have overlooked that! However, I would then have the choice: accept the unit anyway and go through a repeat visit to the dealer 3 hours away for installation, hang out on the dealer lot until the part came in or or refuse delivery and make a repeat trip for my NEW RV in acceptable operating condition.

The inconvenience should not be the customer's to bear with a NEW unit; that is why we spend the big bucks for NEW. The camera should not have come out of FR Factory NOT working! And, when it does, FR should make their customer "whole" ASAP--overnight delivery!

In the case of the microwave, I would expect FR, based upon the diagnostic by their authorized service technician, to immediately send a replacement unit overnight. The box in which the replacement was sent would be used to return the defective unit. The replacement would then be re-installed and your customer is on their way with a working oven.

We will always have junk components in RV's and houses to deal with. But, hopefully, RV manufacturers who are listening to their customers---and your customers are becoming increasingly vocal and demanding--will adopt systems to minimize the disruption caused by failures of any kind to the people who place their confidence and dollars in a corporation.

A sole-source warranty policy at least tells the customer "We are listening and we are trying".
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Old 08-11-2011, 12:43 PM   #96
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I disagree that you don't have other resources. Does the range top work? Grill? eating out? I'm not saying its convenient, but if my fridge went out at home...I'm relying just as much on a 3rd party to fix it, and maybe have to come back for parts. They are not going to send me a brand new fridge. If anything it may be more convenient, you can move the RV...my house isn't going anywhere.

There is supposed to be (2) lines of defense. We have a quality control dept that checks ALL appliances. I can say that I have personally walked retail units coming off of the line and everything functioned. Yet, when it got to the dealer a fuse blew in transit (bad power at a campsite or just a loose connection) and it was no longer working when it got there. That is where the 2nd line comes in. The dealers is to do a complete PDI and again, verify that all appliances are in working order.

If you don't mind me asking....who was your original dealer?
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Old 08-11-2011, 12:59 PM   #97
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I'll state once again I have had nothing but top notch results with Forest River perhaps because I have always been reasonable with my request.Both times Forest River did more than I asked for.IMO you are being unreasonable in demanding immediate satisfaction.Just like all of us you need to understand the process and deal with it like it or not.
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Old 08-11-2011, 01:36 PM   #98
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I hate to hear people who are constantly complaining about the MH, Travel traler or fifth wheel the own.

My advice would be to give up the RVing lifestyle; or Yes, try "sugar rather than vinegar" to solve your problems. I've had 2 5'ers and 3 MHs. All had problems that I fixed or got fixed. I still enjoy RVing.

Lastly, you may want to consider a "teardrop" trailer or Casita trailer. They have less things to go wrong and you may be happier in a smaller unit without all the problems and feel closer to those who may surround you.

Happy RVing, and THINK POSITIVE.
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Old 08-11-2011, 03:38 PM   #99
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Racerguy; I am glad that you are having good results with FR. I have not despite having made very reasonable requests. I was asked in a previous response to reflect on an ideal scenario" and my comments reflected only a "wish"--not the reality. I have demanded nothing and have found that "attitude" generally has a worse, rather than better outcome.

Gartonhl: Assuming that I am constantly unhappy in my RV and complaining and don't enjoy the RV'ing lifestyle--well that is heap of judgment based on very little information!

Having owned 5 rigs from various manufacturers purchased from different dealers over the past 11 years, I believe I have earned the right and some expertise, through personal experience, to reflect both positively and negatively on aspects of customer service at the manufacturer and dealer levels. The fact that some believe customer support requires "sugar" or advocates "giving up the RV'ing lifestyle" is, in my opinion, naive and overreaching.

bclemens: Thank you for your focused and thoughtful input. We will just have to agree to disagree on resources; certainly, I can and have adapted to having no microwave oven in that I simply spent $46 to buy one after spending over $90K for a product with one that should have worked. I never use cooktops as I am nervous around open flame so, a resource to some is not a resource to everyone. We adapt in our own way to these kinds of problems.

Things DO break--for no apparent reason--but when the Manufacturer (perhaps) fails and the Dealer (perhaps) fails, then it becomes the customer's (for certain) problem. Most customers have a selling dealer they can look to for service--I don't. I must look to Forest River in the absence of a dealer. And, in any case, I have been "out west" for months and needed service thousands of miles from the selling dealer. One of my rationales for buying a NEW warranted FR product was I perceived it to have a very large network of support established since I anticipated traveling extensively.

I will PM you the name of my dealer; however, my selling dealer is 3 hours from my home. While in Florida, I will be seeking service at a dealer nearer to my home--not the selling dealer.

Am I unhappy? Yes. I am on vacation. I am sitting in a brand new rig with my dog in the Louisiana heat of 106 degrees waiting for parts so I can get warranty service. I am going to be here for about two weeks waiting on a microwave oven. I am also awaiting for the backup camera. Fortunately, the AC works just fine! The Service Dept where I am is doing all they can, but the system will lumber along according to its own tempo and certainly not to my wishes.

When I hear folks say "That's the way it is with RV'ing" and that one should be satisfied with the status quo (or quit RV'ing!), it makes me think of the SNL skit "Lowered Expectations". The skit made me laugh, but the low expectations among consumers of RV products is not funny. This attitude is both a consequence of and a cause of the generally poor quality of customer service that many people experience with the product.
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Old 08-11-2011, 04:03 PM   #100
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I have a great relationship with my dealership and service department. I'm not a "do-it-myself" person so the service department is very important and I glad to have them on my team.
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