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Old 06-24-2008, 08:51 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 2,226
Customer Service The way I do it:

I have -almost retired - so not doing new builds Own a computer company, it's a one man operation, because I believe I can support enough customers and still have a life.

You call me for a new computer, and I ask what kind and how you are going to use it, i.e., game machine, video editing, high end drafting, or a general purpose machine? You say you will do some game, e-mail, word processing, spreadsheets, quicken, watch movies sometimes, and download large data files.

I set up a time, and come to your business, or home. We discuss in detail what and how you will use this machine, if you have children, grandchildren, grown children who come over and use your system, what software you think you will want, stuff like that. Up front I let you know I only build Intel based Microsoft based machines. I don't use AMD, and won't start. I only use Intel motherboards, Kingston or better memory, and Nvidia based video cards. If these components choices are not what you want, I am not your man. I also let you know, I am going to be more expensive than Costco, Dell, Circuit City, and other local outlets, because with me you get more.

I leave and figure out which components (level of performance) I am going to use. Up till now all I have invested is a little time. It takes me about a week to "spec" out the proposed machine, and I contact you again coming to your business or home to show you what I have developed, and how much it will cost. Included in the system cost is; 6 hours if necessary, of personal hands on training and software moving-from the old machine to the new machine-if necessary. I have compiled a list of parts which will go into the new machine, and the costs associated with those parts-line by line, also showing shipping of the parts costs; sales tax, labor(includes training time above) and the total of the machine. If you like the price, you give me a check for the total, and I go home and order the parts, and assemble the machine, burn it in for about 5 days, install any software you gave me, etc. When I am satisfied it's working perfectly, I make arrangements to deliver it to you.

I bring it to your house/business, remove/move the old system, set up the new system, again move any software, or configure any programs you have on the old machine to the new machine, show you how the virus software works, how the windows update service works, go over the three years parts and labor warranty, and make sure you are comfortable with the new machine. I leave the old computer for you to keep for a while, unless you want me to dispose of it. That alone can cost me 50 dollars depending on where I have to take it to. I also explain, the software warranty is 30 days, and after that, you can call Microsoft, or whomever for additional software service.

After a week, I call you to see how things are going, again after 30 days. I add your e-mail or phone number to my contact list for software updates, virus updates, list. When especially critical updates are released, I let you know via e-mail/phone. At 180 days, I would like to see the machine, blow it out, and run some diagnostics to make sure it's performing well. I do that again at the 1 year point. I do it again at the 2 and 3 year points. If during the warranty period we have an issue I come to you, figure out what is wrong, make arrangements to repair the machine, maybe taking it to my shop, getting the new part installed, shipping back the old part so you don't fuss with spending hours on hold awaiting some Chinese or Indian technician trying to bridge the language barrier. I do all that for you as part of my service. At the end of the three years, if everything is working for you-our business relationship is finished, but by this time we are most likely friends, and see each other for other reasons than computers. I have many clients who have become friends, other than customers. I have customers who want me to build systems for them now, and I won't because I don't want to be responsible once I retire, and start to travel. They are aware of how well I treat them, and take care of the equipment for them. Why, because it's the way I would want to be treated, especially when lots of folks don't know anything about a computer, I happen to have knowledge, and don't mind helping them.

I go out of my way, way beyond what any business would do to help them, not only getting their money, but making sure for the warranty period, they are happy.

For RV dealers, I don't expect to receive the above hand holding. However, I do expect, my punch list of defects to be fixed, fixed correctly, and done so the first time, or a reason why they cannot fix it and a remedy or workaround until they can. I don't expect fiberglass to be fine when I buy the coach and damaged when I pick it up. I don't expect the dealer to refuse to fix the fiberglass step area, when the damage was done when they used the coach as a demo unit. We both (dealer and us) agreed to the price, and that price included the repair/replacement/refurbishment of components to make the coach like new. If he agreed to it when I purchased it, I expect him to follow through on that promise. That is the way I treat my customers, and I expect no less from someone I purchase items from. Very few companies live up to my expectations, but here is a short list of ones that do, and excel at it: Amazon.com; Lowrance Electronics, Inc; Western Digital; Intel; Nvidia & companies who use their GPU in their video cards; D & H Distributing, Inc; Silverleaf, Inc; King Controls, Inc; Newegg computer, inc; Honda Car Corporation, inc; Magellan Electronics, Inc; Lexus Car Corporation(Toyota); Hydro Hot, inc; and I am sure there are more, just cannot remember those other ones right now.

Now, all of you may feel I am expecting too much, however, based on the way I try to treat my customers, I don't think so. My customers are my small livelihood, and without them, I would have nothing, and also my friends and we can never have too many of those. We have cried together, supported each other through medical issues, lost loved ones, lost pets, marriages, divorces, and a myriad of other human conditions. I don't necessarily like each the same, but all are my friends. By meeting and knowing them, my life is richer, and we have learned together.

Sorry to be so long winded, but I think it's important for all to know why I am so terribly disappointed in my current RV purchase, and no I am not new to the RV game, as I have had some kind of Rv since the early 80's. My first one was an old 1966 Oasis 18' single axle trailer with a recirculation toilet in it. I even fixed that one time. Customer service is not dead, you just have to look real hard to find it.
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S/N - 75715 - Retired - Master Certified RV Tech
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:51 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 2,226
Customer Service The way I do it:

I have -almost retired - so not doing new builds Own a computer company, it's a one man operation, because I believe I can support enough customers and still have a life.

You call me for a new computer, and I ask what kind and how you are going to use it, i.e., game machine, video editing, high end drafting, or a general purpose machine? You say you will do some game, e-mail, word processing, spreadsheets, quicken, watch movies sometimes, and download large data files.

I set up a time, and come to your business, or home. We discuss in detail what and how you will use this machine, if you have children, grandchildren, grown children who come over and use your system, what software you think you will want, stuff like that. Up front I let you know I only build Intel based Microsoft based machines. I don't use AMD, and won't start. I only use Intel motherboards, Kingston or better memory, and Nvidia based video cards. If these components choices are not what you want, I am not your man. I also let you know, I am going to be more expensive than Costco, Dell, Circuit City, and other local outlets, because with me you get more.

I leave and figure out which components (level of performance) I am going to use. Up till now all I have invested is a little time. It takes me about a week to "spec" out the proposed machine, and I contact you again coming to your business or home to show you what I have developed, and how much it will cost. Included in the system cost is; 6 hours if necessary, of personal hands on training and software moving-from the old machine to the new machine-if necessary. I have compiled a list of parts which will go into the new machine, and the costs associated with those parts-line by line, also showing shipping of the parts costs; sales tax, labor(includes training time above) and the total of the machine. If you like the price, you give me a check for the total, and I go home and order the parts, and assemble the machine, burn it in for about 5 days, install any software you gave me, etc. When I am satisfied it's working perfectly, I make arrangements to deliver it to you.

I bring it to your house/business, remove/move the old system, set up the new system, again move any software, or configure any programs you have on the old machine to the new machine, show you how the virus software works, how the windows update service works, go over the three years parts and labor warranty, and make sure you are comfortable with the new machine. I leave the old computer for you to keep for a while, unless you want me to dispose of it. That alone can cost me 50 dollars depending on where I have to take it to. I also explain, the software warranty is 30 days, and after that, you can call Microsoft, or whomever for additional software service.

After a week, I call you to see how things are going, again after 30 days. I add your e-mail or phone number to my contact list for software updates, virus updates, list. When especially critical updates are released, I let you know via e-mail/phone. At 180 days, I would like to see the machine, blow it out, and run some diagnostics to make sure it's performing well. I do that again at the 1 year point. I do it again at the 2 and 3 year points. If during the warranty period we have an issue I come to you, figure out what is wrong, make arrangements to repair the machine, maybe taking it to my shop, getting the new part installed, shipping back the old part so you don't fuss with spending hours on hold awaiting some Chinese or Indian technician trying to bridge the language barrier. I do all that for you as part of my service. At the end of the three years, if everything is working for you-our business relationship is finished, but by this time we are most likely friends, and see each other for other reasons than computers. I have many clients who have become friends, other than customers. I have customers who want me to build systems for them now, and I won't because I don't want to be responsible once I retire, and start to travel. They are aware of how well I treat them, and take care of the equipment for them. Why, because it's the way I would want to be treated, especially when lots of folks don't know anything about a computer, I happen to have knowledge, and don't mind helping them.

I go out of my way, way beyond what any business would do to help them, not only getting their money, but making sure for the warranty period, they are happy.

For RV dealers, I don't expect to receive the above hand holding. However, I do expect, my punch list of defects to be fixed, fixed correctly, and done so the first time, or a reason why they cannot fix it and a remedy or workaround until they can. I don't expect fiberglass to be fine when I buy the coach and damaged when I pick it up. I don't expect the dealer to refuse to fix the fiberglass step area, when the damage was done when they used the coach as a demo unit. We both (dealer and us) agreed to the price, and that price included the repair/replacement/refurbishment of components to make the coach like new. If he agreed to it when I purchased it, I expect him to follow through on that promise. That is the way I treat my customers, and I expect no less from someone I purchase items from. Very few companies live up to my expectations, but here is a short list of ones that do, and excel at it: Amazon.com; Lowrance Electronics, Inc; Western Digital; Intel; Nvidia & companies who use their GPU in their video cards; D & H Distributing, Inc; Silverleaf, Inc; King Controls, Inc; Newegg computer, inc; Honda Car Corporation, inc; Magellan Electronics, Inc; Lexus Car Corporation(Toyota); Hydro Hot, inc; and I am sure there are more, just cannot remember those other ones right now.

Now, all of you may feel I am expecting too much, however, based on the way I try to treat my customers, I don't think so. My customers are my small livelihood, and without them, I would have nothing, and also my friends and we can never have too many of those. We have cried together, supported each other through medical issues, lost loved ones, lost pets, marriages, divorces, and a myriad of other human conditions. I don't necessarily like each the same, but all are my friends. By meeting and knowing them, my life is richer, and we have learned together.

Sorry to be so long winded, but I think it's important for all to know why I am so terribly disappointed in my current RV purchase, and no I am not new to the RV game, as I have had some kind of Rv since the early 80's. My first one was an old 1966 Oasis 18' single axle trailer with a recirculation toilet in it. I even fixed that one time. Customer service is not dead, you just have to look real hard to find it.
__________________

__________________
Monty & Janet - 2007 Alpine APEX 40 MDTS
S/N - 75715 - Retired - Master Certified RV Tech
Old Rv'er is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2008, 09:41 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Country Coach Owners Club
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Carson City, NV/Surprise, AZ/Florence, OR
Posts: 267
Let me know when you find it. I'm still looking.
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Jim and Sally & Rufus the Lakeland Terrier
2001, 40' Country Coach Affinity, towing a 2005 Ford Explorer Sport Trac
Carson City,NV, Surprise,AZ, Florence,OR
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Old 06-25-2008, 11:50 AM   #4
tcu
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Abington, PA
Posts: 8
LIke Jim & Sally, I am still looking. I operate a small overhead crane & hoisting equipment company that I started 50 years ago. I treat my customers with utter respect and deal with them with kid gloves. Unfortunately I do not find the RV business treating me in the same fashion. Since I own an Alpine and very proud of it, I have learned how to cope with the suppliers and the companies that I have do repair work for me. It works very nicely, but as a rule I am the indiviual that is doing the bending.

Ted Ulmer
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Old 06-25-2008, 01:17 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Junction City, Oregon
Posts: 4
I agree 100% on what customer service should be in the RV industry. In my opinion, the demand for RV's has grown so quickly, that manufacturers are building them faster to meet the demand. Increased production needs more workers (who are hired with no experience and are expected to learn as they go). Quality goes down so more repairs are needed. More sales are made to meet the demand. Higher volume of RV's on the road with a greater number of defects. RV service shops are not equipped to meet the high volume of repairs required to keep everybody on the road. In the non-peak seasons, RV shops can take their time and do a much better job. Peak season, high volume, lots of repairs, owners in a hurry... not gonna get real great results. Just my .02.
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