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Old 03-30-2012, 12:43 PM   #1
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Lessons learned from purchase experience

Last December we decided to trade our 2004 Gulf Stream Atrium 40' DP in on an end-of-the-year, new, 2011 HR Endeavor 43DFT.

We got a good credit on the trade and the dealer dropped $100k from the MSRP on the new Endeavor. We feel we did very well on this aspect of the deal.

However, there are some lessons we learned which I wanted to mention to those who might benefit from this.

We were promised that number of added extras we ordered at purchase and a number of repair items would be tended to prior to delivery.

This did not happen nearly to our satisfaction.

Delivery inspection was rushed at the end of day on a Friday even though it was scheduled for Friday morning. And it took a lot of requests on my part during that day to get the dealer to take care of things that I saw had not been done. Still - a number of items never got done before delivery.

After delivery, our requests to get some of those extra items taken care of were not responded to in a timely manner - at all! - it was an exercise in frustration. Lots of run around, calls not being returned, being referred to various other contacts, etc.

In the end, I had developed such a sour taste for the poor customer service AFTER purchase, that I decided to cease my quest for the dealer to make good on these items and simply request a complete refund of all monies paid for for extras such as tyron, windshield protection plan, tire protection plan, and long-term extended service contract.

The dealer promised a $3000 fuel credit card from the manufacturer. We finally got ours a few weeks ago (mid-March). Purchase date was mid December. I had to make a few repeat e-mails to Monaco execs to push things along. I have the feeling that folks who fail to follow through with the effort to get their fuel card may never get one.

As for the dealer refund I requested... after a couple of months and repeated contact from me to push it through, we received our refund of nearly $10k for the undone stuff and the long term service contract. I'm a lot happier with the money than I would have been with the "deal".

I would bet the dealers and manufacturers who stubbornly resist to make good on promises add a lot to their bottom lines from customers who don't persistently demand what they are due.

Don't give up on demanding your gas cards and whatever promises a dealer has made to you. Hold their feet to the fire until you are made complete with the deal. And don't hesitate to demand a refund of all incomplete items if they drag their feet.

Purchase advice:

1) do as much of a PRE-purchase inspection as you possibly can on the particular unit you are interested in - right down to driving, functional tests and details... then make the results of those tests a part of the purchase agreement.

2) schedule your delivery inspection early in the week and when you AND the dealer have a full day to go over everything in detail before you sign off on delivery.

3) schedule your delivery when you will still have at least a couple of weeks while in the dealer's immediate service center vicinity so you will have time to make the dealer follow through on promised items that didn't get done before delivery and to take care of shakedown items that become apparent during the first few days using the RV.

Lastly, be prepared to exercise more persistence in pushing to receive what you are due than the dealer/manufacturer will exercise in stalling. They may well hope you just give up and go away - saving them many thousands of dollars in their bottom line.

Aside from these dealer customer-no-service matters, we are totally THRILLED with the quality, features, and performance of our HR Endeavor 43DFT! We've lived and traveled in it full time for nearly four months since we bought it.

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Old 03-30-2012, 02:06 PM   #2
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This is a good post, the only thing I find missing is the name of the offending dealer. One of the great things about this site is the way it allows others to share the benefits of your experiences, both bad and good ones.
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:21 PM   #3
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When we bought our last new motorhome (Lazy Days, Tampa) we overnighted in the coach (standard procedure) after the PDI, and we were not asked to sign the delivery receipt until after the punch list from PDI was taken care of (there were some minor wallpaper edges and a cabinet door that had been scratched), including any that were discovered during the overnight. I learned a long, long, time ago when buying new stick and brick construction that the money does not change hands until after the work is done. Sorry you had difficulties and glad you like your new motorhome. It looks like a winner.
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Old 03-30-2012, 03:23 PM   #4
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Excellent advice. We were extremely lucky with our motorhome purchase as it is our very first RV of any kind. We were totally ignorant about everything (lol) and just looked at a few C's and A's in our price range. We bought the Bounder based on the floorplan and features that we like.

Thankfully our Bounder has been relatively trouble-free (knock on imitation woodgrain) so far. If we ever buy another, we will be a bit more savvy...thanks in part to the stuff we've learned on this site.
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Old 03-30-2012, 03:24 PM   #5
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Oh... one more not-so-little problem with this transaction - I forgot to mention the time (about 2 MONTHS) and repeated calls and emails I had to send to McMahons just to get them to PAY OFF MY LOAN on the coach I traded in to them!!! McMahons was paid by my bank, BofA, within just a few days of the deal and trade in!

(A big thank you goes to BofA for their wonderful support of my purchase!)

I have yet to receive (after repeated requests to high level executives of McMahon's RV) the per-diem costs I payed to maintain the loan on my traded-in coach until the dealership finally paid off MY old loan. They were plenty friendly and eager to take my money to get the sale, but I had to become a long-term, pestering hound to get them to cough up every single penny that they owed me. And it's still not been completed.

The purchase price was great.... however, the customer non-service and business practices of this dealership, in my recent buying experience, are truly and thoroughly appalling.
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Old 03-30-2012, 03:30 PM   #6
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Great post but I must agree about posting the offending dealer. If for nothing else a feed back to him may just turn some business practices in another direction. For the better I would hope. Sorry you've had the problems but glad you are enjoying your coach. By the way GREAT looking coach.
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Old 03-30-2012, 03:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srydve View Post
This is a good post, the only thing I find missing is the name of the offending dealer. One of the great things about this site is the way it allows others to share the benefits of your experiences, both bad and good ones.
Agree.
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Old 03-30-2012, 03:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jzick View Post
When we bought our last new motorhome (Lazy Days, Tampa) we overnighted in the coach (standard procedure) after the PDI, and we were not asked to sign the delivery receipt until after the punch list from PDI was taken care of (there were some minor wallpaper edges and a cabinet door that had been scratched), including any that were discovered during the overnight. I learned a long, long, time ago when buying new stick and brick construction that the money does not change hands until after the work is done. Sorry you had difficulties and glad you like your new motorhome. It looks like a winner.
As it turned out, our next move was to go to Lazydays in Tucson to get our punch list taken care of. The difference in customer service and warranty coach service between Lazydays and McMahon's (the dealer we bought the coach from) was staggering. I cannot speak highly enough of Lazydays Tucson - fantastic service department with exceptionally experienced and long-term Monaco/Country Coach technicians (Bob, especially!)

If you need any work done on your coach and Tucson is anywhere convenient for you - Bob and his associates at Lazydays-Tucson is worth the time and the trip.

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Old 03-30-2012, 04:32 PM   #9
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The dealer's name is to be found in several of the posts.
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:23 PM   #10
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Thanks for posting your experience. Just more information to have in my back pocket.

Please quite posting pics. I am so jealous.
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Old 03-30-2012, 06:06 PM   #11
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Thank you for posting. I feel we never can learn enough when dealing with the sales world. Had the same problem dealing with getting the MH at the end of the day. Then finding they did not do everything.
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