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Old 08-09-2011, 11:50 PM   #1
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Manufacturers that go above and beyond

Hi. I own a new Fleetwood (American Coach now) that we purchased in April. If you're interested you can go search some of the posts I have on here regarding my initial disappointment and frustration caused by several major problems that nobody seemed able to fix, because, quite simply, they couldn't figure out the cause(s). When we did find the cause they were not only able to fix ours but quite a few others as well.
We traded in a perfectly good MH, one built by the Company that seems to be known as much by its reputation for providing great customer support as much as anything else? Over on their own site they talk all the time about how,once they drove to Alabama, this or that got fixed or replaced. Now, my intention is not to bash anyone here, quite the opposite. We loved our previous coach and we experienced this famous service ourselves, several times in fact. But, I gotta telly ya, sometimes it seems to get a little out of hand, especially when comparing their service to "SOB"s?
First, I chose the Revolution because I think it is a much better built product in many ways and uses better construction techiques and materials - I'm not as worried about a fire as many of them are for instance. But I digress. I want you all to know that Fleetwood has picked our motorhome up twice and taken it back to their factory then returned it to us, repaired. We have not had to fight with them for anything at all by the way, in fact, I truly believe they were embarassed that it took them so long to finally satisfy us. But isn't that what we should expect for this kind of money?
The major problem we had was that the front suspension would not air up after retracting the jacks and nobody could figure out why. Naturally, the coach got driven a few times at the plant with the front suspension "down", they had to. When we got the MH back I pointed out that there were some minor scuff marks on the sidewall of both front Michelins, undoubtedly caused by this maneuvering. At the time I told them not to bother with it that they had been good enough to us already. Three weeks ago I detailed the whole coach which included using a particular tire dressing I like. Boy the coach looked great but, when I got up close to the front tires I could really see this "checking" or scuffing and I figured it might cause the tire to break down faster in sunlight etc. I also figured that if I sold it in a couple of years the new owner would quite justified in asking for new tires.
On Monday I sent an email to my Dealer copying in the Owner Relations Manager at Fleetwood. I explained the situation and asked for two new tires. On Wednesday they said yes, on Thursday the tires were ordered and they're being installed tomorrow (it's hard to find a 315/22.5 Michelin in stock for some reason). These are $700 tires and I don't know what installation on aluminum mag wheels costs. This is great and Fleetwood should be recognized for it. I don't know if the other Service Giant would have done this or not but, I think prospective buyers might be encouraged if they hear there are other Manufacturers out there that provde pretty darn good support too; I know it's the single biggest consideration with the other Guys and it all comes from the Owners. What do you think? Got a good, positive story to tell about your Manufacturer? I'd like to hear it and your Manufacturer has earned your support if they did come through for you, especially in these hard times? If not I got my hoorah in for Fleetwood. Thanks
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Old 08-10-2011, 12:10 AM   #2
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Tony

Just curious. Does Fleetwood take care of older MoHos like they take care of your new coach???

jack
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:12 AM   #3
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Tony, it is really encouraging to hear some positive feedback about Fleetwood/American. Like you I have spent many hours hearing about the magnificent service in Alabama, but not all of us have the time to truck off to Alabama everytime there is an issue. Warranty or not, if I have to spend close to $1,000 in fuel and a week or more of my time to get an issue resolved then "great service" is hardly worth it.

For us we have been pleased with Forest River and their customer service. We have nothing even remotely close to your experience with Fleetwood, but we haven't really had any major issues that couldn't be resolved by either Buffalo RV or Freightliner here.

Again, I'm glad to hear that one of our "neighbors" across the river had some very positive experience.
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:23 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Jack R View Post
Tony

Just curious. Does Fleetwood take care of older MoHos like they take care of your new coach???

jack
Yes, American Coach encourages owners to just drop by and say hello. If you have a problem they will try to accommodate you. For bigger problems they request a service appointment. They also attend all the major rallies and will fix up to four items during the rallies, if it is a major repair like getting on the roof or chassis they want you to go the factory due to safety concerns. Also there is a special customer relations department for owners.
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Old 08-10-2011, 12:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack R View Post
Tony

Just curious. Does Fleetwood take care of older MoHos like they take care of your new coach???

jack
I'll let you know in a couple of years. Right now I care about this brand new one.
The one I owned for three and a half years was well taken care of by them from beginning to end; I could not have been happier with them.
It is not my intention to get into a tit for tat contest here with this thread. I fully understand and admire their well known support for Owners of older products and, as long as the Gentleman in charge continues to be in charge, I wouldn't expect this to change, but I'm not sure it's a practical or sustainable model? I think their attitude toward factory service is the "model" that Manufacturers should use in fact. But, imagine adopting their service and support attitude but marrying it to a coach that is simply better built and thought out to begin with?
There are some serious and potentially life threatening issues goin' on over there, you know there is. The fact that they will "look after you" after the fact is not that comforting to me? Why not stop production of this known issue or retrofit post production?
I just want to hear from People who maybe are having some experiences with their Manufacturers that are as positive as the ones you no doubt enjoy?
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Old 08-10-2011, 05:13 PM   #6
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I too have been impressed with AC's responsiveness to various needs and questions. I even had one tech tell me he'd do some research on a particular problem and call me back...and he did!
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Old 08-10-2011, 08:03 PM   #7
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Has American Coach bought out Fleetwood? When did this happen? Can you please post a number or other contact info.
I sure don't want to ruin the good vibe going on here, so I'll just accept the answers to those questions and say how pleased I am for you, that your experience was satisfying.
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Old 08-10-2011, 08:47 PM   #8
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We had a Flopwood Pace Arrow years ago and they did not know the meaning of the term customer service. I guess in these hard times, they have had a change of heart.

When we had the Minnie Winnie, Winnebago was great about fixing any issues.

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Old 08-10-2011, 08:48 PM   #9
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American Coach is the luxury division of Fleetwood. American Industrial Partners (AIP) picked up the AC brand along with the rest of Fleetwood's motorhome business to form the new Fleetwood RV. AC used to have their own separate facotry service that rivaled Tiffin in every way. The new Fleetwood combined Fleetwood and AC factory service in the AC location and seems to be maintaining the previous high standards. Prices for non-warranty factory service have increased somewhat, though.
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Old 08-11-2011, 07:48 AM   #10
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Why go back to the manufacturer and not the dealer for service? Am happy that the manufacturer is stepping up and fixing what is needed, or even going beyond but I think it's terrible that dealers can't handle more of these issues.
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Old 08-11-2011, 08:11 AM   #11
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Why go back to the manufacturer and not the dealer for service? Am happy that the manufacturer is stepping up and fixing what is needed, or even going beyond but I think it's terrible that dealers can't handle more of these issues.

Part of the reason may be the differential between what the dealer would charge the manufacturer for service time and what the manufacturer pays their own techs. For example, the dealer may charge $125 a hour for tech time, but the manufacturer may only be paying his tech $30 an hour. In theory the manufacturer's tech should be more qualified and the service only has to be done once. Another savings right there.
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Old 08-11-2011, 08:22 AM   #12
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Why go back to the manufacturer and not the dealer for service? Am happy that the manufacturer is stepping up and fixing what is needed, or even going beyond but I think it's terrible that dealers can't handle more of these issues.
I am in total agreement with you, once I purchase my motorhome I do not want to see my dealer again unless I stop by for a social visit. Instead of bragging about great factory support let's track the number of defects for each manufacturer and list the manufacturers that do it right the first time. Sorry my pet peeve about bragging about outstanding factory support.
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Old 08-11-2011, 08:32 AM   #13
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Although this seems to be turning into a MH discussion, the fact is that it's posted in the iRV2.com General Discussion forum, so it's open to all RV owners. Therefore, I'll throw in the observation that I've owned 3 Jayco towables and our current Doubletree (now DRV Suites) Mobile Suites 5th wheel. None have ever needed to go back to the manufacturers' facilities, and product support by the manufacturers has been excellent (although my needs have been minimal and mostly related to failed cooling units in Norcold and Dometic refrigerators ).

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Old 08-11-2011, 08:32 AM   #14
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Quote:
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I am in total agreement with you, once I purchase my motorhome I do not want to see my dealer again unless I stop by for a social visit. Instead of bragging about great factory support let's track the number of defects for each manufacturer and list the manufacturers that do it right the first time. Sorry my pet peeve about bragging about outstanding factory support.
I totally agree, once I purchase a motor home, I don't want to see my dealer again and in my case, to get service it takes 3 weeks to get an appointment and then a week at least once it is there to get it serviced and ready for pick up. Not good. No matter how good the deal, the service dept is important.

Just my 2 cents
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