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Old 10-11-2009, 01:23 PM   #1
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Question Fulltimers vs. Service Center

Am I expecting too much? When a "fulltimer" goes in for repairs and/or service, they must sit in a lounge area all day or find some other way to spend their days. Should the Service Center expedite a fulltimer's repairs so they can have their "home" returned to them?

Here is what I just experienced... I took my motor home to McClain's Ft. Worth location for repairs. This location has an area in which we can park overnight and have water and shore power. I went in the day before my appointment, had the work order written up (by the Service Manager), and was ready for them to take the motor home when they opened at 8:00 am the next morning. Guess what happened... when nothing had happened by 8:40 am, I walked over and no one could find the work order. And the Service Manager hadn't come in yet. We had to re-wright the work order and I drove the motor home inside for them. This simple issue caused a 2 hour delay in starting the repair. Prior to leaving for lunch, I went back to check on the progress. The Service Tech informed me of what he found and that he was waiting on parts. Then at +/-3:30 pm I checked again... no parts. When I checked in the office, I was told they were still waiting for Damon to return their call. They still didn't know if the part was available, much less when they could get it. I asked if they couldn't call again and that I would pay for overnight shipping. That is when I learned that if Damon doesn't recieve a part order by 10:00 am, the part wouldn't be pulled and shipped until the next day. Now, the earlier 2 hour delay became very important to me. After rattling a few chains, we suddenly learned that the part was available through another supplier, and that it could be shipped overnight. Mid-morning the next day, the part was there, repairs made, and I was out of there.

Questions: (1) Shouldn't a Service Manager lead by example... not cause problems? (2) Shouldn't someone keep us informed on the progress of the repairs? Or do we have to constantly go check for ourselves? (3) Is it true that Damon is that slow "servicing" the Service Centers (their customer)? (4) Shouldn't the Service Center utilize all suppliers and/or resource to get repairs done as quickly as possible?
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Old 10-11-2009, 01:56 PM   #2
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Yes, a Service Manager should lead by example and if his service is poor, he should be fired.

Yes, someone should be responsible to keep the customer informed as to the progress of repairs.

Yes, parts inventories are depleted and most manufacturers do not want to tie up cash into inventory.

Service centers should use all suppliers and/or resources to get repairs done in a timely fashion, but that would require additional work on their part.

The bottom line, is many if not most providers of service today could care less about the quality of service they deliver. Employees lack work ethic and many if not most should be fired. I know that this may be the rants of an old fool, but, it is the truth!

In my most recent experience of service with Ford Motor Company, I faced almost identical problems that you faced. This, from a dealer of one of the largest corporations in the US with very intense customer satisfaction programs.

Upon leaving after service, the Service Writer asked me to make sure to give them an excellent rating when surveyed after my service call. I said, I can do better, is the owner of the dealership in, she said yes. I said, can I see him, beaming she took me to his office and in front of the Service Writer, I said "you have one of the worst service departments I have dealt with, they say they have parts they do not, they do not call you to keep you informed and I have been without my car for 5 days because of their lack of integrity, intelligence and follow-up". He said he was sorry what could he do. I said , sell your dealership, because it is your fault, the Owner of a business should know what his employees are doing and you obviously do not. All of your employees that I have dealt with do not deserve their jobs and should be fired and you do not deserve to own a business! He was speechless as I walked out his door!

I will not be buying another car from them and I can't wait to get my survey card from Ford Motor COmpany!
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Old 10-11-2009, 02:13 PM   #3
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When buying, we couldn't even get a reasonable price, even by talking with their sales manager. Now after the fact, it looks like they actually did me a favor if their service is that incompetent.
The real truth is that most service departments operate about the same. Most RV dealerships just havent recognized how important good service is, that customers will actually pay more for excellant service, and bad service at high prices will actually hurt the sales effort in the long run. Of course, they then wonder why there sales are down compared to their competitors.
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Old 10-11-2009, 03:22 PM   #4
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I have bought two motor homes from McClain's. Based on my experience with the service departments in both Fort Worth and Lake Dallas, I would stay away from them. The only reason I go back there is because I have to. The coach is still under warranty.

Without exception, they don't fix things the first time. You'll be lucky if it gets done right the second time. For me, the norm has been three or more. Don't worry about the survey. I doubt they pay any attention to it.

Countless times, I have told them that I wouldn't recommend them to anyone. I have never gotten a follow up from anyone.

Sounds like you got the same sterling treatment I have come to expect from them.
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Old 10-11-2009, 03:36 PM   #5
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My experience w/McClains Ft Worth is pretty much as msrschwarz described, and you experienced. I bought my coach from the Lake Dallas location. It has been into the service dept a few times at Ft Worth, a few times at Lake Dallas, and once in OK City. I would label Ft Worth "totally worthless," and Lake Dallas "ok in some instances." Our one experience in OK City was a 2-3 day job that turned into a month-long disaster.

A good place to check places out BEFORE you go in is www.rvservicereviews.com ...also a great place to leave a review AFTER you experience a service center.
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Old 10-12-2009, 10:01 AM   #6
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After having a bad service call at the dealer we purchased our MH from. At 2000 miles had the oil dip stick tube break off at the engine. We took the MH in to winterize and some other work including some oil leaking down the rock guard. When we pick up the MH we were told everything was all right. Took the MH home and a few days later found oil still driping off engine, called dealer and was told by the service department "Oh I guess they forgot to tell you that you have a oil leak". Cummins found the problem and repaired it for us. Said it was a common problem that was not theirs but Spartan who changed the dip stick tube.
We now try to schedule taking it to the Factory once a year for service in Indiana. Yes it maybe a little out of our way, but piece of mind makes a big relief.
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Old 10-12-2009, 12:36 PM   #7
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Camping World will let you stay on the property after-hours in your RV. What you do during the day while they work on it.. Well,,, Dairy Queen is open
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Old 10-12-2009, 05:38 PM   #8
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Thanks for the feedback... As expected, all the replies are negative. Isn't there anyone out there with a "positive" service story?
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Old 10-12-2009, 05:47 PM   #9
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I agree with what AFChap stated in his post and that is to go to this link RV Service Review and give an honest review of both the good and bad of your experiance with them. I would also contact the Gen Mgr and the owner and advise them of the situation and let them know of your review. Sounds like some of their people should be employed elsewhere. I personally have 0 tolerance for this type of attitude from service people and will not hesitate to let everyone far and near to avoid these types of places and why.
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Old 10-12-2009, 06:30 PM   #10
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OK, I was negative on my first, here's my second.

I had my Trailing Arms replaced pre-failure on my Safari Cheetah. I ordered them from Source Engineering and arranged for them to be delivered to Glen's Tire and Truck Service in Melbourne, Florida. I took them a check for freight. They accepted my delivery, paid the freight and called me to let me know they were there. They scheduled an appointment at my convenience. They had a few problems due to a standard part with many slightly different applications., Glen's and Source were on the phone back and forth several times and Glen's Manager Shawn keep me posted all along.

While there, I had them install a tow bracket on my new Ford Flex. The Tow bar from the manufacturer had one side of the bracket welded on backward. They could not install the bracket but called the manufacturer Tow-Master and got no where, Glen's arranged for a welder to cut off the bracket, weld it on properly and repaint the bracket. They could not finish until the next morning, so one of the Managersm Shawn, drove me to my house, the opposite direction of his.

I also had them install Super Steer MCUs, they had all sizes in stock so they did not have to order them. When they went to install, my front's had 3/4 inch air tubes, non-standard size so they ordered special fittings to splice the cut lines until the new ones could be delivered.

I also had them put on a Blue Ox Tru-Center. They installed it and did a great job, on my way home the solenoid that is not supposed to be able to fry, fried. I took it back and they removed it, sent it back to the factory and had it repaired. They called me when it came back and scheduled a re-install at my convenience.

Tow-Master performance, bad!
Tru-Ox performance, bad!
Source Engineering performance, good!
Glen's Tire and Truck Service, Great and above the call of duty!

50% is not bad I guess!
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Old 10-12-2009, 07:58 PM   #11
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I've had 3-4 positive service experiences over the years and probably 3x that many fair to poor ones. I'd have to dig out my records for names and dates, but I've had a dealer fix a sticking slide while on the road somewhere in Colorado, an independent RV service place in North Carolina drop everything and replace a circuit board in my Splendide so I could get onto my campsite that night, and a chassis shop in North Carolina fixed a broken exhaust header overnight (would have been sooner but they had to wait for the distributor to overnight a part).
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Old 10-12-2009, 10:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Isn't there anyone out there with a "positive" service story?
Absolutely! They aren't all like you described, but it seems you hit a nerve when you mentioned McClains Ft Worth!!!! We've had some great service experiences as fulltimers, all written up on the website mentioned before.
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:13 AM   #13
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Should a service center expidite repairs.. Well, that depends, do you want it done "Cheap and quick" or Right and proper

I have one repair that was done on my coach 3 times (Self Removing Windshield replacement,, the last time they removed that option)

First time General RV called a local glass works: Guardian Glass, and some kid wet behind the ears came out and porta-powered it back into position.. Said "It will likely come out again" and he was right Took him a few mintues.

2nd time Wheeler's RV (now Las Vegas RV) called Dave Simpson, of Dave Simpson Glass (Yes, the owner). Took Dave 3 days,, but when he was done 1: I don't think it would have come out on it's own again and 2: He did not like the way it turned out, and he told me why, and pointed out why, and convinced Damon to do it right.

I had to put up in a hotel/motel

The 3rd time was at the Damon Factory, again it took 3 days This time they removed the windshield, FIXED THE PROBLEM and put in a new windshield (Which I really did not want but that's another story) Now days I drove out and about.. But nights I spent in the motor home (They closed it up, sealed with tape, and parked it outside the factory plugged in so I could live in it)

My opinion of Damon Factory Service, is rather good, in case you wonder.

Wheelers was not willing to do that for me...

But if you want it done fast,, ANd WRONG, that's always possible.


Now... My local Workhorse Center... At least gives me free Wi-Fi
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Old 10-14-2009, 01:22 AM   #14
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Our favorite RV dealer (RV Motorhome and Super Center in Auburn, Maine) is going on the auction block at the end of the month. After 50+ years of stellar sales and service, they couldn't survive the current recession. They used to let RVers stay in their lot, even if they weren't getting service. They're hoping for a miracle to save them but in this economy, the RV industry is fresh out of miracles. The tough part is that some of the worst dealers will survive just fine. In the end, many of us will be forced to get service at places like the one described in this post.

Jack
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