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Old 12-17-2005, 12:37 PM   #1
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I bought an '05 Itasca Meridian 36G from this dealer in Colton CA. It has been mind-boggling how incompetent this dealer is. Has anyone else had this experience with them? I would be willing to picket this dealer at an RV show if there were others willing as well. No RV buyer should be subjected to the frustration I've experienced.
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Old 12-17-2005, 12:37 PM   #2
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I bought an '05 Itasca Meridian 36G from this dealer in Colton CA. It has been mind-boggling how incompetent this dealer is. Has anyone else had this experience with them? I would be willing to picket this dealer at an RV show if there were others willing as well. No RV buyer should be subjected to the frustration I've experienced.
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Old 12-17-2005, 07:24 PM   #3
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Can you elaborate. I am looking at a Fleetwood motorhome at that lot in colton.
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Old 12-17-2005, 07:56 PM   #4
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In 1994 I obtained an RV from this meaga dealership and I can see in 11 years they apparently have not changed. I find that dealing with any meaga dealership is a crap shoot at best. I recently obtain a new motorhome from a mega dealership in AZ. The sales experience was great, but when it came to service it was something else. My experience is all dealerships will have some kind issue especially when it comes to customer service.
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Old 12-17-2005, 08:42 PM   #5
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Wallco1, welcome to irv2, your doing the right thing by getting info on dealers before placing any money in a dealers hands, good luck in your quest for your new MH. "007"
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Old 12-18-2005, 07:21 AM   #6
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Wallco1 - welcome to irv2. I would recommend that you run -not walk - to any other dealer in Southern California. I purchased a 2003 Itasca Horizon in November of 2003 and it sat in their service department until February. It took a trip to Gaffney and Forest City to get thoings taken care of.

In August this year I received a notice from Winnebago to have the mud flap hangers reinforced on the coach. Itook this letter to the Mike Thompson service department. They said they would send me a letter when the parts arrived - I am still waiting for that letter.
I took the notice to LaMesa and had the parts in a week and installed them myself.

If you plan to take your RV somewhere else for service you can probably get a reasonable deal at Mike Thompson price wise but if you expect service forget it.
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Old 12-19-2005, 11:34 PM   #7
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Stan...I was ready to buy an 05 36' Vectra if my wife liked the layout. I went to the Santa Fe Springs store and "Dean" (jerk off salesman) showed me everything, but the Vectra. I told him I wanted to see the Vectra. He told me that they had a sold one at the Fountain Valley store. We told him we just wanted to see the floorplan. He told us we could'nt see it unless were were ready to buy right then and there.

As you can see...we bought the Monaco. Mike Thompson is a huge store and lures people in. I always wondered how they stay in business, it must be from new customers.....I doubt any old ones would ever return. You might try Altmans for repairs and service.
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Old 12-20-2005, 09:24 AM   #8
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This will probably get me spanked, but I have had nothing but good experiences with the Fountain Valley location. I was well satisfied with the deal, the PDI was professionally done, and the two times I've had it in for warranty work were also handled correctly and completed when promised. Don't think I could ask for more.
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Old 12-20-2005, 10:07 AM   #9
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As a disinterested reader of this thread (meaning that I'm not involved in the Forest River situation in any way), I'm curious about the differences in experiences at the same facility. Wilanddij, why do you think that you "succeeded" when several others apparently did not? Is it purely the luck of the specific RV or salesman? Since this appears to be mostly about service concerns and I always have an intense interest in improving my luck at those, how is that some get reasonable or acceptable service while others have their RVs sit on the lot for months or end up going back for multiple repairs of the same item? Inquiring minds would like to know.
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Old 12-20-2005, 11:44 AM   #10
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I probably can't chalk my purchase experience up to much more than pure dumb luck. But, on the maintenance side, one thing that helps is that I do know my way around most types of hardware - grew up on a family farm, and have worked on electromechanical stuff in the USAF and in the computer industry for most of my life. For some reason, I can describe problems really well, and through my years as a Program Manager have learned to ask the right questions to make sure that people understand what is being asked of them. At the Fountain Valley location, I have worked with only one Service Writer, and hit it off really well with him. We went through all the stuff that needed to be done to make sure it was written up correctly, and on the one really nasty problem (turned out to be sheet rock screws run through a 110V wire causing a GFI) we went through my whole troubleshooting process to get them to understand the problem was on both legs in the one circuit. Took them two days to find those screws, but they did it, and now I can hook up to my surge protector w/o it kicking off. So, I think that getting good service is more art than science, and the way you approach the service writer is probably 90% of the battle. I don't demand, I simply state the facts and ask questions making them aware that I know what I'm talking about, and things seem to work out satisfactorly. I know this is probably not the answer you were hoping for, but ...

Talk about small worlds, I'm now set up at Twin Coves on Grapevine Lake while we visit the grandkids in Keller for the holidays. The area could use a few more full service RV parks.
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Old 12-20-2005, 12:35 PM   #11
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Thanks for your information, wilanddij. I hope that it helps those who still need to go to Fountain Valley for service. Would you consider sharing at least the first name of the service writer that you dealt with?

Like you, I've had a career in the computer industry and was on the other side of the table fixing main frames and the associated peripherals for years. I was particularly sensitive to my customers trying to tell me the solution to their problems rather than the symptoms so I try not to do the same thing to others. In fact, I try to follow exactly what you suggested - making sure that the descriptions of my symptoms are clear. I never take anything in for service without a written list of symptoms. Unfortunately, that isn't always a help:
1. At Freightliner, the service writer never even read my symptom sheet and tore it up as I was walking out the door. There was no way the tech who worked on my RV ever saw the detailed information that I provided.
2. For my Dash A/C problem (see the thread on this forum). I took it back 3 times. There wasn't much to describe - dash A/C won't cool about covered it. After I got tired of them not fixing it, I did. I don't want to do that but was left with either a broke A/C or fixing it myself.

This is all in sharp contrast to the guy who works on my cars. I take him the same detailed symptom writeups and he has never missed fixing my problems the first time. Normally, I know how to get problems fixed, I just haven't succeeded in getting it done on my RV consistently. I'm always try to figure out what I'm doing wrong.

Charlie

P.S. I'm very familiar with Lake Grapevine. I've sailed there since 1988 and know Twin Coves like the back of my hand. You're right - there aren't many RV parks close to Keller. It's a shame.
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Old 12-20-2005, 01:04 PM   #12
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For what it's worth, here's a link to the service review I posted about the work at Fountain Valley - RV Service Reviews

Will
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Old 12-23-2005, 08:40 PM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Wallco1:
Can you elaborate. I am looking at a Fleetwood motorhome at that lot in colton. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Wallco1: The problem with Thompson is that they carry too many brands, makes and models. They only have two service bays at Colton. Service writers are constantly changing. I have found the experience there, from purchase through warranty work, to be very frustrating. I could go on for hours with examples.
Stan
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Old 12-25-2005, 09:56 AM   #14
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My experience at Thompson's Colton store where I bot an 02 Itasca was ragged at best. Started out very badly when I discovered excessive rust on undercarriage and I went round and round with their top management until I got it fixed to my satisfaction. I had reamed the service writer enuff that he learned that I was no dodo and then we established a reasonable working relationship after that. I did ask and finally demanded that they not call the coach in until they got the parts, I had several experiences where it sat on their lot waiting for parts for over two weeks. By the time I was getting ready to move from Ca. my relationship with their Colton store was very good.
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