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Old 05-14-2022, 07:32 PM   #1
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I need some opinions on the fairness of a RV Service vendor.

I need some opinions on the fairness of a RV Service vendor.

I have broken three spring hangers on different occasions, and on different fifth wheel trailers over the past fifteen years. The first two times I contacted a mobile welder, and a spring hanger was welded on at a reasonable price.

The third time was recent on a 2019 Jayco North Point. I contacted a mobile RV repair facility.

I spoke with the RV Service owner, Steve, regarding a broken spring hanger. Steve stopped by my campsite and looked at the broken spring hanger. He took a couple of measurements and said that one of his contractors, Michael, might have better solutions than just replacing the spring hanger.

Steve asked if I would be okay with Michael stopping by to talk about the other solution. I said it was fine for Michael to stop by to discuss other options, which was fundamentally a sales call to see if I wanted to buy an $1,800 suspension kit plus installation estimate of $800.00. I told Michael that I would consider it, but the immediate need was to have the broken hanger replaced.

I spoke with the RV service owner (Steve) and indicated that the first priority would be to have a new spring hanger welded on, and if I decided to have the beefed-up suspension kit installed, it could be done when I returned to the campground on my next trip, in about six weeks.

Steve indicated that he did not want to do the weld job himself, stating that if he did, everyone in the park would want him to weld something for them, because his welding equipment is extraordinarily loud, and because his welding skills are far too great to just weld a spring hanger on a fifth wheel. I indicated that I simply needed the hanger welded on and was happy to continue to support and patronize his business to have the job done.

Steve contracted with Michael for the job to weld a new spring hanger on the Jayco. Michael stated that the welding would cost between $400 and $600, which would include inspecting all of the other five spring hangers. Michael is not a welder and has no expertise in welding. Some people might question why Steve contracted with Michael, a long-time friend, to weld a spring hanger on the Jayco, knowing that Michael is not a welder.

Michael located a welder and contracted with him to weld the spring hanger on the Jayco. Essentially, Michael Googled ‘mobile welders,’ which I obviously could have done myself, since that is how I located the first two I had used previously. Michael did not know, and had zero experience using the welder he referred for this job.

On the day that the welding was to be done, I began to ready my Jayco for the job. I pulled in all of the slide-outs, readied the batteries to be disconnected before welding, I raised the Jayco with my 30,000 lb hydraulic jack. I removed the tire. I removed the wet bolt holding on the broken spring hanger and cleaned and prepped the area for the welding. I also had a garden hose hooked up and turned on for any fires.

The welder arrived first. He was alone. He had a truck with a welder and an electric generator. I asked the welder what the cost would be. He stated the cost would be $425.00. I asked about his experience. He had never welded a spring hanger on a travel trailer before. But he had seventeen years of experience welding. I asked him to look at the job and tell me if he was confident that he could do the job. He felt comfortable doing the job.

Although the welder was experienced, he arrived unprepared. He had no jacks or safety stands, nor did he have a fire extinguisher. Welding a suspension system involves welding around a significant amount of flammable grease. An additional hydraulic jack and safety stands would have been helpful too.

Michael arrived and Steven arrived shortly after. Steven also brought one of his employees. With six people, we had enough guys to build a pole barn. I was under the impression that the people in attendance were there to observe and learn, since none of them had previously welded a spring hanger on a travel trailer. I am always happy to participate in training, commonly referred to as ‘tech time.’

Michael did not bring any jacks, safety stands, or any other needed equipment for the job, nor did Steve. Steve went back to his shop to get a fire extinguisher and a floor jack. All of the tools and equipment needed to complete the job should have been coordinated with the welder, who was ultimately doing the job, days before. The only person who was necessary was the welder and me.

Most of the equipment, and all of the prep work, including the battery disconnect and reconnect was performed by me personally. I supplied the hydraulic jack and two safety stands. I raised the rig. I removed the tire, the wet bolt from the broken hanger and prepared the area for welding. None of the other people in the platoon arrived with any of that equipment. Had I not had the equipment and done the prep work, the welder would likely have left – unable to do the job.

It seemed like the job was put together by Steve haphazardly, unorganized, uncoordinated, with preference to use his friend, Michael, who was not necessary for this job. Steve contracted the welding to someone with little or no welding experience, and no welding expertise – Michael. Then, Michael, with no welding expertise hired the welder, whom he never used and didn’t know. The welder had never welded a spring hanger on a travel trailer. To compensate for the lack of expertise, an entire battalion of grown men showed up, and there still wasn’t adequate equipment.

I was quoted that the job to weld a spring hanger on my Jayco and inspect all other spring hangers would be between $400 and $600. When the welder arrived, I was told the job would be $425.00.

If I had even thought that the invoice would end up at roughly double the estimate, I would have passed and found my own welder, which I had done twice before. In both instances, it was an identical job on a Keystone Alpine at a cost of roughly $450 each time.

A couple of days later, Steve presented me with an invoice that was more than double the welders stated cost. His explanation was that everyone in attendance expected to be paid. None of them were necessary, and none of them had ever welded a spring hanger on a fifth wheel.

I was quoted a range of $400 to $600, and the welder confirmed the cost before starting the job at $425.

Is the customer responsible to pay for the mistakes, lack of coordination and errors of a vendor, and pay for people that were not a necessary part of the job?

Any opinions would be appreciated.
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Old 05-14-2022, 07:47 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JETAV8R View Post
I need some opinions on the fairness of a RV Service vendor.

I have broken three spring hangers on different occasions, and on different fifth wheel trailers over the past fifteen years. The first two times I contacted a mobile welder, and a spring hanger was welded on at a reasonable price.

The third time was recent on a 2019 Jayco North Point. I contacted a mobile RV repair facility.

I spoke with the RV Service owner, Steve, regarding a broken spring hanger. Steve stopped by my campsite and looked at the broken spring hanger. He took a couple of measurements and said that one of his contractors, Michael, might have better solutions than just replacing the spring hanger.

Steve asked if I would be okay with Michael stopping by to talk about the other solution. I said it was fine for Michael to stop by to discuss other options, which was fundamentally a sales call to see if I wanted to buy an $1,800 suspension kit plus installation estimate of $800.00. I told Michael that I would consider it, but the immediate need was to have the broken hanger replaced.

I spoke with the RV service owner (Steve) and indicated that the first priority would be to have a new spring hanger welded on, and if I decided to have the beefed-up suspension kit installed, it could be done when I returned to the campground on my next trip, in about six weeks.

Steve indicated that he did not want to do the weld job himself, stating that if he did, everyone in the park would want him to weld something for them, because his welding equipment is extraordinarily loud, and because his welding skills are far too great to just weld a spring hanger on a fifth wheel. I indicated that I simply needed the hanger welded on and was happy to continue to support and patronize his business to have the job done.

Steve contracted with Michael for the job to weld a new spring hanger on the Jayco. Michael stated that the welding would cost between $400 and $600, which would include inspecting all of the other five spring hangers. Michael is not a welder and has no expertise in welding. Some people might question why Steve contracted with Michael, a long-time friend, to weld a spring hanger on the Jayco, knowing that Michael is not a welder.

Michael located a welder and contracted with him to weld the spring hanger on the Jayco. Essentially, Michael Googled ‘mobile welders,’ which I obviously could have done myself, since that is how I located the first two I had used previously. Michael did not know, and had zero experience using the welder he referred for this job.

On the day that the welding was to be done, I began to ready my Jayco for the job. I pulled in all of the slide-outs, readied the batteries to be disconnected before welding, I raised the Jayco with my 30,000 lb hydraulic jack. I removed the tire. I removed the wet bolt holding on the broken spring hanger and cleaned and prepped the area for the welding. I also had a garden hose hooked up and turned on for any fires.

The welder arrived first. He was alone. He had a truck with a welder and an electric generator. I asked the welder what the cost would be. He stated the cost would be $425.00. I asked about his experience. He had never welded a spring hanger on a travel trailer before. But he had seventeen years of experience welding. I asked him to look at the job and tell me if he was confident that he could do the job. He felt comfortable doing the job.

Although the welder was experienced, he arrived unprepared. He had no jacks or safety stands, nor did he have a fire extinguisher. Welding a suspension system involves welding around a significant amount of flammable grease. An additional hydraulic jack and safety stands would have been helpful too.

Michael arrived and Steven arrived shortly after. Steven also brought one of his employees. With six people, we had enough guys to build a pole barn. I was under the impression that the people in attendance were there to observe and learn, since none of them had previously welded a spring hanger on a travel trailer. I am always happy to participate in training, commonly referred to as ‘tech time.’

Michael did not bring any jacks, safety stands, or any other needed equipment for the job, nor did Steve. Steve went back to his shop to get a fire extinguisher and a floor jack. All of the tools and equipment needed to complete the job should have been coordinated with the welder, who was ultimately doing the job, days before. The only person who was necessary was the welder and me.

Most of the equipment, and all of the prep work, including the battery disconnect and reconnect was performed by me personally. I supplied the hydraulic jack and two safety stands. I raised the rig. I removed the tire, the wet bolt from the broken hanger and prepared the area for welding. None of the other people in the platoon arrived with any of that equipment. Had I not had the equipment and done the prep work, the welder would likely have left – unable to do the job.

It seemed like the job was put together by Steve haphazardly, unorganized, uncoordinated, with preference to use his friend, Michael, who was not necessary for this job. Steve contracted the welding to someone with little or no welding experience, and no welding expertise – Michael. Then, Michael, with no welding expertise hired the welder, whom he never used and didn’t know. The welder had never welded a spring hanger on a travel trailer. To compensate for the lack of expertise, an entire battalion of grown men showed up, and there still wasn’t adequate equipment.

I was quoted that the job to weld a spring hanger on my Jayco and inspect all other spring hangers would be between $400 and $600. When the welder arrived, I was told the job would be $425.00.

If I had even thought that the invoice would end up at roughly double the estimate, I would have passed and found my own welder, which I had done twice before. In both instances, it was an identical job on a Keystone Alpine at a cost of roughly $450 each time.

A couple of days later, Steve presented me with an invoice that was more than double the welders stated cost. His explanation was that everyone in attendance expected to be paid. None of them were necessary, and none of them had ever welded a spring hanger on a fifth wheel.

I was quoted a range of $400 to $600, and the welder confirmed the cost before starting the job at $425.

Is the customer responsible to pay for the mistakes, lack of coordination and errors of a vendor, and pay for people that were not a necessary part of the job?

Any opinions would be appreciated.
Well my opinion for what it's worth is that they took advantage of you and you paid for their inexperience and ineptitude. I probably would have looked elsewhere when the first guy refused the welding part because obviously he didn't want to bother with a small job. In the current state of things though I am not surprised and it is getting harder to find people who can do the work let alone at a fair price. At this point I guess you can chalk it up to a lesson learned, you paid everyone down the line. Maybe the first two thought they earned it from the time they spent with you that didn't result in the suspension upgrade. At least I hope the quality of the repair was good.

To give a quote then exceed it by that much is very poor business although it seems to be happening more and more. It happened to me once on a patio, they gave me a price to tear up all the bricks, cut out the tree roots and put back the same bricks making it level again. After they tore out all the bricks they came to the door the next morning saying it would be $xxx, an increase of 2/3 the original amount. Not a lot I could do if I wanted the job finished, but I've always remembered that and would never use them or recommend them again.
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Old 05-14-2022, 07:52 PM   #3
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If what you posted is factual, you’re 100% right.

You were quoted a cost to do the work. Whether 1 person showed up or a platoon. How it got done was up to the RV place, and if they were inefficient, that’s on them.
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Old 05-14-2022, 08:19 PM   #4
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Soooo.... If I have this correctly -



Guy #1 looks at your job, and essentially pronounces himself too talented and important to work on a small job like yours. He's out, and calls in guy #2.


Guy #2 shows up and tells you that he doesn't really know how to weld, but knows a guy who does. He calls in guy #3.



Guy #3 shows up and says he can do it for $425. You make the appointment for the agreed upon price, and good to his word guy #3 shows up and does the work. Unknown to you and without prior agreement, without your authorization or knowledge, Mr. Important guy #1 and Mr. I Don't Know How To Weld guy #2 show up and do nothing but stand around and watch.



They stand and watch guy #3 do the repair, they do absolutely nothing at all to assist or lend anything at all to the repair process, and they want to be paid for...what?


My answer would be simple. NO.
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Old 05-14-2022, 08:25 PM   #5
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I hope you paid the welder directly the $425 and told Steve and his cohorts BYE BYE

That is what I would have done.


Course after Steve didn't want the job cause it was beneath his skills I would have said BYE BYE and found my own mobile welder
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Old 05-14-2022, 10:42 PM   #6
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Here's the problem.
The welder who told you it was a $425 job had no
business discussing money with you if you didn't hire him.
That was super unprofessional on his part.
He was a subcontractor hired by Steve, Michael, or whoever tf.
I work as a subcontractor myself, and if an owner ever asked me
about money, I'd refer him to the general, end of conversation.
When he showed up ill-equipped for the job,
you should have sent him packing and hired
your own welder, but since you didn't,
you're on the hook for whatever Steve billed you for.
You might be able to negotiate it down, but the fact
remains, you allowed there to be middlemen involved,
and middlemen are parasitic.
I honestly hope you're able to negotiate it down,
but if not, you need to consider it tuition paid.
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Old 05-14-2022, 11:33 PM   #7
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I want to know how you broke so many spring hangers on all your RVs? What’s that all about?
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Old 05-15-2022, 05:40 AM   #8
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Submit an invoice to them for your prep work and equipment rental.
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Old 05-15-2022, 08:47 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by bigb56 View Post
Well my opinion for what it's worth is that they took advantage of you and you paid for their inexperience and ineptitude. I probably would have looked elsewhere when the first guy refused the welding part because obviously he didn't want to bother with a small job. In the current state of things though I am not surprised and it is getting harder to find people who can do the work let alone at a fair price. At this point I guess you can chalk it up to a lesson learned, you paid everyone down the line. Maybe the first two thought they earned it from the time they spent with you that didn't result in the suspension upgrade. At least I hope the quality of the repair was good.

To give a quote then exceed it by that much is very poor business although it seems to be happening more and more. It happened to me once on a patio, they gave me a price to tear up all the bricks, cut out the tree roots and put back the same bricks making it level again. After they tore out all the bricks they came to the door the next morning saying it would be $xxx, an increase of 2/3 the original amount. Not a lot I could do if I wanted the job finished, but I've always remembered that and would never use them or recommend them again.
I haven't paid the invoice. That's why I'm asking for opinions. From what I'm seeing, I should not pay it.
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Old 05-15-2022, 08:52 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by bpu699 View Post
If what you posted is factual, you’re 100% right.

You were quoted a cost to do the work. Whether 1 person showed up or a platoon. How it got done was up to the RV place, and if they were inefficient, that’s on them.

"If what I posted is factual."

What I posted is factual.
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Old 05-15-2022, 10:32 AM   #11
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First, I agree this was not a fair transaction by the service company.
Unfortunately, you may be caught in a myriad of issues.


Steve did go back and get fire extinguisher and floor jack so he did do something; however minuscule it was.
You did not have a written estimate, so it would be an argument as to what was proposed.
Steve may be in violation of the particular states estimate laws but you would have to contest that.
Steve could file a mechanics lien on your rig if he wanted to play hardball and then you would have to fight that.
As another poster said, I would try to negotiate the bill but be prepared to take your lumps and move on.
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Old 05-15-2022, 10:49 AM   #12
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You did not authorize the additional participants .

I was in a similar situation with having my boat pulled of a sandbar after a soft grounding . Tow Boat showed up with a diver , who I did not authorize .

I told Tow Boat I did not request or need a driver . They wanted me to pay for his time while on the boat . So , I did the following .

Pay the $425 quoted cost by check with note " labor quote paid in full" .

If the idiot wants more money , tell him you'll see him in court . It's not enough money to pursue .

Notify the Better Business Bureau .
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Old 05-15-2022, 12:35 PM   #13
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If it were me I would pay the max quoted 600 in you case and tell Steve he can split the balance after the welder was paid with Michael. Still a bad deal for you but lessoned learned.
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Old 05-15-2022, 01:00 PM   #14
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It’s not enough money for dealing with the trouble they can cause you. Pay it, but file a complaint with the BBB. They’ll contact the business owner and try to get you a resolution. That might not work, but it will warn others not to do business with them. If it does work, you’ll get some of your money back. Good luck.
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