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Airstream Service Network

Posted 04-13-2019 at 06:27 PM by GMFL
Updated 04-14-2019 at 07:48 AM by GMFL

Airstream Service Network
I posted this in a thread earlier, but thought it would be good to add as a Blog post.
Getting service work done on your Airstream if you are either (A) not able to do the work, (B) donít have the time to do the work, or (C) donít need to personally do the work because itís a warranty issue can be very challenging.
Returning back to the factory (The Pilgrimage to the Mothership) is often been stated to be the best place to take your Airstream trailer for repairs or warranty work. While this is definitely a right of passage that I believe all Airstreamers should do, it is often not feasible due to distance or time constraints.
Iíve been to the factory and agree it is the place to go for repairs. They have an incredible service record and can do anything needed fast and right the first time.
Sadly based on the current Airstream post sale service model that is one of the few places where people seem to get the attention and quality work they expect.
Iím sure there are other Airstream dealers that offer great service, (Iíve heard great things about Colonial Airstream for one.)
Letís consider this... most Airstream dealers are not Airstream exclusive dealers. They sell other brands and types of RVs. This also means that their service department and service techs are not Airstream exclusive. Even though they may have been trained in Airstream repair, they are not exclusively Airstream techs.
ďWeĒ, myself included tend to think our ownership of a ďpremiumĒ RV like Airstream (which is a premium trailer, and we all paid a lot of money for) should come with some sort of VIP treatment. We are guilty of believing that we are deserving of better treatment than other RV brands. Donít worry there are plenty of service departments out there that will correct your thought process
See the bottom line is this, Airstream service is not better or worse than any other RV service. Itís the same. Our Airstream with a bum water heater is no different than Joe Blows R-Pod with a bum water heater. The service guys just see it as another Bum water heater and says get in line. The mindset that Service is just a byproduct of sales, and not a continuation of the relationship establish by the sale Plagues the RV industry. When I was dating my wife I did not just love her up to the point of our wedding day. I continued to love her and build that relationship.
The problem is industry wide and Airstream is just forced to swim in the same pool as the others. The RV dealer that treats you bad probably treats everybody the same. Itís really the dealers fault for poor service and Airstream Incís problem to fix. The trend seems to be long lines and waits, unmet expectation, poor communication, high cost of repair. Most dealers provide what they consider ďpriority serviceĒ to those who purchased from them. Our trailers are mobile, problems do not always occur close to our ďhome dealerĒ. This promotes a issue for both Airstream and the Airstream owner.
I do my own work. The LORD blessed me with the ability and skills to do so, others are at the mercy of a, what I will call a broken system. ďIĒ think Airstream needs to some how get a better hold on there after sales service network, but until Airstream sales can support an Airstream exclusive dealer network that is going to be very difficult to do. If only Airstream could gain more control of their sales and service network, maybe they would be better able to impress upon the dealers the high standard of excellence and expectations Airstream customers long for. But, Itís very hard to tell a dealer what to do or how to treat a customer if your products profits are not paying all their bills. Airstream exclusive repair shops like Vinnieís North Bay Airstream may be part of the solution. I have heard many great things about his customer service and quality of work. Maybe Airstream could ďcertifyĒ several regional shops that provide above par service.
Maybe Airstream needs several regional exclusive service departments like the one at the factory?
I donít know....just thinking out loud.
What I do tend to see on the forum is that Airstream owners in general want top notch service and thereís a lot of them that donít find it. Not that it is not out there, because it is, just some donít find it. Which may mean it is not easy to find or access.
I have a friend who owns a Chevrolet dealership. There is a Corporate Chevrolet Rep in his office all the time. A few years ago when Chevrolet mandated that all dealerships ďupgradeĒ their facilities with the new Blue storefront they had total control of every aspect of the remodel down to what lights were installed in the public restrooms. Chevrolet was rebranding their product. This is why you can go to a Chevrolet dealer anywhere in the country and your experience will be very close to the same.(same look, same service guy uniforms, same guy with a polo behind the service counter)
If Airstream could control there dealers to that level then you might see a more standardized service approach.
I know this type of Rebranding would be a drastic move.
Iím not sure how Airstream currently holds their dealers accountable, so I canít speak to that.
Iím sure sales volume / units sold is one of the guidelines.
Sorry for the long post of random thoughts but Iím trying to work through this system in my mind.
Please post ideas, thoughts and experiences.
Letís keep things positive and not a bash fest. Thereís plenty of that here already.
If you made it this far thanks for reading.
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