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Old 03-22-2018, 01:40 PM   #1
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2018 Tommy Bahama Interstate
Birmingham , Alabama
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 158
The Quest for Service Repairs and Warranty Issues

I would like to personally thank some of the authors of some most recent threads. Gaining reviews on after-sales items as well as how to clean up the AI wiring was most helpful.

On to my New Tread. Recently I experienced some damage to my awning. The depth and cause is in some earlier posts. I don't create new threads on really technical stuff unless I really have a high level of experience, which I do not. What I attempt to do is focus on what I know best. My 40 year work experience on the Sales and Ownership experience of an RVer and my personal RV history.

This simply means buying an RV/Coach so it is a Win/Win situation. Gaining from delivery and tour what you need to know and check to have a fair start to your new or new to you RV. Most importantly, how to successfully navigate working with the local dealer to get your RV fixed correctly and in a timely manner. Especially if you did not buy from them.

1. So my New AI awning was, let’s say damaged and non-functional. My dealers is 6.5 hours away. The local dealer is 37 miles away.

2. Is it true that dealers sometimes are not cooperative with those that bought their coach elsewhere? Yes, this is so unlike a auto purchase that you simple can't compare the two industries.

3. Is it true the franchise agreement for RV dealers is somewhat complicated and the dealer body is only required to do work that effects the safe driving of a unit. So if you have something damaged or broken but you can drive, you can be turned down? Yes, RV dealers are super funny about this.

4. Can a dealer have an excellent service department and a not or great sales department? Yep and it works both ways.

So what is the way to get service, warranty if applicable when on a trip or your selling dealer is hours away?

1. Be nice and professional in your communication: No matter how frustrated you get, you can get more with honey then with vinegar.
2. Call Airstream Corporate: Don't be shy, if you want the proper procedure, call Airstream sooner vs. later. Try to not be to long on the phone with them, play fair.
3. Warranty Approvals or Parts Delays: If too much time has gone by with no contact, call to check on the status of your claim or part with Airstream. In my case, the warranty person at the dealership accidentally put the wrong last six digits on the claim form. They used the Serial Number from Mercedes-Benz vs. the Airstream. This was fixed because I inquired to Airstream about length of time to approve claim.
4. Follow-Up Frequently With The Dealership Service Department: Sometimes, you have to call several times to get to the right person. Don't get frustrated, mad or loud on the phone. RV service departments are crazy busy and usually understaffed. Mistakes happen and if caught early enough, all things work out.
5. Coordinate the Dealer with Airstream if needed: In most cases, the holdup is simple. Almost every time it is a matter of communication. On extreme situations, the dealership could be causing the issue on purpose. Whether negotiating more money for a warranty job labor or vindictive that you did not buy from them. Bad business either way but happens less then we owners think.
6. Mobile RV Mechanics: I have had several things taken care of by my loyal, honest, hardworking and expensive local RV Mechanic. However, if you Dometic A/C goes down a few days prior to your big pre-planed trip, you will be glad you have the options. In my case, if you are on a trip and your awning is over the top of your roof, they can secure it so you can have a drink, shake off the experience and get home safely.
7. Reviews and survey’s: Do not hold a dealership ransom by threatening a bad review or survey. Don’t go on forums and complain to early in the process. When it is all over, do what you think is right based on your ownership experience. Threats don’t always get the reaction you expect.

Professional and respectful communication is the one key. Not getting angry and being in control of your wits is another. My goal is through my personal life experiences, to reduce every ones stress in these difficult situations. Selfishly, for myself as well.

Please comment, please add your situation and how you handled it and please simply enjoy the experience even when Murphy's law comes into play.
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Gary and Tami T., The “RV Advocate”

Proud new owner of a 2018 Airstream Interstate Grand Tour Tommy Bahama
Previously owned a 2017 Airstream Flying Cloud 25 ft.
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Old 03-22-2018, 07:12 PM   #2
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2018 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Hephzibah , Georgia
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Thumbs up Service Repairs/Warranty Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by sthrngary View Post
I would like to personally thank some of the authors of some most recent threads. Gaining reviews on after-sales items as well as how to clean up the AI wiring was most helpful.

On to my New Tread. Recently I experienced some damage to my awning. The depth and cause is in some earlier posts. I don't create new threads on really technical stuff unless I really have a high level of experience, which I do not. What I attempt to do is focus on what I know best. My 40 year work experience on the Sales and Ownership experience of an RVer and my personal RV history.

This simply means buying an RV/Coach so it is a Win/Win situation. Gaining from delivery and tour what you need to know and check to have a fair start to your new or new to you RV. Most importantly, how to successfully navigate working with the local dealer to get your RV fixed correctly and in a timely manner. Especially if you did not buy from them.

1. So my New AI awning was, let’s say damaged and non-functional. My dealers is 6.5 hours away. The local dealer is 37 miles away.

2. Is it true that dealers sometimes are not cooperative with those that bought their coach elsewhere? Yes, this is so unlike a auto purchase that you simple can't compare the two industries.

3. Is it true the franchise agreement for RV dealers is somewhat complicated and the dealer body is only required to do work that effects the safe driving of a unit. So if you have something damaged or broken but you can drive, you can be turned down? Yes, RV dealers are super funny about this.

4. Can a dealer have an excellent service department and a not or great sales department? Yep and it works both ways.

So what is the way to get service, warranty if applicable when on a trip or your selling dealer is hours away?

1. Be nice and professional in your communication: No matter how frustrated you get, you can get more with honey then with vinegar.
2. Call Airstream Corporate: Don't be shy, if you want the proper procedure, call Airstream sooner vs. later. Try to not be to long on the phone with them, play fair.
3. Warranty Approvals or Parts Delays: If too much time has gone by with no contact, call to check on the status of your claim or part with Airstream. In my case, the warranty person at the dealership accidentally put the wrong last six digits on the claim form. They used the Serial Number from Mercedes-Benz vs. the Airstream. This was fixed because I inquired to Airstream about length of time to approve claim.
4. Follow-Up Frequently With The Dealership Service Department: Sometimes, you have to call several times to get to the right person. Don't get frustrated, mad or loud on the phone. RV service departments are crazy busy and usually understaffed. Mistakes happen and if caught early enough, all things work out.
5. Coordinate the Dealer with Airstream if needed: In most cases, the holdup is simple. Almost every time it is a matter of communication. On extreme situations, the dealership could be causing the issue on purpose. Whether negotiating more money for a warranty job labor or vindictive that you did not buy from them. Bad business either way but happens less then we owners think.
6. Mobile RV Mechanics: I have had several things taken care of by my loyal, honest, hardworking and expensive local RV Mechanic. However, if you Dometic A/C goes down a few days prior to your big pre-planed trip, you will be glad you have the options. In my case, if you are on a trip and your awning is over the top of your roof, they can secure it so you can have a drink, shake off the experience and get home safely.
7. Reviews and survey’s: Do not hold a dealership ransom by threatening a bad review or survey. Don’t go on forums and complain to early in the process. When it is all over, do what you think is right based on your ownership experience. Threats don’t always get the reaction you expect.

Professional and respectful communication is the one key. Not getting angry and being in control of your wits is another. My goal is through my personal life experiences, to reduce every ones stress in these difficult situations. Selfishly, for myself as well.

Please comment, please add your situation and how you handled it and please simply enjoy the experience even when Murphy's law comes into play.
Congratulations STHRNGARY! You are 100% spot on. Everything you highlighted should qualify as an RV Commandment to religiously follow to achieve a “Minimal Stress Maintenance and Warranty Support” lifestyle.

My only contribution to your discussion is related to what I considered a critical element in my decision to purchase my AI this year. That critical element was that Mercedes and Airstream support (Sales, Service/Maintenance, and Warranty) had to be under one roof. This option will not be available or geographically convenient for everyone, but if possible, I say jump at the opportunity. There are at least three facilities in the US that are both Mercedes and Airstream dealers for Sales and Service. I live about 140 miles from the Southeastern US dealer (RBM of Alpharetta, GA) and it has been worth the added travel. (NOTE: I paid $2K more than offers by closer dealers). Since delivery I have experienced issues from the Power Awning, SeeLevel Monitoring System, Sliding Screen Door, Power Shade alignment, and a mysterious s squeak from rear seating area (really bugged the wife) that were quickly resolved with smiles and heartfelt handshakes. RBM Sales & Service and Airstream National HQS Customer Service worked seamlessly when I presented the issues and rate “10s” for caring and performance.

The relationship I have with RBM and Airstream is completely in line with and a living testimonial to STHRNGARY’s post…
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Old 03-23-2018, 05:09 AM   #3
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Great comnents!!!!!
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Old 03-24-2018, 08:27 AM   #4
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2018 Tommy Bahama Interstate
Birmingham , Alabama
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 158
Thanks To Everyone

Thanks to everyone on your post, PM and calls. I actually go two phone calls from RV dealers asking me, how communication can be improved with both their Sales and Service experience. Won't that skill-set be great progress in future client-dealer relations.
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Proud new owner of a 2018 Airstream Interstate Grand Tour Tommy Bahama
Previously owned a 2017 Airstream Flying Cloud 25 ft.
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