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Old 09-30-2015, 12:19 PM   #1
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Dealer Service

We purchased our new AS from a dealer out of state - much better deal and gave us the chance to do a great road trip while bringing it home. On the trip, we found a few items that need to be repaired under warranty. We called the local mega RV dealer that also handle Airstreams. I've called these guys before for service and the first question I am asked is whether or not we purchased the trailer at their dealership. Is this a common question folks get from their local Airstream service center? It certainly makes me think that I am being placed at the back of the queue for service. Wouldn't you think that Airstream would have an agreement with their dealers to treat all their customers the same regardless of where they purchased their unit?
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Old 09-30-2015, 01:05 PM   #2
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Service as such should not be an issue as that is a very profitable side of the business. Warranty work is another subject as the factory only pays for the product being replaced and the time the factory figures it takes to do the job, no profit or overhead for the dealer on warranty work in many cases. Just reimbursed a set amount.

Each dealer is an independent business person and trying to keep their business solvent, service is a key to this, warranty is not. But then if they do a great job on both maybe you will buy from them and pay more? I know I do in the case of our AS and my truck.
Being a dealer is in many cases not all it's cracked up to be.
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Old 09-30-2015, 01:30 PM   #3
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No I would think the dealer would take care of his customers first as far as warranty work goes.
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Old 10-04-2015, 04:32 PM   #4
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The local dealer in Ottawa sells mostly SOB's (big Class A's & 5th's). When I spoke with him (not trying to book any service), he told me that those that buy from him are given priority to service, and if you bought from another dealer, you would have to wait until the cows come home! His shop runs full tilt doing PDI's (his first priority). Once a year he bands together with a couple of other RV dealers and they hold a huge sale over a weekend - he actually sells around 300 RV's in the 4-day sale, maybe including 6 AS's.
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Old 10-04-2015, 08:40 PM   #5
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Figure out what it costs to go back to your purchase dealer. Offer the Service Manager some of that $$ for the "nod"!
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Old 10-04-2015, 09:22 PM   #6
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You could always take it back but go a different route, then home again yet a third route. 2 more road trips!
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Old 10-05-2015, 09:26 AM   #7
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This doesn't appear to be unique to Airstream. Most trailer/motorhome dealers, in fact the entire industry, has seen massive sales growth in the last few years. The dealers are overloaded with service business. Getting an appointment is near impossible for any rec vehicle. Not enough techs and just hiring more help isn't going to keep customer satisfaction at a good level if the person hired doesn't know what they are doing.

So the dealers take care of the customers who bought from them first (easier to get a repeat customer) and then everyone else. Locally the backlog for a service appointment for warranty work last I tried was 3 months +. Easier to plan a trip to Jackson Center since locally the reputation on repairs isn't very good. Or a trip back to the dealer where you bought.
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Old 10-05-2015, 04:57 PM   #8
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Jackson Center is THE place for service. When I owned a 34-ft LY diesel pusher, I was always having problems with local repairs. I sold the motor-home and bought a 32-ft Excella (private sale from the previous owner), and from that point on have taken it to JC for service. They always have the parts, and they start work immediately and work through until the service is done. If it takes more than a day, they move the AS out to the terraport for you to stay in overnight - then pick it up at 7:00 am to continue the task. I plan it so that service is done enroute - i.e., on my November trip to AZ or my April trip to back to ON - service is just a stop enroute.
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