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Old 06-06-2012, 12:56 AM   #1
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Warranty-Service Bias or "You're a Nuisance if You Didn't Buy Your Trailer Here"?

Do you think there is some warranty-service bias amongst the dealerships, i.e. if you did not purchase your unit there, you are treated like a second-class citizen?

I have no complaint with the dealership that has been servicing/doing my waranty work. As a matter of fact, they have gone above and beyond what I expected, i.e. they noticed a flaw in the entrance door which I wasn't even aware of and took the initiative to fix it). Other work has been done satisfactorily and was timely. But I also purchased my unit (new) there.

However, I have been reading about another AS owner in my province who has taken their trailer to the same dealer for major warranty work and has not been satisfied with the result. They did not purchase their new AS at that dealer. Their experience could be described as "agonizing" and "laborious."

I appreciate that all warranty work must be approved by Airstream, but the manner and timeliness of the approach is at the hands of the dealership. I am wondering if there really could be discrimination between "dealership customers" and "non-dealership customers" especially when the service departments are extremely busy at certain times of the year, and the dealership sells a vast range of RVs besides Airstream.

I hate to think that this kind of discrimination exists, but am not totally convinced that it does not. It would be fair to say that this kind of discrimination erodes the Airstream brand/image.
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:05 AM   #2
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Fly, we got treated very well at AS Northwest in Covington and we were not a purchase customer. They were advertizing for service work when we were there. In this case they didn't even ask us where we bought. Maybe warranty service is profitable.... I don't know what kind of communication occurs between service and sales. I woule expect if my coach came in the same time as one that had been purchased there they would get the preferential treatment. I have always made appointments so this does not happen. Hows that park bench holding up?

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Old 06-06-2012, 01:23 AM   #3
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danlehosky, I think it would be fair to assume the purchase AS would bump the "outsider" AS if both arrived at the same time.

I am really wondering about the dealerships that sell other RVs besides Airstreams - and Airstreams are a proverbial drop in their new-sales bucket? I wonder how the "food-chain" works in these service departments. Would a 500k Class A motorhome get the preferential treatment over all Airstreams, but the purchase customer AS would still be ahead of the non-purchase AS?

Anyway, am glad you were treated well at AS Northwest.

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Oh, I'm off the park bench now. Thank goodness. The pigeons weren't in full swing yet.
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:40 AM   #4
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Hi, although not always the case, all warranty repairs should be the same no matter where you bought it. These dealers need to learn from the car dealers. [who used to do the same thing] If you treat all of your warranty customers good, then you will still have them as customers after their warranty runs out [customer pay] and/or when they are ready to buy their next new unit. Fortunately for me, I live very close to C & G Trailer Service in Bellflower, California. [an Airstream Authorized repair center] C & G does not sell Airstream trailers so they don't care where you bought it. George Sutton has been very good to me, but Eugene, Oregon is a long drive from Lakewood, California.
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:44 AM   #5
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Our experience is a bit atypical, as there was/is no AS dealer in NYS.

That said Bob nailed it, if the dealers treat all their customers the same they will be way ahead in the long run. It's what AS wants and the customer deserves.
A good sales/service history at a dealership deserves perks, but not at the expense of overall CSI.

Question....for those who have had AS warranty work done,(we have not), does AS send a Customer Satisfaction Survey for you to return to JC?

Bob
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:42 AM   #6
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The dealership gets paid the same for warranty service if you brought from them or not. Warranty work is paid on a flat rate basis. I think personality and perception may account for much of the discrepancy in how people think they are treated at a specific dealership (or any activity). Some just complain about the smallest things and blow them all out of proportion in their own minds.
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post

Question....for those who have had AS warranty work done,(we have not), does AS send a Customer Satisfaction Survey for you to return to JC?

Bob
Bob,
It wasn't warranty work, but I did just have some brake and bearings work done at JC while we were at Alumapalooza. They did an excellent job, and it actually came in under their estimate. When we paid, they gave us a folder with all the information about the job, along with some instructions on preventive maintenance, etc. There was a Customer Satisfaction Survey included in the package.

Overall, it was a very good experience. We've done a lot of traveling in the last seven years, and the brake shoes and magnets were at the end of the line, so we had the whole plates replaced. It cost more for parts, but saved in labor. They gave us all the options, and let me watch, and talk with the mechanic throughout the entire process.

For what it's worth, I don't recall getting any Customer Satisfaction Surveys from the dealership when I had (considerable) warranty work done.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:18 AM   #8
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Oops, I just learned that it was not the same dealership. The errant dealership does not even sell Airstreams.

I think the subject of this thread is still a viable point, though.
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:11 PM   #9
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OOPS, indeed!!!!! Jim
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:35 PM   #10
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I understand it was not an AS dealer, jim
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Old 06-06-2012, 05:37 PM   #11
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No, it wasn't an AS dealer, which shocked me somewhat. I assumed (not always a good thing) that is where the problematic trailer was taken.

The AS dealership's service department in B.C. is good. I have had no problem with them.
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Old 04-25-2015, 05:37 PM   #12
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I bought my 23' International at a dealer in Florida who told me I would be "first in line" if I bought from him. Well......they were so slow--and not so great. Then, major service at the factory in Ohio---great! Later service in Alachua, Florida---SUPER great!
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Old 04-25-2015, 05:57 PM   #13
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A lot of the "problems" could very well be keyed to the owner's expectations— which may be unreasonable.

If you take something in for warranty repair, a lot of factors come into play. Did the owner make an appointment, or just show up without advance warning?

How many other service customers also had their units in for repair? If the number of customers is larger than the number of service technicians, obviously someone has to wait.

How complicated was the repair? Even the low man on the totem pole can do basic repairs, but complex repairs might have to wait for a more experienced technician.

Were the necessary replacement parts in stock, or did they have to be ordered? It costs money to maintain an extensive inventory of spare parts on the off-chance that they might be needed, as most companies that have switched to "just in time" procurement have discovered.

And just to put the icing on the cake, was it obvious that it was a warranty repair? The dealer might have to negotiate with Jackson Center (or whatever company for SOBs) to see if the work will even be covered. And they're not going to bill the owner until they know.

Whenever I put my Airstream in the shop— for warranty work or otherwise— I ask for a best-case time estimate and a worst-case time estimate. I know not to expect it to be ready before the best-case date, and don't start getting antsy until the worst-case date is approaching. So far, my particular dealer has never gone past the worst-case date they gave me, so I've never had a complaint about how long any given repair has taken. They're usually much closer to the best-case date than the worst-case date.

In fact, the only time I ever had a problem was with insurance repairs, because it took bloody forever for the insurance company to finally authorize the work the dealer told them was needed. But that's a different subject and is therefore outside the scope of this discussion.
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Old 04-25-2015, 06:33 PM   #14
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It may be bad business to treat people differently depending whether they bought the trailer at a dealership, but businesspeople make wrong decisions all the time and hopefully they are ones that go out of business. People that let vindictiveness be part of their treatment of customers do exist.

And there's the dealership that treats everyone badly….

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