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Old 12-29-2018, 08:00 PM   #1
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2004 16' International CCD
2019 27' International
Cheyenne , Wyoming
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Disappointing Dealer/ Buyer Beware

I just need to vent a little and hopefully help someone in the future.

I have to agree with the posts that say you need to be able to walk away unless you are fully satisfied.

This is the abridged version:

We went to our nearest dealer and found the trailer we wanted. They did not have it in stock but could order it and it would be here around the end of January. They were not the lowest price, but close enough based on having to take time off and travel to do a long distance pickup. We were excited and ready to go so we made a deposit.

I had called them about a month later and they said it would now be ready in December. OK, we can adjust. No other word from the dealer until they called and said it had been delivered. They wanted us to pay before the end of the year, but we did not have to take delivery until later. We were still excited about getting our new trailer

We set up a time for the walk through as they wanted to put water in the system but assured me it would be winterized again. We went to the walk through and it was maybe an hour. The two most time consuming things were when he was trying to get the television to work and then explaining to me how you have to slam the door on an Airstream. We were not impressed, but still liked the trailer.

I then spent about 3 hours looking at everything and found a few minor issues. A nail in one tire, missing screw cover, loose panel behind stove, etc. I was impressed with the quality and we were still excited about getting it home, so we did the paperwork and gave them a check with the understanding it would be ready within a week.

I called the day before I was going to go pick it up and was assured it was ready. I was also assured it had been winterized as the temperatures had been in the low 20s.

I arrived at the dealership still excited and ready to pick up our new trailer. Then he opened the door to a muddy mess inside. I checked and they had not completed the tasks on my list. I looked at the water system and it had not been winterized. I called SWMBO and we decided we wanted our money back. They tried to convince me they would take better care of me going forward, but they finally gave me back my check.

I am currently waiting on a check for the deposit amount. It is supposed to be in the mail. I am going to use the money for some upgrades on a 15 year old Airstream we already have.

We feel fortunate going into the new year that are not stuck with a poor dealership.

Happy New Year to everyone.
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Old 12-29-2018, 08:13 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear about that experience. It looks like your closest dealer is in Colorado. I had a very pleasant buying experience at airstream of Utah.
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Old 12-29-2018, 08:19 PM   #3
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Unfortunately if you don't buy it somebody else will! in fact it will be sold to some other person and they will never know that it was not winterized and endured sub-freezing temperatures and have to deal with the leaks, only having to return for service work, being blamed for not winterizing when it was really the dealer's fault!
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Old 12-29-2018, 08:22 PM   #4
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I am sorry you had this experience but, I am glad you were confident enough to get your money back. That dealer telling you they would do better next time was a lie for sure. Again I hate this happened to you.
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Old 12-29-2018, 08:36 PM   #5
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Cheyenne , Wyoming
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtomicNo13 View Post
Unfortunately if you don't buy it somebody else will! in fact it will be sold to some other person and they will never know that it was not winterized and endured sub-freezing temperatures and have to deal with the leaks, only having to return for service work, being blamed for not winterizing when it was really the dealer's fault!
I have already thought about this and I sent an email to Airstream yesterday. I am not sure if it will help.

I also wondered how many other trailers, both AS and SOB are sitting on their lot with water in the system.
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Old 12-30-2018, 05:35 AM   #6
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Good on 'ya👍...hope you 'slammed' the door on the way out. 😡

What may work for you...consider gently used.😍

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Old 12-30-2018, 06:04 AM   #7
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Who’s in charge here, who’s got the checklist and making sure what needs to be done, is actually done.

Hard to imagine that kind of service at delivery, but that they would do better “going forward”.

Ummmm, no thank you.

Good for you for walking away.

Maggie
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Old 12-30-2018, 07:39 AM   #8
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Good for you...walking away from that dealer was the best thing to do.

When I was looking for my new Airstream, I went to the local dealer and they left me sitting in the model I had selected and never came back. I guess I didn't impress them with my readiness to buy. While in the Airstream I saw that a corner of a cabinet was broken off and a hinge was broken as well.

I finally went inside to see if they were going to help me. The salesman was surprised that I was "still there??" and proceeded to try to strike up a deal with me. He said the Airstream had hail damage on the roof and they would be happy to give me a major discount. I, politely, told him I would never be back and left.

I ended up going to a dealer in another state that was so happy to have my business and I continue to take road trips to them for maintenance.
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Old 12-30-2018, 08:31 AM   #9
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Hi

The unfortunate fact of life is that dealers can say in business with a high volume sales process that is backed with total incompetence in parts and service. Yes that *seems* a bit crazy, but it's a fact of life. It's unique to Airstream. It pops up with a number of RV companies. It also pops up in other areas as well.

We get used to an auto dealer model where the factory has some level of control over what the dealer can / can't do. Even in that arena, one does not have to look very hard to find that some are better than others. The big difference is that the range between best and worst it kept far closer by the controls the factory is able to enforce. The degree of control an auto company can exert is *not* the case in most other areas.

Bob
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Old 12-30-2018, 09:15 AM   #10
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Gheez..thank you for the heads up!!!

Well maybe the "Mother Ship" can not control the dealerships but perhaps we can with a blacklist of subpar dealers. We all pay enough for our Airsteams and should get fairness in return. I for one will certainly post my dealership experiences in hopes it will help us.
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Old 12-30-2018, 09:26 AM   #11
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Gives me comfort I took the time to find the right dealership.
When shopping, one of the first questions should be, "Please describe the delivery/checkout procedure you provide to an average customer."

If it does not include a 6-hr demonstration/briefing and an overnight on the lot, you have the wrong dealer.
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Old 12-30-2018, 09:34 AM   #12
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Being an Airstream Club member for a long time, we’ve heard numerous similar stories about that dealer. Consequently we purchased 3 new Airstreams over the years from a dealer in a different neighboring state. Unfortunately that dealer Is no longer in business.
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Old 12-30-2018, 09:41 AM   #13
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Disappointing Dealer/ Buyer Beware

I live in Denver. I chose to buy my 30’ international from colonial airstream in NJ. Shipped my truck, hopped on a flight and then drove it back 1,800 miles.

It was worth it financially (>$5k savings) and was most definitely worth it from a customer service / customer experience perspective. 2 phone calls to Patrick and a couple emails. No issues on delivery. Good break-in drive back home.
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Old 12-30-2018, 10:12 AM   #14
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Colonial

I have bought several airstreams from Nick and his Sister at Colonial , drove across the country to take delivery, they are the best!!
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Old 12-30-2018, 10:49 AM   #15
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I know there are both good and bad dealerships out there for most everything on wheels...including new Airstreams. Personally, I've had the best experience in buying from a previous owner who KNEW the trailer and was willing to share his knowledge and experience about it. Our last recent purchase was a 2-year old Flying Cloud 25 FB to replace our older Safari that could not be any "newer", as all the issues that the new ones generally have were either already solved or even improved upon by the previous caring and skilled owners. Sure, it took some searching to find what we wanted, but besides saving considerable $$ over buying "new", our "new" FC does not come with hassles, ill feelings and wasted time for us, as somebody else has already endured all that and we are just grateful to be the beneficiaries. I would never buy new.
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Old 12-30-2018, 11:20 AM   #16
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Ugh...such short sighted dealers only can see a check in their hands but not much more than that. What a shame that they failed to do the basics and that AS doesn't care, because they can only see the check in their hands.
The big recession is coming so they will either learn to treat customers right or fail.
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Old 12-30-2018, 11:31 AM   #17
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About 7 years ago, went there a couple of times regarding parts and service. They didn’t seem too familiar with either concept. Have never been back.
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Old 12-30-2018, 12:00 PM   #18
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As others have mentioned, Colonial Airstream in NJ has a good reputation. Closer to your home, I had a very good experience last summer with the service department at Airstream Adventures Northwest in Caldwell, Idaho. I didn't buy from them, so I can't testify about that end of the operation, but I got a good feeling about the place.

I bought my 2017 International from Airstream of Los Angeles, and while I don't have any horror stories to tell, the rig needed a lot of work to fix all the sloppy manufacturing defects, and I had to ride them pretty hard to get it done. I wouldn't go back there.
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Old 12-30-2018, 12:37 PM   #19
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After much research we traveled to New Jersey and bought our FC20c from Nick at Colonial Airstream. The friendly professional staff performed an excellent delivery inspection/training session. Follow up phone calls from the dealership to make sure I was satisfied with the unit were a sign of a quality dealer. On a recent trip to Jackso Cdnter, I was told by the staff there that Colonial was one of their best dealerships.
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Old 12-30-2018, 01:04 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

The unfortunate fact of life is that dealers can say in business with a high volume sales process that is backed with total incompetence in parts and service. Yes that *seems* a bit crazy, but it's a fact of life. It's unique to Airstream. It pops up with a number of RV companies. It also pops up in other areas as well.

We get used to an auto dealer model where the factory has some level of control over what the dealer can / can't do. Even in that arena, one does not have to look very hard to find that some are better than others. The big difference is that the range between best and worst it kept far closer by the controls the factory is able to enforce. The degree of control an auto company can exert is *not* the case in most other areas.

Bob
A salesperson is a salesperson. They will promise you anything to make a sale.
I established a good relationship with my auto dealer and service was great. That dealership has been sold. Based upon recent experience, I have bought my last car there. Same with my AS dealer, excellent service, salesperson still telling stories, surprised he’s still there.
I do not believe the documentation you get with a new AS is sufficient. I have not found sufficient instructions for Any system, particularly subsystem (fridge, stove, etc) when I had a question or problem. You can build the best space shuttle in the world, but when you get out there and can’t call AS, you are on your own.
I absolutely love my Si*nature, but buyer beware, when you hand anyone the check, you better have a good dealer, most of the time they just shrug. A good clue is if they ask you if you bought it there.
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