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Old 09-23-2003, 08:47 AM   #21
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I have a different viewpoint

I have to admit that without criticizing anyone, I strongly disagree with Andy's opinion. It is not a matter of whether or not the dealer decided to make a deal that could be considered a "Wholesale Deal." The bottom line is that they chose to make that deal.

From that point on, you are the customer, and no matter what, they should treat you with the utmost respect and offer you the same service that they would offer any of their other customers. That is what customer service is all about.

Regarding a fee for Pre Delivery Inspection, the concept of it is an absolute joke. After working in the automotive industry for over 10 years, I strongly believe that the only reason that dealers are getting away with the charge is because customers are letting them. As soon as customers refuse to pay the fee and take their business to a dealer that does not charge the fee, the fee will disappear. Why should a customer have to pay a dealer a fee for buying a product from them and inspecting the product that they are selling? If the dealer wants to charge anyone for the inspection, they should charge Airstream or the respective parts supplier. Why should a customer have to pay a dealer to check his/her brand new unit for any problems? Why should a customer have to pay a dealer to show them around their unit or how to used the unit? Isn't that what customer service is all about?

Have you ever purchased a car and then been told that you are going to be charged for the delivery process. Of course not, we would all laugh and go to the dealer down the street. Before you ever take delivery of a new vehicle, a technician goes through the automobile and it is fully inspected. You are then given the opportunity to go through the automobile as well. As I mentioned before, my background is in the automotive industry. I would like to stress that I have never worked on the retail side of the industry, but on the manufacturers side. As a graduate of the University of Michigan with an MBA in Finance and MS in Management, I have worked with General Motors, General Motors dealers and suppliers to GM world wide on what it takes to make the system work.

I think that this all seems like common sense, but PDI fees will only end when we say enough is enough. The bottom line is that purchasing a new Airsteam is not cheap. I believe that when we spend several thousands of dollars on a new unit, the dealer not only has a responsibility, but an obligation to make sure that everything is right. That is the only way to do business.
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Old 09-23-2003, 09:11 AM   #22
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Joshua32064.

Please be advised that I did not state an "opinion."

I merely stated facts. Facts that anyone that has been around the RV industry for many years, knows as well as I do.

I did not say I agreed with or disagreed with them. That is another matter.

We do not, have not and will not sell any RV. Our business is solely parts and service.

Andy
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Old 09-23-2003, 10:05 AM   #23
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Andy,

You are right. You do not sell RV's so my comments do not apply to you. Regardless, the bottom line is that the only reason why all of these practices have gone on is because customers have allowed them to go on.

Josh
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Old 09-23-2003, 11:34 AM   #24
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Josh.

I agree with you.

The "buyers" allowed it happen, and it did.

But, sometimes a buyer invites the problem.

However, the buyers "can" curb the abuse.

The old adage "be an informed buyer" seems in time, to have slipped by the wayside.

The best dealer, for the sale, "AND" service, is not always the closest.

Andy
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Old 09-23-2003, 08:03 PM   #25
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Andy,

I can't disagree with a word you wrote. Hopefully the process will change in the near future.

Josh
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Old 09-24-2003, 07:16 AM   #26
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Josh.

But there are those that will throw caution to the wind, and pay and pay, and pay again, because it adds fuel to the "gripe" wagon.

And there are those that "shop, inquire, save, and become happy campers."

Ah, blessed are those that are "happy campers."

For it is "they" that make being in business, worth while, and camping a "joy."

Andy
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Old 09-24-2003, 10:02 AM   #27
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This is exactly the kind of "thing" that those of us on the outside looking in are perhaps more aware of than those of you who are already in the game. And probably, this kind of "that's the way it is" thinking is keeping some of us out. We are all aware of the price of admission to airstream ownership, but please, quality and treating the customer with respect should be a given in this price range. (IMHO)! The customer will pay for honest value.
This is also the kind of real discussion some of us come here to see, and I hope Airstream is listening. My congrats to Josh for telling it like it is. luke
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Old 09-24-2003, 11:21 PM   #28
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Dealer Prep

I agree with Joshua , when buying an Airstream there should be no dealer prep . I was lucky , the dealer I used did not charge for it , I would not have payed it regardless, I would have walked first . My unit was clean , full of fuel , batterys , the dealer threw in a few misc . items hoses , power adapter , a device to help fill your fresh water tank faster , toilet paper , some chemicals. I even received the electric brake control and Equalizer . this was installed of course . I then received a good instruction session , which must have been murder on the guy , due to my incessant questions . I shopped for well over year and bought at a big discount and still received good service . I think that when you step up to what I believe is the finest trailer on Earth , SERVICE should not be something you have to beg for . Joshua is right , if they agree to sell it to you at a discount , the service should be an automatic part of the deal regardless of the price paid , unless I guess they sold it to you at pure cost , but who's going to do that .LOL I leave on my first short run tomorrow morning , Hoo-ray !
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Old 09-26-2003, 05:55 AM   #29
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Craig,

What type of Airstream did you purchase? How was the trip?

Josh
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Old 09-27-2003, 02:39 AM   #30
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2004 Safari 25 B . Had a hard time making my mind up between the Safari's and Internationals . Finally went with the Safari as I feel it's more trailer for the money , but that is my opinion . Trip was just a little shake down overnighter . everything worked out great . Got a little chilly ,ran the furnace for a little while , still had a little smell , but I was warned in advance so expected it . Other than that, everything was perfect . I like the lay out and large bath and the big refrigerator . This is traveling in style , answered a lot of questions in the campground from people who appreciated my silver bullet. Really a lot of fun . This thing towed as advertised . I owned a fifth wheel a long time ago , maybe it's just my enthusiasm and excitement , but it sure seems like it tows as good as it did . Bottom line , I'm really happy !
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Old 09-27-2003, 04:34 AM   #31
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Craig,

It sounds like you were really happy with the price that you paid and the pdi that the dealer gave you. Would you mind if I asked which dealer you bought it from and what type of % discount they passed on to you?

Josh
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Old 10-14-2007, 06:30 PM   #32
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Predelivery Inspections

I am in the process of ordering another A/S and have read all the threads pertaining to PDI's. I concur with Andy's comments and know where he is comng from. However, having been in the auto dealership business, busting knuckles and listening to verbal sale promises made to cusomters, I have two questions;
1) In the RV business, are PDI's paid by the manufacture?
Apparently not. In the car business they are.
2) Are the techs paid hourly or flat rate?
The hourly pay generally favors the customer while flat rate benefits the dealer. Given the fact technicians are like a bag fruit (you can't see all you get in the bag - some real good some not so good), the quality of the PDI will vary from thorough to pencil whipped. The customers are the real winners or losers in these situations. Unfortunately, customer service is not what it use to be! The sharing of information in this forum is great.
Thanks to all, Larry
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Old 10-14-2007, 06:40 PM   #33
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Flat rate vs. hourly rate both have pros and cons. Hr'ly isn't a benefit to the customer or the dealer and neither is flat rate. As long as the dealership has the proper quality control measures in place it doesn't matter what the method is used to calculate wage. And that's all flat rate and hr'ly are. different methods to calculate wage. A stong flate rate tech with proper quality control is as good as it gets
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Old 10-14-2007, 07:12 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RIstream'n
Flat rate vs. hourly rate both have pros and cons. Hr'ly isn't a benefit to the customer or the dealer and neither is flat rate. As long as the dealership has the proper quality control measures in place it doesn't matter what the method is used to calculate wage. And that's all flat rate and hr'ly are. different methods to calculate wage. A stong flate rate tech with proper quality control is as good as it gets
Amen. There are good techs and can be hard to find. You have some that cut corners regardless of how they are paid.
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Old 10-15-2007, 04:59 AM   #35
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You're right and that's where the dealership's quality control measures come in. It does come down to good techs and controls.
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Old 10-17-2007, 12:38 AM   #36
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We are headed out tomorrow to visit our potential dealer in Spokane. They might be reading this so tomorrow they will be extra special nice to customers thinking I am comming? Anyway...The reason I am going to the dealer is two fold....of course to look at the Airsteams on the lot but I am far more interested in getting to know the dealer. I want to know what I can depend on after the sale. I hear good things about them and I hope I get that warm and fuzzy feeling. I am a tough sell...to the point of embarrassment at times when I smell a scam artist. I think I am extremely informed but of course I need more hands on..thus part reason for the trip.

PDI and walk through in my opion should be preformed by someone who likes not only the sale but likes to get to know their customers on a personal level. If you can't do that as a dealer....or simply don't like people....bad things happen.

I am willing to negociate a fair deal... I understand what it takes to keep afloat in business. But I will not tolerate a "theres your rig...hit the road" kind of attitude. Or "you paid low book so we don't do detail with you as much as someone who paid full price". A PDI inspection had better be just that...done in detail. If I can find a problem in a walk through...dont tell me YOU missed it as a dealer. A delivery walk through should take as much time as the buyer needs. All systems should be operated with the dealer and customer persent. I am loyal to a good dealer. I bought all my new cars in my life at the same dealer because they gave me good customer service Before and AFTER the sale.

I spend money where I feel the customer comes first. NOT a lot of dealers reflect that attitude.
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Old 10-17-2007, 08:50 AM   #37
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Thumbs up PDI are good guys..

Having worked at a former A/S dealership, one of my main functions used to be: PDI of all incoming units before the dealership accepted delivery of the unit from the factory. The new units were all vigorously inspected for defects or damages in transport. Any defects or damages, either from transportation and/or factory, was duly noted. These were noted and would then be passed onto the shop manager for immediate correction. This information was very detailed as the forms were used to bill Airstream for all shop labor time and materials used. The PDI also had the power to send a unit back to the factory if it was damaged beyond normal repairs. Example: One special order unit, upon arrival and, the operator having disconnected the TV, moved it forward from the unit. Fine, except he left his motor running. When I was coming out to inspect it, much to my horror, I saw his TV moving in reverse. The poor guy, not thinking, jumped in front of the A/S and try to stop the TV with his body. I jump'd into the TV's cab and slammed on the brakes. The operator just barely avoided severe bodily injuries. Unfortunately, the A/S unit was struck & pushed backwards under a guardrail behind it. Damaged was done to the bumper and, the entire rear panel. It was rejected and, send back to the factory.
Depending on the new owners experiences level, I would always spend a minimum of 2 to 3 hours walking the new owners thru the entire unit showing them where everything was located and how to operate it. The entire paper works was gone over. Who was responsible for what warranty and just how long each item was covered for repairs and, I made sure they understood everything needed to be filled out ASAP. After all, there was monies that I didn't get unless they did their part. Quite often, I spend over 4hrs with a brand new owner, if needed. While I was doing this, the tech from the shop would be setting up their TV for towing the trailer. The involved installing brake controller, wiring, checking out the lights system, brakes, tow bars, etc. By the time I had finished the walk thru, which normally would terminated outside with the awning being opened and closed, etc. The shop tech would explaine and, in many cases, take the new owners for a test drive in the lot. Yes, there's alot of details to be covered and, if you feel that you are not being informed properly or treated right, You have the right to and should demand it. Just thought I would share..
ciao 53FC
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Old 10-17-2007, 07:20 PM   #38
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Pdi

Good incite 53Flyingcloud! I wish everyone took pride in their job, the necessary time and was as thorough as you!!
Dford79 also hits the nail on the head "customer service". Owner loyalty is worth a lot and "service after the sale" can't be over emphasized.
Larry
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Old 10-17-2007, 07:32 PM   #39
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Thumbs down Standards??

Quote:
Originally Posted by frozen chosen
Pick, Do you mean dealers usually charge for this? or overcharge, I guess. I'm assuming AS sets some standards for their dealers to make sure what is delivered meets whatever standards they have set.
In my experience Airstream sets no standards or guidelines, if you have

the money.......... your a DEALER.

Anyone have proof too the contrary??
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Old 10-17-2007, 07:45 PM   #40
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Well

Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS
In my experience Airstream sets no standards or guidelines, if you have

the money your a DEALER.

Anyone have proof too the contrary??
The former Airstream dealership in New Hampshire lost their business because Airstream pulled the plug on them.. I don't think money was the main issues.
They still have two HUGE Harley dealerships here in the area.
ciao
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