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Old 04-06-2014, 07:55 AM   #1
Shytown
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Stealership and "THE NETWORK" or lack there of

Apparently I am angry!
I was in another thread and really didn't want to hijack this other person's issue,
So here goes, This Network needs some Sensitivity training/ and the dealerships themselves need to fricking wake up! I have never heard of anything similar to this in ANY other community I have been involved in, And these dealerships acting as if they control the outcome of ANY situation after signing the last document, have got to understand, People without you buying from them, they go out of Business, the their customer service is so Bleak or they are so SMALL MINDED to push you off as a consumer and won't support your product even though they are in network in a professional and speedy way, Then something will NEED to be done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRTJH View Post
Of course that would mean travelling to pick it up and not having a local dealership to service it (unless your local dealer would service it for you).
Guys- This is not meant as a thread hijack, but this statement is a great example of why you don't get into RV'ing, this statement is fricking pathetic, if i don't buy from you, You wont give me good service! then how can I hurt you- Buy not getting involved in RV'ing Period!
I want an RV, and have the right to purchase where and when i please, now i own this unit and have a repair beyond my abilities and it is KNOWN in the community to not likely receive great and speedy service from a closer /local dealership, I shake my head in disgust, So as i have read Today, there are salesmen ready to sell you a trailer your truck wont haul, wont readily service the unit you purchased from another dealership at a much more fair price, and the stealership IS NOT there for ALL their customers, Again, seems redundant and foolish to put good hard earned money into a community full of stealerships whom hold grudges and are willing to virtually tell you to go get bent on a whim.
So the point of being a Hard working American, supporting America by buying American made products, being sold by Americans receiving pay by Americans, and the consumer whom is American whom is buying/supporting/paying the salaries/keeping the networks alive/ mean so little to the stealerships that they can not get over the fact that their customer service is fricking pathetic!and in a few / 10 years wonder why they are losing consumers to more practical vacationing due to what likely brought them into the network,,,,CUSTOMER SERVICE!
Without customers you will die, I guess this is the Pathetic side of things i just don't understand.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:09 AM   #2
bsmith0404
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I agree and share your frustration. The problem is that unlike the automotive industry, the RV industry does not invest heavily into a large repair center. Most can only support 2-3 RV at a time. What that creates is a back-up in getting service completed. I don't understand why they don't have a larger repair center (maybe a business idea). Another issue is getting parts. Just too many different options in use in this industry, so they do not stock a lot of parts. People have/discover problems when they go to use their RV. So everyone is in an "emergency" situation where they need their RV fixed ASAP for a trip they are taking. It's not that a dealer WON'T service an RV purchased somewhere else, it's that they put THEIR customers first. An RV purchased somewhere else goes to the end of the line for repairs, which will end up being done too late for a planned trip. And, of course, RV repairs are mainly done over a 4-5 month season so they are backed up.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:44 AM   #3
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In most areas of the country, RVing is a seasonal industry. In Michigan for instance, the "season" starts around Memorial Day and ends (for most) around Labor Day. There are a few RV'ers who use their trailer/motorhome past Labor Day, but even they tend to winterize after Deer Season.

So, an RV dealer has a "boom time" from the end of May through when school starts again. His business is literally "billowing out of the walls". Then, Labor Day comes, the kids go back to school and his service lot is a "ghost town". All of those service techs he hired to support "someone else's customers", all of those service bays he built to take care of people who bought elsewhere, all of the tools and parts supply he invested in to "service the competetion's sales profits" What does he do? Lay off workers, pay unemployment, pay taxes on the unsold inventory of parts, watch his newly constructed building sit empty and unused until next Memorial Day....

It's not like the Ford service department or the GM service department where people bring vehicles in for year round work, our RV's sit in our back yard from first snowfall until it all melts and the dealer's investment sits "dormant" as well.

I'm not justifying a "poor attitude" that some dealerships display when they tell you, "No, you didn't buy it here, I won't service it" I am saying that I can understand why he tells his customers that did buy from him that he will take care of them before he abandons them for an "outsider".

If RVing were a "year round" evenly distributed business, I would expect that there would be the same "ability to service" in January as in July, but it's not that way.

In fact, the two local RV dealerships close in early December and don't reopen until "the tax man cometh" on April 15th. The "big" RV center, TC RV in Traverse City also closes on the same schedule. They are now advertising their "Grand Re-Opening" on April 15th.

As frustrating as it is to feel as you do, you've also got to understand that most RV dealerships (from a service standpoint) have 4 or 5 months of "BOOM" and the rest of the year they can't justify keeping the staff on the payroll. To hire even more service techs to take care of the "potential that some other dealership's buyers might need service? It's just not a profitable venture.

This shouldn't justify a "I don't like you or want your business" attitude, but that dealership does have a commitment to service his own customers first, and if there's any time left to make "extra money" from someone else.... But to build a seasonal business on the "hope that someone else's customers will fill my service bays? I can understand why any dealership would hesitate to build a "new 50 bay service facility" and open his doors for that 5 months business season to all comers. What's he going to do with those employees come Labor Day??????
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Old 04-06-2014, 09:20 AM   #4
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I guess I feel lucky in that I have two mom and pop RV repair shops that have much better rates and much better service that the actual dealer. and the same with the auto repair shop.
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Old 04-06-2014, 09:40 AM   #5
Ken / Claudia
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I read thru the post 2 times and tried to find detail about a problem or problem with his trailer and a named dealership or dealerships. I do not get it, alot said but, about what, unhappy work or no work, the cost?
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Old 04-06-2014, 09:59 AM   #6
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I've read several posts similar in nature to the OP and I still can not wrap around the mindset. First, if a dealer has more work than he can get to, I call that an opportunity to expand the business and generate more revenue, I'm a Dometic dealer specializing in Marine Air Conditioning and refrigeration and have been a sole proprietor for 15 years. I do repairs on both a warranty and non-warranty basis. Most equipment has a warranty period of one year. After that it's time and materials. My rational goes several ways. After the end of the first year, that owner does not have a warranty, but if I take care of him the way he deserves, I will still have a customer. Sometimes my manufacturers do not pay on warranty what I would charge a customer, sometimes they do, but at the end of the day, I make it up with the retention of a customer who was happy with his service experience with me and thus I enjoy continued revenue not only from him, but also his friends who need work done. I'v been in business for almost 20 years and have never used any kind of advertisement. There must be some explanation for that. I also service equipment that I do not sell. Why wouldn't I? The money is all the same color and I'm not in business to send work to other shops. If I were to walk away and leave money on the table simply because I didn't sell that equipment, just who am I hurting?
Also, repair departments usually work on their own P&L, and I don't understand why any service manager worth his salt would walk away from revenue. If he worked for me, it would only happen once.
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Old 04-06-2014, 10:46 AM   #7
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Not sure the industry is overly concerned! It has doubled in three years and although there are many stories like you describe there are also many stories of good dealers.
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Old 04-06-2014, 10:56 AM   #8
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To Mr Landry you have said what the op was saying to me why not work on other peoples rv that you did not sell you still get the same rate per hour wherether or not you sold the unit. as to buying at cheaper price i would also. its my money. the local dealer can match the sells price the unit cost him the same as other dealers (i know i will get flamed for this idea) they donot have to retires off each sale. bought a jayco popup in 1985 at local dealer then in 1980 bought a jayco tt local dealer wante 800 more for same unit on other side of state and would give one bit even for REPEAT business so traded on other side of state and will on deal with local dealer even if he had $XXXXX0 lower price now because of his unwillningness to come down on price
could go on but this is enough of my views thanks for reading and for the forum its self have learned much some from you Mr Landry Knucklehead
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Old 04-06-2014, 03:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken / Claudia View Post
I read thru the post 2 times and tried to find detail about a problem or problem with his trailer and a named dealership or dealerships. I do not get it, alot said but, about what, unhappy work or no work, the cost?
Ken/ Claudia,

No issue with any one particular dealership, more so a vast majority of Dealerships.
It amazes me that these people shutdown their business or limit the potential for their business instead of as Bob Landry has stated- simply embrace this extra potential work and EXPAND your business so you wouldn't need to close your doors, I have seen more than a few dealership also having a automotive dealership, or expand and offer snowmobiles/motorcycles/ automotive is a given as someone can 1 stop shop, and to think all this financing potential, I mean the opportunity is right in front of them, why think so small

We do have a local dealership whom is very large- and their train of thought is the same as the little guy- it is pathetic and makes me NOT want to buy from them- in spite- they are also 2 hours away, also they do not sell the models I am interested in, oh but they are willing to sell you something you don't want,
So of the models I do want or the 1 I do want is the Keystone Laredo 303TG- none other interest me, So with this model, it is offered from another dealership 2 hours away, with 3 bays for service, where as the big rv center has 20 i believe, but do not offer this unit in their lineup but have openly said to me that if I didn't buy from them, that i would Always be at the end of the line if I required service work. small minded business, it is just plain- Pathetic
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Old 04-06-2014, 04:37 PM   #10
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A couple of considerations:

First, "small minded business" or not. That dealerships "business model" is established by the owner's desire to make money, service his customers and provide for his future. If he is satisfied with the way things are currently being managed and if he is making enough money to satisfy his requirements and possibly he is looking at "getting out of the business someday", then it's his decision whether to risk all his retirement assets to build a bigger dealership or keep what he has for "X" more years and then sell out and retire..... That is one thing that I still admire about America, if I own it, I decide how and when to invest or not invest my profits. It's not a decision that is "up for vote" on any forum or really even by the competition.

So, without knowing what the business model is or what the future plans are for that dealership, I don't think any of us can criticize that RV business for not "building a bigger facility" just because he doesn't sell or service what we think he should......


Now as for the comment that another poster made concerning " the local dealer can match the sells price the unit cost him the same as other dealers"
That is simply not true. Keystone sells to dealers at a specific price. There is a discount to the dealer if he buys 10 RV's in a year, a bigger discount if he buys 20, an even bigger discount if he is a major dealer who sells hundreds of RV's a year. So, no, the dealer who sells 30 Montana's a year can't buy his Montana's for the same price as the volume dealer that sells 1500 Montana's a year. That is also one of the reasons you won't find many Cougar dealers along the middle states who will order from the "other coast". If the dealer is in the "eastern sales zone" he mainly buys from the Goshen plant and all his discounts are accounted for there. If a customer comes in and wants to buy a Cougar Half Ton made in Oregon, the dealer doesn't have his "quantity discount" so it costs him more to purchase it for sale, he has to arrange a "new and untried" transport to get it to the dealership, then he has to work with "strangers" when he needs to get approval for warranty work. His usual phone numbers, contacts and "who owes who a favor" network in Goshen doesn't exist for the single orphan on his lot.

As for stocking an RV line because it's one that a customer is interested in. Just try going to a Chevy dealer and special order a Buick. or go to a Dodge dealer and order a Ford. Franchise agreements preclude just "picking out a product" and selling it.

While the OP is frustrated and it shows, he's not going to change his local dealership business model by walking away. When he does walk away, there's another customer walking in behind him that's interested in what is on the lot and the dealer still sells the product whether it's to customer A or customer B really doesn't much matter. At the end of the year, if the goal was to sell 60 RV's and he sold 60, then it was a year when the goals were met and considered successful. Not every business unlocks the door to sell as much as they can as soon as they can and invest all the profits building a bigger business. Some are simply satisfied taking care of their customers, making an honest and adequate living and aren't interested in making millions and becoming the "Cal Worthington" of the RV world.

You can't get the same level of "owner care" at WalMart as you do at the local ACE hardware store. Some RV dealerships want to be "WalMarts" and some RV dealerships are completely satisfied opening the door every morning, dealing with the few loyal customers they have built over the years and it's more important to them to sit down and have a cup of coffee with an "old friend" than it is to push the service department to get 3 more in today, we need the profits. It's really up to the dealership owner to decide what kind of business he wants to operate, and if it's one that isn't inclined to chase people down the street to make a sale, that's his style. If it's not your style, then go somewhere else to spend your money. It's quite possible that the owner of that business simply isn't interested in even trying to make you happy.......
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Old 04-06-2014, 09:38 PM   #11
Ken / Claudia
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Shytown, thanks for answering back to my Q. I understand what your saying. Reading the other comments I guess it does happen.
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