I read your articles on the Dysfunctional RV Industry with great interest as I am in the process of purchasing a new trailer. Since I am a member of an RV club I am familiar with the problems associated with faulty production and service of RVs. My trailer is new from the factory but I am still concerned that the unit will not be delivered with all parts working.
With that in mind I called my salesmen and told him I wanted to inspect my trailer with all electrical and mechanical systems hooked up. He asked what I expected when the trailer was ready for delivery. I told him I would inspect the entire unit and if everything was satisfactory pay the balance. He responded, “Oh no, it does not work that way.”
HE EXPLAINED that when the trailer comes in we will be notified. We will be asked to come in to make sure everything is as ordered. I would then have to pay for the trailer in full with a bank check. The trailer would then be sent to service for cleaning and to repair any deficiencies. Then I would be able to test the systems. I explained that this would require a 3-hour round trip to inspect and then another 3-hour trip to pick up the RV 3 or 4 days later. I wanted them to prep the vehicle and I would come in and pay after my inspection. When asked why this could not be done he stated, “No, we don’t do it that way, none of our stores do it that way and this is the industry standard.” I said, “I am the customer and I don’t do it your way.” I asked to speak to a manager.
I have a deposit on the trailer and did not want to lose the deposit. If that was not a concern, I would have cancelled the order. Is it standard industry practice to pay in full for an RV before you test all the systems? After a heated argument the manager agreed to let me hold some money back until a final inspection.
It is amazing to me that the RV industry survives treating customers in such a callous manner. Between the quality control issues, service problems and sales procedures it is amazing they are all still in business. —Richard A.