Harassment by owner of business, with threat to have me removed from the property and to withhold any further warranty repairs on product.
I have had a total of 7 different warranty issues with a 2013 Winnebago purchased here in June 2013. Two issues presented before I had attempted to use the vehicle the first time.
A fuel pump on the generator went out one week before my first scheduled vacation, and less than 30 days after purchase. When I contacted, I was first told that it would not be able to be repaired until after my vacation had started. After complaining, the dealer did agree to repair it immediately.
Still before the trip, the slide out malfunctioned. There was not enough time to get it fixed before leaving, so I operated it under manual override for the duration. On the trip it was found that driver's side window frame was bent.
Took unit to dealer upon return. While operating the slide out from a parked position contrary to operator's manual, the slide was operational. Dealer said unit inspected thoroughly. Window picture submitted to manufacturer for warranty approval.
Returned home with unit waiting arrival of window. When I got unit home, slide out AGAIN quit working.
Took unit in when window arrived to repair slide out at same time. Left unit with dealer, with a pickup date scheduled Aug 19, allowing 2 full weeks for repair.
When I called about unit on the 19th, it had not been pulled in for repair. It did not get repaired until the day after agreed upon date.
Returned home. In Mid August 2013, we discovered the main chassis battery would not hold a charge. We complained vigorously to the dealer, thinking that there was an electrical problem causing current drain. Owner agreed to pick up and return vehicle to our home to avoid extra travel. We were informed that it was a battery issue and they would replace battery. Follow up call two days later said unit had to be sent to Ford dealer for warranty replacement, and it was implied by the owner that I should have known this, and I had no reason to complain about amount of time to replace battery, which was 4 days.
In November of 2013, the fuel pump quit again. Dealer sent rep to my house to diagnose, but since problem was intermittent, no repair was evident upon his arrival.
Took unit on trip Thanksgiving weekend. Fuel pump again inoperative, and when attempting to light furnace, the LP shut off valve broke in my hand. Cut prepaid trip short due to no furnace capabilities.
Before returning to repair, the auto leveling system also malfunctioned.
Took to repair on 12/10/13. Due to communications problems, I found myself stranded because I was waiting for repair at location, was told it would only be 2 hours, then was informed of difficulties of repairing LP tank and it would be a couple of days instead. I did display temper and frustration again. However, no profanity was used, and anger was at situation and not directed at any individual.
Owner of dealership accosted me on floor of service area, saying that we would have me removed from premises, and would refused to do any further warranty repairs. He claimed that my expectations were unreasonable, used profanity directed at me. He referenced remarks my wife had posted upon his company's Facebook site detailing difficulties with the unit, and with obtaining services.
His accusations directed at me have left me untrusting of him owing up to responsibilities to carry out warranty service as required, and given me lack of faith that he will actively pursue rectifying the inordinate amount of difficulties I have had with a brand new vehicle. A complaint has also been lodged with Winnebago.
I have had the unit for 7 months. I have put less than 1300 miles on it. There have been 7 different issues, and I have not completed one excursion with a fully functional vehicle. The owner says my expectations are unreasonable. We made a tentative agreement to try to work things out, but after a fire damaged the unit during current repair, I am unsure about how future business dealings can be held.
Seeking full refund/replacement from Winnebago. If that will not happen, a full apology for public harassment from owner, and a full faith promise to do everything possible to make this unit fully functional, and to cause no delay or impingement upon further repairs.
I am responding to the complaint made by Mr. ******* regarding the purchase of the 2013 Winnebago VISTA motor home. Each time the customer has experienced any problems with his motor home we have provided him service and repaired his problems. The time he brought the unit in for electrical issues after checking the unit, it was determined that it was a battery issue and we explained that the unit must be taken to a Ford dealership (the manufacturer of the chassis) for repair. We took the unit to Paul Miller Ford for repairs and picked it up after they replaced the battery. We picked up the unit at the customer's house and returned the unit to the customer's house.
The customer called our service department and made an appointment to bring in his unit because the LP valve handle had come off. The unit was brought in and taken back to service for repairs. After checking out the problem we found that the valve was frozen closed with a ½ tank of propane in the unit. To do the repair the tank would have to be drained out and this would take some time. The customer again became angry at the service department. I was called by the service manager about the situation and came down to talk to the customer. I listened to the customer's complaints. I explained to the customer what was going on with the tank and what we had to do. I also agreed to take the customer to his home because his wife was unable to get him. I also talked to him about how he was treating my personnel and how his wife was trashing my dealership on the internet. I apologized for his issues but tried to explain that my dealership had tried to provide him with service above what was required by the manufacturer. After our discussion, one of my employees took him to his home.
Unfortunately, while working on the LP tank gauge we had an accident and the unit was damaged by fire near the propane tank. The customer and my insurance company were immediately notified. We have already replaced the LP tank and ordered all the parts needed and have taken the unit to Fortune collision for repairs. The unit should be repaired by January 10th at Fortune Collision and the rest of the parts needed to complete our part of the repairs should be in by January 13th. We will promptly do the last repairs when we receive the parts.
I am sorry that the customers unit was damaged by us but will do everything in my power to get his unit back to him promptly and make sure all the repairs have been done to his satisfaction.
I also apologize for the customer's problems and apologize for anything I said derogatory towards him and I will continue to provide the customer the best service I can, just as I do for all of my customers.
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
Although I do accept the dealership's apology for the last incident which occurred at the service department at 12/10/2013, in the context of the business' response, several key points were either conveniently left out, misrepresented, or grossly distorted.
1. In the issue of the battery replacement, the owner derided me for not knowing that the battery was an issue which had to be handled by a Ford dealership under warranty. I took the unit in because of a suspected electrical system drain, since I did not believe that it would have a defective battery with only 1800 miles on the unit. I was led to believe that the problem would be a quick fix by the service department, and after the amount of time I was told it would take to repair had passed, I had to call and was then told that it had to go to Ford. My cause for anger was due to a reserved spot at a campground for the weekend, the fact that it was the fourth warranty repair, and my inability to pick up the unit after the repair in time for my weekend trip due to my work schedule, when I had previously been led to believe that it would be ready days earlier. The dealership did pick up the unit and return the unit, due to my aggravation over having to take my car and the RV to the dealership for the 4th time. These numerous warranty repairs had already cost me over $200 dollars in gas. Another excursion was in danger of being cancelled due to repairs, which would have been the second cancellation and loss of reservation fees. My wife did mention and thank the representative who picked up and brought the unit to our home in her comments in which she supposedly "trashed" the dealership.
2. My wife did not "trash" the dealership on the Facebook page. She did express displeasure, and also gave an accurate description as to the problems we were experiencing with the unit itself and with conflicting information we had been given over the telephone regarding repairs. Northside RV has removed those posts from their Facebook page, but we have retained copies of them. Once again, although critical, they were not hostile and accurately reported the situation.
3. The dealership neglected to mention in their response to the last incident the reason for my anger at the service department. I had called previously and asked if they believed the repairs could be done in one day, so that I could sit and wait on the unit and not have my wife follow me and bring me back home. At the outset, I was informed that the propane tank would have to be drained and it could take a while. I was then informed that "we will see what we can do". After two hours, I went to the service department and asked if they had an update as to how long it would take. After a phone conversation, the person at the desk said the unit would be ready in two hours. I informed my wife of this, so she could take required medication which prevents her from driving. I was later informed again that it would take days. Since I had acted upon previously given information, my wife had taken her medication, which effectively left me stranded. The dealership provided me a ride home, for which I was duly appreciative, but under the circumstances, both the owner and I felt that it was the only appropriate thing to do.
4. In the matter of how I have "treated" his personnel: I did express anger and frustration over the incident in which I was left stranded. However, at no time during the entire length of my association with this dealership did I ever come close to approaching the level of vitriol which was directed toward me by the owner in front of his service staff, not to mention any customers which may have been in the store during this fiasco. He used profanity towards me, threatened to have me removed from his property, and to no longer service the vehicle. In fact, he described me as a customer who was impossible to please and that he DID NOT HAVE to do my warranty repairs, which I later learned from a Winnebago Customer Service representative that the owner was completely out of line and erroneous in those comments.
4. Although I am unsure as to the legalities involved and in the coverage their insurance company provides, after the unit was damaged by fire, the dealership made no effort to supply me with a replacement unit. We lost another vacation reservation of $140 dollars, and this totally destroyed the hopes and dreams we had when we first decided to buy an RV. Not that the dealership has any concern for that issue. It just needs to be mentioned.
5. I admit that I have been very critical of the service department at times, but my main criticism has been a brand new RV which has spent 50 days at the repair shop during my first 210 days of ownership. There is no doubt that this is not a normal situation, and the owner stating that I have unreasonable expectations comes across as rather condescending. If all, or even the majority, of new RV's had this number of problems, the industry would be bankrupt.
6. In closing, I hope a working relationship can be reestablished, and that the current concern I have of being able to trust this dealership after the comments made toward me by the owner can be laid to rest. I am not one to complain by nature, but after laying out $78,000 dollars in cash, after having the value of my RV diminished by nearly $10,000 dollars by this accidental fire, after having spent over $400 dollars in gasoline on repair trips, after having lost over $300 dollars in prepaid reservations due to warranty problems, after missing countless days of work (at app. $200/day) due to issues resulting from this RV, I would ask that the dealership be just a little more understanding and less hostile when I continue to have problems which go above and beyond what any new vehicle customer could be expected to endure.
As of the date of this response, January 11, 2014, the dealership has not made any direct contact with me regarding the repairs of this vehicle. I only learned the status of ongoing repairs by their response to my initial complaint. As of now, I cannot close out this complaint due to the issue of the vehicle being in the repair shop currently, my lack of knowledge of the current status of these repairs, the dealership's apparent lack of concern for destroying my vacation of which they were well aware of my having planned, and my uncertainty of the completeness of the repairs in question. I cannot state that they are operating with me in full faith when I have seen no evidence to confirm this.