Warranty Work — Chapter 1

Back in February, a JohnW commented on the fact that one my chief considerations of choosing a dealer should be based on them doing warranty work, and not price. I responded in the next post with a fairly cynical remark that said that I wasn’t going to believe anything anyone said about their warranty service.

Alas, the current status of our warranty issues has not led me to change my mind. After I got off the phone yesterday with the dealer, I went down the hall and asked my colleagues if the number one commandment for RV dealer customers services was “Lie to the customer at least once a week.” But, I’m getting ahead of myself here, lets start at the beginning.

We’ve had the Itasca for almost nine months now. There have been a few minor things come up, but nothing major. Definitely nothing like the 5th wheel which seemed to go back to the dealer for warranty work every other trip we took. So we had a list of a few things that needed looking at:
1) The electric outlet in the bathroom quit working.
2) The main slide seems to extend and retract sort of roughly with the back leading the way, then the front trying to catch up.
3) The paint at the top of the last two cargo doors on the right side is chipping off.
4) The side view camera on the driver’s side is streaked and blurry.

So Lady CurbCrusher called over to the Suncoast RV location in Cocoa where we purchased the coach from and made a service appointment for Monday, December 10 at 8AM. When making the appointment they indicated that they would deal with the paint first, and then the other issues and have it ready to be picked up the next Saturday. CurbCrusher drove the motorhome over there and dropped it off, and we presumed they started work on it.

Come Friday (the 14th of December) we had not heard from Suncoast about the progress of the repairs and so late that afternoon Lady CurbCrusher calls over to find out what is going on, and if we can go over the next day to pick up the motorhome. After a bit on hold, she talks to C in the body shop who says they are not going to fix the paint. C tells here that he sent pictures of the paint damage to Winnegago, and they said that the customer removed the safety straps on the cargo doors and caused the paint damage. In addition, we can’t pick it up on Saturday as the service department is not open.

We’ve never messed with any straps (they are actually cables) that keep the door from going to far. As a matter of fact we don’t even know how to disengage them, as it is not something that has crossed our minds. So Monday (the 17th) CurbCrusher calls over and talks to K about this issue. K describes how the ONLY way the damage could come is from disengaging the straps, and that their (Suncoast’s) hands are tied because Winnebago is rejecting this claim. So I ask K if it would help if I called Winnebago. He says it would help tremendously as sometimes Winnebago is more responsive to owners rather than dealers.

So, I call the Winnebago 1-800 number and talk to J. I tell J the story about the paint, and he ask me who they sent the pictures to. I don’t know this information, and J says, “Find out and get back to me and I’ll see what I can do to help.” So back to Suncoast, where I ask K who they sent the pictures to. K says that C is the one that sent the pictures and he’ll have to get back to me after he talks to C. It’s about 10AM at this point.

Well, 3:30PM rolls around and K hasn’t called back. So, time to call Suncoast again. K comes on the phone and tells me that his digital camera is broken, it feels damp and he suspects that someone dropped it. I sympathize with him, but ask how this affects the pictures that were sent last week. He explains that the broken camera is keeping him from taking pictures. We seem to be talking past each other here, so finally I ask “Did you send any pictures last week?” This is pretty much a yes or no questions, and K doesn’t let me down, he answers by saying that he thought they’d sent the pictures last week, but apparently they still need to take the pictures.

So basically, it would appear that Suncoast made a local decision and was trying to foist it onto Winnebago. My final request was for K to give me a call today and let me know the status of the pictures and Winnebago’s response. We’ll see if they follow through on that, or if I’m the one making a call this afternoon.

To be continued……..

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