Greetings RV enthusiasts
I feel compelled to discuss the subject of RV quality again, but before I get into the details I want to remind my readers that I receive no commission or remuneration for my work on this blog. I’m writing from personal experience and personal experience alone.
I have written more particularly about the chronology of my experience in this post, where I lay out the timeline of my dealer’s responsiveness and the astonishing — and I do mean astonishing — lack of plan old fashioned “taking care of your customer”. In fact, I look forward to the day when I am out from under this dealer — almost as much as looking forward to retirement. Its just that painful. You can even argue that staying with this dealer was my own choice — I could have bypassed them entirely and become my own warranty station. Its just that I don’t have the low back strength to do things like replace an air conditioner or a theater seat, so I chose to utilize the dealer throughout the entire 1-year post-purchase warranty period.
My objective in this post is to put the magnifying glass to a specific example of dealer incompetancy because it highlights what I truly like about the organization that built my fifth wheel –Alliance RV. Mind you, Alliance isn’t perfect and Dealers arent perfect: How an organization responds to issues is far more important than the issues themselves, in my opinion.
As we pick up the story, it is March 29, 2022, and I am inside the coach discussing repairs status with the service writer and service manager. What I find is appaling:
- there was new damage to the kitchen island perimeter paneling, near the floor
- The mangled paneling under the bed was now worse than before, with added staples and putty
- The front door aluminum frame was so damaged (by slamming the front steps into place) that the steps can’t even be secured properly for travel
- The service manager informed me that I would risk further exterior damage to the trailer if I left it there any longer. So I agreed to take the trailer back home while they sorted out the necessar parts orders
Here’s where it gets frustrating. Six weeks later, on May 10, the dealer informed me that they had ordered parts. I’ve learned that “we ordered parts” often means “a request to order parts is on someone’s desk” so I checked with Alliance and sure enough the parts actually were ordered two days later, on May 12. And the wrong parts were ordered for the kitchen island.
Ponder that for a moment — it took the dealer six weeks to place the parts order, they lied to me about the the actual order date, and the ordered the wrong parts.
Now let me get to the point I want to make in this post: I emailed Alliance RV and within two hours they had already diagnosed the incorrect parts order and contacted the dealer to help them sort it out. While I’m on the positive note: Here are two additional examples of positively top-notch responsiveness from Alliance:
- I corresponded with them briefly about my water pump making a bit more noise than I thought it should. Within two weeks I had a warranty exchange water pump at my door
- I reached out to Alliance customer service about a 120-hz humming sound that reminded me of my work in analog power supplies. In one phone call they had course-corrected my thinking to point at the always-on solenoid transfer switch for the Cummins generator prep — and I had a warranty replacement at my doorstep in one week.
now thats what I call customer service! I have two conclusions:
- I’m sure that there are conciencious dealers out there with good service departments who don’t lie and who require less than six weeks to incorrectly order parts to cover up damage that they inflicted themselves. I just truly want to know who and where they are. I have nothing good to say about my dealer’s service department. Really, I have nothing. This warranty period has been the most appaling demonstration of foolishness I have ever witnessed. And this is an organization that charges $185/hour shop time! I have given them every benefit of the doubt. I even coach them in to making good ‘process’ decisions, I escalate up to service managers and what I get is more attempts to blame someone else than a politician at election time.
- My advice to aspiring RVers: Get an Alliance! and work with them directy whenever possible. Its really quite beautiful what they have accomplished.