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Integrity -v- Small Print

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Integrity -v- Small Print

 

From a company perspective, what is more important;   Integrity of the protection of the Small Print? 

Is it better for a company to do everything it reasonably can to keep a client happy – or should they seek the protection of the small print that lawyers add to documents?

Let me give you an example:

In the latter part of 2017 I purchased a Class A RV manufactured by American Coach.  The model was the top of their range and called an American Eagle.  Prior to purchase I conducted significant amount of research.  I visited websites and went to dealerships to collect literature, I identified the things most important to me and through a process of elimination selected the coach I wanted to purchase.

At an American Coach dealership in NM, found the model with the configuration (45A) that I wanted.  It was brand new and at a price I thought was reasonable.  I travelled to NM, looked over the coach, gave them a check for the full amount and drove away.

Sometime later I found that the fold-away bed under the sofa did not have the air-mattress that was specified in all the literature and had been substituted by an extremely thin, uncomfortable mattress.   Believing this was a simple error, I contacted the manufacturer, American Coach (AC) and explained that the air-mattress was missing.  They told me they had decided not to fit the air-mattress to this particular coach, they were either unwilling or unable to tell me why they had made that substitution.  I told them I thought this was unacceptable and they told me: “In the small print at the bottom of the back page of the brochure, it states that they can make any changes they wish without prior notice”

I complained through BBB and first received a call offering to install an Air-Mattress into my coach for a ‘discounted price’ of $150…. So, they will fit one if I pay an extra $150!

On a coach with a price tag of over $750,000! Seriously, an extra $150?

I rejected that offer and received a response from Larry Rodgers (National Owner Relations Manager) in which he stated that they stopped putting air-mattresses in American Eagles in 2017.   When I pointed out that their website still shows air-mattresses as standard equipment – even on the 2018 models…. Larry Rodgers responded with

            We failed to remove the description in the 2018 Brochure. We have a statement in all brochures “Prices, materials, design and specifications are subject to change without notice."

From a business stand point of view – they have created such bad feeling that I tell everyone about how I feel I got ripper-off by AC.  Further, they have saved themselves a few hundred dollars, but ensured I will never buy anything else from this manufacturer… Remember, this coach had a price tag of over $750,000.

So: 

Should AC have honored what they advertise (even at today’s date) as being standard equipment – or should they have retreated behind their legal small print protection?

What do you believe was the right choice?

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38 minutes ago, DBH said:

We failed

In my opinion those two words say it all! Said another way they owe you a mattress in my opinion. For the sake of keeping a customer and in good faith should just send you one. 

I fought Lippert (Denver RV mattress co) last year and hit a wall with a mattress also. Looked at one at an RV show, ordered it, set it up, laid on it, DW looked at me and said "this isn't the same mattress we laid on at the show, this is terrible". I called them and they told me the display will feel different than the one we send out, HUH? They will not replace it nor will they refund us! I tossed $600.00 in the trash :angry:

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53 minutes ago, jleamont said:

In my opinion those two words say it all! Said another way they owe you a mattress in my opinion. For the sake of keeping a customer and in good faith should just send you one. 

I fought Lippert (Denver RV mattress co) last year and hit a wall with a mattress also. Looked at one at an RV show, ordered it, set it up, laid on it, DW looked at me and said "this isn't the same mattress we laid on at the show, this is terrible". I called them and they told me the display will feel different than the one we send out, HUH? They will not replace it nor will they refund us! I tossed $600.00 in the trash :angry:

I hate the way they cheat clients by hiding behind the small-print

They have stated, in no uncertain terms, that they are NOT going to provide an air-mattress unless I pay an extra $150..... crazy on a three quarter million dollar coach they nickel and dime for $150.   I absolutely will NOT pay the $150.  I would rather pay $250 and buy from somewhere else...

BTW - interesting that you said Denver RV Mattress co.... I live South of Denver in Parker....

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41 minutes ago, DBH said:

I would rather pay $250 and buy from somewhere else...

I don't blame you one bit. The lack of customer service in the RV industry needs to change! 

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That is to true. They don't come up to basic auto standards. For the price they are getting I think they should be built with Aircraft quality basics.

Bill

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When you ask a Newmar owner what do you like best about owning a Newmar product and the top two answers are usually its a quality product and the outstanding customer service from Newmar. I have the direct number to two brand specialists and the phone rolls over to one of their cell phones after hours and weekends. 

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My reply disappeared somewhere between 4pm and  now!  Guess I'll stay quiet.

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10 hours ago, elkhartjim said:

When you ask a Newmar owner what do you like best about owning a Newmar product and the top two answers are usually its a quality product and the outstanding customer service from Newmar.

Agreed!

We almost bought a 02 Dutch Star, it had severe roof delamnation on their Kevlar layered roof system. I called Newmar, sent photos and they were going to cover a portion of the roof repair on a 12 year old coach as they explained this should have never happened but we have seen it before. Keep in mind I was purchasing it used, that was impressive! We declined the purchase and moved on but I will say they high up on my list for future purchases as a result in that conversation.

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12 hours ago, elkhartjim said:

When you ask a Newmar owner what do you like best about owning a Newmar product and the top two answers are usually its a quality product and the outstanding customer service from Newmar. I have the direct number to two brand specialists and the phone rolls over to one of their cell phones after hours and weekends. 

I wonder what the trade-in value of a 2017 American Eagle (without air-mattress) would be against a new Newmar?

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Is it me or have you posted a similar thread on another site some time ago?

in any event, you certainly were ripped off by this company and also shows another really good reason to do a thorough PDI before taking delivery.

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DBH, I am shocked that you have been treated this way, especially when you think of the price of the coach you purchased. I have to believe there is only a very small percentage of the RV Population who could afford to pay cash for a coach in that price range. With that said AC has to know statistically they have a very small customer base and you would think they would do everything they can to make sure someone like you is as pleased as you can be with your purchase. Who knows in a couple of years you may want to trade for another one. I am certainly not in that price range but I have purchased more RV's than I would care to admit.

I had some issues with my coach when I bought it new but 2 trips to the factory and a good relationship with some of the key players at Thor turned me from a very unhappy customer to a satisfied one. Somehow I think you have not gotten to the right person in their organization and I think if you ever do he or she will do all they can to make you happy. OF course I am the eternal optimist.

 

Good Luck

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Welcome to the world of RVing I guess.  It don't matter if you spend $12,000 or $1,000,000 there will be issues.  After spending over $700,000 on a coach and being that freaked out over a mattress switch I'm not sure the OP will be happy with what will probably happen during the first year of ownership.  

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Yeah. it's the principal thing!  Forget about it and move on...Unless you just spent the last dime you got, get a air mattress! :)  We all make mistakes, yours was, NOT making sure that the coach had everything you wanted installed in it, before you wrote the check!  If that is the only issue, you have had with the Eagle, since you bought it?  Consider yourself very lucky!!!

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Jim S.  To some, it sounds more impressive at $750K, than a measly $499K+ ! :lol:

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