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Old 06-22-2004, 04:55 PM   #1
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So what's the deal? I recently purchased my 3rd Winnebago product in 6 years. First two I purchased locally at Crowder RV Center in Johnson City, TN. Last one, 2004 Journey 39K, I purchased out of state. Now the local dealer told me "I don't ever want to see that Journey on my lot". He is outright refusing to service my new rig! I called Winnebago and was told "we're sorry for the inconvenience" and finally hooked me up with a Itasco dealer 125 miles away. I love my new moho, but this makes me question the support or loyalty of Winnebago to it's customers. Tom Boeve
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Old 06-22-2004, 04:55 PM   #2
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So what's the deal? I recently purchased my 3rd Winnebago product in 6 years. First two I purchased locally at Crowder RV Center in Johnson City, TN. Last one, 2004 Journey 39K, I purchased out of state. Now the local dealer told me "I don't ever want to see that Journey on my lot". He is outright refusing to service my new rig! I called Winnebago and was told "we're sorry for the inconvenience" and finally hooked me up with a Itasco dealer 125 miles away. I love my new moho, but this makes me question the support or loyalty of Winnebago to it's customers. Tom Boeve
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Old 06-22-2004, 04:59 PM   #3
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Unfortunately this is true. I bought 2 Winnies from a local dealer but got a much better price on our current one out of state. When I showed the local dealer the figures, he said "Buy it!" "But don't ever bring it here for service!"
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Old 06-22-2004, 05:45 PM   #4
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Are you surprised? We continued to use our local dealer after the 1st unit was a lemon! No service locally otherwise. We HAD to figure that into the equation. Service DOES have a value.
Even though the manufacturer could give us a better deal---to replace a TRUE LEMON....we did it thru the dealer. Cost more but we will save $$ on diesel costs driving to another service provider.
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Old 06-23-2004, 03:22 AM   #5
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Service has a value when it is good. Unfortunately I have found many dealers focus is on selling rigs and not much else.

For the amount of money we saved when purchasing out of area, the extra hassle of making a 300 mile round-trip to have service done was well worth it.

I think you will find that once you are outside of a 500 mile radius of your home address Winnebago has a little more pull and can get you in for service at other dealers. In the interim, you are at the mercy of your local dealership.
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Old 06-23-2004, 04:36 AM   #6
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Service is a very important factor! I have a dealer 5 miles from my home but bought from one 30 miles away BECAUSE of the service reputation. Unfortunately, the service has changed drastically. I had my rv in for the 2nd time for lighting problems and while there to have a leaking slide hose and solonoid for the front slide replaced. it was promised for a trip on May 27th, they had not touched it so I cancelled the trip & told them I needed it for a trip in June. On June 10th I went to pick it up at noon, they had just started working on it, by 4pm I was on the road. Even though I gave them a detailed letter on everthing I had tried to fix the ligts, and told them not to just replace the fuse, that's what they did, put in a 15amp fuse where the 10amp was. The lights quit working within 10 minutes of leaving the lot. Both slides are not working correctly. They told me to bring it right back and they would get it done this week since I have already scheduled a trip for the first week in July.
We'll see.
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Old 06-23-2004, 07:38 AM   #7
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I can't understand why any dealer would turn you away. They get paid for the work one way or the other. From Winnebago if it's under warranty, or the owner if it's not. Either way, they get more business. What am I missing?

Larry F
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Old 06-23-2004, 09:07 AM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Laurence:
I can't understand why any dealer would turn you away. They get paid for the work one way or the other. From Winnebago if it's under warranty, or the owner if it's not. Either way, they get more business. What am I missing?

Larry F <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
My local dealer charges $98.00 per hour labor. I doubt Winnebago pays them that much for warranty work. Also, if a non selling dealer is working on a warranty job, thats one less rig that they sold that they can work on at the same time. Therefore, they upset their own customers.
It's all in the attitude of the dealership, their labor force, and etc.
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Old 06-23-2004, 09:57 AM   #9
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I had that problem then I called and told Winnebago about the problem. It took a couple of months but they will service my coach with out any attitude. They put me on a schedule and dream on about any emergency service.
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Old 06-23-2004, 10:02 AM   #10
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I have run into the same situation. I was out west and had a problem with a hydraulic jack. I stopped at a large Winnebago shop to have someone just look at it. First question was -- "Did you buy it here" (This after telling the young (dumb) receptionist that I was on a trip from Florida and stopped to have someone check it. The next statement was it would be 30 days until an appointment could be arranged. DUH refer to my first statement, I am on a trip.
Regretably, Winnebago dealers are just that, Winnebago does not control or own them and their attitude can sometimes suck.
Report the bad characters to Winnebago - they may have something to say to them the next time there is a dealer in the area that might want to pick up on the Winnebago line.
My local dealer had been real good about servicing my coach even though I did not buy it from him. He did have a service manager that started his service with "Did you buy it here" for awhile but he has been fired and now I am very happy with them again.
I can remember in the 60's having purchased a Chevrolet from one dealer and having another dealer refuse to work on it. That has gone away these days but not with MH dealers. If the local dealer does that to you, just tell him that the next unit will not be a Winnebago and certainly not from him. Also tell Winnebago your opinion. THATS WHERE IT WILL GET NOTICED&gt;

my .02
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Old 06-23-2004, 02:10 PM   #11
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If dealers are allowed to have that kind of attitude, what are people who move frequently supposed to do when they need service? ... drive back where they came from? ...and what are you supposed to do for service when you are on the road? ...pay to have it towed all the way back "home" (if you have such a place...)? You dealer is hurting himself by stupidly turning down business ... they is a lot of money to be made in quality service!

I find that attitude unacceptable, and would not likely buy from a dealer who I knew had that attitude ... and I would make my feelings well known to the manufacturer. I have lived all over the country, and have rarely had the "luxury" of being able to return to the selling dealer for service. I buy from the dealer who gives me the best deal, and I buy my service from the dealer who gives me the best service.
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Old 06-23-2004, 02:19 PM   #12
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This sort of subject can surely stir up some reaction. I recall buying my first and only MH from a distant dealer based on price mostly. I needed a couple of followup warranty visits to get things in order, and beyond that I use a local garage which also advertises RV repairs as a specialty. I can always get in within a week, and they always seem to have it fixed right the first time. They talk to me about my MH and keep me up to speed on it's condition. The original RV dealer went out of business a few years ago. If I ever buy another unit I will chase quality/price once again, and then do as I now do. I feel with very few exceptions dealers are largely the same, and they serve their best interests first. If that happens to coincide with your need then it's your lucky day....everyone else take a number.

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Old 06-23-2004, 05:17 PM   #13
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The story as I was told it:

With each unit purchased the dealer gets a check for $2000 from Winnebago to cover warranty work on that coach during it's warranty period. Dealers don't get paid for adjustments or other no parts required kind of fixes. Sounds like they've simply figured out that part of the warranty costs $2000 and it's cheaper to pay it in one block than to pay it out one fix at a time.

It would cerainly explain why some dealers are so happy to sell to folks far away, they'll never see them again.

Perhaps someone here can conform or deny that story?

But as a customer, I don't care what bad deal Winnebago has worked out with the dealers. I bought locally, but still get treated pretty bad by my dealer. I wonder if they not only track where you bought, but how much you paid. I could easily see being in line behind a guy on his 3rd MSRP paid coach in three years. It stinks.

My priority is enjoying my motorhome, getting it fixed, then writing Winnebago. I'm using it too much right now to send it to the dealer for another 3 month visit. I almost can't wait for the warranty to expire. THen I won't feel bad fixing things myself.
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Old 06-24-2004, 05:40 AM   #14
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There is a new thing (to us anyway) called REDEX. This is a co-op of smaller dealers that will honor each others repairs in a timely manner supposedly. Our dealer said if you break down you call your dealer, he in turn sends you to a participating dealer where you are supposed to go to the top of the repair list or at least not have to wait forever. We don't know of anyone that has used this so don't know if it's true or not.

As for moving we relocated half way across the US and the dealer here now treats us like we bought from him. It did take awhile but lets face it we buy stuff from his store and use him for repairs and installs so it is like we are "his" .

Maybe someday dealers will realize the power of the internet and know that if they give bad service the world knows but also if they give good service the world knows. So keep posting the "bad" ones but also post the GOOD ones. Maybe the "bad" ones will finally get the message.
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Old 06-24-2004, 07:55 AM   #15
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I just had a long dissertation with the service manager of a Winnebago dealership. He tells me flat out, they have a tough time with Winnebago warranty repairs. Winnebago does not want to pay even the average rate for repairs, or labor. He claimed they cut him short, way short of what it actually cost them. He admitted that a cash customer will get preference over warranty concerns. By the way this used to be a fine dependable accommodating dealer. Now you are treated like a leper if you have warranty concerns. If this goes on, I will start naming the dealer, so others can make their own decision.
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Old 06-24-2004, 08:18 AM   #16
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quote With each unit purchased the dealer gets a check for $2000 from Winnebago to cover warranty work on that coach during it's warranty period. Dealers don't get paid for adjustments or other no parts required kind of fixes. Sounds like they've simply figured out that part of the warranty costs $2000 and it's cheaper to pay it in one block than to pay it out one fix at a time.endquote

If the dealer gets $2000 up front from Winnebago for warranty repairs, then it sounds like he (the dealer) has a good incentive to discourage you from coming back to him for the annoying warranty work that he already got paid for. This doesn't sound very customer oriented on Winnebago's part. Makes me wonder if I should buy a Winnebago. I really like the Journey, but now I wonder...

Larry F
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Old 06-24-2004, 10:43 AM   #17
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I just returned from having my water heater repaired by my dealer, and I watched as a clean cut certified RV tech worked on my coach with outstanding skill and care. My coach was being worked on inside the service area ,however I could watch him thru the fence and follow along with his fix. My entire water heater was removed to replaced a T-stat and replaced and tested to my satisfaction all under warranty. The dealer also ordered the new internal air dam that was tearing. Yes I bought my coach there and will continue to use this dealership, I'm treated as a valued customer and treat the dealers personnel in kind.
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Old 06-25-2004, 04:58 AM   #18
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I neglected to put in the name of the dealership it is Sunbird RV, Lakewood, N.J. and outstanding dealear.
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Old 06-25-2004, 06:19 AM   #19
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Does anyone have any information that would justify the conclusion that the problems discussed here are limited to Winnebago dealers?
I can see this thread being referred to for months as showing that Winnebago's service policies are uniquely bad.

In areas where there is more service work and/or more sales than servicing capacity, some people are going to get a higher priority than others. I suspect that the sales department gets the highest priority (dealer prep and the stuff that's got to be fixed on new and used units before the purchaser will accept them). After the dealer's own needs, come the regular customers.

Can anybody provide any evidence that there is a $2,000 budget limit per coach, or is that a rumor?

I do think that an absolute denial of service to anyone ought to be illegal. You may not be able to get a service appointment until the sales department and regular customers are taken care of, but if a company advertizes RV service, it ought to provide it to all comers.

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Old 06-25-2004, 03:09 PM   #20
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I am certain the problem is not confined to Winnebago Dealers. However, since this is a Winnebago forum, this is where you will hear and read about Winnebago, both the good and the bad. That is what it was designed for, as I remember.
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