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Old 10-06-2015, 03:13 PM   #1
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Winnebago Industries Factory Service Center DOES NOT accept Extended Warranties

While awaiting repair service at the Winnebago Industries Factory Service Center in Forest City, Iowa, I was informed that they do NOT accept or process claims for extended warranties. We have a Good Sam Extended Warranty, and they do NOT allow owner's to submit a claim, only authorized service centers can initiate or submit a claim. Thus, our otherwise legitimately covered warranty issues will require us to pay out of pocket. It is unfortunately really a simply thing, as the service center estimate (labor and parts) needs to be pre-approved by the warranty company, a single call and fax. Once the work is completed, the owner signs the invoice, pays the bill, submits the invoice to the warranty company, and is then reimbursed directly by the warranty company. At least that is the process with Good Sam.

In summary, unless you are having Winnebago Warranty work accomplished, you are better to get repairs done through an authorized RV and/or OEM Service Provider.

Meanwhile, I have already purchased my last Winnebago! Moving on...


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Old 10-06-2015, 03:50 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by ChrisKW View Post
While awaiting repair service at the Winnebago Industries Factory Service Center in Forest City, Iowa, I was informed that they do NOT accept or process claims for extended warranties. We have a Good Sam Extended Warranty, and they do NOT allow owner's to submit a claim, only authorized service centers can initiate or submit a claim. Thus, our otherwise legitimately covered warranty issues will require us to pay out of pocket. It is unfortunately really a simply thing, as the service center estimate (labor and parts) needs to be pre-approved by the warranty company, a single call and fax. Once the work is completed, the owner signs the invoice, pays the bill, submits the invoice to the warranty company, and is then reimbursed directly by the warranty company. At least that is the process with Good Sam.

In summary, unless you are having Winnebago Warranty work accomplished, you are better to get repairs done through an authorized RV and/or OEM Service Provider.

Meanwhile, I have already purchased my last Winnebago! Moving on...


Chris & Deb - North Venice, FL - 2014 Itasca Ellipse 42QD - Toad: 2014 Jeep Rubicon
My guess is that you appeared at the factory service center without an appointment. We made an appointment several weeks ago. At the time I made the appointment I was informed that they no longer accept extended warranties.

It seems they have had too many bad experiences. Not all (in fact very few) extended warranty companies work the way you describe. The much more common scenario is that the repair facility and the insurer negotiate and agree a price before the work is completed. After the work has been completed the repair facility, not the customer, submits the claim to the insurer (extended warranty company).

After the work has been completed and the claim submitted, some companies try to "renegotiate" the prices, or flat out reject the claim they originally agreed to pay.

After the work has been done and the customer has left the premises Winnebago has no recourse as to how to collect the money they are due. It is because some extended warranty companies have refused to pay, or are not willing to pay the amount they originally agreed upon that Winnebago is no longer accepting extended warranties.

There is no better service provider in the Winnebago network than the factory service department at Forest City. They have excellent technicians, fair prices, and the best inventory you could imagine. Over the years we've had service work done at different dealers. None compare to the quality, timeliness, and price offered at the factory service department.
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Old 10-06-2015, 05:11 PM   #3
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Chris and Deb:

I feel for you. I too have purchased my last Winnebago product and am now back in something I'm more comfortable with. I see by your signature, that you purchased Itasca's "flagship". You would expect more for your money. Maybe if the company focused a little bit of that expertise on the product going out the door, instead of when it's brought back for repairs, you and many others wouldn't be in the situation you're in.

Just my opinion for what its worth. I wish you better luck in the future.
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Old 10-06-2015, 06:03 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Hikerdogs View Post
My guess is that you appeared at the factory service center without an appointment. We made an appointment several weeks ago. At the time I made the appointment I was informed that they no longer accept extended warranties.

It seems they have had too many bad experiences. Not all (in fact very few) extended warranty companies work the way you describe. The much more common scenario is that the repair facility and the insurer negotiate and agree a price before the work is completed. After the work has been completed the repair facility, not the customer, submits the claim to the insurer (extended warranty company).

After the work has been completed and the claim submitted, some companies try to "renegotiate" the prices, or flat out reject the claim they originally agreed to pay.

After the work has been done and the customer has left the premises Winnebago has no recourse as to how to collect the money they are due. It is because some extended warranty companies have refused to pay, or are not willing to pay the amount they originally agreed upon that Winnebago is no longer accepting extended warranties.

There is no better service provider in the Winnebago network than the factory service department at Forest City. They have excellent technicians, fair prices, and the best inventory you could imagine. Over the years we've had service work done at different dealers. None compare to the quality, timeliness, and price offered at the factory service department.
I agree with all of that. The problem is with the extended warranty companies. In 2013 my repair was paid for by the warranty company (Not a Good Sam Warranty). I was there by appointment.

However, the service manager had to get prior approval from the warranty company. The warranty company did not return his calls. So there the motorhome sat that day, overnight and all of the next day and until the next morning waiting for warranty company approval.

The original appointment was for two days but stretched into four because of the warranty company. Once the warranty company approved the repair, the service center completed the work easily in a day. I'm sure that the delay caused by the warranty company threw the service center scheduling off and probably messed up their timing on other customer's units. You can't have delays like that and run a well-oiled service center. The delay didn't bother me as I'm retired and was having fun checking out Forest City and the surrounding area.

The repair that I had done was the replacement of a Power Gear slideout arm that had a stripped gear. Not Winnebago's fault nor a lack of quality control on their part. I've not had any quality control issues with our motorhome, but it was built back in March, 2010.
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Old 10-06-2015, 07:19 PM   #5
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Thanks for your replies, a great deal of insight that adds to my understanding of Winnebago Industries' policy shift. It seems understandable from their business perspective with regard to word order scheduling and reimbursement. That said, they have turned their back on their own customers with that decision, especially given extended warranties are accepted by every other RV service center, to include the chassis and engine manufacturers.

Anyway, again my thanks.


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Old 10-06-2015, 09:24 PM   #6
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FWIW, I understand that Tiffin has also decided not to deal with extended warranty providers at their Red Bay Factory service center. Tiffin owners pay Tiffin whatever Tiffin charges for repairs and must submit the request for approval and claim themselves. I believe Tiffin said they just could no longer justify spending the time and effort required to deal directly with these extended service plan administrators.
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Old 10-06-2015, 09:38 PM   #7
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Well neither my Dodge nor Nissan dealerships will process 3rd party warranty claims for me. Why would an RV manufacture be any different? Can you get Winnebago to provide a written quote for repairs and you submit it yourself?
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Old 10-06-2015, 09:43 PM   #8
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My experience. I had a service contract that I bought at the dealer with the purchase of my used MH. About a year into ownership, the heat pump failed. I contacted the warranty company (not Good Sam) and they said to get an estimate for the repair from any licensed repair shop. I did, it was approved, and I submitted it for payment. The repair shop did not have to contact insurer.


On a complex repair, I can see the insurer wanting to speak directly to the shop, just as in the case of most body shop repairs.


It is interesting that Winnie does not sell their own policies, as almost all auto manufacturers do. Maybe they know how poor their own products really are?
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Old 10-06-2015, 11:42 PM   #9
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I am very confused. Is it a very, very new thing? I was just at Winnebago Factory Service the 2nd week in September. I have a GoodSam Extended Warranty, and Winnebago Service took my policy number, called GoodSam, and used the policy to pay for covered items that needed replacement. It was all done very simply, and pain free for me. I did have an appointment, was in and out in the allotted time, all items repaired or replaced in a professional manner. I had a very good experience. On my second Winnebago product now, very satisfied after 5 years of full time living and travelling in my current RV.
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Old 10-07-2015, 12:12 PM   #10
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I pressed the manager on this issue this morning, and it is a new policy change affecting non-scheduled service appointments only. The reasoning is that scheduled appointments allow their staff added time to work with the warranty company for pre-approval. I get it, but that means leaving here with unresolved issues, ugh.


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Old 10-07-2015, 12:18 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by ChrisKW View Post
I pressed the manager on this issue this morning, and it is a new policy change affecting non-scheduled service appointments only. The reasoning is that scheduled appointments allow their staff added time to work with the warranty company for pre-approval. I get it, but that means leaving here with unresolved issues, ugh.


Chris & Deb - North Venice, FL - 2014 Itasca Ellipse 42QD - Toad: 2014 Jeep Rubicon
I suppose that it's too late to go back and modify the title of your thread so that others won't be misled. Oh well, they'll just have to read all of these posts to learn of the distinction between scheduled and non-scheduled appointments in regards to the warranty claim procedure.
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Old 10-07-2015, 12:19 PM   #12
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I pressed the manager on this issue this morning, and it is a new policy change affecting non-scheduled service appointments only. The reasoning is that scheduled appointments allow their staff added time to work with the warranty company for pre-approval. I get it, but that means leaving here with unresolved issues, ugh.


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Are you rushing to get somewhere? In peak season, rushing to have work done never works out well.
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Old 10-07-2015, 12:27 PM   #13
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Well neither my Dodge nor Nissan dealerships will process 3rd party warranty claims for me. Why would an RV manufacture be any different? Can you get Winnebago to provide a written quote for repairs and you submit it yourself?

In answer to your question, I asked my warranty company, a third party through Good Sam. Their answer is "no", a claim can only be submitted by an authorized RV service center, not by the owner. In my case with Good Sam, final reimbursement can be processed directly with the owner instead of the service center. In that case it means the service center submits to Good Sam a cost estimate for parts and service, and the work can then be completed without waiting for pre-approval. When the work is completed, as the owner I pay the service center the full invoice costs, and then submit the invoice to Good Sam, and lastly they reimburse me directly for any covered costs. I could work with that, but Winnebago Industries will not since I am unscheduled.

As it is now, I owe Winnebago Factory the full service invoice costs, and get no extended warranty coverage...my recourse is to either schedule an appointment with the factory for a future date, currently about two months out, or schedule with an RV service center elsewhere.


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Old 10-07-2015, 12:35 PM   #14
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Are you rushing to get somewhere? In peak season, rushing to have work done never works out well.

No rush, I retired and headed home to Florida after having left Washington state. I never rush anywhere, rather the factory is en route to home. Appointments are about two months out, and staying in Forest City for two months in the winter, or driving back here from Florida is a huge waste of fuel and time. The point is, the 800 number tech advisors when asked about getting some major issues fixed said 'no problem, just arrive here as a non-scheduled and we can get you fixed'. Sounded great, and I even told them I had an extended warranty, but only after offering a copy of my extended service plan I was informed they are not accepted for non-scheduled.

Anyway, this post was simply a heads up if anyone is considering a non-scheduled service stop at the Forest City factory.


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Old 10-07-2015, 12:58 PM   #15
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Not sure if this has any relevance to the topic but all repair centers are in the business of staying in business. The work they do has to cover the costs of employees and their benefits, as well as facility costs.

It does not make business sense to have to deal with an insurance company if they do not have to. A friend in the autobody repair business told us he had pretty much gone out of the business of dealing with insurance companies. The insurance company always seemed to expect deep discounts and then wanted to pay in 90 or 120 days days. He finally went to only doing custom work.

I am not sure how we can expect businesses to remain solvent when their cash flow is restricted. Who pays the income they lose.

I am not sure how folks can expect to get first rate service and not expect to pay for it. I am sure WBGO does exceptional work for the warranty they are responsible for as well as custom work you are requesting. If you show up with other service plans or insurance you have to take your chances. Just be happy they are willing to help you considering the amount of hoops and restrictions the insurance company seems to impose on work you have paid a fair premium for.
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Old 10-07-2015, 01:17 PM   #16
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In answer to your question, I asked my warranty company, a third party through Good Sam. Their answer is "no", a claim can only be submitted by an authorized RV service center, not by the owner. In my case with Good Sam, final reimbursement can be processed directly with the owner instead of the service center. In that case it means the service center submits to Good Sam a cost estimate for parts and service, and the work can then be completed without waiting for pre-approval. When the work is completed, as the owner I pay the service center the full invoice costs, and then submit the invoice to Good Sam, and lastly they reimburse me directly for any covered costs. I could work with that, but Winnebago Industries will not since I am unscheduled.

As it is now, I owe Winnebago Factory the full service invoice costs, and get no extended warranty coverage...my recourse is to either schedule an appointment with the factory for a future date, currently about two months out, or schedule with an RV service center elsewhere.


Chris & Deb - North Venice, FL - 2014 Itasca Ellipse 42QD - Toad: 2014 Jeep Rubicon
I guess I am getting old and easily confused, but the first three sentences above (bold and italic) seem contradictory and it sounds like the whole issue is more with your extended warranty company than it is with Winnebago. Just sayin' . . .
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Old 10-07-2015, 07:41 PM   #17
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Hi
You should also read your extended warranty policy from Good Sam and they only pay for a breakdown and not any adjustments.

I just left the factory to have my slide repaired after Camping World messed it up. They repaired my slide and checked and adjusted my other 2 slides for free. They also did some other work for me as Goodwill.

Was there as a walk-in and told me up front that they don't honor ESP's on walk-ins and have been having trouble getting paid for ESP's. They do accept ESP's if you have an appointment.

All in all I was pleased with the service at the factory and recommend everyone go there for things to get repaired the right way.

I'm on my 4th Winnebago and recommend them highly as they build a fine coach and yes they have problems but who doesn't just take a look at Chevy and Ford.

Since they got rid of their CEO I think things will change now.

Safe travels and enjoy your Winnebago product.

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Old 11-30-2015, 07:42 PM   #18
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My Winnebago tour is at the factory now, and the service manager worked extensively with my extended warranty company, cornerstone, to work through my extended warranty issues for me. Cornerstone sent an inspector, and then my service manager worked with them to figure out what was covered. I am very happy with the support I received from the factory, not so much from Cornerstone
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Old 12-01-2015, 09:47 PM   #19
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Ah... yes... Several more reasons not to buy extended warranties... except from the factory. Even then I have found them hard to deal with at times. Never again. I'll just save that money and apply it to a repair if I ever need one.
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Old 12-01-2015, 09:48 PM   #20
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Just voicing my opinion of your initial post and subsequent information; sounds like you didn't use due diligence with this encounter. Thoroughly knowing your extended service contract requirements, and communication with the factory service center appears lacking.
I have a Good Sam extended service contract on our MH. I had a Stemco plastic hub cap break and leak oil out. I phoned the GS ERS prior to repairs, got permission to submit the itemized bill, and was reimbursed for what was covered in the contract terms. The mobile RV tech company would not mess with any ERS, but helped with an acceptable itemized bill to submit.
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