You may be surprised that I would post something like this online. I normally post nothing negative. But The Promise to The Audience is just as important to The One. In this case I was the recipient of the service of someone and you’ll see my story below. I sent it to General RV. Hope you take 10 minutes to read it, as I feel it is important to fill out surveys when asked.
Dear General RV,
We purchased our first RV 2 summers ago at Camping World, joined their Good Sam Club, and were promptly stunned at the pointlessness of that pretend program. Thank goodness we kept AAA since Good Sam said we were out of luck the first time I ripped the awning off while hitting a building. Yes, I’m that driver. We loved our amazing Winnebago Class C and drove across country, bouncing off guard rails in Sedona, scratching the slide out against a Marriott in Washington D.C., and realizing too late that we shouldn’t have driven into downtown Philadelphia. Did another huge trip last year. This summer we purchased a Jeep in order to pull it with us across country for the summer, so I took it to Camping World to have it outfitted. Was quoted $3,600 for the tow bar package, and had my car in their shop getting installed when they came back telling me I needed to probably add the braking system, special lights, and may want a bracket and converter, and then was asked by a friend if I had a shield for windshield protection, which Camping World forgot to tell me I needed, oh and yeah, you may want the holder of the shield when not in use…lots of things they forgot to tell me until I was held hostage in their shop. When all was said and done, it was $6,000 to be able to tow my Jeep, nearly double the original quote. The day of pick up they said they didn’t have time to install the shield brackets and I’d have to do it myself, and they didn’t even show me the correct way to hook the Jeep up to the RV. I had spent $100,000+ at stinking Camping World, with the worst “customer service” I’ve ever experienced at any place of business, and I told them when they made me pay $6,000 and wouldn’t even show me how to use anything, I said, “I will never step foot in a Camping World again, and I’m going to tell everyone why. You guys are cruel, thieves, and liars. I’m going to General RV when I need something for my RV from now on.” Fast forward a few months, we are set to leave on our cross-country epic journey. Suddenly our generator no longer works, and we are going to the southern states in July (don’t ask why). No AC for the kids in the back? Not gonna happen. Cummins couldn’t get me in for 6 weeks. We had to leave the next day on our trip due to scheduled appointments along the way! So, we headed over to General RV, and in a rash last minute decision threw down $136,000 on a brand spanking new Class A Fleetwood Storm 2017 and traded our old one in. We felt completely terrible about losing our beloved Class C, and terrified at the thought of driving this new behemoth. After signing our lives away with the paperwork, and being up-sold on every package that was offered (because we trust we should buy those things, although they’ve never worked for us) we left General RV in Utah feeling quite taken and frustrated, but grateful to be on the road. The second we pulled away from the store things started falling apart in this expensive vehicle as we began our 8,000 mile journey across the U.S. Freezer door handle fell off, couch came out of the floor and wall, doors without latching installed were slamming with every curve, the water heater wouldn’t come on, even had to pay a mobile repairman $200 in Branson to tell us we need to take it to the shop, the DVD player scratches a perfect circle in every DVD inserted into the dashboard player, and won’t play, nor can be heard for kids in the back, while we drive. I had cut my leg, back, and head on the slide outs. Sliced my index finger every day for 4 days screwing the hose into the coupling. By the time we made it to Orlando, FL 3 weeks later, I dropped the family off at Disney Resorts and drove another hour to Tampa, where we were ready to ask for our money back at your store. To be honest, this vehicle has been a nightmare. To be more honest, I think we just didn’t know we had to put oil in our generator in our old motorhome, and that’s what killed it, resulting in our purchase of the new one 3 times as expensive, but Camping World never walked us through maintenance on that RV. And so I pulled into the Tampa General RV pretty much livid, covered in sewage, mosquito bites, sand in my crack from another crappy campground, and hadn’t showered in nearly 3 weeks (outside of that one rainstorm near Tampa while unhooking the Jeep on a corner I took too sharp, in a tropical storm, at a gas station – that was fun). That’s when I met Alecia. I believe she could tell I was frustrated with this vehicle. Perhaps she could see I was ready to ask for my money back, and to demand General RV pay for 6 First Class plane tickets back to Utah. And so, she literally picked me right back up when she smiled and began asking me to list the problems off. She said it was actually not so bad compared to others she’d seen. I was shocked. I figured we were just shistered into another lemon which has happened before. She assured me it is normal for a few of the issues and said she could get it right in. I said I’d be in Orlando for a week, should I empty the fridge and just throw everything away? She said no, I can make sure it stays plugged in. I was shocked by her willingness to help me. Remember, I had been going to Camping World before this, where you literally need to bring a tent and a cot waiting for someone to assist you and will never be told how to do anything, such as things like CHANGE THE OIL IN YOUR GENERATOR, STUPID! So I left Tampa, went back to Orlando, spent a nice week in a hotel, had showers, warm water, cuddled with Mickey, all the amenities. And then I returned yesterday to pick up the motorhome in Tampa at General RV. Alecia welcomed me back and walked me through the vehicle, showed me all that was fixed, the few things that couldn’t be done in time and I need to order them once I’m back home (DVD player and wrong sized window in driver’s side that won’t shut). But in her understanding, kind, positive way, made me happy again to get in a motorhome. This one, in particular. She said she was razzed by her co-workers for not making me clean out the fridge, but it endeared me to her knowing she took such personal care of our needs. I will be frank, I believe I was pretty much ready to give up on this RV. Had it not been for Alecia our trip would be over. We’d be flying back home with a bunch of ticked off kids and a disappointed wife. Instead, tonight I lie in my bed, AC works, hot water works, doors latch, we can open the freezer, the couch bed doesn’t fall over when laid out, the kids are sound asleep and we are dry camping in a vacant lot in Port Charlotte, FL, and I couldn’t be more grateful. What do I like about your company? That you hire people like Alecia, and they will do anything to be helpful, friendly, and amazing, which just ensured you have a customer for life.
(UPDATE: I hate to say this, but 2 days into driving the RV away from Tampa every single problem was back in full force! Just the luck of the draw I guess. But, I am still very grateful for Alecia, she is a winner and knows what she’s doing, whereas the mechanics at the shop….that’s up for debate)
Jason Hewlett, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame, is a Keynote Speaker for the largest corporate events in the world. His primary message, The Promise, is essential for Leadership, Management, Sales, Marketing, Direct-Sales Companies, and is a combination of engagement and entertainment meets inspiration. Jason has even received standing ovations from IT guys. He has been acknowledged as life-changing by Conference Attendees, C-Level Executives and Hollywood Elite. jasonhewlett.com
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