Got a call about the RV. Jim from service called to let me know that the slider motor came in today and has been put in the service rotation to get installed. Also the shade for the door came in and will be installed.

He mentioned a letter that was sent to corporate :S

A couple things bother me about this:

1. It took writing a 4+ page chronological list of complaints to get noticed. I really think someone needs to look at the organization process to see what drastically fell apart here. If the processes are not in place then someone along the line needs retraining or removing – they have really tarnished the organization. Over the years just how many people will I and my Wife encounter that will be told this story. How many people will visit leonsjunkdrawer.com and read about this while they’re searching for buying motor home information? These are parts of the small cracks in the foundation of a company that can really hurt the company long term. Not each problem by itself, but the accumulation can be disastrous over time.

2. Recourse. Just what happens from this point. I firmly believe that, especially now, I will get everything fixed on the RV. That was my main goal.

But let’s look closer at this – It’s been almost 5 weeks since I bought it. I signed papers, I gave checks, I gave information – I did what I was supposed to do. Then I went above and beyond what I should have had to do – call and check on this and that, drive over there and talk directly to people to make sure things where moving along (only to be told “Yes they are!” when in fact, “No they were not!!!”). Write a 4+page letter and send it to corporate and post it to a forum, send it to corporate and post it to one of my blogs (leonsjunkdrawer.com).

So what happens now? Oh, of course I get everything fixed. That’s a good thing. But:

1. If I took one of their units for 4 weeks wouldn’t I have to compensate them somehow? Just what is reasonable down time? When the motor was found to be bad, with the fact that this was a recent purchase of $100k, the list of things that needed to be done and the fact that none of the prep work promised was completed – would it really seem unreasonable to go for the 3 day or even second day shipping on the motor and try not to save $30 on this size deal ?

2. Dealing with not having it available for the holiday when the family drives in from Boston with expectation. “Yes kids we did just buy a big camper, but no you can’t stay in it as planned because….”. No, that isn’t a life stopper – but everyone has had to deal with situations like this. Yes, you do it, but damn, you didn’t really want to have to deal with it, it doesn’t add to any relaxation measure for the weekend – and – none of this was my fault.

3. So without the details it boils down to this:

a. You buy a camper from Camping World.

b. They mess up the deal, the service, the delivery and do no prep work.

c. They take weeks getting everything straightened out (hopefully).

d. They release a motor vehicle without insurance – a direct action against the DMV laws of NYS.

e. We’ve dealt with all of this, and I have to say it is stressful and extremely unpleasant.

f. They aren’t really affected much at all in a way that will at least make someone pay attention in the future. Someone has to take the ball the next time something like this happens and say “Hey, you stay on this and get it fixed, remember what happened the last time?”

I’ll be up front about this: Compensate me in some fashion for this. Show me you really did feel some of the pain.

Do it as a store credit. Cover my 5 year extended warranty.

At a minimum wash the thing before I pick it up.

And to those of you who will invariably say “Now he wants more.” “Why should they do anything else ?” You are very short sighted. You are not looking at the long term picture.

If a company does something wrong and there is no consequence what is the incentive to change? The answer is not, as you would think, “because they want to do good and not tarnish their reputation”. I’m sure there are some, maybe many, in the company that feel that way, but there are obviously many that don’t, or I wouldn’t be writing this. They need a reason to do right, to do good.

That doesn’t mean you threaten to sue at the drop of hat. People make mistakes, we all do. But this exceeded the label “mistake”.

Maybe some of you will remember the case of “The old lady that spilled hot coffee on herself and then sued McDonalds and got millions of dollars”. If that’s how you remember it then you need to watch the documentary by HBO about that case and a couple others: http://www.hotcoffeethemovie.com It would be a great one to Redbox or Netflix for your next weekend away.

A summary – yes, she did spill coffee on herself. But – the coffee was of “scalding” temperature, not just “hot” or “very hot”. She had to have multiple skin grafts over a long period of time and costing over a quarter of a million dollars. But – the lawsuit wasn’t brought right away – what instigated the law suit was the fact that McDonalds had a long documented history of complaints of their coffee being too hot and had totally ignored those complaints. In fact the temperature was also document in their manuals. Scalding’s had happened before but they were ignored – until these people decided to sue them so they would pay attention that people were getting grievously injured by “coffee”. Something that really should not happen.

So the suing and money aspect was paid attention to. Not the idea that many other people had 3rd degree burns from coffee. Until this there was no incentive for change.

If your child repeatedly stole candy from the store I’m sure you wouldn’t just say “Johnny, that’s not nice, you shouldn’t do that.” Johnny’s mind is going – cheap price for candy that is. And I’m sure a bunch of you just said to themselves “Johnny’s butt would learn the price of stealing!”. Just my point – no consequence – no change.

And just for your information – the old lady didn’t get millions – due to the “frivolous lawsuit” laws pushed through the government by large corporations through shadow companies the old lady’s award got reduced to a pittance compared to hers and others pain and suffering.

So if coming up with some type of compensation for this being such a p i the a and so screwed up makes one person at Camping World take the extra step to stay on top of a problem or two – it’s a cheap price to have what we are all striving for – “Happy Campers”.

leon …