So there we were, five days and 2,200 miles later in Ohio, sitting in RV Wholesalers parking lot. The behemoth was sitting there in all it’s glory, just waiting for us to enter her bowels. We soaked in the moment. It was like the moment the Griswald family finally made it to “Wally World”. We walked up the steps and entered the RV. The first thing that stuck my senses was the “smell”. That fresh “new” smell of upholstery and carpet…we oooo’d and aweeee’d as we looked around us, feeling the upholstery and the smooth hardwood Amish finishing. After a quick look about, we began to transfer the stuff from the pick up into the fifth wheel…along with the dogs. They went into the “garage” in the rear.
While my wife and “Cathy”, the sales rep…were looking at the inside of RV together, I teamed up with “Tyler” as he showed me how all the mechanical stuff worked starting on the outside. When we got to the storage compartment underneath the RV…I was surprised to find a healthy patch of mold growing in the enclosed carpeted tool bin area. This caught my attention. For a “new” unit…this patch of mold was pretty thick and had been growing for some time. I brought it to Tyler’s attention and wondered out loud…”why there would be moisture mold growing in this enclosed bin”? We finished looking at the various things on the outside, then worked our way back to the inside.
Soon, my wife and I had a moment to stand together in private. She had an “odd” concerned look on her face. “What’s wrong” I asked? “We seem to be missing cabinets”. She pointed to the upper bunk area and there was no wood paneling on the back wall area. In addition, it was missing cabinets for that upper bunk area. I climbed the ladder to take a closer look, and sure enough…the foam bed pad ended two foot short where the cabinets were supposed to have filled in the vacant space. “Come here…I need to show you something else”. She led me up into the master bedroom area. “Where are the cabinets that are supposed to be over the dresser at the end of the bed?” Hummmmmm… As we looked closer, we realized that there was supposed to be TWO windows in the stepped hall way leading from the living area into the master bedroom…and there was only ONE window…odd indeed.
Supposedly, this unit had been recently manufactured and equipped to our specific instructions, yet the inspection date on the unit was showing early September…? When we pointed out the mold and the discrepancies to the sales rep, she became flustered and abruptly disappeared. When she reappeared a half hour later, we asked how they were going to rectify this situation. I told her that we felt like we were getting the ole “bait’n switch”. She said that she spoke with the owner, and according to her, he supposedly said…“This is your unit. You’ll take it if you wanna go camping”.
Our mouths were hanging open and we were both speechless at this unprofessional and rude response. We couldn’t believe our ears. I then very bluntly made it quite clear that until we signed paperwork…this RV was THEIRS. And unless they were willing to find a workable solution, they could KEEP the damn thing and we would gladly take our bank order and business somewhere else. She disappeared again and there was a thick cloud of “tension” in the air.
We walked inside and sat down to wait. Word seemed to rapidly spread. Sales and office staff appeared nervous and avoided eye contact with us. We overheard a phone conversation through an open door about “these people here who were unhappy because their RV didn’t look exactly like the pictures in the brochure”…making us out to sound petty “whiners”, sniveling about minor details. I was becoming angrier by the minute. How DARE they treat us in this manner after driving five days and 22 hundred miles to pick up a “specific” RV…only to be provided something different…??? It wasn’t like we were discussing the mis-order of a flipping $90.00 vacuum cleaner. This was a $60 + thousand dollar purchase for a specific product…!!!
I went back outside to cool off and calm down. My wife, kids and I removed all our belongings from the RV and transferred the stuff back into our truck. As we were finishing loading stuff up, Preston came out and introduced himself. He was from their finance department. He let us know that “Cathy” was no longer in the picture and he was apologetically tripping over himself, trying to make amends for her poor behavior and unprofessional conduct.
I told Preston that we had complied with every thing they had asked for and followed through with our obligations and commitments. I expected the same from RV Wholesalers. I wanted nothing more…nothing less then what we had ordered and what we came prepared to purchase. We had spent 10 long months figuring out what we needed in an RV. What they were trying to push off on us was NOT what we ordered…!!! It had the front end of a model 3800 and the back end of a leaking, incomplete 3950. I told him that we would be spending one more night in town and we would return in the morning in order to give him time to figure out how he was going to make this “right”…or we had every intention of leaving and taking our business elsewhere. He assured me he would do his best to make things “right” with us.
Back at the hotel, we pulled up the inventory that they had in stock. They had one Cyclone 3950 on the lot, but it wasn’t an “HD” model. The only similar model that they had in stock was a new 2012 Cyclone 3800 HD. The floor plan was actually more open, and more appealing, but it had a double bed in the loft area rather then two separate bunks for our two kids. The front end was exactly like the model that was supposedly made for us. The 3800 was less expensive then the 3950. We wanted to keep things simple, so we began to figure out what “extras” we were going to ask for to compensate for our troubles and the difference in price.
The next day we returned to RV Wholesalers and back to square one…deciding which model we wanted and having to re-engage in price/amenities “negotiations”. Preston was very amicable and wanting to find a “workable” solution. We told him that we checked out his inventory and we wanted to look at his various models of 3800’s and their 3950. He had five of them lined up along side of each other and we spent the next two hours walking in and out…looking at each one and comparing the various trade-offs with each model. We settled on the new 2012 Cyclone 3800 HD they had in stock. It only had one air conditioner, do we had them install a second A/C in the bedroom. They also installed a washer/dryer and a new satellite dish. This unit was also missing cabinets and a “toy-lock”. The factory rep in Michigan was called and arrangements were made for us to make the four hour trip to the factory and have these items installed.
We were happy with the arrangements, the concessions and the price. We finished up the paperwork, provided them payment and pulled out with our new RV…headed to the Heartland RV factory in Michigan.