View Full Version : Warranty Nightmare

08-31-2012, 07:51 AM
Purchased a new 2012 Heartland Cyclone 5/15/2012. In July I attempted to have a fresh water issue, hydraulic leak, and an inoperative fuel gauge repaired at a warranty service facility in Monroe Indiana during our first vacation trip. The process is a series of roadblocks to make make it so you never want to do it again. I am still trying to get the same issues repaired today. I attached a letter detailing the problems with Heartland.

Presently the unit is at Camping World in Bartow Florida where it has been for 18 days. They appear to be party to Heartland in the delay process for Heartland warranty. I have attached a letter detailing how we have been handled at Camping World.

You will find the reading quite interesting.

I made a very bad error in judgement when I forgot we are only the customer who spent our hard earned money in expectation of having a reliable product backed by the RV industry who make a living from all of us.

08-31-2012, 08:43 AM
I bought trailer from Camping World in Ocala who also had a less than caring attitude toward warranty service. I thought it was isolated to that dealer, but it appears there are other Camping World dealers in Florida that do not treat their customers well. I have heard good things about the dealer in the Tampa area who I was going to use for service when I snow bird in a few months. Heartland did help me out by providing better warranty service by providing parts directly to me, albeit very slowly. It took 8 weeks to get two of my parts because they were out of stock. I would think warranty customers would get the same level of response as their production lines--- For some reason warranty is a very low priority... When I dealt with Tiffin over the years, all my warranty parts were delivered the same week even after my model of motor home was out of production. Anyway I hope get those resolved in a more timely manner in the future-- good luck. Although I don't think luck has anything to do with responsive service.

08-31-2012, 08:59 AM
Hi jim4har,

I'm sorry you're having problems with your trailer. Unfortunately, what you're going through isn't too unusual.

Parts for appliances and sub-assemblies are typically ordered from their respective manufacturers and are shipped using the most economical method. It's not unusual for it to take a 1-2 weeks for a part to arrive unless you ask and pay for expedited shipping (which can be expensive).

Dealers often add significantly to the total turnaround time as they manage their workload. When the dealer is busy, sometimes you'll drop your rig off and it may sit for a week or two before they even take a look at it. Then their warranty coordinator may take another day or two to get parts ordered. Add the week or two for delivery. Then if busy, they may not put the parts in immediately.

All told, it's not hard to see how a month at the dealer can become the norm for just about any repair done during camping season.

What can you do to speed things up?

- Call ahead to see if the dealer will set up a service appointment. When you bring the trailer, stay until they finish the diagnostics so you know what work will be done and can discuss their time frame, as well as yours. Just the fact that you're staying to discuss the specific repair work and turnaround time will signal your expectations more clearly than just saying it to the service writer as you drop off the rig.

- If turnaround time is important, let the dealer tech and warranty coordinator know that if parts are needed, you're willing to pay for expedited shipping (but would like to know in advance about how much it'll be). If you've paid to expedite parts delivery, they'll understand that you're also expecting them to prioritize the installation of the parts and it's fair to ask them to do that.

- Recognize that the dealer service writers, techs, and warranty coordinators usually feel the brunt of customer dissatisfaction and almost never receive any appreciation. You can change that, which will improve how they feel about you as a customer. I'm not suggesting you be insincere; just recognize that as bad as it may be for you, they take flak from almost everyone for things that are not in their control.

- Understand that dealer quality varies considerably. If you're not getting what you need, you may need to try other authorized repair locations. Sometimes it's not convenient, but in the long run, driving further may improve your situation.

I hope you're able to get everything resolved quickly from here on out.

08-31-2012, 10:46 AM
Dan is correct....BUT...repair shops will fudge on when they REALLY ordered the parts. Your best bet is to call HL service and ask if the parts WERE ordered and when. Your next step would be to ask HL to find you another repair shop that will do warrenty repairs. They do it all the time. Unless the parts are on back order, HL normally ships parts quickly. At least they always have for me.

08-31-2012, 11:29 AM
Jim, In my opinion the key to a successful repair (warranty or otherwise) is to stay active in the process and to trust, but verify. You might have to be your own liaison--a middle man--between dealer and Heartland. Don't worry about being "in their face" about where you can help to get this resolved. You may have to hang around the shop to get attention. Try to find someone who will take ownership of your problem and I suggest you use those exact words..."Are you the person I can trust to take ownership of this problem and return my calls when promised, or should I be talking to someone else who will take ownership"? Unfortunately it's time to roll up your sleeves and let them know your concerned; call/write the Better Business Bureau, even the state Attorney General (I'm not advocating legal action, but implying an over site of the business practice through customer protection service). Good luck and I hope your issues are resolved soon.

08-31-2012, 11:35 AM
I'm sorry Dan but if you live in your RV and you pay the money Heartland ask for them you need to get better service from them. Telling me it may take a month or more to get it fixed is not a option.Unless Heartland is going to pay for you to live in a motel while they play games with service and parts. So far I have had good luck with Heartland service and our Dealer in Rockport. but when you pay more for your RV than you did for your house someone needs to hear what your clients say or they may not be your clients any longer Just my thoughts

08-31-2012, 11:44 AM
FWIW, there are some great independent repair shops that can be authorized by HL to fix your rig.

My HL point of purchase dealer treated me fairly well during my warranty period. I was fulltiming and I stayed in front of them until it was fixed, so they usually put me in front of the line.

However, I have found that independent shops (repairs only, no sales) seem to get to the bottom line more quickly, with less red tape. Their bread and butter is repair. With a dealer their focus is more toward sales. IMHO.

I once had a SOB trailer at a dealership for 90 days trying to get an alignment warranty issue fixed, so I know it can be frustrating. Trace

08-31-2012, 03:45 PM
I'm sorry Dan but if you live in your RV and you pay the money Heartland ask for them you need to get better service from them. Telling me it may take a month or more to get it fixed is not a option.Unless Heartland is going to pay for you to live in a motel while they play games with service and parts. So far I have had good luck with Heartland service and our Dealer in Rockport. but when you pay more for your RV than you did for your house someone needs to hear what your clients say or they may not be your clients any longer Just my thoughts

Hi Jim D,

I'm not telling you that you have to wait a month and live in a hotel. But I am telling you that the warranty that came with the product you bought doesn't include anything except what it says in writing. It doesn't include onsite service and it doesn't promise expedited parts shipments from Heartland, Lippert, Shurflo, Dexter, Suburban or any of the other suppliers. If you buy SOB, I'm sure you'll find exactly the same warranty promises. And since most of the appliance and subsystem vendors provide their own warranties, the warranties on the fridge, water heater, furnace, microwave, A/C, water pump, and hydraulics will be the same no matter who you buy from.

And after your warranty expires, you have the same situation, but it's no longer a question of what the warranty provides. It's all on you.

So my suggestion is to figure out the right path for your situation, pay the extra charges if that's what your situation demands, and enjoy life.

11-17-2012, 03:32 PM
We have several issues with our camper aswell. We purchased it new in august this year, went camping for a week and hauled it back to the dealer for a list of issues to be fixed. I went over the list with the service manager and showed and discussed everything, so i was confident, that my concerns will be fixed. We had to use the furnace one night and after a few minutes the smoke alarm went off. I removed the cover on the furnace and found it full with wood pieces from manufacturing! On two of the windows were screws broken off. One of the jacks was not going up all the way. The water pump was noisy as ****. The battery connection to the body has corrosion and one of the battery terminals was loose. Wallpaper peeling off, wood decor lousy installed, nails sticking out..... gas bottles not full as promised. I had it in the dealership for 5 weeks. Picked it up on a saturday, only the parts guy was there to hand me the keys. One of the windows was wide open, don't know for how long, the screws still broken off. The corroded battery cable contact, they put a cap on the still rusty thing! I hauled it in winter storage right away and when i pick it up in spring, it will go right back to the dealer. They didn't even bother calling since i picked it up. Not enough, that i have to show them things, they should have noticed and fixed during PDI process, now i have to bring it back for a second turn and only god knows how long it will take this time. The issues they have fixed are done properly but the whole experience in this dealership is still disappointing. I guess quality craftsmanship and customer care is expected too much for the thousands of dollars i payd in cash! Thank god i was smart enough not to purchase the extended warranty.....
I work as an automotive technician for more than 25 years now and i take great pride in what i do. I know, the "quality" from manufacturer side is going straight downhill but i do my best and i sure as **** expect the same from every other technician, if they are not able to do so, go to jiffy lube and change oil!

11-17-2012, 07:20 PM
There is hardly anything that can't be fixed in 8 hours or less. Some of these lousy dealers should go out of business. When my trailer was in warranty I left it at my selling dealer only to have it half repaired after 2 weeks and that was after waiting several weeks for an appointment. I would never do that again. I'll buy from whoever gives me the best price, ignore the service and take care of my own problems. Heartland was excellent about furnishing me the parts I needed to fix it while under warranty and I got them in a timely manner. Some of these dealers should just be honest and shut the service department down instead of stringing people along..Don

11-17-2012, 07:48 PM
Thomas and Petra:
As was stated on this thread earlier, a lot of the time you get better, speedier, service from independent RV servicers. Service is all they do, and their only source of income. They don't get this income until the job is done to your satisfaction. Increasing their business depends on your good word-of-mouth recommendations to other RVers. With simple telephone pre-authorization by Heartland service, they will pay most ANY service provider YOU choose for warranty work. They even keep list of 3rd party servicers they have had good experiences with.

There is also a website RVServiceReviews.com that has ratings of RV servicers by individual RVers.

I get the feeling many dealers do service grudgingly, because they have to to hold their sales franchise.