It’s so sad to realize that the location I worked at was not the only location to treat customers so poorly, and constant lie to them. I can tell you from first hand experience on the inside it’s a all around scam. Starting with the moment a new unit would show up on the lot. They are supposed to be thoroughly looked over to find at least 7 issues to be fixed straight from the factory. This is known as “warranty work” brand new off the line…. I asked why, and this was the response from a warranty guy at keystone “this keeps the industry in a constant money flow, it’s how we help your techs making money, and the service departments going.”
My jaw hit the floor because all of our techs were paid by flag rate, (book rate), but when it came to warranty work they had to diagnose the problems without pay, write a detailed story for each issue with out being paid, take photos and submit them to the warranty department and wait for the warranty department to tell them “we will only pay for 1 hour of work to fix a 6 hour job.” Most techs don’t realize this is all illegal, so they just do the bare minimum or do nothing at all and say it’s fixed.
So the unit then goes to the lot to sell. Once it’s sold, the techs do a prep for sold before the customer gets the unit. According to the book rate for a keystone cougar this is a 9-10 hour job, only if all warranty work was fixed during the the prep for lot, but due to the lack of pay most the time it’s not.
Now Our service department only gave the techs 3 hours of pay on the prep for sold. On top of that they had to go to the lot and find the unit, get the fork lift and haul it to the service side before they could even begin the prep for sold process without being paid. Our lot was jam packed not only with new units but also customers units that the service had the to be serviced in some cases for almost two years. So this process would some times take 4-5 hours just shuffling units around to get to the sold unit, to move it to the service bay.
Yes you read that right we had customers units in many cases for any where from 6 months to almost two years, many of these were only used once and in some cases the customers never even used their unit, all while they still had to make monthly payments on it. So I had very angry customers (rightfully so) and very upset techs working for hours for free. So as you can imagine the work done by the techs was poorly done if done at all. All the while my manager and service writers, along with the parts department and warranty department would constantly lie to customers about their units, saying the parts on back order, or it’s being worked on right now while the unit was actually buried behind hundreds of units and and hadn’t even been looked at once by a tech.
However I refused to lie or bs my customers because if it were my unit that I was paying for but not able to even step foot in it I would be livid. Needless to say the inside service department very quickly began to hate me. I kept explaining to my techs they needed to find a employment lawyer because what they were doing to them was illegal. I would give the techs the actual book rate for jobs, but my manager would go in behind me and change the techs flag time to what he thought it should be.
It was crazy sad all around for customers and techs, but you could guarantee the managers and warranty department and service writers were getting fat commission checks monthly. I would divide mine up for the techs that would actually fix my customers units right and back to my customers within 2 weeks. It worked great until my co workers realized I was doing this and would prevent parts from being ordered for my customers units. My manager would then call my customers with “updates” telling them I didn’t know what I was doing and I had them so backed up it would be a while before they would get their unit back.
So I only worked there for about 5 months but the amount of illegal things experience was absurd. I saw 32 units we took in for service have water lines bust while in our care all because the units weren’t winterized that they then tried to claim on warranty some of these were only brought in to be winterized too. So if you ever wonder how does this happen I’d almost bet something similar is happening. I really don’t understand how they are still in business and why the employees aren’t suing for unpaid wages for compensable time.
And also before you purchase a new unit please please talk to a service technician before you talk to a sales person, they can tell you everything you need to know so that you are not buying something that comes off the line brand new with multiple issues.
This all happened in the texas panhandle camping world/ gander rv locations.