Boarded by Pirates and Surrounded by Idiots
Finally camping again and glad to put this chapter behind us. This weekend finds our adventure resuming at Hanna Park after a month due to interruption by events beyond our control or any test of reasonableness. Before I recap the events that have transpired since the last blog entry, let me focus on the positive and moving forward. We are camping again in space #18, a very nice back-in site with a beautiful view (though the utilities are pretty far forward in the site), a nice breeze blowing on a nice summer day. The music is playing, there is a rib eye roast in the Cobb and it is not hard to remember why we like doing this.
Now to recap the happenings that lead to the title of this entry. Yes, we were boarded by pirates! After dropping the Island Time off at the Gore RV parking lot on July 4 I called on Saturday, July 5, to make sure they were aware that the trailer was in their lot and needed to be moved to a secure area before closing that day. On Monday, I called the service department to start the repair process. They indicated that they would put an estimate together and submit a claim to CornerStone for the repairs as part of our extended warranty and repair contract. The service representative mentioned that it looked like someone had attempted to break into the trailer and had damaged the door. He indicated that it did not look like they had managed entry to the trailer.
Explaining that we had a week-long vacation planned at the end of the month, I would guarantee payment for the axle repair so that we did not have to wait for authorization from CornerStone to place the order for parts and I would pay for the door as well. The service rep indicated that it usually only took about a week to get the axle, but it may take longer for the door.
Later that week I received a call from the service rep that CornerStone had declined the axle repair on the basis of the terms of the contract. According to their rejection they did not cover nuts and fasteners, which is true, but the terms were listed in the exclusion portion of the contract not the performance portion of the agreement. The service rep also indicated that the door would be special order from the factory and be $695.00 for the parts. Here is a key clue, he suggested that we may want to file it with our insurance. I indicated that with $500 deductible, all it would really do is charge us with a claim and not really be worth the effort.
To try to shorten the misery of this recap, I called at least twice a week to see what the progress was and to make sure it is ready for vacation. I repeatedly got a story that the axle is there but they are waiting for the door. I am still not able to get a clear date for completion and we need to decide if we are going to take vacation or not. We finally decide that we are going to go on vacation as it seems likely that the trailer will be repaired the Thursday before were were planning to leave.
At the end of the week before vacation, I am still getting the same story on waiting on the door, so I called their parts department. They told me that the door had been there for over a week, but they were waiting on the axle and it would be delivered on Monday. So knowing this I check with my service rep and he assures me that it would be ready Monday or Tuesday at the latest, so we decided to take our vacation, but cancel our reservation at Hilton Head. We would just make the best use of the time that was available and go exploring in other areas.
Then on follow-up on Monday the service rep tells me that it may not be ready until the following Friday as they were still waiting on the door. Since I knew that the door had been there for at least a week and that the axle arrived on Monday, it confirmed my fears that my service rep was less than reliable, so I escalated to the General Manager who got involved and assured me that it would be ready by close of business on Thursday. I am not very happy at this point as we have wasted a large block of vacation time. Looking back I could see in fact that my service rep had been misinforming me all along and basically had a reliability problem. Great.
Boarded by pirates. Thursday morning we received a call that the trailer was ready, so we quickly got ready and went to pick it up. $2,300 later they brought the trailer around and when we open the door, we discovered that the TV was missing, to which the service rep immediately responded with “well you will just have to add it to your insurance claim”. Get the connection. He seemed close to panic when we told him that the door could only be locked with a key or from the inside, but it was not possible to lock the door from the inside and close it. Since the door had not been breached previously and it would take a key to re-lock the door, it had to be an inside job, with someone who had access to the key. The logic of this situation was impeccable, there is no other explanation that works. It happened while in their control, and as you guessed it, they denied any responsibility.
Finally, after working through the service rep and the service manager, I was able to get the General Manager involved and he agreed to reimburse us for his cost for the 32” flat screen, $170. That was better than nothing, but would not replace my Samsung 32” 1080p, 120 hz refresh rate TV.
There are so many other details to this story that support the surrounded by idiots portion that it would just be too depressing to document them all. As an example, they forgot to order a tail light replacement lens, so they were going to have to keep it another two weeks. We resolved that by buying a whole taillight assembly and they were just supposed to snap on the lens and give me the rest for parts, instead they installed the whole new assembly and charged me for the installation and forgot to give me the parts. They forgot to order a wheel cover and lost my coupler pin. The list just goes on.
I will never go back to Gore RV for service unless forced to for warranty work, no wait, the warranty did not work either.
Once we got away from Gore, we went to Discount Tire and had four new Goodyear Marathon tires mounted. This may not have been necessary, but I did not want to take a chance. Of the four, one was brand new on the ground as the spare replaced the one with the separating belt. Another tire was severely overloaded when we had the bearing failure, and the other had been subjected to high heat when the bearing hub was on fire. So four new tires please. These were mounted and balanced without any fanfare and we were headed home, finally.
I was able to find a nice replacement flat screen and mounted it on Friday morning. Same model, size and refresh rate, but this one has Smart Apps with it, so I can get Netflix for grandchildren directly on it. Oh yea, they got my Apple TV also. By the way, the new TV is great.
All of this is now in our rear view mirror. I will file an appeal with CornerStone and feel reasonably confident they will pay. Even if they do not, this is the end of the line on that. I need to move on from this and look forward to the great adventures ahead.
Here is what I have learned:
– I will never get service at Gore RV again if I can help it
– I will make sure the bearings are serviced every 12 months, needed or not
– These things will happen
– It can all be fixed
– I am way too dependent on others for my happiness
– Pirates have moved inland
– Idiots are everywhere