We LOVE West End Housing!!!

Trip Start Aug 19, 2006
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Trip End Oct 30, 2006


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Flag of United States  , North Carolina
Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Still without a proper Equal-i-zer(tm) hitch, we called the only RV service center in the Charlotte, NC area. Drove there only to find out they didn't have what we need. Got online at the Panera nearby (free wireless) to figure out what to do next. Chris asked two people who worked at the place what the zipcode was so we could do a google map search and neither knew - sheesh! So, he grabbed a Charlotte Observer and used theirs to figure out where an RV parts shop that actually carried Equal-i-zer(tm) parts would be. Two places within a 100 mile radius came up in the search results - one was 19 miles away and closed on Mondays (that being today), the other was some 60 miles away and had the unlikely name of "West End Housing." Chris called and spoke with Kevin, who said, "sounds like you have a problem that needs fixing. Bring it on in." I was extremely skeptical, but was determined to not leave the state of NC without the proper hitch so off we went... Not surprisingly, Kevin didn't have what we needed. But, he was determined to help us out. He began calling distributors and sales and parts shops in NC, SC, and GA. I meanwhile called RV Wholesalers to complain (again) about the crappy service we'd been given. First I spoke with a woman who tried to help but put me on hold to speak to her manager. When she came back on the phone, she said her manager told her to transfer me to our sales agent, Jason.

One of my BIGGEST pet peeves is being transferred by person A to person B when person A does not give person B a heads up as to why I am being sent to them! So, I start over with Jason, explaining that when Chris arrived for his appointment to pick up Bokeh, the mechanic on duty could not have been less helpful. He assured Chris that the $499.99 Equal-i-zer(tm) package that Chris bought would fit Blue once the receiver in the bumper had been blow-torched to accommodate the package. I went into great detail with Jason about how the mechanic screwed up the wiring in Blue when he installed the Prodigy brake package and how we had to have all of his work "fixed" by our local mechanic once Chris got home - the biggest problem but not the only one was that when driving, turning on the headlights slammed on the trailer brakes - not good at 60mph at dusk, wouldn't you agree? And how Mark Wahl, the general manager of RV Wholesaler had immediately reimbursed us for our expenses related to *that* screw up. Then I launched into how the mechanic sent Chris off with two different parts of the Equal-i-zer(tm) hitch that were not compatible and a shank that was too short for Blue given its high, 4WD clearance, and asked what he was prepared to do about it. Guess what he said (after putting me on hold while he talked with his manager) - that he would collect my information and take it to his managers, who would decide what the best course of action would be. "You know what the best course of action would be?" I asked Jason, "Accepting responsibility for the screw-up of a staff person and asking me what you can do to help me out." Riiiiiight. I went over the situation 50 times and Jason was still "not getting it." I finally handed the phone to Chris in exasperation...

Now, Chris doesn't get mad often, but when he does - look out! He told Jason to "show a little backbone, Hamilton" and "are you telling me you can't go to the parts shelf, find the right swing arms to go with my hitch and overnight them to me so I can get on with my life???" and "wouldn't you feel better about yourself if you just helped us today and told your boss tomorrow you did what you had to do to keep the customer happy?" All to no avail. Jason said he wasn't being mean, he was just doing his job. The old, "not my problem" defense strategy... Chris ended the conversation with a, "Dude, you do NOT want my wife getting on the internet and blogging about our experience with you - trust me!" To which Jason replied, "hey, now we don't need that! But I still can't help you..."

Meanwhile, back at West End, it's now 5 pm, and they close at 6. Unbeknownst to us, Kevin has gone home to look at his rig at home (being an active RVer himself) to see if he has the spare parts we need! He returned unsuccessful but not defeated. He's going to help us, one way or another. Convinced RV Wholesalers is not going to help us, I finally ask, "Kevin, how much is a whole new package gonna cost me?" He asks Angie, who says, "roughly $620." To me, it was worth it just to be DONE with the problem (which is what places like RV Wholesalers count on). But then Kevin said, hang on a sec... and calls Equal-i-zer(tm) in Utah, 'splains the problem, and the next thing I know, he's telling me he will only charge me the cost of replacing the parts he's selling us instead of selling us a whole kit. So, we're down to $200! I am in shock... Then, then, then... he offers to help us install the #@!%$ thing! We were floored. But now we're psyched b/c we are getting closer to getting what we need done. Right? Well sorta.... As I sat in the truck, talking to my sister Shannon, I hear three dreaded words coming from the back of the truck where the men are working: "it. doesn't. fit." Arrrrrgggghhhhh.

Next thing I know, Chris is asking for a metal sander, goggles, and for everyone to stand back. He gets at that shank and makes it fit. So, we drive away, shaking our heads.

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That the customer service we received at West End was so shockingly thorough and wonderful is what, imho, is wrong with this country. No one takes responsibility for their work anymore and good customer service is such an anomaly. We have come to accept the "it's not my problem" (also known as the NMP response) as standard operating procedure. But people like Kevin, Doug, and Angie at West End Housing renew my faith in humanity. If you ever find yourself in southern NC and need a trailer or tractor problem fixed, I can't recommend these fine folks highly enough: www.westendsales.com
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