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Really?

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catsaplenty

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Really?
« on: February 04, 2017, 05:45:27 pm »
Can any one offer any advice or hope for me?  I have been having trouble getting answers from PC for a bit, but believed it was not yet critical as my RV was not to be completed until the end of March - at my request.  I was trying not to be a nag but I was trying to get answers and some idea when it would start on the line.  A bit over a week ago I again wrote with some specific questions.  Imagine my dismay to find they had started the build early, without telling me, and it was almost done on the line..  Without updates.  Without the pictures during the build for me to enjoy. i called and was told they had been too busy to do those things.  I pointed out that others at the company could have taken pictures but more to the point, that others on this forum were receiving their pictures and updates during the same time.  The response - they didn't know it mattered that much to me - my once in a lifetime RV build.  Of course i didn't have any chance to make sure they knew I wanted updates since they never told me when it would start.  It started even though I had questioned the price they listed on an option but had no answer from them.  They had also told me they were sending a new write up for me to sign that covered the updated choices I had made.  But I didn't get that to sign. But they started the build.   

Even after multiple emails this week, I still can not get them to answer my specific questions about these things.  I want answers in writing now not on the phone, so I have documentation.  And even after my expressed dismay last week-end about no pictures, they did not take any.  I am told that they now have sent it on to the paint shop and will send some pictures after it comes back though there could be a 3 week delay in getting an open bay.  They also now tell me that only if i write every week and ask them, will they give me an update. The fact that if they had answered my previous email requests we would not be in this position, seems to escape them - and that I have written for information but they did not provide it.  I am concerned about what they actually did build because of the missing answers. 

How does this happen?  Has it ever happened to any of you - or is that a dumb question since everyone here talks about how good they are.  How do I get them to actually answer me?  I have lost trust and each time I get another email that fails to answer my questions it feels more and more like they are dodging some truth they don't want to share yet.  This was such a large dream for me.  Giving up my "normal" life for this change to RV living.  It feels like my parade was not just rained upon but that it has been shat upon.  This was a company I expected to provide their great customer service everyone talked about, during the build and for the years to come  Now I don't know what to think and what I have.  I have tried Earl and Kyle and Kermit.  I am getting nowhere. And I know every time I try to fight back that it just means I could have a worse time getting good support in the future- I will be the trouble maker. 

I have no advice to offer to those just starting down this path. I probably should have stayed away after the way my trip there a year ago went.  But I loved the PC when I saw it on video and more so after I saw it live at the factory visit.  I could not imagine having any other RV even when I tried to make myself go with another company.  So I gave them a second chance - maybe it had just been a bad day I told myself.    So here I am now.  One down side of a small company I think is that if you can't get a person to work with you, there really are not options for a different person - each one has their role and there is not a second person with that same job.  Get on the bad side and that is where you can be stuck.

If I ever see the happy ending to this I will let you know. I have been championing these RVs to anyone I talk to, including dragging strangers to see the PC's at the Hershey show. I hope that I did not help get anyone else into a situation like this.   For now I am just sad and angry about how this is going after all my planning and dreaming.  Any advice or reassurance or pearls of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

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gandalf42

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Re: Really?
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2017, 06:28:45 pm »
I expect a contributing factor to the recent limited communication is that Earl (maybe others?) were at the RV shows at Tampa and Fort Myers the last 2 weeks. I believe Earl just got back this last Thursday. Being out for 2 weeks can create a chaotic backlog of communications to get caught up on. As you said, in such a small company there isn't much backup coverage available. Hopefully things will improve for you now that he is back and getting caught up.

Sorry to hear of the stressful time you are going through.

..Mike
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catsaplenty

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Re: Really?
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2017, 07:00:05 pm »
yep - know where they were.  I talked to Earl on the phone.  It isn't that they are not getting the emails.  It is that when they respond it is not to answer the questions.  that is where I get the news about the paint shop and such.  they do email within a day.  Just do not answer my questions.  Pretty much what the months have been.

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CKK

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Re: Really?
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2017, 07:56:12 pm »
Ouch.  Hearing this is my worst nightmare, as I too have been seriously considering doing a lifestyle change into a new 2910 PC.  I even flew down to the Tampa show to see them because they weren't going to be at my nearby OH shows.  I loved them, and I too told many people (strangers) at the show good things about what I had researched and knew of the company and product. 

I hope things work out for you.  If I place an order with some modifications as planned later this year, I too will be doing it largely due to the customer service I have come to expect after reading what other owner's have said... and it would be very distressing to have something similar happen to me at what will likely already be a stressful period of time during a big transition.

Hopefully this small company will strive to continue providing great customer service even as they get busy due to their marketing at rv shows and will hire additional staffing if necessary.  But we all know how difficult it is anymore to find quality or customer service in any marketplace... unfortunately it just seems like it continues to erode ;-(  Best of luck and please update.

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2 Frazzled

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Re: Really?
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2017, 07:52:22 am »
Pictures during the build must be a new'ish thing or maybe in response to direct requests. We ordered our rig with many options, all typed out on the order form - signed on the dotted line, and waited. We did correspond a few times with the factory during the next three months about a few extra, never-been-done-before requests, but not on a weekly basis. A friend drove out and visited the factory to see his build - not once, but twice.

I can't imagine keeping up with weekly updates and photos to the customer as well as all the changes and requests. That's a whole lot of communicating for each and every rig on that line. It would be a full time job.

I hope you get your answers and your Phoenix is everything you dreamed about.
John, Holly, and sometimes Chloe.
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Pax

Re: Really?
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2017, 08:53:20 am »
Our experience and understanding is the same as Holly/John's.  We were never under the impression that weekly or monthly pictures and updates would be provided, nor were they. Any questions we had were answered, but they were always over the phone.  Hope it all works out for you...

  - Mike

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2 Frazzled

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Re: Really?
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2017, 09:07:20 am »
I just posted on your other comment about being scrubbed. I felt the need to come back to this one.

You mentioned this is a huge lifestyle change and I suspect that is causing a bit of stress for you. My pearl of wisdom is to take a deep, deep breath and relax a bit. If you have a best friend, vent... a lot. I also recommend reading Carol's Blog "Aging on Wheels" - she is a mature, single lady that tossed it all in and rolled off in a Phoenix with her faithful companion, Dawny (the blogging dog). Her trials and tribulations of the lifestyle change are on the blog. She's a great writer and I enjoy reading her adventures. http://agingonwheels.com/

Your situation is your own. But I do have experience with lifestyle change. This RV thing was my idea. My Life Partner, John, decided to go along with me but was seriously stressed over it. It was a HUGE change and he doesn't do change well. He was at maximum stress level when we ordered the Phoenix. He was at maximum stress level getting the house and stuff prepped for our "year" on the road (a year was all he thought he could handle). He was at maximum stress level after we picked up the rig and we had to learn to deal with all sorts of things we'd never dealt with. Then he got the hang of it (quickly - thankfully the Phoenix is easy). We hit the road... and it took a few months to settle into a routine and leave the hectic treadmill pace behind but he never wants to go back (until health makes us stop driving). During those stressful times, John vented to me... a lot. He also took a whole lot of deep breaths... and it all worked out well.

A few notes in the interest of fairness to all parties:
- Pictures of builds: most of the pictures you see of build stages on this forum were taken by owners or soon-to-be-owners. They go to the factory and take them. As far as I know photos and build progress updates are not standard at any manufacturer. Perhaps Phoenix could include it as a paid option to cover the extra manpower cost.
- Build date: Phoenix buffers their build dates (like most construction type people) to allow for emergencies. It is better to promise less and deliver more. Most pending owners are THRILLED their rig is ready sooner than promised. Did your order specifically state, in writing, that you did not want the build to start until a specific date? I know you stated you wanted a later delivery date but that is different. It makes sense that if Phoenix had an opening in the assembly line, they should fill it with pending orders so that they have more openings later as new orders come in. Phoenix can have yours done and waiting while they move on to future orders. That's good business. You have to assume they built your rig according to your order. That's what you contracted them to do. You will get to check it to make sure all is well when you pick it up.  
- There is a cut off for requesting changes for everyone. Phoenix says yay or nay depending on where the unit is in the line or even if they are willing to do that specific change. I can't second guess the people that have been building these things for over 30 years. They know what works and what doesn't. I asked for stuff but didn't always get it. Many of us hit that "shoot, I should have asked for this but now it's too late". However, I did get a whole lot of things I wanted and I'm happy with our rig.
- In your first posting you stated Phoenix was not responding to you but later you stated they did answer your calls and they did respond to your emails - even though they were out at shows, they responded. Please be fair on that.
- I see your question about the price of an option and that you haven't signed anything. Phoenix does many things at no cost. I don't know if this is the case for your request, but it is possible that what you asked for will be done without a change to your contract price. If you asked for something after it passed that point in the build, they can't give it to you (they do their best but there are limits). If they do it for free, you don't need to sign. If they can't do it, you don't need to sign. If you put the request for a mod in writing and they agreed to it, you can talk to them about it at pick up. They forgot to swap a cabinet door for us during the build and it was done in five minutes when we picked up the rig. They have an extensive check list with all your options and mods that they go over with you one by one at pick up to make sure it is the rig you ordered.

The tough question I need to ask is, what is it specifically that you asked that Phoenix isn't answering? Your posting does not say.






John, Holly, and sometimes Chloe.
Travel Blog: Spiritofthewoods.net

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nccampguy

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Re: Really?
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2017, 09:20:58 am »
As I read these comments, I think of the recent trip I took to the factory on Tuesday, December 27th.  The factory was closed that week after Christmas but Kyle came in (with Earl on standby via cell phone if required).  They even swapped which rig headed to the Tampa show first so we could see the new 2552.  Kyle even brought a 3100 in from the lot so we could see it inside in the warm shop.  We bopped back and forth between the 2552, 3200 and 2900.

My point: Would other RV companies do this during a holiday week?  Something to thing about.  I think things will work out just fine.

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CKK

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Re: Really?
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2017, 10:01:41 am »
It is these kinds of consistent, positive comments that made me convinced after my extensive research that Phoenix would be my best shot at getting quality and satisfaction from any company in the rv market...

Catsaplenty, I think you should be reassured that it will all work out fine, and I will be too as I am about to start down this road with you. (nod)

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2 Frazzled

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Re: Really?
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2017, 10:27:11 am »
It has come to my attention that by referencing Carol as a "mature" single person, I may be implying someone else is immature. That is not my intention at all. "Mature" is one of the supposedly politically correct ways to refer to someone who is getting up in years that could once be referred to as older, old and so forth. I haven't met Carol yet so I'm not sure how she'd take to my calling her "older" so I went with "mature" and still put my foot in it. Personally, I'm pushing 60 and I'm feeling old but I don't always act mature (and I'm seldom politically correct since I can't keep up with what is "acceptable" from day to day). I'm with Jimmy Buffet - "I'm growing older, but not up".

I apologize if anyone inferred anything else from my statement, is insulted, and so forth. No disrespect was meant to anyone.
John, Holly, and sometimes Chloe.
Travel Blog: Spiritofthewoods.net

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jatrax

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Re: Really?
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2017, 11:48:54 am »
Just a couple of thoughts:
1) This forum is both a blessing and curse for Phoenix.  Many stories of PC going above and beyond to help a customer.  That's great but when new customers see those stories they expect those things to happen all the time, which is not always going to happen.  They have a standard procedure they use for a coach and often go above and beyond.  But above and beyond is just that, not the normal.

2) Take pictures for example.  This is NOT a standard service.  Kyle told me he will do so if he has time and if he gets an email asking for them.  It is NOT part of his regular job and for all I know he does it on his lunch hour.  The way it has worked is if you send Kyle an email asking for pictures he will run out with his phone take some shots and email them.  Which likely takes 15 to 20 minutes out of his day per request.  I greatly appreciated the pictures when he had time and though I was disappointed I did not get pictures the weeks they were away at shows I certainly am not going to complain about it.  A "big business" model would have this as an add on service and charge big money for it.  Kyle does it because he wants make people happy, when he has time.

3) Communication about when the rig goes on the line was a sore point with me as well.  Mine, and at least one other, were started with no notification.  In my case I had things to ship to them that were late because of that.  But no where does it say they will let you know when they start.  I wish I had specifically asked them for that notification but I did not.  There is a fundamental disconnect here, once PC gets the order they are on their own in their minds but some customers, including me, have felt that they wanted to be more involved with the build process.  From PC's view I suspect that just means more work, delay and people getting in the road of their work.  I think this might be improved with an email going out and maybe a picture of the chassis as it comes on the line.  Maybe a birthday card?  Cute but maybe too cute?  Great PR and I will pass that idea on but they are under no obligation to notify us when the build starts.

4) Modifications and changes are touted by many here as a reason they chose PC.  But it is important to realize that PC is NOT a custom builder.  I looked at one of those and it is truly a custom rig, you sit down with a designer and work through everything.  And you pay for that big time.  PC does a lot of custom and change work but they are not custom builders.  They try to accommodate customers but all of that slows the line.  In my case I had a number of truly custom features and I walked through them with Earl and Kermit, some they did, some they said no.  Their decision based on what made sense for them to build while keeping the line moving.  They walk a fine line between making a custom request for a customer and keeping the line moving.

So far, in most things, PC has lived up to the reputation they have here on this forum.  Could they improve in some areas? Sure.  But they have been doing this a long time so I'm not going to second guess them too much.

Catsplenty I am sorry for your frustration but I do think all will work out.  Remember they have been on vacation and then in Florida for shows so instant communication has been difficult.  Just call the office and talk things out.  Best of luck!

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Carol

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Re: Really?
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2017, 02:16:30 pm »
I hope you find the above responses to your dilemma to be reassuring, Catsaplenty.  It won't be long and these hard months of planning and waiting will be a distant memory as you set out on your new journey.  Exciting times ahead!

(And Holly, hahahaha--you made me laugh.  I didn't take any offense at "mature," and indeed interpreted it as old-er/old-ish.  But if you have doubts in the future, a great term is "seasoned."  Makes me think of quite a lively old-er/old-ish person.   (cheer)  Also, thanks for your kind words about the blog.  I enjoyed yours, too, when ya'll were actively traveling.  You should let Aimee put a link to it on Phoenix's Blog page (same goes for all those other bloggers out there).

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catsaplenty

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Re: Really?
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2017, 04:00:28 pm »
I appreciate the encouragement to hang on and hope it is all OK in the end.

A few responses
Carol was actually the first person I emailed to share my experience as it first was unfolding.  I do follow her blog and have appreciated all her postings and her emails  to me.

the question of cost was because it was a charge for an option and the price did not match what early notes would have lead me to believe.

I had been trying to get a line on when my build would start.  I placed the order at the Hershey show and they did know about the end of March date.  For many reasons I do think it only makes sense to get the customer a build date.  As they put the on the final schedule - just a quick email.  As I recall they finish 2 per week.  So sending two emails a week to say your build date is X does not seem like a big deal.

My statement was to say that I was getting emails but not getting answers because it sounded like someone thought they were not seeing my emails - the emails are not addressing my questions.  We seem to be unable to get there.  Even an answer that happened to be a result I did not want would let me know where we stood. 

About requesting updates - would have to know that the build was starting to ask how it was going. 

And as noted - would have been useful to know the date to have the part there they had me order.

You folks that sign the order and then don't get any updates - how do you know when to make your travel plans to go get your RV?  I am sure you folks have  planning and arrangement issues to be able to make that trip.  It takes some notice.

At no time have I had any concern about the quality of the RV.  I believe that PC and the employees have all intentions of creating an excellent product and providing great service - which makes it so frustrating that I can not seem to find the key to getting this sorted out.  I do not want to feel at odds with them.

I do think there would be a benefit for the customers as well as the PC staff if communication was better.  I don't like having to bother them but when I don't get an answer I do have to keep asking. 

I wish myself or a friend could have checked in during the build - but again I would have had to know it was going on to know to drive over.

The start of the build is absolutely the key here.  I was willing to lay back on the question about the cost and where the papers where they were sending - figured that would all be done before the build and yes I knew they had other things going on.  Was not looking to make any other changes. the papers I understood were going to show everything we agreed to.  Knowing the build was going to start would have allowed for the part to be sent.  Would have allowed us to have an understanding about any updates during the build etc.   

And yes I absolutely acknowledge that the life stress with taking on this loan - and the need to sell the house as soon as possible to help pay for it along with the other changes it signals adds to my trigger point.  Feeling helpless is never a good thing for me.

I will tell you how the story ends.  thanks again for the input


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hutch42

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Re: Really?
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2017, 06:10:41 pm »
This is why I like Phoenix Cruisers

BRAND          # OF CLASS C'S      AVG MAN HOURS         AVG. YEARS EXPERIENCE
                      BUILT A WEEK             TO BUILD                       PER EMPLOYEE

Winnebago          126 per wk       225 man hours each                    3.5 years

Phoenix Cruiser    1.75 "    "         571   ''      ''       ''                      10.0+   "

 :)

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donc13

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Re: Really?
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2017, 08:51:09 pm »
I appreciate the encouragement to hang on and hope it is all OK in the end.

A few responses
Carol was actually the first person I emailed to share my experience as it first was unfolding.  I do follow her blog and have appreciated all her postings and her emails  to me.

the question of cost was because it was a charge for an option and the price did not match what early notes would have lead me to believe.

I had been trying to get a line on when my build would start.  I placed the order at the Hershey show and they did know about the end of March date.  For many reasons I do think it only makes sense to get the customer a build date.  As they put the on the final schedule - just a quick email.  As I recall they finish 2 per week.  So sending two emails a week to say your build date is X does not seem like a big deal.

My statement was to say that I was getting emails but not getting answers because it sounded like someone thought they were not seeing my emails - the emails are not addressing my questions.  We seem to be unable to get there.  Even an answer that happened to be a result I did not want would let me know where we stood. 

About requesting updates - would have to know that the build was starting to ask how it was going. 

And as noted - would have been useful to know the date to have the part there they had me order.

You folks that sign the order and then don't get any updates - how do you know when to make your travel plans to go get your RV?  I am sure you folks have  planning and arrangement issues to be able to make that trip.  It takes some notice.

At no time have I had any concern about the quality of the RV.  I believe that PC and the employees have all intentions of creating an excellent product and providing great service - which makes it so frustrating that I can not seem to find the key to getting this sorted out.  I do not want to feel at odds with them.

I do think there would be a benefit for the customers as well as the PC staff if communication was better.  I don't like having to bother them but when I don't get an answer I do have to keep asking. 

I wish myself or a friend could have checked in during the build - but again I would have had to know it was going on to know to drive over.

The start of the build is absolutely the key here.  I was willing to lay back on the question about the cost and where the papers where they were sending - figured that would all be done before the build and yes I knew they had other things going on.  Was not looking to make any other changes. the papers I understood were going to show everything we agreed to.  Knowing the build was going to start would have allowed for the part to be sent.  Would have allowed us to have an understanding about any updates during the build etc.   

And yes I absolutely acknowledge that the life stress with taking on this loan - and the need to sell the house as soon as possible to help pay for it along with the other changes it signals adds to my trigger point.  Feeling helpless is never a good thing for me.

I will tell you how the story ends.  thanks again for the input



Very simply, just because they build it now does not mean they deliver it the day it's done.   Obviously, I have zero knowledge of your interactions with Phoenix.   I do know, if when someone orders a unit but tells Phoenix that they can't take deluvery until such and such a date... Phoenix told me they will stand by your requested delivery date.   In my case, I bought one Phoenix brought to the RV Show, it was Perfect for our needs.   But I did ask about the order process.   So my *presumption* is if you said you didn't want delivery until the end of March, then that's when you get it delivered.

After reading your posts I still don't understand what question you have that they won't answer.

In any event, my best advice is as someone else said... Take a deep breath and relax.   It will all work out as planned.
---
Don and Patti