Here’s an email I got from a woman who knows she got the proverbial shaft but persisted and ended up with a good outcome! Let her be an inspiration!
I saw your blog post about the treatment of women in repair shops. I would like to offer my story about my RV experience. I am married but my husband is military and the non custodial parent of the RV.
I purchased a an RV in July 2014. I drove it away from the dealer with 703 miles on the odometer. After my first and only major adventure, I called the dealer and said the steering wheel is off center considerably and it is awkward to drive like that. The dealers service response “well you didn’t tell us about it during the sales inspection so there’s nothing we can do” so I kindly responded “I did not get the chance to drive it until after the inspection.” The dealer service then informed me that I must have a hit a pot hole or bump and knocked it out of alignment, I needed to have it aligned, they don’t do that, bye now. It took multiple phone calls to find a garage able to perform the service. In November 2014 with approximately 1,975 miles on the RV, I took it to a heavy duty garage to correct the steering wheel being off center and and had an alignment done. I then parked the RV in the storage lot for the winter.
After reading the reviews and positive impressions of a particular Steering Stabilizer, I decided to have one installed. I ordered the part over-the-phone on March 16 to be installed on March 31. I was told that it would increase the handling of the RV and make the driving a little less loose. After they installed it, I drove away and immediately noticed it was pulling A LOT to the left and the steering wheel was off center AGAIN. I take it back and ask for an adjustment, the tech says he can adjust again but he already did it once and the RV must be out of alignment. I kindly explained that there was just an alignment done 50 miles ago and when I initially handed him the keys the steering wheel was straight, the only modification in this scenario was him and the installation of the stabilizer. As I’m waiting for him to look at it, I spoke to the garage that did the alignment and the technicians at the stabilizer manufacturer, both indicated it sounded like something in the stabilizer needed adjustment and it takes patience. The technician proceeded to tell me that he was not going to keep adjusting the stabilizer just because I thought something he did was wrong and that if the garage did not guarantee their alignment work then it was not his fault. He seemed to imply that I, a woman, could not possibly know if it was installed correctly. In the middle of the store, I am having a heated discussion with the technician who refused to continue to make the adjustments necessary to the installation of the product. I turned around mid sentence and left.
A few days later I spoke with customer service of the stabilizer manufacturer and she indicated that it sounded as though the technician did not have the patience to correctly install it. She suggested an authorized dealer install it, I brought it to one and I explained that I recently had another shop install it and that the steering wheel was off center now and pulling slightly. The mechanic test drove the RV, removed and reinstalled it, test drove it again, made a few adjustments, test drove, and returned the RV to me with a straight wheel, no pulling and no need for an alignment. The mechanic was much nicer, recognized the problem immediately and corrected it.
I hate not having a repair shop I could trust for the coach and the chassis. There has not been an experience yet where I feel that I was treated the same as a man who came in with the same problem would be treated. I complained to the head office of the original shop, they half-heartedly apologized and offered a minuscule refund of the installation fee. I explained that as a direct result of his lazy technician, I had to miss a day of work, drive over 200 miles, and pay another garage to correct their mistake.
Sorry for the long email but I appreciate knowing that I’m not crazy in the way I am treated.