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SunCoast RV - Poor Customer Service
Posted on Monday, March 17th, 2008 at 9:38am CDT by 66790fbe
Product: Itasca Cambria
Company: SunCoast RV
On January 29, 2008 my wife and I purchased a new 2007 Itasca Cambria from Suncoast RV in Jacksonville Florida. After many hours of research, and spending two days at the Tampa RV Show, we decided on the Itasca model because of the floor plan and the Winnebago reputation.
With the model decided we performed an internet search looking for a dealership that sold the Itasca brand. We found the one we were looking for at Suncoast and negotiated a deal with one of their salespeople, David Mekoski. Since we lived four hours to the south of Jacksonville, Mr Mekoski agreed to have the coach brought to their Cocoa dealership.
During the walk-through of the coach, the mechanic that was demonstrating the functions of the coach discovered boxes of promotional material in one of the outside storage bins. This probably should have been a clue the coach was not properly prepped before delivery but unfortunately I ignored the signs and completed the deal.
Once we got the coach home, we started to get the unit ready for our first trip by cleaning the inside. The coach was filthy. When we wiped the counter tops it was obvious that Suncoast never bothered to clean it before the sale. The plastic wrap was still on the floor under the dinette table which I later learned should have been removed.
A thorough inspection of the coach revealed the following problems.
1 The paint was pealing off of the right side mirror
2 The paint under the bedroom slide-out was lighter than the rest of the coach and had a rough texture.
3 The auto leveling system did not work.
4 The air shocks would only hold air for a couple of minutes before completely deflating.
5 The black and grey water sensors were reversed.
6 The wrong outside TV table was sent with the unit.
7 The awning retracts so slowly that it takes two people and about 15 minutes to get it completely retracted.
8 Of the six tires on the unit only one came with a valve stem cover. All the tires were improperly inflated at time of delivery.
9 This one is probably the most important and bothers me the most. During and inspection of the roof I found that the roof caulking for the front cab had been replaced. For some reason the factory sealant had been removed and replaced with some other type of sealant.
I contacted Mr Mekoski and asked for an explanation about the roof. He told me they normally don't check the roofs of an RV unless there is a specific problem. Mekoski said he would check with his service manager and get back to me. Several days went by without a response. I called Mekoski again and got the "I was just about to call you" reply. I heard this same response from Mekoski on many other occasions. He said that Suncoast RV had not done any repairs to the unit. He told me the next step was to contact Winnebago to see if it was something that was done at the factory. Again days went by without a response. When I called Mekoski he complained how busy he was but that Winnebago told him they had no record of any warranty repairs done to the coach. Mekoski asked me if I had received a call from the service manager. I had not. In subsequent conversations Mekoski revealed his disappointment with the service manager for apparently refusing to call me about the problems with the coach. Mekoski told me he would need to take it up with the general manager, who was unfortunately out on sick leave. I have not heard from the general manager as of 3/15/08.
After many unanswered phone calls, and weeks of trying to get an answer to the repair work done to the roof, I finally spoke to "Nick" the service manager on 3/5/08. Nick admitted to me that cracks in the caulking were discovered while the unit sat on their lot and had been repaired by Suncoast RV prior to the sale of the unit to me. This admission directly conflicts with the information that had been previously provided by Mekoski (no record of his company doing any repair work) and that they don't even bother to check the roof unless there was a problem. Since Suncoast can't even remember to put the valve stem caps on, I seriously doubt they "discovered" cracks in the roof caulking during a random inspection. Why would they walk around on the top of the roof unless they found a reason to. My guess is that there must have been a leak or something else that prompted the repair work.
Since my conversation with Nick, I have sent letters to the general manager and owner of Suncoast RV that have gone unanswered. Besides all of the things that were wrong with the unit right out of the box, the issue with the roof is a cause of concern. From someone who had a 5th wheel RV that had roof problems, I know first hand that the roof is an RV's Achilles heel. When I purchased the Cambria it was as new, not refurbished. My complaint is not that the roof was repaired, but that I wasn't told about it prior to the sale. This would have made a difference in what I would have been willing to pay for the coach.
I am very disappointed in the quality of the Winnebago product and would not recommend it to anyone. As far as Suncoast RV is concerned, they don't return phone calls or respond to legitimate complaints. They don't seem to care about their customers once they have your money. Since service after the sale is one of the most important things to look for in a company, I would suggest you check elsewhere if you are looking to buy an RV.