Report: #1043458

Complaint Review: Camping World

  • Submitted: Mon, April 15, 2013
  • Updated: Sat, April 20, 2013
  • Reported By: Chandler — Nyack New York
  • Camping World

    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

Camping World Camper's Barn Kingston, Camping World Syracuse Brought my RV for fluid change, they made a mistake that let all the differential fluid leak, and now want $5500 for the repair of their own poor work. Syracuse, New York

*Author of original report: Camping World Kingston outstanding service & cooperation

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

I own a vintage Winnebago Brave.  It has been well taken care of all its life, and as a matter of course, I get the fluids changed after it's been sitting a while.  So in February, I took the Brave to Camping World Syracuse to have the fluids changed, brakes and wheel bearings checked, and a general assessment of road worthiness done.

They called, said everything was done, come pick it up.  Saturday morning, I pay the bill, pick it up, and start the 240 mile trip to our new home.  Somewhere along the drive the differential fluid began leaking out.  After about 150 miles, the rear axle seizes.  The tow truck driver looks at it and says, someone didn't tighten the rear cover gasket!

We get it towed to Camping World Kingston, NY, and they agree to look at it and estimate a repair.  The next morning, I locate a replacement axle and offer to pick it up, drive it to Kingston, and have it installed.  Instead, Jim, the service manager, says he'd "feel better" if an axle guy he knows rebuilds it.  They have the parts, and it'll be better than new.  I disagree, and say I know the provenance of the axle I'm getting, it's in great shape, but he won't hear of it.

So he removes the axle, sends it out to a contractor for a rebuild, and after ordering the wrong parts and taking a week longer than promised, I call on a Tuesday.  Jim tells me it will be done by the weekend.  I take Friday off in order to go pick it up, and after hearing nothing, I call again.  Jim has left for the day.  They test drove it, but want to test drive it again on Monday.  Okay.  I want it tested, so as not to suffer the same fate as their Syracuse colleagues.  On Monday afternoon, after hearing nothing from Jim, I call again.  The Camping World operator tells me Jim is not available.  Less than a minute later, Jim calls me (having found himself available suddenly?) and he tells me politely I owe him $5,470 for their services.  I need to come pay him now and pick it up.

$5,470 dollars?  I found them a perfectly good axle for less than 10% of that.  I did their work for them.  Why in the world would they want to create all this extra work for themselves, and extra delay for us?  Oh yes!  Because they will make a ton of money on the mistake they themselves caused.

I am not a conspiracy theorist.  But man, you'd be hard-pressed to set up a better racket than this one.  For what it's worth, I don't believe it was a racket.  I believe Syracuse screwed up.  Luckily for Kingston, their screw-up landed us there, where they could reap the rewards.

Do NOT deal with Camping World for RV service.  Let independent qualified mechanics do the job (especially because Camping World itself will just outsource the work to qualified mechanics themselves, and then charge you the invoice plus CW labor rates).  Do not deal with Jim in Kingston; he will lie, double-talk, and falsely reassure you to death, and then get very curt when he wants your money.  And don't let your wife call him -- he's definitely got issues with women, especially if that woman is mechanically-inclined and not bullsh*ttable.
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#1 Author of original report

Camping World Kingston outstanding service & cooperation

AUTHOR: Chandler Lewis - ()

Chris Alfonso and Jim (sorry, didn't get a last name) are incredibly professional and helpful people.  The Kingston CW came through for us, providing the fastest and most capable resolution I could imagine, taking the time to explain every detail of the repair they did, and going the extra mile (or hundreds of miles) to offer assistance with the original problem (which happened at a different store completely).  In a very stressful situation, Chris and Jim not only fixed things, but left us feeling like we can count on the Kingston service department for literally any problem that might come up.

I cannot emphasize enough the quality of service and technical ability they showed -- both these guys know their RVs (and mine, too, probably a little more than they'd like to!).  If ANYONE needs RV service anywhere near Kingston, you can trust them.  I've worked with a lot of people, both as their managers and as their colleagues, and I don't think I can remember two guys who do a better job for their company.  Chris's cool demeanor and professional attitude make him a true manager, and I can say what started out as a difficult morning turned into a more than pleasant afternoon, due to Jim's taking the time to chat about old RVs and his experience with them.  He's a MOPAR man through and through, and it's clear he cares about the machines his guys work on.  I am so thankful to have met these guys -- there are few total pros out there who will work as hard as these guys to right a situation.  And there are few guys as smart, too, who know what they're doing.

So thank you, Chis Alfonso, and you, too, Jim -- I will send other RVers to you with exactly the same enthusiasm that I have writing this.
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