Oct 222009

I stole comedian Ron White’s line for this blog, because it is so darned true. Sometimes I wonder how some people manage to get through life without drowning in rainstorms or bashing in their heads walking into walls.

I got a long e-mail Letter to the Editor yesterday from a fellow wanting me to help him tell the world about how he is getting screwed over by a Passport America affiliate RV park where he is currently staying.

The Passport America directory clearly states that the discount rate at this particular campground is good for two days only, and that it is not good on weekends. I checked that myself. The gentleman who wrote me also acknowledges that a sign in their office says the same thing.

But he has decided that he wants to stay for a month. The campground does not have weekly or monthly rates, and again, the Passport America rate is for two days only. But he still expects them to allow him to stay there at half of their regular rate. He told me that he wrote them a check, based upon the Passport America rate, and that the owner of the campground refused to accept it, so in his mind he has done his part, and he’s not moving. The campground owner told him that his two days will be up this morning, and if he doesn’t leave, they will call the police and have him removed.

Huh? How dumb can you be? I think I’ll wander over to the nearest Mercedes-Benz dealership and hand the first salesman I see a $500 check for one of those snappy little SLK 55 convertibles and drive it off the lot. In my mind, that’s doing my part, so what the heck?

I have had a series of e-mails over the last few weeks from a couple who are involved in an ongoing series of mishaps that began with them purchasing a used high mileage Fleetwood diesel pusher against the advice of myself and everybody else they talked to.

The day after they bought the rig, they discovered that the water heater didn’t work, the generator wouldn’t start, and that the speedometer didn’t work, so they have no idea what the actual mileage is. I asked them if it had worked on their test drive, but they never drove it, because the license plates had been expired for two years and the seller didn’t have insurance on it. But he assured them that it was just like new.

Now, close to a month later, they have shared a long litany of problems that include two blowouts, a rooftop automatic satellite dish that doesn’t work, a bad leak in the bedroom, a slide out room that won’t go out, and leveling jacks that are inoperative. And they still have not received the title to this lemon, in spite of the fact that they paid in full with a cashier’s check when they picked it up! Repeated calls to the seller have brought many promises of sending the title by overnight mail, but it has never arrived. On their last call, his number was disconnected.

Their latest tale of woe is that they have now been ticketed for driving an RV with expired license plates, and the Motor Vehicle Department in South Dakota won’t issue a title to a vehicle from out of state with no documentation. They said they do have documentation, a hand written bill of sale from the seller.

I told them early on that I wouldn’t consider buying a used Fleetwood myself, and I would be very leery of any RV that had been sitting still for at least two years. But they just “loved” this coach, so they bought it.

I also advised them that whatever RV they did buy should first be inspected by a qualified RV tech to make sure all of the RV’s systems worked, and then to take it to a garage and have it inspected to determine its mechanical condition. They replied that it would have cost them over $200, and they could not see wasting that much money, when the seller insisted the rig was “like new.”

Now they want my advice on what to do next. What can I possibly tell them?

Thought For The Day – You’re getting old when getting lucky means you find your car in the mall parking lot.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  15 Responses to “You Can’t Fix Stupid”

  1. About the only thing you could do….get a lawyer.

  2. Nick, I’m sorry but I have no patience with these kind of jerks!! Because of the first guy this Campground willo be so fed up with a member of Passport club that he will probabley discontinue being in the system.. Thus ruin it for us all…

  3. I agree that you can’t fix stupid and they will be moaning and groaning about this forever. The above post may be true. The campground owner could get frustrated and stop being a Passport America park. We are staying in one for the next week and I’ll be sure now to thank them for being PA members.

  4. “Now they want my advice on what to do next. What can I possibly tell them?” I think you just told them everything they needed to hear.

  5. “” Now they want my advice on what to do next. What can I possibly tell them? “”

    There is no use telling them anything. After all, they aren’t listening, never have been and probably never will.

    Sadly, they were taken by a smooth salesman. Didn’t some one describe how you can tell if a salesman is lying? His mouth is moving.


  6. Nick – I trust that you won’t waste your time responding to either one! The title of your post is apt!

    @Gene – Your joke about salesmen is so old and tiresome. I am a professional RV sales person and am proud of it. I do my job because I love to help people follow in my footsteps and get out and see this beautiful country we live in. Although Nick doesn’t say, this story sounds like the folks bought the Fleetwood from an unscrupulous private seller. Any dealer that sells a rig without a title would lose their license and go to jail.

  7. Nick,

    Stupid is a condition.
    I do feel sorry for some folks who don’t “get it” and never will.

    Ignorance is a choice.
    When the truth and facts are available and they refuse to listen or change. These are the people I have no tolerance for.

    You did what you could. Nothing more is required.

  8. ditto, ditto, ditto……….ad nausaum. stupid is as stupid does. gimme a break–

    on to warm weather!!

  9. To both you say, “I’m sorry you are in this situation.” To the second you add, “We already gave you all the good advice we could.” Repeat as necessary.

  10. It seems to me that they have two choices:

    1. Hire a lawyer and spend a ton of money.

    2. Walk away and start over.

    P T Barnum had it right when he said there is a sucker born every minute.

  11. 1. To the Passport America situation. Who does this guy think he is? The Passport America book clearly states two days ONLY. I hope the park calls the cops and has him removed. There is always one in every crowd!!! I also hope this does not ruin PA for others. We are life members in PA. While there have been a few unsavory parks, most of the parks are great and we get our money back over and over again.
    2. The second situation. How stupid is stupid? They did every thing wrong. And they have no title. They should not be using the motorhome because they are probably not covered by insurance. But since you have told them and they didn’t listen, I doubt further advice will be listened to either. They are reaping what they have sown. Sometimes it’s just best to let them flounder around in their own muck because if you try to help them they will say it’s your fault not theirs.
    I agree with the PT Barnum remark. These people are the ones who will respond to a phone call that they have won a car. They send several thousand dollars for “taxes and licenses” and wonder why they don’t get a car. Then they squeal about how they were taken and it’s the government’s fault for not protecting them. NO COMMON SENSE!!!!!

  12. Link this with the story you had a few months ago about the couple that purchased a lot on a senior park although they were not over 55 and they wanted to home school their children. Seems like excellent grist for bad nick!!
    Gotta love these stories. Please keep sharing.

  13. What to tell them?

    I don’t know how far gone they are, but a dear old minister friend said (more than once);
    “Go out in the back yard and kick yourself in the behind until you figure out who’s doin’ it!”

  14. Stupid is as stupid does.

    Giving advice to stupid people doesn’t work. If you want to help them, ask them to explain why they should take the course of action they’re thinking about. Sometimes this causes the lights to come on.

    Earlier, in my career as one of those “lying salesmen with moving lips”, I often helped my “noble and honest customers.” My wife used to say, “you go MORE than the extra mile to help your customers.”

    Now I move my keyboard fingers more than my lying lips.

  15. Is the guy with the PA ‘problem’ the same one who thinks you shouldn’t be making a profit on your newspaper? Sounds the same to me!

    The others are just too lame to live. Darwin had something to say about people like them.

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