Once in a while people ask me if I really do get all of the e-mails I occasionally share with blog readers because it’s hard to believe people could be that: A. Dumb, B. Naive, C. Clueless, or D. All of the above. But something I learned early on in my career publishing small town newspapers is that you can’t make up the stuff that comes across your desk, because nobody would ever believe it. Yes, I really do get all of these e-mails. I may write fiction novels for a living, but I couldn’t make up some of them. Let me tell you about two recent ones.
If you’ve been reading my writing for very long, you know that I am not a fan of the way a lot of RV dealers and RV salesmen do business. While there are some good ones out there, there are also some real shysters. But that doesn’t mean the customer is always right, either. Take for example the woman who wrote me the other day telling how a dealer had ripped them off on the purchase of a new diesel pusher. She said they live in Iowa, decided they wanted to do the snowbird routine now that they have retired, and bought a brand-new Class A motorhome. According to her, they had never spent a night in a motorhome and they purchased the very first one they had ever walked into.
But her complaint wasn’t about the quality of the RV or the service from the dealership. Her complaint was that, after taking it to California and back to visit family, she and her husband both realized they don’t like RVing at all. They don’t like traveling in their motorhome, they don’t like sleeping in it, they don’t like cooking in it, and they don’t like being in campgrounds.
So they took it back to the dealer and said they wanted their money back. All of their money. Every penny they paid for it. And they were surprised that the dealership wouldn’t give them a full refund on the rig they had kept for two months and put 4,000 miles on. They thought that was very unfair and told him if he did not refund their money they were not going to make any more payments on it. His reply was that that was between them and their bank, and not his problem.
Really? You expect to get your full purchase price back on what is now a used vehicle because you jumped into something without doing your homework and have now decided you don’t like it? It’s an RV dealership, people, you didn’t buy it from Amazon.
The other e-mail that left me shaking my head was from a gentleman who is very unhappy with our friends Bob and Gita Patel, who own Elkhart Campground in Elkhart, Indiana. It seems he stopped in there the other day without calling ahead, only to discover that they are closed for the season. He asked how they expected to stay in business when they closed whenever they felt like it.
Yeah, they are closed. It’s December in Indiana. Not exactly camping weather. They close every year on the first of November. And as for how they expect to stay in business, they have been doing a fine job of it for over 22 years, continuously upgrading and expanding their campground and making customers feel like they are at home. I suspect they will be around for a long, long time.
This same person also had a complaint about a Thousand Trails campground in Ohio, where he said his five year old grandson got stung by a bee back in July. He said when he complained to the management they said they were sorry, but there really wasn’t anything they could do to eradicate bumble bees in the campground. They also didn’t offer him and his family any compensation for the boy’s injury. Gee, go figure.
In other news, we’ve been watching the miniseries Godless on Netflix this week. So far we have seen four out of the seven episodes in the first season. It’s a Western about a town in New Mexico that is mostly populated by women, since a mining accident killed most of the men in town. Now, a notorious outlaw and his gang are headed their way, and we are looking forward to watching the final three episodes to see what happens. It’s a bit gritty in parts, but we are really enjoying it.
Who’s ready for another funny picture from our RV travels? We saw this place when we were at Kill Devil Hills on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Having been in the newspaper business in a couple of resort areas, I kind of understand where the owners are coming from. You appreciate those tourist dollars, but you always look forward to the end of the season when they all go home.
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It’s Thursday, so it’s time for a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Hands of Onyx, book 2 in the Sav’ine series by Stacy Bender. It’s a story about cybernetic soldiers escorting a long haul space freighter to the outer rim planets, dealing with saboteurs who are trying to stop them and a crew that includes a half-blind medic, an explosives expert who is a sociopath, and an interrogator suffering from dementia. What could possibly go wrong? To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
Thought For The Day – It’s all fun and games until Santa checks the naughty list.