RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Class A Motorhomes: Mandalay Update

RV Blog

  |  

RV Sales

  |  

Campgrounds

  |  

RV Parks

  |  

RV Club

  |  

RV Buyers Guide

  |  

Roadside Assistance

  |  

Extended Service Plan

  |  

RV Travel Assistance

  |  

RV Credit Card

  |  

RV Loans

Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Help and Support  |  Contact  

Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Class A Motorhomes

Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes  >  All

 > Mandalay Update

This Topic Is Closed  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 4  
Next
Sponsored By:
SmokyS1

Kalispell MT

Full Member

Joined: 01/19/2005

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 03/22/05 05:01am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is a follow up to the thread I initiated called "Mandalay? No thank you!"

The topic here shifts from build quality concerns to concerns about the Mandalay employees and corporate culture.

I believe I touched on this in the initial thread. But I had contact again yesterday with three more Mandalay employees and I am compelled once again to report some negative findings.

My day began with a lot of chaos. Last week I sold some valuable land SE of Washington DC in Southern Maryland. Settlement is scheduled for May 17. This is providing the funds for our motor home and the expense fund for our plans to fulltime over the next ten years.

Yesterday morning my real estate agent was back to draw up the contract for our upcoming house sale. Now that the land is sold, we want to move ahead quickly with the house sale so that we can qualify for Montana residency by the time we purchase our new motorhome (for obvious tax reasons). We are not setting up an LLC, but actually moving to Montana. My wife's sister has built a concrete pad for our Motorhome beside her house and that will be declared as our permanent residence, though we will be on the road most of the year. Our mail will be delivered there and we will reside there in July and August of each year.

I also had issues going on at work (I temporarily manage a Radio Shack for an owner friend though I would still call myself semi-retired). In addition I had someone coming over to see the house.

In the midst of all this "Heather" called from the Mandalay factory, and sounded very cheery and apologetic on the telephone. She left a number for me to call and apologized about the poor treatment I had received the previous week from the receptionist when I had called in and been told that no one was at the factory but her because every other employee had been sent to a show in Georgia.

I called her back and the receptionist told me that Heather was out of the office for the morning. I asked to be connected to her voice mail and left a message that I had returned her call and would interrupt myself to speak with her. (I could not believe my mindset, but once again my lust for a trustworthy Mandalay had risen and I was hoping I would find someone who could put some sense on everything.)

I never heard back from Heather, so I once again called and asked for her. By this time I had the feeling that they have caller ID at Mandalay and the receptionist knew full well who I was. She informed me that Heather was out for the day. Huh?

Again I asked for voice mail and left another message. I am sure my voice by this time showed same slight irritation.

Within 2 minutes I got a call from a gentleman. He informed me that he was the manufacturer rep that I spoke with at the Chantilly show. This actually angered me as I had waited with my wife for 30 minutes to speak with this man. When we finally got a chance to sit down at the table (inside a Mandalay) and ask a question ... he gave us a quick answer and then stood up and walked away saying he had to go to lunch and would be back later. We had only begun our questions, but he was gone. Now he was on the phone? It was childish of me but I pulled the same stunt on him and told him I was too busy to talk to a salesman and hung up.

A half hour later the phone rings and a Mr. Yoder is on the line. Turns out he is the president or whatever they call the top employee. At first I thought I was getting somewhere at last. But he was on autopilot, with his transmitter turned on and his receiver in the permanently off position. All he wanted to do was tell me how fast they are growing, how shorthanded they are, and how all the initial production problems had now been all fixed.

Incidentally I could hear a lot of chaos in the background throughout the conversation. At one point someone tried to interrupt him and he snapped at them.

Finally he paused long enough to ask me if there was anything he could do for me.

I answered that I had tried to return Heather's call but she was out for the day. He said no she was right there in the office. I was speechless.

I answered that I didn't think there was much he could do and I had crossed Mandalay off my list.

He simply said, "Good day then." and began to hang up.

I jumped back in and said this is exactly the problem I am talking about. It starts at the top, and no one really sits back and listens. I told him that.

This slowed him down and for the first time I could sense he was trying to be a good listener. He asked me then to describe the test drive experiences I had. I went through my litany of the many Mandalays I had driven. He suggested that I check out the Endless Summer dealer in Maryland. I had to remind him that was where most of the Mandalays had been driven. Richmond Virginia was where the door frame fell off, but all the other problems had occurred at
Endless Summer. I told him that was also where the 2004 Mandalay was (still new) that handled so poorly. He said ah yes, I drove that one at our show down in Georgia. We found it had blown an air bag.

They drove from Maryland all the way to Georgia to make that diagnosis?

It was all I could do not to be rude and laugh at him on the phone. I covered the mouthpiece and winced and said GEEEEEZE. I finally once and for all lost my lust for a solidly built Mandalay right there.

Like the forum members here, he tried to put most of the blame on the dealers, using this air bag as an example. One can always find an example for any point.

Then he returned to the corporate mantra about being so new and growing so fast. I related to him that I agreed. They were growing too fast.

It was very obvious to me that Mr. Yoder casts a strong shadow in his corporation. If he is going to be arrogant and curt, and also disorganized, then everyone under him is going to emulate his style. I call that "Shadow of the Leader."

All I can say is that there is a total difference in ambiance and response whenever I call Beaver or Newmar. People leap to the phone and turn their receivers on and their transmitters off.

I have to call Newmar at 10 am this morning with four questions and I can hardly wait. I am really looking forward to the phone call!

This will be my final thread on Mandalay. I hope those neutral here understand I am trying to do a service and report my own experience.

Since I don't own a Mandalay, nor any other brand of motorhome yet, I don't think I am just a basher. I am hard at work trying to make the best $250k decision I can make.

It is for the reader to judge. I hope others do the same for me. I will respond to comments in existing threads, but will report no more new findings about Mandalay. My research on that company is completed. If nothing else, and you are shopping for a home on wheels, at least take the time to look beneath the veneer on Mandalay and talk to the factory, not just the dealers.


Smoky
2005 Newmar KS3910 Kountry Star Pusher

Ford Taurtus Toad with Remco axle lock


chewbear

Mobile in the USofA;currently Ozark, Alabama

Senior Member

Joined: 04/25/2004

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 03/22/05 05:17am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Boy have you shaken me. Mandalay was kathy and mine most desirable. I'll have to re-think any purchase there. The one we saw at Atlantic city hooked both of us. We were just waiting to see one of the bath and a half units.


2002 Fleetwood Discovery
330 cat. '09 Escape toad.
Kathy & Joe wish you well.
My mind works like lightning,
one brilliant flash and it's
gone. (Maxine)


JasonD

Annapolis, MD

Senior Member

Joined: 07/26/2003

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 03/22/05 05:51am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Smoky,

Even though you don't like what they are saying, at least Mandalay is trying to communicate with you. That's more than can be said for their corporate sibling, Damon.

My guess is that Mandalay got a whiff of this thread and they are trying to quench the fire. Thor got REAL burned by Missi04's post here a couple of months ago. I applaud them for not ignoring you and trying to set things straight.


2008 42' Foretravel Nimbus CE
2007 Chevy Tahoe toad


Tungsten

Alexandria, Virginia

Full Member

Joined: 04/13/2004

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 03/22/05 06:10am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SmokyS1,

Gee, I'm sorry to hear of your difficulities here - and really hope that either the Beaver or Nemar units provide what you are looking for.

Carter Yoder is the National Sales Manager for Mandalay - and he is an exceptionally nice person - but it sounds like some of your frustrations came through in your converseration.

To others reading this thread - Mandalay is dedicated to supporting their product and customers. My wife and I (and hundreds others) are very pleased with our Mandaly coach - they are really a great unit.

Good luck on your new coach - please keep the fourm members posted on which unit you select - and how it performs for you.

I hope to see you down the road some time... enjoy


2004 Mandalay 38B Cummins 350 / Freightliner

Bill S.

Delaware

Senior Member

Joined: 03/06/2001

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member


Posted: 03/22/05 06:12am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks so much Smoky, for your well thought out and detailed report on your experiences with Mandalay. Before your original thread, I read FMCA's review of a Mandalay, and it made me want to put them on our short list. After reading how you were repeatedly treated, I wouldn't even consider stepping inside one for at least 3 years; hopefull enough time for them to either wake up or drop out!

I understand EXACTLY what you meant when you told the top guy that you crossed them off your list, and he began to hang up the phone, until YOU STOPPED HIM! Instead, he should have immediately tried to recover lost ground by asking, then listening, to all of your concerns, and address them one by one. It seems that this company is running over the people at their very door, so they can go out and tell the rest of the world "how great they are". Sad.

Thanks again.


Bill, (aka Capt.Bill)
2002 Horizon 36LD, Cat 330
Celebrating 30 years RVing
Our First State


robinandbob

Rossville, GA

Senior Member

Joined: 11/17/2003

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 03/22/05 06:17am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ah but JasonD, I don't think they are trying to communicate. It looks more like they're trying to put out the forest fire they started by not being more communicative in the first place. I didn't see anything in SmokyS1's post that indicates anything is being done about the quality issues or poor customer response.


S. Mid. TN
98 Fleetwood Discovery 36T
4 big dogs 2 cats, Silkies and Guineas
orchids & epis

SmokyS1

Kalispell MT

Full Member

Joined: 01/19/2005

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 03/22/05 06:40am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Jason:

Yes Mandalay did make some effort to answer. But I believe they would have simply brushed me off had I not made repeated and concerted efforts to get their attention. As others have mentioned my posts here may also have forced some response. If Damon is worse, then that does not say much for Thor.

Tungsten:

You and your wife are wonderful people. Your messages are well-reasoned and keep emotion out. You are in a difficult position. I have to consider that Mandalay has you attending shows to represent them as one of their customers. I was invited to do the same for Fleetwood but could never fit it in my schedule. I also consider that you are a top official in the Mandalay owner's club.

I believe you perform those duties par excellence. The biggest single factor that got me thinking I might buy the Mandalay was your input and your wife's. Mandalay chose you well and that is to their credit. The next biggest was Andy, the dealer salesman from Richmond. He is a fabulous person. The same one you purchased from.

My concern is ONLY with the product itself and the factory people.

Yes I will objectively report on my experiences with whatever coach I end up with, both the good and the bad.

I do hope we can travel together, and I look forward to sitting by the campfire with you over a single malt or a coke and swapping tales with you on happier subjects.

To those considering purchasing a Mandalay, do not make your decision on my input alone. I have worked hard to be objective, but I am just one person. Take note of what I have found, and see if you find the same thing. If my messages get you to look more closely, it will help you from buying something you will regret. If other facts indicate the Mandalay is your best bet, and you have eliminated my concerns, then you have done your job and should have no regrets.

And thanks for this forum. I can see it is an excellent resource for getting information from people with first hand experieince.

Sangone

Valencia, CA,

Senior Member

Joined: 04/18/2004

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 03/22/05 06:44am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Smoky - thanks for relaying your experience with us. Very sad to hear in light of the value the Mandalays represented.

Although digressing a bit, you may want to include Tiffin on your list. The Phaeton should fit into your price range and you will find many happy Tiffin owners who have mostly positive things to say about their quality and customer service.


Wife, 3 Boys, 2 Dogs
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U W20 8.1L

SmokyS1

Kalispell MT

Full Member

Joined: 01/19/2005

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 03/22/05 06:48am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sangone:

I do hear a lot of positive things about Tiffin. I can no longer remember why they did not make our final list but I am certain it was nothing major. I will give them another look if I can find a nearby dealer or show. I am the type of person who keeps options open until the very last moment. Right now the Kountry Star is our most likely choice with the Beaver Santiam a close second. But we are not locked in and new information would open up new possibilities.

retiredarkie

Livingston, TX

Full Member

Joined: 04/08/2004

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member


Posted: 03/22/05 07:43am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mandalay was also on our final short list. We went back to the same dealer twice to look at and drive one. Our problem was with the dealer/salesmen. We were ready to start talking price and he did not return our phone calls or email. After I emailed the dealer and asked did they want our business, the owner called me and said she would give another salesman our name and have him contact us. He did call after several days and another complaint to the owner. We then went in to drive the Mandalay and take a final look before talking price. This salesman wrote down the questions he couldn't answer and said he would call us with the answers. We had to call him after several days. We had another question he couldn't answer and again he said he'd call and never did. As we had fallen in love with the Mandalay, we were sorely disappointed. But decided if the salesman couldn't be bothered before the sale, how would we be treated after the sale?

This Topic Is Closed  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 4  
Next

Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes  >  All

 > Mandalay Update
Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Class A Motorhomes


New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:

© 2017 CWI, Inc. © 2017 Good Sam Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved. | Terms of Use | PRIVACY POLICY | YOUR PRIVACY RIGHTS