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 > PPL MOTOR HOMES - Houston, Texas

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ruwth

Oklahoma

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Posted: 05/01/12 06:11am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello Everyone!

I am a newbie here trying to buy a Class B Campervan. Actually, I am specifically trying to buy an American Cruiser and not having very good luck.

Here is: My first post on RV.Net

I further discussed my search here: Looking for Rear Kitchen/Rear Bathroom

I now have a purchase pending for an American Cruiser at PPL MOTOR HOMES in Houston, Texas.

I am very nervous about this whole process.

I am afraid of making a bad decision and wasting my money.

I also did not realize how much it was going to cost me just to shop for the right RV for me. So far, there was the expense of the trip to southern Illinois to look at an American Cruiser there. Now there has been a lot of expense in this pending sale. I am scheduled to fly down there tomorrow, stay the night with my sil's parents and test drive the vehicle tomorrow.

I paid an extra $360 for the RV stuff to be inspected and demonstrated for me. I have already been told the generator does not work. I have been told that everything else does but I want to see that for myself. Also, all this stuff was inspected a while back for someone else - I do not want the information gathered from that inspection - I want everything to be rechecked now since I am paying for it.

Sadly, I won't really know if they did a new inspection but they will have to demonstrate everything for me. As I am writing this now, I find myself wondering if I should have had to pay for them to demonstrate the stuff for me.

I digress. This post/thread is primarily intended to tell about my experience with PPL MOTOR HOMES. I was going to wait until after my trip down there to write about this but my frustration at lack of communication has prompted me to begin this thread this morning.

Here is a glimpse of my initial encounter with PPL MOTOR HOMES:

ruwth wrote:

The generator doesn't work and it has some rust issues.

The salesman I spoke with told me he wouldn't offer more than 15,000 for it.

One good thing is that with that many miles, it likely doesn't have the handling problems that some of them did. Generators can be fixed or replaced, right?

It has been there a long time. He said $6900 worth of work had been done on it recently. I wasn't able to really figure out if it was before or after they got it.

BUT, it has been there a long time.

I almost made an offer on that one but changed my mind.

He sent me photos of some of the problem areas. The owners paperwork said that it had not had any waterleaks but one of the photos was of what he called "an old leak". When I mentioned about what the owner's report said, he then said that it was a leak that had happened since it had been on their lot but that it wasn't leaking now.

I did not care for the salesman I dealt with and he did not seem to be doing justice to the woman who gave them the RV on consignment.


Not only did that salesman not do justice by their consignment customer but he did not return my phone calls after sending me papers to sign.

The start of the negotiation process INCLUDES signing a contract to buy contingent on a test drive. Since I am new to this whole world, this might be standard operating procedures but I wasn't completely comfortable with the process.

That first salesman gave me a few hours to sign and return the papers and only until the end of that week to come down and test drive the vehicle. The email he sent with the paperwork said to call if I had any questions. I called and called and called. I could not get an answer at his extension and he did not return my calls.

Finally, as the deadline to return the signed papers was approaching, I called the main number and spoke to the receptionist. She got the salesman on the phone for me. He told me he would call me back in about five minutes. He also told me not to worry about the deadline.

Thirty minutes later, I called again because he had not returned my call. Again, the receptionist got him on the phone for me. This time he told me he would call back in about thirty minutes and again told me not to worry about the deadline. He said they just put that on there so that folks wouldn't sit on the paperwork (in other words, to pressure me into signing quickly and getting the papers back to him).

Also, the contract states, "The total shall be paid within 5 days after this contract is executed." That made it sound as though I was agreeing to pay the full amount BEFORE I even saw the vehicle. The salesman said, "Oh don't worry about that. It doesn't really mean what it says."

As the close of the business day approached and I still had not heard back from this salesman, I called again. This time, the salesman did talk with me. Earlier, he told me he would test drive the vehicle. When I asked him about that, he said something like, "Oh, the way it was parked, I couldn't easily get it out but I have driven it before and it drove just fine." (Later, I learned through a sales-manager that the vehicle did not start for the salesman that day - he lied to me.)

The salesman was abrupt and impatient with me. Now, this is one of the lower priced units PPL's has for sale so maybe the deal was not worth his time but . . .

That day, the salesman did talk down the vehicle . . . ultimately saying he would not offer more than $15,000 for it even though he knew the owner's bottom-line was $19,000. Also, he told me the owner's bottom-line. I wouldn't appreciate that if I was the owner. Especially since at that time, I was actually willing to pay $19,500. He knew that but sent me paperwork having me offer $18,000 when I had said, "Well, I guess I will offer $19,000." Strange way to do business.

As a result of this salesman's manner and comments, I decided not to make any offer at that time. I also pretty much decided I did not want to do business with PPL MOTOR HOMES at all.

Well, this post has become pretty long. I am going to stop here and take a breather before I add an update about my current experience.

I am a bit embarrassed to reveal how dumb I am - but, oh well!!

It is what it is.




~ ~ ~ ruwth ~ ~ ~




Cat Lady

Baton Rouge, LA

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Posted: 05/01/12 06:40am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Run, Forrest! Run!


As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point the wrong way.


jetenbu

Southeast Texas

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Posted: 05/01/12 06:47am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have done business with PPL Motorhomes when I bought a motorhome from them. My experience was NOT anything like yours. I was on site when I paid for the inspection and saw them doing it. There were a few things wrong and I made my offers based upon ALL those things being fixed. If the generator did not work, I would NOT have accepted anything short of fixing the generator because having a working generator (especially one that is on-board) is part of the package deal.

If I had experienced what you have with the salesman, I would go to the Sales Manager, detail to him what I experienced and demand another legitimate salesman immediately. Fortunately for me, I got an excellent salesman and he worked with me as his client and agreed to everything that was found during the inspection MUST be fixed at the sellers expense. I made all those contingent on the purchase, no questions asked. I also insisted that I be shown the fixed items and the replaced parts.

Just like buying anything else, you have to look out after yourself.

Now, when I sold that motorhome later via PPL they did the inspections again for the new buyer. Some things were found but again, I had the opportunity to either agree to pay for these items to be fixed or tell the new buyer that I would not fix them. Since they were all minor fixes, I agreed but I also negotiated some discount on their fees for selling to help offset my expenses of fixing those items.

If is important you be an active part of buying and selling anything. DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT take a salesmans word for anything. Insist on seeing everything yourself so you can confirm the work is done. PPL was more than happy to do so for me. I have no complaints to havng done business with PPL. I am a happy customer both buying and selling. I suspect you got a questionable salesman and you should report that to the Sales Manager and inform him you suspect this guy is costing him other sales besides yours.

I hope this helps.


Jim

RV: 2012 Montana 3625RE Quad Slide SKP#108921
TV: 2004.5 Dodge Dually 3500 HD
Favorite Quote: ''Life's tough, pilgrim, and it's even tougher if you're stupid.''-- John Wayne

Warning: THIS RIG PROTECTED BY SMITH AND WESSON!

U.S. Navy Vietnam Vet 1967-1968


ejbleendreeble

Texas

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Posted: 05/01/12 07:34am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I live fairly close to PPL Motorhomes. I can't comment on the OP's experience because I've not bought a vehicle from PPL. But I have visited them probably ten times over the last few years and I've purchased several items from their store. Whenever I go there, I take the opportunity to take a look at the RVs on their expansive lot. I can do this without a salesperson in attendance trying to pressure me.

The feeling I have had with every visit to PPL is that I am dealing with an organization that is low-key, low-pressure, helpful in the extreme, and polite and courteous in dealing with its customers. I really like the place, and that is why I was so surprised when I read what the OP had to say about the experience of buying from a distance.

I'd suggest that the OP do exactly what was suggested above: Immediately contact the sales manager and tell him/her exactly what is going on. My guess is that the sales manager will want to know and will do everything to correct the situation.

A certain amount of PPL's business comes from remote sales like these. If you look at their site, you will see that they have a specific procedure for helping out-of-town purchasers, precisely because they are in a difficult situation if they are beginning the buying process sight-unseen. If that procedure is being abused, as the OP suggests, and the buying public gets to hear about it, which is what is happening in this thread, then part of PPL's business is threatened, and I suspect they will want to know about it.

I really do urge the OP to contact the sales manager -- or even better, the owners -- of PPL. What the OP describes is so much at variance with what I have seen at PPL that I am sure something will be done ... and fast!

Regards,
EJB

Handbasket

Asheville, NC

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Posted: 05/01/12 06:44am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Don't beat yourself up. It's not an event that many of us have enough experience with to get good at. Then every dealer or private seller seems to have a different process & expectations of the buyer.

I've bought three, two used B's (1 private sale, 1 consignment) and a new small C. Each time, I've realized retroactively that I made a different error, more or less serious, in handling the buying process. There were pressures acting on me that I could and should have controlled, but failed to.

Each time, it was at least partly a matter of giving in to the "gottahaveitNOW's".

Jim, "Mo' coffee!"


'06 Tiger CX 'C Minus' on a Silverado 2500HD 4x4, 8.1 & Allison (aka 'Loafer's Glory') www.tigervehicles.com

ruwth

Oklahoma

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Posted: 05/01/12 07:41am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The second chapter of my PPL MOTOR HOMES Adventure:

Well, interacting with the initial salesman got me on PPL MOTOR HOMES email list so I got an announcement of their anniversary sale. I looked and saw the American Cruiser listed for $19,000.

I must admit, I am in love with the American Cruiser's floorplan and so was drawn in by the lower price. I decided I would call and ask for a different salesperson and offer $15,000.

When I did, the salesman told me all prices listed were at rock-bottom so they were not doing any negotiation during the anniversary event. At that point, I wasn't prepared to offer $19,000 so I simply got off the phone.

Then I got to thinking about it and called back to discuss it further. The salesman I got that time put me on hold while he looked for the file on the American Cruiser. He came back and told me he was having trouble locating it and would call me back as soon as he did.

I waited but got no return call. I was concerned I was being put off because I had not signed the earlier paperwork from the first salesman. I called and asked to talk to the salesmanager.

I spoke with a woman I had talked to briefly before when I had trouble reaching the first salesman with my questions. She and I had a long discussion. I told her about my dissatisfaction with my experience with the first salesman. I told her I was going to offer $18,000 but had not done so because of what had happened. She offered to call the owner unofficially and see if the owner would accept $18,000. She told me that as a manager, she could do that even though the salesman could not during this anniversary event. The owner countered with $18,500. The manager let me know and told me she would have the salesman call me. She also told me that she would have him check the vehicle and make sure that it did start before he called me back.

He actually called me back before she had a chance to talk to him. I told him about my conversation with her so he hung up, talked to her and then got back to me. He told me the vehicle started right up with no problems whatsoever.

He sent me paperwork to sign. This time, I asked to be given until the next day to sign and return the paperwork. I also told him I needed to have at least two weekends included in the time limit I had to come and do the test drive. He gave me until 10:00 the next morning to return the signed offer and the earnest money. The initial papers he sent only gave me until 9:00 A.M. on the second Saturday to complete the test drive. Also, he had crossed-out everything referring to a pre-delivery check and demonstration.

Again, the paperwork said, "If you have any questions, call . . ." so I called and called and called. I could not reach this salesman either. I left voice-mails but he did not return my calls. Then I thought to try to contact him by email. That worked. He called me back to answer my questions.

I asked for more time on the second Saturday just in case I needed it. I also said that even though I was making an as-is offer, I still wanted the pre-delivery inspection and demonstration. He sent the corrected paperwork for the time limit for the test-drive. He did not change the original paperwork for the pre-delivery inspection but instead sent separate forms for this and a second credit-card charge. This meant that IN ADDITION to my $500 earnest money, they also charged an additional $360 to my bank card. Earlier, I had been told this would come out of the earnest money so this was a change but I went along with it.

Unfortunately, we did not discuss exactly how and when this inspection and demonstration would be done. When I tried to call to ask about this and some other things, guess what? I was not able to reach the salesman and he did not return my calls. grrrr!!

Okay, remember, this is one of the lower-priced units on their lot.

I got things set up for me to fly down. I arranged with a Dodge garage to let one of their mechanics accompany me on my test-drive. I set up an appointment with them and then attempted to solidify those arrangements with PPL MOTOR HOMES. (BTW - PPL will not allow the vehicle to be taken to another garage for a pre-purchase mechanic's inspection. They will only allow you to bring a mechanic to their lot to inspect the vehicle. This might present a problem for me.)

I called the salesman and some other person involved in the sale. I left a voice-mail message for each of them. Neither of them returned my call. I called each of them a few more times and then gave up and decided to send emails instead. I wrote one email message and sent it to both of them. I felt confident they would get back with me and I put the matter on the back burner and went to my daughter's.

Near the close of their business day, I took a moment to log on to my email account to see their response. There was NONE. They had not even acknowledge receipt of my email. This concerned me since I was scheduled to fly down there in two days.

I checked my cell-phone to see if I had missed any calls. NOPE.

I tried to call the salesman with no luck - even going through the receptionist. I was able to reach the woman who I guess handles the paperwork at the close of the deal. She said she had not gotten any voice-mail message from me. That bothered me since I had left a detailed message. She said she had gotten the email and printed it out but that the matters I mentioned in it were things the salesman would have to address. She said she had alerted the salesman to my email.

She and I talked about the inspection. I explained I did not want to use information from the one done for the previous customer but wanted a new inspection done at this time since I was paying for it. She told me a new inspection had been done. I asked when it had been done and she told me it was done the day before I signed the paperwork which would have been the day before I had paid for it.

Interesting.

She could not give me any information about the results. She told me she did not have access to that information and I would have to talk to the salesman about that. Of course, it was not possible for me to talk to the salesman because when she was able to touch base with him, "his computer was shut down and he was walking out the door." but he would call me first thing in the morning. (We shall see.)

I did call before I went to my daughter's and asked if they provided Car-Fax reports on the vehicles they sell. I was told by the person who answered the phone that they do not so I purchased my own Car-Fax report on this vehicle.

It showed that an axle had been replaced at 99,000 miles in 2006. This was not indicated on the form the owner filled out. She did say a rear tire had blown out, listing that event as the only "accident".

According to both the first salesman and the sales-manager I spoke with, PPL MOTOR HOMES had done $6000 or $7000 worth of work on the vehicle earlier this year -- either done it or had it done at the owner's expense. I was told this included a new transmission. Evidently, they do not report to Car-Fax because none of this work is shown on the report I bought.

This pretty much where I am at right now . . .

Waiting to see if the salesman calls me this morning . . .

I am a bit concerned that my bad case of: the "gottahaveitNOW's" is totally clouding my judgement. Will I be able to walk away if the mechanic gives it a thumbs-down? I sure hope so. Well, actually, I hope the mechanic gives it a thumbs-up! LOL

There is one small consolation for me -- no matter what, I am going to be making a pretty informed decision. That is a good thing, right?

~ ~ ~ ruwth ~ ~ ~



georgelesley

Minnesota

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Posted: 05/01/12 07:47am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If the generator does not work probably need a new carb, cost about $200. Installing it will cost considerably more. What was the $6500 work already done? That is a lot of work on an old machine. I would do as suggested above and not get into the "gotta have it now" mode and have emotion force you into what may be a bad decision.


George & Lesley
2013 Winnebago ERA 70A

ruwth

Oklahoma

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Posted: 05/01/12 07:50am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Cat Lady wrote:

Run, Forrest! Run!

gulp!
Handbasket wrote:

Each time, I've realized retroactively that I made a different error, more or less serious, in handling the buying process . . . Each time, it was at least partly a matter of giving in to the "gottahaveitNOW's".

gulp! gulp!
jetenbu wrote:

I have done business with PPL Motorhomes when I bought a motorhome from them. My experience was NOT anything like yours . . . I hope this helps.

It does calm my nerves a bit!!
ejbleendreeble wrote:

The feeling I have had with every visit to PPL is that I am dealing with an organization that is low-key, low-pressure, helpful in the extreme, and polite and courteous in dealing with its customers. I really like the place, and that is why I was so surprised when I read what the OP had to say about the experience of buying from a distance.

Your words are reassuring as well! I do hope I end up having a positive experience with PPL!

Thanks Everyone!


ruwth

Oklahoma

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Posted: 05/01/12 07:54am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

George,

One of my questions that I am waiting for an answer to is: "What work was done and do I get warranty information on that work?"

AND, I am really trying to resist that emotional pull!

I promise!

~ ~ ~ ruwth ~ ~ ~


mockturtle

WA

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Posted: 05/01/12 08:18am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jetenbu wrote:

DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT take a salesmans word for anything.
Always great advice. In fact, a lot of good advice here. Problems like this arise when you fall in love with a vehicle and make it obvious. Sounds like you had pretty well made up your mind to buy it. Personally, I think you could have gotten it for less, with almost 103K miles on it, but never mind that now. Most of us have done the same thing.

Personally, I've had good experiences with PPL but only from the parts department---never bought or sold an RV there.

BTW, the American Cruiser is a pretty good rig, I think, although the holding tanks are a bit skimpy. Don't worry about how you might have handled it--just pick it up and enjoy it. Happy trails!

* This post was edited 05/01/12 08:24am by mockturtle *


2000 Born Free 24RB Class C
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