Monday morning, 7:00 am, we were lined up behind bay door number 7 after waiting 6 days it was finally our turn to be seen in the service center. The large bay door slid open and I fired up the motorhome and drove her into the bay stopping when the service techs told me too.
I get out and the techs asked if I had a list of things for them to look over. Odd, I thought, as I had given one to the service center. Nonetheless I showed them the list and we went over each item. Then they asked if I had ordered the windows that were going to be replaced… “why yes I did” Now I was getting a bit worried about the quality of the work I was about to receive…
They found the windows and started to take out the old ones and so I went to the lounge for some coffee. A little over three hours later our motorhome was done and all but one item was finished. The remaining item would have to be done another day and was not so critical as the other items were anyhow. After inspecting the workmanship I have to admit I was very impressed with the quality of work performed by the techs.
I went to pay the bill and asked Tiffin if they ever got any clarification on whether the windows would be covered in any fashion on warranty. I had inquired about this over a month ago and had no definitive response. I was told the best they could do was offer the windows at cost which saved us about 100.00 bucks so even though it wasn’t what we had hoped we saved a few bucks.
Tuesday morning we had another appointment with Bay Diesel to have some preventative maintenance work done and to have our brakes looked at after they had overheated when we went through Birmingham Alabama. I spent a lot of time with the techs at Bay Diesel and they taught me a lot about the mechanics of my motorhome. When everything had been finished the owner chatted with me and told me there was an ABS modulator that was touchy and may go out in the future. He said he had contacted Freightliner and was trying to get them to pay for the part but they refused. He informed me that it wasn’t necessary to fix it now and to just wait till it fails since there was nothing to worry about. When I asked why not do it now he told me the part alone was $2300.00 YIKES!!!
So we paid the bill for the great work performed and the wonderful diesel mechanic education I received and prepared to leave Red Bay… And the we got a phone call from Tiffin. It turns out my request about the windows made its way all the way to the owner and founder of Tiffin Motorhomes, Mr. Bob Tiffin.
I read about many stories involving Bob Tiffin going way above what was necessary to make a customer happy but assumed most of these stories were a wee bit fictional… Well it was my turn to get in on this act! It appeared that Bob Tiffin told the service folks to give us a call and tell me that they were going to give a refund for the cost of the windows we just had installed – $690!!! WOW!!! We are now part of the generosity of Bob Tiffin who had been the pinnacle of Customer Success at Red Bay in the past before he took a lesser role in the management.
To summarize our Red Bay experience I have to say that:
- when getting service at Red Bay you will enter the twilight zone known as Tiffin Time
- Tiffin Time is another way to say you will have to wait around a lot before seeing anyone remotely affiliated with the service center
- When first seen you will be told you are in a queue to be serviced and again you enter Tiffin Time
- After patiently waiting your turn you will eventually end up in a service bay where you will get top notch work performed by very skilled workers
- What may be lacking in customer service up front is more than compensated by the fact that the work you have performed is of very high quality
- You simply must have mechanical work performed at Bay Diesel if ever in this area
We were so glad to have the work done and so glad to be out of Red Bay that we left immediately after our PM work at Bay Diesel. We are now about 130 miles southeast of Red Bay at a gem of a campground in Mississippi called Lake Tiak-O'Khata. We have full hookups, cable TV on a lake for 19 bucks a night… think we will stay a couple of days…