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Tipping and After Hours Work
This subject appears on the forum from time to time and thus the purpose of this document. If one reads the various threads submitted by our forum members concerning the tipping of those technicians or others who work on their RV’s they fall into the following categories. Bottom Line – It really is an individual decision, with no right or wrong answer.
One thing I would suggest to all, one can do a lot better by following the Golden Rule at Red Bay than they can by using a Flame Thrower approach.
If one takes note, most are good Christian folks who don’t cotton much to those who use foul language, especially when dealing with those who are repairing the mistakes caused by perhaps others. Of course, it simple “Pat on the Back”, A farewell Handshake, and a positive comment (Actual Name of Technicians) on the final paperwork form goes a long way towards making their day. While I don’t know for sure, I do suspect that the technicians somehow are graded or their bonuses are based on “How well they treat their customers” and the customer survey should indicate that. Of course, if you don’t feel you received the service you deserve, by all means let it be known. I always stop in and let Wade Humphries know how they (by name) performed. They work for him.
After Hours Work On the Runway
When I first started going to Red Bay for work on our motorhome, if they did not finish your repairs up, you were allowed to stay inside the shop all night, and they would finish you up the next day. Likewise, if you wanted something extra done by the technicians, you could make arrangements to pay them on their own time to perform the work. Thus, they were also allowed to use Tiffin facilities and tools to perform the work.
This practice however, as usually happens was abused both by a few customers who saw this as an opportunity to steal from Tiffin by climbing the parts department fence at night for a little moonlight scavenger hunt. Or rampaging thru the repair bays, taking anything that they thought they had to have without benefit of paying for it. So, Tiffin finally installed cameras to see when and by whom these unauthorized night requisitions were being made. Of course, this also gets a little touchy if you have valued customers taking things. How do you politely handle the situation without alienating the customers? Tiffin chose to do it by eliminating the practice of allowing Customers to occupy their coaches within the shop area at night and the technicians from working on them using Tiffin facilities and tools.
Now, should a customer desire some extra work or installations made, the particular technician involved is allowed to work on the customers coach at the far end of the runway, off Tiffin shop property. Thus the terms “Far end of the Runway.
After Hours Work:
Work performed (but not limited to) at T.F.E.O.R. after hours by off-duty technicians
I am pretty positive, that if you have a something you want done, a technician or former technician, will be glad to accommodate you for the right price.
How The Process Works:
There are really several ways to initiate the process. I will advise on those we have used and our successes. There are several Technicians that do extra (moonlighting) work after hours on the “F.E.O.R.”, I suspect most do, however I am sure there are also some that do not.
First – One can ask at the campground office for names of technicians that do work, and the particular work they do, after hours. I suggested last time I was there, they ought to have a book with pictures of the work they did laying in the office for customers to look at. Whether or not, this was done can be ascertained by asking the campground hosts.
Second – If you notice work being performed some evening, drive down and talk to the coach owner or the technician performing the work.
Third – Ask the technician who is doing the work in the bay on your coach, he knows.
Fourth – If you know someone who has had a technician do something on their rig, or you notice something different they have on their coach, you like and don’t have, ask the coach owner, if one of the Red Bay technicians did the work. If not, there may be one that will, ask around.
Fifth – As you are walking thru the service bay, ask a few technicians, they will direct you to those that do the work or to a particular technician whose expertise is in the area you are searching for.
Sixth – Raise your question on the forum, I am sure someone will respond who has had that particular item put on by someone at Red Bay. If not, they can tell you who to contact.
From that point, you and the particular technician come to agreement on a price for the work and a suitable time. Payment is at the end of the work and is usually in the form of cash or check.
I had our entire coach touched up and a couple of mystery dents and dings taken out recently, by a former Tiffin Painter, who has left Tiffin and gone out on his own.
We spent the night in his paint shop, while he worked on our motorhome in to the dark thirty hours. I might add, he did a great job, and I thought he was reasonable on pricing.
Usually, the technician had me purchase the materials necessary ahead of time, and they do the install. Most of the time the parts purchases can be performed right at the customer parts desk. If Tiffin has it in the parts inventory, I am fairly confident they will sell it to you for the right price. Keep in mind that if you are an Allegro Club Member, tell them at the time you are getting the part, and they will sell them to you at dealer cost.
One word of advice, if you are thinking about having some tile laid, your choices are limited if you wait till you get to Red Bay. The nearest Lowes or Home Depot is 45 miles away. So you may want to think about making the arrangements for doing the work prior to going to Red Bay, and picking up the necessary quantity of the tile you prefer before your trip. Most of the technicians have cell phones and can call you after they get off work to review your particular project and advise you on what to get.
We thought about making a tile change, but after searching the area including what Tiffin sold, decided against it, solely because we couldn’t find the “right” tile. The same would be true if one was removing carpet or tile and laying wood floors down.
Submitted by Mike Sundberg - 3/03/07
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