Walt Michaels RV sales
BELLEVILLE, MICHIGAN -- I want to post this as a word of warning to potential future buyers of RV's from Walt Michaels: DON'T. We have had such an upsetting and costly experience with Walt Michaels that I wouldn't buy a camper from these people again if they were the only people selling them. I would rather go without. And I love camping! It is very clear when you deal with this company that they are sued often. You have to sign an arbitration agreement and release of liability for every thing you want done there.
The first time we bought from them we purchased a beautiful, large camping trailer. The sales guy told us our Jeep Liberty could tow the 7000lb trailer with no problem! Luckily we suspected otherwise and looked in the owners manual. We bought another truck! Unfortunately this camper had a leak we didn't know about at the time of purchase, but noticed soon after. After 2 years of constant visits to the service department, it was still not repaired. Since the warranty was expiring and the walls were starting to rot, we were forced to trade the trailer in on a new one or we would be stuck with a usless camper we still owed money on that was unrepairable (according to them). Of course, no other dealer would even look at it as a trade, and we couldn't in good consciousness sell it on our own,so we were forced to trade it through Walt Michaels. They were only too happy to do this since we were then upside down on our loan. We traded it in on another camper that we do like very much, but had to finance a lot of extra money on. We purchased this second camper in the late winter. When we came for our walk through to teach us how to use the thing, after waiting for over 2 hours when we had an appointment, the technician didn't even know where the sewage drain was or most of the other accessories or how they worked! Luckily we were experienced enough RVrs to figure things out on our own.
The last time we dealt with Walt Michaels, we brought the camper in for a few little items that should have been covered under the warranty, since it was only a couple months old. The step was difficult to move, a drawer glide was broken, the door lock was sticky etc. No big deal. When we arrived, this woman came out to inspect the camper for exterior and interior damage. We had to sign a waiver saying that they were not responsible for any damage that occurred in their lot. Then after writing down what we wanted done, she insisted that we sign a form saying that we would pay for any repairs not covered under the warranty. No problem. Then we were told we would not be given any estimate of repairs, or be notified if any of the repairs weren't covered under the warranty. They would just fix it and we would have to pay for it regardless of how expensive the repair was. I refused. I had never had a repair done where they didn't give you an estimate first! I certainly wasn't going to give them free rein to charge me anything they wanted.
When I told her this didn't sound right to me, the woman told me I had to leave or she would call the police and have me forcibly removed from the lot! She was swearing at me and totally lost it! I was stunned! Trying to maintain my calm, I told her this is where I bought the camper and all I wanted was to have some warranty work done since they were the people who should cover the warranty. She told me I was now banned from ever getting any work done there and never to come back! When I told her this was crazy and I wanted to talk to the service manager, she told me she was the service manager! I told her I wanted to talk to whoever her boss was. I was led into the building and told that he would be in a meeting for over 2 hours and I could wait if I wanted to, but they threatened that if I said anything to anyone else they would call the police and have me arrested. I waited over 3 hours and no one ever came out to talk to me in spite of several inquiries to the secretary. I left and have never been back.
I have since taken my camper to Lloyd Bridges in Chelsea MI and they have always been very friendly, prompt and accurate in their repairs. Last time I was in I paid to have the Walt Michaels decal taken off the back of my camper, and the staff was saying how they are always getting unhappy Walt Michaels customers in their shop and showroom. Some of the stories they have to tell make my experience seem almost fun by comparison. However, I will tell you it was not fun. By selling us the first flawed camper and mysteriously never being able to repair the leak, we were roped into lots of extra repair bills and another camper sale with no ability to negotiate a fair price. They conned a lot of extra money from us.