Warning: Keep in mind that a big business does not always mean better service. Camping World is beginning to bully the little guy and now shun the independent dealers who have helped make the "Good Sam" name viable and synonymous with service. It is always nice to see a bully on the block. When it comes time for you to purchase an RV or to service your existing one: Do you want to do business with a bully, who has no interest in their customers or their problems, and wants to just continue to make $ no matter what, the big business way? Or the guy who has their customer's best interest in heart, and commits to their business the American Way.
Check out the article below for the latest bullying news:
Affinity Group shuts out competitive RV dealers
Greg Gerber posted on February 02, 2011 15:18 Article Rating
VENTURA, Calif. -- Affinity Group today changed its policies and will prohibit competitive RV dealerships from being named "Good Sam Authorized Dealers," RV Daily Report has learned.
In addition, Affinity Group will also no longer allow any competitive dealerships to list products on the company's RVSearch.com website. Only Affinity-owned Camping World dealerships will be allowed to call themselves "Good Sam Authorized" and list units on RVsearch.com, sources told RV Daily Report.
A message to Affinity Group CEO Marcus Lemonis has not yet been returned.
According to sources within the organization, the announcement was made today.
For years, independent RV dealerships have been able to partner with Good Sam Club by becoming authorized dealerships. Dealers would often submit names of new customers to Good Sam Club so they could tap into benefits like discounted stays at RV parks and campgrounds.
Now access to that data will be restricted only to Camping World dealerships. And the companies that helped build the brand will be excluded from reaping any benefit, one source said.
RV Daily Report published a story Jan. 19 reporting that Lemonis had taken control of the company. At that time, sources told RV Daily Report that Good Sam Club would be reorganized into an Affinity-only entity available only to Affinity-owned Camping World stores. To read that story, click here.
According to Good Sam's website, "The Good Sam Authorized Dealer Network has partnered with the BEST dealers to bring you peace of mind during the purchase of a new or used RV, as well as for parts and accessories! Every Good Sam Authorized Dealer has passed a rigorous Good Sam inspection to ensure it meets our strict quality standards!"
"It is apparent that Marcus Lemonis is circling all his wagons around the Camping World brand," said one source. "The strategy could make Camping World a bigger threat to other RV dealers, or open the door for competitive groups to push through to offer similar services to dealers."
RVsearch.com has more than 20,000 new and used RVs offered for sale on its website. It is not known if units from dealers competing with Camping World will be removed from the site, however, Affinity Group will not allow new dealers to sign up to list units on the site.
One individual contacting RV Daily Report today attempted to register as a dealer and was told all new dealer registrations are "suspended."
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