Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
While traveling north this past spring from Florida, we stopped at a Camping World store in Grand Rapids, MI to buy a few things for the motorhome. While my husband was purchasing a new toilet and plumbing fittings, I signed up to win a brand new truck. While driving just outside Glacier National Park in August, my phone rang. It was a guy telling me I won the truck. I gave the phone to my husband who was given the same impression. As my always suspicious husband drilled the guy with questions, he soon found out we were one of only five people to have a key that might start the truck. If our key didn't start the truck we would be assured of at least two other prizes that ranged from a trip to Disney World, to a flat screen TV. The caller said he was trying to wrap the contest up by the end of August and would like us to come in and try our key as soon as possible. Again, my suspicious husband went online and found out the contest is still ongoing and involves sales people from an RV Park in Michigan trying to sell memberships. I want to call Camping World and ask them if they think so little of their customer base that they will lend us out to dishonest sharks like these. My husband tells me to forget it. He has seen this going on in the RV world for twenty years and says you just have to know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em. I still want to give someone a piece of my mind. Let me know what you think.
--No Truck in Traverse City
Dear No Truck:
It can be upsetting. I have seen campground membership and time share plans take a lot of unsuspecting people's good money over the years. The industry has a real black eye and from my perspective not a well regulated transaction. It wouldn't hurt to call Camping World and let them know your experience. It may control what they allow in the future. I know there are company stores and franchised stores, which might make a difference on what they can peddle to the public. I have had nothing but good service from Camping World stores over the years and would be surprised if they were not as upset as you over this matter. You might also want to contact your state raffle licensing board and report the behavior. I was once told I won a cherry pie at a cake walk. Before they explained to me that there was a tie, I had already eaten the pie. The same thing might work with a truck. If you get involved with any high pressure sales, always say, "I'll be back." Every high pressure salesperson knows that there is no Santa Claus, no Easter Bunny, no Tooth Fairy and no "Be Back."
--Keep Smilin', Dr. R.V. Shrink