I met Randy because we are both living at the same RV resort, and we both have dogs. His dog is an ugly little pug and is old, has dandruff, and his tongue always hangs about two inches out of his mouth. Although, my dogs are not necessarily beautiful themselves.
I have a difficult time being around Randy. Not because he has an ugly little pug. Rather, my wife happens to also be fighting the same rare form of leukemia. It is hard to hear about the challenges he is experiencing, and how it relates to my personal situation. Because of this, I tend to look out to see if he is out and about before heading out so that I can avoid talking with him.
One night, while taking my dogs for their evening walk, I met Wayne. He is a new neighbor who was out walking what I thought was his dog. However, after a moment, I realized that the dog was actually Randy’s ugly little pug. Once I realized this, I looked over the shoulder and happened to see that Randy’s Monaco was wide open but had no lights on. Curious, I had to ask, “What’s up with Randy?”
Wayne proceeded to tell me about Randy’s current condition and that the past couple of days had been hard with more transfusions and chemo which left Randy feeling worse. Confused, I asked, “Why is his door open and all of the lights are off? Is he at the hospital?”
I found out from Wayne that Randy hadn’t had power in his coach since Saturday. Being that it was summer in Arizona at the time and it had been 110° F since that Saturday, I realized that it wasn’t necessarily safe for Randy to be living in his RV in its current state. As much of my career has been working at Camping World as a Master Technician, I was moved to action.
I went to talk to Randy to find out more of what was going on. First, he had called the RV Park’s maintenance and they were able to verify that there was power at his RV site. Then, Randy had a mobile technician (the first of three) inspect his RV. The technician told him to purchase four new 6-Volt batteries. When that didn’t work, the second mobile technician came and suggested a new transfer switch should fix the issue. Unfortunately, the new transfer switch also didn’t work. Finally, a third mobile technician came and had him order a new inverter which would take a couple of days to get it in.
After hearing his experience with all of this, I asked Randy if he would mind if I looked at Monaco once there was light in the morning to see if I could find what was the problem. When I arrived that next morning at 6 a.m. with meter in hand, Randy was waiting. I verified that the power at the batteries was good, verified that there was still power from the pedestal, and verified that the new transfer switch and old inverter were all working. After this, I asked Randy some additional questions to learn a little more about the problem. As it turns out, Randy almost fell out of the door that Saturday morning and the power hadn’t been working since.
That one simple conversation led me directly to the answer. When Randy fell, he had inadvertently hit the battery disconnect switch located by the door. I turned that switch back on, everything in Randy’s Monaco worked great again.
So, why do I share this story here?
Randy went a few days in unbearable heat, while going through a difficult round of chemo which required more and more blood transfusions to even feel decent. Each time one of the three mobile technicians came; they charged a fee. Plus, each of them suggested repairs that cost additional money (i.e. Four 6-Volt batteries run approximately $600, a transfer switch is about $150, and a replacement inverter is around $2000). This doesn’t include the additional labor to install the new parts.
All that was needed was for any one of the four previous people (park maintenance and 3 technicians) to have a simple conversation with the Customer and ask a few basic questions. With taking a couple of minutes to ask the basic questions such as, “When did the problem start?” or “What were you doing when you first noticed the problem?” any one of them could have diagnosed the problem as quickly as I was able to.
As for Randy…
He was very happy to have power which helped him to have a better day. A month later, Randy was such a nice guy that he paid all three of the mobile technicians for their time and paid for all of the replacement parts because he didn’t wish to battle or place blame them, see Randy is such a polite guy, it would have made him uncomfortable to point out their mistakes. He is now doing well, and we now meet at the dog park every day with Ruby, his ugly little pug.