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Thread: No Forum Access from GDRV4Life Website

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TucsonJim View Post
    Dan - Emily is still out of the office, but responded to me this morning. Her response written in confidence to me, so I will not direct quote her. But here are the salient points:

    GDRV is examining it's social media footprint and wants to make sure that owners understand that there are forums and social media sites which are not officially owned or endorsed by them. One of the ways they do that is by removing links from their official sites to unofficial sites such as our forum.

    It's my guess that their corporate attorneys are involved. And I'm not surprised that the link was broken. Emily did state that for the time being, they will continue to monitor and respond when an owner has an issue. But in my opinion, an owner would be much better served by contacting GD customer support directly vs. trying to get a response in a forum.

    Jim
    Thank you, much Jim......appreciate the update. As one of my lodging investment partners often mentioned when we were discussing higher level issues, I suspect (as you stated) that all this is "above Emily's pay grade" and various leaders are quite involved.

    With all that this forum and group of wonderful folks have done to support GDRV and their phenomenal growth I hope they carefully consider this forum's significant past and current contributions to their success and the obvious impact going forward.

    There have been many wonderful relationships built between GDRV folks and we owners and other stakeholders. It may be fair to say that this is highly unusual in the RV industry and the mutual support of forum has had very much to do with this. I sure hope this continues........and even gets better.

    Dan
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  2. #12
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    Just my newbie thoughts. GD participated in this forum as a good will gesture and has continued to do so until now, knowing there is no commercial activity (think advertising) taking place here that might not coordinate with their internal plans. Now that the site is in corporate hands that also support other manufacturers, this alliance needs to be considered more carefully. So, yeah, the lawyers are in the middle. They will likely recommend a more stand-off position but not total withdrawal and I think that is what we'll see.

    I would suspect that Emily or someone else will continue to respond to a polite inquiry from one of the mods here as those relationships already exist.
    Last edited by JColeman; 01-03-2019 at 04:10 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TucsonJim View Post
    Dan - Emily is still out of the office, but responded to me this morning. Her response written in confidence to me, so I will not direct quote her. But here are the salient points:

    GDRV is examining it's social media footprint and wants to make sure that owners understand that there are forums and social media sites which are not officially owned or endorsed by them. One of the ways they do that is by removing links from their official sites to unofficial sites such as our forum.

    It's my guess that their corporate attorneys are involved. And I'm not surprised that the link was broken. Emily did state that for the time being, they will continue to monitor and respond when an owner has an issue. But in my opinion, an owner would be much better served by contacting GD customer support directly vs. trying to get a response in a forum.

    Jim

    I kinda figured that's what GD was up to when they came out with their own forum. Now they can control any negativity that is posted. And by ignoring everyone else, it tamps down interest from owners to participate in outside social media as GD will not be responding. I for one won't be playing in their sandbox.
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    Quote Originally Posted by minnow101 View Post
    I kinda figured that's what GD was up to when they came out with their own forum. Now they can control any negativity that is posted. And by ignoring everyone else, it tamps down interest from owners to participate in outside social media as GD will not be responding. I for one won't be playing in their sandbox.
    Their own forum? Where is that? GDRV4Life is an "experience" site, and not in any way a forum. A while ago, I tried to count up the number of GD groups on Facebook, and it was a huge number - and now I'm sure even bigger. An impossible situation for them, each group (just like this forum) has those that feels GD is obligated to monitor all user posts. They've tried, but it is very understandable that they just can't keep up on all of it. I too hope this forum makes the cut for continued monitoring/responding. But there is a limit to how many hours per day they can have staff reading forums/facebook groups looking for individual items they should address. Just makes sense to pull back somewhat, and encourage the use of the established formal customer support system.
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    The GD4 Life FB page i’m seeing has many people posting comments on. Just like a forum.
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    Site Sponsor sande005's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by minnow101 View Post
    The GD4 Life FB page i’m seeing has many people posting comments on. Just like a forum.
    Sorry, used the word "forum" in a more strict sense - thought you meant a web based site similar to this one. FB Groups are a mess compared to this. But yes, GD does have their own "Grand Design RV Owners" group, along with the GD4Life group. And I just counted - there are about 75 Facebook groups with "Grand Design" in the name, that appear to be about the RV manufacturer, as opposed to other organizations using the same name. Probably there are several others that have "GD" or some other abbreviation in the name, also. Just an impossibility to monitor them all. I used to belong to 3, and have dropped them from my feed (but occasionally check in) - just too much time for me to spend my retirement years following just those. Can't imagine (no pun, sorry) subscribing to all 75....
    Horse is out of the barn for GD to try to control what is posted. All they can do is focus on what they can.
    Last edited by sande005; 01-04-2019 at 04:47 PM.
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    As a clarification, the Grand Design Owners Forum on FB is not run by GD. Although GD did host a meeting at the Elkhart headquarters for many of the GD centric FB group administrators about what was being discussed on these FB pages. It was shortly thereafter(especially on the Grand Design Owners Forum page) where several Owners that were critical of GD on build quality and/or service were summarily booted off the page.
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    It's hard enough to get all the tasks done in your day job much less monitor hundreds of channels for mentions. There is a point when the expense of going out to all the various corners of the internet outweigh the value of a simple inbound communication plan. Looks like GD can route people to the right resources by following the right links here:
    https://www.granddesignrv.com/shopping-tools/contact-us

    That probably routes incoming requests to the right people on their end to get answers. Basically, it helps the company to have a process and for customers to follow that process. It probably helps in ways that most people don't think about. For example, if someone requests support in a FB Group or here, you have to identify that request and then how do you follow it through to completion. With an inbound request made from a form you can track the inbound lead, the communications back and forth and track the ticket in a system so you can follow it through to completion. There are probably escalation processes in place, how to hand a customer from one type of resource to another, etc.

    Another issue that impacts forums is that a lot of social media monitoring solutions connect with, monitor and allow you to reply via one simple interface. Unfortunately these tools often cover the big social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, instagram, etc. Forums are often overlooked as sources with those tools because we are too niche. So if a social media person is monitoring the internet with a tool, that would mean overlooking a forum. Not really an excuse but I do believe this impacts forums.

    It seems like participation here has been higher or slower here during different eras. That's probably just a natural thing with employee turnover, different/evolving perspectives by management and time available, etc. We have seen it with other brands on other forums. It does not mean they don't care about every customer or that they don't care about this community. I'm sure they do.

    Based on the communications I've received they have some heart burn about user confusion, ie. don't want users to think this site is officially operated by GD. I sent them Chris' email each new member gets that clearly states the forums are privately owned. Holidays put a delay in communications but we are working to resolve any concerns.
    Last edited by Andy R; 01-05-2019 at 04:13 PM. Reason: Typo

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy R View Post
    Based on the communications I've received they have some heart burn about user confusion, ie. don't want users to think this site is officially operated by GD. I sent them Chris' email each new member gets that clearly states the forums are privately owned. Holidays put a delay in communications but we are working to resolve any concerns.
    Thanks, for the update Andy. I suspect you (along with many of us) think there may be more to it but if not this seems relatively easy for you (and us if we can help in any way) to resolve.

    The very active participation we had from GDRV "Janice" back in the early days was tremendous. Heck, even one of the founders and owners (Bill Fenech) was fairly active early on where he and I and several other folks had some communications. Both we on the forum and GDRV saw the benefits to not only being responsive to owners and other stakeholders but in improving the experience, product, and industry. This three legged stool is (was) the foundation and key objective to Chris........good stuff !

    Direct communications with and responsiveness to owners is a cornerstone of the GDRV business model and a strategic advantage. This forum has been an important tool to achieve that long before the various Facebook sites were even a gleam in the GDRV marketing eye. There is no reason this value between GDRV and this forum cannot be elevated.

    Let us know if any of us can help in any way.

    Dan
    Dan & Carol
    2014 303RLS Reflection #185 (10/2013 build)
    2012 Silverado LTZ Crew Duramax 2500HD
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