Originally Posted by bearmtnmartin
I have a JCB backhoe. I am not very brand conscious and I shop the the best deal from the best dealer. But I have always been surprised at how little the various brands seem to care about customer retention, and how poor their quality control is. It is not like a piece of excavating equipment is as complex as a car or pickup, and for the most part the layout and systems do not change for a long time. But they can't seem to get it right, and they don't seem capable of making improvements over a model run. On the whole, My JCB has been pretty good, but there have still been a number of issues, and they absolutely refuse to take ownership of them. Its frustrating. Maybe the reason I change brands so often is that they make no effort to retain me as a customer. Cat was the worst. The message that came across to me was "we are the best, this is the machine and this is the price. If you don't buy it someone else will."
I agree that it is surpising when a new machine has the issues they seem to have at times. I have had a very small glance into the thought proccess involved when trying to get an OEM to make changes in product. Its huge, even when its obvious improvements need to be made. Things are brought up like the necessary changes to parts inventory, updates to all service and owners manuals yada, yada. Things you would not think about, matter to bean counters. While one would think that fielding the best product possible would be job one, I think its really fielding the best product for the least amount of money and one that yields the greatest profit potential. Which I get, an OEM, like us, are in it to make money. Obviously though there comes a point of diminished returns, when cheap skate ways destroy the product.
I have a nearly two decade relationship with the same dealer and the same OEM. I treated well by both and it would take a serious breakdown on someones end for that to require a change. I think to some extent the dealer and the OEM have to know your also committed to them. It cuts both ways. As to CAT, they seem to cater to the large contractor judging by what the smaller contractors seem to say. The more you buy, the more pull you seem to have. I think that can vary by dealership, but overall that seems to be their philosophy.
Reference the JCB in question. I really think JCB will step up as long as everything is as its been laid out here.