September 8, 2012

Rhino Shelter...a tale of customer service...


So with the renovation rumbling on and me about to clear out the basement for a full gut down there and me looking for a way to relieve some of the storage pressure that has built up in the garage and me needing long-term storage for the tractor, I decided it was time to get one of those portable garages.

Why do this and not smash together a shed in a weekend? Well basically because I can put it wherever I want to and I don't have to pay any taxes on it. There. Done.

So anyway, before the purchase, I did my research and it came down to Rhino Shelter and ShelterLogic as the two premier companies in the arena. I went with Rhino Shelter and I'll tell you why....then I'll tell you what happened once I placed the order....


Why I chose Rhino Shelter:

1. A buddy has one and it has held up great over the years. He uses it as a workshop and it has not only survived many brutal Northeast winters, but also his daily abuse (he tends to be hard on things).

2. ShelterLogic garages have a logo on the side. It's not a huge logo, but it's a logo. I'm looking to protect my possessions, not create a billboard for your company. I don't fault them for adding the logo, but I always shy away from that sort of thing if I can. It's just a personal hang-up of mine, but it counts just the same.

3. Rhino Shelter exclusively uses galvanized poles in their garages. Everything I read indicates that that is the way to go.

And lastly...

4. I read in a number of places that ShelterLogic has not so good customer service. I didn't read anything positive or negative about Rhino Shelter, but in at least three places I saw that ShelterLogic got poor grades in this area. Now, I want to make it clear that I don't have any first-hand knowledge of this. Maybe they have great customer service. I don't know. Maybe the reviews I read are disgruntled ex-employees, I don't know. But while doing my research, this is what I discovered. So, even with a grain of salt, it was in the back of my mind when I made the decision.

It's this fourth item that I want to elaborate on.

So I ordered the garage from Rhino Shelter and within a day got an email from the owner of the company telling me that the tent I wanted was back ordered six weeks and he wanted to upgrade my tent to a larger size, so that I could get the shelter asap. So over the course of four or so emails and a couple days time, the result was that he very happily and very willfully was going to indeed send a larger tent to me (with no cost upgrade). It was obvious that he would not accept me having to wait a month and a half for the tent and that he was willing to work with me to find a solution that I was not only willing to take, but one that I was excited about as well.

It was seriously good customer service and in stark contrast to the "FU, you get what you get" attitude that I deal with all the time in bookstores, service stations, restaurants, lumber yards you name it. Rhino Shelter could have easily said, "sorry pal, you've got to wait six weeks." And I would have probably accepted it and stewed and been pissed off for six weeks wondering the whole time how if I'd gone with ShelterLogic I would probably have my garage by now. But no, Rhino Shelter's attitude was, "this dude needs a tent! He ordered one of our tents, so let's work with him to get him a tent pronto." And they did. It was great.

Like we said, this was very different from the apathetic fog that we see hanging over most customer service and sales desks. We thought it was worth a post. That's all.

Rhino Shelters at Rhino Shelter and Amazon

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at September 8, 2012 8:05 PM
Recent Comments

The worst piece of garbage ever is the car pocket
It is not waterproof!
There junk cost me over $1000 to fix the rust and mildew it created
STAY AWAY and buy anything else

Posted by: david at June 28, 2014 4:19 PM

I would like to offer feedback on our no so good experience with Shelterlogic. We bought the 12 x 24 x 8, the first couple winters here in Mass were ok. After that the cover went downhill fast. The shelter started leaking across the top bar and we removed snow every time from the shelter with our roof rake very gently. We then placed a piece of clear plastic on the inside so the water would run down the sides and not on the vehicle. after that the cover only lasted 2 more years until it was falling apart. We have been using tarps for the last couple years on the frame that is still in good shape. It is time to get a Rhino Shelter now.

Posted by: cathy at June 16, 2014 2:22 PM

What you heard about shelter logic having lousy customer service is correct. It wasn't always that way. I had a very good experience with them several years back, but twice since then I was on hold forever and ended up leaving my phone number (as requested by them). Neither time did I receive a return call. And the reason I was calling was because the fabric ripped in the wind.
Do not expect a ShelterLogic structure to last more than a couple years without replacing the fabric.

Posted by: Irv at October 16, 2013 12:19 PM
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