Before diving into the headline topic about angry Clayton Homes customers, it is important to note for accuracy and balance that there are millions of Americans that are blessed and happy living in a pre-HUD Code mobile home or a post-HUD Code manufactured home. The manufactured home business, like any profession, could be oversimplified into so-called “white hat” or ethically minded companies, as well as “black hats” that may lack expected standards. As mainstream media reports have documented, satisfaction and dissatisfaction can occur with higher cost conventional housing as well as in lower cost and more affordable manufactured homes. One important difference? As reports linked here and here inform readers, is that with a new manufactured homes, there are consumer safeguards available that do not have a comparable service with conventional housing. Against that backdrop, sadly, the most read article for several months on the Mobile, Manufactured, and Modular Home Living News website is our exposé called “The Case Against Clayton Homes.” The story that follows about “Edith B” began like numbers of others. She was unhappy about her Clayton Home service. She did an online search, found that report, and the rest of the tale to this point goes as follows.
Edith told MHProNews about how “hurtful” and “concerning” her situation is with Clayton Homes. In an email, she claims to have been treated “like Crap” and that they “continue to disrespect me.” Her “laundry list” of complaints includes serious sounding items, such as “Leaking in the wall.” Edith said a service man tried “to fix but as of now I hear the dripping when I take a bath.” She also claims that water is “Pouring from underneath my house.” Her central air duct was “disconnected,” and asserting that Clayton’s repair team never fixed it. So she hired a heating and air company to do that for her.
This writer gave Edith two broad but seemingly applicable pieces of advice. One was to go to Pissed Consumer and lodge her complaint. Pissed Consumer sent Edith B and MHLivingNews a timely response that said the following.
“Edith, we’re sorry to hear about your issue with Clayton Homes. Unfortunately, there are over 600 consumer reports about this company on our website.
We’ll be happy to help you voice your issue in a video interview with us. You can talk about your issue with Clayton Homes, tell what the company did wrong, how you prefer your issue to be resolved, and give some tips to other consumers.
This video will be publicly shared on our social media pages and on our website. We believe that consumers should be heard by the companies.”
My reply to Alison at Pissed Consumer and Edith read as follows.
“Alison, thank you. Edith, while there are no guarantees, I’ve seen others get resolution through similar complaints. In my experience, I would suggest you accept their kind offer as well as contact the HUD dispute resolution program either directly through HUD’s Office of Manufactured Housing Programs or via your state’s housing department that deals with manufactured home issues. Kindly keep me posted, best wishes to all.
It takes time and there are expenses involved in running any significant website, producing videos, having staff, etc. Every firm or professional has to navigate how they monetize their service. That said, the Pissed Consumer website says that they get 3.5 million visits monthly. They cover a lot more than our manufactured home industry, as complaints about conventional housing companies are found there too, among so many other kinds of consumer concerns.
So, there is a wide audience that hears and see those stories about their woes with Clayton Homes, or any other company.
At no cost to us, Pissed Consumer teamed up with MHLivingNews to do the two videos and reports shown above and below. Those reports are meant to educate consumers that are shopping for a manufactured home. Those reports, and the items linked from them, give practical shopping tips to consumers who have not yet purchased a manufactured home. They also gives insights on what can be done when there are consumer complaints that are not properly resolved by a seller like Clayton Homes.
To be clear, MHLivingNews and our MHProNews sister site have not claimed that everything that Clayton Homes does is evil or wrong. But there are numerous concerns that appear to be backed by evidence. Given repeated chances to address those issues – as recently as this morning – Clayton Homes, their attorneys, and previously a Berkshire Hathaway board member and attorney – have all declined to address them. So too has the arguably Clayton Homes dominated Manufactured Housing Institute.
The report that Edith B and so thousands of others monthly are finding about Clayton Homes and their affiliated Berkshire Hathaway owned lending units is the one linked below.
That should be read in the context of recent research by Samuel Strommen at Strommen Law who has called what certain firms, including Clayton Homes, is doing in our industry “a Rube Goldberg Machine of Human Suffering.” See that report linked below.
New conventional housing customers may spend hundreds thousands of dollars and have similar issues, but without a dispute resolution process. Who says? Mainstream news media reports link the one linked below.
The Pissed Consumer hub on Clayton Homes is linked below. “The overall rating of the company is 1.5 [stars] and consumers are mostly dissatisfied.”
As previously disclosed, Clayton’s own rating system apparently reveals a significant number of people who would not recommend their company.
To end on a happier and balancing note that ties into my advice to Edith B and others like her is this video with former HUD Office of Manufactured Housing Programs Administrator Bill Matchneer.
Bill’s insights balance out from a long-time federal regulator’s point-of-view the realities which are largely positive.
But when there is a problem with a new manufactured home that is under warranty, it is good to know that there are options besides hiring an attorney. ##
That’s a wrap on this installment of “News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Affordable housing, manufactured homes, reports, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary. Third-party images or content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.) (See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them.)
By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHLivingNews.com.
Tony earned a journalism scholarship and earned numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing. For example, he earned the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied history and business management. He’s a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com. This article reflects the LLC’s and/or the writer’s position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.
Connect on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
Recent and Related Reports:
The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which can be accessed by clicking on them.