2012 Polaris Ranger XP 800 Excessive Heat
On Saturday, June 11, I went down to my local Polaris dealer, Freedom Power Sports in Rogers, AR. The salesman was Daniel Bicknell, and he was a very congenial and sharp fellow. I test drove a couple of models and decided on the Polaris Ranger XP 800. Daniel then told me that on the day of purchase, I could add any accessories to the machine at dealer cost plus free installation. Wow, seemed like a great deal. After having a few accessories installed, I loaded up the machine and took it home. I remarked as we pulled out of Freedom Powersports that it was one of the most pleasant buying experiences that I had ever had; it was a fantastic presentation on Daniel's part. Alas, that is where the pleasantries ended.
That evening, I drove the machine up to one of my hayfields, and I regretted putting a windshield on the machine because it seemed to restrict airflow in the cab so much that it was oppressively hot, but I didn't yet realize where the heat was coming from. I just thought it was a really hot day. The next day I didn't drive the machine, but on Monday, I took my mother for a ride up to another hay field, and after four miles, the passenger seat was so hot that she had to get out. I had to drive back to the house, get the pickup and go back to get her.
So I called the dealership and ask for Daniel. I was a little bit surprised that he was immediately defensive, and, in what seemed almost like a rehearsed statement, he claimed that in all his years of selling Polaris, he had never had a customer complain about heat issues. So we set up an appointment to bring it in the next day. I kept thinking about how quickly he became defensive, and so that night I started digging on Google, and wow, there were lots and lots of complaints about the passenger seat getting so hot. I even found that there was a class action lawsuit against Polaris. Clearly, Daniel was lying about never having heard about this issue, and then I began to wonder what else Daniel had lied about.
Supposedly, all of the accessories I had installed were at dealer cost. So I went out online and checked the price of the Rigid lights I had purchased from him. They were the same price as I paid him, $199.00. I couldn't imagine that a dealer paid full price for these lights, and I picked up the phone and called Rigid Industries to see what my cost as a dealer would be on the lights. They said that depending upon the volume I sold, I would get at least a 25% discount off of the $199.00 retail price, and I would get considerably more if I moved a fairly high volume. I then remembered that Daniel had badmouthed Polaris' lights and steered me toward those by Rigid when I purchased them. I also found the same Bimini soft top that he sold me for the same amount he charged me. So he lied to me about getting the accessories at dealer cost.
The combination of his lies about the accessories and his initial defensiveness about the heat issue told me that they weren't going to be honest about the heat problem, and I figured that I was in for a battle. I just wanted to return the machine, which I had put ten miles on--four of which were added when I had to fetch a suitable vehicle for my passenger to ride in. When we arrived, Daniel gave me the same song about never having had this problem before. I then made it clear that I just wanted to return the machine, and that is when Daniel got the manager, Joe. He, too, was immediately defensive, and he was an ass, and I mean a REAL ass. During the course of the conversation, he said that he had only ever had three people with this problem on some older models. Really? So now three people have had the problem? Daniel said that he had never heard of such a problem. It was clear that they knew about this problem with the Polaris Ranger, and they were just stonewalling. There was no way that they were going to take the machine back. The conversation turned pretty unpleasant toward the end, and I loaded my machine and left. I now own a Polaris Ranger that seats three comfortably on a cold day, but six months out of the year, it is unusable with passengers.
Freedom Powersports in Rogers, AR is owned by the Williams family, who also own Bobcat of Northwest Arkansas and Williams Tractor in Fayetteville, AR, the latter of which is also a Polaris dealer. We have traded with them for many years. We have purchased multiple pieces of hay equipment from Williams Tractor, and I own two skidsteers which I have had serviced and repaired at Bobcat of Northwest Arkansas. Never again. We will no longer do business with the Williams family in any way. We are just about due for a new New Holland round baler, and guess where we won't be buying it?
Please don't trade with Freedom Powersports of Rogers, AR or Williams Tractor of Fayetteville, AR or Bobcat of Northwest Arkansas. They are incredibly dishonest and will not stand behind the products they sell. If you need a UTV, consider a John Deere Gator. John Deere will stand behind its product no matter what. Polaris, on the other hand, is in its fourth year of production of this UTV with this problem, despite many customer complaints and a class action lawsuit.
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