Advocacy Wars

Those who follow the CCA group and page will know I’ve been a vocal critic of the lemon caravans & rv’s in Aus Facebook group for quite some time now. I think the way some in the group manipulate information to keep members angry and contributing, target manufacturers or brands for personal reasons, and the complete lack of transparency are just a few issues I find unpalatable. Of course this isn’t news to anyone who has been a member of CCA for a while, I’ve voiced my opinion a few times when I thought I had a different perspective to offer.

And so I will again.

RV Daily recently published an article with some tips to avoid buying a lemon caravan (I’ll pop a link to it below). Of course this isn’t the first time the digital magazine has published an article critical of certain sections of the industry, they have been a voice in the consumer advocacy space on previous occasions.

So what was different on this occasion? Well I’m glad you asked. Some folk over at lemon caravans took exception to RVD voicing an opinion on lemon caravans. It would appear some at lemon think the whole advocacy gig surrounding lemon caravans is their turf, and woe betide anyone who enters uninvited.

And herein lies the problem.

Instead of applauding the digital mag for their article on how to avoid buying a lemon caravan, some went to town. The author of the article was accused of plagiarism, the magazine ridiculed for not consulting the Lemon group, and to top it all off, some over there apparently think they are the only source of credible information when it comes to lemon caravans and no one else should involve themselves in the lemon group’s core business.

Now one would think any organisation, entity or group providing information aimed at protecting consumers would be lauded for their efforts, especially one who relies on the industry for advertising revenue. And for the most part RVD were lauded. They were lauded by consumers, hungry for relevant information to inform their purchases. They were lauded by sections of the industry who acknowledge there are rouge operators within the industry and they want them out. They were lauded by other caravan industry insiders and experts, repairers, dealers, park operators, and the like. But the response from some in the lemon group wasn’t so magnanimous.

This is where the issue lies for me and it again goes to credibility. If the sole purpose for existing is to advocate for and inform consumers about the dark side of the caravan and RV industry, then you’d surely embrace those who advocate along side you, despite any previous differences you may have.

If, on the other hand, you’re more concerned with empire and brand building, then your response is likely to be a little more hostile. Which is exactly the response from some over at lemon.

Now I can’t speak definitively to the motives for the attacks on RVD and the articles author, I’m not an insider over at lemon, I was removed a long time ago by the admin for being critical of the manipulation of information to suit an agenda. Again, this is not new information. I was critical of the behaviour of some on the group before I was booted and I continue to be critical of some since. All I can do is offer an opinion, and that opinion is only informed by the actions of others as I see it.

For me this saga exemplifies the erratic, protectionist, and hostile behaviour I’ve come to expect from some in the lemon group and also reinforces my assertion that the group lacks credibility. The credibile response to the RVD article would be to promote it, to embrace the fact that others in the industry are selling the message. Unfortunately this isn’t how it all went down.

For me, some of the self proclaimed ‘industry experts’ in the lemon group need to find a mirror and take a good hard look at what motivates them. If it’s consumer advocacy then let’s embrace all who support the cause. If, on the other hand, there are other motives at play then maybe a more transparent explanation of the aims of the group might be in order.

Cheers, Wayne

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