Car Dealers

Nov 2, 2005
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I had a problem with my car. Rear wiper stopped working the day after its first MOT. I won't mention the dealer for obvious reasons.

Two weeks after seeing dealer to get it fixed under up to 60k miles of which my car had only done 21k, the dealer said 50% would be paid for. He informed me that he refused the offer saying it was unacceptable due to mileage, and I would have to be patient to have the repair at no charge.

I was very, very patient ( 6 weeks) upon calling again for an update and necessity to have the work done due to our current weather, he informed me the factory (not sure what this means) had now refused and I would have to foot the bill.

Thankyou I said to the dealer. Down went the phone. Up went the phone, I contacted the manufacturer complained, and my car is now going to a different dealer on Monday 19th. I was very impressed with front line Vauxhall excellent service, one happy customer. Also pleased with my son who made me complain.
 
Nov 6, 2005
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The major drawback of the franchised dealer arrangement is that we, the customer, are totally dependent on the competence and goodwill of the dealer.

Involving the manufacturer seems to work eventually with cars but not with caravans.

This is a problem which affects both car sales and caravan sales. In both cases, there may be good dealers out there, but it's difficult to find them. I've never been able to find a good caravan dealer in the Midlands. Finding a good car dealer isn't much easier.

My own solution to the problem is to only buy a car or caravan that I can service / repair myself, once the warranty has finished and then keeping them for long periods before replacement. I know I have to put up with dealer servicing / repair during warranty but I've reduced that to a smaller proportion.

My last caravan was replaced at 18 years old, when it started to leak and we get 15 years out of our cars, unless they're written off first by someone else's careless driving.
 
G

Guest

I agree with Roger's sentiments, but question how realistic his solution is. I used to work as a motor mechanic, but this was in the long gone days of Austin Cambridges etc. I can balance 2 SU carburettors fine, but have about as much idea of the computerised systems nowadays as any layman. Yes, I can change the brake pads etc, but am getting too old to crawl around under the thing. Similarly, with the caravan, I can appreciate brake adjustment, chassis greasing etc, but what about the gas systems? Yes, again I did fit a fridge to my Mustang caravan in 1974, but was very concerned to get the gas lines right, and that one didn't even have any electrics to worry about.

Like Roger, my car is 15 years old but I let Volvo sort it out. It is only once a year.
 
Nov 6, 2005
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If you'd seen the poor work carried out by an Approved Caravan Workshop on our Bailey, when repairing a cooker fault, resulting in a potentially fatal gas leak - you wouldn't have any qualms about doing it yourself.

I do confess to being of the age when I don't want to get cold and wet doing servicing or repairs. I've found a good independent garage who do my Mot, supply and fit tyres and the odd job that requires specialist equipment. They're not expensive, they don't do work I haven't asked for, they retain all parts for inspection without being asked so I don't feel ripped off.

I just wish I could find somewhere similar for the caravan.
 
G

Guest

Roger,

Your comments are very valid, but we are apparently back at the usual British thing of accepting poor service. If your van was serviced by a Bailey Approved Dealer in order to maintain its warranty and major faults resulted then I am sure a good lawyer would have Bailey paying out a lot of compensation. After all you are following their stipulated Contract, and if their approved agent breaks it, then they are ultimately responsible.

I am not suggesting for a moment you have done anything the rest of us wouldn't do. The result is what you are after. But it is a sad state of affairs when the service provided by a major manufacturer falls so far short of acceptability. Dealers are licensed by manufacturers so are acting as agents and therefore the manufacturer has accepted the responsibility. Maybe it is time that caravans were made by the Japanese. I gather that Japanese cars have the highest customer satisfaction ratings.
 
Nov 6, 2005
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The sooner the Japanese and/or Koreans start building caravans for the UK, the better. It worked wonders for the European car industry and would work wonders for the caravan industry.

We would still have the problem with dealers, though!
 
Mar 14, 2005
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If you'd seen the poor work carried out by an Approved Caravan Workshop on our Bailey, when repairing a cooker fault, resulting in a potentially fatal gas leak - you wouldn't have any qualms about doing it yourself.

I do confess to being of the age when I don't want to get cold and wet doing servicing or repairs. I've found a good independent garage who do my Mot, supply and fit tyres and the odd job that requires specialist equipment. They're not expensive, they don't do work I haven't asked for, they retain all parts for inspection without being asked so I don't feel ripped off.

I just wish I could find somewhere similar for the caravan.
Ask you car garage to do the running gear on the caravan! They my find it is a useful additional service they can offer.
 

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