Consumer Rights Act and Equivalents

Mar 14, 2005
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I think we all know the UK caravan industry has an unenviable record of poor product reliability which is so often magnified by poor customer service. Yet all too often caravan owners seem to be reluctant to get involved with using their statutory rights, which would make both manufacturers and dealers sit up and take more notice as it directly impact their profit margins.

I came across this item from Australia:-
https://www.choice.com.au/transport/cars/general/articles/lemon-caravans-and-consumer-rights#consumer%20rights

Which shows problem caravans is not just a UK issue, but it seems some bad habits are shared by manufacturers in other countries, and sadly Australian's are worse off in respect of consumer rights as this article demonstrates.

If your not familiar with the UK's 2015 CRA then you owe it to your self and your fellow consumers to read up about it and become savvy on how to use it to get what you pay for. It covers every retail purchase you make.

Visit sites like Money saving Expert or Which? the consumer associations websites for more information.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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ProfJohnL said:
I think we all know the UK caravan industry has an unenviable record of poor product reliability which is so often magnified by poor customer service. Yet all too often caravan owners seem to be reluctant to get involved with using their statutory rights, which would make both manufacturers and dealers sit up and take more notice as it directly impact their profit margins.

I came across this item from Australia:-
https://www.choice.com.au/transport/cars/general/articles/lemon-caravans-and-consumer-rights#consumer%20rights

Which shows problem caravans is not just a UK issue, but it seems some bad habits are shared by manufacturers in other countries, and sadly Australian's are worse off in respect of consumer rights as this article demonstrates.

If your not familiar with the UK's 2015 CRA then you owe it to your self and your fellow consumers to read up about it and become savvy on how to use it to get what you pay for. It covers every retail purchase you make.

Visit sites like Money saving Expert or Which? the consumer associations websites for more information.

Prof, give us a link to the Uk site you are telling us about. Please.
 
Jun 26, 2017
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ProfJohnL said:
I Yet all too often caravan owners seem to be reluctant to get involved with using their statutory rights, which would make both manufacturers and dealers sit up and take more notice as it directly impact their profit margins.

This is of course a point that we’ve debated numerous times Prof, and whilst I don’t doubt that your post was made with the best of intentions, it means that I still haven’t managed to convince you that there are caravan owners out there, including myself, who would much rather focus their precious spare time and energy on the enjoyable things in life, such as spending time with family, friends and loved ones, some productive DIY, gardening, or other hobbies etc. instead of embarking on an all self-consuming “I know my rights” style conflict with their caravan dealer because their cupboard door handle fell off or they have a noisy water pump or loose furiniture screws.

In fact, that just reminds me that I need to reassemble my caravan wardrobe door lock mechanism today with some glue. It will only take me 5 minutes and it will be a permanent fix. The alternative would be to book it into the dealer (whilst informing them of my rights under the CRA of course !), towing it there in a few weeks when they can accommodate me, and towing it back a week later only to find that by the time I arrive home 15 minutes later, the wardrobe door is wide open again and the lock mechanism is on the floor. Or, I could stubbornly refuse to tow the van to the dealer, and engage in a polemic email rant informing them that it is their obligation to collect it, and wait in all day until they send their old battered white transit van to collect and take it to the dealer, clipping kerbs and smashing down into potholes with the caravan wheels as it makes its way back for the expert repair.

Sorry Prof, and thanks for your info, but I owe it to myself and my family to make better use of my time.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Icaru5 said:
ProfJohnL said:
I Yet all too often caravan owners seem to be reluctant to get involved with using their statutory rights, which would make both manufacturers and dealers sit up and take more notice as it directly impact their profit margins.

This is of course a point that we’ve debated numerous times Prof, and whilst I don’t doubt that your post was made with the best of intentions, it means that I still haven’t managed to convince you that there are caravan owners out there, including myself, who would much rather focus their precious spare time and energy on the enjoyable things in life, such as spending time with family, friends and loved ones, some productive DIY, gardening, or other hobbies etc. instead of embarking on an all self-consuming “I know my rights” style conflict with their caravan dealer because their cupboard door handle fell off or they have a noisy water pump or loose furiniture screws.

In fact, that just reminds me that I need to reassemble my caravan wardrobe door lock mechanism today with some glue. It will only take me 5 minutes and it will be a permanent fix. The alternative would be to book it into the dealer (whilst informing them of my rights under the CRA of course !), towing it there in a few weeks when they can accommodate me, and towing it back a week later only to find that by the time I arrive home 15 minutes later, the wardrobe door is wide open again and the lock mechanism is on the floor. Or, I could stubbornly refuse to tow the van to the dealer, and engage in a polemic email rant informing them that it is their obligation to collect it, and wait in all day until they send their old battered white transit van to collect and take it to the dealer, clipping kerbs and smashing down into potholes with the caravan wheels as it makes its way back for the expert repair.

Sorry Prof, and thanks for your info, but I owe it to myself and my family to make better use of my time.

Why waste time then on this rant?
 
Jun 26, 2017
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Come on Clive, that’s not a rant !

Wife and kids are still in bed, and I’m enjoying a bit of time to myself, browsing the PC forum and engaging in a bit of healthy debate before making the Sunday breakfast.

Edit ... Oh, I think that’s them now ...

No, just the dog :p
 
Sep 29, 2016
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Whilst I understand reasons like taking 5 minutes yourself to fix a lock as opposed to handing the van back to the dealer, I agree that the Prof makes a valid pont.

If more of us took a more proactive stance on shoddy goods then the situation regarding faulty equipment might improve.

Some repairs necessitate a van being returned to dealermanufacturer and in some cases that means cancelled holidays and great inconvenience, if it was a car under warranty then we would be given a replacement vehicle whilst the repairs were being undertaken.

I don't know if temporary replacement caravans are ever given to customers, maybe it happens, but I have not heard of it happening.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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Anseo said:
Whilst I understand reasons like taking 5 minutes yourself to fix a lock as opposed to handing the van back to the dealer, I agree that the Prof makes a valid pont.

If more of us took a more proactive stance on shoddy goods then the situation regarding faulty equipment might improve.

Some repairs necessitate a van being returned to dealermanufacturer and in some cases that means cancelled holidays and great inconvenience, if it was a car under warranty then we would be given a replacement vehicle whilst the repairs were being undertaken.

I don't know if temporary replacement caravans are ever given to customers, maybe it happens, but I have not heard of it happening.

Good post John,

The Prof’s post has been echoed by me and others for years. He makes a very sensible valid point again.
The caravan industry know the sheer inconvenience of dragging our baby to their workshop and back is one of the greatest time wasters on earth next to Brexit ;)

My take has always been use every tool like CRA to get satisfaction. The reality for most of us is different. I still advocate the manufacturer should supply us with a tool kit and few consumable spares, plastic bits to enable a diy fix. Indeed I can say with authority I did most of the repair work myself in the first few years of ownership. Modifications have been made which improve on the original without invaldidating any Warranty.
Serious issues such as water ingress must be Dealer referred falling back on CRA if needed.

My diy approach of course encourages manufacturers to be sloppy.
The real solution must be that both Manufacturer and Dealer pay for a qualified Mobile engineer to carry out the niggly repairs. Something more serious? The Dealer at their own expense should be forced to collect, repair and deliver at their own expense.

If we and the Prof could use CRA to make this proposal mandatory then hooray we have moved on light years :cheer:
 
Mar 14, 2005
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There will always be some people who feel they don't want to use their rights, and that is also one of their rights, but that is effectively sending a message back to the industry its OK not to pay attention to the details, as there customer don't complain.

It lets the dealer/manufacturer off the hook and gives then the green light to cut corners in the future. The fact they don't see the pain of their shoddy practices means they won't put as much effort, if any, into improving, evidenced by how long they have got away with it so far.

Using your rights does not mean you are automatically at odds with your seller. there are some retailers who very proactive when it comes to servicing customers (e.g. Powertouch, Lakeland , Marks & Spencer's) but there are still far too many who think their responsibility to their customers ends when they've got your money.

I enjoy working on old items and trying to get them to work, there is a real satisfaction to it, but if I've purchased a brand new item, I am annoyed it it doesn't do what its supposed to do having paid good money for it.

Not everyone is looking for jobs to do on products you've bought, and shouldn't we expect things to be right? after all I don't know of anyone who places an order for a new caravan (or any other new product) with a , requirement that it should be faulty. Still it takes all sort's.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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ProfJohnL said:
There will always be some people who feel they don't want to use their rights, and that is also one of their rights, but that is effectively sending a message back to the industry its OK not to pay attention to the details, as there customer don't complain.

It lets the dealer/manufacturer off the hook and gives then the green light to cut corners in the future. The fact they don't see the pain of their shoddy practices means they won't put as much effort, if any, into improving, evidenced by how long they have got away with it so far.

Using your rights does not mean you are automatically at odds with your seller. there are some retailers who very proactive when it comes to servicing customers (e.g. Powertouch, Lakeland , Marks & Spencer's) but there are still far too many who think their responsibility to their customers ends when they've got your money.

I enjoy working on old items and trying to get them to work, there is a real satisfaction to it, but if I've purchased a brand new item, I am annoyed it it doesn't do what its supposed to do having paid good money for it.

Not everyone is looking for jobs to do on products you've bought, and shouldn't we expect things to be right? after all I don't know of anyone who places an order for a new caravan (or any other new product) with a , requirement that it should be faulty. Still it takes all sort's.

I’m disappointed with your last script Prof.
Icaru cogently set out a very sensible approach to a real life problem us caravanners suffer.
I believe I gave a balanced response.
But yours , apologies now, does not take into account practical realities or alternative solutions.
Time to think outside the box maybe. :whistle:
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Dustydog said:
ProfJohnL said:
There will always be some people who feel they don't want to use their rights, and that is also one of their rights, ...

I’m disappointed with your last script Prof.
Icaru cogently set out a very sensible approach to a real life problem us caravanners suffer.
I believe I gave a balanced response.
But yours , apologies now, does not take into account practical realities or alternative solutions.
Time to think outside the box maybe. :whistle:

I'm sorry your disappointed, but I suggest you read my my first sentence!

In this thread I have not suggested that all faults should be returned to the seller (which is actually the way the CRA sets it out) but as a possibility, if a simple fault does arise, then contact the seller and it may be the seller will agree to the customer effecting a repair and the seller refunds the customer's expenses.

The point is if sellers are not made aware of the problems that arise, nothing will be done to prevent them from happening again. So the key is to keep the seller informed of faults however small, so they can begin to see the and feel the problems their products cause.

If it takes you an hour to fix something, then how about the seller paying you the equivalent of an hours time in their workshop?
 
Oct 12, 2013
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Prof , with some bits and bobs on my caravan I will take back to the dealership but its a 1oo mile round trip for where we got ours from , i aint got the time , so if there is things I can do to it myself I will but just think what you could have done with your time if you had not typed the consumer act speech out lots off times now !
 
Jun 20, 2005
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ProfJohnL said:
Dustydog said:
ProfJohnL said:
There will always be some people who feel they don't want to use their rights, and that is also one of their rights, ...

I’m disappointed with your last script Prof.
Icaru cogently set out a very sensible approach to a real life problem us caravanners suffer.
I believe I gave a balanced response.
But yours , apologies now, does not take into account practical realities or alternative solutions.
Time to think outside the box maybe. :whistle:

See my first sentence.
Prof said

“I think we all know the UK caravan industry has an unenviable record of poor product reliability which is so often magnified by poor customer service.”

Yes . We all know that. So Icaru and a few others pragmatic approach is not unreasonable in the circumstances?
 
Mar 14, 2005
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The last three posts have crossed over whilst I was editing.

I'm not against a pragmatic approach, except where it means the issues effectively get forgotten or missed. That is how the industry has got into the state it is in now.

The most effective way giving the industry the wake up call it needs is to hit them in the profit margins. Here in the UK we have the tools to do it in the CRA, Sadly it seems the Australians don't.

Is their anyone out there who doesn't want our caravan industry to be more responsive to customer problems? And to do something about the recurring issues that have dogged the industry for decades? Things that can be solved by proper management and design.

Do you wan't your next new caravan to have the same faults as your last one?
 

Damian

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Mar 14, 2005
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Quote " In this thread I have not suggested that all faults should be returned to the seller (which is actually the way the CRA sets it out) but as a possibility, if a simple fault does arise, then contact the seller and it may be the seller will agree to the customer effecting a repair and the seller refunds the customer's expenses"

Yes you are by default suggesting that the customer returns the van to the dealer for faults to be fixed as that is exactly what the CRA sets out is the course of action.
You cannot cherry pick bits that suit you.

As for the customer contacting the seller to arrange to fix faults on the sellers behalf, that is not possible as the terms and conditions of sale state that repairs must be done by authorised repairers, and it is only the various workshops , both fixed and mobile , that have the relevant manufacturers approval to carry out repairs and importantly maintain the warranty.

Repairs carried out by an owner invalidate certain parts of the warranty, depending on what work is done.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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Damian
You said.
and it is only the various workshops , both fixed and mobile , that have the relevant manufacturers approval to carry out repairs and importantly maintain the warranty.

Do you think-we are getting closer to legally and contractually demanding the Dealer / manufacturer sends a mobile engineer to us to fix faults at our homes or even on site maybe?
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Dustydog said:
Damian
You said.
and it is only the various workshops , both fixed and mobile , that have the relevant manufacturers approval to carry out repairs and importantly maintain the warranty.

Do you think-we are getting closer to legally and contractually demanding the Dealer / manufacturer sends a mobile engineer to us to fix faults at our homes or even on site maybe?

I cannot see such a development unless the maker and dealers see financial benefit. When I worked in private business for a spell I quickly realised that “cash is king” and the companies really were reluctant to let cash out of the business. Supporting warranty claims was one area that produced negative cash flow and the philosophy was geared very much to meeting the contract, but with an eye on future business and how the competition were doing. But we were dealing with complex engineering products worth millions. So a caravan enterprise is a totally different scale and it requires a maker to take the lead and to design and produce a higher quality product that has less faults when released to the customer. It need not cost a lot, or anymore and once the market place recognises the improvements then profits such grow. Until the competition catch up. If they ever do.
In an earlier post it was suggested that if customers were authorised by the dealer to do some remedial work then the dealer should reimburse them at workshop rates. Not a chance. And as Damian says it would create a complication regarding warranty and CRA.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Dustydog said:
Damian
You said.
and it is only the various workshops , both fixed and mobile , that have the relevant manufacturers approval to carry out repairs and importantly maintain the warranty.
6
Do you think-we are getting closer to legally and contractually demanding the Dealer / manufacturer sends a mobile engineer to us to fix faults at our homes or even on site maybe?

I know it away from caravans, but we had a problem with a reclining "Parker Knowl " sette. The sent out a third party company, Furniture Doctor. Who Tried to fix it . Ended up with the wife contacting a soliciter to replace the unit. From the dealer.

If the dealers done a proper pre delivery inspection, then a lot of our problems would not happen , but they don't. So back to Bad Quality control, Dealers accepting bad caravans and passing on to us the final users. Three years later we cannot get spares for theses vans,

I STILL cannot find out how to get to my dimmer light tubes in my 2013 coachman. My mobile fitter has said he doesnt know. Never change a tube.
 

Damian

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Mar 14, 2005
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Dustydog said:
Damian
You said.
and it is only the various workshops , both fixed and mobile , that have the relevant manufacturers approval to carry out repairs and importantly maintain the warranty.

Do you think-we are getting closer to legally and contractually demanding the Dealer / manufacturer sends a mobile engineer to us to fix faults at our homes or even on site maybe?

Hi Dusty,
Sadly I do not think what you have suggested would ever happen as in every case of a sale of a caravan that I know of there is the clause of return to dealer for warranty work to be carried out.

However, there is already a way around a lot of problems in as much as Mobile engineers who are part of the AWS have he necessary authorisation and approval from various manufacturers to carry out warranty repairs on pretty much all the items in a caravan, with the exception being fabric repairs where the makers fixed workshops have the necessary tools and knowledge to effect repairs.

It has to be remembered that under the terms of warranty repairs, only the allowed cost of the actual repair is paid back to the engineer ,as if the problem item is "on the bench" it does not include his time or mileage getting to and from the caravan, nor the time or work needed to access the problem item, so in many cases workshops will charge for the time above the actual repair that they use in completing the whole job.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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I have just had my annual service carried out on the caravan, Milton Keynes ! North area, The Mobile engineer, said to me he would be better off to Hire a barn from the storage Owner as there are now over 150 caravans and Motorhomes on the storage area ! All very secure. Gates Bunds Etc.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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EH52ARH said:
I have just had my annual service carried out on the caravan, Milton Keynes ! North area, The Mobile engineer, said to me he would be better off to Hire a barn from the storage Owner as there are now over 150 caravans and Motorhomes on the storage area ! All very secure. Gates Bunds Etc.

Where mine is now stored there are around 550 units stored. There is a mobile engineer on site who has a big workshop and there is also a MCEA training center on site and I understand that the mobile engineer on site is heavily involved with MCEA and runs training courses. Guess who will be doing my future work?
 

Damian

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Mar 14, 2005
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Quote " there is also a MCEA training center on site and I understand that the mobile engineer on site is heavily involved with MCEA and runs training courses. Guess who will be doing my future work? "

Please be aware that unless the MCEA engineer is also a Approved Workshop registered engineer any work done will not maintain the warranty.
Only AWS members have the ability to maintain caravan warranties as far as mobile engineers are concerned.
 
May 24, 2014
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Where mine is now stored there are around 550 units stored. There is a mobile engineer on site who has a big workshop and there is also a MCEA training center on site and I understand that the mobile engineer on site is heavily involved with MCEA and runs training courses. Guess who will be doing my future work?

A first year apprentice?
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Damian-Moderator said:
Quote " there is also a MCEA training center on site and I understand that the mobile engineer on site is heavily involved with MCEA and runs training courses. Guess who will be doing my future work? "

Please be aware that unless the MCEA engineer is also a Approved Workshop registered engineer any work done will not maintain the warranty.
Only AWS members have the ability to maintain caravan warranties as far as mobile engineers are concerned.

Damian
Thanks. He is AWS and Alko approves plus other makes. He’s been there at least 10 years now as one of my last vans was stored there. Plus mines just had its last warranty service. No damp :)
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I'm greatly supportive of information which helps us get what we paid for directly and the service which goes with this. And Prof. has been stalwart in contributing to this.
Perhaps what we need is a new category called Consumer Matters or similar with input from some suitably qualified legal opinion. Or perhaps something to the same effect we had to pay for..
In my experience over the year the obvious sources such as Consumer Advice,, Trading Standards etc. are little or no use in our sort of enquiries and the suggestions of 'you should seek legal advice' are equally meaningless as - despite the Law Society website nominally providing links to local solicitors providing such advice, the reality is (based on direct personal experience ) that none of the firms listed were in the least bit interested and indeed the majority approached did not even reply. Complaint to the Law Society received the reply - try Citizens Advice. The oozelem bird in action.
 

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