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richard morrice

Dreadful customer service from Coachman Caravans

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We bought a brand new Coachman caravan in September 2017. The first time we used it (early October) we found that the mattresses were the wrong size for the caravan. We reported the fault immediately and advised Coachman that we were booked to go away to Spain in mid December (10 weeks away). After a few weeks they finally asked us to take the faulty cushions back to the supplying dealer Wandahome of Knottingley which we did the same day.

After a number of prompts the cushions were returned, damaged in transit by the courier, the day after our holiday was booked to start. I complained but received no reply whatsoever from the MD Elliott Hibbs. I am really surprised that I received such dreadful customer service from a company we had trusted for decades.

Richard Morrice

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Can't understand why you did not in October last get Wandahome to get you new correct mattress.

As you say they were damaged cushions and received after your holiday start date was that not taken?

I assume your posting now was you had further delay and have just returned.

 

 

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Were the mattresses completely unusable?

 

Or was it just a slight inconvenience that they were the wrong size.

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No response from Mr Hibbs is perfectly normal in my experience.

 

Quite apart from my own several emails, even when my (then) dealer discussed my issues directly face to face at the NEC and was apparently given assurances by the same gentleman that he would call me. .... nothing.

 

I’ve made my own mind up, based exclusively on how well Coachman respond to problems.  I spent 15 months arguing before it finally dawned in my slow mind that I was wasting my time.

 

That van has gone now and another from that factory will never grace my drive, no matter how good others’ experiences may have been.

 

If I were in business I hope I’d have a rather different approach 🤔

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51 minutes ago, David Park said:

Can't understand why you did not in October last get Wandahome to get you new correct mattress.

As you say they were damaged cushions and received after your holiday start date was that not taken?

I assume your posting now was you had further delay and have just returned.

 

 

 

I dealt direct with Coachman as I met them at the NEC and they said they would help. I could not take the holiday and we lost the money we had paid in advance. We have used the van since the cushions were repaired but the lack of any real care is the issue

The mattresses could not be used to make up the double bed. They were far too large

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Edited by richard morrice

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Whether the manufacturer says they will help, or not, it's your supplying dealer's legal responsibility and they should be your major point of recourse. It's not unknown for dealers to 'rob' new vans and replace the robbed bits incorrectly and that's not  any manufacturer's fault.

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Have to agree with Coriolis statements whole heartdly I have had Coachman Caravans for 20+ years and will never have another matter even if they were the last manufacturer on earth.  

 

Edited by Grandpa Steve
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I really don’t understand why people expect the manufacturers to reply to issues, would you  expect the uk head of ford to reply to a member of the public?? It’s the same as th3 head of Coachmann or an6 other manufacturer.

Your contract is with your dealer and nobody else, perhaps if you dealt with your dealer in October you would have had a satisfactory outcome for your holiday.

Kevin

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11 minutes ago, Kevin H said:

I really don’t understand why people expect the manufacturers to reply to issues, would you  expect the uk head of ford to reply to a member of the public?? It’s the same as th3 head of Coachmann or an6 other manufacturer.

Your contract is with your dealer and nobody else, perhaps if you dealt with your dealer in October you would have had a satisfactory outcome for your holiday.

Kevin

 

I totally agree, but I also think that caravan makers have a lot to learn about brand management and customer expectations in the 21st Century. Having a customer service department that handles correspondence on behalf of a chief exec., ensuring issues are resolved, via the dealer network and providing senior management with a summary of issues involved should be invaluable. offering to help, when cornered at a show, and then not following through is inexcusable. At the very least the CEO's secretary should have been on the phone to the Dealer Principal to get them mobilised.   

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4 hours ago, Steamdrivenandy said:

Whether the manufacturer says they will help, or not, it's your supplying dealer's legal responsibility and they should be your major point of recourse. It's not unknown for dealers to 'rob' new vans and replace the robbed bits incorrectly and that's not  any manufacturer's fault.

Totally agree with this, BUT, my experience has shown that the supplying dealer will only do the work providing it is authorised by Coachman. I know this is wrong but it seems to be the case.

 

I am having my own issues with Coachman, posted under another thread, where dealer will only do what Coachman authorise.

 

Today I have spoken to Citizens Advice who have given me some suggestions as how to hopefully get the dealer to understand their obligations.

 

In a nutshell, dealer must put right what is wrong, irrelevant of costs, or pay compensation.

 

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We all know it’s the correct procedure to speak first to the supplying dealer, after all they are responsible and no one else. By speaking first to another company you are likely to offend the dealer contact person. The reaction from the M. D. of the manufacturer should have been better though, and to get no reaction at all is very bad indeed. He’s an important and busy man no doubt, but his retail customers are even more important and if he doesn’t see that then he’s an idiot.  He should have asked you if you had tried to deal with the issue through your dealer, and reminded you that this is the best way. He could have taken your contact details and instructed his secretary to ensure your dealer dealt with the issue, however dealers are independent of the manufacturers, so do not respond to them.  

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2 hours ago, SuperRed said:

Totally agree with this, BUT, my experience has shown that the supplying dealer will only do the work providing it is authorised by Coachman. I know this is wrong but it seems to be the case.

 

I am having my own issues with Coachman, posted under another thread, where dealer will only do what Coachman authorise.

 

Today I have spoken to Citizens Advice who have given me some suggestions as how to hopefully get the dealer to understand their obligations.

 

In a nutshell, dealer must put right what is wrong, irrelevant of costs, or pay compensation.

 

That is a total cop-out by the dealer.

He is liable, the manufacturer isn't.

Whether the manufacturer agrees to cover the cost is irrelevant. Trouble is sometimes dealers can't be bothered to push a customer's case and use the excuse that the manufacturer won't agree a repair etc. If the customer accepts the rebuff then they've saved both themselves and the manufacturer some money,  but not fulfilled their legal obligations and probably lost themselves and the caravan brand a future customer.

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As  previous answers,your contract is with the dealer,not Coachman. This must be the only industry where people with issues attempt contact the manufacture. If you had say a Television which went wrong or a Kia you return it to the shop or the garage you purchased it from not contact Sony in Japan.

But we have to ask the question,why do so many people have to contact the manufactures, is it the lack of progress from dealers, or the dealers having to  get permission from Coachman anyway.

I am just surprised the PDI did not pick up incorrect matresses.

 

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The dealers use the lack of authorisation for warranty repairs by a manufacturer as a way of swerving their liabilities. It is totally their responsibility and as an owner you have absolutely no interest in whether a repair is funded by the manufacturer under their warranty or not.  

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I agree the M. D. of Coachman should have responded but does not negate the fact that the dealer is totally responsible to the end user.

A different industry but we went on our first cruise with P&O  4 years ago, to cut a long story shot the cruise was fantastic but the queue to get off the ship at each location was appalling and according to others was not usual.

I tried to write to P&o customer services but could not find an email address anywhere. I found the M. D. email a very pleasant mr Dingle. He or his secretary wrote back to me telling me his customer service director would phone me, she did and we talked through our issue.  

Now that’s what I call customer service. Our second cruise (with P&o) was great and the getiing on and off the ship was totally different. I emailed mr dingle again to let him know! And got a further response thanking me for my correspondence and was glad I had enjoyed the experience.

The caravan industry need to take note of how to deal with customers even as has been said it’s getting the dealer to take their responsibility.

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Not all dealers avoid issues. 

 

I've never owned a Coachman but our local dealer also handles Bailey. I've never purchased a van from them but they did service the Rimini three years ago.

 

When damp was found on the van by a mobile servicing guy I towed it back from it's long term store n stay site and the local dealer was happy to look it over and make a warranty claim to Bailey. Three weeks later they carried out the repair, all with no issues and always a smile and helpfulness. Spinney, North Staffs impressed me with that attitude. 

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Having just purchased a new Coachman from Spinney (North Staffs) I have to say their customer service, so far, has been superb! After a horrendous experience last year with a much larger Lunar Dealership in the North West, it really does make the world of difference.  

 

Yes, it would have been nice of Coachman / Mr Hibbs to respond and apologise to the OP but, as others have said, it's your dealer's responsibility to resolve any issues with the product you've bought. I'd be looking for a better dealer next time. ..

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I've never actually had a brand new caravan, one very nearly new, so just noted if we ever do must check everything at the handover to us.

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6 hours ago, David Park said:

I've never actually had a brand new caravan, one very nearly new, 

That just might be the right way to go, as any niggles will hopefully have been sorted!

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1 hour ago, Glen and Les said:

That just might be the right way to go, as any niggles will hopefully have been sorted!

 

Or the original buyer was so "brassed-off" with it, they dumped it as soon as they could?;)

 

Most of us I suspect are like ourselves, if we actually get a good one it is a "keeper".

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On 25/04/2018 at 17:53, Kevin H said:

I really don’t understand why people expect the manufacturers to reply to issues, would you  expect the uk head of ford to reply to a member of the public?? It’s the same as th3 head of Coachmann or an6 other manufacturer.

Your contract is with your dealer and nobody else, perhaps if you dealt with your dealer in October you would have had a satisfactory outcome for your holiday.

Kevin

I would have thought they were going to the top after the other avenues have been tried without success. In that position I would definitely be responding to my customer having turned out a sub standard product. With customer support like this, there's little hope.

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1 hour ago, AJGalaxy2012 said:

I would have thought they were going to the top after the other avenues have been tried without success. In that position I would definitely be responding to my customer having turned out a sub standard product. With customer support like this, there's little hope.

If it had read like that I would not have commented. It clearly states when they found the problem the contacted COACHMAN straight away

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5 minutes ago, Kevin H said:

If it had read like that I would not have commented. It clearly states when they found the problem the contacted COACHMAN straight away

Well I suppose in reality

a) it shouldnt have happened in the first place.

and

b)) Now it has happened the MD should have responded or at very least chased up the dealer on their behalf.

Edited by AJGalaxy2012

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On ‎25‎/‎04‎/‎2018 at 17:53, Kevin H said:

I really don’t understand why people expect the manufacturers to reply to issues, would you  expect the uk head of ford to reply to a member of the public?? It’s the same as th3 head of Coachmann or an6 other manufacturer.

Your contract is with your dealer and nobody else, perhaps if you dealt with your dealer in October you would have had a satisfactory outcome for your holiday.

Kevin

 

When I had trouble with my Vauxhall Vectra and the dealer, I eventually wrote to the MD of Vauxhall, and within three weeks I had a call from the dealer offering me a new car FOC.  

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But that's the car industry where the brands lend dealers large sums to kit out their sites etc and subsidise dealer stocking plans. Therefore dealers are in hock to the brand and jump through hoops to keep the brand happy. 

The caravan industry ain't like that. Brands don't subsidise dealer stocks or lend them money to tart up the place. Dealer's will change brand allegiance annually, if it suits. They'll happily ignore complaints from the brand management because they have no hold over them.

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