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Dealer what should I expect


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We have never had a caravan before & told our local dealer this when looking to purchase. We chose a Compass Casita 840, the layout suits what we want and love the decor. However we have had no advice whatsoever, no mention of the availability of options which I only found out about on the manufacturers website. Subsequently went back to have BBQ point, outside electric point added. Then through utube saw motor movers, again went back to have one added. Next was security which after looking at insurance decided to have al-ko wheel locks fitted, back dealer again. In addition we have only through the various utube blogs etc worked out what accessories we need such as water roll, waste hog, electric cable etc etc.

Is this normal service from a dealer? Given a caravan is possibly after a house & car the next most expensive purchase. I am to quote a phrase “not feeling the love” . Have only made a £500 deposit & thinking should I forfeit it for a better, friendlier & appreciative dealer. 

 

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That's poor service as they could have made greater sales from you.

 

However, if you do decide to continue with this or any other dealer, do make sure you pay for at least £1,000 from a credit card, not a debit card. This gives you Credit protection in the event of any warranty problems.

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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Any good dealer will take the time to discuss the options with you, but beware of the dealer trying to sell you extras you don't want.

I wonder whether the dealer you chose is as bad at after sales service as he is at sales!

I would seriously consider starting over.

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Did you ask the dealer about your needs and options, or were you just expecting them to be forthcoming with advice? After all, the dealer may have been under the impression that you knew what you were doing and didn't need their input.

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27 minutes ago, Flying Grandad said:

Did you ask the dealer about your needs and options, or were you just expecting them to be forthcoming with advice? After all, the dealer may have been under the impression that you knew what you were doing and didn't need their input.

We told the dealer we were brand new to Caravanning.  On a subsequent visit I told them I was trying to make a list of stuff to buy, I asked if the caravan had a battery, etc as I needed to know what to buy. I was told it had a battery & a water pump. No other help advice was forthcoming. They have given us a 10% discount card, but their stuff is on the dear side anyway.  When I visit the dealership I don’t expect to be feted but at least a smile and a hi can we help would be nice. I am spending circa £27k there and given the salesman’s disinterested attitude I am concerned about future relationships regarding servicing etc. This is just taking a lot of the shine off our buy.

i think I will try to find the owner & discuss our misgivings with them.

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4 minutes ago, connorefc said:

We told the dealer we were brand new to Caravanning.  On a subsequent visit I told them I was trying to make a list of stuff to buy, I asked if the caravan had a battery, etc as I needed to know what to buy. I was told it had a battery & a water pump. No other help advice was forthcoming. They have given us a 10% discount card, but their stuff is on the dear side anyway.  When I visit the dealership I don’t expect to be feted but at least a smile and a hi can we help would be nice. I am spending circa £27k there and given the salesman’s disinterested attitude I am concerned about future relationships regarding servicing etc. This is just taking a lot of the shine off our buy.

i think I will try to find the owner & discuss our misgivings with them.

Does not sound like a dealer that will be very interested in after sales service.  We have a Buccaneer and the first dealer we used was useless.  We then bought from  Northam Farm in Somerset and very happy with service.  Another good dealer is Pearman Briggs in Gloucestershire.  I appreciate that they may be a bit far for you however both book a pitch for you to stay to test the caravan. 

You could do what we do and when it is time for a service make a holiday of it.  Northam Farm have their own caravan site so staying on to get any issues resolved is not an issue.  The Casita is under £24k so spending £3k on accessories where they make more profit should have been of interest to them.

BTW make sure you pay something using a credit card and maybe having some on HP would be wise even if it is £4k over 3 years.

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I would be concerned about after sales service based on them not being very forthcoming with help and advice but

do Google searches for bad reviews on the dealer and also try trading standards and citizens advice, I'm not sure if they can let on if there have been complaints.

 

You are taking a risk spending so much on a caravan if you have  never tried one, I hope it goes well for you.

If you want a list of things you will need as well as a list of nice to have, just make another post and you will get lots of replies.  Just work out which is a need and which is a nice to have!

 

macafee2

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If it was me I would decide on the options and then email a few dealers to get their best price but keep in mind you will need to return to the dealer for any warranty work.

 

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I understand your concerns.  But it might be just one very poor salesperson.  I agree with your idea of having a word with the sales manager or a director.   Then see were you go from there.  They may reassure you.  

 

The industry has many issues with manufactures and with poor dealers.  You do need to stand up for yourself and I think you sound able to do that.  No shouting is needed,   Just a need to be firm, get things in writing as you go and take the advice given above re credit card and HP.

 

Also.  Most dealers offer new buyers a starter kit, have they?

 

I was pleasantly surprised when the salesman, who is also a director, advised me to pay my deposit by credit card as a safeguard.  I knew that anyway, but respected that advice.  That was Golden Castle, too far for you.  There are advantages in buying local.

 

John 

Volvo V70 D3 SE (was Peugeot 4007, SsangYong Korando), Pulling a Lunar Clubman SI 2015. If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.

 

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I will see what the owner or other sales guys have to say, it may be that the one I have seen is just not bothered anymore. 

Good tip about credit card never would have thought of that.

No starter kit has been offered.

will let you all know how I get on.

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I agree with you that you need to explain to the dealer how you feel. I thought a new caravan came with water/wastemaster, power lead etc as a matter of course so may be best to check what you will actually be getting so you do not end up with 2.

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17 hours ago, VOLVOVANNER said:

I agree with you that you need to explain to the dealer how you feel. I thought a new caravan came with water/wastemaster, power lead etc as a matter of course so may be best to check what you will actually be getting so you do not end up with 2.

The wastemaster is only supplied if the caravan has an onboard tank.  EHU lead and water pump are standard.

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1 hour ago, Durbanite said:

The wastemaster is only supplied if the caravan has an onboard tank.  EHU lead and water pump are standard.

Ah I see, watermaster usually supplied though aren’t they on Elddis/Compass caravans.

I have only ever bought s/h so unsure what comes supplied from new.

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I have had many new caravans..none have ever come with more than an electric cable, a step,water pump and  a steady winding handle! Usually a new pigtail has been provided too.We are talking Swift Group,Lunar & Compass here. 

 

Never known an Aquaroll or Wastemaster provided other than the offer of a used one from a trade in.....

 

geoff

 

Kia Sorento KX-1 CRDI 4WD towing an Elddis Affinity 530

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Ideally one should sort out what they want when they first view a caravan, buying without a trade in can get a good discount or a first time buyers pack (which will be negotiated).

Perhaps the salesman gave the best deal they could ( :unsure: ) and is now getting earache from the workshop manager and the general manager by playing hokey cokey with the workshop fitting extras.

 

Paul B

. .......Mondeo Estate & Elddis Avanté 505 (Tobago)

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I think according to NCC rules, a step and electric hook up cable are provided. Not sure if a pig tail is included as well.

Elddis used to supply a wastemaster on the Buccaneers but not sure if any of the other ranges did.

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27 minutes ago, Benny65 said:

I think according to NCC rules, a step and electric hook up cable are provided. Not sure if a pig tail is included as well.

Elddis used to supply a wastemaster on the Buccaneers but not sure if any of the other ranges did.

I don't think it is what the NCC stipulate but is part of EU regulations and needs to be in the MIRO.  All models with an onboard tank as standard should now have a wastemaster or equivalent plus of course the pump , the EHU lead and the steps.  Buccaneers come standard with a battery.  Not sure about battery on any other brands. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 09/05/2019 at 11:19, Paul_B said:

Ideally one should sort out what they want when they first view a caravan, buying without a trade in can get a good discount or a first time buyers pack (which will be negotiated).

Perhaps the salesman gave the best deal they could ( :unsure: ) and is now getting earache from the workshop manager and the general manager by playing hokey cokey with the workshop fitting extras.

 

That is all well and good if you have the knowledge about Caravanning. The “extras” such as the bbq point, electric socket al-ko locks at being fitted at the factory whilst under construction, for which I am paying the specified options cost as per the brochure. The only extras that the dealer Worksop is fitting are the motor mover for which I am paying £2099 & an alarm for £310. I doubt there is any earache being given, no special price or discount being given. 

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The receiver for the alko wheel lock is usually fitted as standard and you can then buy the lock where it's cheapest as long as you get the correct lock for your wheel.

Are the bbq point and electric socket really fitted at the factory or is dealer fit? Options like that and movers etc can be fitted after purchase and i would get them from the cheapest source.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Update. I wrote to the the director of the dealership, explaining how we felt, unloved & a bit disappointed in the process. Told him I wanted to get this into a better groove for both of us. Had an excellent reply and he arranged a meeting for us with the senior salesman and we had a constructive meeting. We explained that we had said we were new to caravanning & had been looking for advice & support. That we felt salesman was not interested especially regarding any purchase options. Anyway all feels a lot better, had a run through on caravan. He will see us on collection date personally to go through everything with us. Caravan should be getting picked up around 14th July, then plan is  off to Anglesey for a week.

 

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glad things are improving for you  and I hope all goes well . have you read the advice section on the Home page on this site and also the caravan and motorhome club  CMC  always has some good advice. 

happy days

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Conner,

 

Got a new van from the same place, same reasons as you, I know exactly how you feel, I had exactly the same experience. Took it back for a couple of snagging/warranty bits later(nothing major), got the same impression, as though they were almost doing you a favour by sorting things out, some work was good, some not so. Consequently I get it serviced elsewhere. Went back looking at new vans a few months ago, got exactly the same response again, strange place!

 

I take the view that I got the van I wanted at the price I was prepared to pay, I can get it looked after/serviced quite easily by others. Would I go back for another? Only if they were the only people that had the van I wanted. If it ever came to a major warranty issue I would take it back there as it is their responsibility, but go over it with a fine toothcomb after.

 

thanks

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1 hour ago, Forward said:

Hi Conner,

 

Got a new van from the same place, same reasons as you, I know exactly how you feel, I had exactly the same experience. Took it back for a couple of snagging/warranty bits later(nothing major), got the same impression, as though they were almost doing you a favour by sorting things out, some work was good, some not so. Consequently I get it serviced elsewhere. Went back looking at new vans a few months ago, got exactly the same response again, strange place!

 

I take the view that I got the van I wanted at the price I was prepared to pay, I can get it looked after/serviced quite easily by others. Would I go back for another? Only if they were the only people that had the van I wanted. If it ever came to a major warranty issue I would take it back there as it is their responsibility, but go over it with a fine toothcomb after.

 

thanks

It has been said before but it is worth repeating.

A dealer should be chosen with as much care as the caravan.

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from a dealers perspective, it is highly unusual behaviour  for a sales person generally, we want you to buy the caravan as well as spend money in our shop, as this keeps us all in business!

 

I would of said maybe the sales person was new so a bit unsure about the whole process (which comes with time and training of course) or was just having a bad day (we are all human after all) but as there are two comments about the same dealer on more than one occasion, so that cant be the case,

 

I have had customers come to us from other dealers saying they felt the sales person from the previous dealer they visited had the attitude of "you are going to buy it so I don't need to sell it to you" which of course is a terrible attitude to have, in the good times there were instances when you had customers queuing at the door to buy (no joke) but now you do have to work harder for it, some just aren't prepared to.

Edited by Caravantech
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5 minutes ago, Caravantech said:

from a dealers perspective, it is highly unusual behaviour  for a sales person generally, we want you to buy the caravan as well as spend money in our shop, as this keeps us all in business!

 

I would of said maybe the sales person was new so a bit unsure about the whole process (which comes with time and training of course) or was just having a bad day (we are all human after all) but as there are two comments about the same dealer on more than one occasion, so that cant be the case,

 

I have had customers come to us from other dealers saying they felt the sales person from the previous dealer they visited had the attitude of "you are going to buy it so I don't need to sell it to you" which of course is a terrible attitude to have, in the good times there were instances when you had customers queuing at the door to buy (no joke) but now you do have to work harder for it, some just aren't prepared to.

Could that be why some dealers go to the wall while others go from strength to strength?

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