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colin h

CMC - Emailed to see if they were interested in hosting the makers of caravans to discuss feedback and or gripes.

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I have read several of the forum posts from here regarding warranty claims and disputes so I emailed CMC to see if they were interested in hosting the makers of caravans to discuss feedback and or gripes.  It is difficult to believe that some shoddy workmanship is still prevalent in this day and age. 

 

For my part things like window catches and door security is diabolical with several youtube videos showing just how easy it is to enter a van either via a window or the  door.

Considering the cost a a van is comparable to a car and the security that is almost mandatory on a car.

 

Anyhow for your info this is their response.

 

Hi Colin,

Thank you for your email.

Our Technical Manager Martin Spencer, is extremely passionate about putting forward both the Clubs and our Members views. He has regular meetings with various bodies and manufacturers . He also lobbies the government and recently along with the National Caravan Council he attended a meeting with ministers responsible for vehicle taxation. 

Our legal helpline for Members has been in place for many years and is a free of charge. They offer advice on motoring and caravanning matters, if you need to contact them, please call them on 01206 846 073.

If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

So if you are a member at least you can lobby passionate Martin who has clearly done feck all in improving security and quality control.

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That message is "Push Off!" in Caravan Club speak.

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Ern

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8 hours ago, colin h said:

................ so I emailed CMC to see if they were interested in hosting the makers of caravans to discuss feedback and or gripes.  

 

20180601_044920.thumb.png.0c2eb179803bc33549f8cd2ee1871685.png

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                      Stay safe - Griff.:ph34r:

Discovery 4 with a Bessacarr 845 behind

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do you know what, I came across a new phrase yesterday, it was , dog whistle politics, I think that could be applied here.

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20 minutes ago, joanie said:

do you know what, I came across a new phrase yesterday, it was , dog whistle politics, I think that could be applied here.

Someone’s been watching The Chase 😁

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35 minutes ago, Johnaldo said:

Someone’s been watching The Chase 😁

haha, no it was on the Andrew Neil show, a politician kept using it.

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Neither of the two big clubs seems interested in anything practical to improve quality or service. At least the C&CC do take part in the annual customer survey with PC magazine and publish the results warts and all though. Frankly though the recent surveys seem to suggest that things are going backwards.

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19 hours ago, colin h said:

I have read several of the forum posts from here regarding warranty claims and disputes so I emailed CMC to see if they were interested in hosting the makers of caravans to discuss feedback and or gripes.  It is difficult to believe that some shoddy workmanship is still prevalent in this day and age. 

 

For my part things like window catches and door security is diabolical with several youtube videos showing just how easy it is to enter a van either via a window or the  door.

Considering the cost a a van is comparable to a car and the security that is almost mandatory on a car.

 

Anyhow for your info this is their response.

 

Hi Colin,

Thank you for your email.

Our Technical Manager Martin Spencer, is extremely passionate about putting forward both the Clubs and our Members views. He has regular meetings with various bodies and manufacturers . He also lobbies the government and recently along with the National Caravan Council he attended a meeting with ministers responsible for vehicle taxation. 

Our legal helpline for Members has been in place for many years and is a free of charge. They offer advice on motoring and caravanning matters, if you need to contact them, please call them on 01206 846 073.

If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

So if you are a member at least you can lobby passionate Martin who has clearly done feck all in improving security and quality control.

When we were rejecting a caravan the CMC legal line gave us advice that was totally incorrect and could have resulted in us losing several thousand pounds.  I would not trust their legal help at all.  I did send an email pointing out the correct information while also complaining about the incorrect information.  No response!

13 hours ago, Ern said:

That message is "Push Off!" in Caravan Club speak.

I could not put it more accurately! 

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As far as I can see the caravan club t/a Caravan and motor home club attitude to issues regarding faults and inherent design faults is best described as supine.  

Recently in the magazine there has been a series of articles written by a someone who apparently reviews caravans.  The theme of these articles is the experience of him and his wife buying and using their first caravan laughable. 

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Caravans are built to be as low weight as possible; security is always therefore going to be an  issue-regardless of what locks you fit and window catches are fitted they are always only ever going to need a basic tin opener to get in regardless of what any body does. consumer pressure is a good mover and feedback from us is essential; not sure it is the club'sjob to police caravan makers, but opinion on here seems to be otherwise. They do seem to have some sway re the government/regulations and safety issues but very little to be honest. Is it more the job of the ncc whoever they might be. 

Is it me or do the caravan clubs get a lot of knocking on forums-I really love what they do but am fully aware they are not really clubs anymore but businesses in all bar name!

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I agree with some of your comments,  Jezzerb,  but assuming you are correct in saying they are a business then surely you would want to represent your end users so that the word of mouth is "Join CMC" as they help you.

 

They are also an insurance provider so again you would think that security would reduce theft and therefore increase profits.

 

If you just believe that providing  over priced gear in a shop and having camping sites then you are looking at it in a very one dimensional way.

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Security on caravans ie Windows and doors, making it harder to break in would probably only mean more damage to the van, if some low life wants to enter they Will find a way, personally I am reasonably happy with what we have, 27 years and no attempted break ins 

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Defensive posts appear to have retreated to the security issue. The Quality and Reliability issues are indefensible. The NCC is a trade body which represents its paying members (and that's not us). The Caravan Club appears to operate as a business which represents its own interests in the Leisure Industry. Members interests no longer appear to be of importance to the club. The club is further hampered by its frequent incompetence. We never seek advice from them as it so likely to be wrong. Having said that, we are members of both clubs - for OUR interests.

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Ern

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Doesnt the CMC give out their own design awards to manufacturers?

 

Seems odd with the amount of complaints caravans generate over quality.

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On 10/01/2020 at 12:55, colin h said:

They are also an insurance provider so again you would think that security would reduce theft and therefore increase profits.

CMC no longer supply insurance for caravans.  They only supply their own Caravan Cover with the only difference being that you do not pay the Ins tax on the premium. 

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Well said Ern

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14 minutes ago, Durbanite said:

CMC no longer supply insurance for caravans.  They only supply their own Caravan Cover with the only difference being that you do not pay the Ins tax on the premium. 

 

They provide and underwrite their own cover for their members. It is administrated by a third party.  

 

Letter to CMC

Thank you for your reply.

 

I appreciate your comments and agree that a determined thief with an angle grinder could gain access but they are the minority. Most thieves are casual spur of the moment and the caravan is easy pickings. These are a few of the comments from Caravan Talk forum and there are lots more.

 

As you can see access was gained due to poor quality locks.  Caravans cost as much as a car and yet the car industry is making every effort to prevent theft with the use of integrated appliances such as radios and sat nav as opposed to the old stick your sat nav in the glove box days. My Volvo has tracking as standard.  Items like   https://www.ultrasecuredirect.com/wireless-indoor-alarms/shed-garage-alarms/battery-gsm-wireless-ultrapir-alarm/3g-battery-ultrapir-gsm-alarm-007-1150-p1167.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMInoaYkfyC5wIVWeDtCh0WHgk2EAQYASABEgK-XfD_BwE

are cheap and give immediate warning to owners and far better than a simple PIR installed.  Like wise items such as microwaves could be integrated to stop simple removal.

 

Lets be honest caravan manufacturers are still churning out high margin items because no one holds them to task.

 

I was hoping that you may take on board my comments but it sounds to me as if you have rolled over on this and not representing your members.

 

 

Colin Hodgkinson

 

This was my response to Martin the Technical Manager at CMC.

 

Edited by colin h
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1 I  attended a meeting, in which a the platform included Mr G Chamberlain stated that the club is not a campaigning organisation.

 

2 They carried out a reliability survey, delayed the publication of the results and then eventually published them without mentioning any brands.   So meaningless. 

 

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I  am not saying  I agree with the way the caravan club has gone in terms of business- and I think a lot of people are conned in to thinking they are a club because of the name. When we joined I did think it was a club! May be caravanners need an independent body they subscribe like the SMMT, or may be the NCC should do that? They approve caravans for the road so could also be involved in a drive for better quality and robustness, award the caravan for security  etc?

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The NCC, is an advocate for the industry not the customer.  There is nothing wrong with this.  It is just people seem to think it is some sort of authoritative body it is not.  The Caravan Club could and should imho be.   So it knows that the are endemic design faults for certain caravans they should have the guts to say so.   Or are they saying that all caravans are as good as each other.   Actually for the long term sustainability of the industry the manufacturers and customers should have very similar interests.  

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The NCC is a trade association, paid for by it's member businesses, most of which are caravan and motorhome manufacturers. They do operate a minimum standard scheme that all members agree to abide by, but I very much doubt that their members would agree to pushing the envelope on quality or security. As has been said many times before, the only thing that might bring about a change of attitude is if people stopped buying.

 

Oh! and neither main club is, or ever has been an NCC member, presumably on conflict of interest grounds. 

 

On a practical note all volume caravan makers go to great lengths to make their sheds on wheels as light as possible. If you want your shed to be robust, high quality and secure it will have to weigh and/or cost a heckuva lot more than the market will bear. The business model of caravan makers is firmly founded around volume. Getting vans out the door is the name of the game. If they can make one extra van a day by cutting corners on the others then that's another £5k plus to help cover the overheads.

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I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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I agree with you STeam on the weight cost compromise-let's think about what we get in a caravan-all the items you'd expect in a house but operate on mains or gas for starters,  central heating-they are mini marvels in my opinion and built to be as light as possible then hammered around UK's lovely billiard smooth(!!joke) roads-is there any wonder things break and shake loose. They are then left unmoved ofter for weeks on end without use or heat. Try treating a car like this-they don't like being left. WE so far have been impressed by UK caravans and don't subscribe to the 'lack of quality' complaints. They amaze me how good they are. 

In terms of the NCC , the motor trade seem to manage it with the SMMT THATCHAM  and Euro NCAP. And interestingly my opinion of the AA and RAC is that they have followed a similar path to the CMC ie 'clubs ' that are now businesses and used to represent drivers but have followed the route of profit over car driver protection-they make the odd noise but....!

Edited by Jezzerb

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Yes, the clubs are businesses, at their basics what else would an organisation with thousands of holiday pitches be? Unlike a normal business however they don't have to produce a shareholder dividend and any profits get ploughed back into facilities in one form or another.

Of course they could hive off their commercial operations and give members the money they make in so doing. Then you'd be left with a rump of advice and lobbying services and I wonder how many would bother joining or remaining members?

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I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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When you say profits are ploughed back in, who decides?

 

And hasnt there been costly mistakes in the past?

 

Also head office staffing, I can remember way back the IT being outsourced but the 40 yes 40 IT jobs had no redundancy, but a comment that the booking system they had was going to be sold commercially, hasnt happened never will, who buys analogue anymore, it's so outdated.

 

Then that TV show, how much do you think that cost of the clubs profits?

 

Etc etc

 

The line that the profits are ploughed back in, it's just an excuse to constantly raise prices to the benefit I would say of staff, not the members of a loyalty card scheme.

 

I think I finally understand why the CMC has so much more criticism than the C&CC, always baffled me, expectations, the C&CC dont promote themselves nor its members as much as the CMC do, only when people sign up are they shown the reality that behind the glamorous reception area lies an undesirable pit of disappointment, got that from a Hotel experience we once endured 😁

 

 

Edited by Wellys and Mac
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Presumably investment decisions at the CMC are made by the board just like most other businesses. Of necessity they have to have an executive that runs the business on a day to day basis, but there are board members who are voted in by the club membership.

 

Do you expect that every member should have a personal veto on everything the clubs do? That would be unreasonable, impractical and untenable.

 

Obviously if there are enough members who feel that things are being managed incorrectly they can get elected and challenge management, but the vast majority seem happy enough.

 

 


I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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