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Not sure if I'm expecting to much. I recently purchased a used caravan from a dealer, went to a site for 1 night local to give it a test run and find any niggles. We found 4, but couldn't return to dealer because of family emergency. But emailed them straight away with the 4 issues.

Roll forward a couple of weeks and I drive  back to dealer for an appointment to assess my niggles.

Fitter comes out of workshop and addresses each of my points in turn, my main gripe is that he was blase about my concerns, Point in case, the gas locker locks are a pain to lock. The plastic cam rotates 180 deg in relation to the key, so they are really hard to align with the catch and have the key in the correct orientation to remove. His answer was to tighten the nut, but this version of lock has no nut to tighten. He even looked at the lock and still kept to his story.

Now this is my biggest niggle, when the fitter came out, we had the normal how are you chat. I asked first and the conversation went as folows

 

ME-  Morning mate hows you?

Fitter-  OK, I'm knackered though, I was working here lastnight until 2030, not sure I'll be doing that again.

ME- Thats not good

Fitter- And I'm moving house this weekend and I haven't packed yet, can't really be bothered. not sure I wil until the day.

ME-  The wallpaper has come away from the internal wall there. (showed him where) Are you going to put a damp meter there and test to see if thats the reason why it's come away or it's just the glue thats given up.

Fitter- No, no point, it will be within tolerance, I'll just take a picture and show the boss. He's out the office today but will call tomorrow or the day after. (today being Wed so expect a call on Fri)

 

 

Now I waited til Sunday for a call, so then decided to mail the manager and explain my frustrations and that I thought the fitter was a bit unprofessional in his attitude to my van. If a client asked for a damp reading then it would be good practice to show the client that they were wrong and there is no damp. I also explained that I didn't really think it good that the fitter unloaded his woes on me. I was there to get my van assessed not be an agony aunt to the fitter.

 

Response back from the manager was very unprofessional, basically, it read that I'd purchased a used van and it wouldn't be perfect and I should live with it. With regards to the fitter experience, He was sorry that the fitter chatted to me politely about his life and not solely 100% about my caravan. He would  put a note on file that all fitters were not to engage in any small Talk with clients even if they ask for it. 

Now I don't mind small Talk but surely the fitter shouldn't be pouring his heart out to a customer whom he has never met before?

 

Am I over reacting? As someone who runs their own company, I wouldn't dream of going to see a client and telling them all my problems and issues. No matter how well I knew them.

 

So am I expecting to much from this dealer or are they being unreasonable?

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If the technician's small Talk was just the 2 sentences you have written then I would have thought it is nothing to tell his manager about and try to get him a reprimand for. Small Talk is often a way of getting a bit friendly with people which can repay in getting a better service out of somebody so you might have shot yourself in the foot with this dealer and the technician who is probably the one who will sort out any problems in the future.

 

I would get your own damp meter and not rely on others checking for damp, they do not cost much but can save a fortune if any damp is detected early and then fixed.

Edited by Paul1957
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Not sure that you have a case bearing in mind this is a second hand caravan.

I have never had a lock that rotated through 180 degrees, but if it works can you really say that it is faulty.

If there is a bit of loose wallpaper this would probably have been there when you bought it, so it was there to be seen. I agree that it might indicate damp but I cannot see that you can force the dealer to check it without further proof, although it is suspicious. I would buy a cheap meter and test the area involved, and if it indicates a problem you can then take it further. If there is serious damp I would want my money back, so you need to get this done within 30 days of purchase, or you only have the right to a repair.

If you ask the fitter how he is, I am afraid the reply is not out of the way although his comments would make me question his competence. If he cannot be bothered to pack for a move, then he probably cannot be bothered with your caravan either.

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34 minutes ago, mark-w said:

ME-  Morning mate hows you?

Fitter-  OK, I'm knackered though, I was working here lastnight until 2030, not sure I'll be doing that again.

ME- Thats not good

Fitter- And I'm moving house this weekend and I haven't packed yet, can't really be bothered. not sure I wil until the day.

 

..... I didn't really think it good that the fitter unloaded his woes on me. I was there to get my van assessed not be an agony aunt to the fitter.

 

Am I over reacting? As someone who runs their own company, I wouldn't dream of going to see a client and telling them all my problems and issues. No matter how well I knew them.

 

So am I expecting to much from this dealer or are they being unreasonable?

 

I don't really see the problem, you asked him how he was, and he answered you. I'd probably have given the same answer if i was him. If he had unloaded his personal problem onto you when you hadn't asked, well thats a bit different, but you did ask him how he was.

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I don't mind small Talk, I can Talk for hours about nothing, my wife will confirm, it's more the point that his whole chat was negative chat rather than a positive chat. I had no intention of getting the fitter reprimanded, more a point of his blase attitude to my concerns.

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But if you ask how someone is doing, you have to expect an answer. or would you rather him just tell you he's ok regardless, in which case why ask?

 

It's one of those questions you ask out of pleasantness, and most folk would just reply 'ok thanks', but once asked, you have to be prepared for an honest answer.

 

As for the wallpaper, I would expect the dealer to say it was like that when you viewed it, and was priced accordingly, almost 'sold as seen'. I wouldn't expect them to provide warranty cover for things that were noticeable prior to purchase.

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1 minute ago, LeadFarmer said:

 

I don't really see the problem, you asked him how he was, and he answered you. I'd probably have given the same answer if i was him. If he had unloaded his personal problem onto you when you hadn't asked, well thats a bit different, but you did ask him how he was.

Perhaps I'm just old school then. To be fair when you ask someone how they are if you've never met them before you don't expect their life story. 

If I met you in the pub and casually asked how you were would you pour your heart out to me in the first 30 seconds of meeting me??

Anyway, I have a damp meter now, and booked an independant damp survey so that I can have an independant report on my van. If there is any damp then I can go back with evidence that can't be refuted.

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2 minutes ago, LeadFarmer said:

Did they give you a damp report with the paperwork when you bought the caravan? If so and it said 0% then you may have a case.

No damp report issued, with hindsight, I should of asked but being new to this again it's something that I didn't really think about. We were a bit to excited to get another caravan.

When we purchased it they said go away for 1 night to a local pitch which we've paid for and test it out. If there are any issues then let us now.

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2 minutes ago, LeadFarmer said:

Did they give you a damp report with the paperwork when you bought the caravan? If so and it said 0% then you may have a case.

 

You should never get a damp report with 0% damp anywhere, if it does then the wood is falling to bits.

ALL wood has a moisture content unless it is so dried out it turns to dust.

 

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Just now, Brecon said:

 

You should never get a damp report with 0% damp anywhere, if it does then the wood is falling to bits.

ALL wood has a moisture content unless it is so dried out it turns to dust.

 

I think you know what I mean

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7 minutes ago, LeadFarmer said:

 

 

As for the wallpaper, I would expect the dealer to say it was like that when you viewed it, and was priced accordingly, almost 'sold as seen'. I wouldn't expect them to provide warranty cover for things that were noticeable prior to purchase.

We viewed several vans the same. Same make and model and production year. It is a layout that we liked and only viewed them. They were all in the same price range, as in within £1K of each other and this wasn't the cheapest of those we saw. So there was no "priced to sell because of a damp issue". It was priced according to whatever trade pricing schedule they were using.

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It is a very fine line between being excessively chatty and being brusk, compounded by the fact that we do not all agree where that line is.

Add to that the fact that he was having a bad week.

He was probably right about the possibility of damp, but I would do my own test anyway.

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3 minutes ago, mark-w said:

 there was no "priced to sell because of a damp issue". 

 

What I meant was they may have priced the caravan knowing that some wallpaper was peeling. That doesn't mean they discounted the price, maybe they knew about it but slapped the price on anyway. My point being that it might have been there when you viewed it, a possible area for haggling?

 

I'm confident this year has been a sellers market for caravan dealers, they will have made fortunes selling their stock. My dealer doesn't have any caravans left in their sales yard, they have all sold, new and 2nd hand. I don't think they needed to discount caravans to sell them, they put their price on and sold them all. But they now won't be receiving any new caravans until January 2021, so no more sales for them.

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I think that you went a bit over the top as far as the fitter goes although he must have seemed a bit too laid back or totally stressed out.  Now any contact that  you have with the dealer will have to be very formal, keeping all proof of emails and times and dates of phone calls. If he does do any work for you are you confident that it will be done to your satisfaction?  

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10 minutes ago, joanie said:

I think that you went a bit over the top as far as the fitter goes although he must have seemed a bit too laid back or totally stressed out.  Now any contact that  you have with the dealer will have to be very formal, keeping all proof of emails and times and dates of phone calls. If he does do any work for you are you confident that it will be done to your satisfaction?  

If the fitter was 1 of my employees I wouldn't of expected him to act the way he did. Like I said, perhaps my standards and what I expect of me and my staff is old school, but after 24 yrs in the Army you soon learn to respect people and understand how to behave around them.

As for trusting this company, now I don't trust them at all. If there is damp, it will go back to be repaired, not interested in money back. But it will be followed up by an independant damp survey to give me confidence. If there is no damp, I won't be going back to them for anything. 

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Sadly an honest answer instead of stock 'fine thank you' with no thought didn't impress you. I would have sympathised and enjoyed a chat ,and tried to find out what its was that he was working on . Often this sort of approach gets you better service or response from an engineer. Bit like always offering workmen on the house a cup of tea. Tend to think then they go the extra mile.

However I am surprised there was no damp report with the van . Dealer has been very remiss there.

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I'm sorry, but you initiated the small Talk, if you didn't want it then a simple "good morning" would have sufficed. Whilst I don't go around sharing my problems with the world we are not all the same. 

 

As for the niggles I agree to appoint that there will be some minor issues with a used van and when buying one I go over them with a fine tooth comb and would advise anyone else to do the same, so that iffy locks and peeling wall paper are spotted before I take possession. I would always get a damp check, either with my own meter or borrow one from the dealer. A good dealer should get a damp meter and test for you whilst you watch. It is not a new van, you are not paying the new price, don't expect it to be new. It should be fit for purpose.

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49 minutes ago, mark-w said:

 Like I said, perhaps my standards and what I expect of me and my staff is old school, but after 24 yrs in the Army you soon learn to respect people and understand how to behave around them.

 

No!

After 24 years in the Army you have learned one way of respecting people and understanding how to behave around them.

I spent 42 years in one branch of the civil service and learned a very different way of respecting people and understanding how to behave around them. I will joke and chat on first name terms with anyone, from senior politicians to office cleaners.

Not so much "old school" as just one set of attitudes.

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So two niggles were that you had difficulty locking the gas locker door, the second that some wall paper was peeling, what were the other two niggles.

 

Oh, I've just spotted them in your ' Gas Locker' thread started last Wednesday,  which I must admit makes interesting reading, especially things like sending a snotty email, calling the van engineer a workshop monkey, hired help, having to listen to his story, which the way you worded it sounded like he spontaneously told you all his problems but we now learn that you instigated the conversation !

 

 

When the engineer said "No, no point, it will be within tolerance, I'll just take a picture and show the boss." and said, "that's normal", with regard to the locks, he was obviously going by his expertise of second hand caravans!

 

There are always two sides to a story, we are only seeing one.

 

Take a step back and examine your attitude when you were being told something you didn't want to hear from the engineer, was your attitude positive or negative ?

 

That the seller provided you with a free nights pitch to check the van over isn't the norm and shows that he has confidence in his vans so why send snotty emails.

 

When you say " As for trusting this company, now I don't trust them at all. If there is damp, it will go back to be repaired, not interested in money back. But it will be followed up by an independant  independent damp survey to give me confidence. If there is no damp, I won't be going back to them for anything ". 

 

I'll bet that if the manager saw this he would say  " Thank goodness for that ".  😂🤣

 

Welcome to the world of caravans, both second hand and new, where niggles, faults, screw tightening and fettling can be part of the experience.

 

If you purchase another van at any time, do remember what you failed to do this time, spend a few bob on getting a survey done before purchase. 🙄

 

 

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Common sense isn't a gift, it's a punishment because you have to deal with everyone who doesn't have it.  :rolleyes:

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7 minutes ago, Silversurf said:

So two niggles were that you had difficulty locking the gas locker door, the second that some wall paper was peeling, what were the other two niggles.

 

Oh, I've just spotted them in your ' Gas Locker' thread started last Wednesday,  which I must admit makes interesting reading, especially things like sending a snotty email, calling the van engineer a workshop monkey, hired help, having to listen to his story, which the way you worded it sounded like he spontaneously told you all his problems but we now learn that you instigated the conversation !

I asked if he was oK, I didn't expect his lifestory and his tales of woe

 

 

When the engineer said "No, no point, it will be within tolerance, I'll just take a picture and show the boss." and said, "that's normal", with regard to the locks, he was obviously going by his expertise of second hand caravans!

But would of taken him less than a couple of minutes to dig out his damp meter and show me! I didn't think that was to much to ask

 

There are always two sides to a story, we are only seeing one.

 

Take a step back and examine your attitude when you were being told something you didn't want to hear from the engineer, was your attitude positive or negative ?

I was positive with him, I wanted them to do the rectifying of the issues. I'm not that daft to go in with an attitude

 

That the seller provided you with a free nights pitch to check the van over isn't the norm and shows that he has confidence in his vans so why send snotty emails. 

Because I was informed that contact would be made within 48 hrs, I waited an extra 24hrs and sent an email. I stated in that email, I expected a response , if only to say, I've spoken with the fitter and will now look at the pics. But to have no contact is unacceptable

 

When you say " As for trusting this company, now I don't trust them at all. If there is damp, it will go back to be repaired, not interested in money back. But it will be followed up by an independant  independent damp survey to give me confidence. If there is no damp, I won't be going back to them for anything ". 

 

I'll bet that if the manager saw this he would say  " Thank goodness for that ".  😂🤣

The bit I left out, when we viewed the van we dealt with the owner of the company, when we were organising the collection my wife dealt with the site manager, she was so upset by his attitude and the way he spoke to her she complained to the owner. When we collected he was as nice as pie and couldn't do enough for us. Then when I come back to sort a few niggles out his attitude reverted back to when he wasn't face to face. When the wife complained the owner did say, if you catch him in the morning he's normally fine but gets grumpier as the day goes on and then laughed. So the owner knows what he's like

7 minutes ago, Silversurf said:

 

Welcome to the world of caravans, both second hand and new, where niggles, faults, screw tightening and fettling can be part of the experience.

As I'm learning. But this is the first van in 15 years it's a steep learning curve

 

If you purchase another van at any time, do remember what you failed to do this time, spend a few bob on getting a survey done before purchase. 🙄

Don't worry, I will

7 minutes ago, Silversurf said:

 

 

 

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You asked the fitter how he was and he told you.  I know it's a standard small Talk question but still don't be surprised if you then get an honest answer. 

 

Maybe the guy is having a tough time and needed to unload. In which case a bit of compassion would be better than trying to get him into trouble with his manager. 

 

I think you've overreacted to be honest. 

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Mark

 

I for one think you clearly DO expect too much! If you are THAT bothered about the locks then get off your high horse and fix them yourself! It’s not exactly a difficult job.,

 

You purchased a USED not new caravan so it’s utterly unreasonable to expect it to be in exactly the same condition as a new one, that’s why it doesn’t cost as much as a new one. Get a grip on reality man! 

 

Secondly you asked a question of the  fitter. If you didn’t like the (truthful) answer that’s no-one else’s fault but yours!  If you are unlikely to like the answer then don’t ask the question.

 

I think you need to look at your attitude towards other people. You state you served 24 years in the Army, doubtless on a commission (what I expect of me and my staff) as you clearly expect everyone to bend to your view of the world and “jump to it”  I bet you were REALLY popular. 

 

As for running to a manger telling tales  and trying to get the fitter into trouble, we’ll thats both pathetic AND spiteful. 

 

Go back and read what others have posted, there’s a common theme, let me spell it out, they all disagree with you! That should tell you all you (clearly don’t) want to hear.

 

 I bet the dealers will be simply delighted to hear you won’t be going back. 

 

.

Edited by Mr Plodd
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Experience is an awful teacher who ends up sending you simply horrifying bills

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Something to bear in mind which newcomers to caravanning may not be aware of. When you buy one the supplying dealer is responsible for sorting out any problems and warranty claims. Other dealers often will not take this on, it is not like buying a car where other dealers of the same make will work on them. They do not take others on since the warranty work does not pay well and they are often fully booked up  on their own customers caravans. Upsetting the supplying dealer over something trivial (to most people) can make it difficult in the future if something needs to be done.

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And suddenly Mark-W has disappeared from this thread after having keenly responded almost instantly to the early responses.

 

Not too difficult to figure out why though is it?

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Experience is an awful teacher who ends up sending you simply horrifying bills

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  • Gordon changed the title to Am I too critical??

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