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Perils of not buying from a local dealer


Marcusp
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Last July we purchased a brand new Swift 645 from a dealer in Norfolk as our local dealers could obtain one and the dealer was one of only a few in the country who had one in stock.

This entailed a journey in total of 260 miles as we live in Warwickshire.

 

fast forward 11 months and we have a warranty issue with the silicon sealant coming away from a round the shower tray which is causing water to leak down the sides of the shower tray and out of the bottom of the caravan.

 

despite trying three different local dealers they have all refused to do the warranty work as soon as I have been asked if the caravan was purchased from them. They have all said they are to busy to do work if it wasnt purchased from them.

 

I am now left in the position of either re doing the work myself re sealing the tray which May invalidate the warranty and if their are any future damp issues due to the leak may not be covered or doing two return trips to Norfolk totalling over 500 miles with any future warranty work also causing the same issue

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One of the joys of buying remotely I’m afraid. Any savings on price can quickly disappear when warranty work is required.

Caravans are not like cars.

When you buy a new car, any franchised Dealer in the whole country is obliged to carry out warranty work.

With a caravan, only the supplying Dealer is required to carry out warranty work. Other Dealers may do so if they wish, but as you have found out, many will not.

Your only other option is to try workshops in the Approved Workshop Scheme.

Some of them have direct links with manufacturers and can deal directly with them on warranty issues without involving a Dealer.

You could try contacting Swift and asking them if there are any such workshops in your area.

Edited by hp100425ev
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Quite a few members on CT advise people not buy new from a dealer a long way away. I am sorry for your warranty problems but my advice is to get them to service the warranty as you don't know what thd future brings. 

All dealers are inundated with all types of work so it doesn't surprise me that local dealers are refusing your caravan. It is so different from cars. 

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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Apologies if you’ve tried this but could an approved mobile workshop do this for you?

 

might be worth asking Swift if you can use this approach.

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We purchased our Bailey 640 Platinum from Chipping Sodbury but live in Lincolnshire. For it's first service and a minor warranty issue we booked it in at the dealers for the work to be done on a specific date. We collected it after lunch and carried on our journey combining it with a weeks holiday. Worked out okay for us. I use a local approved workshop now but if it does need any further warranty work we would work it round a holiday again. Works for us.

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Thanks for the replies guys. We have a mobile workshop who is an authorised workshop nearby. He is doing our service but said hes not authorised to do swift warranty work.

 

Think I will contact Swift and see if they can assist otherwise Ill fill the car up and make the journey

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This type of problem has come up before, very frustrating.

 

Alas as caravans are so prone to leaking serious consideration needs to be given why buying from far afield.

 

macafee2

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I bought brand new in 2019 from my nearest dealer, but only because their dealer special was exactly what we wanted. However, for servicing and warranty work I take it to a Swift approved workshop. In fact I drive past the dealer when going to the workshop. I have more confidence in the workshop than I do in the dealer.

 

The last couple of warranty issues I've had, I have repaired myself. There will be no way of anyone knowing that the work was ever done, so no warranty void issues to worry about. But that did mean me spending ages on my hands and knees ripping most of the plumbing out and replacing.

Edited by JCCD
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Wonder what the mobile guy would charge to reseal the shower?

 

Probably do a better job and may cost less than the fuel would cost for the trip

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1 hour ago, TonyandKaren said:

We purchased our Bailey 640 Platinum from Chipping Sodbury but live in Lincolnshire. For it's first service and a minor warranty issue we booked it in at the dealers for the work to be done on a specific date. We collected it after lunch and carried on our journey combining it with a weeks holiday. Worked out okay for us. I use a local approved workshop now but if it does need any further warranty work we would work it round a holiday again. Works for us.

The  problem is if it's a more involved job. The dealer will need to see it. So that's one visit. They then wait for the spares/materials to be sent from the manufacturers and so a second visit is required to fix the problem. Of course it may not be a problem organising several holiday around repairs.

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I’m in the very fortunate position of my local dealer Lady Bailey Caravans being happy to carry out warranty work even though I didn’t buy from them!

 

Anyone within striking distance of Blandford Forum Dorset, with a Bailey caravan I cannot recommend them highly enough.

 

Thumbs up to Flinty (don't try and figure it out as, unless you are him, it’s meaningless) 

Edited by Mr Plodd

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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According to the Swift website, your particular problem may not be covered by the warranty anyway ? ?

 

See this page which I expect is a copy of the terms in your Warranty Handbook     https://www.swiftgroup.co.uk/owners/warranty/caravans-2019

 

Quote

 

Swift shall not be liable under this Warranty for any defect related to or arising from the following:

 

Routine maintenance items which are part of the annual service including brake shoes, one shot nuts, lubricants, AKS pads, rubber gas hose, the cleaning of the heater and fridge flues, the replacement of gas jets, the resealing and/ or replacement of shower room sealant, and the adjustment and lubrication of locks.

 

.

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What if the sealant is missing (as in our case) and if the sealant fails within a year of purchase it suggests to me there is a problem with the workmanship. The problem with shower leaks in Swift vans is too common so don’t let Swift off the hook by giving your own answer. 

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If you get a NCC approved mobile engineer to do it for you he will be able to liase with your dealer and the  Swift database. We bought from m 200 miles away ours is serviced annually by an NCC approved engineer and only had to go back to the suppling dealer for a new rear panel and damp at 1 year old as engineer does not have a workshop and rear panel not practical for him anyway . Mobile engineer has looked after everything else. 

Edited by David55
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22 hours ago, Marcusp said:

Last July we purchased a brand new Swift 645 from a dealer in Norfolk as our local dealers could obtain one and the dealer was one of only a few in the country who had one in stock.

This entailed a journey in total of 260 miles as we live in Warwickshire.

 

fast forward 11 months and we have a warranty issue with the silicon sealant coming away from a round the shower tray which is causing water to leak down the sides of the shower tray and out of the bottom of the caravan.

 

despite trying three different local dealers they have all refused to do the warranty work as soon as I have been asked if the caravan was purchased from them. They have all said they are to busy to do work if it wasnt purchased from them.

 

I am now left in the position of either re doing the work myself re sealing the tray which May invalidate the warranty and if their are any future damp issues due to the leak may not be covered or doing two return trips to Norfolk totalling over 500 miles with any future warranty work also causing the same issue

As you know where the water is getting in and coming out I can’t see a problem remove the existing silicone and re seal  if you don’t feel confident with a sealing it your self get a bathroom or kitchen fitter or a window fitter to seal it for you make sure They use a low mod silicon or a silicone that’s for upvc  windows as that will allow for movement and flex of the shower tray

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Hello

 

Sorry for your problem. 
W bought a Hymer 590 from Highbridge caravans with amazing service and a great deal plus they had the caravan we wanted. 
we life in the Ribble Valley so like you a very long way from the dealer we decided on a few things on purchase 

1 If a small warranty job was needed we would just pay for it. There are many caravan service centres or mobile people who will do small jobs like this

2 If we had a larger claim we would take it down and have a holiday then pick it up with another holiday. 
 

On picking up the caravan the lady told us if we don’t get it serviced by a Hymer dealer it would invalidate our warranty I then informed her of out rights and no matter what they add in a contract nothing beats the sales of good act now the consumer act 2015
I a, sorry to say on its first service  I found the back locker door was leaking so we did options two, I have the very top end protometer and test my caravan every single time I go away and other time in storage so about 12 times a year. My new meter has the no hole technology as well as the hole type for further investigation, the  work was done and it was amazing just amazing belt and braces and another belt I think. I was then informed I need to have my caravan serviced by Hymer, I let the nice lady know if they had a mobile service engineer I would book with them but if not it was impossible and if this was so important to them they should not of sold me the caravan put simply the consumer act 2015 covered me and if they wanted a fight I have never ever lost because I can not lose as long as I turn up. 
I have just booked my second mobile service who is happy to do any repairs if needed. 
You will find some one to do the job and this will keep your damp warranty in place also as long as the damp does not come from the shower they could not refuse to do the work anyway. 
 

James 

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The old Swift shower sealant issue! Effected my van and many others who have posted. I also had to get my dealer to reseal under warranty and the issue was satisfactory sorted. Good luck with your efforts and hope it gets resolved. 

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8 hours ago, Jcf1966 said:

Hello

 

Sorry for your problem. 
W bought a Hymer 590 from Highbridge caravans with amazing service and a great deal plus they had the caravan we wanted. 
we life in the Ribble Valley so like you a very long way from the dealer we decided on a few things on purchase 

1 If a small warranty job was needed we would just pay for it. There are many caravan service centres or mobile people who will do small jobs like this

2 If we had a larger claim we would take it down and have a holiday then pick it up with another holiday. 
 

On picking up the caravan the lady told us if we don’t get it serviced by a Hymer dealer it would invalidate our warranty I then informed her of out rights and no matter what they add in a contract nothing beats the sales of good act now the consumer act 2015
I a, sorry to say on its first service  I found the back locker door was leaking so we did options two, I have the very top end protometer and test my caravan every single time I go away and other time in storage so about 12 times a year. My new meter has the no hole technology as well as the hole type for further investigation, the  work was done and it was amazing just amazing belt and braces and another belt I think. I was then informed I need to have my caravan serviced by Hymer, I let the nice lady know if they had a mobile service engineer I would book with them but if not it was impossible and if this was so important to them they should not of sold me the caravan put simply the consumer act 2015 covered me and if they wanted a fight I have never ever lost because I can not lose as long as I turn up. 
I have just booked my second mobile service who is happy to do any repairs if needed. 
You will find some one to do the job and this will keep your damp warranty in place also as long as the damp does not come from the shower they could not refuse to do the work anyway. 
 

James 

 

I think there are some basic misunderstandings of consumer law in the above post.

 

When you buy something your contract is with the dealer, not the manufacturer. The fact that a manufacturer offers a warranty really just means that they agree to recompense the dealer for any rectification work. I am not sure if the currency of any warranty relying on an annual service being carried out by an authorised Hymer dealer is legally supportable, but Hymer haven't removed it from their conditions and one would think they would do if it wasn't enforceable. There are a number of Hymer dealers around the country, including one at Southport on the Ribble Estuary. 

 

In circumstances where Hymer refuse to support a warranty claim because its conditions haven't been met,  the cost of any rectification falls back on the dealer who sold the vehicle, or the buyer. If the problem falls within the conditions and timescales of the Consumer Rights Act then the dealer is liable, though they may, incorrectly, attempt to obtain payment from the buyer. 

 

A number of issues affect whether a dealership can or will do warranty work on van's they haven't sold. Unlike the car industry, caravan 'franchises' are very loose affairs and some dealers swap brands on an almost annual basis. The brands themselves don't have the capital base to lend dealerships pots of money, as regularly occurs with car dealers, and therefore the brands don't have the hold over dealerships that car brands do. It's quite possible that due to lack of enough facilities and/or staff a dealership will be struggling to service vans it has sold, let alone those sold by a competitor. Understandably they wouldn't want to take on work that is going to lengthen the wait for service for their loyal customers. Conversely if they have enough workshop and staff that they risk unproductive downtime then they'll probably be happy to take on a 'foreigner'.  Such things should be considered and enquired upon locally before buying a van from a dealership some distance away.

 

One of the perfidies of the caravan business is the caravan show that has stands using dealership sales staff. They vie with each other to entice custom from anywhere in the country, whilst knowing that the customer is going to have problems getting the van serviced 200 miles from their own dealership. 

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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18 minutes ago, Steamdrivenandy said:

 

I think there are some basic misunderstandings of consumer law in the above post.

 

When you buy something your contract is with the dealer, not the manufacturer. The fact that a manufacturer offers a warranty really just means that they agree to recompense the dealer for any rectification work. I am not sure if the currency of any warranty relying on an annual service being carried out by an authorised Hymer dealer is legally supportable, but Hymer haven't removed it from their conditions and one would think they would do if it wasn't enforceable. There are a number of Hymer dealers around the country, including one at Southport on the Ribble Estuary. 

 

In circumstances where Hymer refuse to support a warranty claim because its conditions haven't been met,  the cost of any rectification falls back on the dealer who sold the vehicle, or the buyer. If the problem falls within the conditions and timescales of the Consumer Rights Act then the dealer is liable, though they may, incorrectly, attempt to obtain payment from the buyer. 

 

My Coachman dealer has basically said to me that if Coachman don't support a warranty claim, the work will not be carried out. I have quite forcefully stated that I don't really care what Coachman say, it is you the dealer that has the responsibility for any warranty repairs. The dealer was not interested in what I had to say. In  my warranty handbook it quite clearly states I have a 3 year warranty on all fitted standard equipment, apart from a few exemptions, lamps, fuses etc. I am waiting for the dealer to come back to me before I start to go legal.

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Hi, just seen this and have posted a few times re our experience.

We have had new vans since 1995 and when the first, bought 150 miles from home, developed a fault the dealers suggested using a workshop approved to do Elddis  warranty work.

We have since bought vans up to 340 miles from home but all warranty work is done by the workshop.

I have had one issue when the workshop agreed to carry out some work then, when they discovered the dealer we had bought from, declined as they have had issues receiving payment.

My overall experience of van dealers is that once they get you money the level of attention you can expect drops massively.

The workshop, not having sold me the van, has my interests first not the manufacturers.

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1 minute ago, Allan Guest said:

Hi, just seen this and have posted a few times re our experience.

We have had new vans since 1995 and when the first, bought 150 miles from home, developed a fault the dealers suggested using a workshop approved to do Elddis  warranty work.

We have since bought vans up to 340 miles from home but all warranty work is done by the workshop.

I have had one issue when the workshop agreed to carry out some work then, when they discovered the dealer we had bought from, declined as they have had issues receiving payment.

My overall experience of van dealers is that once they get you money the level of attention you can expect drops massively.

The workshop, not having sold me the van, has my interests first not the manufacturers.

 

I would only quibble with your last sentence Allan. Dealer's have nobody's interest in mind but their own. They will try and swing blame/responsibility on manufacturers when legally they are the responsible party. They don't like it. They squiggle and squirm under it but that's the legal position. They have no loyalty to a manufacturer at all.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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8 minutes ago, SuperRed said:

My Coachman dealer has basically said to me that if Coachman don't support a warranty claim, the work will not be carried out. I have quite forcefully stated that I don't really care what Coachman say, it is you the dealer that has the responsibility for any warranty repairs. The dealer was not interested in what I had to say. In  my warranty handbook it quite clearly states I have a 3 year warranty on all fitted standard equipment, apart from a few exemptions, lamps, fuses etc. I am waiting for the dealer to come back to me before I start to go legal.

 

Many customers threaten legal action and the dealers know that very few will actually follow through on that threat. So they will play brinkmanship as 9 times out of 10 customers  don’t follow through with a threat. 

 

If your defect is one you are sure is covered by the warranty then take a trip to your local county court office. The staff there tend to be very good at helping “ the little man” take on the big boys. If it gets to the stage of CC papers being served most businesses will, at that point, “cave in” and do what they should have done in the first place (and lay your legal costs!)

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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There’s a good answer to this problem. We had a problem with our (out of warranty) van. We had vertical splits in the shower wall. Our local independent workshop recommended a company in Hull called  PSS. They will come to you and do a guaranteed repair with much better materials than you would get at a van dealers. They did a superb job for us and it was, I think, in the £300 area. Not much more than dragging your van across the country and you will probably have to make two journeys anyway.

I’ve  just checked and they are on the web but come back to me if you need any more info.

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4 minutes ago, Orange said:

There’s a good answer to this problem. We had a problem with our (out of warranty) van. We had vertical splits in the shower wall. Our local independent workshop recommended a company in Hull called  PSS. They will come to you and do a guaranteed repair with much better materials than you would get at a van dealers. They did a superb job for us and it was, I think, in the £300 area. Not much more than dragging your van across the country and you will probably have to make two journeys anyway.

I’ve  just checked and they are on the web but come back to me if you need any more info.

If you wish can you give more details on here for the benefit of forum members who made need their expertise.

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Swift themselves use PSS…..

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