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Should I Contact The Manufacturer?


Diefer
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This is by no means any attack on the manufacturer of my caravan nor the supplying dealer (as much as I'd like to 'discuss' my utter contempt for the supplying dealer in public, I'm above that)

 

I've had my current 'van, a 2008 Compass Corona since new in November of the same year. It was an ex demo so had been on their forecourt for some months before I purchased it. It's been serviced every year by the supplying dealer. Just before the second service, I'd pointed out problems first raised from it's first which still hadn't been rectified. During it's second service the biggest problem was found to be 80% damp around the front windows. Took another 5 months for this to be resolved.

 

To my horror, whilst on a weekend trip away during some heavy rain, further water was found on the front internal window sill below the window. Further investigation, the wood under the window seals are black with mould, the wall board is turning green. Using my cheap digital damp meter, I found 40% damp around the front window. Nails and the screws/bolts for the external grab handles are rusty. Window sill is turning black, Curtains next to that window are turning mouldy.

 

My ‘van is now booked in with an Elddis recommended mobile engineer this November as I refuse flatly to take my ‘van back to Bodge-it n Legg-it. I never even received a letter in response to mine from them describing my utter contempt for their company.

 

My question is, should I just advise the mobile engineer of the problems I’ve found and have him investigate or/and should I also contact Elddis themselves to forewarn them?

 

I love this caravan, I love caravanning, this is my first ever caravan. But this has left me quite stressed to be honest. Would love to chop it in next year for another new one, providing all this can be avoided. If not, I may give up this fantastic past time.

 

Many regards,

 

Diefer

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My first instinct would be to get in touch with Trading Standards. Do you know you have up to 6 years with problems like these. Don't be put off by 12 month warranty claims, if you can show that it is an ongoing problem, you will have re-dress in law. Peter :)

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I'm really sorry to hear you are suffering this grief. Its not what we go caravanning for, is it?

 

I'm no expert but I believe in law the responsibility for redress where the item supplied is faulty or not fit for purpose rests in the first place with the supplier, not the manufacturer. I appreciate you have lost confidence in the dealership but by not going back to them you are not providing them with an opportunity to ascertain and fix the problem. So you should - whatever your feelings about them - go back to the supplier. You could also tell them that you propose to use an independent engineer to check their work because of your dissatisfaction with them in the past.

 

Alternatively, if a qualified independent engineer is able to demonstrate that there is a long standing fault which the supplier has not fixed, though you have in the past given them adequate opportunity to do so, you might be able to claim for the cost of repairs from the supplier - if necessary through the courts. But my guess is that you would need to be able to prove to the court that the fault you have now was the original fault, that it ought to have been apparent to the dealer and that you gave them adequate opportunities to fix the problem and that they repeatedly failed to do so. .. with proof of complaints you made, dates and times they had the van etc. You might be absolutley right about the inadequacy of the dealership but can you prove it in court?

 

It might be worth having a discussion with a solicitor about your options - you may find your household insurance or some other insurance you have covers you for contract disputes such as this. Failing that, if you are a member of the Caravan Club or Camping and Caravan Club or the Consumers Association you could ask them for advice on where you stand legally and how best to proceed.

 

I suppose contacting the manufacturer might also help - if only by putting pressure on the dealer. But the manufacturer's response is likely to be that the dealer is responsible as they are the ones you had a contract with. But it doesn't do their reputation any good so they may try to help you resolve this issue. If the manufacturers offer a warranty that still covers this issue 3 years later - notwithstanding your normal legal rights in respect of the suppliers duty to supply things of marketable quality, fit for purpose etc - then its possible you might be able to persuade the manufacturer to nominate another dealership to investigate and make the necessary warranty repairs.

Edited by lottie
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Hi Peter, it was the threat of taking the issue to the Trading Standards Office in the first place that finally got the dealers off their pile of money. ..I mean off their bums to sort the issues out. Perhaps I really should've followed that through. ......

 

Lottie, I've been in the rather fortunate position in the fact that all these issues have been warranty claims, so to date it hasn't cost me a penny. The manafacturers 3 years warranty runs out this year, still have 3 years left for the water ingress warranty. If my 'van has to go back to the supplying dealer, I will not take it. I've vowed not to step another foot on to their premises. My brother who has had several 'vans from them in the past has recently removed his from their storage area vowing the same. Most of their staff have left the dealership and I've also heard they're loosing alot of their return custom too. The last straw for me was when my van was damaged in storage and not taking responsibility for their staffs action. They have a strong policy of owners are NOT allowed to move their own 'vans in the storage area. ...

 

Diefer

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In times past I have written to both clubs saying that they should be there for the members and not in the pockets of the manufacturers ( advertising revenue). If the club did as it says in this months journal i. e. work with the manufactuerers to address complaints from members, I don't see any improvement. One reason why I voted with my cheque book and bought a Hymer 'van. Sorry to have to say this but the British 'van industry is far too complacent about sealing their vans properly. You pay as much for your 'van as you do for your car, how long would you put up with a leak in your car? ( rant over, for now ) :(

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Diefer

 

If your caravan is under 5 years old and has a full service history it will be covered by our water ingress code of practice.

Please contact our Customer Relations department on 01207 699000 or email them on customer. relations@elddis. co. uk with the full details including

Caravan VIN

Retailer

Date of purchase

Service record

Approved repairer you now plan to do the work

This will enable us to start the process with a view to having the caravan repaired under warranty.

 

Regards

 

David

From 22/05/15 no longer working for Elddis

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Hi david,

 

Many thanks for your reply. I'll shortly compile an e-mail to your customer relations department.

 

Diefer

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Hi guys, many thanks for all your feedback. An email has been sent to Elddis with my worries.

 

Just as a side note (not wanting to start another post) I've just read another post with regards to a 'service book' My supplying dealer at point of sale never pointed one out to me nor did they ask for it when being serviced. I'll have to pull the folder out and see if I do actually have one.

 

I did check the hand book with regards to the servicing and conditions of the water ingress warranty and it states that the 3rd and 5th service must be on or before the anniversery of the sale date. This year is its 3rd service but it's booked in 13 days after the anniversery, this is due to the 'van being used and also work commitments, how 'anal' are Elddis going to be over this date? Although I have no service book stamped, I do have service receipts from the dealer to prove the 'van has been serviced.

 

Many thanks to you all again,

 

Diefer

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diefer how do you think that it will strengthen your case by calling the people who set the RULES ie schedule for and when YOUR van is to be serviced " anal" is beyond me . my 2008 cyclone had no service book my dealer wrote inside the back cover and told me they send the details to the explorer group . "me thinks better to wait and see the result before calling names etc" jim

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hi diefer

if you have not got a service book have you still got the receipts for the services done if so that might be all you need. by the way have you looked in the back of the handbook as that is where my service record book is

hope this helps

bill

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A receipt that specifically states that the charge was for servicing is all that is required. a few days leeway because you are on holiday on the anniversary I am sure would hold up in court if it got that far. Peter :)

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Hi Jim, I’m not exactly calling them ‘names’ per say. Just wondering how ‘anally retentive’ they’re going to be that the 3rd service cannot be performed on or before the anniversary of the purchase date. You know the typical scenario of turning up and being told with sucking air thru their teeth “But because you didn’t stick to our terms of contract, you’re not covered, sorry” With all the other problems I have right now, I don’t need the stress of getting my caravan sorted that should’ve been fixed properly the first time round.

 

Peter & Bill, I do indeed have the service records/receipts from the dealer in my folder to show that some sort of service has taken place. I even have them on PDF file as I had to e-mail them back to the dealers as they had lost my service history from their files!

Regards,

 

Diefer

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