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Dealer Service Complaint


rascal

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Letter reply from the dealer "sorry our engineer forgot to switch off the pump and flattened the battery. We've noticed many manufacturers caravan's fires become unclipped on journeys, and if you still have'nt got a replacement vent cover for the fridge, ring us up and we'll send you one. This to a customer who has bought three vans from them, and had actually enquired about a fourth. I have had contact during the year with 2 caravan fitters who have offered to come to my house, and complete a full service as to manufacturers spec for £70. This would leave me £129 per year to put towards any damp that may occur. PS. . Watch out all Swift owners in case your fire jumps off the wall, and your fridge outside vent succumbs to the G forces as you go round the bend. We're off to Tewksbury in a bit, so we'll take spanners, screwdrivers and duck tape to try to keep the 2 year old van together. Regards Len

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This is the way that I'm going for the next service,

 

He's someone who will come to you, is highly recommended, & Jones Venning approved :)

Paul B

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

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I noted, in the last edition of the CC magazine, a dealer giving his perspective on the issue of warranty work and servicing suggesting that he will give preferance to customers who have purchased vans from him and, if necessary, decline such work from people who have had the audacity to shop around and get their van from another dealer and save a few quid !!!

 

From the things I've heard from some people about shoddy servicing it makes me wonder exactly what future some dealers have!!! Pay over the odds for your van then put up with it being badly serviced!!!!!!

 

Regards

 

NRF

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Guest mr_sheens

ive got to admitt that a lot of dealerships operate like this. its because most are so busy looking after customer who have bought from them, that there isnt enough resources to cope with customers who have bought elsewhere.

ive found a lot of caravans that have been bought elsewhere do come with baggage from the other dealership not doing their job correctly. when you are busy looking after your own, is it any wonder why dealerships sometimes turn work away.

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ive got to admitt that a lot of dealerships operate like this. its because most are so busy looking after customer who have bought from them, that there isnt enough resources to cope with customers who have bought elsewhere.

ive found a lot of caravans that have been bought elsewhere do come with baggage from the other dealership not doing their job correctly. when you are busy looking after your own, is it any wonder why dealerships sometimes turn work away.

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Only because you are certainly qualified to give an opinion, what would you say to "many caravan manufacurers' fires come adrift on journeys"?. My dealer would not say which ones, and I was about to buy my fourth van from them. Regards Len

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<suggesting that he will give preferance to customers who have purchased vans from him >

 

That sounds very fair to me!

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So why cant the caravan industry adopt the car dealers approach? If you buy a Ford you can get it serviced at any Ford dealer. Thats how it SHOULD be and not the out dated practice still adopted by a large part of the caravan industry where we are held to ransom.

 

Regards

 

NRF

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Only because you are certainly qualified to give an opinion, what would you say to "many caravan manufacurers' fires come adrift on journeys"?.  My dealer would not say which ones, and I was about to buy my fourth van from them. Regards  Len

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Not really, as my van bought from him, is his own make, with his name emblazoned on the side!!

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Guest mr_sheens

as a customer you have the choice as to which dealership you purchase from. as a dealership you have the choice of who you wish to deal with. when you become a dealership you are only obliged to service the caravans bought from you. the manufacturers are ok with this because they are only interested in selling caravans. if they tried to make a dealership service everything, they would run the chance of a dealership telling them where to go.

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<suggesting that he will give preferance to customers who have purchased vans from him >

 

That sounds very fair to me!

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Thats just it!!!!! My van is a dealer special, bought from he himself and emblazoned down the side with his good name !!!!!!!!!

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as a customer you have the choice as to which dealership you purchase from. as a dealership you have the choice of who you wish to deal with. when you become a dealership you are only obliged to service the caravans bought from you. the manufacturers are ok with this because they are only interested in selling caravans. if they tried to make a dealership service everything, they would run the chance of a dealership telling them where to go.

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I know this is how it is but my view is that its not right. I'm not saying its the dealers fault. If the caravan manufacturers dont pay the dealer enough for warranty work but the whole industry, dealers and manufacturers, need to be shaken root and branch and the whole process of owning and servicing a van made more customer friendly. That includes a decent and ready availability on spares and quick turnaround of repairs. Things I've heard about spares taking weeks or months and body repairs taking months to complete are shocking and would never happen in the car industry so why should it happen in the caravan industry. Why should we put up with spending 5 figure sums on brand new caravans only to find a huge number of things wrong with themand then spend our time in getting them fixed? If there are any caravan manufacturers reading this thread who have a half decent response I'm sure we'd all like to hear it !

 

Regards

 

NRF

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as a customer you have the choice as to which dealership you purchase from. as a dealership you have the choice of who you wish to deal with. when you become a dealership you are only obliged to service the caravans bought from you. the manufacturers are ok with this because they are only interested in selling caravans. if they tried to make a dealership service everything, they would run the chance of a dealership telling them where to go.

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Surely, by the same token, if dealerships refused to service everything, manufacturers could refuse to deal with the dealer involved. :rolleyes:

 

As it is, personally, I would prefer to deal with the dealer I bought my caravan from as, if I had wanted to deal with any other dealership, then I'd have bought from them instead. I wouldn't necessarily buy at the cheapest dealers as cheapest isn't always best.

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Thing is without personal recommendations you don’t really know what your getting yourself into with a particular dealer/manufacturer until the first warranty issues crop up.

 

Now I’m planning on keeping my van until the warranty expires, it leaves me feeling the unwilling partner tied in to a contract that doesn’t actually exist !! for example I’ve been waiting for basic spares (that could be fitted in minutes) on warranty since Easter.

 

I often wonder what the outcome would be if I were unlucky enough to need essential parts just before a major holiday with upfront expenses :o

                                                           Fiat Rimor Europeo 69P Motorhome

 

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Guest mr_sheens

NEWRANGERFAMILY.

 

im sorry but you are comparing apples to oranges.

 

we are not the car trade and never will because a caravan is a leisure product. there is not the same level of investment as there is in the car trade and this is why parts take so long.

 

if you want a starter motor for a ford, there may be 20 car accessory shops in your town that can get your part from maybe 5 suppliers. in the caravan trade you have one maybe two suppliers for a part.

 

this will never change until there are the same amount of caravans as there are cars.

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NEWRANGERFAMILY.

 

im sorry but you are comparing apples to oranges.

 

we are not the car trade and never will because a caravan is a leisure product.   there is not the same level of investment as there is in the car trade and this is why parts take so long.

 

if you want a starter motor for a ford, there may be 20 car accessory shops in your town that can get your part from maybe 5 suppliers. in the caravan trade you have one maybe two suppliers for a part.

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Mr Sheens, sorry it's me again!! I replied to your advice that a service dealer would not want to take on faults etc from a supplying dealer. but it went on the wrong members post. My van is a dealer special, bought from the dealer who serviced it for £199 and it has his name in big letters down the side. He left the fire hanging on one side clip, lost the fridge vent, and left the pump on to flatten the battery. He has sent me a replacement vent cover, but it is the wrong one.

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Hi Mr Sheens,

 

I'm still puzzled to know why parts availability should be such a problem.

 

This is mainly because I've noticed that most different makes of caravans are fitted with identical equipment anyway, so surely this should make some parts easier to source than others if many are mass manufactured??

 

Your analogy with car accessory shops should really compare with the number of caravan dealers nationwide as a supply route - I still cannot understand where the availability problems lie :(

 

 

 

I'm now curious to know if this level of service is found in other leisure industry’s, such as boating for example. ...anyone know??

                                                           Fiat Rimor Europeo 69P Motorhome

 

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there never seem to be a shortage of parts when the want you to buy new van

just ask a salesman what parts are like to get hold of when he thinks your about to sign on the dotted line

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there never seem to be a shortage of parts when the want you to buy new van

just ask a salesman what parts are like to get hold of when he thinks your about to sign on the dotted line

39030[/snapback]

 

 

And you know what his answer will be surely?

 

NO PROBLEM!!!

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Regarding service and warranty work . . Explorer group have appointed service/warranty agents (eg Gailey caravans) who are happy to work on vans not bought from them . . We bought our Compass from Feathers, Kent . . 300 miles from home . . Gailey (40 miles) will be doing the necessary.

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Guest mr_sheens

generic parts like truma, dometic, spinflow, roadlights, interior lights are easy enough to source from suppliers. the problem comes when you need a part specific to that make and model of caravan, ie interior furniture, doors, worktops, trims, panels, mouldings, decals. all these parts have to come from the caravan manufacturer, and this is were the fun starts. most caravan manufacturers do not stock these parts, and order them in from the individual manufacturer as they are needed. the manufacturers make a point of informing us that they are a caravan manufacturer not a parts supplier. they dont give a toss about the customer. the problem gets even worse when the parts you need are under warranty. when this happens you must get them from the manufacturer, even if you can get them elsewhere.

i hope this goes some way in explaining the headaches that obtaining parts give us. customers will complain when parts take a long time, but if we then complain to our suppliers, in most cases, they dont give a stuff.

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Interesting response Mr Sheen.

 

Clearly both dealers and customers are affected by this attitude the manufacturers have and our voices alone wont be enough to change the industry. I wonder whether the CC or C&CC club would propose some form of Customer Charter or Code of Practice to which the manufacturers might voluntarily subscribe which sets out very clearly what is expected of the manufacturers in terms of availability and supply of parts.

 

What does anyone else think?

 

Regards

 

NRF

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Mr Sheens, thanks for giving us a insight into the industry, I can now understand why my dealer was reluctant to discuss this with me the other day :angry:

 

 

I wonder whether the CC or C&CC club would propose some form of Customer Charter or Code of Practice to which the manufacturers might voluntarily subscribe

 

What does anyone else think?

 

Regards

 

NRF

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Might already exist through the National Caravan Council which is the trade association for the industry - all the major manufactures are members.

                                                           Fiat Rimor Europeo 69P Motorhome

 

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Guest Hobbybod
Precisely Steve, a trade association, when what is needed is an independant watchdog/ ombudsman.   The UK caravan industry stinks.

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Eeerh, I can't help but agree with the critical sentiments expressed by Roy, and others, concerning the after-sales service etc. from both, many UK dealers, and the UK manufacturers. Compared with nearly every other similar industry and especially continental caravan manufacturers and dealers, the UK caravan industry is light years behind. They pay little regard to realistic delivery times and, most importantly from the customer's point of view, investment in after-sales servicing, warranty work, and spares stock.

 

Consequently we have all the complaints regarding low or non-existent spares stock for body panels and furniture etc. and the lack of provision of cross-dealer warranty repairs, as exist in practically all other industries, including the continental caravan industry.

 

The article in the CC mag. , from a dealer's perspective, was critical of the UK manufacturers' delivery time estimates, and the way the manufacturers pay the dealers for warranty work. It just emphasized the inadequate investment in after-sales services (warranty work, spares stock etc.) by the UK manufacturers.

 

It is for this reason, amongst others, that an increasing number of caravanners are looking to the continent for both their caravan and servicing etc.

 

I have had my German, personally imported caravan, serviced here in the UK, no problem, and I know folks who have had similarly self-imported 'vans repaired here in the UK, following accidents. [Warranty work has hardly been an issue as they don't fall apart like UK 'vans!!!]

 

I, and others, have more recently had our 'vans serviced in Germany, as it's much cheaper and more thorough. Again no problem even when only giving a month's notice when requesting service.

 

Until customers, the CC and C&CC on behalf of their membership, and consumer bodies etc. start to really tackle the industry over these increasingly fustrating shortcomings, little will change;. . . . until the industry realises that like cars, motorbikes, cameras, etc. etc. more UK customers are buying 'foreign', . . . when it will most likely be too late!

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