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Supplying Dealer Or Mobile Engineer?


Davros18
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Hi all

 

My 2013 caravan is due its first service and I have already booked it in with my supplying dealer, but after a worrying conversation I am starting to doubt their, up to now, excellent customer care culture.

 

My van is a twin axle and when I enquired about the cost they quoted £265 plus an additional cost for some one use nuts, this sounded excessive so I asked whether a deal could be done, their response was a short "no".

 

Then came the question of the when, on the day of the booking I agreed to drop it off first thing in the morning but to save me having to take time off work I said I would collect it the next morning, I was told that I must collect it the same day between 4 and 5pm, I explained this didn't suit me but again after a discussion there was no bending whatsoever, I then asked for a Saturday booking, "we don't do Saturdays until March as there is no demand, its dead this time of year" was the response, so I asked why there was an issue with leaving it overnight, a couple of points to note is the dealer is not short of space and I agreed to accept any risk and liability overnight, the response was a rather blunt "you can't leave it overnight so are you booking it in or not?" At the time I agreed to take the time off work and confirmed the booking but this has been eating away at me as, although I wouldn't describe the conversation as rude it has certainly left me questioning whether they put the customer first.

 

As a result I have now decided to look into alternative servicing options, so that brings me to my original question:

 

What are the potential pitfalls of using an authorised mobile service agent rather than the supplying dealer? - Has anyone done this and regretted it? - My concern is that there are a couple of threads running at the moment relating to the manufacturer of my caravans lack of customer care, (I have to say that to date I having nothing but praise for them in all of the dealings I have had personally), but could breaking ties with my dealer leave me with a potential nightmare should I have any issues in future?

 

I think it's also worth adding that it's a sorry state of affairs when a consumer has to even consider putting up with poor service in order to make a potential (and when it comes to caravans you could insert probable) future claim on a manufacturer warranty palatable!

 

Davros

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Can't comment on the pitfalls of a mobile but your dealer price could be OK, just depends what they do for the money. Whereabouts in the country is your dealer, just a county would do?

 

As a comparison, here's another dealer's prices http://www. swindoncaravans. com/workshop. html

2019 Adria Adora Thames

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Hi Davros,

 

I've booked a mobile approved engineer for my van's first service next week. My understanding is that some manufacturers actually require the van to be serviced by the supplying dealer as a condition of warranty, and some don't.

 

In our case, an approved mobile engineer is acceptable to Elddis to maintain the warranty, but the dealer would still need to deal with an warranty claims.

 

We did have a similar issue when we dropped our old van off for part ex and pick up the new one a couple of weeks later. They did not want me to drop of or collect on a weekend, the reason given was because they are in a residential area and neighbours had complained. Good for the neighbours, really inconvenient for customers! This is one of the reasons I'm using a mobile engineer. With our old van, I dropped it off for servicing at the dealer we bought from one Saturday and picked it up the next! Much more flexible.

 

Very interested to hear other replies / experiences!

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Thanks Pebble

 

Although I challenged the price I don't have too much of an issue with it, my concern is more to do with their subsequent attitude. I don't think my requests were unreasonable but they made no attempt to accommodate them or explain why they couldn't, this leaves me concerned about their overall attitude to customers.

 

I will also say that the Sales department at the same dealership have been nothing short of excellent and when I had some minor warranty work done recently the service department were also very good but on that occaision I waited whilst the work was done so I didn't ask for anything extraordinary.

 

Davros

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I tried a mobile chap once, recommended by several single axle owners.

 

never again. ... - it was serviced just before we went to the Alps. had a good journey there no issues or sudden braking. However, when coming down a steep hill I had to brake sharply, NO BRAKES!!!!!! - fortunately the Discovery is a big heavy car and it stopped OK, but rather a unexpected problem

 

when we got to the site I unhitched and applied the handbrake only to find I could push the van along with minimal effort.

 

subsequently Ive been told mobile service engineers can struggle to set up twin axle brakes as they cant get the van off the ground, unlike dealers who have ramps.

 

I don't know how true that is, but I now it was impossible for me to adjust the brakes properly on the campsite as I just couldn't get under the van properly to make the adjustments. - wasted best part of a day getting them as good as I could. drove back cautiously with better working brakes, but had to take it to a dealers to get them done properly when we got back.

 

no doubt there are plenty of mobiles who setup twin axles OK, but worth checking after they have finished.

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As long as a service engineer is approved they can carry out any work as well as warranty work . My caravan was never taken back to the dealer for warranty work or services .

 

IMO I always feel its not in a dealers interest to find a problem on a caravan they supplied ?

 

 

Dave

Jeep Commander 3. 0 V6 CRD

Isuzu D- Max Utah Auto

Elddis Crusader Storm 2000 Kgs, Unipart Royal Atlas Mover .

 

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During the manufacturer's warranty period I used the services of the supplying dealer who was more than 100 miles from my home but only 20 miles from the storage site where the caravan is stored.

 

I was able to drop off my caravan after staying in it or touring with it and then collect it at an arranged time next time I wanted to use it. However, if I changed my mind about collecting it after service or was unable to collect it as previously arranged I was liable for a daily storage charge. The reason for the storage charge given to me by the dealer was that in the past some owners had left their caravan for a service at the end of the season and only collected it at the start of the following season.

 

After the first service in my ownership damp was detected at the rear of the caravan and was identified as being caused by splits in the back panel due to a manufacturing fault. The panel was replaced under the manufacturer's at my convenience during the caravan's next service. The dealer also supplied, free of charge, two new tyres after it was revealed during the service that the caravan was originally supplied to me with short life span tyres.

 

I now use a AWS mobile service technician who carries out the service at the storage site as I find it more convenient and he carries out a service in a very professional manner. My caravan is a single axle caravan but I have seen the technician carrying out services on twin axle caravans, including the site Manager's twin axle, at the storage site.

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What gets me about a lot of workshops is that you have to empty the van while they have it for service, and where do you keep the contents meanwhile if you don't have a spare room in your house? Also, some require you to leave the van with them for up to a week, so they can do the work to suit their convenience rather than mine, also meaning two round trips. Mobile every time for me!

Nissan X-Trail Tekna + Coachman Festival 450

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My understanding with Al-ko was that one-shot nuts don't need changing at 1st service, only on second.

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I had an AWS mobile guy do my first service last week, he changed the one shot nuts. The only reason I can see for not changing them is if you don't remove the hubs. Now I totally believe that most dealers won't do that but then I have no faith in them to do half of what they are supposed to. On my last Swift it was obvious the nuts had never been off in three services: at least with a mobile you can watch what he is doing.

 

For me a GOOD mobile every time: why on earth would you put up with being treated like that dealer was treating you. And the price for mobile twin axle should be in the region of £170 to £190.

Isuzu D Max pulling Bailey Unicorn 2 Valencia

Bailey Autograph 740 MH: Isuzu for sale LOL

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I don't think so, That's why they are called "one shot" They are deliberately distorted so they stay on tight, once you undo them you throw them away. Peter

Peter and Sandy pulling a 2016 Coachman VIP 565 with

2016 Ford Kuga 2. 0. 180 ps. Titanium Nav.

Retired and loving it.

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Approved mobile engineer every time for me. Much more convenient and cheaper too.

 

If you have any questions or problems to be sorted you are actually able to speak to the bloke who is doing the work first hand and not having to rely on a message being passed on by office staff etc. ...
I don't have to empty my caravan, just as long as the guy can get access to all the areas for damp checks etc he is happy, and I'm always on hand to move equipment if need be.
The engineer I use is approved by Truma and all the main suppliers of caravan equipment and so is able to repair/ replace under warranty if appropriate.
The only pitfall I'm aware of is that if the dreaded damp is found the caravan then has to go to the supplying dealer for warranty work. .

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subsequently Ive been told mobile service engineers can struggle to set up twin axle brakes as they cant get the van off the ground, unlike dealers who have ramps.

this is not really true, we do not have ramps in our workshop, you can jack them up correctly and place the van on axle stand all round and make the suitable adjustments, just as our mobile chap would do the same, I would say it sounds more due to the mobile engineer failing in doing the job correctly in the first instance.

 

I would say that the only thing you want to make sure of is that if using a mobile engineer, they are approved, and they can register service records with the manufacture (if applicable)

Edited by Caravantech

 

 

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Thanks.

 

The chap was approved - but perhaps just didn't do a good job. it was as if the brakes just hadn't been tightened back up after he had the hubs off.

 

mobiles are a lot more convenient, maybe if I use him again I'll sit and watch - with a camp chair and a glass of wine, in true caravanning style !!

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Thanks for the responses so far.

 

If I go down the mobile route (as seems to be the favour of the majority) I would always ensure they are manufacturer approved and were able to register my service with the manufacturer.

 

For clarification on the one shot nuts, my chassis is a BPW not Alko.

 

Thanks again

 

Davros

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I have also just booked my 2013 in for it's first service, and I was quite surprised by the suppling dealers service department as well. Everything was definetly at the dealers convienence and not mine. I have booked a mobile service but wit hthe dealers own mobile engineer. They gave me a date that wasn't particularly good for me, so I asked was another date possible, and I was told that is the only date that they are in my area before the 12 months is up, and they prefer to do first service before the 12 months as some of the warranties expire.

 

I have arranged it so they will get access to the van on the date booked, but I'm not to happy about doing things on their time table rather than my own. Who is the customer?

 

I am doing the first service with the suppying dealer. The second service I think might be an independant mobile that offers some customer service.

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Our supplying dealer is 85 miles away (yes, we knew that when we bought the van - not one closer) and we have returned it once for warranty work. We also came up against the problem of the van having to be there early in the morning and had to be collected on the same day, due to lack of room we were told. We found this to be somewhat of a problem, but we managed.

 

However, the first service is now imminent and we have today booked it into our local Swift dealer (approved workshop status) after confirming with them that they can handle all warranty work as well as routine servicing. We are able to take it in the day before and collect it the day after if we need to and they seem to be very accommodating. We are in their accessory shop quite regularly so we do "know" the business. Their prices are £179 for single axle and £194 for twin (plus the usual one-shot nuts cost), which compares well with what we have previously paid for our old Bailey. We hope we've made the right decision - only time will tell!

2019 Ford Kuga 2. 0 (150 bhp) AWD Manual and 2022 Coachman Acadia GTS 565.

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Hi all

 

My 2013 caravan is due its first service and I have already booked it in with my supplying dealer, but after a worrying conversation I am starting to doubt their, up to now, excellent customer care culture.

 

My van is a twin axle and when I enquired about the cost they quoted £265 plus an additional cost for some one use nuts, this sounded excessive so I asked whether a deal could be done, their response was a short "no".

 

Then came the question of the when, on the day of the booking I agreed to drop it off first thing in the morning but to save me having to take time off work I said I would collect it the next morning, I was told that I must collect it the same day between 4 and 5pm, I explained this didn't suit me but again after a discussion there was no bending whatsoever, I then asked for a Saturday booking, "we don't do Saturdays until March as there is no demand, its dead this time of year" was the response, so I asked why there was an issue with leaving it overnight, a couple of points to note is the dealer is not short of space and I agreed to accept any risk and liability overnight, the response was a rather blunt "you can't leave it overnight so are you booking it in or not?" At the time I agreed to take the time off work and confirmed the booking but this has been eating away at me as, although I wouldn't describe the conversation as rude it has certainly left me questioning whether they put the customer first.

 

As a result I have now decided to look into alternative servicing options, so that brings me to my original question:

 

What are the potential pitfalls of using an authorised mobile service agent rather than the supplying dealer? - Has anyone done this and regretted it? - My concern is that there are a couple of threads running at the moment relating to the manufacturer of my caravans lack of customer care, (I have to say that to date I having nothing but praise for them in all of the dealings I have had personally), but could breaking ties with my dealer leave me with a potential nightmare should I have any issues in future?

 

I think it's also worth adding that it's a sorry state of affairs when a consumer has to even consider putting up with poor service in order to make a potential (and when it comes to caravans you could insert probable) future claim on a manufacturer warranty palatable!

 

Davros

Hi Davros,

 

I've booked a mobile approved engineer for my van's first service next week. My understanding is that some manufacturers actually require the van to be serviced by the supplying dealer as a condition of warranty, and some don't.

 

In our case, an approved mobile engineer is acceptable to Elddis to maintain the warranty, but the dealer would still need to deal with an warranty claims.

 

We did have a similar issue when we dropped our old van off for part ex and pick up the new one a couple of weeks later. They did not want me to drop of or collect on a weekend, the reason given was because they are in a residential area and neighbours had complained. Good for the neighbours, really inconvenient for customers! This is one of the reasons I'm using a mobile engineer. With our old van, I dropped it off for servicing at the dealer we bought from one Saturday and picked it up the next! Much more flexible.

 

Very interested to hear other replies / experiences!

My understanding with Al-ko was that one-shot nuts don't need changing at 1st service, only on second.

this is not really true, we do not have ramps in our workshop, you can jack them up correctly and place the van on axle stand all round and make the suitable adjustments, just as our mobile chap would do the same, I would say it sounds more due to the mobile engineer failing in doing the job correctly in the first instance. I would say that the only thing you want to make sure of is that if using a mobile engineer, they are approved, and they can register service records with the manufacture (if applicable)

Thanks.

 

The chap was approved - but perhaps just didn't do a good job. it was as if the brakes just hadn't been tightened back up after he had the hubs off.

 

mobiles are a lot more convenient, maybe if I use him again I'll sit and watch - with a camp chair and a glass of wine, in true caravanning style !!

Thanks for the responses so far.

 

If I go down the mobile route (as seems to be the favour of the majority) I would always ensure they are manufacturer approved and were able to register my service with the manufacturer.

 

For clarification on the one shot nuts, my chassis is a BPW not Alko.

 

Thanks again

 

Davros

As long as you use a member of the Approved Workshop Scheme & you have a FULL Approved Workshop service your warranty will still be valid on ALL UK manufactured caravans. You do not need specialist ramps of lifts to adjust the brakes on a twin axle caravan, I agree with the above post. ...if the brakes were no good then the service you received was extremely poor (I hope your complained through the correct channels?). When anyone books a service with me it is at their convenience. ...if I have to work Saturday, Sunday or bank holiday so be it.

If you want to find Approved Workshops in your area please have a look on this website. ....

 

http://www. approvedworkshops. co. uk/search/

By the way a one shot nut can ONLY BE USED ONCE hence the name.

For any additional information or advice please have a look on my website. .....

www. thecaravanmedic-swindon. co. uk

 

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I don't understand why service prices are stated then they say it's an extra charge for the one shot nuts. Surely they should be replacing the one shot's anyway so why is it not just in the price?

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I don't understand why service prices are stated then they say it's an extra charge for the one shot nuts. Surely they should be replacing the one shot's anyway so why is it not just in the price?

 

Because different caravans have different parts, not all caravans have one shot nuts.

It's the same when you have a car serviced, unless stated when you book you always pay extra for parts used.

For any additional information or advice please have a look on my website. .....

www. thecaravanmedic-swindon. co. uk

 

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Thank you.

 

All though I understand paying for parts used as a seperate item, I did not realise not all caravans had one shot nuts. I thought it was a standard consumable, and hence would expect it to be in the base price.

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