Thanks Parksy, for reminding people of my original topic. I myself was Group Warranty Manager for the largest vehicle importer in the UK for many years until my retirement so I am not ignorant regarding warranties. My comment was regarding dealer aftersales service which is clearly a source of grievence to many vanners.
Similarly, however, it seems is the subject relating to warranties. Irrespective of the name 'guarantee or warranty' (there is a difference by the way) there is much ill feeling withing the vanning community regarding these restrictions in respect of dealer/seller linkage. The only people who can sort this out are the manufacturers. They must and should take the lead by insisting that if you, as a retailer, wish to sell their product then you must offer rectification of the product on behalf of the customer / manufcturer irrespective of the point of sale.
Similarly, they should also take responsibility for the service standards of their agents and not pass the buck!
Only when this occurrs will they offer a service anywhere near approacing the motor industry.
Hello Top Cat
I can totally agree that the current general state of affairs in the caravan industry is miles behind the car and some other consumer product industries.
There are some commentators who will say deficiencies are down to the difference in scale. Sadly that is a poor excuse, and in reality if the manufactures listened more to customers they could become more focused and allow the manufactures to actually meet customer needs and expectations (the two being subtly different). I have worked with a number of quite well known companies in a consultation capacity developing (ISO 9000 series of model standards)management systems where CF becomes the underlying principal of operation, and in virtually every case the mid to long term benefits justify the short term pain and costs if implementation.
But its not quite as bad as you seem to suggest, as has been expressed in previous answers, in most cases a customer can arrange to have what would have been point of sale issues resolved by other dealers in the network under the manufacture guarantee, but that is dependant on the specific terms of the manufactures guarantee terms and conditions.
What is also lacking is the consistency of approach across the dealerships toward customer relations. This is where the NCC approved workshop scheme should play a part, and most manufacture do allow warranty/guarantee work to be carried out by participating members but always check your guarantee terms and conditions before having work carried out.
There is still much scope for improvement and clarification.
Totally agree, but most of the problems stem from poor working methods at the first stages of construction.
I refer to my posts of a couple of years ago, where Bailey were featured on utube, the working practices of there employees in my opinion was totally unacceptable and little wonder we have problems further down the line and in subsequent years.
We bought our Abbey 620 new from a well known and very long established dealership and we couldn't fault the sales team, they were professional, polite, eager to do business and we secured a very good deal.
The caravan is a twin axle model and this dealers charged £50 per hour for servicing. This meant that they were getting over £200 for a mornings work.
We were very disappointed with the standards of service and the attitude of service dept staff, the receptionist appeared to be from Eastern Europe and she was rude and dismissive, the caravan was left with grubby fingermarks on various surfaces and the worst thing was that nothing had been left as it was found.
All of the taps were left on, gas stop valves were turned off so that apliances wouldn't work, things had been taken out of the front drawers and left on the worktop and we only found out that these valves had been turned off when the cooker and the gas fire wouldn't work after we'd left.
We'd had problems with the electric blow air heating, it turned out that some packaging had been left inside from the pdi (so we were told) and when I tried to open the omnivent it was stuck firmly down.
I returned the caravan to find out what had happened to the omnivent and it would appear that their so-called 'service engineer' had tightened the closing handle so much that the hatch had dug in to some excess mastic and become stuck.
What realy made me blow my top was when, after returning the caravan because I didn't know if the catch had ben broken, the service manager blithely advised me to 'get a ladder, get the mrs to turn the handle inside while I tugged the hatch open from the roof'
At which point I finaly exploded and informed the idiot through clenched teeth that I'd just paid them nearly £250 to service my caravan and they'd better bloody well sort it out there and then!!!
Needless to say that we no longer travel the 100 miles from home to get the caravan serviced by these morons while we are on holiday in the South West, we now use an approved moblile service engineer who is half the price and twice as good as the misfits employed by that particular dealership.
Can we assume this is a very large dealership always on a high near a popular holiday destination? My SIl bought abnrand new caravan from them and sales side great, but service centre forgot to PDI the caravan for the collection date. They had to do the PDI while SIL waited and then had tos end someoen to the house 100 miles away to fit the motor mover which they forgot to fit!
No Surfer, it wasn't Highbridge or Northam Farm but in the right sort of geographical area.
This all reminds me of when we bought our new caravan, A Bailey Pageant series 6, the first brand new caravan we had ever bought. The sales side should have given us pointers, when asked if we could have anything changed, we were told no, we later found we could have had different fabric on the seats. We asked what came with the caravan, we were told 'you know, the usual', so we asked what the usuals are, we nearly had to drag it out of them. We asked for one of the gaslow stainless gas pipes to be fitted, the salesman had never heard of it, quick visit to their shop to show him what we meant, we also ordered a new battery.We then waited for delivery of the caravan, when it arrived they gave us a ring and we told them we would collect it at the weekend. We then got another call asking if we could collect it earlier as they were busy on Saturdays, they got told no, it would be Saturday.So, we arrived on Saturday morning, finally found a salesman, finished off the paperwork and were pointed at the caravan. There was no new battery and the gas pipe had not been fitted, asked where they were, found that they were still in the shop, exactly were we had left them. We were never really shown how to use anything, if the salesman spent 5 minutes in the caravan at handover, I would be surprised.We hitched up and went home, once home, we checked through the caravan and handbooks etc., anyone want a blank PDI sheet? We had to clean the caravan and check everything before we could use it.Just under 12 months later a card came through the door, this was to advise us the caravan was due for service, we ignored it. Three weeks later we got a call asking if we had forgotten the service? The person on the other end was very surprised when they were told that we would never bring the caravan back to them. Ten minutes later the Service Manager rang and told me that it had to come back to them for service and that it could not be taken anywhere else. I then read him an e-mail that I had got from the relevant EU dept, the email said that it was illegal to withhold the right to get the caravan serviced where I like, provided it was done by a reputable company/person. I also pointed out that the caravan had already been serviced by the company that Bailey had pointed me to.We have never been back to that East-Lancs dealer and we never will.