Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Customer Service Division

A true incident. It's been told before, but not on this site.

I bought my first car as a student and somehow kept it going for about eight years until the old banger finally died in a blaze of glory (but that's another story). Anyway, I decided that my next car would be better. So on the recommendation of work colleagues, I went to the local dealer and bought a new one. Well it was not 100% new, but it was only a few months old, I was only the second registered owner, the first was someone at the manufacturer. However, just like a new car at the time, it came directly from the dealer with a fully comprehensive one year warranty.

And so, every 10,000 miles, I religiously got the car serviced at the same main dealer that had sold me the car. The servicing was expensive compared to my local garage, but I wanted the best option for my first new car. No initial concerns. However, driving the car out of the garage after the 30,000 mile service, after barely 28 months of ownership, there was clearly a major problem - running was uneven with a distinct lack of power. I drove back. And there, after a while waiting to be seen, a mechanic changed one of the spark plugs. In the car park!

The car was now drivable, though certainly not ideal, and I brought it back for the next service early, as soon as it hit 39,000 miles. The same dealer serviced it, detected no problem. I got the next service done at the same place, again trusting the selling dealer. Yet pretty soon after that, the engine lost all power again. The dealership had the cheek to charge me a fortune to "diagnose" the problem, and they promptly informed me that one of the cylinders was showing almost zero compression. Only solution, an entirely new engine.

Of course I wasn't happy. But despite all sorts of calls and incidents raised, both to the dealer and the manufacturer, I received not a penny in compensation. Refusing to continue to support that dealer, I eventually bought and fitted a new engine from a local garage. Ironically, I had plenty of contacts in the marketing department of the manufacturer - but all I got were offers of help and zero actual help. The line from the dealer was that I should contact the manufacturer. The line from the manufacturer was that the new car only had a one year warranty, so tough. Technically true. But if that was good customer service, if that was encouraging loyalty and positive recommendation, then …


Faisal said...

Tough luck. You have to keep buying shitty new cars or you are not a complete human being. Surely you know that.

Anonymous said...

if that's how they treat their customers, then they fully deserve to be named and shamed

Anonymous said...
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