MAKERS AND DEALERS SHOULD TRY HARDER
I read with interest the Owner Satisfaction Survey coverage in the March issue. The fact that there is still a problem with warranty repairs by both manufacturers and the supplying dealers is reminiscent of the malaise at BMC/ BSA/ Associated Motor Cycles in the 1960s and 1970s. Take the experiences of some friends of mine. One had two new caravans in five years, another bought a new van three years ago and a further one bought a new unit in the winter of 2016/17. The latter two vehicles have been awaiting return to the respective manufacturers for body/ structural repairs, because the supplying dealers are unable or unwilling to carry out these repairs. One friend has been waiting for the manufacturer to collect the defective caravan from the dealer since the end of August 2017. I don’t believe these situations are acceptable. I have not included myself in the above tale, however, as we purchased a British folding caravan from a manufacturer who only sold direct to the public. It was purchased new in 2007, bespoke to our wishes, and has only required routine servicing and replacement of the usual consumables at the manufacturer’s factory. Mike Follows
Niall Hampton replies
Thanks for writing in, Mike. No manufacturer or supplying dealer sets out to build a poorly made caravan, or to provide poor aftersales service. It’s clear that problems can occur from time to time, however, but it’s how these issues are dealt with that matters most to buyers and owners. With the cost of many mainstream tourers in the same bracket as a decent car, caravan buyers expect automotive industrystandard levels of aftercare. The Owner Satisfaction Survey 2019 launched at last month’s NEC show, and reaction to the 2018 survey’s findings suggests that manufacturers really care where they appear in the league tables of awards. So whatever your recent experience – good or not so good – turn to page 86 to get involved and help your fellow caravanners buy better.