MAK­ERS AND DEAL­ERS SHOULD TRY HARDER

Practical Caravan - - Caravan Chat -

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.

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