Originally Posted by Rupert
It is amazing that half the car companies can remain in business, with such lousy records in customer care. If I dared to treat my customers in such a manner, I would have been out of business years ago.
I understand Dealership rage. It gets to the most mild mannered of us.
Maybe if we all went back to classic cars that we can tweak ourselves they wouldn't be laughing at us on their way to the bank.
I started life as a heavy boy-racer circa 1960 with an Austin Westminster (A95), A40 Farina (I think 3 of them which I used to tweak/race), Austin 1100 (lovely car but made my arms ache), Peugeots 403 diesel (Club Rallied, thrashed and 54mpg), 204 (lovely car that went like lightning), 304, 504 Saloon (also rallied), LHD 504 Coupe Pinin(regularity runs and driving comps), 405 1.9i (recently given away with 155k and no probs but too old to sell + roof-lining coming down and the ashtray was full), Citroen C5 2.2 auto, Vauxhall 2.2 Bertone, and now Laguna V6. I forgot to mention a little Daihatsu convertible that had no springs and was the ultimate bone shaker that gave me and my co-driver piles when we foolishly rallied it in place of his SAAB 2-stroke. I have never had a car not start in the morning or give me problems or costs other than fair wear and tear. Never had to replace an engine or gearbox, and only once had to replace a clutch (oh yeah... but that was on a Triumph Herald that I forgot to mention- probably best, but not the only one, forgotten-)
I have to say that this is the only time I am suffering from paranoia, dreading the impending doom of huge bills when reading all these negative experiences of fellow Renault owners.
I also must say that I have dealt with two local dealers; the first dealership's sales team was only interested in booking my Laguna for a diagnosis (I was actually looking for a Megane for my step-daughter) when I asked in passing, if they knew whether the Cruise Control lights were switchable; and the second dealership's front-office man, who happened to be taking phone-flack from a customer as I waited, was extremely polite (to the phone and to me) and tried to resolve my problem that had developed since my visit to the first dealer.
My gripe (if it must be called that), would be that I had to show that I wasn't some grandma to be fobbed off or taken for an expensive ride but someone who could ask questions and expected intelligent answers. Once that was established, we talked on an equal level and having shown my awareness of the yellow OT scheme regarding my
, he said he would email
for approval. He even asked them if they would supply me with a Carmin disk with TMC.
Unfortunately, in both instances, their respose was negative and I phoned them myself (I was offered their number) and got some offensive minion who reprimanded me for neither purchasing my car new nor from a Renault dealer. I asked him on what criteria he decided to deny me YOTS help, but he had no answer other than that, so I quoted this and Parker's forum on known issues. When he refused to reconsider (with the prepotent voice of a Jesuit teacher reprimanding a ten-year-old caught banking), I asked him if perhaps it might be racial (I have a foreign name) to which he replied that he found my remark offensive and would be recording it for future reference; believe it or not, he even challenged me to take that to CAB or TSO as I had intimated I would the actual problems. But I am aware that every body corporate has to have an A H.
Back at home, I emailed a reasoned request to a senior
person (not the minion) and soon received cordial response. They have given me the Satnav disk and changed two
on my motor without charge. That's not bad care, is it?
So I can't complain about the outcome. What I don't know is whether they should have changed all of the
(the first had been changed previously for the original owner) during warranty.
So, all in all, it helps to negotiate a reasonable solution with these ambassadors who need to show they are doing their best for their employer. I suppose that senior ranks like to be the ones who acquiesce to customers' requests; it demonstrates authority and shows them in a good light (bad-cop-good-cop sort of thing).
My dilemma is "Do I keep this Laguna or am I likely to be throwing good money after (potentially) bad." It is a lovely car after all (even if a bit too lush for my liking) but the thought of útons on recurring problems doesn't encourage me much. This baby delivers 210 horses with matching nosebags so I'm entitled to get some pleasure from it.... no?... or will I?....
Hands up those who think I should look for an electronics-free classic... say another Pug 204.... anyone?