I finally had a call from
today about my complaint regarding what I perceive to be an abusive practice by franchised dealers (and possibly non-franchised as well). Please read the earlier pages of this thread.
After an apology for the delay, I was told that they had waited for REA Watford to respond fully about the specific case and the policy they practice.
The salient points made were,
- that what I had been given was essentially a quotation for a basic service, i.e., oil/filter change and visual inspection of the car, visual checks of levels as outlined in my service book. (They don't give you much for £268 then, right???? I wonder how many times they walk around it and kick the tyres during these visual checks. The service had been described to me as a full 4-year service as per Renault requirements. So much for their fixed-price servicing!!!)
- This is designated a "RAPID QUOTE" and is not vehicle-specific (notwithstanding the fact that they wanted the VRM and mileage before they quoted).
- The service book is nothing to go by as this is updated innumberable times and does not relate to a specific model (although each and every model comes in for specifics in the Renault book that came with my Laguna). It was casually mentioned in passing that Renault now require their cars (or at least some of them) to be serviced every 9k miles not 18k as before.
- Their dealers will examine the vehicle and may update software with newer versions that have been brought into service by Renault.
- Renault do not consider a customer, whose car is being worked-on, to be a captive customer because he is at liberty to choose what work to have done and walk away without any work being done if he chooses. (How do they define "captive market" I wonder? And how does a layman react to being told that his car needs to have e.g. a new cambelt, new accessories belt, a coolant change or hydraulic-fluid change?)
- Renault do not invalidate their warranty if servicing is done by an independent garage rather than by an accredited dealer.
- Renault do not invalidate their warranty if parts used are not genuine Renault ones, as long as they are comparable with those normally supplied by them.
This is sadly disappointing and suggests that the practice, of attracting custom by a fictitious low price, will continue; I still see it as abusive and it puts those less knowledgeable at a distinct disadvantage and at the mercy of the dealer who may or may not be trustworthy, as the case may be. I was told that Renault do not rip off their customers and only suggest and recommend work that, in their opinion, is necessary before or after the parameters set out in the service book. It may also be that work set out in the service book turns out to be unnecessary and Renault will advise to this effect. [Has anyone of the 3000+ users of this Renault forum ever been told by a dealer that some particular work set out in the service book is not actually necessary and they needn't waste their money on it?]
It would be interesting to hear from all those who have an opinion on any of this. Mine is but one voice whereas yours is multitudinous.
I am sorry that, as usual, my posting is rather lengthy but I have typed it very slowly.... just in case some of you can't read very fast....