So I’ve recently purchased a car. Despite working in the automotive industry recently, I know very little about cars. Infact, I’d go as far to say nothing!
This is my view of the process and how one of the largest dealer groups in the UK are completely inept.
Before I get onto the recent car purchase, Evans Halshaw Bedford actually featured in my previous car purchase which I completely forgot until I turned up at the dealership. I went to view a Citroen C4 in 2010 and after waiting for 50 mins in the showroom until one of their specialist sales people could speak to me, I walked out.
Moving forward to 2014, I recently wanted to buy a Nissan Note. I found one just 2 miles down the road however the same model was available 30 miles away at Evans Halshaw Bedford. It was near £1000 cheaper, so it was a no brainer buying this one or so I thought.
Before I get onto the finer points of my moan about them, during my time managing the marketing for an automotive portal, I ran a number of press releases about how poor car dealers were at picking up the phone, emails and returning these. Something like 50% of all sales calls are not answered or returned, which shows how bad the industry is. During all my issues with EH over the last few weeks, any message I have left has never been returned. Surely a PLC would have some sort of CRM system to help them manage this effectively?
What’s worse is any complaint or issue I popped on twitter I got a boring standard tweet asking me to email them. Seriously after a few tweets surely someone at HQ would think to pick up the phone considering you have my details with me being a “valued customer” and all that!
Hi @stephen_jury, we’re sorry to hear this. If there’s anything we can help with please contact us on 03333 239178 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Evans Halshaw (@eh_custcare) July 14, 2014
So let’s kick off.
- Problem One – Service Book
This one is a small one, they didn’t stamp the service book. They prep the cars for sale once they have received them from the car auctions. The one I purchased was said to have had a service before I purchased it, however I’m still yet to receive any conformation about it and what was done. I could send my service book back in the post to them and they will stamp it, but seems pretty worthless now.
- Problem Two – Suspension
I test drove the car and all seemed fine. Once I picked the car up there was a knocking to the passenger side front, so something was obviously wrong with the suspension. These things happen and my local Hemel dealer fixed it after a few calls. However surely this was pretty evident if they checked the car before sale?
- Problem Three – Air Con
This problem drove me to this blog. It’s been a complete nightmare and just a waste of my time. While on holiday in Cornwall the blowers on my car stopped working. No air or aircon. In the height of summer and with two young children, this 5 hour drive home was not enjoyable. But, I can not put all the blame on them for this really, as things do break.
However, the problems kicked in once I left my car with Hemel which is a 30 minute drive from my home. After 48 hours I receive a call saying they couldn’t fix it unless Bedford signed off the work which they wouldn’t. Yes, that’s 48 hours just to tell me that they cannot fix it.
They wanted me to pick the car up from Hemel, drive it 1 hour to them only to have to drive another hour home. To me this is completely unacceptable as part of the EH guarantee means you can fix it at your local dealer.
Without listing the dozens of calls around this, I had to chase and chase and chase to get this fixed. Neither service manager seemed to want to help and speaking to the Dealer Principle made little difference.
The “best” bit about this problem is my car got delivered back to me and it wasn’t fixed! The blowers now worked but no aircon. Joyful, what a complete waste of my time again going to pick it up from Hemel. Surely Bedford or Hemel should have checked this was working?
After more wasted time waiting for Bedford to pick my car up, after another 48 hours I’ve since been told it’s now a 4-5 week wait for my aircon part from Nissan. Just what you need on a day the media are reporting about the summer heat wave.
Evans Halshaw run an event each year praising the sales and services teams from around the country, it’s called Top Gun. I actually was at their 2014 event as one of the sponsors. Luckily I no longer work in the industry and they are no longer one of my clients, so I can produce this blog. I’m not sure how this would have gone down if I was still in my old role.
I would be pretty surprised if Bedford are up for any awards in 2015 based on the service I have had. The only grace from all of my problems is that I would hope for the amount of problems I have had, they have made very little (if any) profit from my car purchase.
The saga continues until hopefully my aircon is fixed and my guarantee ends.
Just like RyanAir and Travelodge, Evans Halshaw are now on my shit list ….. thankfully I will ever have to deal with them again.