Graham Thacker was delighted when he got his Renault Clio back from its second service. His two-year-old supermini was given a clean bill of health and, although Graham always had good experiences with his dealer, Lifestyle Europe in Eastbourne, he felt naturally that one visit a year was enough.
A few days later, however, he realised that the car’s service book hadn’t been given back to him, so he called Lifestyle to ask for it to be returned. Two weeks passed, Graham had heard nothing and there was still no sign of the book. He called the dealership several more times without success.
On one occasion, he was incorrectly told the service pages were in the car’s manual; on another that the book would be hunted down and sent on. Eventually, realising phone calls were getting him nowhere, he decided to write to both the dealership and Lifestyle’s managing director – and drew two further blanks.
At a loss about what else he could do, he turned to Helpdesk. ‘I haven’t come across such unbelievably low standards of customer care in nearly 40 years of motoring,’ he said.
A missing service history can knock up to 25% off the value of a car on the used market. However, because service details are usually held electronically, losing the hard copy isn’t the end of the world; a duplicate book can easily be made.
We contacted Renault to ask why, if the book had been lost, no replacement had been offered. Renault moved swiftly. A new book was hand-delivered to Graham two days later, although the first service from 2011 was missing. Renault got back on the case and two days later a second, complete, replacement service book was in Graham’s hands – albeit five months after the original’s mysterious disappearance.
By way of an apology, Lifestyle offered Graham a 50% discount off his last service, which he gratefully accepted.
What if this happens to you?
- When taking delivery of your car after a service, check that all documentation is present and stamped correctly.
- If something is missing, chase up the dealership immediately.
- Keep pushing and contact the manufacturer’s customer service department if you need to.
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