Dealers: the ugly

* Readers spill the beans * The good, bad and the ugly * How does your dealer rate?...

Author Avatar
What Car? Staff
09 November 2009

Dealers: the ugly

'I was going to trade my Lexus IS200 for a new BMW 1 Series. Because my car was in such good condition, the salesman got someone else to view my car. After he viewed my car, he went to phone someone to get the best price. While he was on the phone, I heard him describe me as someone who puts their baked bean tins facing the same way, and that I was like the man in the film Sleeping with the enemy (he used to beat his wife). You should have seen the salesman's face when told him I heard everything. I then got up and walked out.'
Gary Sambrook

'I had a shockingly bad experience with a Renault dealership.

I had ordered a Renault Scenic 1.5 dCi and, when it came for collection, the salesman put some petrol in the tank by mistake and proceeded to let us drive the car away saying it would be okay. About 15 miles later the engine management light came on. I managed to get home and phoned the dealer. He suggested that I phone the AA and lie to them, saying that I did not know what the fault was. I refused, saying that it was their fault and they could collect car.

'The car was collected and I was told that all it needed was to have the fuel system flushed out. I suggested to the service manager that that would do no good at all as the fuel pump had probably been stripped, as had the cylinder liners/piston rings, etc. I was assured that it would be okay. I collected the car from the dealer two days later and drove approximately 50 yards before engine the management light came on.

'I took the car straight back and told them that I was rejecting the car and wanted another. I was told that could not be done and another car would have to be ordered. No problem, I'll have a replacement vehicle until it arrives. They don't do courtesy cars. I then had to contact Renault UK to tell them one of their dealers would not honour its obligations and the next day I got the service manager's car.

'The dealership then called me in for a meeting and said that they would not order another car. I told them that that was unacceptable as I had a young family and no transport. I was offered a 1.9 dCi with upgraded electric pack. I decided to accept this only to be called about an hour later saying that they had decided to withdraw the offer and instead was offered a pre-reg 1.5dci.

'The car was delivered from another branch and, after finding out it had only six months' road tax after paying for 12, I was told I was asking for an awful lot. After replying that I was asking only for what I had paid for, I was told that in order for them to release the car to me, I would have to sign a formal disclaimer which stated that I would not seek any further compensation.

All this left a very sour taste and is why I did not and will not go back.
Nick Brown