full complaint sent to ALFA and DEALER by post - Alfa Romeo Forum
You are currently unregistered, register for more features.    
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Status: - Update
Posts: n/a
full complaint sent to ALFA and DEALER by post

8th April 2003

Dear Sir / Madam

I write to make a complaint with respect to both the quality and delay in repair of our vehicle. We purchased a new import Alfa Romeo 147 2.0 in November 2002 from Motorpoint in Derby. When we got the car home, we realised that:

1. The satellite navigation system was not working correctly (it doesn’t detect any satellites, and thinks we are in Luton, when we are in Nottinghamshire)
2. The clutch was squeaking.

Due to these faults, we took the car into the local dealership (Co-op motor group Nottingham) to be diagnosed on a Saturday morning. On arrival, we were greeted with “Oh, you have the Motorpoint car don’t you? We don’t like them in here.” You don’t like them? Well that put an air of confidence in the service we were about to receive. At the time we did not point out that:

a) We would not have been able to afford a car from the dealer; hence they would not have had any of our custom.
b) We actually had a 2-year warranty, so it didn’t matter where we bought it (they obviously knew this).

The outcome of this diagnosis was:

1. The technicians did not know what was wrong with the satellite navigation, they had never encountered this problem before, and they would have to speak to Alfa Technical for advice. We were told they would call us on the Monday and let us know what they had found out.
2. They had stopped the clutch from squeaking.

Well, by the Monday, the clutch was already squeaking again, and there was no phone call from the dealer, which we were promised. We waited patiently until the Wednesday, before we made the call to them. We were told on the phone that they could not get in touch with Alfa Technical and that:

“Trying to ring Alfa Technical is like trying to get through to PC World,
you just can’t get through sometimes.”

This again made us feel extremely uncertain of the service levels Alfa provide, and we were told that they would let us know as soon as they had heard something. We advised them that the clutch was again squeaking.

In the meantime, whilst waiting for this phone call, the next problem decided to rear its ugly head. This time the doors stopped working correctly. The remote locking and alarm stopped locking and unlocking the doors correctly. Sometimes the doors lock, sometimes they don’t. They never open. Central locking had stopped working, and the doors have to be opened individually by the key. The back doors have to be opened from the inside. The function to lock the doors from the inside of the car is malfunctioning. Not good considering the amount of car-jacking that is heard of today… We don’t like being in town, in an expensive, desirable car with the doors unlocked and no way to lock them from inside.

By the next week we had still had no reply, so we phoned them again, letting them know of the new problem that had surfaced with the central locking. We were told that they had still not got through to Alfa Technical. We did not find this satisfactory, and decided to phone Alfa customer services to complain. We explained what had happened up to this point, and the gent on the phone said he would speak to the dealership. Ten minutes later, he phoned us back and told us that he had spoken to the dealer and they had said the technician who was dealing with the problem at the dealership had been off sick, and he would be back the next day, so we should get a call then. This is what we expected, especially as the technician was on holiday… About another ten minutes later, the dealership called to say they had now spoken to Alfa Technical (This we found amazing. After not being able to get through for over a week, and having the technician off sick who would sort it out when he got back to work, ten minutes after the dealer had been called by Alfa Customer Services it was sorted. (At this point, we understood what they meant when they said they don’t like Motorpoint cars.)). Alfa Technical were apparently not sure what the problem was, but suggested a few things that might cure it; if these things did not work, they would have to order a new satellite navigation unit. We booked the car in for the dealer to see if these suggestions would fix the satellite navigation, for them to assess the problem with the central locking, and the clutch to be fixed again.

We took the car into the dealer on Saturday 11th Jan 2003 for this inspection. On picking the car up at midday, we were told:

1. The suggestion for the satellite navigation fix did not work, and that they were ordering a new satellite navigation system, and a new aerial. We were told this should fix the problem.
2. The technician had encountered the problem with the central locking before, and a new body computer was required to fix this.
3. The clutch was fixed, and was not longer squeaking.

Because the parts being order were significant, we were advised to book the car in for a whole day (so the work could be completed) so we would need a courtesy car. We agreed with the dealer to book the car in at the start of February, to give the parts enough time to arrive (they were ordered by the dealer on Monday 13th Jan 2003). Scott then booked the day off work so he could bring the car to the garage (we live 25 miles away from the dealer) for the work to be completed. At last, after all the waiting we could see our car fixed and working, as it should be on the horizon. How wrong we were…

The day before the car was in, Scott received a phone call to let him know that the parts had not yet arrived; they were not even in the country! They had been put on Back Order and they had no ETA. At this point, a day was booked off from work, and all Scott’s arranged meetings cancelled. The dealer said they would keep on the case, and as soon as the parts arrived let us know so we could book off another day and take the car in. We were gradually becoming more and more incensed by the situation. This was in early February.

Since then, we have constantly been left to phone the dealer to chase things up. Still there was no ETA. Still they were not in the country.

In mid March, there seemed to be a glimmer of hope… The dealer phoned us! The satellite navigation system and aerial had arrived, but there was still no ETA on the body computer for the central locking. We cannot afford to take a day off for one fault to be fixed, and a day for the other, so the only thing we could do was leave it until all the parts had arrived. We are sure at this point you can appreciate our disgust, and anger.

After still not hearing anything for a further two weeks, we decided to phone the dealer again. This was on the 3rd April 2003. Two and a half months after the parts were ordered. 81 days after the parts were ordered. 81 days! We were told on the phone that the body computer still had no ETA. They told us that if the part had not arrived by Monday 7th April 2003, they would reorder the part… We suggested that if the part had taken this long to arrive, couldn’t it be the same situation again? Wouldn’t it be better to just wait for the existing part to come in? Up to this point, the dealer had never mentioned the amount of time a part should take to arrive, but on this occasion we were told that these parts should have only taken ten days to arrive and:

“Sometimes when Alfa put a part on Back Order, they just cancel it and don’t tell us (the dealer)!”

So they have now admitted that:

a) The parts should have taken 10 days to arrive, but they are only prepared to investigate and reorder the part after it hasn’t arrived 85 days later!
b) Alfa sometimes cancel parts orders and do not tell the dealer!
c) Knowing this, the dealer has left our part on back order for 85 days!

This left us in the situation of waiting until Monday 7th April and see what happens.

The icing on the cake is:

1. On Saturday 5th April 2003, for the first time we had three people in the back of the car. For the first time we tried the third rear seatbelt. It does not work.
2. On this journey, we nearly had a crash with two people in the back (we wouldn’t let the third travel illegally) because the cruise control malfunctioned, briefly stopping me from slowing the car down! Using the cruise control now, speeding up and slowing down the car is erratic, and does not always work (we only hope we don’t need to order another part).

We have just spoken to the dealer (Tuesday 8th April 2003), the day after we were told they would get back to us. We were told on the phone that Alfa had not got back to them, and they will now just reorder the part. This also involves cancelling the current order (again, we had to phone them for this action to be taken; what would have happened if we hadn’t phoned for two weeks).

And we haven’t forgot that right at the outset, when these parts were ordered the dealer told us that it should fix the problem, not would fix the problem.

This situation is totally unacceptable. The standard of service is appalling and is not what we expect from Alfa Romeo or those who represent the company.

The choice was made to pay extra for a car of the specification purchased, to date we have effectively lost money as we have a car that has no satellite navigation system, is susceptible to damage and even theft when left unattended, cannot legally carry three passengers in the rear, and now has a faulty cruise control.

We understand that from time to time there are issues with maintenance but a brand new vehicle to fail with this regularity is totally unacceptable.

Since having the car in November 2002 we have lost 5 months of our warranty and feel that this should be compensated for due to the lack of effort and service regarding the repair of our car.

We at this time haven’t taken advice regarding this outstanding issue but will be left no alternative if we have to continue to wait.

I look forward to receiving a written response within the next 7 days to advise what steps will be taken.
Sponsored Links
Status: -
AO Gold Member
Ivo's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Dutchland
Posts: 7,920

Haven't I read a likewise letter in the past here???

Sounds again like e dealer scam

Good luck!
Ivo is offline  
Status: -
AO Silver Member
jomor's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Hellas
Posts: 5,237

Member car:

147 1.6lt

Good luck man.

Complaining letter.. i should write a complaining BOOK
jomor is offline  
Status: -
AO Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 142
Just for another example, my letter to Alfa and the post that was with it on here.

<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:<hr /><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Jay Smith:
<strong>I can barely remember all the problems ive had with my car.

Below is a letter which I sent to the dealership in November after owning the car for 2 months.

Since December there have been alot more serious problems such as Steering rack and fluid lines being replaced and the dealership denting my car for a second time and acting like nothing happened.

But ill post this letter I sent just as an example of the first 2 months...

<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:<hr /><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Dear Mr. Damelian

I am writing concerning various problems that I have encountered with my new Alfa Romeo 147.

Since taking delivery from Rick Damelian Alfa on the 14th October 2002, I have dealt with the following;

When washing the car on the 15th October, I noticed a large chip on the front right quarter panel. The chip appeared to have been covered with touch up paint prior to delivery. I was not informed of this mark or the action taken to cover it up when I took the car. In addition to the mark on the front guard, I also noticed a deep scratch on the left rear alloy wheel.

I immediately brought these issues to the attention of Mr. James Partridge, an Alfa Salesperson. When discussing this with Mr. Troy Speed, the Alfa Sales Manager, I was informed that he could not determine if the car was damaged before or after the dealership received the car. Mr. Speed told me that the guard would have to be re-sprayed and the wheel repaired. He assured me that both items would be perfect, and that I would not be able to notice any difference.

As this was a brand new car and not a demonstrator, these issues concerned me greatly. With the assurance from a manager that the car would be perfect, I accepted the car in its current state.

On the 19th October, whilst applying the brakes to slow into a corner, the selespeed gearbox slipped from neutral to 5th gear for no apparent reason. As well as this, the sunroof stopped working and was stuck in the third tilt position.

Again, I contacted Mr. Partridge but was told that the service centre was closed as it was the weekend, and I would have to wait until the next working day to get the issues addressed. The sunroof was dealt with temporarily by Foley Alfa, of Carlton, as I did not want to wait two days due to poor weather. On the 21st October, the Service Centre took the car and resolved these issues which have not re-occurred.

However, on having the car returned to me, I was disappointed to find that the seats were heavily marked with grease. After bringing this up with the Service Centre, they attempted to clean them to no avail. I was then left to pay a $33 fee to have the leather seats treated and cleaned by the company who installed them, Blackman & Son, in Caringbah.

On the 26th October I noticed a loud noise coming from the left side of the engine bay which was not there previously. The car has been serviced twice in relation to this and the problem is yet to be resolved even though I have been told it was fixed.

As scheduled, the car went to the service centre for repairs to the front guard on the 6th November. The car was returned to me on the 8th November. To my disappointment, the re-sprayed panel does not match the rest of the car, which was noted by Mr. Speed and the Service Manager, Mr. Uildriks. At this point they agreed that the guard must be re-sprayed again, as the difference was too obvious.

In the past month I have run out of fuel twice. The fuel level indicator was still displaying more than a quarter tank remaining in both instances. I informed the service department, and they told me that they would replace the fuel ‘sender unit’ when the car came in to have the guard re-sprayed.

The car was booked into the service department for the 26th November to have the guard re-sprayed, wheel repaired and ‘sender unit’ replaced. I was informed on the 27th that when removing the ‘sender unit’ they discovered the fuel tank was warped from the climate. They replaced the fuel tank and the car was returned to me on the 28th November.

While the car was in service during the 26th to 28th November, there was damage caused to the drivers side door of the car. I spoke with Mr. Uildriks, who told me that the door would be repaired at the service department’s expense.

The vehicle is scheduled in for the 4th December and is expected back on the 6th of December. I understand that the driver’s door will also be repaired at this time.

I have been left without any transport for almost three weeks since taking delivery of this new car even though I was assured that I would be provided with a loan car on all occasions where my car was in the workshop. There have been extensive delays in all of my dealings with the dealership and the standard in which all matters have been handled has not been satisfactory.

If this is any indication of what I should expect from Alfa Romeo or Rick Damelian, I will take my business elsewhere in the future. These ongoing problems have led me to become increasingly dissatisfied with my purchase because of the problems that have occurred in less than two months of ownership.

Although I am pleased that the dealership has the intention to rectify the problems, I am very upset that a $47,000 motor vehicle requires these types of repairs. This vehicle was sold to me in a condition I would expect from a demonstrator, not a brand new vehicle at full retail price.

I am bringing these issues to your attention with the expectation of resolving this horrible experience I have had with Alfa Romeo and Rick Damelian.


Jay Smith

<hr /></blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"></strong><hr /></blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">

02' Alfa 147 - Selespeed - Black / Tan - Sunroof - 17" Supersports
Jay Smith is offline  
Status: - Update
Posts: n/a

I also wrote a letter to my dealer since they didn't seemed to fix the waterleak in my car. After I've done some research on the internet (with thanx to alfaowner here) I localised the problem myself, I made a few demands, got a year extra warranty on waterleaks, took me a week and a half to get my car back, problems fixed knwoing that before I had my car in the garage for more then 4 months (in total). Anyway, mine letter helped I hope your letters do to.

see ya
Status: -
AO Member
enchanter's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Rossendale, England
Posts: 64

Member car:

2002 156 V6

Hello scouse_man,
Sorry to here about your crap dealings with the Alfa dealers!!. I understand that you bought your car from Motorpoint, if you are having problems with your car is it not the problem of Motorpoint whom you have a contract with, to honor it on your behalf (your consumer rights) the only advice I could give you is to contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau, take all your document that you received with your car and find out exactly where you stand legally, If this will not achive the desired response threaten legal action or the TV. programme Watch dog, no I'm not joking!!!!!!! these companies need to know that the general public can not be ****ed about.
Go for it, hope you have some good luck!!!!!!

8 out of the 10 voices in my head tell me i'm ok!
enchanter is offline  
Status: -
AO Member
DengKao's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: tuk tuk tukkerland
Posts: 908

Member car:

147 1.9 JTD 16V

This is so funny.
Sorry, let me explain why.
I own the new 1.9 jtd 16V.
After starting the car, you get some error messages. LIke low battery, water in diesel filter.
So I went back to the dealer/garage.
"OOoohhhwww yeah! I remember...(After reading out the body comp.) And he opened the hood.
Pointed to the brake fluid reservoir. "there is a connection for the wires to the body comp. That is the cause of the errors. So what we do is we order a new fluid reservoir (with the connections/joints/plugs you name it) and that should solve it."
Great! So I thought. They ordered the reservoir, and I made an appointment to replace the part and built in my car kit. All on time!
That day, picking up the car (I already had contact with Cornelis (another JTD 16V driver)) and they told me that the reservoir was not going to solve the prob. Alfa told them to unplug the wires/joints and for the time being, till they found the answer to the problem, I had to drive like this.
Wow! eek! Are you sure?
Yep, no porblem, no risk. Just for the time being till Alfa finds out what the real problem is.
It makes me laugh though.
They are on thin ice with me.
The family has in total 9 cars with this dealer and are a pretty big fish. My g/f drives a car (Fiat punto sporting) and had several "collisions" with the service (3!!! new gear boxes) , the company I work for already left this dealer for bad service. And so they have to move carfully. One little mistake (and I don't mean things that is out of there hands..) and I am out of there.
So yeah I was aware when I choose for the Alfa, but I am willing to take the risk.
I am aware for I drive the brand new 1.9 JTD 16V and I expect child desease. So far only one. The error messages at start up. So does Cornelis (same messages) same sort of car the new 16V.

And so we wait.


There is no place like
DengKao is offline  
Status: - Update
Posts: n/a
Thanks for that info enchanter.

Shortly before you replied, my Wife and I done exactly that. We have spoken to Citizens Advice, we have sent all correspondence to Motorpoint (who we now realise are the ones who have to sort this out) and we have also contacted Watchdog.

Even if this gets sorted by Motorpoint (who up to this point since contacting them have been 1st class), we are going to take it further with Watchdog over the Alfa dealership.

We know that they have been treating us this way because of who we are, where we got the car from etc...

The other day, my Wife phoned up the dealer (in Nottingham) to ask for the head office number of the group (Ilkeston Co Op) so she could speak with the MD of the group. She was told by the dealer we have had all the trouble with, "Sorry, we dont retain that information, you will most probably find it in the Yellow Pages!!!". So, my Wife found out the number for the Grantham dealer of the same group (20 odd miles away) and asked them the same question. "Of course we have Madame, here it is...." and gave her the number straight away.

This clearly shows that they are mistreating us because they know who we are, and dont want to help us

We will get these b@stards, dont you worry
Status: -
AO Member
Damian M's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: United Kingdom
County: West Yorkshire
Posts: 522
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:<hr /><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"> We will get these b@stards, dont you worry <hr /></blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I hope you do, and best of luck. This is typical of the treatment we Alfaowners receive from some dealers and is usually the 'final straw' for many of us. It makes me realise how fortunate I've been with my current faultfree (touches wood) 156 and haven't had the need to use dealers or the warranty.

As much as it pains me to see Alfa criticised on national TV sometimes they plainly deserve it. When will they learn?
Damian M is offline  
Status: - Update
Posts: n/a
scary story... I am due to pick my new 147 tomorrow... I hope this is not real ? ;-)
Status: -
AO Gold Member
Ivo's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Dutchland
Posts: 7,920
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:<hr /><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by spiider:
<strong>scary story... I am due to pick my new 147 tomorrow... I hope this is not real ? ;-)</strong><hr /></blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">What r the specs ?

And we want pics
Ivo is offline  
Status: - Update
Posts: n/a
Whilst understanding the hassle and annoyance of a number of faults being on a new car, I find it interesting that your grievance is directed at the dealer trying to help you and not the company who sold the vehicle. Alfa Technical do not have all the answers and unfortunately alot of problems on these cars are software issues within the computers and as such cannot be fixed by the dealer directly, they must wait until Alfa Italy come up with a fix and then either reprogramme or replace the ecu with a different software package. Regarding customer services, all that happens when dealing with CS is that your letter is forwarded to the offending dealer to sort out. There is little support to the dealer and most of the Customer Service people do not know the warranty procedures or the Technical knowledge to make any useful contribution to help the customer. In fact I have personally been told more rubbish by Customer Services than any other part of Alfa Romeo. If you would accept a little advice I would ask to speak to the Service Manager and in a calm manner( I know this is hard) explain the situation and your problems, also request the dealership to collect your vehicle to avoid having to take time off work. Be as calm and as reasonable as possible, anger just inflames the situation and the dealership staff will begin to avoid your calls as it seems they already are doing. Most dealership staff work better for you the customer if you the customer show appreciation and are courteous. Most dealership staff will not put the effort in to helping the customer if it is felt that it will not be appreciated. If you try this approach things may improve, also ask to speak to the DET, it is his job to sort out technical problems and if you have him on your side as a friend he will work much better for you and will not feel so threatened as to not to want to speak to you. Most technical staff have no training in how to deal with hostile customers, there immediate reaction is either to face the danger or turn and run. Give it a go, you never know it may work, and you might just get the service you deserve!
Status: -
AO Silver Member
Reuven's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Sydney. Australia
Posts: 2,416

Member car:

2.4L VTEC Honda

It Really makes me upset to hear about people with Dealership problems.

Everyone has there issues with there 147 or 156 but they should be rectified ASAP! If the car is still under warranty & especially If the car is Brand NEW!.

The way I look at it, is if a customer is not happy with his dealership service he will never go back there again!(If he has a choice) And in the future that customer will aquire a disliking.

Thus putting him/her off from a future purchase of an alfa. Which then in turn will give a bad name for the dealership & alfa romeo.

Car Dealership customer service of a car of this caliber should be A1 with not buts and ifs!
Reuven is offline  
Status: - Update
Posts: n/a
NumanRacing, I appreciate your points but did you read the complaint?!!!

6 months on and still the original fault is not fixed.

I think you can admit that in this case I have been extremely courteous in waiting this long.

And the reason I have a beef with the dealer, is because I have an Alfa Romeo warranty, and it is their job to fix my car, and my consumer right to have my car fixed in a reasonable time and to a reasonable standard...

I dont think they have lived up to their end of the bargain.

I am a very calm person, who can usually get what I want. I hold a very high degree a responsibility in my working life, and have never been even close to unprofessionalism.

What I can not stand is when I am treated exactly the opposite to how I treat other people
Status: - Update
Posts: n/a
I agree with scouse man - Ive had a problem - try 4 steering racks in 9 months and 9 months of hassle, no courtesy car, no help or support!!! I tried to be nice, calm, talk to them and all they have done is stick two fingers up at me!!!! funny that, I am sure I can remember them kissing my arse when I was spending £17k on the fecking thing in the first place!!!!!! dont get me wrong, I love the car, its not her fault, she is just a piece of metal at the end of the day ( a grogeous one at that ) but you take them to the cleaners scouseman!!! I am doing. . . . . .via my solicitor!!!!
Status: -
AO Member
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: England
Posts: 27
Perhaps if Motorpoint had performed a thorough pdi on the car before it was delivered this situation wouldn't have occured. Is this why Motorpoint cars are cheaper I wonder....
Pacer is offline  
Status: - Update
Posts: n/a
scouse man - next time you draft a letter like that, cc it to the MD of Alfa, the head of Alfa customer service and the consumer complaints guy at AutoExpress. That's my new strategy with reno, and on Monday a small rocket is going to be set off at their UK HQ.

Status: Now driving a BMW :(
AO Platinum Member
RicksAlfas's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: West Yorkshire
Posts: 17,033
Images: 11

Member car:

1750GTV 147Lusso

You could also write to Autocar magazine wink

g will give you the address
RicksAlfas is offline  

Go Back   Alfa Romeo Forum > Supported Alfa Romeo Models > Technical & Vehicle Assistance > Alfa 147, 156 & GT

alfa , complaint , dealer , full , post

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome