Re: Warranty Issues After 17k Miles
Well what can I say. I was surprised - The fact that the company I own supplies new left hand drive cars to order seemed to encourage the kind of treatment I got. Apparently that means I should understand why I get charged for work that is, according to Alfa UK and Donalds, covered under warranty.
The Brera is actually my own car, previously owned by a Brit who lives locally to our villa in Southern Spain.
I took the car to the dealer in question for its first service because to be fair, the person I spoke to was initially very helpful on the phone providing me with information about previous warranty history before I bought the car. I had told him I would bring the car for its first service once I had it.
Things continued to go well until he sat down with me after the service was complete.
What he said to me about the possible incorrect body control unit being fitted at some point really didn't fill me with confidence - If that were the case, which Alfa are adamant it isn't, why should i carry the can for the mistake of another Alfa dealer to the tune of £500 approx? He told me if that were the case I would have to, and I would have to pay for the diagnosis to investigate this. Alfa say there is no way I should pay either for the diagnosis or for the part, regardless of the story behind it if the car is under warranty which it is.
His answer was why should the dealer cover it, but as Alfa UK said, the work, whatever was at fault, would be paid to the dealer albeit at cost.
Telling me the seatbelts were "twisted" and therefore the rear panels would need to be removed at my expense to untwist them? This proved to be total nonsense!
According to Donalds the "springs" are broken in the belt units AND the belts are frayed. Both units are being replaced.
The driver's side chrome kick-plate having come away. Not simply unbending the bent end (which the non-returning seat belt had hooked onto and caused) which took me literally 3 seconds and not sticking it back on was plain petty, but I felt gave me a clear insight into the level interest they had in doing anything to the car.
Telling me the crunching 3rd gear was "spot-on" and normal for the Brera. Both Alfa Romeo and Donalds, having road-tested the car, have agreed that it's not normal and is possibly a synchro problem and will be looking at possibly stripping the gearbox when it goes in again next week to assess the problem depending upon results of further investigation....But none of this at my expense.
Telling me if I didn't notify faults within 7 days of the warranty expiring they probably wouldn't be covered - Again, rubbish according to Alfa UK.
It sounds silly but it was the kick-plate that put the icing on the cake. How long would it have taken them to unbend the end and glue the thing down - 5 minutes? Might have made me feel like they gave a monkey's about the car and retaining future business.
I left the dealership feeling like they were happy to take the cash off me for the service but that they really were not interested in doing the warranty work unless there were the possibility of getting some money from me for it - Apart from resetting the power return thing which had stopped working when you open and close the passenger door, and stopping my glovebox falling open.
I am sure your-man will have plenty to say - He did when I called him yesterday to ask yet again for an invoice bearing MY company's name and not the details of one of my competitors! Been waiting over a week now for that.
It's the little things that count. We are successful as a business because we genuinely go that step further for our customers. eg; I've driven to Portugal through the night before now to deliver a car to a brand new customer at my expense because the transporter company let us down - He's bought 6 cars from us since. Maybe I expect too much because I do expect the same level of service from the people who supply me both personally and my business. If they don't, I find someone who will and will tell anyone who wants to know of my experiences both good and bad.
Just to prove a point, my missus went all wobbly-legged over the Brera when she first saw the launch pics a couple of years ago. We are both Alfa/Fiat people as I said before and we needed to get shot of the 156 she uses whilst in the UK that's quietly disintegrating around her. It's her birthday next week so I have been in the market for a Spider 3.2 Q4 for the last month. I bought one from a dealer's stock this morning and it wasn't bought from the dealer we've been discussing the last few days either.....but seriously, it could have been.
Last edited by SimonJF; 16-04-08 at 22:16.