Ah well, guess you can be lucky or unlucky. My current dealer (Meridien in Bournemouth) is not as bad as others I have tried (Fish Brothers in Swindon were particularly dreadful, including the delivery trip for my 156 after which the driver failed to zero the computer and showed me an AVERAGE speed of 70 mph over around 80 miles). The central AR customer service made lots of good noises about helping to resolve the problems but that came to nothing. Even if you are right, Fraser, and the press do exaggerate the AR problems compared with other brands, they are still not good!
I guess I'll persist through the contract I have, another 2 years of enjoyable motoring and frustrating, annoying problems.