Did you put it down to ARUK, or Kinghams? ... Had various independent reports of Kinghams being bad in the 90s - are they as bad now?
I would put it down to the design, spec or build quality of the car's hood mechanism, and then to ARUK's repeated failures to respond properly or assist their dealers in getting it fixed. During the many, many, times it's been back to have this problem looked at, it's been into Kinghams, Perrys, and - briefly - Desira in Norwich (because we were there with family and Desira very kindly agreed to take a look at it for us!).
I really want to like Kinghams because they're very local to us, and Keith comes over as a real enthusiast and certainly knows his Alfas. Also, I had them recommended by a couple of members of this forum.
As you probably know, although they're not a full AR dealer (they seem to mainly sell Daihatsu or something), they are Alfa approved for service and warranty work.
The last time it was in with Kinghams, ARUK were supposed to have pre-supplied parts and a technician to them (they agreed this with Kinghams and with me) but after I'd left the car with them it transpired that they hadn't got the parts and ARUK weren't sending anyone. Up to that point, I can't really blame Kinghams for anything. They called up and explained the situation but said they'd been told to "have a look and see if they can fix it" - again it seems that's what ARUK told them to do, not their fault.
The problem is that they then had it for a week, didn't get the parts (again not their fault) but I had no communication from them for 3 days until I called up on the Friday to ask what was going on and was told nothing had been done yet so if I wanted it for the weekend I could go and pick it up. So I picked it up at the end of the week without it having been fixed.
Also, they'd managed to badly (like real chunks out of it, around 75% of the circumference - how do you even do that?) kerb the nearside front wheel and cut into the £200 tyre in the process. Obviously the car must have been getting in the way down there and it was moved a bit carelessly
. I scuffed the rear one myself early on, so I know how easily it happens, but that single small scuff is the only time we've damaged it at all in 15 months.
Again, in the interests of balance, I should say the exact same thing happened when Perrys had it so maybe AR dealers in general just aren't as careful as we'd like, or maybe we're just incredibly unlucky.
So, I don't particularly have a problem with Kinghams, just time to try yet another dealer in our seemingly endless search for one that can fix the problem with our car, without causing more damage in the process.
Sorry for the length of this reply but the reputation of a garage is really important, and I wanted to make sure I was fair and balanced.