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(Post Link) post #1 of 34 Old 19-06-08 Thread Starter
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Even poor quality Indies exist.

I can't find it anymore but we recently had a post here slagging off a well known Indie. Happily, because I am taking my 156 GTA there soon, it would seem as though the bulk of opinion disagrees with the person who submitted the post. However, there are definitely some Indies who let the side down. For many years I have been taking my Alfas to David Thomas of Codicote. He is well known for specialising in Alfas and also races them. Purchase of a new 156 prevented me from returning there, but as soon as the warranty expired I contacted him with a query regarding servicing. Because the query was a bit technical I chose to describe it in an email since I am better doing that with the written word. I never got a reply. I then faxed it, but still no response. I finally rang up and spoke to his receptionist/secretary about my emails and it was agreed that I should send them again. Bearing in mind that my enquiry had nothing to do about their being able to service 156 GTA's, it was of little use to me to receive an email back from her merely stating that they can service GTA's. I re-sent the email asking if David could look at it himself since I would prefer a relevant answer from a qualified person rather than just a useless reply from someone who makes the tea.
I never got a reply. I am now taking my Alfas to Jamie Porter.
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Re: Even poor quality Indies exist.

I could name a couple of italian car specialist that I would't go near as well.

Don't forget some of the specialist used to be main dealers, or have staff that worked at main dealers. And we know that their service can be patchy to say the least.
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Re: Even poor quality Indies exist.

Seems symptomatic of the crap 'customer service' you get just about everywhere these days. There are two independent Alfa specialists near me and I will never go near either of them again. One of them damaged my car while working on it and the other one jumped to (wrong) conclusions about the work that was needed so I ended up being charged for something that I knew didn't need doing.

People responding to letters and emails when they have clearly not read or understood the one that has been sent to them absolutely boils my p**s.
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Re: Even poor quality Indies exist.

Steve - the problem you get is that some of these experienced Alfa mechanics are just that; experience Alfa mechanics, but nothing more. They don't know how to run a business, they don't respond to Internet enquiries, emails or faxes etc. They might as well still be fixing Alfas in the 1980s. It doesn't stop them being great mechanics, but it doesn't inspire the 21st century Alfa owner with confidence either.
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Re: Even poor quality Indies exist.

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Originally Posted by steve lyden brown View Post
I re-sent the email asking if David could look at it himself since I would prefer a relevant answer from a qualified person rather than just a useless reply from someone who makes the tea.
I never got a reply.
And you REALLY wonder why?
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Re: Even poor quality Indies exist.

I took mine to Mr Thomas once for a service; on the recommendation of 2 previous customers.

Puts the wrong grade of oil in it and then proceeds to argue with me when I told him he'd got it wrong despite it being written in black and white in the owner's manual.

Never been back.
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Re: Even poor quality Indies exist.

I had heard of this guy in codicote but never been there myself (even though its not far from me at all), reading that last post I am quite glad!

But with regards to Jamie Porter - you can't go wrong mate from the moment you walk through the doors you will know you have gone to the right place!
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Re: Even poor quality Indies exist.

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I

But with regards to Jamie Porter - you can't go wrong mate from the moment you walk through the doors you will know you have gone to the right place!
What he said.

Took 'er up there today and I have been having a blast with the 155 twinny I got as a courtesy car
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Re: Even poor quality Indies exist.

Strange you should mention David Thomas in Codicote. I took my Spider there on a couple of occasions, but never again. First time round the front discs were replaced but mysteriously the small retaining bolt locationg disc to hub was sheared off. 'Not a problem' came the explanation, 'not important'. Second time round car went in for a wheel alignment, only to watch one of the technicians slam the gearlever into reverse - scrunching noises ensued. Not good for the gearbox. Wasn't happy with the alignment either, got it checked elsewhere and it was miles out. Final straw came when I requested a quote for replacement of a rear bush with the nice secretary - no quote forthcoming. Phoned again reminding need for quote, no quote materialised. Asked for David himself, 'too busy' was the reply. So now I've given up on David Thomas in Codicote!
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Re: Even poor quality Indies exist.

Why would someone not work on a GTA? It's only a V6 Alfa 156. If you won't work on a GTA then you won't work on a V6.
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Re: Even poor quality Indies exist.

I've used Tony Favarin near Witney on many occasions. His workshop is a complete shambles but he's a very clever bloke who does good work - even on the later Fiat engined stuff.
 
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Re: Even poor quality Indies exist.

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Originally Posted by Andyboy View Post
I've used Tony Favarin near Witney on many occasions. His workshop is a complete shambles but he's a very clever bloke who does good work - even on the later Fiat engined stuff.
Where is he based? I have never heard of him. Was he one of the guys who used to run just italian?

Last edited by symon; 09-09-09 at 12:59.
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Re: Even poor quality Indies exist.

Absolutely nothing at all to do with them. He used to live on Manor road by the football club. He works from a farm building not far from the car auctions in Witney. If you want, PM me and I'll PM you his number.
He builds Lancia Stratos competition cars mainly but still does Alfa stuff.
 
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Re: Even poor quality Indies exist.

I think I know where you mean. I take it thats where all the stratos replica's I keep seeing are coming from.
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Re: Even poor quality Indies exist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve lyden brown View Post
I can't find it anymore but we recently had a post here slagging off a well known Indie. Happily, because I am taking my 156 GTA there soon, it would seem as though the bulk of opinion disagrees with the person who submitted the post. However, there are definitely some Indies who let the side down. For many years I have been taking my Alfas to David Thomas of Codicote. He is well known for specialising in Alfas and also races them. Purchase of a new 156 prevented me from returning there, but as soon as the warranty expired I contacted him with a query regarding servicing. Because the query was a bit technical I chose to describe it in an email since I am better doing that with the written word. I never got a reply. I then faxed it, but still no response. I finally rang up and spoke to his receptionist/secretary about my emails and it was agreed that I should send them again. Bearing in mind that my enquiry had nothing to do about their being able to service 156 GTA's, it was of little use to me to receive an email back from her merely stating that they can service GTA's. I re-sent the email asking if David could look at it himself since I would prefer a relevant answer from a qualified person rather than just a useless reply from someone who makes the tea.
I never got a reply. I am now taking my Alfas to Jamie Porter.
EU rules do not require you to get your car serviced at a main dealer to preserve your warranty... Who said what have the EU ever done for us

As for JP, top guy who has answered every phone and email query I've sent to him.... Even when I asked for a quote on a new A/C fan as mine sounded like the bearings had gone, he emailed me back suggesting that I check that it wasn't leaves in the filter. Turned out to be a sweet wrapper stuck in there. He could have just quoted me the price and probably made some money selling a replacement fan but instead he made an effort to help. True Alfisti
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Re: Even poor quality Indies exist.

Haiti is one of the Indies that is pretty poor quality, I hear.


 
(Post Link) post #17 of 34 Old 24-06-08 Thread Starter
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Re: Even poor quality Indies exist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulR View Post
And you REALLY wonder why?
For a professional writer I cocked up bigtime here with both my punctuation and syntax, inasmuch as I did state in my email to the errant indie that I would prefer the garage proprietor (David Thomas of Codicote ) to read and reply to my email, but actually made no comment as to not wanting a reply from the tea-boy ! That latter part was limited entirely to what I was thinking ! This alleged "tea-boy" reference cannot, therefore, have influenced his unwillingness to reply to me.
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Re: Even poor quality Indies exist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve lyden brown View Post
For a professional writer I cocked up bigtime here with both my punctuation and syntax, inasmuch as I did state in my email to the errant indie that I would prefer the garage proprietor (David Thomas of Codicote ) to read and reply to my email, but actually made no comment as to not wanting a reply from the tea-boy ! That latter part was limited entirely to what I was thinking ! This alleged "tea-boy" reference cannot, therefore, have influenced his unwillingness to reply to me.
By not asking for a response from the Tea boy as well, you showed a level of beverage discrimination that would have any right thinking Indy black listing you
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Re: Even poor quality Indies exist.

Aye! I try not to use people that don't reply to emails.. it shows a lack of organisation (or some dysfunction within the organisation).

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Re: Even poor quality Indies exist.

my only experiance of the alfa workshop is a bad one im afraid when i asked if they could fit me in for a new exhaust fitting i was told not for 3 weeks mate i had to go elsewhere but if they have a 3 week waiting list that has to be a good thing reputation wise.

my local inde has moved even closer to me and i have nothing but praise for them.
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Re: Even poor quality Indies exist.

So it wasn't really a bad experience to be fair - just a long waiting list They can't help it if they are that busy
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Re: Even poor quality Indies exist.

thats the point i was making, i was being ironic, the fact that they couldnt fit me in is bad but its good, it shows they are busy, if you see what i mean
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Re: Even poor quality Indies exist.

Dave Thomas is a good old boy, unfortunately he has been buried in the garden buy his wife or sent to Russia or something, so he may not have come back to you as he is not there!
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Re: Even poor quality Indies exist.

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Originally Posted by jamiealfa View Post
Dave Thomas is a good old boy, unfortunately he has been buried in the garden buy his wife or sent to Russia or something, so he may not have come back to you as he is not there!
What you on about Jamie?

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Bought a 75 from Tony Favarin-head gasket gone, engine mountings rotten, petrol tank leaking, gearbox had to be rebuilt, propshaft had to be rebuilt, heater motor had failed and electrical problems all off which he'd failed to mention on his e-bay advert! He didn't reply to my e-mails until time had run out for me to rate him and then had the cheek to offer £100 in return for a good rating!!! Ha!!! Spent nearly £1400 to buy the car and have since spent over £2000 just to get it on the road with loads more work to be done. Must have mug written across my forehead and had loads of Alfas before including an older 75 (which I still have).
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