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(Post Link) post #1 of 25 Old 22-05-07 Thread Starter
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Not Happy Inept Alfa dealer

What should have been a very happy first few weeks of Alfa ownership is rapidly becoming a bit of a 'mare. The dealer had the car (ex-demonstrator) for a week 'to prepare it like new', I picked it up to find scuff marks on the interior of the doors, loose trim and uncovered screw on the driver' interior door release, the boot latch cover broken, and not full of diesel as promised (less than half full)
Anyway, I was willing to overlook these minor faults cos I loved the car and thought it would be easy to get it sorted. However, as soon as I got her onto the motorway, I noticed serious vibration at 70mph+. I checked the tyres- all underinflated. I sorted them, but the vibration persisted, so back to the dealer!!
After waiting for an hour, the receptionist told me I needed a new tyre and all the wheels needed realigning But they couldn't do it that week!!
So... I trundle back yesterday and drop her off. I go to pick her up today to be told all sorted, bar the boot latch cover. And apparently the alarm sensors need replacing! They will ring when they get the parts. Yay...that was easy
20 minutes after leaving the garage I picked up my son from school. I put his bag in the boot and noticed the boot floor was folded back- why, I don't know!! Then the real horror.... I looked down and noticed several scrapes (not scratches) in the bumper- right through the paint.
So I'll be back on the phone tomorrow to let them know what I think!!! I am not the sort of person who complains over small issues because sometimes these things happen- but surely not this many things!!
I'm at the point now where I don't think I can trust them to do anything right. Fact is, I would have gone there for all my servicing, but no way now!! Now I need to decide whether I'll give them the chance to put it right, or do I go to an independent and try to bill the Alfa dealer
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Re: Inept Alfa dealer

This just sums up the general dealer attitude towards "punters". It did for Lancia, just hope it doesn't do for Alfa too. Maybe that's why their market share is down again.
Personally, I think the vast majority of main dealers are patronising pricks who are only interested in shifting metal to meet bonuses.

Anyway, that's me off my soapbox, over to you!
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Re: Inept Alfa dealer

Gren, this is shocking, absolutely disgraceful!
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Re: Inept Alfa dealer

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Originally Posted by tul66 View Post
This just sums up the general dealer attitude towards "punters". It did for Lancia, just hope it doesn't do for Alfa too. Maybe that's why their market share is down again.
Personally, I think the vast majority of main dealers are patronising pricks who are only interested in shifting metal to meet bonuses.

Anyway, that's me off my soapbox, over to you!
Any room for me on your soapbox?

Got similar treatment when looking at a car that I was very keen to buy but didn't, purely down to the attitude of the dealer! My hackles were raised after an episode with the Fiat dealer when I had a Punto and sadly I lumped the Alfa dealers into the same pot. I assumed that as Fiat owned Alfa then I'd get the same treatment. I've been too scared to prove myself wrong.

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Re: Inept Alfa dealer

FFS, this is nonsense. You need to let ARUK know. I know some will say that's a forlorn hope but I've had umpteen calls from the JD POwer Survey people asking how I've been getting on since I requested a test drive. I do believe they are starting to take these things seriously.
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(Post Link) post #6 of 25 Old 22-05-07 Thread Starter
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Re: Inept Alfa dealer

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FFS, this is nonsense. You need to let ARUK know. I know some will say that's a forlorn hope but I've had umpteen calls from the JD POwer Survey people asking how I've been getting on since I requested a test drive. I do believe they are starting to take these things seriously.
I'm hoping it doesn't come to involving ARUK, but given other people's experiences with AR dealers on this site I have a feeling I may have to. I have to say though, ARUK do not seem to respond to complaints either judging by other threads.
I think tul66 is right- once they've sold the car to you, they couldn't really care less
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Re: Inept Alfa dealer

Par for the course in my experience
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Re: Inept Alfa dealer

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I'm hoping it doesn't come to involving ARUK, but given other people's experiences with AR dealers on this site I have a feeling I may have to. I have to say though, ARUK do not seem to respond to complaints either judging by other threads.
I think tul66 is right- once they've sold the car to you, they couldn't really care less
INvolve them and name names. What have you got to lose?
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Re: Inept Alfa dealer

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INvolve them and name names. What have you got to lose?
Quite agree!!

Register your experience with them as concisely (and calmly) as possible. AR need to put there money (and commitment) where their mouth is with regards the dealerships.

You may find your treatment becomes much more professional and considerate!
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(Post Link) post #10 of 25 Old 23-05-07 Thread Starter
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Re: Inept Alfa dealer

Just to update the situation- I called the dealer at lunchtime and was put through to the sales manager- seems he was already aware of the issues with the wheel alignment and apologised profusely. When I told him about the scrapes he said he would speak to the service manager first, get me a time from their mobile paintwork guy so I didn't have to bring the car in, and call me back shortly.......and so far hasn't. Hopefully he'll call me tomorrow morning
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Re: Inept Alfa dealer

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Originally Posted by gren View Post
Just to update the situation- I called the dealer at lunchtime and was put through to the sales manager- seems he was already aware of the issues with the wheel alignment and apologised profusely. When I told him about the scrapes he said he would speak to the service manager first, get me a time from their mobile paintwork guy so I didn't have to bring the car in, and call me back shortly.......and so far hasn't. Hopefully he'll call me tomorrow morning
Step in the right direction gren!!
Don't stop now - call if you still haven't heard back by tomorrow lunchtime.

Good Luck!!
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(Post Link) post #12 of 25 Old 25-05-07 Thread Starter
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Re: Inept Alfa dealer

No call by lunchtime today so I rang them. Sales manager was unavailable, but did call back- unfortunately I was busy, but he left a message saying he will definitely be getting their mobile bodywork guy out next week and he will call on Tuesday to let me know when.
I'm happy with that- I'll also ask him to cover up a big scratch that appeared today on the drivers door (public car parks eh?). BTW- is it just me, or is the paint really thin on Alfas?? I saw this scratch straight away on the door and when I looked at it, it isn't that deep, but is through to the white undercoat
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Re: Inept Alfa dealer

As I am mechanically inept myself I doubt I will be providing much feedback within this forum but I think I can help on this one...

Girl I work with bought a Shogun 'as seen' from a dealer a couple of months ago. Turned out to be a total dog, she rang the dealer who basically told her tough ****, she bought it, she pays the price. After many fruitless phone calls to the dealer she rang trading Standards and gave them the number of the garage. Approx 2 hrs later she got a call from the garage asking to bring the shogun back. After 3-4 weeks she has now got her shogun back with a re-conditioned engine and new discs all round with a courtesy car provided by the garage during that period.

Morale of the story seems to be that it is illegal for a garage to sell a car 'sold as seen' as they are legally obliged to provide a 6 month warranty and that they do not like being reported to trading standards.

I don't know if your garage is trying to attempt to bill you for this work but I would get the old yellow pages out and ring the trading standards, make yourself a smoke and a cuppa and wait for the garage to call
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Re: Inept Alfa dealer

yes Walshy69 is correct in his advice don't waste anymore time and call trading standards it will focus the dealers attention. IMHO you have paid a huge amount of money for a demo at a good price of course but still the product should be perfect aesthetically and mechanically. On the paint work i would ask for a proper paint job / respray if they have scratched it whilst in their possession. Good luck keep us posted still sounds like a great car you have bought
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Re: Inept Alfa dealer

i had a really crap dealer when getting my 147, id like to point out it is NOT Mervyn Stewart in belfast but Auto Q in belfast. Mervyn Stewart by all accounts is very good.

before i picked up the car the bushes were to be replaced along with a few other bits and pieces. when i picked the car up it hadnt even been valeted so it was piggin :/ not a good start but i didnt care in the slightest. got home from the dealers and the suspension was squeaking again checked it and the same bushes were still on the car. also the numberplate on teh front had come off as they had only taped it onto a curved surface and teh drivers side, side repeater had come out. also teh seatbelt light wouldnt go off.

i told the dealer and he said give him a week to get in the parts needed and call back to get sorted. when i picked teh car up nothing had been done besides the numberplate. they said the seatbelt sensor needed to 'bed in' which is ****** as an electronic component either works or it doesnt and just before the MOT there the side repeater fell out again and instead of replacing the part as they said they did they had superglued it onto the paintwork which has stripped the paint off my car still squeaks and i have been up and down that many times and been given the runaround so much that i just gave up. i sorted the side prepeaters and the seatbelt sensor in about 25mins at a massive cost of £27 for parts, why could they not have done this!?

stay away from auto q in belfast they are shysters from the sales team to the workshop all shady and nothing straightforward. imo.

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Re: Inept Alfa dealer

FURTHER UPDATE!!!!!

The sales manager did call on Tuesday to say they were sending their mobile body repair guy to my place of work on Thursday so that I didn't have to bring it in....very thoughtful. Unfortunately he didn't show up

I called again, and again the sales manager was very apologetic. Someone will definitely be out on Monday ....this time to pick the car up. I also mentioned that the annoying vibration that it originally went in for is still there, just at a higher speed now, and that will be sorted too.

Anyway, I'll give them this last chance to come good. If not, I'm going to follow the advice from you guys and call/write to ARUK and trading standards, and I think I'll copy the letters to the MD of the dealers parent company.
Here's hoping I don't have to do that
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Re: Inept Alfa dealer

The vibration sounds like you need new front discs.

Hope it gets sorted.

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Re: Inept Alfa dealer

Right....I'm really annoyed now!!! No one came out Monday- instead I got another phone call saying it will definitely be Thursday (this is starting to sound familiar!!). Well today is Thursday, no one turned up for the car (even though I offered to take it in myself, they insisted someone would come out for it!), and no apologetic phone call this time.

So tomorrow I'll be calling ARUK, Benfield Motor Group's MD (I bought the car at Benfield Alfa in Newcastle), and trading standards....surely one of them will get some action???
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Re: Inept Alfa dealer

UPDATE AGAIN... I got a call last Friday (day after my last post) from Alfa, they left a message, and when I rang back I told the sales manager that yet again no one had turned up. He sounded genuinely baffled and told me that he has been invoiced for the repair by the mobile bodywork guy Anyway, Monday morning the salesman I originally dealt with (who seems a genuinely nice guy)turns up, takes the car away, and returns it with the scrape repaired and also the scratches on the wing sorted (the latter from gits in car parks). I'm also booked in next week to get the boot latch fixed, alarm fixed, and vibration fixed....keeping my fingers crossed it will be done this time and I can start enjoying the Alfa experience a bit more!!
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Re: Inept Alfa dealer

Final Update I hope! Well they took the car away as promised and sorted the scratches. Then I took my Bella in for the boot latch (fixed), alarm and vibration. I also mentioned that my wife noticed a lot of wind noise on her side. No problem they said.
When I picked her up- alarm no longer worked at all ! I was told that as the vibration occcurs above 70mph it shouldn't really be an issue ( WTF!!). To fix the wind noise they'd set the passenger door in so there was an obvious lip formed by the leading edge of the rear 3/4
NOT GOOD ENOUGH!!!!!!!
So I called the General Manager and explained my annoyance thet these seemingly minor problems just weren't getting sorted. He seemed really concerned and arranged for me to drop the car off last Tuesday and had someone primed to meet me. I went over every issue with the technician, and then was give a lovely 2.4 159SW as my courtesy car
I have to say, the SW is well nice

Today I finally got my Bella back- all problems solved (it seems!!). Hopefully I won't be back there until my service is due!!
Moral seems to be- if your problems aren't solved first time go to the top man (or someone else who may just care enough to get the job done)
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Re: Inept Alfa dealer

Well Done
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Re: Inept Alfa dealer

I'm glad you've got her sorted out, seems a bit of a rough ride to get it all done though .

Enjoy your ride
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Re: Inept Alfa dealer

Good news Gren - really pleased for you - ATLAST!!

Now time to enjoy your car and not even think about the dealer until the next service.

Fingers crossed and enjoy your Bella!!
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Re: Inept Alfa dealer

What a battle... WELL DONE
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Re: Inept Alfa dealer

Well done, glad it all seems to be sorted now...... but it's really not good enough to have to go through all that to get a few little things sorted, is it?

Alfa need to get this kind of thing stopped as soon as possibe, they've got a belting range of cars, but it's all going horribly wrong when the dealers have to get involved If they're not careful they'll be getting a reputation again, and all their hard work from the last few years will be a complete waste of time
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