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Discussion Starter #1
I purchased my Spider from Benfield Motors, Newcastle in May 2007, I wont catalogue the issues I had just buying it and taking delivery, but I immediately noticed a few problems. Its a long story but in short the main issues remain as: a/ No airflow in the arm rest. b/ Engine Hesitation.

Benfield had the car for over 6 weeks (on and off over a few months), and were unable to repair the arm rest.

May 2008, after 1 year, my Insurance Company took up the claim, and we had an independant report commissioned. This agreed there was no air-flow in the arm rest and the car had a flat spot requiring "above average revs to overcome the hesitation which could result in clutch slip".

Recommended to go to another dealer, so started to use Alexanders, Stockton who were brilliant. The fixed the airflow, but it failed soon after.

Well the months passed, numerous letters, emails, voicemails and meetings with ARUK, all without success, they all told me there was nothing wrong, yet no-one could, or can demonstrate how to 'control' the temperature in my "temperature controlled" arm rest.

I was peruaded to try Benfield again, they have moved with a new Management/Technical Team.

Again, in brief: I visited Benfield and they agreed, there is hesitation, they all have it so nothing can be done! They agreed the armrest had no airflow, and they would like the opportunity to fix it for me.

Here's the catch: ARUK REFUSED to allow this to be done under warranty as they had spent enough on this particular problem already, so if I wanted Benfield to FIX it, I would have to pay for the work, which involves a lengthy strip down of the car....... err NO !

Benfield agreed to talk to ARUK's new regional Technical rep for me, then Benfield came back to me to tell me there was now NOTHING wrong with my car and they would not fix it for me !

My Solicitor re-sent the report, done in May 2008, but Benfield refused to accept this as it's a year old. So I'm now having to get another report done...

Anyway, bottom line is I'm totally fed up with Benfield, and Alfa. I'm clearly not going to get a 'Temperature Controlled Arm Rest' as per the manual/marketing literature, and obviously the hesitation issue will never be resolved.

I find it incredible, that Benfields 'self appointed' "Best Technicians in the Country" can tell me the arm-rest IS defective and they CAN fix it, and then after a call to ARUK decide it is NOT defective and they WONT fix it.

Dont be fooled by smiles, coffee and false promises, nothing seems to change! Customer Service ! Well that doesnt seem to exist when you have a tricky problem no one can fix !

I for one will NEVER buy another car from Benfield, nor will I recommend them, or Alfa Romeo to the many Customers and Clients I meet.
 

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Wow, that is a fairly damning report. :(
Sorry to hear of your trouble.
Have you the will to take the car elsewhere in the network ?
 
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Re the arm rest - it should be really simple - there is a hose bleed from the air con compressor which feeds cooled air to the lower arm rest box. The only control of this is (at least in a 159) is by a thumb wheel at the front upper edge of the box allowing you to reduce the airflow and hence moderately control the cooling effect.

There is a long thread on the hesitation issue elsewhere on the forum.

Sorry to hear of your problems with the dealers though.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
When Alexanders fixed it, they did so by fitting a 159 part, which fixed it for a few weeks, then it failed again.
I've had two visits from ARUK Technicians who claim there is nothing wrong, but the thumbwheel is loose and does nothing at all.

Alexanders Stockton are superb, they called out the factory guys, but they both claimed it was 'within specification'...... stock Alfa answer really !!

I've contributed to the hesitation thread, and got ARUK to publically admit they will NOT honour the warranty if a remap is done, so as I do 25,000 miles a year I'm not going to risk doing that.
 

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Have a Brera and a Spider and have never managed to get any cold air into the starage boxes on either of them.
As the storage box is a pretty useless size in any case, have never really bothered about it.
 

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Backs up my experience with the dealers. All smiles and no problem sir till they cant fix it at the 3rd visit and then suddenly the attitude changes. Once they arent getting the cash from ARUK under warranty they simply dont want to know. Calls into question the point of buying a new or nearly new Alfa. With previous old or import cars I would put up with these irritations. It seems when I spend considerably more cash to get a warranty I am still expected to put up with them :cry:
I hope you get it sorted but must say ive all but given up myself with ARUK and the main dealers. We currently have 2 Alfas on the drive and both will be at independants after their respective 1st free services.
 

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Some will say these are minor issue but they shouldn't be there on any car, let alone one which costs over £25k:tut:

I take it you saw my Autoexpress article on the hessitation issue??

If not, PM me & I'll email it to you.
 

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My 07 Spider had the same issue, it was never fixed.... my 08 car almost works too well - the cubby gets absolutely boiling or freezing. Once it got so hot in there my house keys were almost too hot to touch.

Sorry your problems havent been sorted.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks again guys, appreciate the comments. It's true (R50 MEO) the box is small, but my gripe is I've consistantly been told its defective by dealers, then told actually its OK and within spec by ARUK Technicians.

Alexanders Stockton have been quite superb, no issues with them at all, infact they have been very proactive in helping me. Unfortunately as I purchased the car from Benfield, and as such the contract of sale is with them, I am now having to deal with them as its gone 'legal'.

Benfield, well they may have shiny new offices and claim to be the best, but under the surface they are just the same, and I cant accept being told that I do have a defect, then phoned to say, actually we've spoken to Alfa GB and you haven't....

The fact ARUK wont do any more work on it is probably due to Benfield having had the car for weeks and no doubt claimed a load of time/costs for NOT fixing it.

Anyway, its clear this wont get fixed before I sell the car, (2 years and 51k already) and so all I can do is continue to offer my personal experience when frequently asked "Nice car, what do you think of her?". I know of 3 possibles and 1 definite who have not purchased an Alfa after talking to me, so ARUK, thats £100k + of lost business all for the cost of a £400 remap and an armrest...!
 

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I know of 3 possibles and 1 definite who have not purchased an Alfa after talking to me, so ARUK, thats £100k + of lost business all for the cost of a £400 remap and an armrest...!

This is a point I think a lot of people at ARUK simply dont take on board, or simply dont care about (but they should).

When I first got my 07 car, I was so happy with it that I managed to 'sell' Alfas to at least two people that I know and I practically talked two strangers in to buying one whilst at HRO having some warranty work done on mine.

When the 07 car started to go wrong and particularly when ARUK started to play silly buggers I managed to talk quite a few out of doing business with Alfa, including my own parents who were thinking very seriously about getting a Spider.

The 08 car has been great, but now when people ask me I have to give them a bit of a mixed review - it would be very interesting to see how much word of mouth contributes toward sales - and for the sake of a couple of hundred pounds here and there I think Alfa talk themselves out of a lot of sales.
 

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Yes it's a shame when Alfa miss this opportunity time and time again. Great customer service can make a problem car be forgiven forever, and your perception of the brand be glowing to your friends and collegues if sorted with a smile and respect! Great service is what turns one time customers into raving fans who tell everyone how wonderful something is...

I know quite a few people who have dipped into Alfa ownership, but left never to return again after being fobbed off by ARUK or the dealers.

You tend to find it's only the hardcore Alfa fan like most on here that will put up with it. To be honest though it does seem to be a UK thing, we do seem to suffer fools gladly!

Good luck with getting it sorted and don't give up until it is! :thumbs:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well its been a couple of weeks and still no further forward, the silence fom Alfa is deafening. So much for the promises to ensure my issues were resolved ! Unfortunately I havent had the 2nd independant report done as I havent had my car for the last week. I'll let you know the findings when its done.

I picked up my Son's Lotus Exige 240 from Wales, and took it to back to Newcastle to get it serviced for him (hes working away in France and wants to come and collect it to take it down to Nice).

I guess whilst I complain about the 2.2 Hesitation issue, I'd forgotton just how bad it actually is until I drove the Lotus and realised it is possible to pull away from a junction without dipping the clutch !

I just got back to Wales to pick up my car, and drop off the Lotus, and realised just how bloody aweful the Spider really is. The clutch is feeling very worn now, I have to slip it to pull out from a junction, and it feels very heavy and wallowy (well it would compared to the Exige), and uses 30% more fuel despite having 55 BHP less !

The Lotus is quite superb, although the Service from the Dealer was not a good experience. I asked to be phoned when it was ready, they didn't. It didnt get cleaned after the service, and they didnt stamp the service book, ( I had to go back and get it done) so I wont be going back there in a hurry ! But was only £235 for an 18k service, again, much less than Alfa.

Anyway, time to get my damned Spider fixed then get rid of it, never ever to purchase an Alfa again....
 

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Not good to hear :(
An independant report time :confused: Then present ARUK with the findings :confused: Or bite the bullet and get the Autodelta remap :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'm afraid I'm quite an opinionated, arrogant and stubborn person that doesnt believe in fixing someone elses problem. I bought a premium car which I expect to work ! I wont therefore buy a remap, and face another battle over future warranty claims, it should work, end of story.

I have however reached the conclusion that Alfas are only tolerated by Alfa enthusiasts, the rest of us buy them, put it down to experience and never go back. This is probably why Alfa sold less than 6,000 cars in 2008, and their residuals are plummeting by the second.

The Spider fails on all fronts, its too heavey, too slow, uses too much fuel, loses too much money, is not smooth to drive, and is backed up by a very poor dealer network. (sorry, just my opinion, and probably not well received on here)
 

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I'm afraid I'm quite an opinionated, arrogant and stubborn person that doesnt believe in fixing someone elses problem. I bought a premium car which I expect to work ! I wont therefore buy a remap, and face another battle over future warranty claims, it should work, end of story

I have however reached the conclusion that Alfas are only tolerated by Alfa enthusiasts, the rest of us buy them, put it down to experience and never go back. This is probably why Alfa sold less than 6,000 cars in 2008, and their residuals are plummeting by the second.

The Spider fails on all fronts, its too heavey, too slow, uses too much fuel, loses too much money, is not smooth to drive, and is backed up by a very poor dealer network. (sorry, just my opinion, and probably not well received on here)
I'm afraid I can't disagree with you
 

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Me either although I blame most of it on ARUK hanging its dealers out to dry when it comes to lack of good will and queried warranty claims:mad:
 

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And there we have the problem in a nutshell. Alfa arent alone on these customer service issues but due to their awful legacy they need to work twice as hard as everyone else and they simply dont. Cant agree more that while this situation stays the same they are destined to be enthusiasts cars only.
 

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I just sold my A4 cab yesterday and about to purchase a spider 2.2jts on thursday

This is a pretty damning thread of the spider. Not so sure now. I was convinced now doubts

This is a 20k car - alot of money
 
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I just sold my A4 cab yesterday and about to purchase a spider 2.2jts on thursday

This is a pretty damning thread of the spider. Not so sure now. I was convinced now doubts

This is a 20k car - alot of money
Just knock them down by £500 (even explain why
you want the price drop) then take it round to Autodelta
and get it remapped. ;)
 
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