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First off, im not too sure if this is the correct place to post this, but its my best guess, feel free to move it if its in the wrong place...but id ideally like it to get good exposure.

Recently we bought a 57' plate alfa 159 2.4jtdm with ~30k on the clocks from Voloces of North London.

When we first visited they were professional and seemed reasonably knowledgeable. (this after visiting possibly the most dishonest guy ive ever met trying to flog us an IS200 (so glad we got the Alfa :D) )

we chose a car - 159 2.4 JTDM in Alfa red of course, that had been maintained from new solely by Veloces ;)

Test drove it, was a bit noisy, but hey, par for the disel course we thought (weve only ever owned petrols). it drove well and we liked it, we decided to part with our money.

They said they needed a few days to "give it a full and through inspection and a full service" before we could take delivery of it, it had two front tyres very close to the legal limit so we negotiated two new tyres for the price (not too much to ask for considering the £9650 price tag). fine as we wanted it for my mums 60th a week or so later. in the final stage of sorting things out he offered us some extras as is the norm with dealers...and they were:

A Xenon upgrade @ £250; he said "it would be suitable as the 159 already has the domes" i was suitably unimpressed as i have done a faiiiir bit of work/modifications to my own cars, and for someone to be promoting such a service should at least know they're called projectors, anyway i enquired "would they pass the MOT, including the new rules to be enforced" (knowing full well that they will blanket fail ANY car with an after market HID conversion). an of course he answered "yes no reason why not"....we decided not to take this option.

Life Shine @ £50 & £100 for the maintenance kit; admittedly this sounded quite good as he included things like giving the car lustre, and making it vibrant etc etc...so we took this one, but just the treatment (already got half a shed full of stuff for my own bright red fiat)

we left a deposit and that was that for the day.


30/10/11
A week later we went to collect the car, all looked well, the car was shiny...but nothing special, oh well £50 gone...
we checked the tyres...oh they've just swapped the wheels from another Alfa they had on the forecourt, as we needed the car that day, we still took it with the promise that he would look into it and get back to us.

A couple of days pass, and me being me, in my poking/prodding nature, i quickly found evidence of a front end collision repair (dodgy bumper paint work and paint on the black trim of the lights), interior trim held on with tie wraps not the push-fit clips you'd expect...but none of this is "serious" so we just accepted it and went on...life's too short.

We had no correspondence about the tyres, so we phoned up (also to chase the HPI check they said they'd post to us) and again, they'd "look into it and get back to us"....to this day they haven't phoned us once.

In the mean time, my dad was worried about the noise it was making (very tapety), especially as it had "just been serviced"...any way we got on with life

a couple of weeks later, we got my younger brother an 03' fiat stilo JTD... with the predecessor of the 159's engine...and i was shocked it was silent in comparison...

This set alarm bells ringing...so we went to halfords got some oil, FIAT dealer for oil service bits for the alfa...etc...

embarked on a service, and wow....the oil that came out was thick, i mean REALLLY thick, like black sludge (ive kept it in a can for future reference), the oil filter looked like it was 10 years old...weve yet to play with the air filter...

put it all back together and hey presto its quieter...but not only quieter, its faster...much much faster, like it had a remap, faster... whilst servicing it, i found that the under-tray had been mangled (3 bolts snapped off). various things Tie wrapped on where they should've been bolted...and a brake sensor cable touching the inside of the front left wheel, causing it to have been worn shiny....oh and neither of the front two wheels had balancing weights...that would explain the weird wobble at high-speeds...so remidied all of these (not the balancing, haven't had a chance yet) and its how it should've been for a 10k car "maintained to the highest standard by Veloces of North London"

We cant be bothered with the headache it'd cause going back there. The alfa is perfect now (keeps gettign quieter and faster the more we drive it after the oil change), but no thanks to them...i suspect the oil had never been changed...and it was maintained "on the cheap" but they probably charged extortionate rates...

that's our tale...steer clear of Veloces of North London, located in Barnet
 

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Why didn't you persue them and give them a chance to make things right instead of DIYing then slagging them off on a public forum?
 

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Difficult call though isn't it? If they say have serviced the car and not done it, strictly speaking is it fraud? Can you check the quality of the oil without dropping it?

Should you really have to chase a main dealer repeatedly for such things?
 
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Why didn't you persue them and give them a chance to make things right instead of DIYing then slagging them off on a public forum?
To be fair it's not the first time I have read such a post about them
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Why didn't you persue them and give them a chance to make things right instead of DYIing then slagging them off on a public forum?
Why should we? they couldn't sort out two tyres properly, why should we trust them any further with our alfa? and why should we have any faith in the work they might carry out? (also we are a family of people who like the feeling of knowing its done right, and you only really get that when you trust someone or when you do it yourself)....and you cant trust someone who lies.

The "slagging off" is deliberate, They are not a small outfit, they should have it right. this level of service is far below what id expect of what they portray. we gave them a chance on the tyres...they never even returned the call
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Difficult call though isn't it? If they say have serviced the car and not done it, strictly speaking is it fraud? Can you check the quality of the oil without dropping it?

Should you really have to chase a main dealer repeatedly for such things?
exactly...no i dont think so. but ive got all the oil in a can, should it be called into question.

No, you pay your 10k for a car, it should be perfect...not need any fixes, especially niggly small silly things
 

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Even so, they didn't have a chance to rectify the issues...

OP seemed complacent about it all, then writes this :confused:

I'm all for 'name and shame' but when its due :thumbs:
 

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Even so, they didn't have a chance to rectify the issues...

OP seemed complacent about it all, then writes this :confused:

I'm all for 'name and shame' but when its due :thumbs:

They're not getting the chance, we don't ever want to deal with them again.

I don't quite follow your complacency comment...

if you've ever met my dad (very doubtful) he is a tradesmen dream, trusting and very nice, to "con" him would be like shooting a puppy in the face... that's another reason why we didn't go back, if they can do that to someone who is so blatantly an honest and nice person, what does that say about them?
 

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I still don't get it, I would have returned the car. Not fix it up myself, then moan about it. What are you hoping to achieve here? :confused:

Complacency refers to the issues you spotted, but thought at the time hey ho, that's life, I'll just fix it all at my own cost etc...
 
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I think it achieves quite a bit. As I posted it is not the first such post I have read about them and it means I wouldn't bother buying a car from them personally. I'm sure it wouldn't put some off but it will mean they will tread carefully and check every details if they do visit them. There are far too many shoddy traders out there and I think it can only do good if we get to find out about them. I've only ever been ripped off once by a s*** car dealer which is lucky considering the amount of cars I have bought :lol: but I posted my experience on here at the time
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I still don't get it, I would have returned the car. Not fix it up myself, then moan about it. What are you hoping to achieve here? :confused:

Complacency refers to the issues you spotted, but thought at the time hey Ho, that's life, I'll just fix it all at my own cost etc...

I personally wanted to return with the car, it was my dad that didn't want to (his purchase), he in fact preferred me to fix it than them.
In hindsight i agree with him.
Im not moaning, nor trying to "achieve" anything. simply a word of warning to those looking to buy an alfa, that they are not all that they seem.
By returning it to them, and allowing them to rectify it (provided they did) i would still have posted up...as it should never have happened in the first place.

The complacency i think your referring to is in relation to the minor issues?? (like body work, trim et?)
The reason we didn't bother returning with theses is, they're never realistically going to re-spray they thing at their own cost (and if they did it'd probably come out the same, as it was their body shop that did it in the first place), and its "acceptable" but not perfect...and seriously, clips? it took 10s to fix that one, not worh the hassle...i mentioned it to add to the whole picture.

WRT the major issues, we just don't trust them to fix them properly, they couldn't even be trusted to replace two tyres!

and the cost? what is £70 or so ontop of 10k to know its done right....
 

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Car salesmen will say anything to sell a car and then do anything to save money on the sale. Swapping the wheels over is a good example. One thing is to 'neglect' to give all the details and another is to blatantly try to fool you. Public slating well deserved IMO.
 

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I think the OP basically lost all faith in Veloces and their ability to carry out the niggles that he had, Car not as shiny, wheels swapped instead of tyres, HPI cert "in the post" (incidentaly i would be very worried about that)
how far do you have to chase/push a dealer to provide you with the service you have paid the premium for?

In fairness the OP could have bought a similar private for less, but i guess went with the big dealer as they have a reputation to keep up.
 

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Overpriced and underserviced...it would appear to be the norm for Alfa ''specialists''.
I could tell you some tales of woe when it comes to this sort of Trader, I say trader coz in my eyes thats what they are....however I wont as I upset a few of their friends or is that just narrow escapees:p
 

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Discussion Starter #17
ill hapily post up a pic of the brake cable touching the wheel (took the pic to show my dad) and i can go and take a pic of the oil...

but ive just read the thread (page 1, no need to continue to page 2) 1of1 posted...and well yeah, not a single happy customer....the most was average...nothing outstanding and quite a few bad...safe to say they're best avoided (already been reprimanded for saying they're crooks, IMHO they are, but the MOD was right, its was inappropriate to label them as such)
 

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The orientation of any business rests with the owners, and the owners of this outfit have always been notorious for charging top prices for their cars and services, whilst cutting corners. They've also conducted 'covert' posts on here touting their supposed 'cheap' servicing, only to be bumped off by the mods.

My full sympathies are with the OP.
 

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(already been reprimanded for saying they're crooks, IMHO they are, but the MOD was right, its was inappropriate to label them as such)
Back to the question nobody wants to answer. If someone claims to have done some work for you, providing goods of services, for which they have taken payment, If it transpires they did not provide those goods or services, is that not fraud?

I do feel, in general terms, not specifically in this instance or in relation to this dealer, that as a whole organisations like trading standards should be firmer in these situations.
 

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I agree. This is where the law needs to be firmed up. The OP could consult Trading Standards in any case, but perhaps the OP is so disappointed they may feel it difficult to go down that route.

Of course that's the vicious circle, and probably many a rogue trader relies on this. With stronger legislation, perhaps the advantage may finally swing in favour of the consumer?
 
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