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rvbush



Member Since: 08 Jan 2016
Location: Leamington Spa
Posts: 189

United Kingdom 2003 Range Rover Vogue 4.4 V8 Zambezi Silver
Main dealer customer service

Long ramble ensues:

I am reading huge numbers of threads from discontented customers on various forums relating to experiences at premium car manufacturers dealerships.

I see complaints about shoddy workmanship, poor availability of servicing slots, no courtesy car available, spares not in stock and silly waits for delivery, badly prepared vehicles (both new and used), the list goes on and on.

What is the problem?

The manufacturer sees huge sales and thus bathes in massive profits (ie they simply can't see the wood for the trees). The dealerships are run by accountancy types (not just accountants, we need those) who are into maximising workshop useage and minimising staff, because all they can see is cost, cost, cost, these people have no concept whatsoever of value. they do this because they think this is how to make money, which to some extent it is, so long as you remove the premium experience from the equation.

These dealerships are almost exclusively run by the large chains, who also have mainstream car dealerships within their portfolio. They expect to be able to run the premium dealerships at the same staffing levels and the same workshop utilage levels (because, at the moment, they are seeing gigantic profit margins), BUT, and it's a huge BUT, they totally forget that at the premium dealerships they are charging premium rates, which should (and used to in days gone by) allow to have higher staffing levels and lower workshop utilage to allow for better quality work, better customer interface and for customers to be dealt with much more quickly, even straight away in some cases.

Everyone, at these dealerships we are being dealt with as a mainstream customer, but being charged at a premium rate. These dealerships are not offering a premium customer experience once the sale has been made (and to be honest their sales teams leave much to be desired a lot of the time, these products are seilling too easily) and it needs to be dealt with. I have no idea how this could be done, but it stinks at the highest level and customers are quite right to be angry.

Thank God for the small independant main dealers and the independand specialists, who mostly simply wipe the floor with these sharp suited cretins in all the areas that matter.

The manufacturers need some form af massive wake up call, I don't think this current situation is ultimately sustainable. Drives:
2003 4.4 V8 Fatty
2007 BMW 320d M Sport
1998 BMW E36 M3 GTII
1997 BMW 328i convertible


Last edited by rvbush on 25th Nov 2017 9:54am. Edited 1 time in total

Post #458486 25th Nov 2017 8:59am
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pld118



Member Since: 25 Mar 2013
Location: Bairns
Posts: 3375

Scotland 2014 Range Rover Vogue SDV6 Santorini Black

We have waited 3 months to get a main dealer response about; and then 'a slot' to remedy a known rear tailgate issue.

Car went in this week and was returned to us with nothing done. Complete inconvenience and waste of time.

They had ordered parts for another car, apparently.

2 calls received from different service staff. Both explaining nothing had been done to the car but two different stories offered.

One said car being returned untouched as nothing wrong with it. The other said 'wrong parts ordered' and car needs to be booked in again.

Not an isolated incident with this or our two previous Range Rovers. This pattern, in our experience, is relevant to 3 different large main dealer groups.

Post #458495 25th Nov 2017 9:46am
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counter of beans



Member Since: 18 Aug 2017
Location: Hampshire
Posts: 182

England 2012 Range Rover Vogue TDV8 Santorini Black

Ryan, I suspect your experience with franchised dealers is all too common, hope it gets resolved soon. The L322 is running sweetly, by the way.
Perhaps it's lack of competition? Each franchise has a local monopoly; if I want, say, a BMW in the Southampton area I have a choice of one place (Partridge). Worse, many dealerships are owned by a few companies such as Pendragon. So, while it may suit the manufacturers, it seems to me to deny us consumers choice.
Manufacturers insist on "glass and chrome palaces", expensive diagnostic systems and a host of other costly overheads - not least the "service advisors" who (whilst often very easy on the eye) know diddly squat! The result is a local monopoly with sky-high labour rates whilst being generally hopeless.
Isn't the answer to have proper competition? If Tesco etc. were as badly run as the average main car dealership they'd soon lose out to other supermarkets. Maybe some Aldi style no-frills-but-we're-honest rivals would shake up the complacent main dealers? It would need a change of policy by the manufacturers however.

Post #458501 25th Nov 2017 11:44am
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rvbush



Member Since: 08 Jan 2016
Location: Leamington Spa
Posts: 189

United Kingdom 2003 Range Rover Vogue 4.4 V8 Zambezi Silver

Sadly, I doubt the manufacturers have any incentive to change anything, they are selling everything they can make. You only have to note how low discounts are, if you can get one. Drives:
2003 4.4 V8 Fatty
2007 BMW 320d M Sport
1998 BMW E36 M3 GTII
1997 BMW 328i convertible

Post #458502 25th Nov 2017 1:32pm
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Freddie The Fish



Member Since: 13 Apr 2017
Location: Bedfordshire
Posts: 110

United Kingdom 2011 Range Rover SE 4.4 V8 Fuji White

Tried to book my car in last week for an inspection 2.......

Milton Keynes - no answer from the 4 attempts I made to call them.
Bedford - receptionist took my details for somebody to call me. No call back.
Aylesbury - got through but they couldn’t decide on how much it would be. Gave up and put phone down


Now booked in my local indi.

Post #458505 25th Nov 2017 2:13pm
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Fat Wolfie



Member Since: 23 Jul 2017
Location: West Yorkshire
Posts: 150

United Kingdom 2017 Range Rover Autobiography SDV8 Santorini Black

Got to say I’ve been delighted with the after sales at Farnells Bradford.

Also used Parks in Ayr while I was on holiday in the area, no problem at all getting a slot.

But

Agree that workshop charges are horrific, my previous Defender was bought from Farnells but always used local independent Simmonites for all servicing work and other “improvements “. The car was in warranty but Simmonites did all work to Land Rover spec so no issues. Farnells did warranty work on it no questions.

Interestingly when I PXd it for the FF, they didn’t bat an eyelid at the non main dealer service history...

Post #458508 25th Nov 2017 2:32pm
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911SF



Member Since: 26 Jul 2015
Location: Hertfordshire
Posts: 51

United Kingdom 2010 Range Rover Autobiography 5.0 SC V8 Santorini Black
John Den

Freddie The Fish wrote:
Tried to book my car in last week for an inspection 2.......

Milton Keynes - no answer from the 4 attempts I made to call them.
Bedford - receptionist took my details for somebody to call me. No call back.
Aylesbury - got through but they couldn’t decide on how much it would be. Gave up and put phone down


Now booked in my local indi.



I am glad you are not going to Aylesbury! John Dennis 4x4, an Indi just down the road know 100 times more about any car than the cheating con men in Aylesbury! I find it amazing that Stratstone can be an official LR dealer with such poor management! Range Rover 5.0 SC Autobiography (2010) Overfinch
Porsche 991 Turbo

Post #458528 25th Nov 2017 7:46pm
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GAC23



Member Since: 27 Nov 2013
Location: Herts
Posts: 421

United Kingdom 2012 Range Rover Autobiography TDV8 Santorini Black

Freddie The Fish wrote:
Tried to book my car in last week for an inspection 2.......

Milton Keynes - no answer from the 4 attempts I made to call them.
Bedford - receptionist took my details for somebody to call me. No call back.
Aylesbury - got through but they couldn’t decide on how much it would be. Gave up and put phone down


Now booked in my local indi.


John Dennis gets my vote too Thumbs Up Smile What do I put here then?

Post #458531 25th Nov 2017 8:11pm
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pld118



Member Since: 25 Mar 2013
Location: Bairns
Posts: 3375

Scotland 2014 Range Rover Vogue SDV6 Santorini Black

Some dealership groups use remote call centres for sales and service.

You can rarely speak with service staff at the actual garage you want to use. Between them, if they get your request correct and/ or ever call you back, that is an exception, not the norm.

You might also find LRCS disappointing, particularly with approved used vehicles. If you do get a response, it might be 'pro-forma' (see historic posts on this forum as examples).

With our first two RR (L322), I used to pursue matters. With this third one (L405) I accept it is a waste of time/ don't have the time. By the time 'they' get round to addressing issues, might as well sort them out myself.

Like the products, not the main dealer/ corporate LRCS experience.

Hopefully others have faired better Thumbs Up


Last edited by pld118 on 26th Nov 2017 6:06am. Edited 1 time in total

Post #458532 25th Nov 2017 8:16pm
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GAC23



Member Since: 27 Nov 2013
Location: Herts
Posts: 421

United Kingdom 2012 Range Rover Autobiography TDV8 Santorini Black

Lookers - in my experience - are exactly the same. What do I put here then?

Post #458536 25th Nov 2017 9:03pm
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CS



Member Since: 14 Apr 2015
Location: Edinburgh
Posts: 766

Scotland 2017 Range Rover Autobiography 5.0 SC V8 Corris Grey

There are some better experiences around. I'm happy with Lloyd Land Rover in Kelso, having used them (or the predecessor firm Croall Bryson) since 2000. When I called into Pentland in Elgin recently with a starting problem I was very courteously received, someone checked it while I waited and they refused any payment.

Maybe market forces will have an impact elsewhere. Pendragon (Stratstone) recently issued a profits warning and their chairman resigned "for personal reasons". As a general comment I find smaller, family businesses in country areas where reputation matters more, to be better than those in larger towns and cities.

I agree that LRCR are not what they were. When I had a problem over the spline recall maybe 10 years ago I got someone with obvious technical expertise and I got very valuable help. Latterly however the call handlers, while very courteous, seem to have little technical knowledge and seem less able to help. Only Range Rovers since 1988

Post #458620 26th Nov 2017 7:06pm
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s1mm014



Member Since: 25 May 2016
Location: Southampton
Posts: 10

United Kingdom 

These poor customer service issues are rife in many industries and it does feel like it's getting worse especially as companies feel more of the squeeze.

For example we bought a new build house 5 months ago from a so called 'luxury' builder - I cannot even begin to tell you the issues we have had!

Post #458693 27th Nov 2017 4:27pm
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911SF



Member Since: 26 Jul 2015
Location: Hertfordshire
Posts: 51

United Kingdom 2010 Range Rover Autobiography 5.0 SC V8 Santorini Black

To contrast the poor Land Rover dealership reviews - Porsche West London service is excellent - but I don't want a Cayenne!

I sold a Range Rover for a Macan Turbo. That latest 4 months before I was back in a Range Rover.... Range Rover 5.0 SC Autobiography (2010) Overfinch
Porsche 991 Turbo

Post #458696 27th Nov 2017 4:44pm
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JackRegan



Member Since: 20 Oct 2012
Location: Wirral
Posts: 161

United Kingdom 2016 Range Rover Autobiography TDV6 Waitomo Grey

At the moment main dealer cars sell themselves. They don't have to work too hard for a sale as they know someone else will be through the door shortly as demand is so high.
They don't ring you back because they know your options are limited. Nowadays, when buying a second hand car everyone wants a 'full main dealer' service history. Plus most 'new to LR' buyers often don't know a local trusted specialist and those who do wrongly fear it would invalidate their warranty so stick with the main dealer. Also I've recently noticed Specialists prices have been creeping up and are not far away from the MD's.

Whilst LR products are fashionable and there is little competition things are unlikely to change unfortunately. 2016MY TDV6 Autobiography
2011MY 5.0 Supercharged Autobiography Black - Gone
2005 TD6 Vogue - Gone

Post #458727 27th Nov 2017 8:22pm
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