Since I picked up my Elddis Accordo 120 from Brownhills I have had a few ongoing issues that I wanted to resolve and I didn’t think it was fair to make several rant posts without giving Brownhills the chance to sort everything out in the first instance. Because of this I have put off sharing this post, however the time has come and I think it is now time to share what I really think of Brownhills after sales and customer service.
“What do I think of Brownhills after sales and customer service?” In a nutshell it is terrible and a company the size of Brownhills should be ashamed of how they treat customers after they have taken their money and provided a motor home. The motor home manufacturers who supply Brownhills with motor homes to sell need to be careful because customers may start associating the after sales service Brownhills provides with the actual brand of motorhome they buy, which is not a fair reflection on the motorhome manufacturer.
Sure, Brownhills have their “club Brownhills” with all these so called perks, offers an deals for people (like me and the wife) who have spent thousands and thousands of pounds with them, but this club Brownhills is, in the big scheme of things, rubbish. Club Brownhills is nothing but a sweetener for people who have bought from Brownhills once to buy their next motorhome from Brownhills. It’s all for show and nothing else.
When it comes to the things that really matter in after sales and customer service, like actually dealing with problems and issues arising with the motor homes they sell Brownhills haven’t got a clue about customer service whatsoever, and I am living proof of that. Below are my experiences of dealings with Brownhills customer service and after sales service that may be of interest. I’ll let you make up your own mind though.
Brownhills customer service – Experience 1
When we picked up our motor home one of the cushions was damaged and had what looked like a burn mark on it. Since it was a brand new motor home costing several thousand pounds, the furnishings should be perfect so we asked for a new one, which I nor anyone I have told thought was unreasonable. Getting the replacement cushion not only took months but it was an absolute faff (I had to send photos, I had to measure the cushion and send measurements, I had to provide batch and serial numbers – It’s a little concerning when Brownhills don’t know the size and colour of the cushions of their dealer special van.
Brownhills customer service – Experience 2
When we picked up our motor home the cabin curtain rail was missing. This may not seem like a big deal, and it shouldn’t have been but getting one from Brownhills took several weeks, and once again was an absolute faff (I had to send several photos – Again, a little worrying when Brownhills don’t know the size and length of the curtain rails they put in their own dealer special van!)
During the episode (after four weeks) we wanted the cabin curtains for a long weekend away so I offered to go to a local Elddis dealer and get them to source the curtain rail (I contacted Elddis myself and they said I had to go through the dealer) and I would send Brownhills the invoice. Brownhills told me “That was not how things are done” and that they “would get it in” I offered to do my bit but Brownhills refused and then took ages to deliver
Brownhills customer service – Experience 3
After three weeks of owning the Elddis Accordo the habitation door decided that it wasn’t going to close, and to make things worse it was dark and chucking it down with rain. No matter how many times I tried shutting the door, it simply wouldn’t close shut. We managed, with the help of a small screw driver, to prise the latch down from the inside and at least get the door closed and sealed for the night.
The following day we opened the habitation door and, once again it refused to shut. This time we couldn’t prise the latch down from the inside, so we thought we would call Brownhills for some advice. My wife called Brownhills and asked to speak to someone and she was told there was no one in the service team to talk her. My wife casually mentioned she thought the workshop was open 7 days a week, in which case the person on the end of the phone said it was but the service engineers were not able to talk to anyone and to call back Monday.
My wife explained the situation and the person the phone said to take it in. Brownhills is a 120 mile trip and, as my wife pointed out to the person on the phone, you can’t drive the van with the habitation door open. My wife had to plead with the person on the end of the phone for help, and my wife was told an email would be sent to the workshop for someone to call back, but there was no guarantee they would.
In desperation my wife called a local motor home supplier (not an Elddis dealer) and one we had never been to for some advice, and the bloke she spoke to talked her through everything on the phone (which took some fifteen minutes or so) and the problem was sorted out – Now that’s what you call service (and it’s not ever after sales service or customer service) and Brownhills could learn a lot from this dealer. I am going to say that this dealer was Becks Motor Homes in Rollesby, and it is a real shame they are not Elddis dealers or an authorised Elddis service centre because I would use this company like a shot!!
When we went to stay at Brownhills on route to the Lake District we went to see if a service engineer would come and have a quick look at the door, and after explaining the situation we were told that it would cost £84!!
Brownhills customer service – Experience 4
On the way to Brownhills (we booked to stop there for a night on route to the Lake District) I damaged the van, and the wife was worried that I had done something serious and wanted to know if it was safe to carry on our journey to the Lake District or whether we needed to take it in for immediate repair. On explaining the situation to the women on the service desk I was told that to have someone have a look at the damage would cost £84, although this would be refunded if Brownhills did the repair. That’s right Brownhills wanted £84 for someone to have a quick look at some damage and let me know if the van was safe to drive or not.
The following day a Brownhills service engineer did take a look at the damage (he spent less than three minutes and concluded it was cosmetic only) but it took my wife (who was worried sick whether the van was even safe to drive home to get it repaired let alone another three hundred miles to the Lake District, and four hundred miles home again) to go and beg the woman on the service desk for some help. Hmmmmm……. To say that I was not impressed is an understatement and if this is what Brownhills make their customers do before helping out there is something not right.
Use Brownhills at your peril!
As you can see I have had my fill of dealing with Brownhills aftersales service and customer service team and I am going to do my best to never deal with them again. In the beginning, i.e. when the salesman is trying to sell you a vehicle, they can’t do enough for you and the claim the “after sales service is second to none”, blah blah blah. YAWN…………………….. Once the salesman has bagged a sale and the handover is done that’s it. As far as Brownhills are concerned you are off their books as a “dead duck”. Sure, you get offered the Club Brownhills stuff (so you keep Brownhills on your radar for your next motor home purchase) but other than that you are of no use. By this time the Brownhills sales team are busy courting other potential customers and trying to get their grubby little hands on their money. The whole thing stinks and quite frankly, it is disgusting and not how I want to do business.
I am a loyal customer and if Brownhills had treated me right they would have had a customer for life, or at least as long as I own a motorhome, and considering I am only 34 years old there is (potentially) many years left in me. Had Brownhills treated me right I would take my motor home there for servicing, repairs and any work needed doing, and when I was there getting the work done I would most likely have gone to the accessory shop too. Since Brownhills are done with me (they have our money) I am done with them and I consider any ongoing business relationship null and void.
If you are considering using Brownhills to buy a motor home please tread carefully. If you get a motor home with no problems you’ll be okay, but if you experience some issues getting them sorted is going to be massive headache for you, and it’ll take a long time. If you live on Brownhills’ door step it won’t be too bad but if you live a few hundred miles away or even more) the smallest of issues becomes a big issue and Brownhills customer service team and after sales service team won’t give two hoots about you.
Since we bought our motor home I have received a few emails from Brownhills with a link to their customer satisfaction questionnaire, which I have not (and will not) be completing. Rather than filling in some ill thought out tick box form I think the best way for Brownhills’ customer service team to see how they did with our motor home is to take a look at my blog posts, so please feel free to post this (and all my other Brownhill’s related posts) on any website, forum, Facebook page, Twitter page or any other social media page you consider fit.