If you have been following my blog you will already know about the fun and games I had with the missing curtain rail, and how it took an absolute age to get the issue resolved. Well, at the same time there was another issue going on, that took just as long and was dealt with just as incompetently.
When we got the Accordo 120 back home and had a chance to have a proper look over it we discovered there was a big mark, which looked like a burn mark, on one of the seats. If we had bought a used motor home we wouldn’t have done anything about it, but since we had a brand spanking new and totally unused motor home the interior should have been mint, i.e. perfect and there should have been no blemishes at all. After spending so much money we were very disappointed that the interior wasn’t perfect so we called Brownhills to get a new cushion.
Had the handover the previous day not been so rushed (Brownhills decided to give us a very late time slot which meant the bloke doing the handover started to rush towards the end and even miss important things out so he could leave off on time) we would have noticed the mark on site – it was in a prominent place you couldn’t miss. Anyway, we didn’t get the chance to look over the van on site, and it was missed until the following day.
After calling Brownhills I was asked to email over photographs of the mark, which I assume was to prove I wasn’t lying (so much for “the customer is always right”!) which I duly did. I was then asked to identify the precise cushion (which I did in my first email with the photos) and measure it. I have to say that if Brownhills don’t know the size and dimensions of their own Dealer special motor homes there is something a bit wrong there! Okay, they may not have known the measurements right away but given there is an Accordo 120 sat in their showroom on display (I saw it a few weeks later when we stayed there the night during our week at the Lake District) they could have gone in to the show vehicle and measured the cushions – but no. I had to do all the work and get out in the van with the tape measure, note down the measurements and email them over to Brownhills.
After I sent the measurements I was then asked to go and look at the sticker on the back of the cushion and note down all the different numbers on it. Why didn’t they ask for this when they sent the measurements? Surely the should know what colour and type the fabric is – It is their dealer special (i.e. unique to them) after all! It was obvious Brownhills were making the process as awkward as possible for me – I can only assume so I would just throw my hands up in the air and say “ah….. that’s okay. I’ll just live with the damaged cushion in my brand new motorhome I spent more than twice my gross annual salary on” Little do they know that I know my consumer rights and I was not going to be fobbed off.
Once again, I sent the boke I was dealing with all the numbers, asked if there was anything else I needed to do and then left them to sort the problem out.
Long story short, the new cushion had to go through a warranty claim procedure, which “does take time”. I was also told that since the cushion has to be provided direct from Elddis it will be part of one of their new batches and this can also take 4 – 6 weeks. This bloke was giving me every excuse under the sun as to why it was taking so long, and then went and started to blame Elddis for the hold up and that their hands were tied. Over a period of several weeks there were phone calls and email exchanges but nothing was getting sorted out.
Whilst the issue was ongoing I noticed Elddis started following me on Twitter and started re-tweeting some of my tweet about the adventures (or rather fun and games) we were having in our Accordo 120. After nine weeks and in desperation I sent Elddis a tweet asking what their lead time on a replacement cushion was, and I actually got a response asking for more information, i.e. the chassis number etc. so the marketing department could follow the issue up and see what was happening, when Brownhills ordered the cushion and when it was likely to be delivered. Unfortunately, the response came a day before we were due to disappear for our week in the Lake District, followed by a week in Melverly. I didn’t think it was worth bothering responding since I would have had to disappear off during email exchanges.
Whilst on holiday I decided to wait until we got back to see if the bloke I was dealing with at Brownhills had actually got the cushion (and the curtain rail) for us and was going to send it over before going back to Elddis and starting to chase through Twitter. Even though Brownhills had made me do the work and been awkward about the issue, dragged their feet and then passed the blame over to Elddis about their manufacturing process I still felt that it was only fair to give Brownhills this one last chance. I really don’t know what is wrong with me at times, I mean I should have been fuming and should have gone direct to Elddis and got the ball rolling with them on my return from holiday, but I was giving Brownhills the chance to redeem themselves. This didn’t mean I was happy though, in fact I was so far from happy it was beyond belief and the longer the issue took, the more dealings I had with Brownhills the more and more they were going down in my estimations and the more and more reluctance I was building up about using them for anything, and I mean anything in the future. I was going to get Brownhills to service and MOT the van, I was going to get them to keep it running sweet, do the habitation checks and also deal with any problems we had. When the time comes I would have traded in the Accordo 120 with Brownhills against another new motor home too, but after this (together with all the other customer service issues I had with them) once this episode was dealt with I would never set foot in Brownhills again, and I would never recommend them either.
I did finally get the cushion 3 months after reporting the problem however taking delivery was a real mission. Despite asking Brownhills on more than one occasion to send the cushion to my office (there was guaranteed to be someone there to sign for it) the parts department thought they would send it to my home – where there is no one to sign for it during the week. I explained this to Brownhills yet they still thought they would deliver the cushion to my home. Great.
DPD, the couriers Brownhills used, obliterated the box in transit, left the package with some bloke ten doors down the road (who is a total stranger) and “forgot” to put a card through my door. Had I not used the online checker I would never have known the cushion was delivered, however I still had to go “door knocking” down the street and locate the (damaged) package. Fortunately, the cushion was okay (which was the main thing) and I finally had it. The delivery experience has shown me I will NEVER use DPD couriers for any items I have to send off.
The whole cushion episode was a faff from start to end, and it annoyed me and upset my wife so much we have vowed never to buy anything from Brownhills again. I appreciate it could have happened with any dealer, however dealing with Brownhills has been painful and I have absolutely no trust in them whatsoever. The way some of the staff have treated my wife and I has been disgusting, appalling, condescending and rude. That said there was one person who was very helpful – it’s a shame he is the only one.
Once Brownhills get your money and close the deal that’s it, and they move on to the next “victim”. After sales service and care is non-existent and the way you get treated by the salesman post sale is awful. The salesman dealing with us was all nice and jolly (and our friend) during the deal but once we took delivery he was horrible and showed his true colours. Any issues I had I asked for him and he instantly put me through to someone else. Hmmmmmm……………….
This experience has been a lesson learned and that is DON’T USE BROWNHILLS MOTOR HOMES.