For reasons I am sure you can work out for yourself I have been putting off putting this on my blog until the issue was resolved. Well, it finally is (and sorting it out was like pulling teeth) and I can now freely post this and share my experience of Brownhill’s customer service…………….
When we picked up our Elddis Accordo 120 we were given a hand over session and demonstration where we were meant to be shown where everything was, and how everything worked. Since we were given the last slot of the day there wasn’t enough time to go through everything as thoroughly and the bloke doing the demonstration rushed it to make sure he could leave off work on time. I don’t blame the bloke for this, after all he should only have to do his working hours, but I do blame Brownhills for allotting a late slot where there is insufficient time left during opening hours to do a proper handover.
During the handover the bloke showed us the cabin curtains, and said that everything we needed to hang them was in the bag, but “there wasn’t enough time to show us how to hang the curtains”. Curtains are curtains right, so hanging them shouldn’t cause any issues so we left it as was and agreed to have a go at hanging them once we got home. I have to say that I wasn’t overly fussed about the cabin curtains and was more than happy with blinds but my wife was adamant she wanted curtains in the cabin.
The day after picking up the Accordo we thought we would get the curtains hung in preparation for our first trip. When we went to hang the curtains the first thing we noticed that there was no curtain rail in the cabin. The curtain rail clips were there, the curtains were there and the curtain hooks were there, but there was no curtain rail. Great.
We were told by the bloke to call Brownhills if we had any problems, so we called Brownhills, explained there wasn’t a curtain rail and asked for one to be posted out. The person we spoke to on the phone told us to check all the cupboards, the wardrobe, under the seats etc. because there MUST be a curtain rail in the van. Hmmmmm………… funnily enough, we thought we would have a look around the van for the curtain rail before calling, and we had been through the entire van cleaning out all the sawdust and muck that hadn’t been cleaned up before we picked up the van (which I was not overly impressed about).
Even though we had checked the van I humoured the bloke on the phone and told him I would go and double check and call him back if I couldn’t find the curtain rail, which is what I did. The bloke on the end of the phone said that he would put in a warranty claim for the curtain rail and requested photos of the curtain rail clips and photos of the place where the curtain rail should go in the cabin so he could order the rail.
I was stunned by the response. Brownhills sold me the van so surely they should know what part I need? And given the van is a Brownhills dealer special do they not know what they are selling? The curtain rail was damaged so it isn’t a warranty claim – it just wasn’t there. I started to doubt Brownhills competence at this point, but I did what was asked of me and took a few photos – although I have no idea why.
After four weeks of calls and emails I decided I would try and source the curtain rail myself. I was getting nowhere with Brownhills, they seemed totally incompetent at dealing with my issue (or were they just not bothered?) and my wife wanted to hang the curtains (for privacy) for an up and coming trip. After contacting Elddis direct I was told to go back to the dealer because only the dealer could source the part – great. I had no option other than waiting for Brownhills after sales department to get the part for me, and I wasn’t holding out much hope for a quick resolution.
As time went on I was getting more and more annoyed and frustrated. There was nothing I could do, I even offered contacting another Elddis dealer to source the part and then re-invoicing Brownhills but I was told “It doesn’t work like that” so there was nothing I could do other than emailing and calling Brownhills. Before we bought the motorhome we had read that Brownhills customer services weren’t that good, but I really didn’t think it would be this bad. I was coming up with solutions (I refer to sourcing the part and letting them pay for it) and Brownhills poo pooed them, but they weren’t solving the issue for me.
Nine weeks past and we were booked to go to the Lake District and wanted the curtains hung for that trip, but as I am sure you have already guessed we still didn’t have the curtain rail. Nine weeks to source a curtain rail is an absolute joke and Brownhills should be ashamed, but as I have since discovered Brownhills is a dealership who don’t care about after sales service and once they have your money and have given you your motorhome that’s it. Once you have your motorhome every problem and every issue is yours and they couldn’t give two s***s. This “It’s your problem” wouldn’t bother me quite as much if I hadn’t offered to source the part myself and for them to then decline and tell me not to. What more can I do?
Basically I have been at the mercy of Brownhills, which is not good. After several more emails and calls I finally got given a delivery date (that is the curtain rail delivered to Brownhills and not to me), which was the end of the second week in October. A fixed date at last, although I was sceptical that it was going to arrive. When the due date arrived I emailed Brownhills, and guess what – no response. Since the bloke I was dealing with didn’t get back to me I had no choice but to call (which during my office hours and in an open plan room is a bit of a faff) and was told he was not in the office. Hmmmmm…………
I did finally get a positive response from Brownhills and was asked if I wanted the curtain rail couriered over, whether I wanted to go and collect it (and go on a 220 mile road trip – putting miles on my car and also burning £s worth of fuel, I don’t think so) or whether I wanted to put it on hold until the cushion was ready for delivery. I thought I’d opt for the latter – after all I had waited 11 weeks for the curtain rail so another two weeks wouldn’t be too much of a hassle.
After a lot of messing around the curtain rail (or what appeared to be the curtain rail) was delivered with the cushion 3 months after we collected the Accordo. Not very impressive is it!?! When I finally opened the box containing the curtain rail (which DPD damaged (and I mean DAMAGED) in transit) I found it comprised of a single length of metal that was bent in a place I didn’t think it should be bent. Yep – the monkeys at DPD had damaged the curtain rail too. Great………..
On closer inspection I noticed the curtain rail was incomplete and there should have been two separate sections, however Brownhills only sent one. What on earth were they playing at?!? Not only did it take 3 months for delivery but it was not right either. You’d think that when Brownhills received the curtain rail from Elddis they would actually check the part or even try it in the Accordo 120 in their show room, to make sure it was right. You’d think this would happen, but it obviously didn’t. Brownhills are either totally incompetent and don’t know what they are doing/selling or they can’t be bothered once they get their grubby hands on your money and get their fat commission cheque from the motor home manufacturer. The big question is – which one is it? Is Brownhills full of untrained staff who need kicking in to shape or do Brownhills not give two s***s about their customers? I’ll let you decide.
With the damaged and incomplete curtain rail I contacted Brownhills (again) to sort the problem. Brownhills immediately blamed Elddis and the Elddis lead times, which I thought was unprofessional. At the end of the day I wasn’t bothered who was at fault or who was to blame – I just wanted the problem sorted out so my wife could hang the cabin curtains (and stop chewing my ear off) and so we didn’t have to deal with the condensation problems using the interior blind.
As of today the issue is still ongoing and I have had enough. The time has come to go and see our local Elddis dealer, foot the bill ourselves and rectify it. Brownhills have defeated me – yet another case of the large corporation defeating the small man and it makes my blood boil.