Advantages Near M25; A lot of choice
Disadvantages Suspect servicing; Incompetent technicians; Poor aftercare
I recently purchased a one-year-old Fiat Punto 1.9 JTD diesel from Carland in Lakeside, Essex, which is about 10 minutes from the Junction 31 of the M25, near the Dartford tunnel. I liked and still like the car, and although they were willing to offer me a good trade-in price for my Ford Fiesta, I was very irritated by their high-intensity, pushy sales techniques, worse than I'd ever come across before. The test drive only lasted 10 minutes, it was far too short, and probably to do with the fact that they only leave tiny amounts of fuel in their cars; watch out for the speed camera as well. However, I enjoyed looking around all their flashy cars inside their modern, large indoor forecourt,- the only problem was that the cars weren't in any order, so it was hard to compare cars which were of the same type. They also let me wander around the large quantity of newly arrived cars which were outside. They give you a 7 day free insurance cover, and a 3 months AA cover, but perhaps they charge more for their cars to cover their costs, because I've certainly seen cars which are cheaper. You are also given one chance to change your car, as long as it's one of similar or higher value, you've done less than 500 miles, and that it happens within 14 days. However, this made buying the car more stressful for me, because I couldn't make up my mind whether to change my car or not.
After I'd paid for the car, and had been talked through their long list of insurance offers (all of which I refused to buy- thankfully), I was sent off with a tiny amount of fuel in the tank, and by the time I'd driven the 30 miles to my home along the M25, worrying whether the fuel would run out or not, I'd already noticed a long list of irritating faults including a squeaky brake, rattles from under the car, difficulties with refuelling, and the hand-brake didn't hold the car on a hill.
The next day I also found out that they hadn't given my car their 140 point service, which they claim to do on all their cars, and they hadn't valeted the car (I found stale crisps, sweets and a child's comb under the seats).
After negotiating with their all-female customer service team on a rather expensive 08701 number, I managed to book my car back in to be assessed, serviced and valeted but unfortunately they told me that the only day they could do this on was on the last day I had a chance to swap it for another car under their '14 day exchange promise', I wonder why!
I had to wait around at Lakeside for ten hours on a very hot day while they did the work (wandering backwards and forwards to the nearby Lakeside shopping centre). The car was finally ready at 7-15pm, but they had only taken 10 minutes to valet the car after I'd reminded them to do so. The next day I was quite fed up because most of the faults were still there, and in fact they'd only seemed to have adjusted the handbrake. I also later found out that they hadn't given my car their 140 point service check because they decided that the car was too new for it.
Attention, this is the first review from this author
Instead of giving a negative rating, consider:
Help this member by giving your advice
Report fraud (for example plagiarism) or other issue with the review to the Ciao support team
Add your comment