URGENT: UNSATISFIED CUSTOMERS
We would like to bring to your attention the following course of events, which has resulted in us being immensely disappointed in the Land Rover product and service. As we have failed to resolve these issues satisfactorily, we thought it appropriate to bring this to your attention prior to taking any further action.
We hope that you have the patience to read through this correspondence, as you would appreciate we have needed the patience to deal with this situation.
We list below in chronological order and in great detail what has taken place:
I. During January, we approached the Waterford Land Rover dealership to purchase a Freelander 3 door TD4 - the condition of purchase being that we disposed of our existing BMW 318is prior to taking delivery of the Freelander. As you can appreciate it makes no economic sense to be financing three vehicles in a family of only two;
II. At that stage the salesman, Martin van Meygaarden, offered (through one of his associate dealers) to trade the BMW. Based on a number of enquiries the best deal offer that Martin could get was R92,000. we explained to him that this was not a sufficient price and that the lowest price acceptable would be the settlement value of the vehicle. Without this value there would be no offer for the purchase of the Freelander. In Martins words " worst case scenario, we settle the outstanding finance balance on the BMW.." , which at that stage was c.R96,000. Based on this offer we arranged for our bank to fax through the settlement value as at the 31 January (after making our final instalment) for Martins attention;
III. At no stage did Martin request an inspection of the BMW and at no stage did he make this offer subject to inspection of the vehicle. He spoke independently to both of us and neither of us understood the offer to be conditional;
IV. On 31 January 2001, after having taken the BMW for a valet (at our expense), we arrived at Waterford Land Rover with the full intention of handing over the BMW and taking delivery of the Freelander as per our specifications.
V. On arrival Martin inspected the BMW and informed us that he the he was unable
to settle the outstanding finance balance of the BMW, but would give us R88,000
and could maybe push it to R90,000. This situation made the whole experience
of taking delivery of a new vehicle most unpleasant. We chose not to accept
this offer as we could still not believe the initial offer and the offer that
the whole sale depended on had been revoked. Is this possible?. His reasons
cited as the car requiring new tyres, the repair of a small stone chip and a
cracked front fog light - R8000 difference? When the deal was NEVER subject
to inspection - I refer to the Martins words above in II.
VI. On inspection of the vehicle we found :
(a) that the paint work was damaged - David Leach explained it as industrial fallout on the vehicle;
(b) the interior was not clean - the seats soiled and the door panels and dashboard soiled with a greasy type substance;
(c) the front drivers mat was damaged.
VII. We Highlighted our dissatisfaction with respect to the condition of the
Freelander to both Martin van Meygaarden and David Leach who promised to have
this sorted out.
Why had this not been identified prior to us taking delivery of the vehicle? Is it normal for a client to have to point out obvious problems with the vehicle on delivery. Clearly this vehicle had not been checked prior to delivery.
VIII. At this stage David Leach insisted we take the car, which we were reluctant to do in the circumstances. He promised to collect the vehicle the next day, have the paintwork buffed and the interior cleaned. He sad he would call us personally on 1 February 2001 to ensure the vehicle was returned to our satisfaction. He still has not called. Martin agreed that he would continue to find us a better deal. We have still not heard anything.
IX. Having taken the car home we find the following mechanical faults. Once
again evidence that the vehicle had not been adequately inspected prior to delivery:
(d) The back window sensor was faulty and hence when the hardtop back was removed the window would not close when the top was replaced. We returned the car to be inspected. This was duly repaired.
(e) The brake lights were constantly illuminated - besides dangerous, apparently not roadworthy. When called, Martin offered to collect the vehicle and have it repaired. The vehicle was returned to me 4 hours later filthy dirty externally and the interior soiled by the mechanics with black marks all over the dashboard. I have never received a car from a workshop without it been thoroughly cleaned prior to return. Clearly not a priority to Land Rover. In addition I called to find out what the fault was. Shouldn't your service manager be calling to explain what the fault was and to ensure that I was satisfied that it had been repaired?
X. At this stage, Tash from Land Rover Customer Care called me to establish the level of service received. I explained my dissatisfaction and explained the course of events. He promised to take it up with Andrew Fuller at Waterford Land Rover, which he duly did.
XI. Andrew Fuller then called me and asked me to repeat my story once again. He agreed that the level of service I had received was unacceptable and asked me what he could do to restore my faith. I intimated that there was nothing he could do, as the damage was done, but on his insistence that they must be able to do something, I suggested that he could settle the settlement value of the BMW. He agreed that that was the least they could do and offered to follow it up with David Leach and Martin van Meygaarden. He promised to call back the same day. I still have not received the follow up call, although I have subsequently called myself to follow up.
XII. Tash at Land Rover Customer Care called to ascertain whether the problem had been resolved stating that Andrew had confirmed to him that he had called me with feedback and was putting something in writing - I have received nothing to date?
XIII. Andrew agreed to sort out the BMW and suggested that we meet with David
Leach and Martin van Meygaarden at 7h30 on Tuesday 20 February 2001. We arrived,
only to wait 15 minutes and to be told by Andrew Fuller that neither David nor
Martin could make the meeting.
XIV. On this date We reminded Andrew that our temporary registration on our vehicle expired on 20 February 2001 and that we were not in receipt of our plates. The driver then delivered the plates on 20 February 2001. Why did we have to specifically request them if they were ready?
XV. Andrew relayed to Us that Martin had made the offer subject to inspection and that the deal was to the effect of R92,000 which we failed to accept. Neither of us, understood Martins offer on 31 January to R92,000 - infact we were under the impression that it was R88,000 and at a push R90,000. Andrew explained that that deal was no longer valid as we had chosen to reject the offer at the time. The deal now stood at R88,000. He undertook to get the sales manager (Neil Crawford) to call Us to assist with the sale of the BMW.
XVI. The Neil Crawford called and offered to put an advert in the Autotrader (which we had done anyway) and suggested that they put the BMW on the floor at the BMW dealership in Alberton. We enquired as to the insurance implications of this. Neil indicated that the risk would not be born by them and that our personal BMW insurance would not be valid for other drivers either. It was a " a risk you take". Clearly not a sensible risk to take and therefore not an acceptable solution.
XVII. I then called Andrew Fuller on Wednesday 21 February to enquire about the car. He intimated that the car could be insured whilst on the floor and that the Neil clearly didn't know what he was talking about. He offered to get the sales manager to call Us again.
XVIII. Andrew then left a note on the Neil's desk and I quote " BMW still not sorted out". No further explanation given.
XIX. Neil then called to establish what the problem was. He intimated to Us that Andrew's version of the insurance was incorrect and that the car could not be insured whilst on the floor. He promised to follow up. We have heard nothing further.
XX. Kim, the customer services manager at Waterford called me on Monday 26 February 2001. She had been made aware of our dissatisfaction. She asked me to repeat my story, which I duly did. . She concurred that we had been badly treated and in her words " I would also be irate".
XXI. She asked what she could do to restore my faith. Again I said there was nothing left to do as the damage was done and I had actually lost interest in dealing with Waterford. She insisted that they do something over and above a valet for the car. I suggested that she negotiate to settle the BMW at its settlement value. She promised to get back to me on Monday afternoon after David and Martin emerged from a meeting at 2pm. I have heard nothing since.
XXII. To top it all, on Tuesday evening (27 February 2001) I become aware that the brake lights are once again constantly illuminated.
XXIII. We were promised a Land Rover 4x4 induction course during the sales
process. We have heard nothing?
FINANCE AND INSURANCE
I. All the finance documents were in the drawn up in the incorrect spelling of my surname " Liesegang" instead of Leisegang. David Raw's response " Oh, It doesn't matter". What if it matters to me?
II. No insurance documentation had been drawn up pre our arrival on 31 January
2001, despite the fact that it had been telephonically requested.
III. On receipt of insurance policy, the model is stated at 2000, when infact it is a 2001 model. A clause referring to an additional excess of R2,500 for drivers between the age of 25 and 30 comes to our attention - a non standard clause that had not been brought to our attention and applicable to both of us.
IV. David Raw calls to apologise, on Andrew Fuller's insistence, saying " you should be flattered as so few people under 30 buy a Land Rover I didn't even think to mention it to you. You really should be flattered that you can afford a Land Rover under the age of 30." I don't regard myself as being superior because I have a Land Rover before the age of 30 - David Raw should have brought that clause to our attention, as it is a non-standard insurance clause.
V. David Leach and Martin indicated that if we found a buyer for the BMW, Landrover Finance could do the finance. We did find a buyer only to be told " Oh we charge a R3000 fee". Weren't we entitled to that information upfront??
Please note, that in addition to what has been set out above there have been numerous occasions where either of us have left messages for numerous individuals at Waterford without any of them bothering to return our calls.
At this stage I am not sure that we ever want to deal with Land Rover again, and certainly not Waterford Land Rover. I do not want a car that needs attention to brake light sensors, window sensors and other mechanical faults every other week. We have no desire to deal with Waterford to get the latest brake light failure repaired as we no loner have faith in their service ability.
To resolve this issue we would like the following from Land Rover South Africa
A written apology, and
Land Rover South Africa to take the Freelander back at the cost to us which includes:
(a) the invoiced cost to us
(b) any finance charges incurred for the month of February 2001
(c) any insurance charges incurred to date on this vehicle.
We would appreciate your feedback soonest. We are quite prepared to take further action if this is not resolved by Wednesday 7 March 2001 (one week from now).