RE: Scary Experience
AND NOW THE RESPONSE
1. It took 8 days for my New Year email to get a reply from a Customer Support Manager. Full of apologies. She asserted that it needed to be seen by a technician first, and I shouldn't drive it to Milton Keynes so she arranged a flatbed. Wise move.
2. Hire car arranged and delivered Wednesday. Hire car taken away again Saturday morning, leaving me with no car. Tried reaching Customer Services, shut for the weekend. Tried the garage, only the receptionist prepared to speak to me. No joy.
3. Monday, waited to see who would get back to me. No-one. Tried Customer Services, after lots of button pushing left with annoying music for 20 minutes, gave up and sent urgent email to my “Manager” asking for a call back, explaining why. No response.
4. Thursday. Get message from garage, no fault codes on computer so they wish to give it an extended test run. I agree.
5. Friday. Car laid up at 3.55pm with near flat battery after a 20 mile run. The following Wednesday they got round to charging it. So much for the extended test run.
6, Message from garage that they had test driven it and could find no fault. I asked if he had read my email - No, he hadn't. I explained the situation and the non-response from Customer Services and he said he would try them. Heard nothing since. He did say however that as there were no fault codes I do not qualify for a hire car.
7. Thursday. Next contact with customer services. I'm told that I should have had a rental car as they had issued instructions for the hire to be renewed automatically. Who they relayed this message to, I don't know but it never happened. More arguing to and fro, explaining my serious concern for my safety. Then I was told they can't provide a car indefinitely, “Let them try one more week then you'll have to have it back“. I repeated again I did not want un unrepaired unsafe car back.
8. Friday. Moving on a week, the car is still sitting at the dealer, fully charged - no test drive, no work, just sitting there. Tried customer services again, got the same story, never an apology. Now I am at fault - the car did show an error code showing I had pressed brake and accelerator at the same time. Funny, I thought there were no error codes. Later on, it was my fault as I must have panicked. Really? Oh, and the dealer will start charging me storage on the car in a week's time.
9. Saturday. Contacted the dealer to see what their version is. EV specialist not in work today, all service department too busy to speak to me. I phone Manchester (the retailer of the car) and talk to the friendly chap who sold me my Fluence originally, bent his ear a bit and hope he will bend a few more ears on my behalf. It's a long shot. I wonder whether anyone there read my original email?
SO BE WARNED
If the unspeakable happens to your pride and joy, a fault that does not have a blindingly obvious explanation, be prepared for a VERY long wait and NO HIRE CAR. Do they care? NOT A JOT. And you might also get back an unrepaired and dangerous car.
I am tempted to scrap the car - presumably I have to pay off the battery rental. Or I could hand the battery back to RCI (together with the car - read your contract!) and pay off the battery. Or I can collect the car and take out extra life insurance. Sell it to some unsuspecting mug and hope he never gets top speak to the dealer. Or notify my insurance company that the car is dangerous, do they want to continue insuring it??? - that would keep me safe as I would have to walk. Perhaps I should take a degree in electronics and then sort the car myself, it might be quicker.
I am open to suggestions. Oh, and while I'm on, any thoughts on how I can recoup my lost £14,000 legally ( no gambling, no prostitution, no unnecessary violence) so I can afford a replacement car?