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Motor Insurance
Tuesday, February 1, 2005
The nightmare of the motor service trade…….

The following complaints are reproduced with the permission of Peter Cheales, website owner of www.hellopeter.com. They are all the complaints submitted during the period 24th November 2004 to 29th December 2004.

Case 1

I purchased a brand new Renault Megane II in April 2004. Since then, the vehicle has been back five times for them to try and sort out the problem of a rattling dashboard. My car was scheduled to go back for the 6th time in the first week of January 2005. This is after several discussions with Renault Bryanston, East Rand and with Head Office. I have demanded that they take the car off my hands and make it their problem, but they have this ‘no care’ attitude. I am appalled by their poor service and attitude.
I would strongly advise anyone out there never to purchase a product from Renault, unless you are prepared to endure continuous frustration. I have warned Renault that if they do not fix it this time round I will take legal action. I also plan to get Renault France involved as the local operation’s attitude stinks.
Maybe all of us unsatisfied customers should collectively take legal action against Renault?

Case 2

I have been a Renault owner for the past eight years and have, like most other people, had my fair share of ups and downs. After having returned from a holiday my car, which had stood for six weeks, went in for a service. Two days later my car developed a ‘strange sound’ when started. I took the car back to Renault Berea (Pretoria) and asked them to have a look. Their conclusion was that the starter motor was packing in and needed to be replaced at a cost of R1 900 plus VAT and labour. I decided to get a second opinion from an ex-Renault service manager who diagnosed that the shaft of the starter motor was dry. He subsequently lubricated it and the noise has gone - and it only cost R200 to fix.
Having written to Renault SA in the past about problems obtaining radiator hoses - and never receiving replies I would probably not waste my time writing again. As my car is eight years old with 340 000kms on the clock it is certainly out of warranty. I no longer need to take it to an authorised dealer now that the best Renault service person I have come across is operating on his own.

Case 3

My cars’ brakes gave problems. I took it to Renault Bryanston and was told I must replace the master cylinder. It cost me R5 000. A couple of weeks later I still had the same problem, so I took it back. The service manager said he was busy and couldn’t help me, and said I must leave my car there. Instead, I took it to a private person. The only thing that was wrong with my car was that it needed a new handbrake plate (cost R190). The problem never was the Master Cylinder, but only the handbrake plate. They only wanted to make money out of me, and didn’t bother investigate what the real problem was.

Case 4

Following a recent service at Renault Sandton, I faxed through a complaint to the head manager as well as the workshop manager. I thereafter followed it up with a fax to Head Office. Weeks later I have still heard nothing. I hesitated when buying a car from Renault, rather than a car from the more established companies in South Africa such as VW. Considering the poor service I have received, I now wish I had reconsidered.
I think it is only good service to respond to a complaint and call the customer concerned to discuss it. The fax I sent was not even acknowledged by Renault Sandton nor Renault Head Office. No attempt was even made by Renault staff to enter into a discussion of the complaint

Case 5

Renault vehicles are great, but the after-sales service is atrocious. I took my car in for its 60k service a few weeks ago and asked to have the boot lock repaired. This wasn't done when I fetched the vehicle, so I booked it in again for this repair. I tried to get someone to take the repair booking for two days, but no one ever answered the phone. I complained and then got a booking. I was assured of a lift to and from my workplace – I have this in writing. When I took the car in for the repair, it still wasn’t done; this time because they hadn’t ordered the part, although they knew the exact problem. In addition, I got a call to say that they didn’t think they could fetch me from work in the afternoon, after having promised in writing that this would all happen!
I had spent almost R5 000 on the service two weeks previously - surely enough to expect some decent service and not to have to endure broken promises! Renault services and parts are incredibly expensive, and the service is unbelievably bad. So if you’re thinking of buying a Renault, I suggest you consider my experience before you end up with all the hassles I’ve been having. Avoid Renault - rather say “Ren NO”!

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:18.1 1st February, 2005
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