Habitation Check Rant

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by John & Liz, Aug 3, 2016.

  1. John & Liz

    John & Liz Funster

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    We bought our first brand new motorhome a Benimar, in April of this year and are very pleased with it despite one or two niggly little faults.

    During the hand over the sales guy mentioned that he had booked our first habitation check 12 months ahead. As the dealer is over 70 miles away from us I asked if it is possible to have the check carried out at a local approved dealer, the answer was yes just as long as they are VAT registered.

    I asked why, is there a charge, oh yes he replied £225.00 WHAT I exclaimed, for a habitation check that you insist I carry out, what on earth are they doing for this exorbitant fee.

    Well they do a full inspection he said, of what I replied, you are asking me to pay £225 to check that the motorhome that you sold me has not developed a fault in the first 12 months, which if it was down to my negligence would not be covered by the guarantee anyway and if it was not down to my negligence / misuse then it is down to the manufacturer, so why should I have to pay you £225 each year to check that Benimar have sealed the joints correctly.

    I don’t believe this even included a gas check but if it did it is still a ridiculous charge, I can get a Gas Safe engineer to travel to visit my house, carry out a gas soundness test, check all gas appliances and issue me with a Landlords Gas safety certificate all for the princely sum of £55 and he comes to me whereas I have to take my motorhome to Marquis.

    Where does the Consumer Rights Act 2015 stand on this, why should I have to pay £225 to validate the guarantee, if I don’t have the habitation check done then they won’t cover the guarantee, and that’s another thing, if I have to pay then it is not a guarantee it is a warranty which is an indemnity like an insurance policy which is paid for, a guarantee is a legally binding contract, the brochure says it is guaranteed so where does the payment come into it if it is guaranteed.

    The consumer rights act says the goods must be of satisfactory quality and fit for purpose so if a leak develops then it is down to the manufacturer to correct it, why must I bring it to his attention by paying him £225 every year, oh I know so he can catch the fault before it becomes a major problem and then cost him a lot of money.

    I fully appreciate that I have to pay for the Fiat cab part to be serviced but that has moving parts, oils filters etc which require servicing, not got a problem with that, but Fiat haven’t said that I have to have the cab checked to make sure the windscreen is fitted properly or a door hasn’t dropped, no, they have total confidence in their product unlike the motorhome manufacturers who insist we pay them to check over their workmanship. We are already doing a quality control inspection on our expensive purchase once we take delivery, I bet not one of you reading this rant can honestly say that when you picked up your brand new motorhome it had no faults, no, you had to take it back and point out all the little niggly things that were not picked up on the alleged pre delivery inspection, “just bring it back in not a problem we will correct it” bring it back in at our expense though, but just in case there is something else they missed they now want us to pay £225 to double check they won’t get hit with a big repair bill.

    The rip off doesn’t stop there, did you know that if you own a Swift or Autosleeper and you decide to take a long winter break in Spain or say Portugal that you may fall foul of the suppliers T&C’s which limit use to 90 consecutive days use, they argue that vans are meant to be used as mobile holiday homes, not as permanent residences which would put unreasonable strain on some components, SO WHY NOT IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF THOSE COMPONENTS. No better to sit back take the customers money and keep stinging them whenever they can.

    Also how about this, if you buy a new Auto-Trail and meekly pay your habitation check each year and after 6 years a fault develops then you have to pay 20% towards the cost of that repair, it gets better, after 10 years you will have to pay 60% of the cost and assuming you have been really good and paid your habitation check each year for 10 years that is £2,250.00 you will have put into the hands of the dealer and if there is a bill for £1000.00 you will have to pay an extra £600.00 towards it, heads they win tails the meek motorhome owners lose.

    I’m all for starting a campaign to harass our dealers and get rid of this rip off fee, if they want to check the van hasn’t developed a fault then let them pay for it, or design their vans better and design the fault out so that they won’t need annual monitoring to ensure they are not falling apart.

    Can you help me out here, am I the only one that feels this way, what do others think, is the charge justified, some may say that you have just spent £40 - £50,000 on a motorhome what’s another £225 to keep it under warranty, I agree, but still feel the check is not value for money and we have no option than to accept their terms or lose the warranty.

    Rant over, and just to clarify the cost of the habitation check given to me by Marquis Golden Cross may differ to that quoted by other dealers.
     
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  2. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    Do you feel better now .... :D
     
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  3. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

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    I agree with you totally, I had my habitation check done on my Autosleeper when it was 18 months old, at the dealers and it was paid for by Autosleeper because they forgot to do it while they had it in to do warranty work.
    That's the only check it had and I sold it at 3 years old to a dealer who checked it all out before buying it. ( it passed with flying colours)
    If the dealers insist on a yearly habitation check, then I think they should cover the cost till the end of their warranty, after all, it is in their interest to fix things before they get too bad.

    It might even help with quality control.......
     
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  4. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    Seriously though, yes I agree it is a rip off with the charges some of them make. We have a Globecar and needed to have the first hab carried out no later than May this year so arrange for it to be done by AWS at the Peterborough show in April, as a member of 'Fun' it was only £95, however if I hadn't got a discount it would only have been £120 rather than nearly £200 for the dealer I bought it from. There was a bit of a 'debate' with my dealer as to whether this would still protect the warranty but as AWS are approved by Dethleffs (who Globecar are part of) it didn't make sense that they could work on one of their brand of vehicles but not another.

    My dealer knew that I went ahead with AWS and when I told them I needed some repairs doing under warranty they tried to frighten me by saying that Globecar might not honour the warranty as the dealer hadn't done the hab service ... hmmmm ... nothing better than causing your 'customers' worry is there! I wasn't concerned though and just put it down to the dealer being cheesed off that I hadn't used them ... as it turns out there wasn't anything to worry about either as the work has been approved and they are now awaiting delivery of the parts ... not that they bothered to let me know though - hubby had to ring them to find out. Fortunately the 'faults' are something we can live with for the time being as there's nothing too major but it would have been nice if the dealer had bothered to tell us rather than leave us to chase them to find out.

    @John & Liz make sure that whoever you use is definitely approved by Benimar to work on your vehicles, it might be worth contacting the Approved Workshop Scheme and asking if there are any members you can use to maintain your warranty:

    http://www.approvedworkshops.co.uk/approved-touring-caravan-motorhome-servicing/
     
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  5. Robert Clark

    Robert Clark Funster Life Member

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    I was surprised to learn that the first paid for inspection of our Carthago was after just 3 months - then annually after that
     
  6. stevec

    stevec Funster

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    The service schedule for my Burstner states how long the required hab check should take and that has been confirmed by the quote the supplying dealer gave me. 1 hour of workshop time. Gas check not needed until next year (although we have problems with both fridge and oven to be sorted as part of warranty work).
     
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  7. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    A motorhome is a machine which needs maintaining like any other.
    Given the obvious risks of gas leaks and death by carbon monoxide poisoning, I would say an annual check is essential.

    Why the rant?

    If you can't afford to maintain a motorhome in a safe condition, don't buy one in the first place.
     
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  8. busby

    busby Funster

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    Totally agree with you,,,a reason not to buy new but someone has to,,,BUSBY,,,,
     
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  9. The Wino

    The Wino Funster

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    I viewed it as like taking your car for a service if you don't and theres a fault in the warranty period tough!!!. The figures you quote are a lot more reasonable than Lowdhams for a hab service.
     
  10. busby

    busby Funster

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    But the cost of a so called habitation SERVICE (what service) is an absolute rip off, BUSBY.
     
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  11. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    The 6 year warranty on water ingress on a new Hymer is conditional that it is inspected by a Hymer approved agent each year ..

    I didn't buy mine new.. but the previous owner had the hab service, including a full damp report done each year at Brownhills.. at great expanse.. the service book is stamped proving it's been done.

    new car warranties are also conditional on them being serviced by a main agent..

    other than the cost which does seen a tad expensive.. why the rant.
     
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  12. Bacchus

    Bacchus Funster

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    I can't help I'm afraid, but I believe that this is the best thought out and most eloquent tirade I have ever read.
     
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  13. Louis

    Louis Funster

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    While new Motorhome sales keep rising , Ripping off new motorhomers will keep on rising ! Nobody does anything constructive! Don't buy a brand ne van!!:censored:
     
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  14. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    I can understand the rant; having purchased an expensive vehicle, the dealer then charges and exorbitant fee to check that everything supplied still works. I think that they are a rip off too.
     
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  15. Derbyshire wanderer

    Derbyshire wanderer Funster Life Member

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    @John & Liz you have made a good point and I agree with you that the check is expensive for a check of the manufacturers workmanship but is this any different to the car manufacturers service?
    Car dealers do change filters etc but often complete a body and paint check at the same time which you are still paying for as a part of the labour costs. They too will not honour the warranty if these checks are not completed.
    Anything over an hour charged to complete these checks is the real con.
     
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  16. chaser

    chaser Funster

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    Don't think he said he couldn't afford it just complaining that you had to pay(y)
     
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  17. busby

    busby Funster

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    Who would buy from LOWDAM ?? Biggest ROB DOGS i have ever tried to deal with,,,TRIED but didn't. BUSBY.
     
  18. busby

    busby Funster

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    But they don't SERVICE any thing!! At least with a caravan they take the brake drums off ,fit new one shot locking bolts and grease a couple of parts,,,BUSBY.
     
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  19. CWH

    CWH Funster Life Member

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    We have both cab and hab checks, as well as warranty work, done locally (by approved workshops - confirmed by manufacturer) rather than take the van in to the supplying dealer who is (1) a very long way away (2) much more expensive and (3) can be months to get an appointment, whereas what we have locally is (1) hab & warranty work within walking distance if we need to leave the van, cab 15 mins drive away (2) both are cheaper and (3) hab usually within the week, often will look at a job the same day to decide on urgency; cab service & problems within a fortnight, or sooner if urgent. Also (4) the hab checklist locally is MUCH more thorough than the dealer's was, and they've discovered & repaired things we hadn't mentioned, even though the dealer had found no fault when we took it to be fixed in when passing.
    There is no requirement to have these checks done by the supplying dealer. We get a much more personal and COMMITTED service from the workshop - they are engineers first and foremost, that's where their interest lies - than from the dealer who is, after all, a dealer first and a service centre a very distant second.
     
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  20. BobtheBass

    BobtheBass Funster

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    I mentioned the three month check to Elite when we collected our new Carthago and they had no idea what I was talking about! Their advice was to ignore it, they would sort any warranty issues out irrespective. After reading up on the subject it seems that Carthago themselves have admitted its a voluntary inspection and not compulsory, but what a ridiculous concept!
     
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