Poor service (1 Viewer)

Do you buy cheap?

  • No, I consider reputation, back up and price

    Votes: 119 81.5%
  • Yes, the cheapest price available

    Votes: 1 0.7%
  • I consider back up and after sales, but swayed by the lowest price

    Votes: 26 17.8%

  • Total voters
    146
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eddie

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 4, 2007
8,290
42,292
Taunton Somerset
Funster No
540
MH
RV
Exp
since 1989
I have recently retired, and this has always puzzled me.

When working for Van Bitz we would get customers who would phone and want to book in to have a problem rectified.

When we couldn’t find them on our system they‘d explain that ‘They’ weren’t our customer but we’d (Van Bitz) had fitted the, let’s say satellite TV system on the roof for the previous owner (our customer) five years ago.

When they bought the motorhome they’d had a solar panel fitted and the fitter had ‘done something’ on the roof and said that ’We’d need to get it looked at!’

”So we are passing tonight and want to stay on your campsite and you can fix it first thing in the morning, we assume it will be under warranty And the campsite is free?”

We would then explain that no, it’s not under warranty there would be a charge to inspect the system and see what was wrong, hopefully fixing it, and that ’no’ if they want to use the campsite that they would be charged and that ‘no’ they can’t just call in tomorrow morning as they will have to make an appointment.

At that point ‘we’ become the biggest bastards in Christendom :Eeek: and people revert to type. The bully’s in life start to get aggressive and demonstrative about ‘rights and fit for purpose’, the meek (Vegans probably 😏) start muttering about ‘shame’ and disappointment and the sensible majority say something like “OK, fair enough, it was worth asking as we’re passing” (Just for the record, the shouty sweary types get the highest quoted prices and the most inconvenient appointment times so be nice when needing help🤫)

But irrespective of approach, when we’d ask “why not take it back to the people that fitted the solar panels that had caused the problem?” the response would be, ”well we could, but we’d heard such good things about Van Bitz being helpful, and we’re not really sure they know what their doing😤

Now ignoring the smart arse response”If you’ve heard such good things about Van Bitz why didn’t you get us to install the solar panels in the first place :whistle2:” we’d point out that if they‘ve paid someone to do a job and the business has caused a problem, then it’s up to them to resolve the problem

An example this morning
I just had a lithium battery fitted that replaced the lead acid , and a dc to dc charging system fitted , now when engine on it does not auto or even manual change over to 12v battery, so gas would be on while driving.

I disconnected the dc system , but no change checked fuses they are fine,
what can I do now , I tried turning gas off etc but no differenc the auto change over still works when mains connected.
Just 12volt battery not working in either auto or manual , so even if I try to change over at any time it does not so indicates it is not detecting 12 volt ,

So, he is asking for help, having had a B2B fitted and a Lithium battery. I have posted this morning, suggesting he takes it back to the supplying installer, but, as I said this has always puzzled me?

Are people prepared to let people undertake work for them, having little or no confidence just because they are the cheapest?

Funny old life!
 

funflair

LIFE MEMBER
Dec 11, 2013
19,783
31,934
Guisborough
Funster No
29,351
MH
MORELO palace
Exp
since 2012
I don't go for the cheapest that's for sure, sometimes though you might have work done at lets say a "sensible price" but it's only after the work is completed that you realise that whoever did it was totally incompetent and you certainly wouldn't go back for fear of making it even worse.
 
Sep 13, 2019
356
841
Hertfordshire
Funster No
64,185
MH
Bailey 79-4T
Exp
Since 2019
I try and undertake most things myself (if possible) due to being a trained engineer. However when I haven’t got the time or I figure it’s better to use a professional I would use the following methods:-
1) Ask for a referral from family/friends/MHF
2) Speak with the company and gauge their approach on the call
3) Check out reviews online (dismiss the muppet comments)
4) Ask for a quotation and sometimes get another 1-2 quotes from other companies
5) Use best judgement on facts gathered and go with the company that gives me the best feeling (hard to describe this one 😂).
Cost in this day and age is one factor, however I wouldn’t go for the cheapest unless they gave me the best feeling/overall package etc.
Hope that makes sense!
 
Apr 3, 2018
3,902
11,027
Funster No
53,151
MH
PVC
Exp
1995-2004 & 2017》
Cheap ain't ever best... IMO...
One example I can think of on this Forum is those who have issues with their toilet/shower compartment plastic being stained and tarnished and then we find out they happily use any old cleaning material on them and then ask advice on how to get the "newness" back..
My First c'van suffered from this which we had then to live with..
Now I only use makers recommended cleaning products... There may be cheaper (slightly) options that are as good but are you prepared to take the risk... to save a few Bob?
 

Kannon Fodda

LIFE MEMBER
Feb 26, 2019
2,759
8,544
Seek and Ye May Find
Funster No
58,768
MH
Autotrail V-line 540
Exp
I Make Schoolboy Errors!
If it's something I can't or am not wanting to do myself first choice in getting it done is the accessibility of wherever I'm going to i.e. can they do it in a timescale that also works for me. Less of an issue now I'm skiving (retired), but whilst working it needed to fit around the limited time I could get off.

Then it's also about who is doing it, do I feel comfortable they have the knowledge and expertise to do it. That's where reputation and genuine feedback come into play and forums like this help you sort what are genuine reviews rather than the gloss you might find on many interweb reputation review type sites.

Price is important, I want to know I am getting value for money, but that doesn't always mean cheapest is best (I was never the cheapest whilst I was working), and that in part will be reflected in the quality of the service I expect to receive both before during and after the job.

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Puddleduck

LIFE MEMBER
Jan 15, 2014
12,505
44,685
Scottish Borders
Funster No
29,703
MH
Without at present
Exp
On and off for many years.
A lot depends on what I am buying.

If I am buying a pack of pens for example then if one doesn't last very long, well it was cheap and what do you expect?

If it's a security system I want the best I can afford with good back up.

If I am buying a pack of paracetamol I'll buy from the supermarket rather than make a special trip to a pharmacy to buy the same pack size and brand at an inflated price. If I am buying medical stuff that could save my life (say test strips for blood tests and the pharmacy can't supply due to their supply issues) I will buy direct from the manufacturer not from ebay or amazon.
 
Feb 5, 2014
1,748
4,151
mid-Norfolk
Funster No
29,980
MH
A class
Exp
since 2006
Lets not forget that MotorHomes are a niche market: when I wanted an alarm fitted I read the reviews and decided to drive most of the way across the country to Taunton ;) (a MHF discount helped!)

When I wanted my glowplugs changing I took it to my local commercial garage who couldn't fit it in for a couple of months. "Fortunately" an even closer "Mercedes specialist" who had worked on Aclass MHs (he said) could do it in a couple of weeks, but at a higher cost. I suspect the van suffered some minor damage whilst standing outside on an industrial estate (but I can't prove it) and the new clutch which they fitted at the same time left me stranded on the Norfolk coast one dark, rainy night. Once my local commercial garage looked at it (and sorted it) they told me it was poor workmanship BUT the Merc guy had gone bust (and then reopened in the same premises with the same staff but trading under a different name).

Many jobs I can do myself and I would much rather ask for advice than travel 100 miles only to discover that it was a blown fuse (for example). Indeed, Brownhills who supplied my MH, tell me that it is too old for them to work on and finding a reliable source of help has eluded me so far (my "service" saga dragged on for 6 months before my fridge was working satisfactorily).

So IMO there isn't a simple solution to the problem.

Gordon

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Bailey58

LIFE MEMBER
Jun 23, 2010
8,967
32,231
Norfolk and Toftir.
Funster No
12,267
MH
Sold
Exp
July 2010 (ex tugger)
I second Puddleduck's comment. It depends what you are buying but for something technical on an expensive motorhome I would go for the best recommendation I could find (even if it meant a trip to Cornwall :giggle: ).

Edit: Somerset!
 
May 8, 2011
3,971
49,842
God's county. Helmsley, North Yorkshire.
Funster No
16,317
MH
IH Tio 630 RL
Exp
Since April 1846 but have always camped.
36D660B5-4E38-4719-BF32-0FF1DAFA19EA.jpeg
 
Aug 18, 2014
24,160
138,393
Lorca,Murcia,Spain
Funster No
32,898
MH
Transit PVC
Exp
16 years since restarting
I always do things myself. If I have to use an outside firm i would only ever use someone,like yourself, who comes well recommended.
I have seen too many abortions caused by half wits in most trades to ever take any at face value.
My mate from devon who was here recently asked me to look at his leaiure batteries as since having a second one fitted , to factory installed wiring he was having problems & they were dropping to 60% overnight & would only recover with the engine run or ehu when he had any.
Turned out that they had connected the solar panel to the 2nd leisure battery they fitted so it was being charged by that. Unfortunately they had disconnected the original battery from the solar panel & the 2nd battery from the leisure system so one battery was sitting there charged wonderfully but supplying nothing whilst the other was sat there suppying everything but only being charged when the engine ran, as ehu rarely used.
Once I had it so that ehu, engine & solar supplied both all is perfect & both stay at 100% & rarely drop below 90 even overnight.
Best was there was a piece of red cable with 6mm eyelets crimped on both ends connected to the red terminal & exiting in a lovely loop ....................back to the red terminal.:doh:
It took me a while as I thought it was a set up:laughing:
Manufacturers no better. " Waste tank only drains slowly" yes that would be because the water never gets there as muppet has cut the pipe an inch short ,none are glued & this one has sprung apart so all water exits straight on the floor. Looked like it had been the same since before he bought it.
So no, I'd rarely use anyone for anything. Don't even ask about the house we had built.:laughing:

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Feb 18, 2017
4,558
8,764
Greenwich, London, UK
Funster No
47,382
MH
Hymer MLT 570
Exp
1986
Now I know why appointment at VanBitz was at 04.00am on a Monday in January ::bigsmile:

But on a more serious note, it depends, buy cheap, buy twice.
I tend to over-research items, especially expensive ones, and then get the best value for money.

I tend to ignore warranties, as from my experience they are rarely worth the paper they are printed on (unless they fail in the first week)

Hence my first trip in my motorhome, strait from the dealers forecourt in the midlands, was to Somerset to get VanBitz to fit best part of £4k's worth of stuff.
I'd done my research, and I picked the best value for money I could find.
(And got 2 nights free camping thrown in)
 
Oct 7, 2013
6,029
37,847
South Wales
Funster No
28,463
MH
Swift Escape Compact
Exp
Since 1988
When we wanted an alarm fitted I followed advice on the Forum that the Vanbitz Strikeback was a good system and that the Company were very professional in their approach.

Having had that proved correct we were more than happy to return when we needed a solar panel and B2B fitted.

When we are looking for a new Motorhome one dealer is always our preferred choice because of the way they have treated us in the past, warranty, after sales and servicing etc.

So, recommendation when we don’t know who to go to, then stick with proven companies. Saving a few quid initially can become very expensive if the chosen company is slapdash, incompetent or simply doesn’t give a t#ss about their customers after the job is done.
 
Oct 14, 2007
4,138
6,653
Rochester
Funster No
619
MH
Auto-Trail Mohawk
Exp
17 fun filled years
It depends as others have said.

If I was in the market for a new security system then I wouldn't hesitate in contacting VanBitz for a quote as I have read loads over the years on here extolling it's virtues, customer service, backup etc. So a company well respected by our members goes a long way with me.

If I needed a new bit of kit for the van I would pose the question on here first as I trust folk on this site more than I do with online reviews.

On the other hand, Last week I needed a certain size spade bit to drill 1 hole so I bought the cheapest to do the job, horses for courses.
 
Jul 6, 2009
1,907
2,416
Funster No
7,383
Our 2003 Bessacar bought new had an alarm fitted by Eddie, still working met the current owner last year never had a moments problem, 2008 Bessacar bought new had an alarm and tracker fitted by Eddie can still track it. Bought an 2012 brand new Elddis came with a cat 1 alarm and tracker was like listening to a duck with a sore throat. Bought a 2019 brand new Burstner had an alarm fitted at home had the unit replaced twice, still goes off without warning not impressed. You get what you pay for but sometimes even expensive ones not fitted properly are about as much use as a chocolate tea pot.

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Mar 23, 2012
9,787
33,187
sleights
Funster No
20,245
MH
c class
Exp
1
Some things I buy the cheapest as I think they're basically a commodity ( like diesel some like to buy from a garage rather than supermarket as they think it's better quality I've run cars and the MH on supermarket diesel for years with no problems) other things I buy on recommendation like our builder others somewhere Inbetween.
 
Dec 24, 2014
9,533
49,389
Hurstpierpoint. Mid Sussex.
Funster No
34,553
MH
Compass Navigator
Exp
Ever since lighting was by Calor gas.
‘no’ they can’t just call in tomorrow morning as they will have to make an appointment.

I'm always dubious when a firm's workshop is sufficiently quiet that an unknown customer can just drop in 'tomorrow' or when passing for what is potentially an indeterminate number of hours work, especially wrt motorhome dealers who seem to be booked solid for a month or more.
However, I and my family have been a customer of a local garage for 30 years and they can usually fit us in at short notice for anything urgently needing a diagnostic or a fix taking say up to an hour but then I trust them, turn up at the agreed time, never ask for a quote or quibble at the cost and pay on the spot. It works both ways.

I never buy on price except for relatively high cost branded items e.g. tyres, domestic white goods etc. when I do a bit of research to get an idea of the going rate but even then I prefer to pay a bit more to buy from a local independent in the expectation of better service than when dealing with a national chain.

Nothing more frustrating than dealing with some of the public. I used to restore and repair classic cars and occasionally had the frustration of unreasonable and ill-informed customers, e.g. one for whom I'd fitted say, a new dynamo, who would be back a week later holding me responsible that his clutch had started slipping. Maintaining a good reputation is hard work, especially with those customers who expect you to carry their monkey on your shoulders.
 
Feb 14, 2021
3,985
8,722
Milton Keynes, UK
Funster No
79,219
MH
Burstner Lyseo 727G
Exp
19 month year 18000 miles UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Germany, Italy. Campsites and off Grid.
Are people prepared to let people undertake work for them, having little or no confidence just because they are the cheapest?

Are you saying the most expensive is always the best?

I have used a 'cheap' back street garage for a wide range of vehicles and jobs for 30 years. He is great ( and cheap!) The down side is he is always busy!

I had Direct Motorhome services fit a solar panel for me because they were reasonably priced, had good reviews and a high profile in motorhoming circles. They did a poor job but did fix it but I wouldn't go back.

I bought my motorhome from an expensive dealer I had no experience of and they turned out to be poor. I didn't know and it was the first motorhome I had bought. But as it was brand new and they were a main dealer for a good quality manufacture I assumed all would be ok.

So, there are many reasons why we choose who we go to.

What I don't understand in your example is why someone would expect a different company than the one who fitted it to fix it for free. Either they were trying it on or mad.
 
Jun 29, 2015
3,610
59,885
Southampton
Funster No
36,999
MH
caravan (for now)
Exp
on and off since 1984
When I was working I had a few calls from new customers who had paid a lot of money to other companies that had been unable to mend their boiler. After I fixed it often they would complain about my bill, even though it was less than they had paid the others,and full guaranteed.

I did have one very satisfying call. On Christmas Eve we had a call from a customer that we had quoted for a replacement boiler, the customer has found a cheaper quote and gone with that, but the other installer had connected the condensate drain into the rain water downpipe without an air gap, the downpipe had frozen and the rain water from the roof was now draining through the new boiler and the ceiling and flooding the entrance hall. I disconnected the drain cut off the gas to the boiler and issued a warning notice. I promise I didn't laugh until I was outside. We had the call because the installer could not be contacted.
 
Mar 23, 2012
9,787
33,187
sleights
Funster No
20,245
MH
c class
Exp
1
Are you saying the most expensive is always the best?

I have used a 'cheap' back street garage for a wide range of vehicles and jobs for 30 years. He is great ( and cheap!) The down side is he is always busy!

I had Direct Motorhome services fit a solar panel for me because they were reasonably priced, had good reviews and a high profile in motorhoming circles. They did a poor job but did fix it but I wouldn't go back.

I bought my motorhome from an expensive dealer I had no experience of and they turned out to be poor. I didn't know and it was the first motorhome I had bought. But as it was brand new and they were a main dealer for a good quality manufacture I assumed all would be ok.

So, there are many reasons why we choose who we go to.

What I don't understand in your example is why someone would expect a different company than the one who fitted it to fix it for free. Either they were trying it on or mad.
I think some people are just a bit thick when it comes to valuing other people's time. I know a couple of musicians both say the same people book for an event for a length of set then quite often after they finnish ask if they can do a bit longer as they really enjoyed it. No different to getting a plumber to fit a shower and asking if they can do the toilet free as they're already there!

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Oct 24, 2019
263
396
West Yorkshire
Funster No
66,106
MH
Caracompact 600 MEG
Exp
5 years
Like others here we buy cheap only when the label of the commodity is irrelevant- like fuel brands, or supermarkets own brands, or it is low value and not needed to last. However for expensive items especially those that need to have a long life and allow us to have confidence in its ability to work efficiently over an extended time period we do our research and are willing to pay for quality and professional service.( we too hot footed it to Taunton with our new motorhome).
I am reminded of when I was at grad school in USA many years ago and did the grand tour with an American housemate. He would drive round US cities for miles adding time and stress to the journey to get the cheapest fuel - and this when I think gas was 30 cents a gallon! Used to drive me nuts!
 
Feb 14, 2021
3,985
8,722
Milton Keynes, UK
Funster No
79,219
MH
Burstner Lyseo 727G
Exp
19 month year 18000 miles UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Germany, Italy. Campsites and off Grid.
I think some people are just a bit thick when it comes to valuing other people's time. I know a couple of musicians both say the same people book for an event for a length of set then quite often after they finnish ask if they can do a bit longer as they really enjoyed it. No different to getting a plumber to fit a shower and asking if they can do the toilet free as they're already there!

Well, as an ex function band musician I am well aware of this. Always gobsmaked that they think they can hire a piece band for a few hundred quid. For a wedding do we arrive and set up at say 6pm, finish at 2am. An hour to pack up. 6 people 9 hours for a few hundred quid. That's not accounting for transport coasts, expensive gear, and years/decades of practise involved.
 
Jul 13, 2019
76
99
Milton Keynes, UK
Funster No
62,386
MH
Hymer Bclass ML 780T
Exp
Since 2003
We will be visiting Van Bitz next month for the third time for our third strikeback alarm and lithium conversion. This will not be cheap but I figure it will be worth it for the peace of mind that comes with quality workmanship and components, and renowned after sales service, not that I have ever needed the latter.
I was quoted almost half the price for a dealer fit alarm but I figured that would likely not provide much of a protection for our investment.
Interestingly when we had our first strikeback fitted in 2007 it was very wet the night before including inside the van due to a useless installation of the satellite dish. VB fixed that foc whilst installing the alarm.
I agree with others that the service you get from others very much depends on how you approach. An hour and half waiting on the telephone queue to HMRC last week before I got put through to the person that could help me. I figured it was not her fault and she was likely to be subject to some aggressiveness during her working day. So I was very polite and in return we had a very productive conversation with all my queries answered.
 
Oct 12, 2009
11,233
24,744
SW London, Poland and all Europe
Funster No
8,876
MH
A Class N+B Arto 69GL
Exp
Since 2009
One thing I am prepared to go 'cheap' on is having my MH mechanicals serviced by a reputable, well-recommended commercial garage, where I can talk to the knowledgeable boss instead of to the 'clipboard' at a Fiat Main Dealer.

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