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Douglas Spencer

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I have no car. Again. [Sep. 8th, 2006|01:58 pm]
Douglas Spencer
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I had my meeting at Wyatt Concorde, twenty minutes late, with Gavin (service manager) and one of the mechanics.

Having replaced the Body Systems Integration unit (the main computer, £365) they now want to replace the Injection ECU (Engine Control Unit, another computer, £590). They claim to be confident that this will sort it out -- just as confident as their claim that the BSI unit would sort it out four weeks ago.

They gave me a detailed narrative of the events so far. And then I recited for them all the bits of narrative that they'd omitted, and they accepted that these other things had happened too. I talked to them about failures in communication, and failures in managing to get certain parts ordered.

Mid-way through this meeting, Gavin was called away briefly, and returned. He'd been shown the loan car, with its posters, so he asked me about them. I asked him whether he disputed any of the facts I'd put in the poster, and he conceded that the poster was absolutely correct in every respect. The meeting continued.

After the meeting he instructed me that because of the posters he'd have to take the loan car back at that point. I explained that I was sure he'd appreciate that I didn't want to drive around in a vehicle that implied that I endorsed Wyatt Concord in any way and felt that the posters were a reasonable approach to take in the circumstances. He didn't seem to think that the posters were acceptable.

On two separate occasions thus far in the meeting, I'd said that the worst aspect of the customer experience had been their constant, consistent inability to keep me informed about what was going on. As we were walking out to the loan car together, we had some further conversation, about the level of customer service they were offering and more specifically about their communications failures. He explained that he'd found it quite inconvenient to have my car tying up workshop space for so long. I mentioned their inability to communicate once again. He explained once more about the difficulties which had arisen when Citroën had changed their part numbers, and that it had proved necessary for me to come in and stand over them while they ordered the part. I mentioned their inability to communicate once again.

And finally he admitted that there were issues with communication. He said that they were going through a process to improve their customer communication. I went through the words on the poster with him, making particular reference to their failures in this area, and he undertook to take my poster and include it in this process of theirs. I reminded him once more that the failure in communication was a much bigger issue than their failure to actually get the car working again.

And then he apologised -- the first apology I've had from them. And he was apologising for the amount of time it was taking to sort the car out, not for their poor communication. I remain quite convinced that he still Simply Hasn't Got It.

They're ordering the part today. The car should be ready on Tuesday. I have been promised heavy discounting.

Gavin said "So ... we'll see you on Tuesday morning, then."

I replied "If my next contact with yourselves is when I arrive here on Tuesday morning, you will have failed. I shall expect a phone call."

Useless tossers.

[User Picture]From: filkerdave
2006-09-08 01:29 pm (UTC)
Sheesh. Just...sheesh.
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[User Picture]From: mattp
2006-09-08 01:40 pm (UTC)
It won't work if I do it (because I've disabled crawling by Google on my journal), but if enough people link to their site with those words then the result is predictable, if a little trite.
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[User Picture]From: alex_holden
2006-09-08 01:49 pm (UTC)
Are they expecting you to pay for the BSI and time spent fitting it? If replacing it didn't fix the problem then it seems unlikely that the old one was faulty or needed to be replaced. I also find it hard to believe that a faulty ECU could be preventing the central locking from working.
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[User Picture]From: dougs
2006-09-08 02:16 pm (UTC)
After they replaced the BSI, the transponder aerial and the keys, the immobiliser stopped immobilising. However, the car was starting successfully on only about one occasion in two. They've determined that the "it's okay, we're not being nicked" signal is going from the BSI down the wires towards the Ignition ECU, but that the Ignition ECU isn't reacting to it.

I'll wait and see what they expect me to pay for.
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[User Picture]From: alex_holden
2006-09-08 02:20 pm (UTC)
Why would both the BSI and the ECU fail at the same time? I would suspect a dodgy connection between the two - ie. the new BSI is sending the "deimmobilise" signal but the ECU isn't always receiving it successfully.
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[User Picture]From: alex_holden
2006-09-08 02:34 pm (UTC)
BBC Watchdog is a possibility too.
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[User Picture]From: dougs
2006-09-08 02:43 pm (UTC)
They're a "Citroën Authorised Repairer". If you go to the official Citroën website's dealer locator page and put in my postcode, these people are at the top of the list that it gives you.

I have let Citroën know what's going on.
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[User Picture]From: arborophile
2006-09-08 02:22 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: nmg
2006-09-08 03:25 pm (UTC)
It's unfortunately like the old joke:

Q. How can you recognize a DEC field service engineer with a flat tire?
A. He's changing one tire at a time to see which one is flat.

Q. How can you recognize a DEC field service engineer who is out of gas?
A. He's changing one tire at a time to see which one is flat.
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[User Picture]From: drpete
2006-09-08 05:23 pm (UTC)
Have Citroen UK anything to say on the matter? A long letter to head office might have an effect. Could you demand that Wyatt Concorde take this turkey of a vehicle in part exchange on another (very very heavily discounted)new model?
I would also consider demanding an adjustment to your bill for all your time, and a refund for all these expensive parts so far that obviously weren't necessary.
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