Thursday, July 12, 2012

RE: Voyager

Dear Jamie,

I am not an unreasonable person.  I accept that parts fail on fit, I have not made a big issue of the shock absorber, dangerous though that was.  All I want is my car, and all the elements thereof, returned to me as it was when it went to Solus.

·         I would like an acknowledgement that the vehicle was not safe.  It was returned in a dangerous condition and whoever did that work has been spoken to. 
·         I would like the missing “Tie Down Eye” or “Towing eye” or whatever they want to call it returned.  And possibly an acknowledgement that I have not been making it all up.

So far it just seems that I am an irritation and all everybody wants to do is brush this issue under the carpet.  In which case it makes me wonder how many other cars are driving around that have been poorly repaired and are potential death traps.

As an insurance company I would have thought that you would be slightly concerned as you will be paying when this stuff hits the courts.  Just think.  Had the break hose failed and the car crashed I hate to think about it and would just hope I had been driving at the time.  If my wife had been driving….

Do you (Aviva, not you personally) vet the companies that you use?  Or do you just go for the cheapest?  Surely the quality of the repairs done come in to the equation?


From: []
Sent: 12 July 2012 11:44
Subject: RE: Voyager

Dear Mr Sir,

Having read the email from Gordon Fenton at Solus, I am satisfied that Solus have put you back into a similar position that you were in previously. The part has been sourced and will be fitted. The garage had sourced a like for like vehicle whilst your own vehicle was in for rectification work, and the garage provided a further MOT upon completion of this work. Clearly you are not happy with the response to the issues from Mr Fenton. At this stage, please could you advise me on how you would like the matter to be resolved and I can look into what can possibly be done.

Jamie Edwards
Personal Motor Claims- Stretford
Aviva UK General Insurance
( 0800 0515 127
* Email:
P Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.

Keeping you in the Loop

Hello Mr Dallard,

It strikes me that as Mr Fenton is away that I should probably forward this to you to keep you in the loop.

In Summary.

1.      Do please send me the rubber grommet, it may well be what has been lost
2.      I have done some research and it appears that the item that is missing is called a rear “Tie Down Eye” not a towing eye.  Perhaps you could see if Chrysler can supply that?
3.      I am not happy to brush under the carpet the fact that the brake hose, or connection elements, were fitted incorrectly.


......    I Attached the last email for reference...  No point putting it here

Chrysler Returned in a Dangerous Condition!

My Response to an email from the accident repair specialists Solus.

Good morning Mr Fenton,

Please find my comments below…

From: Gordon Fenton []
Sent: 11 July 2012 17:27
To: <me>
Subject: RE: Voyager

Good afternoon Sir

Firstly thank you for taking the time to pass on the information to me as this is always useful when looking in to my customers concerns raised.

I understand how your wife must of felt as I too have been in a similar situation with my wife in an accident.  Reading through your concerns both regarding the recovery agent collecting your car and how it was delivered into us, I understand you had said to my staff that in your front tow eye securing bracket your vehicle had a rubber bung covering your thread. 

[CP] It was actually the rear one that was lost, along with the tow eye itself.

My understanding from speaking to my management staff they had spoken to our parts suppliers and said they have never supplied or fitted held this rubber grommet in stock.  I have also spoken to Marlborough another Chrysler dealer and they have also said they have never sold anything like it.

[CP] That does not mean that it has never existed or been lost. I have been doing some research on the matter and it transpires that the item may be called a Rear “Tie Down Eye” and not a Towing eye. Could you please see if your parts supplier can find one of those. Thanks.

But I am pleased to say I have myself found a grommet that I believe will fit in the thread I had a look and a friends PT Cruiser and he had a grommet in the front of his and he has allowed me to have his as he has disposed of his car.  If you would like to pop in I will leave it with Lee Dallard my production manager and he can see if it will fit as I believe the hole diameter is the same cross the range of vehicles, or if you would like it sent out just call the office and speak to Lee and he can arrange to get it in the post for you.

[CP] That is a good start, thanks. Could you please drop it in the post as it does seem to be a waste of fuel to come down there for a rubber grommet. Thanks again.

With regards to the two other concerns you had from presenting your car for Mot I’m sorry we had to have your vehicle back but on the first count with the shock absorber leaking this initial work was sub contracted out to the main dealer to replace the suspension part and has been carried out under their parts warranty failure process. 

[CP] Could you please let me know which main dealer.

I struggle to understand the testing station saying that the brake hose has been on the point of snapping as these are high pressure reinforced hoses and I cannot see how they can be fitted wrongly but I understand your concerns.

[CP] The hose was connected to a metal pipe that was clearly pointing in the wrong direction and was therefore stretching the hose. The hose itself may not have broken, but the connecting point to the metal pipe was under stress as was the point where the pipe connected to the break itself. It was clearly fitted incorrectly.

When we had your car back to correct your concerns we pushed to make sure we covered you with a like for like vehicle and also had taken care of getting an Mot carried out on your car when it came back from the dealer.

[CP] And I greatly appreciate that. But I would rather have not put you or myself to the inconvenience and simply had my car back, with all the bits it had when all this started, working and safe.

I would like to think we have now resolved any concerns and can now close this off if I can assist you in any other ways I will am now away from the business returning 30th July on annual leave. 

[CP] Sorry, but No. All we have done is possibly replace a rubber grommet. It still leaves me without the towing (tie down) eye and has brushed under the carpet the fact that the car was returned in a dangerous condition. As I said before, I can accept that the shock leaked, parts do fail on fit, but the break pipe was clearly not installed correctly.

Kind Regards

Gordon Fenton
General Manager
Solus Accident Repair Centres - Solus Erith


Tel: 07970 159451 | Fax: 0208 3124803

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Customer Service

Recently I have had a couple of not very good customer service experiences.  The interesting part is the way that the two companies have dealt with the situation.

Staples, after a slow start, reacted very well.  I was contacted by the support department and then by the store manager.  I was then sent some vouchers (cash value £50) to spend in store, by way of a sorry.  That was not necessary, but was appreciated, and will encourage me to return to the store.

Domino’s, on the other hand, said (in essence) “Tough Luck”.  The drivers can’t be made to read the special instructions, so maybe you want to use a different store (company). 

To add insult to injury, their customer services will not respond to my emails and their twitter person will not tweet back to me.

Good move Dominos, just bury your head in the sand and the problems will go away.

Funnily enough I did actually place another order with Dominos, after all this started – so you would think they would be on best behaviour.  The driver rang the bell (no surprise there) and managed to drive off without giving me the drink I had ordered.  I called the store and a very nicely turned out young lady (I am assuming a manager/supervisor…) came round, knocked on the window (shock horror!!) and gave me the missing drink.  I pointed out that she was nicely turned out as the drivers are normally quite scruffy, so she stood out in comparison.  She managed to read the special delivery instructions, why can’t the others?

I am currently making a complaint to a company called Solus, that Aviva use to repair cars.  They returned our car in a dangerous state and seem to want to brush it under the carpet.  So far their manager has ignored my emails, lets see how Aviva and Chrysler deal with this.

I may be coming across as a bit of a “Victor Meldrew”  but I do believe that we get the service we deserve.   Walking away just means that we loose the utility of the company in question and they loose a client.  Is it not better all round if they buck their idea’s up and we carry on using them?

If one of my clients complains to me I see it as a warning shot across the bow.  How can I know if I am dropping the ball if no one tells me.  I go out every day and work to the best of my abilities.  Sometimes I will miss the target, sometimes my staff will not deliver to the standards that I expect.  Let me know and I will address it, walk away and we all loose.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Dangerous Driving?

This is an email that I have just sent to the manager of a major (country wide) accident repair firm.  I want to know how our car was give back to us in such a dangerous condition and I want my tow eye back!   Is that too much to ask?

As always I will not name names, not even company ones, until they drop the ball.

Dear Sir,

First some background for you.

On the 13th of February my wife unfortunately had a crash in our car.  She was rammed by someone that pulled out without looking and hit the right hand corner of our car.   I contacted the insurance company and they allocated the repair work to yourselves.

I went to the vehicle, removed our contents and waited for the repair truck.  This duly arrived (from <name removed>).

The driver decided to drag the car on to the back of his truck and to facilitate this he used one of the 2 towing hooks (eyes?) that the car had stored in the tool bay.

A few weeks later the car was returned to us, apparently repaired, but minus the towing eye and the rubber cover that covered the hole where it screws in.

I contacted <name removed> and pointed this out.  I was told it would be found or replaced.

Let’s now move forward to June.

I put the car in for its MOT.  You can imagine my surprise when it FAILED!!  The right hand  shock absorber was leaking (badly) and the brake hose was on the edge of snapping!  Had the shock collapsed or the brake hose snapped at any time while I or my wife were driving the car (usually with the children on-board) the car would probably have gone out of control, or at the very least been very hard (almost impossible) to stop (after all it is not a light car).

I returned the car to you and it has now been repaired and MOT’ed, the car is back but I am still missing the towing eye.

So why am I emailing you?

1st, The car was given back to us in a dangerous condition.  Clearly the brake hose had been incorrectly installed. And this was not seen in pre dispatch checking. 

2nd, While I accept that some parts fail, even though they are new, it is still disturbing that the shock went.

3rd, Your service manager has offered to pay for a new towing eye, if I can find one.  My question is WHERE IS THE ORIGINAL.  It was on the car when I last saw it.  Presumably it was on the car when it was unloaded by <name removed>.  It must be either with you or them.  Why do I have to search for a replacement?

This whole issue seems to have been brushed under the carpet by your staff, and dismissed, but I hope you can see that sending a car out in that condition is not acceptable!  Loosing parts from a client’s car, however trivial the part is to you, is not acceptable.

My wife was shaken by the original accident.  This has just added to her anxiety about driving as the car that she felt safe in could have been a death-trap.

Feel free to call me on <My Mobile> or email me.  I do hope that we can reach a mutually agreeable solution.


I am actually very concerned that they could send a car out in that condition and that they have lost a part of my car.  Ok so the rear tow eye is not vital to day to day usage, but that is not the point.  Does it mean that I have to remove ALL removable items from my car every time it is in for a service; like the spare tyre, jack, spanner?  Do I have to get the car checked over by a third party every time I get it back from a service, just in case?

Incidentally, I have also mentioned all this to Aviva and Chrysler Customer Services (In Milan, now they are part of Fiat).  Lets see if they take it seriously.