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Our experience of buying from Stratstone


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My wife and I test drove a three year old, 27000 mile 90 on the 21st of December. Apart from a blown indicator bulb, it drove seemingly faultlessly, though as it would be sold after inspection and under warranty, we didn't check everything like you would in a private sale. We paid £21k for the car the next day.

When driving the car home on the 31st, my wife only managed to get as far as Leicester when the lighting circuit shorted out under the wing sounding the horn continuously. The vehicle as taken to the Leicester dealer for repair with Stratstone's agreement.

The Leicester dealer found and repaired the damaged wiring and also replaced a broken horn. They also found that the high level brake light was unserviceable due to a fault in the window. A week later despite chasing up by us, Stratestone has still failed to authorise the repair, conduct the repair themselves or even discuss the issue with the other dealer.

We still have no vehicle or information about when or where it is going to be repaired. All enquiries to the Stratestone service and sales departments result in a runaround and the only information being that they still haven't spoken tothe other dealer.

At this stage all we know is that Stratestone sold us an apparently unroadworthy, unusable vehicle and a week after we discovered the faults are still evading doing anything about it.

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How far from you are they Snagger? The suggestions of a personal visit are along my thoughts too, but obviously not so practical if they are a fair distance.
for 21k this island we live on is a very small place! You cannot beat having a one to one chat with the boss, they should have a courtesy car by now and that landy should be being fixed at what ever it costs the dealership due to their complete lack morals when selling it!
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for 21k this island we live on is a very small place! You cannot beat having a one to one chat with the boss, they should have a courtesy car by now and that landy should be being fixed at what ever it costs the dealership due to their complete lack morals when selling it!

Oh. I agree completely, but sometimes with work commitments etc, it isnt easy to find the time to travel a distance.

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Mrs Snagger here.

The situation is a little tricky. The car itself is at a different dealership in Leicester as that's as far as I got driving it home from Nottingham before the horn/lights fault started. Stratstones is in Nottingham which is nearly two hours away from us. Snagger's been at work and I have the kids here and I am working too. So paying a personal visit isn't really possible at the moment.

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They should be able to organise a truck to transport the vehicle to their premises if that is the problem.

I would review the contract of sale you have, especially the inspection part, as this sounds like a fairly substantial breach of contract.

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Ok been there and done that. First thing, was it sold as a Land Rover approved used vehicle? Secondly, have you tried to phone the dealer principle at the place you bought it from?

If you cannot get hold of the dealer principle send him a letter via recorded delivery [or email if you have his direct address] explaining the issues and difficulties plus how you would like the problem resolved and the timescale you want it done by. State you expect a reply within say 5 working days. As with all things in the first instance it pays to be firm but remain polite. Copy to Land Rover Customer Services too. If you do not receive a response within the five days then take your case direct to LR Customer Services and copy to the dealer principle. LR are usually pretty good at straightening out dealers who drag their heels.

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There can only be defamation if anything untrue is stated, and as recent events have proved, it can be libellous. But if it's provably true there is no libel no matter how bad it is. I agree totally, it is much better to be dealing directly and professionally. Sometimes 'professionals' forget to deal back professionally.

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Sadly my experience with 2 new defenders is that Land-Rover ltd are not in the least bit interested in your problems, even more so if your vehicle is a Defender, which to them is an inconvenient embarrassment, in their world of quasi 4x4s like freeloaders and revokes.

I have only ever had one response from Land-Rover ‘service’ The idiot said something amazing like:

“Thank you for your letter which your father must have written for you",

I’m not sure what she was trying to imply, but as my father had been dead for about 30 years I was far from impressed

You have 2 choices:

Make a real nuisance of your self, in person, in the dealership, and embarrass them into doing something before you deter all their other customers

Or

Start writing letters – To everybody, CAB, trading standards, TV shows, all the motoring press, not just the land-rover ones, the motoring correspondents of all the broadsheets, cc-in the dealership. Keep to the facts, and when something is an observation or your opinion make sure that you state that it is your opinion.

If you stick to the truth, then they have no action against you.

Twitter it and Facebook it - stick to the truth

As cackshifter said:

There can only be defamation if anything untrue is stated, and as recent events have proved, it can be libellous. But if it's provably true there is no libel no matter how bad it is.

And Nick Williams link to Honest John is very useful too.

I hope it all works out for you

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Another tactic is to find someone high up at Land Rover and blag your way to talk to them over the phone. You might have to tell their PA a 'white lie' like you are his 'brother' for example - then play the innocent when they are confused that you are not their brother! "I was on hold - and now I'm speaking to you??". It needs a bit of research in advance to make sure they have a brother - but that's easy!

Tell them the story and what you would like done to resolve it - politely and unemotionally.

They will be furious that a peasant has had a go at them because one of their subordinates has given a bad service - then they will take it out on the dealership boss.

This once worked nicely with Sainsburys. Within 10 mins I had the store manager on the phone, in tears and grovelling for forgiveness over their previous unhelpfulness! The problem was sorted to my satisfaction in 20 mins and they wrote to me to apologise a bit more!

Si

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I had a similar problem when we were buying the Mrs. a used car. We noticed some problems the day after picking it up so we went back to the dealer. I spoke to the salesman who starting saying things like "We don't have to do anything about it", however when I told him that the Sale of Goods Act 1979 disagrees with him, he ran off to speak to his boss, when he came back evceryone was very helpful and nothing was too much trouble.

Give the Citizens Advice Bureau a ring, they have been very helpful to me in the past. They will probably tell you to write a letter and give you a list of key things the letter should include, I would definately give them a ring before you go any further.

Dave

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Thanks for the interest and support, folks.

For those that suggested taking the kids and sitting in the dealership, you need to understand that taking the kids out of school (illegal as well as irresponsible), and then swallowing the cost and inconvenience of driving for four hours, taking packed lunches and so on, wasting a whole day for three people when we have other things to be doing is not remotely practicable. And what happens when they don't have the parts in stock?

Landymanluke, I'm sure you didn't mean to be insulting, but do you think I'd post this thread unless my patience had already been exhausted by trying in vain to be reasonable? I'm not an idiot, so please don't treat me as so. It seems that a decent and politic approach gets yo nowhere these days - I have had the same problem with my new house, with complaints about build quality faults ignored until I started getting angry with them too.

The good news is that after more buck passing and procrastination, I have laid down the law and got a result. They were still banging on about whether they would get the rear window replaced in Leicester or get the vehicle back and do it themselves, and then started going on about how the LR Approved warranty didn't cover the vehicle because we hadn't owned it long enough yet (2 week qualifying period). I had to point out that I didn't care who fixed it and whether the LR warranty was valid or not - they had sold me an unchecked, unroadworthy and potentially dangerous vehicle and my contract was with them, not LR. I really don't see why I shoild be interested in whether LR Approved or Stratstone pick up the bill - that's their worry. I gave them a deadline of delivering the car to me at home by the end of business on Friday, and it has done the trick.

In the interest of balance and positive feedback, Sturgess in Leicester have been brilliant throughout. The receptinist and service manager stayed open two hours late on new years eve to allow Helena to stay in the warm while I drive up to get her and have done the full vehicle inspection that Stratstone appear not to have done. Most of all, they have returned calls and kept me informed, unlike Stratstone who bounced me around different departments and staff and would be evasive even when I did get to speak to someone.

I am posting this thread not for advice; it is to name and shame a woeful dealer and to praise another decent one. It is to share that information with any of you who may be considering using either of these dealers.

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Hi Nick,

I had a look at the Stratstone website the other day and got the impression it was a chain/franchise. Was this one site you were getting carp from or the head office? Which site did you buy from?

Glad you are getting a resolution to the problems :)

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Sadly my experience with 2 new defenders is that Land-Rover ltd are not in the least bit interested in your problems, even more so if your vehicle is a Defender, which to them is an inconvenient embarrassment, in their world of quasi 4x4s like freeloaders and revokes.

I have only ever had one response from Land-Rover ‘service’ The idiot said something amazing like:

“Thank you for your letter which your father must have written for you",

I’m not sure what she was trying to imply, but as my father had been dead for about 30 years I was far from impressed

You have 2 choices:

Make a real nuisance of your self, in person, in the dealership, and embarrass them into doing something before you deter all their other customers

Or

Start writing letters – To everybody, CAB, trading standards, TV shows, all the motoring press, not just the land-rover ones, the motoring correspondents of all the broadsheets, cc-in the dealership. Keep to the facts, and when something is an observation or your opinion make sure that you state that it is your opinion.

If you stick to the truth, then they have no action against you.

Twitter it and Facebook it - stick to the truth

As cackshifter said:

3There can only be defamation if anything untrue is stated, and as recent events have proved, it can be libellous. But if it's provably true there is no libel no matter how bad it is.

And Nick Williams link to Honest John is very useful too.

I hope it all works out for you

Thanks. Sorry you had such a bad experience too.

Option one, as I explained, wasn't feasible, and no-one should have to waste their time in that manner anyway. That left option two: get stroppy and tough. I'm sure that threatening to write to all the LR magazines and post on many forums had an influence, but I don't feel comfortable with keeping quiet about bad service just because making a threat gets me what I was entitled to - I'm more comfortable sharing the information so that others don't have to go through the same thing and so that hopefully those beligerent staff with reap their comeuppance.

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