Luckily I've not had to use this site for quite some time, however I can't find any advice on this anywhere so I'm hoping I can count on this site again to shed some light on something.
I have a personal lease vehicle, for which I get a car allowance from my work as I need to travel for my job. I'm an account manager so being at customers reliably is a must so I chose a decent reliable vehicle. A Skoda Octavia VRS Estate, which has been great up till this week.
I have kept the car serviced as per the manufacturers instructions as I took the full service, maintenance and tyres agreement for less hassle. So if anything goes wrong, as long as I haven't driven like a moron they will fix it with no additional cost, its all in the monthly payment. Whenever it goes in for a service I get a loan car, sometimes I have to wait for a service appointment but again I always stick within the millage.
This week though the car started overheating erratically, it would normally do it when the car first starts and runs up to normal temp, it would then continue to climb till it reached the red zone. The first time I didn't even notice it creep up, as soon as the warning light came on I stopped safely and turned off the engine, two seconds later I turned the ignition back on and the temp was almost normal again, waited a few more seconds and it was normal. I started the car and is was as if nothing had happened, this was Saturday, it did the same on Sunday and then on Monday. Again both times I stopped and the temp would do the same thing, I traveled to work and called the Driver-line service that I get as part of the contract. They sent out a full Skoda tech who came to look at the car in just under an hour which was fantastic, I explained the situation and without doing anything he knew exactly the fault.
Its the water pump, on new generation diesel engines they have a sleeve which goes over the impeller mechanically which heats up the car quicker, after its done its job its meant to slide back otherwise it overheats the engine. Mine had stopped retracting, turning the car off fired the solenoid which shakes it loose again, the answer is to replace the water pump. This is covered by my maintenance and service agreement so it was taken with me driving and the tech following to my normal dealer, we called ahead but there were no loan cars available. The tech explained that he could take me there and then drop me back at work, once he dropped me off he called into the office and arranged for a 48 hour replacement car to be sent. The call was made at 11:15AM yesterday by the tech, I herd him dial but not the call itself as I had to get back to my office.
Anyway he advised that if I didn't hear anything in an hour or so to give them a call.
Up till now I was pretty impressed and was happy, this was to change though.
Now before I continue, this is a personal lease agreement, whereby I am allowed to use a car that is owned by Skoda and not by me, I have no rights to the vehicle at the end of the agreement. I am aware and happy with this, however I need a car for work, its my lively hood. If I cannot get somewhere when a customer or my company ask I loose money in the form of commission because that job / appointment will go to someone else.
This is why I choose a lease vehicle. If something goes wrong - They fix it, Its needs a service - I call a number and it is done, all the while in the maintenance contract it states very clearly that I will have access to a vehicle should anything happen. This is important as I can be anywhere in the UK when something might go horribly wrong.
No call was recieved in the time I had been advised, so I chased the Driverline team.
They apologies and said someone would be in touch shortly, this was between 13:30 and 14:00 so still plenty of time to get something sorted. Sure enough at 14:40 someone called to get my card details for fuel cover and conference in the DVLA to get access to my licence details. I was told that I would recieve a call shortly to confirm when a car would be with me, they at this time asked when I would finish work, I stated that the office closes at 5pm sharp. I was assured this would not be an issue and if they could not locate a car then I would be offered a taxi at no cost to myself to get me home.
An hour passed and I chased them, I was told again that they would phone me back abut they are every busy. I again did not get a call back, I phoned again an hour later, this is now at 16:30 and was told that I would get a call shortly to arrange either a car or a taxi. 17:00 came and no call, I couldn't get through to anyone and was on hold for over 20 minutes. Luckily a colleague took me home but went out of their way to do so.
At 17:55 they called me to confirm that they had received the request, they even confirmed that I finished work at 17:00, no apologies or anything. Anyway the customer service isn't the issue so I'll continue. Was told again that I would get a call shortly to confirm if a car would be with me that evening, no call came, I chased and they organised a taxi to take me to work. Oh just to thrown in that I was meant to pick my wife up who cannot drive due to medical reasons, she luckily was also able to get home by other means.
So this morning I received a call stating that I would receive a hire car by 13:00, 13:00 came, no car. I called and chased, was told I would get a call back, none came back to me so chased in an hour again, the format went on as previous. This time the hire company called me and explained they had no vehicles and the one that was confirmed earlier wasn't available till the same evening. This is a large multi branch hire company, something didn't ring true. A colleague phoned and booked a car to be picked up in two hours.......... no issue, no hang ups was all confirmed. We got confirmation e-mails in case they are needed later to prove they were not being honest.
I was again told I would be sent a taxi to get me home, this time they arrange for my wife to get one as well. Hers arrived, mine did not...
I called again, was on hold for 20 minutes, I called the hire car place who said although it was them that booked the taxi they didn't know when it would get to me. I live 30 miles away from work so not like I can walk it!
Luck again prevailed that my boss let me have a company van and managed to just, literally the company insurance company was just about to shut, get me added onto the company insurance so everything was above board.
I have not received a call back since, I phoned to cancel the taxi that was going to be arranged for me in the morning to the hire company that tried to feed me a story about how they tried to get me a car all day and it just didn't happen. I at this point lost it a bit and asked why it was possible for a colleague to call and have a car delivered in two hours but over two days and they couldn't get me even a taxi to turn up.
So thats where I'm up too, I've totally lost confidence in Skoda to be able to supply this part of their contract with me.
Is this enough to go down the lines that they are in breech of their lease agreement with me?
I do reseal that whilst I have written this e-mail I sound like a very ungrateful moron, however I pay them a very large sum to have as little hassle having a car as possible. I'm not bothered about owning anything cause all you do is loose money anyway so whats the point. My point is that -
1. I cannot (CANNOT) be without a car, it has very serious repercussions on my personal and my working life
2. The idea is that when there is a problem with mine they are meant to supply something reliable so I can get to work, I would say that two failed taxis isn't reliable and not getting a hire car from a company that has cars available is also unacceptable.
3. Again this is all in my contract, my obligations are to keep the car maintained to their levels and return it in the state I was given it, with the addition of my maintenance and service agreement (which is a very expensive bolt on) this is pretty much covered and therefore there is no expense to myself. (hense me sounding like a right whinging idiot) However thier side of the contact is and should be to keep me as mobile as possible
Can someone shed light?
Thanks in advance!