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Bought a car from Carcraft exactly three months ago (was quite amusing reading the other threads on here about the sales bombardment other users have experienced when buying from these people and after having your head battered for five hours, you really do just want to get out of there... but I digress).

 

On Sunday, the engine suddenly started making a strange grinding and hammering noise which did not sound at all healthy.

 

Obviously, I had to wait until Monday to ring the NAC (the Warranty Carcraft give you).

 

When I got through to them, they told me that due to the short period of time that I had owned the car, I should really go back through Carcraft.

 

Little alarms bells were ringing already but I did as I was told.

 

I told them the problem, that the car was pretty much undriveable due to this horrendous (and worrying) noise.

 

They told me the earliest they could book me in was the 28th July. Now bear in mind, I was calling on the 20th July and this is just to LOOK at the car, repairs would obviously take any return of the vehicle beyond that date.

 

I told them that eight days just to get the car booked in was unacceptable and after much stamping of feet, a few phonecalls to various departments and I was given authority to take the car to one of their "Approved Repairers", Nationwide Garage straight away.

 

They told me that they were instructing Nationwide to do a "diagnostics" and then report back to Carcraft with the findings and they would decide what to do once the problem (and, I presume cost to fix etc) was known.

 

So, I took the car there and a few hours later, I receive a call from Carcraft saying that the car was being taken back to Carcraft's garage.

 

Obviously, I am now going a bit berserk because I had already been told that they couldn't do anything for eight days and I stamped my feet a bit more and they kindly agreed to give me a courtesy car.

 

However, they would not tell me what was wrong with MY car. I spoke to the man at the Nationwide Garage and he told me that because Carcraft were paying the bill for the diagnostic, he could not tell me what was wrong with my car.

 

This was all yesterday and today, the car was taken to Carcraft and I had to go back to Nationwide to pick up the courtesy car. Again, no one would tell me anything about my car.

 

I rang Carcraft when I got home and was told some absolute cock and bull by Carcraft that they cannot tell me what is wrong with my car because they have not received the report from Nationwide (thirty years ago, this might have been a valid excuse but in these days of faxes, emails, telephones and other methods of digital distribution, this is by far the most laughable thing I have heard).

 

After much more stamping of feet, the nice lady at Carcraft Customer Services said that I should think myself lucky - most customers don't receive a courtesy car.

 

Funnily enough, I had not thought of it in that way. This glass is definitely half-empty.

 

She told me she would ring me back today or, if she had no further news, then it would be tomorrow.

 

I'm not holding my breath.

 

However, a few points spring to mind here:-

 

1) As the owner of the vehicle, is it not my right to know of any findings made by Nationwide Garage, regardless of who paid for the report?

 

2) If Carcraft have taken the car back without knowing the findings from Nationwide then what was the point of instructing Nationwide to perform the diagnostic? (My feeling is that either Nationwide didn't perform the diagnostic and they just did all this to shut me up yesterday OR the findings were so bad that I have been driving myself and my familiy around in a potential death trap for the last three months).

 

3) If I can never know what was in that report, how can I ever know and be fully satisfied in my mind that the car has been fixed properly? I can hardly take it to an independent garage and say, "can you check the car, something has been fixed, but I don't know what, but I want to know if they have fixed it properly".

 

I must say that there seem to be an awful lot of conflicts of interests here and none are in my favour.

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Sorry to hear about your problems.

 

The resolution that I would suggest, will ultimately end up divulging the information. You need to write to carcraft. Giving them 7 days to repair, refund or replace (this is standard fair, under the sale of goods act). Warranties aren't worth the paper they are written on.

 

If you like the car and want it repaired, then state that this is what you would like in the first instance - you can still reject it afterwards if the repair is 'unsatisfactory' and here lies the answer to the problem. You need to know what the problem is - so does carcraft/nationwide in order to repair the motor! include in your letter, that you need to know, in order to have the repair independently checked afterwards. Send it recorded delivery and see what happens.

If you don't hear anything within 7 days, send them another letter giving them 3 days and if you still don't hear anything - claim your refund through the courts.

 

Something tells me that they will respond. You have one of their assets!

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Yes, that sounds like a very reasonable plan of action.

 

To be fair however, I have just received a call from Carcraft (yes, they called me, I didn't need to chase) and they have told me what the problem is, that the new parts have been ordered today and work should commence on Friday.

 

To murky the waters somewhat, I am actually going on a family holiday to Wales on the 2nd August so I really wanted the car back before then and I have told them this and was told today that it should be ready well before then (I would expect the work to be finished within 3 working days at a maximum really).

 

I am hoping to get the car back with a few days to spare before I go away so that I can get it independently checked before taking it on holiday (I am likely to be doing over 500 miles during the week in Wales and I will be sweating until I get my confidence in the car back).

 

Of course, all of this is talk right now and I will only be fully satisfied when I get the car back (hopefully next Tuesday at the latest) and it is independently checked over and found to be in satisfactory condition.

 

However, I must say that yesterday's complete communication back-out aside, I cannot complain too much about the service so far but I can only give a true assessment when the whole episode is over one way or the other.

 

As I said in my original post, I have had to stamp my feet a bit and have had to be quite assertive with them otherwise, they would not have given me the courtesy car and they would have had my car sitting idle until the 28th July.

 

But so far, the episode doesn't seem quite the horror story others have experienced with Carcraft circa 2006-2007 so maybe they are shaping themselves a bit these days because they know their reputation is in the gutter.

 

I'll keep everyone posted on the outcome of this.

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Received a phone call from Carcraft this afternoon around 4.30pm telling me my car was ready. :eek:

 

It had needed a new starter motor and something to do with the alternator belt & tensioner.

 

I was a little surprised that they didn't volunteer some kind of written note of the work that had been done until I insisted on it and the chap looked a little taken aback when I did insist on it but there you go.

 

I have just driven the car back from there (which involved a short motorway stretch) and nothing has fell off, so, touch wood, all seems to have been sorted.

 

I must admit, I went into this situation on Monday expecting a hellish experience but with the problem reported on Monday and my car back with me on Thursday with a courtesy car in the interim, I can only say that my experience has been A1.

 

I'm sure sometimes things do go wrong and it must be immensely frustrating for those people and I am not defending Carcraft at all but I was going to report on here "warts and all" my own experience and that is what I have done.

 

In fact, the whole experience has taught me a valuable lesson.

 

The courtesy car they gave me was a bog-standard 55 plate Corsa - I will NEVER buy a Corsa! A shopping trolley powered by a hairdryer. :D

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