Citroen - "Service is our, er, lowerst priority"

Mars

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Feb 4, 2006
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Eish.

This is gonna be a long one. :(

My Citroen Picasso's BSI burned out on the first of January.
I had all the wiring replaced, ordered the BSI from Citroen/Peugeot Woodmead on the 3rd of Feb.
After being shunted around for a bit I was told the part was unavailable.
I forwarded this to my insurance company and they started proceedings to write the car off.
This was about the 10th of march already. All insurance company needed was letter from the dealer that the part was unavailable. On the 18th of March I bought a second hand car for R38000, I had been without a car since the beginning of the year and I could not continue without one. After phoning the dealer over and over asking for the letter and not getting anything but promises, the insurance company where about to write the car off using the recorded confirmation over the phone that the part was unavailable when they where advised to phone PMSA to get the letter. This was on the 21st of April.

They phone PMSA, and get told not only that the part is available, but that it has NEVER BEEN OUT OF STOCK. I get a call from the insurance company telling me this. So I freak out a bit. Alot actually.

Enter the Dealer Principal. I phone the DP at Woodmead. He promises to begin an investigation and get back to me. I get a call shortly after from the parts department telling me that "Surprise! Your part will arrive tomorrow!"
I'm still freaking out. So I phone PMSA and speak to the supervisor. He tells me that the part (programed to my vehicle specifically) is not only available but was invoiced to the dealership on the 15th of March! :wtf::eek::mad:

At this point I'm going spare. Librarian poo. :mad:
The part was invoiced BEFORE I spent R38000 on another car.

In fact if they had just done their jobs I would have been DRIVING my car on the 18th instead of buying another one. I try and phone the DP again, he has gone home for the day.

The next day (22nd) I try and phone the DP again only to find that he has left and will only be back on the 28th. He's taken a long weekend you see. Nice being a DP, you get 5 day weekends apparently.

Wednesday I was hectic, so I only phone him again yesterday. He sounds surprised that I actually phoned him. He mails me the correspondence from his part manager that covers the basics, but doesn't address the 36 day gap in which the part arrived and when I notified them that it was available by phoning the DP. I say I am looking for some kind of compensation because I am hugely out of pocket due to their negligence.

He replies to me basically saying that my Citroen is now running and I should be happy and just go away. Ah Bugrit. Here are the mails:

DP:
Herewith John’s response, we could carry on forever trading e-mails with who said what and when, but I do not believe this will sort anything out.

From our side and looking at all the correspondence I am certain that we followed all procedures and were not notified by the factory of the arrival of the part, you yourself mentioned that you were told by Tshepo from PMSA that this part was not available.

I believe there have been many communication errors here by all parties concerned. The fact that you went and purchased another vehicle prior to your insurance company making a decision to write off the vehicle cannot be blamed on ourselves under any circumstances.

I am not sure how I can be of any further assistance with this matter as we have fitted the part and your C3 Picasso is now mobile.

Regards
I Reply:

Hi Ian.

We do not need to dispute what was said. Here are the facts.
It took 36 days for your dealership to notify me that the part I needed for my vehicle run had arrived. During those 36 days both I and my insurance company where advised by a representative of your dealership that the part would be unavailable indefinitely. Both myself and the insurance company have these calls recorded and on record. The vehicle would have been written off had this statement been true.
Moreover, we have the admission that the procedure was not followed by John in the email below.

That’s all that matters. The rest is bunk. Unless we can come to an agreement on some sort of compensation, I will be escalating this to PMSA and failing a result there, the motor industry ombudsman.
His response:

The admission you refer to made by John relates to the procedure not followed by the Peugeot SA staff in the parts warehouse, not here at this dealership.

We abide to the code of conduct and rulings made by the Ombudsman.

I will not be making any offer of compensation and suggest you take this issue up with the Ombudsman. The fact remains that you of your own free will purchased another vehicle before any other issues or a decision by your insurance company had been finalized.
So thats it? A polite fsk off. Imo he is hoping the the bureaucracy will protect the clear incompetence of his organisation.

So I say:
Not even a token? Or an apology? Sad.
What has happened to the level of service where the dealer principal does not have the gonads to take responsibility for slack service in his organisation?

It is because of this kind of slack careless attitude that the consumer protection act has to be implemented.
I must have pressed a button because he replied within 10 minuets with this:
To be perfectly honest with you, I do not appreciate the tone of your mail or what you are implying. You obviously have not read or fail to understand all the e-mails below, if you did it becomes clear that we have had to rely on Peugeot SA to try and assist you, no fault of this dealership at all.

Furthermore, you try to hold us responsible and liable for a decision made entirely on your own with regard the purchasing of another vehicle and then demand compensation!!!!!!!

I will no longer be entering into any correspondence with yourself, will wait for whatever route you decide to take and will liase directly with the other parties. I will not lower myself and trade insults with you no matter how tempting this may be.
:D

Anyway, I don't actually care who screwed up. They are the people I was dealing with and for them to try and pass the buck on to PMSA is PISS POOR.
The DP should have contacted his counterpart at PMSA and said "Between us there was a screw up, how can we fix it". I am not expecting them to pay the R38000 rand for my car. I am expecting them to come to the party and offer some kind of compensation. Even if I'm not quite sure what that is.

What do you think is a fair compensation? R200 a day for the unnecessary delay?

Anyway, so the next step is PMSA customer care. Lets see where that takes us....
 

HammerDown

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You may not like this, but everyone knows that PMSA is the worst when it comes to customer service, the net is filled with people crying, it happens over and over, but still you guys go out and buy their cars. :wtf:

Sell your Picasso heap and keep the R38 000 car which I truly hope is not another PMSA product....
 

ALFAHOLIC

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Dude, I'm on the draad here, I understand the dealer, and I understand your issue. You cannot hold the dealer accontable for whack service at Peguot SA! They are just the dealer, so you cannot cut them all under one roof!

Its sad that you had to purchase another car PURELY out of the pure fact that you got the wrong information which led you and your insurance to believe that you'll have to get a new car...what you need is a Erin Brockovich to kind of prove this intangable evidence...

I have a solution for you...go to hellopeter, state your case there...and then go get your peugeot, and sell the car you bought...simple
 

Mars

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You may not like this, but everyone knows that PMSA is the worst when it comes to customer service, the net is filled with people crying, it happens over and over, but still you guys go out and buy their cars. :wtf:

Sell your Picasso heap and keep the R38 000 car which I truly hope is not another PMSA product....
:D Its a Mazda 626, and yes I'm going to keep it. Its a bit beat up, but it goes.

Personally between Mccarthy and PMSA I'm not sure who's worse.
We've had the Picasso for about 5 years, and its served us well until this.
My other car is a Chery :eek: Now THAT was a dumb move...
 

Ancalagon

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yeah do a hellopeter. Companies HATE it because people can actually find out how bad they are. They hate nothing more than bad PR.

From reading the account, I would say the dealership screwed up. You ordered the part, it took them over a month to get the part invoiced. Why did they not update you on the progress of the deal? You were told that the part wasnt available, and you acted upon that. You waited over a month for them to send that letter - not unreasonable I would think. I mean, for a freaking letter.

So you acted on their bad information. How does it take over a month to confirm whether or not a part was available? If it took 2 weeks, you wouldnt be in this mess.

So yes, definitely write an account on hellopeter, and if possible write to the ombudsman due to the extremely poor response times.
 

the graduate

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Sep 18, 2007
Messages
655
Don't buy a French car. Period.
hmm, I'm not too sure....the cars are bulletproof.....as is clear from this post, its the dealers that make the experience of owning one, horrible....

My mom has a Clio and its an awesome car....she has it for 6 years now and not one problem....having something done by the dealers was also a pleasant experience....(in her case)....parts that were not available was couriered within a couple of days...

In my opinion, the dealers and the support they offer, are messing up the reputation of french cars....
 

Mars

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After trying to get hold of PMSA customer care, Gina Nhlabathi and Janine Delport specifically without result, I went and posted on Hello Peter.

-=<Sigh>=-

Lets see what happens now.
 

Slootvreter

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Nothing will happen. There are enough dumb people out there to buy French cars.
 

Ancalagon

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After reading some of those calls, I am never, ever, ever buying a Peugeot.
 

Gnome

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Sep 19, 2005
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LOL, this isn't the first time people have complained about Peugeot on this forum.

Worst cars ever IMHO. Brother had a Citroen and I was simply amazed at how the French build cars. While driving to Cape Town the car died and refused to start. The car was then towed to the dealership close to wherever they where. So the car was towed on a roll back and the tow truck guy fastened the cables of the car on the rear springs.

Anyway when they get back to the dealer 1 day later turns out the battery negative cable "broke off" (warning bells already went on in my head, the car is 3 years old, what POS car gets a broken negative battery cable after 3 years). But that's not all. After the tow truck guy was done there were apparently some brushes on top of the springs. They aren't fastened, they are just put in between the springs and the body of the car. So the tow truck guys cable pulled them out of place and they were lost. Could only be had by order from overseas which took about a month.

The point of this story is this: How the hell do you manufacture a car with anything that isn't fastened down? I've worked on Opel's/VW/Toyota's. Doesn't matter if it's the smallest most insignificant part on earth, it's held in place either by being fastened or by some kind of interference fit that makes it impossible for the part to come out unless a screwed in place part is loosened.

That was the day I vowed to never buy French, well that and the previous Peugeot threads. Build quality on those cars are terrible. I have a few other horror stories from other people I know whom own some other French cars also but you get the idea.

Funny thing is I've never known ANYONE who'd owned a French car and NOT had a horror story.
 

Hogrod

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I'm sympathetic to your problem especially since it's been dragging on for so long. Despite all the difficulties and the inconvenience it caused, I would never have bought a new car or done anything until the insurance company had confirmed in writing that the vehicle had been written off, despite what anyone said or didn't say.

I think you're right to complain about the terrible handling by the dealer, but you can't blame the purchase of the vehicle on them, that was your choice based on something that was not offically confirmed by your insurer. However, you may get some compensation if you present the recorded conversations to the ombudsman where they've messed you around.
 

Mars

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Ok, I thought to be fair I had to update this thread.

I finally got my picasso back last week from the repairers.

The idjits that did the actual repairs (not the dealership) managed to damage the dash, the steering airbag, the top rear break light (don't ask me how :confused:), and the gear knob.
So I just added all this to the list of things to fight about with citroen, since imo if they had just taken the vehicle in when I sent it, it would not have been damaged.

Anyway, after dealing with 3 different people at PMSA customer care, having the enitre claim rejected 3 times because they did not understand it I finally got to speak to someone who understood what was going on.
They then took it to the MD of citroen customer care who then had a meeting with the DP at citroen and the guys at PMSA.

The end result was that they would compensate me for the delay, but not for the damage. Well, fair enough. The total amount came to about R13k compensation.
I then haggled a little more and got them to supply me the replacement parts for the damaged ones instead of the cash (the parts came to about R19k).

So overall it was an extremely annoying experience but I am satisfied that Citroen (after a little fighting) took responsibility for their mistake. Or rather, Citroen H/O forced the dealership to take responsibility.

So I'm happy. The Citroen is now in slightly better nick than when the accident happened, and I can sell her without taking a knock. Not that I'm going to right now. I have to get rid of the lemon chery, after they have sorted out their warranty issues.
 

Fazda

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Oh Dear - Not The madman Chery owner with yet another poor purchase story! :rolleyes:

I will happily give you motoring advice for any future purchases...promise you my fees will cost you less than the hassle you have trying to sort out the Frenchie and the Chinaman...:D
 

Mars

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Oh Dear - Not The madman Chery owner with yet another poor purchase story! :rolleyes:

I will happily give you motoring advice for any future purchases...promise you my fees will cost you less than the hassle you have trying to sort out the Frenchie and the Chinaman...:D
Lol. Not another story. Same one. Just going on and on and on...... I have had a bad car year. :(
 

the graduate

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Sep 18, 2007
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Ok, I thought to be fair I had to update this thread.

I finally got my picasso back last week from the repairers.

The idjits that did the actual repairs (not the dealership) managed to damage the dash, the steering airbag, the top rear break light (don't ask me how :confused:), and the gear knob.
So I just added all this to the list of things to fight about with citroen, since imo if they had just taken the vehicle in when I sent it, it would not have been damaged.

Anyway, after dealing with 3 different people at PMSA customer care, having the enitre claim rejected 3 times because they did not understand it I finally got to speak to someone who understood what was going on.
They then took it to the MD of citroen customer care who then had a meeting with the DP at citroen and the guys at PMSA.

The end result was that they would compensate me for the delay, but not for the damage. Well, fair enough. The total amount came to about R13k compensation.
I then haggled a little more and got them to supply me the replacement parts for the damaged ones instead of the cash (the parts came to about R19k).

So overall it was an extremely annoying experience but I am satisfied that Citroen (after a little fighting) took responsibility for their mistake. Or rather, Citroen H/O forced the dealership to take responsibility.

So I'm happy. The Citroen is now in slightly better nick than when the accident happened, and I can sell her without taking a knock. Not that I'm going to right now. I have to get rid of the lemon chery, after they have sorted out their warranty issues.
This part of the update is very, very important....

I love this brand and their products are simply amazing....but I don't want to deal with "Leon Groenewald".....or whoever sells that car....

you is the aftersales service soo poor with these brands....if Hyundai/Kia were able to make themselves established players in the SA car market, why are the French so poor....

I still say, its at dealer level where the problem is....DEALER level..
 

Fazda

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Perhaps it is at Dealer Level, but if you have a car that is falling apart at the seams, then the manufacturer must also be held accountable.

The Chery is afflicted by diabolical Chinese quality (?) control from day one, and I will never forget sitting in a new Citroen on the showroom floor in Paris and being horrified at the finish, when compared to locally assembled ones back then. Now of course we get the French assembled ones, and no matter how nice a car potentially is,if the manufacturer couldn't give a rat's ass about quality, the car will bomb out.
 

Hogrod

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This part of the update is very, very important....

I love this brand and their products are simply amazing....but I don't want to deal with "Leon Groenewald".....or whoever sells that car....

you is the aftersales service soo poor with these brands....if Hyundai/Kia were able to make themselves established players in the SA car market, why are the French so poor....

I still say, its at dealer level where the problem is....DEALER level..
Dealer level problem, yes and mechanical level problem as well. Citroen cars are unreliable. Countless times I've posted about my experience with Citroen, and how after 30,000 km I got rid of a brand new C4 after mechanical failure after failure, brakes, electrics, gear box, exhaust system, clutch, all replaced more than once. Citroen are a joke. They spend too much time trying to make the body of the car look good then realise there's no budget left for adding long lasting parts to it. Take a look at overseas JD power surveys, the French manufacturers feature at the bottom. I remember seeing a load of C4s on the road 3-4 years back, not so common these days around here...can't think why!

In addition, I drove past a brand new Renault Megane coupe today, by the look of it, is already on its last legs. Exhaust smoke was pouring out from under the car, and not from the usual exhaust tail pipes. I feel sorry for the poor sod driving that piece of stinky cheese.
 
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