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Profesional Hunter
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443 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
No, no, mine's the worst 4x4 by far
Star News Paper
March 11, 2005

By Staff Reporter

Retired Cape Town businessman Andy Gray was about R25 000 poorer as he jetted out of the city on an overseas trip, but at least he had satisfaction for that cost when he opened his morning newspaper.

This is because Gray had taken out a half-page advertisement in yesterday's Cape Times, in which he outlined in detail shoddy service he had been receiving from Land Rover SA.

Gray was one of the group of partners who put Gray Security together in the early 1980s.

In the advertisement, which was in the form of an "open letter" addressed to the managing director of Land Rover SA, Thomas Viehweg, Gray said he had bought a new Range Rover TD6 in April 2003.

The recommended retail price for that model is currently R769 000.

He said there had been a major defect on the vehicle, which had necessitated "a dozen aggravating workshop visits" over a year.


Then on February 25 the vehicle broke down near Victoria West in the Karoo "with what appeared to be a front transmission problem".

Gray then described in detail how the vehicle had been taken to Oudtshoorn to be repaired, and the phone calls he made - and the alleged lack of response to them - in a vain attempt to get it repaired promptly.

His most recent phone calls on Monday had still not brought any joy.

Land Rover SA yesterday admitted it deserved having a poor after-sales reputation.

"We admit we have had some serious problems with our customer care department and after-sales services," Land Rover SA head of customer services Mike Dawson said.

He blamed the company's poor service on the fact that it has "changed hands too many times in the last few years" but said efficiency had been improving since BMW sold the company to Ford in 2000.
 

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Profesional Hunter
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
And Land Rover's Responce

'Nothing in Gray's letter is untrue' - Land Rover
March 11, 2005

By Karen Breytenbach

Land Rover SA admitted it deserved having a poor after-sales reputation, after the disgruntled owner of a Range Rover accused the company of poor service in an open letter published in the Cape Times yesterday (March 11).

"We admit we have had some serious problems with our customer care department and after-sales services," said Land Rover SA customer services head Mike Dawson said yesterday.

He blamed the company's poor service on the fact that it has "changed hands too many times in the last few years", but said efficiency has been improving since BMW sold the company to Ford in 2000
'We admit we have had some serious problems with our customer care department and after-sales services'
.

Since 1988 Land Rover has been owned by British Aerospace/Honda, BMW and Ford.

The response came when retired founder of Gray Security, Andy Gray, published a damning half-page letter to Land Rover's management after receiving a piffling response from Land Rover's customer care to various serious complaints about his vehicle.

The last straw was the breakdown of Gray's two-year-old "unreliable and very expensive vehicle" outside Victoria West.

The vehicle, which was under full warranty, was first sent to Beaufort West and then to George. After that it was kept at Land Rover Oudtshoorn for more than a week without being repaired.

During this time Gray contacted Land Rover Oudtshoorn and Land Rover SA's customer care repeatedly to find out if and how his car would be fixed, but got no response
'No one keeps you informed. No one follows up. No one EVER phones you back'
.

Eventually he notified customer care that he would go to the extreme measure of publishing a complaint in the media unless his demands were met within a few days.

When he received no response, he proceeded to publish.

In his letter Gray wrote: "Whenever the vehicle has a problem I am amazed anew by the disinclination of Land Rover South Africa to communicate with me in any way. No one seems to take responsibility.

"No one seems to really know what they are doing. No one keeps you informed. No one follows up. No one EVER phones you back."

In response, Dawson acknowledged yesterday that "nothing in Gray's letter is untrue, unfortunately".

"Unfortunately this is what happened," he said. "The future of the Oudtshoorn dealership is under review."

Dawson confirmed receiving Gray's warning to publish "well in advance", but said the company neglected to respond within a reasonable time.

"Mr Gray did warn us and we should have responded," he admitted, "We regret to say we have been wrong.

"This should not have happened to him or to anyone else."

Meanwhile, the vehicle was transported to Gray's original dealer, Land Rover Stellenbosch.

Dawson said he had personally organised the transportation of the vehicle, but this statement was met by disbelief by Gray's personal assistant, who said Gray had made all the arrangements himself.

"It's strange that he should take credit for it," she said.

According to Dawson, Land Rover SA paid for the transport.

Dawson said all the parts needed to repair Gray's Range Rover had been couriered to Stellenbosch. He added that the manager of Land Rover Stellenbosch, Herman Marks, would have Gray's vehicle ready later today (March 12).

"We got a list of problems from Oudtshoorn and then ordered the right parts," he said. "I sent Mr Gray an SMS to notify him."

Dawson added that he would give "Gray or anyone else who requests it, a written response" and said his company hoped to maintain a good relationship with Gray.

Gray was on a flight to India at the time and could not be reached for comment.
 
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