“Car companies spend fortunes attracting customers - only to handle them atrociously”

As Driver Power reveals, big brands need to stop the arrogance and deliver better quality service, says Mike Rutherford

Opinion bad dealers VW

Too many companies retailing cars, servicing and insurance continue to leave customers deeply dissatisfied. Whether it’s arrogant contempt, greedy pricing policies or unprofessionalism, they seem determined to drive clients away. 

It’s madness. They spend fortunes attracting customers – only to ignore them or handle them atrociously when they arrive at the showroom or phone up. Result? Dissatisfied consumers walk – into the arms of one of the many firms that understands and delivers customer satisfaction. 

Advertisement - Article continues below

Best and worst car dealers 2015

I know this because I am that consumer. I’m also a fan of Volkswagens. That’s why I’ve bought and owned several, and still own a couple. But the ‘customer experience’ (or lack thereof) I recently endured when purchasing a brand new VW plus under-warranty servicing and repair work from a franchised dealership was so woeful that I’m not sure I’ll hand another penny to another official VW retailer ever again. 

For sure, if I was in the market for a city car, I’d ignore my first choice (VW’s up! – the 2012 World Car of the Year) and opt for a Citigo or 108 instead. Why? Because of VW’s dealer network compared to Skoda’s or Peugeot’s. 

Best new car deals

It’s bonkers that this loyal customer may stop buying VWs – not because he has a problem with the cars, but because he and plenty of other VW loyalists have problems with the failing network that sells, services and repairs them. Badly. 

Advertisement - Article continues below

It’s a similar deal when purchasing insurance. I’ve bought policies from the AA before, but its prices are absurdly high. Even worse is More Than, the insurer that recently tried to up the price of my policy by 50 per cent at renewal time. It’s disgraceful behaviour like this that puts punters off. 

Best breakdown cover

The evidence from me and the 61,000-plus readers who took part in our most recent Driver Power survey is clear – failing big brands need to stop the arrogance and contempt, start smiling, and begin delivering better quality and pricing. 

If not, I and countless others will be forced to defect to superior rival firms who have more respect for us, our requirements, our credit cards and our cheque books. And, believe me, we will.

Now tell us what you think of your car, dealer, insurance and breakdown cover in the 2016 Driver Power survey!




‘It’s Car Care Week, so head outside and show your motor a little love’

If you can’t drive your car, editor-in-chief Steve Fowler thinks you should wash it instead. When you're done, send us a pic and we’ll print the best
1 Apr 2020

'The temporary shutdown of car factories could benefit manufacturers and customers'

With car factories around the world closing temporarily, it may give manufacturers the chance to clear out the current backlog of unsold new cars, say…
28 Mar 2020

‘JLR’s very British approach: keep calm and carry on’

Editor-in-chief Steve Fowler praises Jaguar Land Rover on both its ability to handle a crisis
26 Mar 2020

'Car exhibitions are going through the most dramatic period of change in a generation'

With the changing car market, the government's petrol & diesel ban plus the unprecedented Coronavirus, the car exhibition industry is going through a …
22 Mar 2020

Most Popular

Hyundai Kona electric front
Hyundai Kona Electric

Hyundai Kona Electric to get increased range from July

UK-delivered Hyundai Kona Electrics will be outfitted with a handful of mechanical revisions, boosting the SUV’s maximum range to 300 miles
18 Mar 2020
Hyundai i20

New 2021 Hyundai i20 N to rival Ford Fiesta ST with 200bhp

New Hyundai i20 N to join i30 N in brand’s hot hatch line-up and our exclusive images preview how it could look
2 Apr 2020

New SEAT Leon 2020 review

The all-new SEAT Leon hatchback impresses with its blend of sporty handling and cutting-edge technology
3 Apr 2020