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>An open letter to Land Rover

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Dear Land Rover Customer Service,

I bought a new Range Rover Sport from you in September 2009.

Initially it was a delight to drive.  However, within a matter of days I had a double blow out which eventually was found to be caused by a fault with the suspension installation.  We were lucky that it happened at low speed given I was 8 months pregnant and driving the car with my 18 month old daughter in it.  I was underwhelmed by the customer service we received from our dealership – at no point were they concerned about the welfare of my daughter or myself but instead called my husband to tell him I’d ruined the tyres scraping them against a kerb or by hitting a big stone or by driving over something bumpy.

After many conversations with your dealership ranging from accusatory through rude to eventually admitting the possibility of a fault after we requested an independent check of the tyres and car, you agreed to pay for replacement tyres.

When we took receipt of the car we had noted that it appeared that the traction control wasn’t correctly installed.  A few weeks later the dealership agreed that yes, we had the right software but the wrong knob had been installed and the car went back for this to be replaced.

A few weeks later the car came up with an error message insisting that it was immediately parked and the engine turned off.  The Land Rover Assist man looked at it and said it was just one of those things, the sort of glitch you get with a new Range Rover.  We booked in back into the dealership to have the car checked out, which also meant they had a chance to replace the cover on the central console which wouldn’t stay shut.

Since then we’ve discovered more minor issues including the driver’s seat mysteriously moving itself to a different setting – no, not the one set on the other key, a totally different one; interesting fault messages pinging up and then disappearing; the alarm sometimes going off for no reason and the rear windows not always shutting but we’ve just been chalking them up for its next trip to the garage.

Until yesterday.

When I put my 4 month old baby into the car, shut her door and went to open mine only to find that somehow the car had locked itself.  Yes, a car I was told that couldn’t be locked with the keys inside was locked not only with the keys but my screaming baby inside.  Fortunately, given that Land Rover Assist had still not arrived nearly 45 minutes after we called them, we were able to get a spare key to me and the baby rescued after a harrowing 45 minutes.

I called the dealership to ask them to check out the car and was told that this is a known problem and that as part of a ‘quality assurance programme’ they would like the car to come in to resolve this and other problems.

So you knew there was a chance my child could get locked in the car and you didn’t warn me.  And when I spoke to your dealer at no point did he ask after the baby’s welfare or how I was, instead he was keen to say that you were going to resolve this ‘known fault’ and that I shouldn’t leave the keys in the car again in case it happened once more.

I am probably being naive, but I expected an apology from you, I expected concern about how my child and I were from you, I expected you to want to get the car in quickly to resolve this and a commitment to warn other parents that this might happen.  But no, nothing.  I expect you really don’t care what your customers think, that having taken my money the ongoing relationship is a matter of no concern to you.

Which is why I am posting this letter on my blog – to ensure other families know about this fault.

I believe you have recently started your dealers recalling these cars on a non urgent basis to deal with some ‘software issues’ and ‘these are quality issues only and there are no concerns with vehicle safety with regards to this enhancement programme’ which, whilst I am sure will resolve some of these problems, doesn’t exactly tally with my experiences to date.

Yours faithfully,

Muddling Along Mummy

_____________________________

If you want to contact Land Rover, I am sending this letter to 

Customer Relationship Centre
Abbey Road
Whitley
Coventry
CV3 4LH
Telephone: 08705 000 500

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13 comments to >An open letter to Land Rover

  • Jen

    >I am shocked at this tbh. Cars are supposed to be able to drive over 'a big stone or by driving over something bumpy', its not an ornament to sit prettily in your driveway!! I have also locked my child in the car and know the fright well. I hope you are both ok and that you get a decent and genuine apology for all the stress. I regularly hear negative things about Rover so have never bought one, but this takes the biscuit. Take care. Jen.

  • Heather

    >That is disgusting! As Jen said above, your car is meant to be driven over bump stuff – it's a Land Drover for crying out loud and having a fault that can lock babies or small children in the car is a big thing!

    I'm disgusted for you. I hope they sort it out.

  • Emily O

    >That must have been horrible seeing your daughter trapped and crying in the car. I would have been so distressed. I hope their customer service sorts itself out and apologises to you properly.

  • Clare

    >Oh my goodness, you must have been absolutely distraught. And what horrendous customer service!

    x

  • planb

    >Good for you! This is people power at its best. Horrendous for you, but hopefully everyone who reads this will mention it to someone else and Land Rover will learn that they really can't treat people like that. I hope you've recovered from that horrendous 45 minutes. Rest assured, she will remember nothing about it.

  • scribblingmum

    >That's awful, I had goosebumps reading that, that must have felt awful.

    I would email the CEO. In my experience (of working for a large multinational financial institution) that's the only thing that gets a response. It used to be called a 'Sir Fred Said' email….you know who I mean.

  • Muddling Along Mummy

    >Thanks all – Scribbling Mum I'm off to find the email address this instant ! (failing that I've printed this off and put in a few personal details and I'll send it to them) – not holding my breath for a response though

  • Crystal Jigsaw

    >Worrying. And what's even worse it that they never bothered asking after you and the baby. That part is disgraceful customer service. To think that you bought a Range Rover, of which are extremely expensive cars, and there were faults with it of which needn't have been there, beggars belief and doesn't leave much confidence in Land Rover.

    I have a Land Rover Defender 110. It costs a fortune to get serviced but it's a farm vehicle too so we need it.

    And what really got me seething about this incident was when you mentioned they spoke to your husband. That would have driven me over the edge…

    I'm glad you and the baby are okay. Those 45 minutes must have been very long minutes to live through.

    CJ xx

  • Amy

    >omg how scary to have baby trapped in the car!! poor you bloody cars grrrrr xx

  • solveig

    >Gosh, that's awful – how frightening to not be able to get to your baby. Hope you are all recovered now.

    S x

  • Tattie Weasle

    >You should get a resposne an apology the works – Land Rover cannot afford for things like this to happen. I adore Land Rovers but as usual with a good thing it's the people who pugger it up. Teh car shoul dbe taken in for a complete overhaul you shoul have a replacement car free while this is goingon too.
    I am hopping mad for you especially when your baby was stuck in the car!
    Suggest you send your letter into oneof the car magaznes or even to one of the myriad of motoring journalists too….

  • Mwa

    >What a nightmare! 45 minutes, and in this temperature as well! Glad it resolved itself in the end, but you are SO right to kick up a stink about this.

  • Nic

    >That is dusgusting! How traumatic, am completely shocked at their 'customer service'.

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