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Thread: Brownhills are Downhills

  1. #1
    locksmith Guest

    Brownhills are Downhills

    My wife was recently given between 6 months and 2 years to live with a brain tumour. We've been hill walkers most of our later years but are only just in our 50's spending several weeks a year in the Lake District in our caravan.
    After my wife's operation to prolong life, she was left partly paralysed, our walking days over I decided to sell what ever I could to purchase a motorhome so we could tour the Scottish highlands, as this was our dream for when we retire.
    I found the motorhome I wanted at Brownhills Newark at £24,000.00 , I paid a large deposit£10,000.00 and set a date for me to collect it. Two weeks later the day before I was due to pick up the motorhome they called me to say it had failed the MOT (exhaust) I said but you have had weeks to sort this out and I have booked the holiday the following weekend. "Don’t worry" I was told "it will be ready before then," it wasn't and another week past and another collection day was given and postponed. Two weeks after the original collection day I was able to collect. I got to Brownhills driven by my son, I saw a motorhome that looked like mine but it was not clean so I dismissed but yes you've guessed, it was mine! inside was worse, filthy carpets etc. I thought never mind I will clean it up before my wife sees (as she had never seen it) I drove home and set about cleaning it up before my wife arrived home from her mothers. She got home and loved it but noticed there was several things missing and the fridge would not open, she looked at the loo and I could not believe my eyes as the cassette was still full from the previous owner, I sorted that out and she said she liked the motorhome but it was in need of a clean (thank goodness I had already cleaned it somewhat) Next day we started with a major clean with the shower & hand basin in the wet room, I noticed water was leaking through the floor, also saw the main fresh water tank leaked, I was devastated, we had just three days to go till our re-booked holiday, I called Brownhills and I asked why the motorhome had not been checked? But the service manager side tracked and suggested we call there on Saturday on our way to our Scottish holiday, they would do the repairs while we wait and have a complimentary breakfast, I thought (yes) we will get our Holiday after all.
    Over the next three days we added an inverter - sat-nav - extra battery's etc. and loaded up, my wife was determined to clean the filthy carpets, I was concerned at her doing this but she spent a whole day in the garden with a vax shampooing carpets spread across the patio, taking rests but happy to be doing her bit.
    Saturday 6am we drove the 130 miles to Brownhills feeling fairly happy but wondering how long we would have to wait while the repairs were done. We arrived at 10am and went to the desk, nobody seemed to know who I was but I saw the original salesman who took my keys and said we should sit and wait but my wife was outside with our 3 year old chocolate lab Beau who was not allowed inside, we sat outside to eat our non – complimentary breakfast at a picnic table in the cold drizzly morning. (Mandy my wife refused to sit inside and leave us alone) 6hrs later 3.45pm I went to see if I could find out anything and was told the motorhome had been ready for and hour, nobody had bothered to tell us. I took the keys, signed the papers and went and got my cold wife and Beau and followed the service manager and engineer who said they could find nothing wrong except the leaking freshwater tank, in the Motorhome I was shown how to run the fridge on gas and they left, I then noticed all the dirty greasy footmarks over the carpets and the grubby hand marks on the shower and basin, my blood boiled as I saw red and called them back and I swore at them. The service manager apologised, said he would have the motorhome cleaned when we came back from our trip. Do these people not realise how difficult it is to (just pop in) to Brownhills when you are caring for someone and the cost etc. I was fuming, all the effort my wife had put into cleaning those carpets.
    We got on our way up the A1, I suggested we stay at Castlerigg hall in the Lake District as Scotland was too far today. We listened to the radio that for some reason would go off till you hit another pothole in the road but we arrived in one piece and set up for our overnight stay. Mandy suggested that we watch telly so I got it switched on and started messing with the Ariel trying to get a signal, this I did for several hours till I could not be bothered any more. we decided to stay in the Lakes a few days as the weather was good and I would set up our satellite dish the following day and get used to our motorhome. The following day I found the toilet cassette leaking and later we had a knock at the door from the Warden to say water was leaking from under the motorhome, the shower -the one they said did not leak!! I spent some time setting up the satellite dish getting a lovely picture, I thought I would wind out the awning to sit outside in the fresh air but found the awning legs were broken. I messed about with the Ariel ( again) to see why I could not get a picture as everyone else could (yes you’ve guessed it again the Ariel was broken) not to give up and try to keep my Mandy cheerful I said we will use on site showers, the satellite for TV and carry on up to Scotland on Tuesday.
    Monday we had a pleasant day and nothing seemed to go wrong (touch wood) Tuesday morning came and we packed up, said goodbye to our friends who own the site and left on our way to Bunree in Scotland - we arrived at 6pm and was greeted by our other friends who run this site for the Caravan Club, it was late & they said go and set up and do the paperwork in the morning. I set up the motorhome while my wife made her way to the Showers, she came back and made a lovely dinner and I swallowed a can or two of Guinness, after this we took a slow stroll along the beach with our lovely dog Beau and I thought I wish this moment could last forever. Anyway back at the motorhome we talked about getting another cassette for the toilet from Inverness on our way to Kinlochewe as it’s a long way to walk in the middle of the night to the loo and twice a far for me as I have to escort my wife Mandy, anyway we settled for the night and I fell asleep with the telly still on at the end of the bed and in to a dream and in my dream I could hear Andy wake up - Andy wake up, I then realised it was Mandy and I wasn’t dreaming “yes what is it “ I said, she replied , “ there’s water running through the spotlight overhead “ and yes it was all over Mandy’s side and all the bed and bedding was soaked and so was she, I could hear the rain hitting the roof hard and knew there must be a hole in the roof, it was then I realised the only light was from the cooker that I had left on as a nightlight, the rain water had run inside the satellite receiver and blown that also. I got out of the bed and pulled out a make up bed and had to steal the dogs blanket for us to rest under, it was 2.30 am and Mandy slept fairly well because of her medication, I didn’t Sleep any.
    The hours took forever to pass until at 9am I managed to get through to Brownhills and all they could say is “you’ll have to bring it in” we were 500 plus miles from home with nothing to sleep on and 350 miles back to Brownhills, but worst of all it was the end of our dream, but the nightmare continues, I started 350 miles back to Brownhills and at around 3.30pm I called Brownhills again and said we will be there very close to 6 could an engineer hang on a few minutes if we are Just after 6 and the girl on the service desk just said if your not here by 6 you will have to come back tomorrow, I said that I’ve been driving non-stop to get to you cant somebody wait a few minutes longer, there was no answer so we put the phone down and I put my foot down the last 120 mile and got there at 5.30 and walked in and they said, “oh you got here then” I stood and looked at them and felt like crying but I followed the engineer ( a different well mannered gentleman) out and showed him the problems, he climbed on the roof and said that he could get his fingers in where the mastic had cracked and the whole roof needed to be done. I went back to the service desk and asked the receptionist to see the service manager but was told he was in a meeting but she would get him to call me the following day, the next thing was Mandy, Beau and myself are sitting back in the Motorhome stunned by a lack of anything - Brownhills are closing up going home - Id been driving for 9 hours - still got another 2 hour to get home - no answers no apologies. I drove home in silence wishing I never put my poor wife through all this.
    The following morning I waited and waited for a call but nothing so I called them and asked for the service manager and got the reply he’s in a meeting. (again) she then said I will get him to call you this afternoon, the phone call came around 2pm and straight away I apologised for swearing the other day at his engineer but he did not reply so I said hello are you there and the manager said what is it you want. Again I could feel my blood starting to boil but I kept calm and read him out a list of 12 faults, 4 of which are major and he said when would you like these done? And I replied as so as possible as the summer is nearly over, he then replied I will call you later today to let you know when we can collect it (he did not call back) and that was the last I heard apart from my I called back to see if he had got a time for me but guess what? He was in a meeting.
    I don’t know how long my wife has, I hope the doctors have got it wrong but I wanted to give her the dream and when I met the Brownhills salesman who showed genuine feelings I thought this was it, then the after sales people of Brownhills took over and they lie and cowardly hide behind their secretary’s, they have no feelings and no respect.
    Last edited by locksmith; 06-08-2010 at 13:09.

  2. #2
    How depressing.....I dont know what to say to make you feel any better .lets hope the diagnosis is wrong then the problems with the van will feel insignificant, even though they clearly aren't !
    I suggest you e-mail this to brownhills ....all branches , and join all the other motorhome forums and post it up.
    All the best , and i hope you will be able to visit keswick ( castlerigg hall ) again and be able to enjoy it

  3. #3

    Member Number
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Sorry you had such a bad experience, & hope you can get some satisfaction.

    Brownhills do have a bad reputation & unfortunately many motorhome dealers are more focused on selling rather than customer service. I'm sorry that you have had such a bad experience & nothing can give you the holiday you wanted back. In my own experience I have found the dealers I have dealt with in the UK seem more willing to take a chance on not preparing or checking a vehicle as they should & rely on the customer to find out if any jobs need doing. My latest vehicle was brand new, we arranged to stay a couple of days at the dealers checking things out & getting small jobs done which should have been picked up by the PDI (I can't believe they did it). It is unwise to trust that a motorhome especially a second hand one won't have any faults & you should always plan to try it out close to home to get any problems sorted out.
    Not cleaning the van before you collected it is disgraceful, in contrast when we bought a van from Germany, we stayed a couple of days to sort everything out at the dealers. He even had somebody clean the van inside & out again while we were returning the hire car.

  4. #4
    sparxy Guest
    Want a good laugh? This is the intro on their website home page:

    "From the moment you step into one of our Brownhills Motorhomes showrooms you are in safe hands. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff are ready to spend time getting to know your individual requirements and will help you make the right choice from our extensive range of Motorhomes, suited to your personal needs. As Europe's largest Motor Home retailer we have a large selection of New and pre-owned Motorhomes, Motor Caravans and Camper Vans available. We want your experience with us to be unequalled and pride ourselves on ensuring you are properly looked after. Our main priority is to make certain our customers receive the service and attention they deserve, from the initial purchase from our range of Motorhomes right through to aftersales and servicing. We take our customer comments very seriously and feedback is greatly received. Should you ever wish to contact Brownhills Motorhomes with your comments please do not hesitate to do so."

    Basically they are the same as any other large dealer; 90% of the workforce have got no interest in motorhomes and never will have. Its just a job! They have probably never even stayed a night in one and therefore have no idea apart from what they read in their glossy brochures and are told on their sales training courses what its all about. I'm afraid I would never, ever buy from a large dealer because of this.

    I am a self employed mobile caravan & motorhome service engineer and I leave the job when the customer is happy, even if thats 10.00 at night!

    Thats the difference you see, they get paid whatever, I get paid when the customer is satisfied.

    All the best Andy and hope you get it sorted ASAP and don't forget, you do have recourse through Trading Standards

  5. #5
    The Grand Wanderer Guest
    Hi Locksmith, Mandy and Bleau,
    Wow what a tale of woe. Unfortunatly your experience is not unique and Brownhills have a long standing reputation for dishing out just this kind of treatment. It seems that a lot of motorhome dealers are so busy selling, that they have inadequate service service facilities and just cannot cope with the workload impossed on them. Write to the managing director with your concerns, stating clearly and simply what the faults are and asking that he reply within 5 working days, stating how his firm will rectify all the faults and what compensation he is prepared to offer you. May be whorth while getting an independant survey of your motorhome done and maybe having a word with your local Office of Fair Trading. Once they get involved it will cost Brownhills dear.
    Hope you get sorted out soon and that your wife stays well.

  6. #6
    locksmith Guest


    Quote Originally Posted by ALLERDALECHEF View Post
    How depressing.....I dont know what to say to make you feel any better .lets hope the diagnosis is wrong then the problems with the van will feel insignificant, even though they clearly aren't !
    I suggest you e-mail this to brownhills ....all branches , and join all the other motorhome forums and post it up.
    All the best , and i hope you will be able to visit keswick ( castlerigg hall ) again and be able to enjoy it
    I've emailed a few people including Brownhills as you suggested, Thank you for your reply and thoughts.
    Last edited by locksmith; 07-08-2010 at 18:11.

  7. #7
    locksmith Guest

    Thank you

    Taking a break
    Last edited by locksmith; 12-08-2010 at 19:24.

  8. #8
    Basil Guest
    Sorry about your problems Locksmith.....
    In my opinion, the only reason to buy from Brownhills is if the price is right.... and disregard any guarantee....

  9. #9
    locksmith Guest

    Seems to be the case.

    Quote Originally Posted by Basil View Post
    Sorry about your problems Locksmith.....
    In my opinion, the only reason to buy from Brownhills is if the price is right.... and disregard any guarantee....
    It seems to be the case. still waiting for a call back. managers are all in the never ending meeting................................................... .................................
    Last edited by locksmith; 07-08-2010 at 18:57.

  10. #10
    vera Guest


    Hi Locksmith
    So sorry to hear your tale.It seems most Dealers are not interested once they have got your money.
    We had the same problems with aftersales with our dealer.We now use Camper Uk in Lincoln.
    It is worth the 2-3 hour drive to get the good service.
    Maybe you should start legal action against Brownhills.
    Take a look at this link

    Must be the opinion of lots of customers

    Brownfools home

    Best wishes

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