Many Un-happy returns....

Submitted: Thursday, Aug 02, 2012 at 19:00
ThreadID: 97214 Views:3398 Replies:9 FollowUps:24
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Can't believe it. Was well happy with the van and the way it has performed. Had a couple of minor things to get done but nothing major. We took it down to Mandurah for its first service expecting no problems
We've now been told the girl is being sent back to Melbourne as it has major water leaks that they can't find and the wooden panels have been damaged.
Impressed that they have been honest and told us, but a bit put out that we've lost the van and going to miss out on a couple of planned trips. We were also told that they had to fit new wheel studs as every wheel had been cross threaded. Makes me wonder if our van was so wonderful after all. I have been left with an uneasy feeling for the future. I've also asked for photographs of the damage for our records but have recieved no reply. How does one check if this kind of repair has been done properly????
Suddenly the shine from our van is beginning to disappear. Or is this all part of it?????
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Reply By: Gone Bush (WA) - Thursday, Aug 02, 2012 at 19:12

Thursday, Aug 02, 2012 at 19:12
Demand your money back Phill.

Too many problems with long term repercussions to accept that van back, no matter how much they say they have repaired.

Go to Consumer Affairs or whatever thay call themselves these days and do your homework and stand your ground.

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Follow Up By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Thursday, Aug 02, 2012 at 19:34

Thursday, Aug 02, 2012 at 19:34
Hi GB.

Good to hear from you again. I've just sent an email to the agents in Mandurah. I have told them that we require the manufacturers in Melbourne to provided a detailed report of repairs and to also supply us with photographs. I also said that if we have any doubts we'll have the van independantly inspected.

I am not sure that we are in a position to get a refund. My other half did actually say yesterday that she didn't want that van back and that they should give us a new one. I reckon that's just wishful thinking!!!

Cheers Mate.
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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Thursday, Aug 02, 2012 at 20:12

Thursday, Aug 02, 2012 at 20:12
Phill, have a look through these links:

Other Consumer Information

Consumer Support

Consumer Guides

They are all West Australian consumer laws and should give you some guidance. It's a massive pita to do this but water contamination in a van is like rust in a motor vehicle. It will re-surface at some stage in the future when you are well out of any warranty coverage or support from Consumer Protection.

Don't send an email. Send a letter on a lawyer's letterhead.



















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Follow Up By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Thursday, Aug 02, 2012 at 20:49

Thursday, Aug 02, 2012 at 20:49
Hi GB
Have looked at your links. Thanks very much for help. Not sure what I am looking at though as I can't find anything regarding caravans.
As you said though the sites regard WA laws. Would I be covered if there was something appertaining to vans, for something purchased at the caravan show and made by a company in Victoria?
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Reply By: Trev&Ness B - Thursday, Aug 02, 2012 at 19:54

Thursday, Aug 02, 2012 at 19:54
phill
are you able to tell me what brand of c,van is it or is that not allowed on this forum.
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Follow Up By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Thursday, Aug 02, 2012 at 20:47

Thursday, Aug 02, 2012 at 20:47
Hi Trev & Ness,
I am not naming them in this article. Research could help you find an answer to your question..... I don't think the answer is far away.
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Follow Up By: Trev&Ness B - Thursday, Aug 02, 2012 at 20:58

Thursday, Aug 02, 2012 at 20:58
Phill.

you should look into the new lemon law that has come in. I Dont know how to do links etc but you could probably google it.
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Follow Up By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Thursday, Aug 02, 2012 at 21:36

Thursday, Aug 02, 2012 at 21:36
Hi Trev & Ness

Looked up the lemon laws. I found it although it seemed to be more about motor vehicles. Even though it obviously is set up for the right reasons, it seems that people in Aus trying to pursue claims still have had little satisfaction.
If authorities are going to keep finding in favour of the manufacturers or dealers, what chance has the small man got??? Money talks I guess?
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Reply By: Member - bungarra (WA) - Thursday, Aug 02, 2012 at 21:03

Thursday, Aug 02, 2012 at 21:03
Phill

Can only imagine how you are feeling....Gone Bush is spot on....get a full refund DO NOT ACCEPT THE VAN BACK

try doing it nicely....if not then do it the other way.....BUT get your full refund....and dont be a soft touch..the agents/manufactures will try and roll you with all sorts of platitudes..and try and make you feel a prize pr*ck by demanding your money back

This is a serious perhaps once in a lifetime purchase...go get another one ...and dont back down !

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Follow Up By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Thursday, Aug 02, 2012 at 21:33

Thursday, Aug 02, 2012 at 21:33
Thanks for the input bungarra.
I must admit we do feel really uncertain about the van now. We were so happy with it when we picked it up. It surpassed our expectations, and then once we'd used it a few times we were still just as pleased. However with every hour that passes the niggle of problems down the line beats forever louder and has us worried. I just don't see as if we would have any claim to have a new van. They will just laugh at us surely?
After reading the few replies I've had here, I think what really needs to be done, is for us to have an `independant' view it down in Mandurah before it gets sent away. Maybe that would then lend some weight to whatever requests we may make as per that proffessional opinion or finding.
My personal concern is that it may well go back to Melbourne, but how would I know if they do the repairs, or do the adequately? Once they can hide it for a while and the warranty expires we are in no mans land.
How bad do you think the ingression would have to be to justify replacement?
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Follow Up By: Member - bungarra (WA) - Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 10:39

Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 10:39
Hi Phil

seems like Gone Bush and I are singing from the same sheet of music........he is a straight shooter and is giving you what I believed to be damn good advice....and I agree with him 110%...........

The list of faults smacks of sloppy / careless / incompetent workmanship and it is only natural that your confidence in the 'van has been severly eroded

it seems you have a case ..it is a vehicle (caravan or motor car..)i

To put it bluntly Phil...you sound like a nice guy....prepared to give people the benefit of the doubt...sooner negotiate than get into an argument...and a little uncomfortable when getting involved and arguing your case when the subject matter (ie the pros and cons of the faults/repairs/lifetime) may be outside your area of expertees / experience

guess what........ that is exactly what the manufactures are relying on ...you the nice guy being convinced all be fixed and will be ok........

yes the dealer might be upfront and doing the right thing.....but what are they telling the manufacturer?.......are they really passing on how upset / disgruntled you are?.......are they taking you seriously that you want the refund...or have they assessed you as being able to be talked around?

the power of the media / internet is very powerful..and as long as the facts are adhered to then you are quite within your rights to demand a solution that meets your satisfaction

Refund mate ....immediate and unconditional
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Reply By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Thursday, Aug 02, 2012 at 21:52

Thursday, Aug 02, 2012 at 21:52
I've been doing some digging thanks to you guys. This is why I love this site. I feel so supported.

I have been to the WA Gov site and print the following section from it.

Major problems with goods

If there is a major failure with the goods, you can:
reject the goods and get a refund;
reject the goods and get an identical replacement, or one of similar value if reasonably available; or
keep the goods and get compensation for the drop in value caused by the problem.

You get to choose, not the supplier or manufacturer.

A major problem with goods is when:
a reasonable person would not have bought the goods if they had known about the problem. For example, no reasonable person would buy a washing machine if they knew the motor was going to burn out after three months;

the goods are significantly different from the description, sample or demonstration model shown to you. For example, a person orders a red bicycle from a catalogue, but the bicycle delivered is green;

the goods are substantially unfit for their normal purpose and cannot easily be made fit, within a reasonable time. For example, a ski jacket is not waterproof because it is made from the wrong material;

the goods are substantially unfit for a purpose that you told the supplier about, and cannot easily be made fit within a reasonable time. For example, a car is not powerful enough to tow a consumer’s boat because its engine is too small – despite the consumer telling the supplier they needed the car to tow a boat; or
the goods are unsafe. For example, an electric blanket has faulty wiring.


http://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/ConsumerProtection/Content/Consumers/Buying_goods_and_services/Consumer_guarantees_/Problem_with_goods.html#major

Any comments????
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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 01:40

Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 01:40
Phill,

Consumer law is definitely on your side, not the Merchant's, believe me. You are feeling reluctant because you are now going from the pleasure and anticipation of buying and enjoying your new van, to bitterness over what is happening.

Even the wheel nuts/studs is suss. It sounds like a total mismatch of threads (metric/imperial maybe) not just a ham fisted operator. All of them? Can't be operator error.

Maybe the best thing is to retrieve the van while you think about the situation. Go and see a Consumer Law specialist asap.

At least the dealer sounds like he is being upfront and honest, it's the manufacturer that is at arm's length. But, you gave your money to the Dealer; he is the one you have to confront and demand a refund.

Is it Hudson's, Retreat out at Barragup, or the new one up from Lane Ford?

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Follow Up By: Member - Ups and Downs - Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 08:08

Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 08:08
I don't think Phil will Retreat from his position of not naming the van.
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Follow Up By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 08:09

Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 08:09
Hi GB
Thanks for the continued input. The difficulty of this whole situation is my own personal lack of knowledge. By that I mean on vans and the law in this situation. I really hate getting into arguments or debates with people, when I don't know exactly what I am talking about. Its sooooo hard. I feel like I am facing a faster bowler on one leg!!!!
I understand about the damage water can do to wood. I also try to look at it impartially and would say that if they say they are going to change the panels then a neutral would say that is good enough.
However my other half and I have discussed it. The more we talk, the less we want it back. When we add up our `little list', it doesn't become a good read!!! LOL
1/ Wheel studs replaced 2/ Mass water leakage 3/Toilet Valve tempremental and doesn't always close 4/Water heater leaks 5/ Formica Strips needed re-gluing by the stove.
Hmmmmmmm..... I look at it now and get 2+2 = 5 !!!!
I am seriously considering dropping my job today and getting off down to Mandurah (which is no short drive) and taking some pics etc. It would also enable me to pick up our stuff. Thats if our clothes are actually there as they said they were sending them to the cleaners as they'd all got wet.
What I really don't understand is how its gone from a couple of leaks that we saw, to water running down the inside of the cupboards.
All I want is an easy life!!! LOL

PS. I don't know Hudsons and not sure where Ford's is. Don't really go to Mandurah.
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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 08:45

Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 08:45
Thanks, Ups & Downs for your clue, subtle.

Phill, unfortunately this will not get any better if you don't draw the line.

Get educated on Consumer Law. Become a hard bast**d.

Let the dealer know that a full refund is the only acceptable outcome. If it doesn't happen you will also sue for stress, anguish, for you and your wife.

Good luck. Keep us informed. EO has a really good mix of Members with all sorts of experience.

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Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 12:17

Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 12:17
hi ups and downs
just an observation
the op is comforted by our support but is not willing to gard any of us against falling into the same predicament by telling us what the make of van is so thats a lesson in life i guess
but we did give our support on a voluntary basis and this site is pretty much based
on that when one thinks about it,
so no hard feelings
cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - bungarra (WA) - Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 13:55

Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 13:55
mazcan

to be fair to the op he is simpling being sensible about naming the 'van at the moment simply because (I believe) that at this stage maybe all is not lost....

obviously if he reaches an impasse then his choice is to go public...but between now and then he is in a stronger position in bargaining with them simply because he can demonstrate to them that he has maintained a professional attitude (albiet maybe a little soft) with them

public naming of the 'van remains a last but very viable option........how does he/we know that they are not perusing these sites?.........

PS suggest you look closer at the member..the answer is easy to find
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Follow Up By: Member - IdahOz - Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 14:03

Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 14:03
While I no doubt would have angrily named the dealer or the van or both, Phill is being more sensible. A person must be very careful when 'naming and shaming' on a public forum or there can be serious repercussions if you are not in an extremely solid position.
I hope this gets resolved in your favour soon, Phill. I support going for a full refund!!
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Follow Up By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 17:09

Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 17:09
Mazcan, I can't believe you are having a go at me for not naming the van. I think that's a bit harsh. In this day and age, we have to be very careful of what we say or write, Freedom of speech doesn't exsist.
Currently after my meeting this morning I am happy with the agent, and the manufacturers attitude. I like to think that although I am trying to look out for our interests in the long run, I am also a fair person. I think that they should have a right to reply etc. by their actions.
The agent and the technician working on our van have been very candid and up front. This is something that I do appreciate. The manufacturer has then agreed to the van going back to the factory at a fair old cost I'd guess. So at this point in time, I couldn't ask any more from any of the parties.
The makers have a good reputation as far as I am aware. Anybody that makes anything, will probably have a blip somewhere in production. We have just got unlucky. I don't want to totally go out there and hammer them unless we deem that they aren't doing the right thing. Does that make sense? For my own business I would appreciate the chance to address any problems there maybe before i got hammered for it.
The guys in Melbourne rang me direct whilst I was getting stuff out of the van so their response was prompt. They have agreed that they are more than happy to fully document and photograph repairs and explorations. It makes it hard for us to make demands at this point.
The only other thing to add here is that along with all you guys recommending to bin the van, we have a personal friend that works in the trade and he has also recommended to push for a replacement.
One last thing I'd like to commend the agent on, is that I asked about worse case scenario's, baring in mind we have trips booked. I asked them to enquire as delivery times if we had to have a new van etc. The manager said that they will do their utmost to look after their customers, its their way. If, we were without a van on our trip dates, they would provide us with a van to use. They shook my hand on it. I know words are cheap, but I honestly couldn't ask for more than that. Would you agree?
Name and shame doesn't seem appropriate at this time, as I don't feel there is a `shame' to address currently. Obviously this could change, but we'd like to give everyone, including ourselves, the chance to do the right thing. Good reputations take time to build and are destroyed very easily. As I say, I run my own business. I accept accidents/problems happen. Treat others as I would like to be treated myself. I therefore won't be guilty of slinging mud unecessarily. I hope you understand.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 17:18

Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 17:18
Sounds like a reasonably good response so far Phill.

Keep on top of them. The first hint of something fishy, go hard.

Otherwise, you seem to be handling the situation quite well.

cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 18:21

Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 18:21
Cheers GB.
You've been a rock.
I just hope that everyone can see (that is, people on the forum, the agent, the makers) that all we are trying to do is get a fair and rightful outcome. We aren't to pull one over on anybody.
I know someone out there is going to hit me one about the definition of a fair and rightful outcome. So I am bracing myself. LOL ( Don't you just hate it when you've got to second guess your own words incase someone pulls you up on it??? ) LOL Arghhh................... a minefield!!!!

Thanks again. Have a great weekend.
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Follow Up By: fisho64 - Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 22:14

Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 22:14
Phil your doing it the right way, for now at least. Once you "name and shame" your on the other side of a line and cant get back so only do that when theres no other option.
Some members here tend to run off a little and have ended up with "foot in mouth" disease themselves yet will still advise you to attack before you need/want to.
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Follow Up By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 22:40

Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 22:40
Thanks fish. I like to think that I know how to conduct myself. Only a few times in life would I have considered myself to have gone OTT !!! LOL
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Reply By: Member - Wamuranman - Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 09:04

Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 09:04
Phill,

New Australia wide consumer laws came into effect on January 1, 2011. Here is the link:

http://www.accc.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/1023610


Cheers
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Reply By: member - mazcan - Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 11:52

Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 11:52
hi phill
that is reallly a bummer to find all that out now
dont know if you read thread 97167
they have problems too and just might be the same brand theirs is a tourer
dont see why you cant tell us the name of yours as people on here dont try and hide or hold back faults with 200 series toyota's or camper trailers fridges etc
i doubt that if the van gets sent back to melbourne that you will ever be given photographic documentation of evidence that would be giving hard core evidence of their very poor workmanship at time of construction????
you need to personelly acquire that before it leaves mandurah thats if the agent there will allow you to
imho a good well repcted repair yard in wa would be a better option where you can keep an eye on it
in respect to having the job it done properly rather than sending back to the people who did a shoddy assembly job in the first place as the same staff would just do another botched up job?
but the problem in your case is its not an insurance claim repair but a warrantty claim
i think i would involve a lawyer right up front so they know you are really serious and wont be pushed aside with a quickfix
you shelled out many thousands no doubt so stand up for your rights hope you make some beneficial and positive headway with this
cheers
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Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 12:00

Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 12:00
hi phill
ken peachey caravan repairs is a well repected repairer in w.a
if comes down to that scenario
but hopfullyyou are able to have a win through comsumer affairs in your case
cheers
barry
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Reply By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 12:19

Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 12:19
On my way to Mandurah now. Will keep you all posted. Feel I also need to see damage for myself.
AnswerID: 492159

Follow Up By: OutBack Wanderers - Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 20:37

Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 20:37
How do you know if repairs have been made? With the nuts and studs, make a nick with hacksaw on each stud an nut, I found out that when servicing my M/Cycle they charged me for 4 new spark plugs but I pointed out, those with a nick were the old one's

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Reply By: JimDi - Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 16:14

Friday, Aug 03, 2012 at 16:14
Hi Arsenall Phill,
I doubt if I can help with your problem, but I can advise from personal experience.
My manufacturing problem a few years back was in reverse to yours. That is, the manufacturer was West Australian, I was in Qld the dealerership was in Brisbane. I wont go into the issues I had but I will make some suggestions. And by the way my issue took twelve months to resolve and I ended up out of pocket by $2000. But won my case thankfully because it was headed to the Supreme court at one stage.

This is my advice for what it is worth, what you do with it is entirely up to you. My advice is well meant but may not apply to you.

Firstly phone consumer affairs dept. in your state and get verbal advice(and take notes). And regardless of what anyone else says, the Dept. of Consumer affairs is not always your friend (but I speak from personal experience WA may be different.)

Secondly write the Dept of Consumer Affairs in your state a long letter/email outlining the history of your van. Place of purchase etc. This is mandatory if you wish to involve consumer affairs in your problem from the start. You may regret not doing this.

Thirdly, consult and get initial advice from a solicitor. You dont necessarily have to proceed at this point. When to proceed is up to you entirely. In my case Qld consumer affairs insisted I take my own legal action to recover.

Fourth, you will get heaps of advice from everyone quoting consumer laws etc. Which is good but getting someone/anyone to interpret and/or enforce them is a whole other story.

In finishing this reply,none of the above may be necessary if you get a first class response from the caravan manufacturer/dealership etc. But if the response from those people is not immediate and in your favour then you are in for some sleepless nights and so on.
In my opinion the best way to judge this response is to think of how many hard earned dollars you handed over to the manufacturers versus the quality of the product you received.
Was it worth all that and how was the first response from the bloke who took your money when you complained about what he/she sold you.
If someone takes a "loooong" time to "get back to you" look out.
Best of luck with your endeavors.
Jim
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Follow Up By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Sunday, Aug 05, 2012 at 12:05

Sunday, Aug 05, 2012 at 12:05
Cheers Jim.

Well so far so good I guess. They have booked it to be taken back to Melbourne from WA within a week of the technician reporting his findings. I reckon that is pretty good response time.

Fingers crossed that whatever the long term outcome, we can live to enjoy our caravaning experience, be it in this one or a replacement.

Thanks again for the input.
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Reply By: Member - Dirt Princess - Sunday, Aug 05, 2012 at 00:55

Sunday, Aug 05, 2012 at 00:55
Or did it really have problems in the first place???
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Follow Up By: Member - Arsenal Phill - Sunday, Aug 05, 2012 at 08:51

Sunday, Aug 05, 2012 at 08:51
???
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