A couple of weeks back now, I took my car to the local Kia dealership (as it’s a Kia) for its MoT. It had been serviced there a couple of weeks prior, and at that point the dealership hadn’t impressed me for a couple of reasons I won’t go into for now.
It passed the MoT just fine – needed two bulbs replacing, and that was it. But that evening, once I was home, the car wouldn’t start – the battery was completely flat. The only thing different to its usual treatment was the MoT, and the recovery guy who came out to sort things agreed it was likely they’d done something to flatten the bloody thing.
I spoke to the dealership the next day, and they denied all possibility that the problem was down to them. Couldn’t happen, sir. You left here fine (forgetting that it was running when I got in, I hadn’t had to start it) so it can’t be us. Just one of those things. If you really want to check, we’ve got a super-expensive tool for testing batteries properly, you can come in and we’ll do the check.
Which I did. Went in, and this super-tool said “Battery 100% OK”. Fair enough, it might be one of those things, I suppose. They were quite patronising about it all, and again insisted it couldn’t be anything to do with them. The only other way to find anything (“sir”) would be to drop it in for a couple of days, let it wait around and we’ll see if it drains, or what might be wrong.
However, the problems went on. It’s never completely flattened on me again, but I’ve been more aware of the delays on starting, and I’ve given it some bigger runs just to ensure the battery is as topped as possible.
So last week, knowing I’d got a hire car for a day-trip to Leeds (of which more in another post) I also booked it in to the dealership again for today, so they could have it a couple of days and find out what the problem is. It led to a bundle of fucking about, but it all came together in the end.
Lo and behold, this evening I got a call. Apparently, the battery *is* fucked, despite what their super-tool said a week ago. So they’re replacing it, and will then see tomorrow how everything goes, and hopefully I’ll collect it on Wednesday.
It’s fair to say, we’re going to have words when I do collect it. This has been a shitload of hassle, and it’s taken me a bundle of time away from work in order to keep on getting things sorted. My sense of humour has, as they say, somewhat failed about the whole thing. It’ll be interesting to see what happens – but I do feel somewhat vindicated about the whole thing.
What the dealership doesn’t seem to realise is that the servicing department is as much of a sales tool as the showroom is. I’ve got a Kia, and so far I’ve been quite pleased with it. I would have considered getting another one – and it would likely have been from that dealership. But if they can’t sort me out with a cheaper car and be competent, why the *fuck* would I stick with the same company once the current issues are sorted, let alone buy a new (to me) Kia?