: Dealer Ratings
04-17-2002, 07:44 PM
I've seen loads of mentions of dealers on this site, mostly unspecific unless we are complimenting someone, in which case it's "XYZ Saab sorted it no problem". That's because, as Saab owners/drivers, we are polite, considerate and above all human.
Many of you know I'm a restaurateur/hotelier (the name's a clue). We stand or fall, like theatre productions, by our ratings. The ratings of posters on this site is a nice idea (and I can think of a few sites I log on to which could really use them on a three strikes and you're out basis), but as Saab owner/drivers, we are polite ...etc.
But dealers? Are we doing ourselves a favour if we only mention them if they're AOK? These guys make big wadges selling us cars for upwards of £20k. Do they actually give a flying fudge if we like the car? Are happy with the car? Fill in the after sales form?
I've been to a Saab dealer - sadly can't remember the name as it kinda blows my whole argument! - somewhere off the M5 around Worcester - who said "why get a Saab - these Mazdas are far better value". My assumption was he'd just lost his (joint) Saab dealership and was waiting for them to come and take awy the signs. Another (Saab Cardiff) who fixed me up with a Vectra with a cracked windscreen after an accident in S Wales. The hire company hit me for £300 for the windscreen (no. I know, I didn't check, but d'you reckon I could have expected Saab Cardiff to offer me a clean car?), and the repair to my car was just awful. I was assured by Cardiff Saab it was ready so I took a trip to Cardiff (360 miles round) to pick up my car, and the work had not been started...when it was finally delivered three weeks later, the headlights were not aligned (not aligned - Offside pointed skywards), the windscreen (mine this time) had not ben repaired from a chip, the driver door mirror was still broken, and black paint had been used on a black/chrome strip to try to cover the bumper strip - new bumper, old strips re-inserted. Didn't stop them claiming full wad from my insurance company.
Then to Saab Shrewsbury. Sold me an Aero 2001 - first in the country they reckon, Nov 2000 - remember the date, it's important. Wouldn't let me test drive it as it was in wax, but let me test the 2000 demo they had. Nice. But didn't have Viggen seats - what a bloody nightmare they are - as someone else said today, "who needs rear seat passengers". I now have a permanent neck complaint from the height of the seats, but that's another story. So I bought it - seemed churlish not to, as they'd ordered it especially for me. And given they said they'd pick it up for servicing - "Oh, and my wife's convertible, despite the fact that was a lease car" - no mean feat as they are 90 miles away (still my closest Saab dealer). Not a bloody hope. We go there. Great. Latest problem - Service alarm warning on my wife's car every time she switches on ever since its first service.
So today, in their genius efficiency, they send me a reminder that my car is due for an MOT. As my wife said, she'd have booked it in and gone there bona fide. Cost to us around £300. Thanks Saab Shrewsbury.
"Get it in writing", I hear you say. Quite right. Like you get in writing a booking with a restaurant which then lets you down? No, you write afterwards to the Good Food Guide.
So I would meekly wonder whether we should put together ratings of Saab Dealers. Might help people looking to buy or service Saabs. Might even help the dealers in the long run.
And in the meantime, anyone got anything good to say about Chester Saab? - my next best option at 92 miles...
04-17-2002, 07:57 PM
Basil old chap, I thonk you're spot on. Perhaps Saab's are bought by old fashioned sort of chaps with good taste (and a liking for turbos! )
I had an awful six months trying to sort out the first Saab I ever bought, a 94 900 Turbo from Premier Saab in Birmingham - it was what I now know to be a common fault, the gearbox jumped out of reverse and third. Simple recall modification, they claimed it would be fixed upon me taking delivery, and several months later it still wasn't. Worse still, the box fell to pieces, and they tried to sting me with the bill for a rebuild, new clutch and other sundries, claiming my poor driving had destryoed the box - neatly sidestepping the concept of the fact that a four year old car had done 70,000 miles with one owner, and only 2000 with me..... (with my immaculate driving http://www.saabscene.com/forum/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif )
To cut a long story short, I complained to the highest highs - not content with the sluggish response from Saab GB, I prodded Saab HQ in Sweden. Which produced a most curious result.
I had a completely rebuilt gearbox.
TWO days later!
The dealer I now use, one about which I have nothing but praise - is Concept Saab in Birmingham (sister to Cardiff.... perhaps I should be waiting for them to go wrong!)
They have maintained my 900 and my father's 9000 Aero immaculately, and in 2000 took my 900 off my hands and replaced it with a shiny new 9-3 SE Cabrio, and are busy trying to shoehorn me into a 9-3 Aero as we speak!
Oddly enough, my 900 was sold to one of the engineers at Concept Cardiff if I recall, so if you see L569CUT (Midnight Blue NG900 Turbo 5-dr) zooming around, do wave!
Oh, and remind me to drop in on you next time my lass and I cruise past Pwllheli - probably sometime this summer!
04-18-2002, 02:52 AM
Pleased someone has satisfaction from Concept Saab . I don't have one good word to say about them !!! Quite the worst car buying and after sales service I have ever encountered. ( full details on request )
04-18-2002, 05:08 AM
The Saab dealer off the M5 near Worcs would be Droitwich Saab.
04-18-2002, 05:41 AM
I started side stepping SAAB dealers years ago. Even ended up buying my current 9-3SE form an independent SAAB specialist sales/repair place in Hatfield. Only hassle I got with those guys is with the choice of free drinks in the vending machine...
I used to be a good customer of the SAAB dealer in Alperton and Finchley. But with my looks and high car mileage they must have reckoned that I was on the dole. Never did get a satisfactory service.
But now with my current garage I get a loan car, and only paid £190 for my last service!
I have had it with dealers. My previous Volvo dealers, Lex, were no better. I got letters of complaint to them that fill a whole drawer. So it seems to be an illness with dealers...
Hmmn. I'm not sure about this one. It is human nature to complain to a bunch of people about a bad service. We are less likely to praise. The fact that praise is given where it is due is a testament to the contributors on this forum.
I have good and bad experiences with different dealers. I have the most atrociously written letter from a Dealer Principle in reply to my feedback which they had requested from me.
I don't really want to go down the road of rating dealers since everyone can have an off day and I know a chap that swears by a main dealer that I swear at
I dunno. Interested to hear what other people think - personally I like to hear about recommendations rather than where someone has an axe to grind. Just my view.
04-18-2002, 06:51 AM
Chester Saab - Took my 1996 cse there for a service last december .
Only 2 complaints - They replaced the Pollen filter when it did not need replacing ( I made them out the old one back in and saved 25 quid )
and , if i'm spending 200 pounds on a service it would have been nice to have washed it for me.
04-18-2002, 07:05 AM
I have to agree with you to some extent John. I get customer complaints a few times a week where I work. But I also get high praise from customers. It's swings and round abouts...
Example: I am picking up my car from the garage in an hour or so. ( A mate of mine is on his way right now to give me a lift). The garage fxxxd up on a little dent that should have been filled in(jalous neighour hit the car with a sharp instrument). But I agreed to get it done at what ever cost the paintshop charges them, sometime in the future.
But the garage owner feels right guilty. So they are fitting an S2 stereo upgrade(door speakers and amp) plus an ultra-sonic reversing alarm at the cost of the parts alone. Like an S2 fitted for £150... Who could stay angry with their garage at that price???
04-18-2002, 07:33 AM
Lot of feel good factor here Stanley, when the garage will make some effort to make amends.
It's good to hear stories with a happy ending It took one dealer three days to return my call regarding the purchase of a new car. Then only left a message to say that he had been out playing golf !!! http://www.saabscene.com/forum/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif and could I ring him back. I did ring him , but didn't order the new car. Contacted another dealer 70 miles away and have had an excellent service so far. New car arriving soon
04-18-2002, 12:28 PM
Hope that you fare better with your new car Rob. Just got back with mine. That S2 upgrade is a must for Reggae, and music of that sort of extended bass. I recommend it. And at that price... But I got to find somme double sided tape to secure my new SAAB door cup holders. Those SAAB accessories do look nice... And the reversing kit makes the bumper stand out from the rest of the SAABs.
Boy, am I happy or what. . Shame about that little dent though
04-18-2002, 07:06 PM
My experience with saab dealers has been variable I used to get my 9000 turbo serviced regularily @western saab costly but thorough and never had a problem (apart from location and no courtesy cars ..for me anyway)but the staff changed and it became mediocre and when The engine needed a re-build I decided to entrust it to Abbott..(nothing but praise there)
I have had work done @ two stroke to turbo again excellent and good value .
My conclusion is that main dealers = fat and happy =complacent
specialists live on recomendations so have to maintain a very much higher standard and I find the best source is this board..
04-25-2002, 02:55 AM
can anybody out there recommend a decent dealer/ specialist in the north east of england?
i need some work doing and dont want ripping off preferably but want the work doing properly (dont we all ).
any help would be greatly appreciated
04-25-2002, 01:02 PM
Premier Saab in Birmingham ... the box fell to pieces, and they tried to sting me with the bill for a rebuild, new clutch and other sundries, claiming my poor driving had destryoed the box *[/b]Yes, i used them once for serving on my 9000S. The guy at the desk basically gave me a b*****ing for not checking the battery fluid levels myself. Which I thought was quite off, I was a newbie and I didn't have the confidence to do it myself!
Thankfully Premier Saab are now defunct.
04-25-2002, 04:40 PM
Thankfully Premier Saab are now defunct.[/QB][/QUOTE]
Concept came in here on what used to be Premier patch, have taken over from Eachelhurst. Take care some of their sales people are ex BMW and don't know how to behave. That is why I ditched Concept. Try buying a Saab from an un-reformed ex BMW flyboy http://www.saabscene.com/forum/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif No thank you !
04-28-2002, 06:15 PM
Rob - that doesn't quite make sense!
Concept Saab and Eachelhurst Saab are one and the same place, and have been for years. They co-existed in competition with Premier until Preimer went one cock-up too far and the whole chain (Pendragon) were stripped of their Saab franchise.
I've used Concept now for 4 years, as has my father and several colleagues, and we haven't had a single problem with them to be honest. You're quite right, the salesman I bought my 9-3 off used to sell Beemers, but if you talk to him about it, he has exactly the same opinion of BMW as we all do! And if you want to nit-pick, one of the other salemen sold Bentley's for several years! Horses for courses I guess.
There are plans afoot for a new Central Birmingham dealership, though quite who it will be run by is anyone's guess. I know Concept are angling for it, but I don't know who else is in the running. By the sounds of it, the new dealership will be one of the flagship Saab garages - the new all singing all dancing showrooms with everything under the Swedish sun in it.
Well at least it saves me trawling down the Aston Expressway from Edgbaston to Eachelhurst to get my car seen to!
04-28-2002, 06:42 PM
It makes sense to me I was using Eachelhurst when I suspect you were still at School, Sefton was in charge then . The Eachelhurst name was replaced by Concept. I thought after really poor service to give them a last chance and to qoute for my new Aero. Took them 3 days to return my call and was told that the salesman I had asked to speak to had been playing golf, kept the message on my phone for days as I could not comprehend such a thing http://www.saabscene.com/forum/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif Did call them back though to say I would not be using them again.When I go into a Saab garage, I prefer to have someone talk Saab, not BMW or Bentley.Been there done that
04-29-2002, 04:14 AM
Okay, I'm just going to scribble an ikkle reply before going back to play with my Lego
I know exactly who the golfer is, and yes he is a slacker, and yes he did used to work for BMW!
Bah I give up - you're happy elsewhere, I'm happy here.
I agree sounds like you got a failry short shrift from them, and I certainly wouldn't be happy about that.
Now where did I put that baby food and those rusks?
04-29-2002, 09:22 AM
Last thing I wanted to do was upset you Somtimes the Victor Meldrew sufaces that's all. The important thing is we care about are cars and find it hard when others seem to care a lot less http://www.saabscene.com/forum/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif Good to find a young guy who can already appreciate the finer things in life Have you managed to fit the coolbox in your boot yet?
04-29-2002, 03:29 PM
I'm afraid it is not a lot of use to those who have posted so far due to location but for others who may be in my area I would like to say that I have allways had excellent service from Bell and Colvil in Guildford.
Bought my first SAAB - 1998 9-3 2.0 SE (no turbo) there and then upgraded to 9-3 Aero Coupe. No grumbles and allways get a good loan car. Maybe it helps that they ony sell SAAB, Lotus and Subaru.
04-30-2002, 04:25 AM
I have one point to make about any new Saab dealer in Birmingham,pray as hard as you can that it will not be the dreaded All Electric!!!
04-30-2002, 09:38 AM
Okay Rob, so I periodically smoke decent Romeo and Julietta cigars, listen to opera, own several pairs of brogues, and have even been known to sport a beard on odd occasions..... but I still can't see how the damn coolbox would fit in the boot! And my partner accuses me of being 25-going-on-40... hmmm. Kids these days!
Having said that the Saab doesn't help - convertible or not she thinks all Saabs are "old men's cars". Nowt as queer as folk.
Not to worry as my finance is running out and I'm looking forward to a new shape 9-3.... <dribble>
Oh and Mike, if John Leek's All Electric get a Saab franchise, I'm emigrating! I'm just down the road from All Electric in Harborne, and they have to be one of the most god-awful dealerships in the galaxy. http://www.saabscene.com/forum/images/smilies/eek.gif
04-30-2002, 11:06 AM
Originally posted by /john:
Hmmn. I'm not sure about this one. *It is human nature to complain to a bunch of people about a bad service. *We are less likely to praise. *The fact that praise is given where it is due is a testament to the contributors on this forum.
I have good and bad experiences with different dealers. *(SNIP)
I don't really want to go down the road of rating dealers since everyone can have an off day and I know a chap that swears by a main dealer that I swear at * *
I dunno. *Interested to hear what other people think - personally I like to hear about recommendations rather than where someone has an axe to grind. *Just my view.
/john[/b]I'm in two minds about this as well John. I must say that all of the Saab franchises and specialists I've used to date (with the exception of one, perhaps) have given me good service. The franchises, as we know, tend to charge top whack.
Perhaps we should just point of the WOW! awards and encourage members to nominate suppliers when they really do go beyond what might normally be expected. Maybe we should even have a front page link to the WOW! awards.
What does everyone think ?