Smart Car Taunton Not Smart Enough for this Cow!

Mooooooooving on

Last year this mob annoyed me. Why? Because they annoyed my mother. You know how it is, it’s bad enough when someone annoys you but when they start on your family, well that’s it isn’t it really? So, after listening to my mother moan about it for two minutes (so therefore two minutes too long, you know how it is) I told her to give me the details in an email and I would deal with it. I knew this was going to be a hard one. Cars are a difficult one, it’s very hard to prove faults and well, it’s hard! But I’m The Complaining Cow, so I complained.

Earlier that year she had bought a Smart car. A couple of months later my brother noticed that the front near side tyre was flat. (The car hadn’t been driven for a while because my father had been seriously ill). She therefore called Smart Assistance who sent someone out for recovery. A garage repaired what appeared to have been a slow puncture. The repair had cost £12.00.

A couple of months later my mother went to drive the car and the battery (original battery) was flat. Again, she telephoned Smart Assistance. The battery was put on charge and she was told that everything was fine and to leave the engine running for 20 minutes. She then went out in the car to a local garden centre. She went back to her parked car after three quarters of an hour to find the battery flat. She ‘phoned Smart Assistance once again who again sent out a recovery vehicle. The man said luckily he had a smart battery that was suitable in the van. So he replaced the battery and charged her £53.00. (I know, disgraceful huh?) She then telephoned Mercedes Taunton and explained what had happened and asked if it was under the warranty I don’t much care much for warranties. I prefer the Law. My mother was entitled to a full refund as the car was sold as satisfactory and in good running order. It was not. I believed that Mercedes was therefore in breach of the Sale of Goods Act 1994 again so a full refund is what she would get!

Later they phoned back to say that Head Office, as a goodwill gesture would give her back half of the amount, they refunded £26.50.

Since then the car had been running well until a month later. My mother drove the car 6 days previously, but then the battery was flat. She ‘phoned Smart Assistance yet again. (Oh poo, only just realised that I should have been claiming for ‘phone calls!) He found the battery to be faulty. He tested everything including the alternator etc. He said she would have to take the car back to Exeter which was ridiculous. (It’s about an hour away from Taunton). He then drove her to Mercedes Taunton after charging the battery. She spoke to someone and they said they’d call the following day. They didn’t and she had to ‘phone them. I know, dreadful! Anyway, she was told that there had been a problem and that the battery was not only faulty but their suppliers had sent a wrong battery to replace it, and could she should ‘phone the following day.

My mother was told that they hoped the right battery would be in by Monday 21st and that it would cost her £147.00 and she could come and pick the car up.

No smart customer service at Smart car!

It was at this point I stuck my hoof in….

So I complained. A lot. I didn’t want her to; have to go and get the car, pay for the puncture repair, pay for the faulty battery, pay for the new battery and I wanted her to be refunded fully for the first one, oh and something for the inconvenience of course! We wanted to return the vehicle for a full refund. I knew this was never going to happen, but here’s a tip, always always go for more than you want. That way they can come down thinking they have won something and you get what you want!

The Manager offered to return the car when the battery was done at just the cost she had had refunded! i.e. she would still have to pay the full cost of the battery! So she would, in effect have a new battery which I didn’t think she should have needed and be out of pocket by £53.00. I thought this wasn’t good enough personally.

So, off went an email to the MD pointing out a few legal facts, quotes from their publicity and the like. Few more emails backwards and forwards. He seemed to think that we had no grounds for returning the car and couldn’t prove anything regarding the car being faulty at time of purchase. However, I am pleased to say that my powers of persuasion convinced him to pay:

£12 puncture repair refund
£53.00 battery refund
£100 goodwill gesture (I do so love these goodwill gestures)
(She had the £26.50 on top of this already paid by the other people!)

Evaluation

It took a while but I refuse to accept the first response if I don’t like it! I was particularly pleased that garages in Taunton were impressed saying that Mercedez are notoriously bad with their customer service!

Customer Service 4 out of 10
MD 7 out of 10
Prize £191.50 plus a battery

Rating – Churned out ok

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13 Responses to Smart Car Taunton Not Smart Enough for this Cow!

  1. Daniel says:

    I had a problem with Smart at one point, I purchased their car with their built in sat nav system, but it turns out it is not compatible within the UK, so it will not give you real time traffic information TMC as it was designed for Europe and apparently if it was switched on here it would crash the entire unit.

    Anyway, I got peed off with being sent pillar to post, so I complained to the MD of Smart which was worth it, they arranged for a £600 paddle steering wheel thingy to be upgraded on my car which was a result! Although that took the dealer ages to sort out, although at the time I had the MD’s mobile number so when I had a problem that the dealer couldnt do I just made a phone call, lol. Sadly the Smart is now gone, and replaced with a real car, lol.

    • The Complaining Cow says:

      Well done, I can well believe it took ages. I would say Cars are the most difficult to get compensation for and most people don’t even try and when they do give up. Nice one on getting the number, I rarely ‘phone because my failing is that I get angry! I bombarded the SW MD with emails and battered him down, they cave in eventually!

      • Daniel says:

        I tried the email approach first and didnt get anywhere that way, they wouldnt even respond to the emails, which made it even better, lol

        • The Complaining Cow says:

          Maybe your emails aren’t as threatening as mine lol!! ‘phoning works certainly IF you can keep your cool which you clearly can!!

  2. Marlene Hanna says:

    My dad’s Smart Pulse 2011 had a catastrophic engine failure – less than 20,000 miles on the clock – they blamed him – but 5 weeks before this happened the car stopped in the middle of the road, I had to push it to the side, we got road side assistance – their diagnoses – nothing wrong and returned the vechile – 5 weeks later she blew the drive chain, the pistons, the v belt and the gasket – now requires a major rebuild – and dad has been told today that the engine won’t be available until 23 August – he is not getting a courtesy car because it is too expensive since they are rebuilding the engine – and he is still having to pay for it – he wants to look for another car and I just want him to be safe

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  4. I had a hybrid lexus,and as it came to 20000 miles had it serviced at the Lexus dealer Exeter.they phoned to say it also needed new brake pads!! O.K then do it as brakes are really essential little gadgets—when I picked the car up the bill was £850-00–O.k its a luxury car and you get ripped off but this was extortion–On checking the vehicle inspection sheet all the boxes were ticked and the car was given an absolute clean bill of health. THe following week my wife on three separate occasions she had to call the A.A to start the car as the battery was flat,despite going up to Taunton (50 miles) and back—–she took the car in to Lexus and was told that the car needed to go on a longer run to charge the twelve volt battery despite being on a fifty mile run ON the third breakdown the car was booked back into Lexus,and we received a phone call telling us that two cells were dieing on the battery,so at the other end of the telephone I had to authorise a new battery to be fitted————–when we received the bill—bearing in mind this is an ordinary twelve volt battery it was a shocking £270!!
    Now being a Lexus I assumed there was something special about this new battery and so I enquired with two independent companies who quoted that a battery for the Lexus top price on a Exide battery would be around £85 yet Lexus had charged another £200 on top of this. So I have written to Lexus head office as they set the retail prices———–1St e-mail totally ignored———–sent a following letter to Lexus and eventually received a straight forward letter saying the matter was been investigated————–fed up with wanting answers I wrote to the franchise manager at Exeter requesting a simple explanation as to how they come to the figure of £270 for a replacement battery————-two weeks later still waiting for an answer—-yet in between all this I have received two telephone calls inviting us to the launch of their new model————-needless to say we wont be buying another Lexus

  5. Elaine Murray says:

    I bought a Kia Picanto in 2014. Used from dealer. Drives like a dream. 5yrs warranty, low mileage. Previous owner bought a service package so also got 3years free services. Felt very safe and secure I had a great car, not cheap but peace of mind means everything.
    2016, Jan, booked in service, with Kia garage. Going on a 500 miles round trip to see my granddaughter, so booked it in Jan, rather than Feb. Hadn’t used this garage before, more local to me.
    Service done, off I went happily on my trip. Came home 2_ days later, driving to work, not even a mile driven, I politely stopped and let a car cross lanes, good manners is important to me, went to drive off but car wouldn’t go? Confused I willed the cargo move, as you do, I was on the brow of a hill, it moved slowly, I steered the vehicle of the main road, into the station bay, rolling slowly down hill. I put my foot on brake to park the vehicle. NO BRAKE!! panicked, grabbed hand break. Vehicle stopped. Got a wee fright. Thankfully no one else near me! Called RAC, 2hrs later, he went to start the car to see what problem was. Battery dead. I advised battery wasn’t dead etc. He swapped battery to see if he could find fault. His battery would hold power either? Eventually towed car to garage. 2 days later garage called, all fixed Miss Murray. Collected car, what was wrong? Loss of power to the fuel management system, really how does that happen? “Just happens sometimes”.
    2 weeks later drive 500 miles aprox round trip to Birmingham , for work. Stayed overnight. Drove back next day. 2 days later goes to see a car, another Kia, Eastbourne, 60 miles round trip. Picked my partner up in Brighton, I drove to Eastbourne, he drove back. Picked up partners car in Brighton. I got in to drive my car, on brow of hill, steering wheel felt tight? Thought that’s odd! Slowly rolling down hill, steering wheel stiff, rolling towards my partners car in front. He was at the junction waiting to go. I hit brake NO BRAKES!!! screamed! Panicked and hit partners car!!! Grabbed handbrake stopped car as I hit his car!!
    I then have an insurance claim to repair both vehicles. Lose my NCB . car insurance not interested in cause of accident!
    I opened a case with Kia CS on the Monday. I managed to get the insurers to move my car to Kia after repairs were done. As I told them. NOT ON GODS EARTH AM I DRIVING THAT CAR AGAIN!!
    One month on. Insurance claim done. Kia CS a disgrace!! I called them. I escalated, I had to do everything. Tweeted to get their attention. Called kept notes, chased. They tested car, no fault found. I escalated. More tests, no faults found. Car is now sitting at Kia garage. I’m mentally exhausted. I have less than a year on finance. I’m NOT driving that car again. Nobody seems to care?!. I am now dealing with finance. Partly responsible. That battle starts tomorrow.
    Problem is I have no car. I need a car for work. But I don’t want to walk away. I want a replacement vehicle same value, I don’t want another Kia. I just want a safe car. CAB reported it to trading standards.
    I need help to fight this.
    I’m disgusted that a reputable car company are willing to let me drive that car knowing it may happen again.
    I’m now thinking I will need to pay off finance so I can sell and get another car! But I want to fight it all the way to court if I need to!
    I just need someone on my side.

    • The Complaining Cow says:

      Breach of Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994. Please see Tips, contact the CEO. If you want me to take on the case please see Contact and services link on that page. You may also find the book useful.

      • Elaine Murray says:

        Hi Helen, thank you so much for your reply! It really does mean a LOT! I was holding off on the CEO, as you said to not use too early. I was thinking it was time. Seen as the so called complaints department were soo hopeless it was unbearable!! I have been reading and taking on all of the advise from you as I can. I am not one to be pushed over, but no one has hope!! Thankfully I’m fighting it and I do!! There MUST be rights, they must take responsibility! Today I filled out an online form with the finance which is Kia Motor Finance. So that ball is rolling.
        If you could help in anyway I would be eternally grateful!! I will do as you said above.

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