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Old 25-07-2006   #1
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Benfield Motor Group Complaint about Fiat Stilo, 2002

MALCOLM LONGSTAFF SERVICE MANAGER HEAD CASE
PASS THE WORD AROUND BENFIELD FIAT HAS SERVICED A BRAND NEW FIAT FROM 2002 TO DATE, AT NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE.

I HAVE SPENT OVER £17,000 TO DATE!!



I received a letter by Fiat customer relations stating that they would respond to my letter dated 22nd April 2006.
This item is now months overdue, Mr Chris Smith said he would personally deal with this matter.

I picked up the vehicle from Fiat Benfield on Monday afternoon 24th July after I was informed that the vehicle was ready.

I am writing to complain that I am very dissatisfied with the service by Benfield Motors, I would like you to have this vehicle inspected by another Fiat Dealership, I am very worried that the vehicle is not safe to be driven.


Thursday afternoon, 20th July
After a long conversation with Mr Longstaff on Thursday afternoon, 20th July, I stated the vehicle was serviced by Fiat dealership since 2002.
Mr Longstaff agreed that a vehicle of only 3 years old should not have or had so many major problems, he stated that the introduction of the 2002 Fiat Stilo had many problems, and only recently his department was given information to rectify.

I informed Mr Longstaff about taking into consideration that my son was driving this vehicle to London, he was forced into a very dangerous situation since the vehicles engine suddenly stopped working at 70 miles per hour on the middle lane of the M1 motorway due to the drive chain.

I informed him that apart from the drive chain issue, Chris Smith, Fiat Customer Relation, said to my wife that he would insure the vehicle was fully inspected by Fiat Benfield, before we were given the keys.

Sadly this was not the case, I informed Mr Longstaff the vehicle was basically not checked, since the following items were not working:

1. Air bag failure warning light (reported to Benfield in previous services)
2. Passenger door could not be opened from the inside/outside, a serious health and safety issue.
3. Air conditioning system was not working since 2002.
4. Sunroof not working properly (fitted by Fiat Benfield).
5. Bulbs off on dashboard
6. Brake light not working.

Mr Longstaff stated that the air bag failure was a known fault by Fiat, he said it would cost hundreds of pounds to put right, and the sunroof, and the air conditioning, would cost hundreds to fix he said he was not prepared to get involved.
Mr Longstaff said that since 2002 the Air conditioning did not come under the servicing schedule, thus no one would look at the filter or condition of the system?
I said I thought you would at least check the air con filter during service? He said no.
He went on to say that the air con compressor was not working, there was a hole in the pipe it would cost hundreds to put right, I reminded him that this system was poor from 2002 to not operating at all since 2003, Mr Longstaff was not interested.

I reminded him that a complete new 5 panel sunroof was installed by Fiat Benfield, and it was reported that it was not operating correctly after installation but I received at the time a negative response.

Mr Longstaff recognised that I was unhappy with the service by Fiat Benfield and considering a long outstanding inoperable sunroof item since 2002, and my recent poor experience of a major service in 2006 by Fiat Benfield.

I informed him that I was not happy to take the vehicle since Fiat Customer Relations said that Benfield would thoroughly check the vehicle he unenthusiastically said he was only willing to look at the passenger door, and brake light.

Mr Longstaff said that he was not bothered about the faults since I bought the vehicle from Fiat Springfield Gateshead, and not from Benfield? But I said that Fiat customer service recommend Fiat Benfield in 2002.

I thought regardless this is a Fiat dealership, to take this attitude is purely prejudice towards me to say the least.

Monday morning 25th July
I was telephoned by Mr Malcolm Longstaff on Monday morning 25th July he said in a unpleasant tone of voice when are you going to pick up the vehicle? He gave no other explanation for example was he able to put right/not put right the items he agreed to sort out?

I was surprised in Mr Longstaff’s abrupt tone of voice his attitude towards me had drastically changed since I first met with him face to face on Thursday.
I stated I would collect in the afternoon.

My son and I arrived at the garage, we saw the vehicle it was filthy, I sent him to the reception he was given the keys with no paperwork or explanation of what work was done to the vehicle? No one stated what had been done to the vehicle over the past 3 weeks while it was garaged to date?
I went to the reception, and asked to speak to Mr Longstaff, I asked him if the vehicle was ready, he said yes.

Mr Longstaff give me the keys to the vehicle, his attitude was abrupt, he also did not state what was done over the past 3 weeks to the vehicle?

My son got into the vehicle, the passenger door could not be opened?
There was a new fault the electric windows were operating back to front? When you press close the windows opens?

I said to Mr Longstaff I thought you had fixed the door?
Why is the window electrics wrong?

Mr Longstaff became very defensive and abrupt, he simply said it had nothing to do with him?

Taking into consideration that he stated that he would fix the passenger door, he became very abusive, he was not interested he said he was putting these faults right out of the goodness of his heart. I informed him that I was unhappy with the end result, the vehicle also looked disgusting, I would like to leave the vehicle until the items which he agreed to were put right.
Mr Longstaff became furious he stated that if I left the vehicle he would not look at the problems and he said he was not bothered since he would ensure the vehicle was put at the far end of the car park, it would be susceptible to damage, and it would not be insured.

I asked if he had any objections if I had the vehicle inspected by an independent body such as the AA? since the vehicle is driven by my son, he was furious.

Then when I was trying to talk to him without raising my voice in a civilized manner, and trying to keep him calm Mr Longstaff became even more abusive he suddenly said get the car off the premises now!

Sadly I had no alternative but to drive the vehicle away.

I am appalled that a senior representative of Fiat Benfield, Service Manager, Mr Malcom Logstaff’s attitude towards me as a long standing patient and reasonable customer.

I am requesting that this person should be reprimanded for his extremely rude attitude, and I would like this vehicle checked as soon as possible by another Fiat dealer.
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Old 25-07-2006   #2
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Re: Benfield Motor Group Complaint about Fiat Stilo, 2002

blimey, well done for keeping your cool with this guy. Dont think i would of been able to.

All that money you've spent with them, and this is how they treat you - (no wonder fiat dealers have the repution that they have) disgraceful behaviour.

Hope it gets resolved for you though chap.
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Old 25-07-2006   #3
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Re: Benfield Motor Group Complaint about Fiat Stilo, 2002

I do hope you get this sorted, it's a shame that your Stilo ownership has been spoilt in such a way.

Regarding the faults, this is probably of little help as the car will be in the hands of FIAT now, but for your information:
1. Most likely the passenger seat OCS (Occupancy Classification System) sensor mat in the seat, or the connectors under the passenger seat.
2. Lock mechanism in drivers door; very famous early fault.
3. Hmm, compressor is doubtful, more likely to be the famous pipe problem.
4. May need aligning again, or motor issue (unsure).
5. What do you mean by this?
6. Brake light switch, again common Stilo issue.

My Stilo has the reversed electric window issue from time to time, think it's the driver's door node playing up; will mention this when it goes in for it's new brake light switch.

Please let us know how you get on
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Last edited by Rich; 26-07-2006 at 20:57.
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Old 25-07-2006   #4
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Re: Benfield Motor Group Complaint about Fiat Stilo, 2002

Have you involved Trading Standards? The faulty door alone makes the car unfit for purpose so would fall into the remit of Trading Standards.
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Old 25-07-2006   #5
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Re: Benfield Motor Group Complaint about Fiat Stilo, 2002

Scary thing is I'm busy looking at getting an Abarth(54pate) from this dealership. Worried now if these problems are occuring for a longtime customer what will they be like with a new customer. The guys i spoke to were great and offered me all the help i could ask for, even if i wasn't buying they helped me loads.

Think i might reconsider this deal and look elsewhere surely there's some good Stilo Abarths out there that don't have this dealership problems.
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Old 25-07-2006   #6
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Re: Benfield Motor Group Complaint about Fiat Stilo, 2002

Quote Originally Posted by ScottyP
Have you involved Trading Standards? The faulty door alone makes the car unfit for purpose so would fall into the remit of Trading Standards.
.........or take this route (up to £5,000)
https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/csmco2/index.jsp
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Old 26-07-2006   #7
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Re: Benfield Motor Group Complaint about Fiat Stilo, 2002

Quote Originally Posted by Esolece
Scary thing is I'm busy looking at getting an Abarth(54pate) from this dealership. Worried now if these problems are occuring for a longtime customer what will they be like with a new customer. The guys i spoke to were great and offered me all the help i could ask for, even if i wasn't buying they helped me loads.

Think i might reconsider this deal and look elsewhere surely there's some good Stilo Abarths out there that don't have this dealership problems.
from what ive read its the early stilos that had the bulk of the problems
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Old 26-07-2006   #8
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Re: Benfield Motor Group Complaint about Fiat Stilo, 2002

Quote Originally Posted by custard boy
from what ive read its the early stilos that had the bulk of the problems
As with any car really, its the feedback from dealers and warranty companies that help car manufacturers continually improve their vehicles.
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Old 02-08-2006   #9
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Re: Benfield Motor Group Complaint about Fiat Stilo, 2002

HOW DARE YOU TAKE MY COMMENTS INTO THIS DEALERSHIP! I PURCHASED MY CAR FRIDAY BUT DUE TO UNFORSEEN CIRCUMSTANCES I WAS FORCED TO BACK OUT. THE DETAILS YOU TOOK IN CAUSED ALOT OF PROBLEMS FOR ME IN GETTING MY MONEY BACK AND I AM LOOKING AT ADVICE ABOUT TAKING YOU TO COURT FOR DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER AND LOSSES IF I DO NOT GET MY MONEY BACK.

The dealership in question is extremely good and i have had no problems with them and would go back to them in future, the original poster is a trouble maker
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Last edited by Esolece; 02-08-2006 at 16:06.
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Old 02-08-2006   #10
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Re: Benfield Motor Group Complaint about Fiat Stilo, 2002

Quote Originally Posted by Esolece
HOW DARE YOU TAKE MY COMMENTS INTO THIS DEALERSHIP! I PURCHASED MY CAR FRIDAY BUT DUE TO UNFORSEEN CIRCUMSTANCES I WAS FORCED TO BACK OUT. THE DETAILS YOU TOOK IN CAUSED ALOT OF PROBLEMS FOR ME IN GETTING MY MONEY BACK AND I AM LOOKING AT ADVICE ABOUT TAKING YOU TO COURT FOR DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER AND LOSSES IF I DO NOT GET MY MONEY BACK.

The dealership in question is extremely good and i have had no problems with them and would go back to them in future, the original poster is a liar and a fraud!
I've read this post several times and its not making any more sence to me.
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Old 02-08-2006   #11
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Re: Benfield Motor Group Complaint about Fiat Stilo, 2002

Quote Originally Posted by Hellcat
I've read this post several times and its not making any more sence to me.
it took me a few reads.basically it seems the OP took Esolece's post into the dealership for some reason
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Old 02-08-2006   #12
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Re: Benfield Motor Group Complaint about Fiat Stilo, 2002

Quote Originally Posted by Esolece
THE DETAILS YOU TOOK IN CAUSED ALOT OF PROBLEMS FOR ME IN GETTING MY MONEY BACK AND I AM LOOKING AT ADVICE ABOUT TAKING YOU TO COURT FOR DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER AND LOSSES IF I DO NOT GET MY MONEY BACK!
Ok ok, the full story please!

So the thread OP makes a valid complaint, about a dealership in question, due to the way he was treated.

So then YOU read this thread, and then get a bit worried about the dealership EVEN though at that stage you weren't prepared to buy anything [your words].

BUT then you struck a deal knowing the above - and then decided you do want your money back after all?! Why? Because of what the OP said about you to the dealership?

AND NOW you are threatening court action because of defamation of character?
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Old 02-08-2006   #13
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Re: Benfield Motor Group Complaint about Fiat Stilo, 2002

Quote Originally Posted by Stuart DemonD
Ok ok, the full story please!

So the thread OP makes a valid complaint, about a dealership in question, due to the way he was treated.

So then YOU read this thread, and then get a bit worried about the dealership EVEN though at that stage you weren't prepared to buy anything [your words].

BUT then you struck a deal knowing the above - and then decided you do want your money back after all?! Why? Because of what the OP said about you to the dealership?

AND NOW you are threatening court action because of defamation of character?
No i was certain on the deal, I spoke it over with my parents and then my finance fell through due to a family problem after paying for the car on friday. However the OP took a copy of this printed thread into the dealership and highlighted the parts i said. The dealership rang me today asking if the OP influenced my decision to back out of the deal. After talking to the Manager of the dealership i told him the situation and he took my word on it that i still wanted the car just that there was an unforseen problem with the finance from my parents and was forced to pull out.

The OP has caused me more stress than i already have due to his actions and may cost me the price of the car if they do not refund me which will lead to more serious family problems.
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Old 02-08-2006   #14
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Re: Benfield Motor Group Complaint about Fiat Stilo, 2002

Quote Originally Posted by Esolece
The OP has caused me more stress than i already have due to his actions and may cost me the price of the car if they do not refund me which will lead to more serious family problems.
BUT this is a public forum - open to everyone in the whole wide world?! The dealership, for all you know, could have read your comments without the OP even getting involved.
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Old 02-08-2006   #15
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Re: Benfield Motor Group Complaint about Fiat Stilo, 2002

If they don't give you your money back then you will realise that the original complaint is valid and that after getting your money they would have screwed you over, and over, and over again.

Basically tell them this is their chance to show their true colours. They either give you your money back, and prove they can be trusted. Or they keep your money and we've just saved you a lot more money and a whole load of trouble.

Can't really see your problem. If you had not wanted them to know why did you post on a public forum? One that every employee of benfield motors could browse in their own homes.
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