Problems with Roadside Assistance

Currently reading:
Problems with Roadside Assistance

brom

Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2008
Messages
44
I own a Fiat Qubo, registered new in June 2020, so its warranty will last until June 2023.

We have, unfortunately, experienced serious faults with this car (see the Qubo section of the Forum for details).

A particular problem we have encountered is the calling of Roadside Assistance under Fiat's warranty scheme.

The number given to call is 'Ciao Fiat' - 00800 342 800 00. I understand this generally connects - IF using a landline. However, many British mobile phones cannot connect to this number. We don't have a landline - we use our (Vodafone) mobiles instead, so would not be able to summon assistance (dealers can't accept direct calls - they must go through 'The Process').

This problem is well known to Fiat, both in UK and Italy.

If you are broken down at the roadside, how likely is it that you will have a landline handy, to call for help?!

One friendly dealer we rang for advice helpfully gave us a (Dealer Only), Customer Service number in Italy, to call.
The promised 'native English-speaker', (she wasn't), we talked to was incensed we had been given this number - "It is for dealers use only!", and only reluctantly passed us to Roadside Assistance.
In Italy, in Italian! My Latin is rusty; my Modern Italian is non-existent, so I had to ring off and repeat the process.
This time, the rep was more reasonable, and I was passed to British Roadside Assistance, who arrived within the specified 90 minutes and determined my car needed removal to the nearest Main Dealership.

The car needed a new 'Brain', only available by special order from Italy, which would take three weeks. We were offered a Courtesy Car, which I refused as we have our trusty old Doblo I could use.
Mistake.
If you refuse the Courtesy Car, then you will have to collect your repaired car from the dealership under your own steam - it will not be recovered to your home.
Lesson learned - don't try to be helpful!

The car has now broken down again with an identical problem, and the same call to (Dealer's Only) Customer Support in Italy was made.

However, I now have the DIRECT number for UK Roadside Assistance. That could be very useful for anyone with a breakdown problem without a handy landline.

I suggest these numbers are written in the warranty booklet provided with the car.

They are: Roadside Assistance UK - 0208 666 9223

Dealers Only Customer Support (Italy) - 0800389 9119.

Oh yes, and 01753 511431 is the Complaints Line - but this is (in my experience), normally left unmanned (who could possibly wish to complain about a Fiat product or service?!), and there's a message left to say you will have to write in to complain.

Hope this is useful to someone.
 
OP
OP
B

brom

Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2008
Messages
44
Update.

Fiat Roadside Assistance is provided by Allianz, which deals with many other manufacturers, too.

Allianz has several different numbers motorists can use to call for assistance.

The best one, they suggest, is 0208 603 9591. It's a generic number (not just for Fiat), but they only need the registration number, and can put you through to the correct team.

I have tried it - the system works.
 

The Panda Nut

Nutty about Pandas Infected by Panda virus and OPD
Joined
Jan 7, 2012
Messages
3,528
Location
East
Thanks for this post. A salutory warning and justification for my alsom having GEM cover! Addendum to this. A service on my 2019 Panda at Kings Lynn got me a written certificate of extension to the cover for year 2. AT the second service in Norwich they were unable to issue same!.. I have paid for 5 years warranty and this comes with breakdown cover or so they say.

I use Three and Giff Gaff with a Samsung phone. I have long since done test calls on both and have been able to connect and have found the fiat people friendly and helpful. I very much hope yours was just a one off experience.

Its disappointing and worrying to hear tales of this type and I hope it does some good. I'm sorry to hear about the car, I would take legal advice on rejection as it sounds as if it would be worth getting a solicitor involved with problems on this scale.

Its a good reason to buy on finance initially so you can just walk away and leave them with then problem or to prove they have a case against you! You have not got what you paid for.

Bets of luck getting this all resolved. Oh, and please name the dealer so we can all never give them any business!
 
OP
OP
B

brom

Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2008
Messages
44
Thanks for those thoughts. A quick update:-

The insistence on having a courtesy car from Fiat paid off. After a week of the car hanging around at the dealer, with nothing being done, as soon as we got the hire car, with Fiat/Stellantis having to pick up the tab, the garage must have been instructed to 'extract digit'.

Result - a quick look by the technician showed there was a faulty wire in the loom behind the dashboard, which replicated the problems we had experienced. So they replaced that and stated that had solved all the problems - and when could we hand the hire car back, please?

I then had a call from Fiat in MILAN, asking the same question! Pity they didn't show such interest initially.

We now have the Qubo back, and (fingers crossed), so far it's running properly. But it is on probation.... if there are further problems within the twelve month period, we will have to consider rejection.

It does make you wonder why the garage initially diagnosed a Engine Control Module failure as the cause of the problem, when the very same symptoms were later tracked down to the faulty wire. Perhaps it was just easier than removing the dashboard and carrying out a proper inspection?

Are we happy with the dealership (MotorPark at Preston)? As you may surmise, no - and we will only use them for warranty because they are the closest to us. We particularly disliked their, very officious and rude, 'Covid Enthusiast' attitude, when one arrives at their garage. To step inside the door, you must first provide all your details in writing, and have a heat gun pointed at your head, with no 'by your leave'. Dammit, I didn't want to cross their precious threshold, I just wanted my car keys back!!

I agree with your suggestion about finance; in retrospect, that would have been a good idea. And yes, I too am a GEM member, so had that option to fall back on, (very good GEM is, too), but I didn't feel that was appropriate - the car was under warranty, and it should be possible to contact Fiat.


So, fingers crossed for the future...
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2011
Messages
31,670
Location
Near the M4
Thanks for those thoughts. A quick update:-

The insistence on having a courtesy car from Fiat paid off. After a week of the car hanging around at the dealer, with nothing being done, as soon as we got the hire car, with Fiat/Stellantis having to pick up the tab, the garage must have been instructed to 'extract digit'.

Result - a quick look by the technician showed there was a faulty wire in the loom behind the dashboard, which replicated the problems we had experienced. So they replaced that and stated that had solved all the problems - and when could we hand the hire car back, please?

I then had a call from Fiat in MILAN, asking the same question! Pity they didn't show such interest initially.

We now have the Qubo back, and (fingers crossed), so far it's running properly. But it is on probation.... if there are further problems within the twelve month period, we will have to consider rejection.

It does make you wonder why the garage initially diagnosed a Engine Control Module failure as the cause of the problem, when the very same symptoms were later tracked down to the faulty wire. Perhaps it was just easier than removing the dashboard and carrying out a proper inspection?

Are we happy with the dealership (MotorPark at Preston)? As you may surmise, no - and we will only use them for warranty because they are the closest to us. We particularly disliked their, very officious and rude, 'Covid Enthusiast' attitude, when one arrives at their garage. To step inside the door, you must first provide all your details in writing, and have a heat gun pointed at your head, with no 'by your leave'. Dammit, I didn't want to cross their precious threshold, I just wanted my car keys back!!

I agree with your suggestion about finance; in retrospect, that would have been a good idea. And yes, I too am a GEM member, so had that option to fall back on, (very good GEM is, too), but I didn't feel that was appropriate - the car was under warranty, and it should be possible to contact Fiat.


So, fingers crossed for the future...

Thanks for the update

Hopefully all good now :)
 
Top