Dealership manufacturer a restrictive practice ?

Arlreet replied on 17/03/2021 15:27

Posted on 17/03/2021 15:27

Hello , I recently used the services of a local mobile small caravan repair guy to sort out a repair. Impressed with the service I enquired about annual servicing but was unsure re issues of validity for manufacturers  warranty. He states that as a member of a proffessional trade body this does not effect the manufacturers warranty. 

Also the price ,around half of what a dealership costs and he comes to you. 

It raised a question around restrictive practice and the impression from the manufacturers- dealership of having to return back time and again to the authorised dealership. I live in Lancashire and the one I bought the van from (I shall not name) has absolutely appalling feedback  when it comes to their service department via google and trust pilot reviews. That said I have not needed to use them personally so cannot add further .

Has anyone come to the same conclusion or had differing experiences of using local repair and service engineers as opposed to dealerships ?

eribaMotters replied on 17/03/2021 15:46

Posted on 17/03/2021 15:46

I believe there is a slow transition over to the motor trade setup. Previously you HAD to use a main dealer to keep warranty, but now, with a bit of argument, you can use an independent as long as manufacturers parts are used.

I own an Eriba and it has recently come to my attention that Hymer say you MUST have the water ingress test done by a main dealer, but the service can now be done by an independent engineer. 



Tinwheeler replied on 17/03/2021 15:48

Posted on 17/03/2021 15:48

A lot of people use mobile caravan techs for servicing and repairs. As far as the terms of your warranty go, you should be OK as long as the technician is approved by the NCC and it’ll definitely be fine if he's recognised by your manufacturer.

Tigi replied on 17/03/2021 19:44

Posted on 17/03/2021 19:44

The drawback to by-passing the dealer is if you need their help with an issue or repair under warranty that your man and van can`t deal with you are unlikely to be ahead of the queue of his regular customers especially as the season is starting up. 

hja replied on 17/03/2021 19:55

Posted on 17/03/2021 19:55

Up to 2 years ago we had a caravan.  We used either an independent service place or a mobile caravan tech.  In both cases they were CMC approved and had whatever certification they needed to do warrenty work.

The mobile guy did do some warrenty work and some insurance work (which needed Bailey parts) with no issues at all.

allanandjean replied on 17/03/2021 20:23

Posted on 17/03/2021 20:23

When first new van developed a fault, this was in 1995, I asked dealer, some 149 miles away, could I sort it to save the journey.

They suggested using a manufacturer approved workshop and I have used nowhere else since.

As they are not dealers their loyalty is to me not a manufacturer.

Amesford replied on 18/03/2021 09:04

Posted on 18/03/2021 09:04

Must admit I'm not keen on dealerships (caravan or car) alas we have to deal with them, some years ago we took our van in to one to have some warranty work done they said it would done in a couple of days we duly went to pick it up and were greeted with blank looks "what caravan is that" needles to say we left without our caravan while they searched for ours in the end they did find it parked among the very many caravans they store on site did the repair as they had totally forgotten about it,  and again at a different dealership (now closed down) we were collecting our van after some warranty work I watched in horror as a guy with a small tractor towed a caravan into the workshop dragging the rear corner steadies along the ground luckily the owner also did he went berserk as you can imagine and I learned some new expletives. Needless to say I much prefer approved mobile engineers 

Arlreet replied on 18/03/2021 09:15

Posted on 18/03/2021 09:15

A point missed so far is the question around restrictive practice or a monopoly type agreement ,a cozy one between manufacturer and dealership. I currently believe that it is not in the interests of caravan owners and the two big clubs could have a more productive challenge in this debate.

Secondly, the service, whilst dealerships stay closed the small repair companies remain operational. The mobile guy providing much needed help and support as everyone gets geared up for the lockdown lift next month.I note that the dealerships will engage in conversation about flogging you a new caravan but not about any emergency repairs to help out existing customers.

Perhaps very much like car dealerships. Don't get me wrong, I do value a local dealership and wish them to profit, but cannot help but feel that the caravaner once sold to is left to fend for themselves. Take a look at your local dealerships feedback on trust pilot and google review for their service repair centres for interesting reading


JVB66 replied on 18/03/2021 09:20

Posted on 18/03/2021 09:20

We are it seems quite lucky ,as our Bailey is now serviced by a Bailey approved mobile man as per the Bailey website,and he does it in our storage ,I just need to book the Wash/service bay via the site staff

Tinwheeler replied on 18/03/2021 09:25

Posted on 18/03/2021 09:25

I'm not sure what you expect people to say about restrictive practices, Arlreet, other than to tell you of their own findings and ways around it.

I'm afraid, as has been said here many times, the clubs will not bite the hand that feeds them so there's no chance of them taking on the industry. 

allanandjean replied on 18/03/2021 09:44

Posted on 18/03/2021 09:44

Due to age and infirmity I had forgotten my enquiry into mobile engineers recently.

Some 12 years ago I had an awful experience when I used one to fit a mover to my van so had not considered them again until last year.

The reason was that an engineer came to my van, in storage, to fit a part to my  Dometic fridge.

I asked about servicing costs and it seemed a reasonable price but I then asked about approvals, the AWS scheme, and he said he could do the service but I would need to go to an AWS approve workshop for any warranty work.

So decided I would enquire about price, as I have a Lunar my guarantee is now worthless so no point in dragging it to my usual, approved, workshop, and visited the MCEA website to find an engineer and decided to see if there is an AWS approved one near to me.

There is one engineer in Cornwall and the closest AWS engineer is nearly 40 miles away in Devon so I looked at the details out of interest and its the same guy that did a botch job on my mover all those years ago.

So have decided that will probably stick with what I know and has served me well for so long.