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Moan about Independant Lotus Mechanics


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Is is me or is the service from these guys getting worse?

I cannot help feeling that that these guys are starting to think the Esprit has become too much like hard work and they would much rather be servicing the toyota engined elise where nothing complicated ever goes wrong.

I am based in the London area and my experience with pretty much all of the independants leave a lot to be desired. The work is ok but they never seem to do or look for any more than asked. Calls are never returned and you are made to feel as though you are always putting them out! I am not expecting main dealer stuff here just a bit of civilitiy. Being busy is not an excuse for poor service.

This moan is based my most recent experience of spending over

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These are independents.

To be honest I have avoided the main dealers like B&C thinking that they also would be focused on the newer lotus models. I had an Elise and did use B&C and the service was fine.

If only the factory was a bit closer!!

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i never ever use anyone associated with lotus at all, my friend does all my work and i get parts from sj.

OUR CURRENT COLLECITON :- MODIFIED LOTUS ESPRIT, FULL VEILSIDE SUPRA (BEAST 409.3bhp), NEW ADDITON TO THE TROOP, 1996 S CLASS MERC (FULLY PIMPED OUT, DUB EDITION)

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The car had been laid up for a long time in air conditioned storage. I wanted to put it back on the road and make sure it was in the best shape. I got quite a lot for the money (C service, Electric charge cooler, Tyres, Battery, ABS rebuild, Paintwork, MOT, new CD player etc etc) and the work that was done was fine but the customer service itself was not what I need as an enthusiast. Plus, in the end the car was still down on boost and not fit for the road. A couple of calls later, and still no progress, Always claims to be too busy to talk but never rings back. It wasnt like I called twice a day, every day for an update!!!

I am not going to name names but I am very frustrated with this particular chap!

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When over last year looking for an Esprit, one I looked at had just had almost 4,000 spent on it at an, I beleive well renownd Lotus Specialist, Looking at the invoices and the car, if it had been mine I would have sent it back!

The reason I did not buy that one was, of the workmanship I could see, I would expect better from a first year aprentice. I didn't need to risk what I couldn't see.

Roger

Life is like a sewer, what you get out of it, depends on what you put into it. (Tom Leahrer)

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The work is ok but they never seem to do or look for any more than asked.

I just did the transmission seals on mine at the weekend.

In doing so I discovered:

- Output seals replaced

- Spline seals doubtful

- Only large roll pins were fitted (judging by the state they had been re-used)

- Large ring of silicon rubber on splines (like they had coated the splines before refitting shaft)

Fortunately I have every receipt for the car so I checked the Lotus 'independant' specialist bill.

Sure enough the only parts listed were the output seals - no O rings, inner roll pins, outer roll pins - so it seems my evaluation of their work was correct.

At least its been done as per the manual this time.

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What is intruiging is that we have substantially more Loti on the road than a decade ago when the Esprit was king of the range yet we have not many more specialists. I suspect the are all very busy making hay whilst the sun shines and perhaps standards and service have slipped as a consequence.

I for one would pay more than

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Many Esprit owners on here will only entrust their steeds to Gerald Turner of GST Performance in Newmarket, some driving very considerable distances to do so.

The reasons - he knows the Esprit backwards & inside out, is a real enthusiast who loves our cars as much as we do, always goes above and beyond, provides regular progress updates, answers/returns phone calls, and is one of the nicest, most genuine and honest people you'll ever likely to meet.

Oh, and whilst he doesn't broadcast the fact, he much prefers working on Esprits, Elans, Elites etc :animier:

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I do wonder how many specialists are just that. A Lotus specialist near me told me they do servicing but then in the same sentance mentioned it was just the local mechanic who does all there cars!!..

I do mine myself or take it to my local garage who I know very well.

I have also heard that Gerald is the man on these cars.

Edited by red vtec

Amateurs built the Ark

Professionals built the Titanic

"I haven't ridden in cars pulled by cows before" "Bullocks, Mr.Belcher" "No, I haven't, honestly"

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What we need is a good Polish Lotus specialist!

Appologies for anyone upset by the use of obvious racial stereotypes but if anyone accused the english of all being honest smart and hardworking then I wouldn't get too upset.

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I echo James's comments about Gerald. He originally started under Peter Day at Daytune in Cambridge in the early 80's. Peter was the most fastidious guy I've ever met. His restorations and workmanship were truly outstanding. Look out for a Peter Day restoration - this speaks volumes. Rumour has it he wouldn't sell you a Lotus or even give you the time of day if he thought you were just a speculator! Gerald had the best Lotus upbringing - just brilliant. Ask yourself why he doesn't advertise and he's always extremely busy. The best thing of all is he's only 15 miles away from me!

BC

Edited by BC007
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Thing is if you dont name and shame they get away with it and then do it to other people and nothng ever gets done about it.

Same mindset at my work - people do things wrong and no-one holds them to account.

SW London you have a few good servicing guys around there but without knowing who is shame here I'd be silly to recomend anyone.

Service (ie telephone calls) is another matter, it's terrible just about everywhere in the UK, you just have to vote with your feet.

Sorry to hear you are having probs but this is also why I took up most of the car's work myself because I simply could not trust other people to do the jobs properly and with the car I expected (plus it saves you a lot in

Edited by Jonathan

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Danny,

I have to agree with a lot of what you say.

I put a thread up over a year ago with tales of the poor experiences i had - i was shouted down by some on here most of whom have left the forum for the third time.

I wish i had the skills to look after my own car as i am sick of being let down by nearly everyone main and independent...

My Golf went in to a small independent for complete large service all fluids, suspension change and coilover kit, induction kit, front and rear brake disc and pad upgrade and mot. 2 and a half days and

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Hi Danny

I know you don't want to name names, but was it a guy from the maidenhead area? cos it sounds like similar experiences I've had in the past.

I now use Geoff down in Wiltshire, who seems ok

GT3-jonny

The car had been laid up for a long time in air conditioned storage. I wanted to put it back on the road and make sure it was in the best shape. I got quite a lot for the money (C service, Electric charge cooler, Tyres, Battery, ABS rebuild, Paintwork, MOT, new CD player etc etc) and the work that was done was fine but the customer service itself was not what I need as an enthusiast. Plus, in the end the car was still down on boost and not fit for the road. A couple of calls later, and still no progress, Always claims to be too busy to talk but never rings back. It wasnt like I called twice a day, every day for an update!!!

I am not going to name names but I am very frustrated with this particular chap!

Edited by GT3 jonny
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Danny

You are wrong about B&C. They are one of the few dealers who still work on Esprits and Scott there will look after you. Their guys know Esprits inside and out (They rebuilt that yellow G car from the ground up last year).

There are some good independants, and then there are some poor ones. Sorry to see you've hit one of the latter.

Possibly save your life. Check out this website.
http://everyman-campaign.org/

 

Distributor for 'Every Male' grooming products. (Discounts for any TLF members hairier than I am!)

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Rather than name the shamed ... what about making a registry of all the REALLY GOOD guys to go to ?

It would be especially useful for guys like me ... who have no idea about where to go or who to see !

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The trouble is with naming names, everybody (even the good guys) have their bad days, and if you get caught its painfull. But I still think its more helpful to fellow LEFers than to keep shtum. So...

ONLY 18 years ago (and it still wrankles!) I was completely shafted by B&C when they put some kind of apology for a YTS guy on my car. When it failed again within 100 of a miles of a

Loving Lionel and Eleanor......missing Charlie and Sonny

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What James said.

And for his special customers a limited edition T-shirt!

Edited by Dave Eds

Dave.

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Rather than name the shamed ... what about making a registry of all the REALLY GOOD guys to go to ?

It would be especially useful for guys like me ... who have no idea about where to go or who to see !

What, you mean something like this one?

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What, you mean something like this one?

Well that's certainly a good list of potential service centres James....but not too much about good, bad, ugly experiences that people have had with each of them. Is it bad form to congratulate or shame? If so apologies for above post, mods may wish to remove.

Loving Lionel and Eleanor......missing Charlie and Sonny

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I know you don't want to name names, but was it a guy from the maidenhead area?

Yeah, thats not naming names then as there are about a million independant

Lotus specialists in the Maidenhead area. Ohhh i wonder who it might be...

For my part, i've been a customer of a guy in the maidenhead area for nearly

ten years (might be the same guy!!!!, but then there are LOADS of specialists

in the area) and without him i'd have binned the idea of running an esprit years

ago.

I mean, a Lotus specialist? In the Maidenhead area? who can it be????

Ohhh help me, it's just so mind numbingly cryptic i cannot guess!!!!

Why tip-toe about if you hint you clearly have the balls to say it?

If it's got to this daft stage then it is name or shame or the Mods step in?

Might give the man that does mine a call tomorrow, see if he knows of this other

maidenhead lotus specialist thats causing so much hassle. These cars are rare enough

he must have seen them about.

Ohhh, but who might i mean??? etc, etc...

:animier:

Edited by Paul C
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I think what would be really interesting is if some of the independents came on here and started posting stories of some of the crap customer behaviour they've experienced. I'm sure there'd be some horror stories in there!

The trouble with all this stuff is as stated above, even the very best can have a bad day and screw up. What's important is how they recover it with you. I do think also that you develop a relationship with your mech over time and that is really valuable. I've been recently badly let down by a car insurer. I won't bore you with the details but it caused me a lot of time/aggro and letter writing. Yesterday they called me up, apologised, paid me compensation, refunded my entire premiums paid to that date, and offered to restart me on a new policy. You know what, I went back to them, because although their service was a crock of sh1t, there way of finally dealing with it exceeded what I expected.

When I was up North I used PNM regularly. Now in common with all the other regular independents we discuss from time to time I've heard people express dissatisfaction with Pete there. Personally though over time I've developed a total trust in the work he did for me, and would always go back to him, if I was ever up there again.

We need to be a little careful here. A lot of long time LEF readers will know the history of all these threads and can weigh things up. For newer or more sporadic visitors though, one untimely comment can make a huge impact on a specialists reputation, and you know what, there may well be another side to the story.

Mike, like the way you posted, factual and unbiased.

Personally, on threads like these I'd prefer to see the following in complaint posts:

1. Name of the specialist (what's the point of posting a complaint on a public forum without naming who it's about). If you're worried about doing that from my view it indicates a lack of confidence you're in the right, and if you're not confident you shouldn't post anything.

2. What exactly are the issues you're having.

And for me this is the MOST important.

3. How have you communicated your issues to the specialist, what has there response been, and have they had a fair time and chance to sort it out with you.

There's at least one story on this thread where in my opinion (and I stress it's only an opinion and I don't have all the facts) where a post of crap service was placed here on LEF over a weekend, before the specialist involved could have had any chance of receiving the complaint and resolving it.

Summarising, I'm a big supporter of naming and shaming, but if we're going to do it. lets be fair and even handed, have all the facts to hand, and report on what opportunities the specialist have been given to rectify things.

Regards

Mat

post-1-0302470001278592957.jpg

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The trouble is with naming names, everybody (even the good guys) have their bad days, and if you get caught its painfull.

Good point. It's also their livelihoods and if they stop getting business because of it, it could possibly lead to one less Esprit specialist.

I guess in the case of really bad specialists, who continue to rip off Esprit owners or repeatedly provide a very bad service, then it's useful. UK Sports Cars in Kent is one such place.

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