Living With Our Rapido 963f Le Randonneur Motor Home.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Windscreen Damage Update 2.

For the reader who is a motorhome owner, or a potential motorhome owner, and has an interest in what might be the outcome if something happened while travelling abroad which would need the assistance of your insurer or your roadside recovery contractor - read on.


I have previously reported that we gathered a small, fairly insignificant chip to the passenger side of the windscreen on the last day of our journey down to the South of Spain. As these things can expand across the screen, making replacement a necessity, I decided I might try and get it repaired sooner rather than later. Although living with it temporarily is no big deal.


To my surprise (not really I suppose), I found my insurer and their roadside assistance contractor to be a bit of a waste of time. I had difficulty getting them to answer the phone, and when they did, after offering incorrect telephone numbers to an approved repairer that did not exist, they appeared to wash their hands of my little problem, leaving us to our own devices.

That is until I wrote an email to their CEO, outlining what I perceived as very poor customer service, together with the link to my reports about our situation here on my blog, which I write now as a motorhome and general travel site. At the start of business the very next day I had a telephone call from their customer services, the first, in response to our plight. Previously all emails had remained unanswered, and all phone calls had been initiated by me, with no satisfactory resolution. It was admitted that I had previously been given the wrong information, and our case had been assigned to this particular advisor so that a resolution could now be made to our satisfaction.

I was happy with what they offered, as I could now go forward and try and arrange my own repair, although their service still didn't go as far as actually arranging a funded repair on my behalf - I would have to find my own repair company and pay any costs, then reclaim them once back in the UK. This has now been agreed as their "final response", a process that should be undertaken before any further complaints can be made to higher authorities, such as the Financial Ombudsman. Companies have an 8 week timescale in which to reach their final response, which hopefully should be agreeable to both parties. As the company was now agreeing to fund anything that might be required to fix our screen while in Spain, I was in agreement.

What I hadn't bargained for was the difficulty I would then endure in having a Spanish glass repair company actually undertake the job!

Ours is an A class motorhome, which means the glass is bespoke to the company that manufactured the motorhome, in our case Rapido, not the base vehicle which again in our case, is Fiat. Had it been a Fiat screen there would be no issue. However, as it is a Rapido screen, I can't find a company who is interested in the work. Because they don't want to get involved in replacing the screen should it break completely during a repair, then they won't undertake a repair either. A very surreal situation.

I have now contacted all the companies in this area who advertise themselves as auto glass repair specialists, and none are interested. A large national Spanish company haven't even replied to my email request for an appointment or an email to their own customer services. There is one multi-national company operating here, who's parent company is in the UK, so I contacted them in the UK after their Spanish counterpart had also declined to do the work. The story was the same - if I wanted a repair or replacement in the UK they would be happy to do the job for me, but NOT here in Spain. They would not tell me why - just "we can't help you in Spain".

This should be noted by drivers of A class motorhomes who would like to tour in this area. The job of replacing a windscreen seems to be firmly placed in the "too hard to do" drawer by the glass repair companies. I suspect that a specialist repairer of motorhomes would have to be located to undertake the work, and that is currently in my own "too hard to do drawer".

2 comments:

  1. Just a thought, are there any coach or haulage co's nearby ? If so go & ask them who repairs/replaces their glass when the need arises, As their windscreens are usually of the giant variety !

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for that Alf. That prospect has already been discussed on site here amongst the dozens of motorhome owners. Although we haven't pursued that angle, mainly due to insurance complications. If a new screen were to be fitted they require an estimate before authorising anything from a fitter that hasn't been previously approved, and they don't have any of them in Spain. That is the root problem. Although I now have agreement from them that they would fund a replacement if necessary, my guess is that would have to be the most "reasonable" available, i.e. from a third party supplier, not a genuine item from Rapido, which would be more expensive. To be honest the chip isn't that bad, and I have resigned myself to living with it until we return to the UK where a repair / replacement would be easy to accomplish. I did however think that having fully comprehensive 365 European insurance cover alongside their Premium European breakdown assistance, things wouldn't have been this difficult.

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