Pricewatch reader queries: How many problems must a new car owner endure?

This week’s problems: issues with a Nissan; a long wait for fibre broadband; and an Eircom fee imposed in error

A Nissan Qashqai: new model had ‘problems’

A Nissan Qashqai: new model had ‘problems’

 

A reader called Nicole saved for six years to buy a brand new Nissan Qashqai last April, and when the time came she spent €30,000 on a top-of-the-range model with all the bells and whistles. But since then, she says, she has “had nothing but trouble with it”.

She writes that she has “constantly been in touch with the dealer, and they have tried several times to resolve the problems that I am having”. She has documented all the failures of her car, which have taken her back to the dealer at least six times.

The problems include a bonnet out of alignment, random lights on the dash coming on, weird beeping noises and a rubber strip at the base of one of the doors shredding.

“I find myself having to take time off work to try and resolve the continuous problems, and I constantly worry about my brand new car being unreliable after spending a fortune on it. It is both frustrating and stressful.”

She wants to know “how many more incidents” should the owner of a new car that has been fully paid for have to endure before Nissan takes ownership of the problem and replaces it. The car is well within its warranty.

We contacted the company and were told it had taken “complete ownership of the case from [the dealer] as soon as we realised the exact nature of the issues experienced”.

A spokeswoman said the dealer our reader bought her new Qashqai from was “not an authorised sales agent for new Nissan vehicles”. She said this could be behind the delay in Nissan becoming aware of the specific issues.

The spokeswoman said a “full investigation is currently under way, and we arranged for [the dealer] to supply [our reader] with a replacement courtesy vehicle until we have the results of that investigation”.

She said the company was committed “to providing excellent customer service to all of our customers and we expect to have this particular situation rectified within the coming days”.

Our reader then contacted us to say that she had been offered an upgrade to a 151 car of the same spec if she agreed to pay a further €2,000, an option she seemed happy with.

 

‘The first thing they did was knock out our landline’

A reader from Skerries had working broadband with 02. Then, before Christmas, he was contacted by Three Mobile, which now owns O2, and offered fibre broadband. How could he refuse?

The installation began on January 12th. “The first thing they did was knock out our landline,” he writes. “And we have had no internet of any sort since then.”

He goes on to paint a grim scenario of engineers arriving, tinkering with things “and then leaving, telling my wife ‘it will be on in a few hours’, but it doesn’t come on”. So she rings the 02 phone system the next day and eventually gets through. They log it and another engineer comes around and the merry dance starts again.

When he contacted us, he was in the second day of the second week of this. “02 are now telling me, ‘Don’t let the engineer leave the house until it works’, which sounds like a form of kidnapping.”

His daughter has autism and has not been able to use her iPad for nearly two weeks, which is a key reason why he came to us for help.

We contacted the company and received the following statement. “O2 is sorry to hear about the customer’s poor experience, which appears to have resulted from an unusual technical issue. Once our team were made aware of the issue, an engineer was dispatched to his house to review the fault, and we regularly liaised with the customer to identify the root cause. The customer’s service has been fully restored. O2 apologises for the inconvenience caused.”

 

Eircom ‘standard admin fee’ of €10 charged in error

A reader called Maria and her partner have an account with Eircom for phone and broadband and pay more than €60 a month. “My partner is sorting out future financial issues and preparing to get a mortgage. She wanted to change this account into her name for opening up a credit union account as she does not have one for this address.”

So Maria contacted Eircom on Twitter, and they advised her to call customer care. “I did this, gave my details, they asked to speak to my partner to confirm the name change. We were charged €10 for this. When I asked what it was for, I was told a ‘standard admin fee’. I would like to know what exactly it is for. Surely the person who took the call was already getting a wage?”

We contacted Eircom and were told the charge was applied “in error” and would be refunded. “A €10 administration fee does apply when the name is changed on an account, although not within a family or cohabiting couple. This customer did not make clear to our agent that the name on the account was being transferred to her partner, and was subsequently charged the fee, which was advised to her at the time.”

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