Thursday 14 December 2023

Fiat service - lack of

Fiat service - lack of

We bought the car, a Fiat 500E, and we do like it. But.

The dealer we bought it from, will cease to be a Fiat dealer at the end of December 2023, and if we'd known that, we might have bought from someone else. The dealer in question is Glyn Hopkins, St Albans.

Glyn Hopkins say that after Fiat was bought by Stellantis, they've been difficult to deal with, and that this is why they've dropped them. Fiat say they dropped Glyn Hopkins four months ago, but wouldn't say why. I believe Glyn Hopkins.

But this affects me.

I wanted to get a spare key, and I paid Hopkins £495 for this. I'd hoped to take delivery of it along with the new car, but that didn't happen. A couple of weeks later, the extra key turned up at Hopkins, and we made an appointment for me to go there, with the car and the existing keys, so it could all be reprogrammed.

I sat at Hopkins for a few hours, and eventually they told me that they'd been unable to reprogram the keys, and blamed Fiat for not giving them the codes. They suggested that I come back next week and they'd try again.

I told them, "no." First of all, I said, I've already made this journey once, why do I need to do it again - they could send someone to pick up the car and keys. And secondly, I said, how do they know whether it would work second time around, and I didn't fancy spending another half day in futile waiting for something that doesn't happen. Eventually, they agreed to send my original sales guy to pick it up, and we agreed a date.

On that date, sales guy was in hospital, so we agreed another date.

On the latest date, he turned up and I gave him the car keys, and he drove off.

That evening, he came back. They still couldn't reprogram the spare key, which was about what I'd expected. And, he'd just on that day, learned that Hopkins was dropping Fiat.

I phoned Fiat customer service on 020 3450 8702. They had a new story for me. They weren't doing any spare key programming, and that this would be the case for some weeks. Why?  Because they're too busy, she said, and suggested that I contact a dealer in about a month.

So the situation now is - I paid £495 for a spare key, and I won't see it until (at least) some time next month. Hopkins will refund me for the payment that I'll make to the dealer (probably Thames Motor) for doing the job. Thames Motor said I should come January 5th, but I wonder if they'll be able to do it at that date? I should phone Fiat customer service to find out, rather than trek down to Slough to find out that they can't do it.


Fiat 500E. Nice car, pity about the car maker, the owner of the car maker and the dealers. And the customer service. And the customer experience.

Wednesday 6 December 2023

I don't believe it!

 I don't believe it!

Today, I was expecting a callat 12:10 or so to tell me the results of the scan I had two days ago. The call came at 14:10, but that wasn't the problem, the consultant was running late.

No. The problem was that I had a call at 9:30 (which I missed, and you can't call them back). The call was to ask me at which hospital I had the scan, because without that knowledge, they could not get the scan results.

But, if course, the NHS knew where I had the scan, because I'd been told to go there to have the scan. The problem is that the NHS administration system was written by goldfish and run by monkeys. It wasn't possible for the NHS at Oxford Churchill, to know that I had my scan at Amersham. Why Amersham? Because Amersham is five minutes from where I live and Oxford is about an hour. And it really should be easy to electronically move the scan results from here to there.

So what should I do in future?

Well, I get a letter from Oxford telling me to get scanned at Amersham giving me the appointment date and time, from the Oxford secretaries. And then, I was advised, I should phone up the same Oxford secretaries to tell them that it's to be Amersham ... information  that is in the letter that they just sent me.

You couldn't make it up.

Look, a squirrel!

Look, a squirrel!

Non-EU immigration to the UK at the end of last year, was 925,000 people.

Asylum claimants were 76,000.

Immigrants arriving in small boats - 46,000.

So, let's look at the Rwanda policy. I'm not going to look at the legality, but whether the policy can work.

People crossing the channel in a small boat, are taking a big risk, but despite that, despite the fact that they're going from one safe country (France) to another,  they're still willing to take that risk.

And they know what they're getting into. In today's world, the internet and smart phones, means that everyone has access to information. They're still willing to take that risk.

The numbers tell us that we're taking aim at 5% of immigrants. A HUGE fuss is being made about the Rwanda policy, as if it's going to have a significant effect in immigration. But it won't - partly because it's only aimed at 5% of immigrants, and partly because despite the much-trumpeted deterrent effect, desperate people are risking death to get to the UK, and the possibility of being sent somewhere else, is nothing compared to the possibility of death.

So why is our government doing this? It's because "something must be done" and this is something. It's a distraction from what many people see as the main problem, which is that there are too many immigrants from non-EU coming here.

If you want to tackle the number of non-EU immigrants, you need to take aim at the 879,000, not the 46,000.

This policy is "Look, a squirrel!"