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.

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