A TALE OF TWO CARS
Sir, Over the last two years I have motored extensively at home and
abroad in two widely differing cars, one ‘a 1951 4.6 Bentley Mark VI, the other a Ford Zephyr six-cylinder saloon. Both cars were bought new and both have given a fair amount of trouble, especially the Bentley.
Being a philosopher, I accepted that state of affairs as being one of the penalties of ” buying British,” hut what intrigued me most was the way the respective firms and their agents dealt with the respective troubles.
First of all, the Ford people. The trouble with the car was mainly in the transmission, which was very noisy and which suffered an apparently incurable vibration trouble. The Ford agent could not do enough to help. Whenever I complained he took the car in at once (sent for it if need be), tried new propeller shafts, clutches and heaven knows what. When he was stumped he consulted the factory, who sent special bits almost by return of post. Between them they cured the troubles by infinite care and service, made no charge worth speaking of and were always courteous and sympathetic.
The case of the Bentley was a sad one. At first I got nowhere with them ; all my criticisms and complaints were received with almost ducal politeness tinged with faintly discernible disbelief. I really think my initial temerity to criticise got me in rather bad books with them, but I persevered, and after parts of the rear axle broke, the gearbox jammed twice, sundry engine parts broke and we had had (I think from memory) five clutches, relations became strained. However. I was presumably a good customer who paid his bills promptly (in this respect I must give Bentleys full marks for generous treatment and never once an excessive charge) and at the time had also ordered a new Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith for my uncle, so they kept on trying. Also I was tenacious and lived within twenty miles of their service station, which may have helped !
And so after months of effort, sometimes bordering on the violent, I corkscrewed some service and suitable adjustments out of them.
Is it worth the trouble of having to fight to obtain service that should be willingly given’? In most cases I doubt it, but in the case of Bentleys I think it was worth it, because I feel I have got over all the earlier animosity and I now have one of the finest examples of the finest car in the world. Incidentally, in this case, the agent who supplied the car (in fact both the Rolls’ products) was conspicuous by his complete absence throughout proceedings. I am glad I did not live 2,000 miles away ! ! Dare I sign myself,
Epsom. “FED-UP HOT SATISFIED ” ? * * *
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