Service after sale

Alas for my hopes that Continental manufacturers and their British agents took more trouble over their customers than their British opposite numbers. In April last year I purchased a 1969 Fiat 125 from a Fiat Agent in Devon. This car has been perfectly satisfactory except for one persistent fault, the failure of the right-hand winker. Bulbs and fuses are intact and the fault would appear to lie in the wiring or a contact in the right-hand winker circuit. It first failed in June, when the Devon Agents—who I will call “X” Motors—repaired it. This repair lasted two weeks, when the right-hand winker again failed to operate. Repair number two was made which lasted one week, repair number three was made in September and this lasted precisely 15 minutes. On reaching home I telephoned “X” Motors informing them that the third repair, for which I had paid, had failed again and suggested that I should be credited with, say, half the cost. They promised to look into this but nothing more has been heard. I then wrote to Fiat’s Service Department at Wembley asking for help. After two weeks I received a rather extraordinary letter from Fiat expressing regret that I had found it necessary to complain of the unreliability of the car. This I definitely had not done—indeed I was at some pains, to point out that the car had been perfectly satisfactory except for this one fault. They stated that they were writing to “X” Motors by the same post.

I should have mentioned that at the time of the third repair the works foreman at “X” Motors had stated that he thought that the only cure would be to fit a complete new switch which would cost about £10. As all the rest of the electrical equipment, including the left-hand winker, had always worked perfectly and never given the slightest trouble I fail to see how the switch could be at fault. After another two weeks I received a very brief note from Fiat stating that “X” Motors had informed them that a new switch was necessary, but no attempt was made to explain why. I again wrote to Fiat pointing out that I had written to them in the first instance in the hope that with their great experience of the model they might have encountered my problem before and been able to offer some constructive suggestion. Fiat have not bothered even to reply to my second letter. Throughout all this correspondence “X” Motors have maintained a coy and discreet silence and have made no attempt to contact me.

I am writing to you, sir, in the hope that other 125 owners might be able to help me, failing which I shall have to try to find another Fiat Agent who is prepared to “have a go” to keep a customer happy.

L. R. Blewett.