Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Mullingar Nissan Garage Debacle

My wife's family love Nissan. You know how I know that? She's only ever had Nissans. For 14 years, she's moved from a Micra to 2 successive Almeras and she currently has a Qashquai. We met shortly before she bought her second Nissan Almera. Her father and brother also bought Qashquais the same month, and all three are in different shades of blue. When the family is all together, the driveway looks like a Nissan forecourt. They both had Almeras too, before the Qashquai. They love Nissan so much, I even have a Nissan car. So, we're good customers.

I became aware that the Nissan garage in Mullingar was pulling a fast one with me when I got a service on my Micra a few years back. They told me that this huge part needed replacing and the quote was well outside my price range. If I could have afforded it, I wouldn't have questioned it. Sort of glad I did.

In my desperation to ensure my car wouldn't explode on me, I decided to see if I could source the part myself, even a used part. In my efforts, I met an honest mechanic (yup, they exist) who had a look at my car (in a car park) and told me it wouldn't need that whole part at all. It only needed some seals. I have brought the car to him ever since. That was at least 4 years ago and the car hasn't exploded on me yet and I have never replaced that part.

My wife still goes to the dealership. She drives a lot for work, has her car serviced twice annually and has a nice car, so she wants to keep up a service history on it, for resale value, I think. My car is 13 years old (with only 100k kms on the clock) and when I drive to work it takes 8 minutes. Our needs are different.

First Nissan Quote May 2011
In May, she was hit by a driver who pulled out onto a main street blind. The door was scratched and dented. It was entirely the other driver's fault and when we got the quote for repair, it wasn't contested. They just paid out. When she went back to book in the car for the repair (and a service) she was told that they were "using a different guy" and that they would have to re-quote for the repair.

We got that quote yesterday. It took 5 weeks for the re-quote to be sent to us.

The first quote was for €1200 (and this is the amount we have from the insurance company)
The quote we got yesterday was for €3300

Second Nissan Quote August 2011 (there has been no further damage)
The possibility existed, of course, that the previous quote was ridiculously low for what needed doing. To find out, today, she took her car to the Toyota Dealership beside the Nissan garage. The quote? €1160.

Quote from Toyota Dealership August 2011
She emailed Nissan Ireland yesterday and we haven't received a reply. Do we expect one? I would normally expect a reply to an email like that within -- at the most -- 48 hours. We've told them that one of their franchises is gauging customers. As it stands, however, the repair will be done by the Toyota Dealership. And you know, it might be time to look at a nice little Yaris. Because, to be completely honest, we're sick of dealing with our local Nissan Dealership.


Anonymous said...

The equation is simple,repair equals lower price,replace equals higher price!

Michael said...

I personally loved Nissan too. My car is made by Isuzu but I am planning to buy Nissan Ravana.

Anonymous said...

Yikes. I would love the name of an honest mechanic in Mullingar. Do you still use the guy you met in the carpark? Heh. My non nissan is getting embarrassingly noisy.

AnyDreamWillDo said...

Brendan Wallace in Blackhall. I swear by him. He's great to deal with.