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Arnold Clark Sucks



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My girlfriend and I bought a car from Arnold Clarke in Liverpool in March and
never have I come across such disinterest in the customer as I did with them.
Initially the salesman was keen and the deal was done with little problem.
We were told the car would be ready for collection on the Friday but by late
Friday afternoon we had received no call from the salesman.
I lost count of the number of times I phoned and wish I'd cancelled the deal at
that point as I was getting very frustrated.
He finally called me on Monday afternoon to say the car was ready and all he
needed was the insurance cover note.
When this was handed to him we found that he had given us the wrong registration
number so we had to arrange another one before we could pick the car up.
My girlfriend and I both work full time and she was also doing overtime so she
could only drop the note off after 8 o'clock in the evening by which time the
garage was closed.
After much consideration he finally allowed her to leave the note with a
security guard.
We work 10 minutes down the road from the garage so why he couldn't arrange to
meet her and collect the note seems a bit thoughtless.
I don't expect the earth but just some effort to meet us half way would have
been a bit more considerate considering we are supposed to be "the customer".
With our work commitments we could only arrange time off on Wednesday of the
following week which was now nearly 3 weeks after was originally arranged.
He hummed and ahhed over this trying to fit us into his schedule of when he was
going to be in, not really prepared, again, to compromise with us.
He finally agreed to the date and to leave all the documents etc. with a
We came to collect the car and the final paperwork was signed.
The first thing to come to light was that there was only one key fob instead of
I may be picky but if that's what I'm supposed to get then that's what I expect.
Salesman number two told us to ring salesman number one in the morning to check
where it was.
As we were about to drive away I checked the service book and found that it had
not been stamped to confirm that the vehicle pre-checks had been done.
I was directed to a girl at reception and as I was about to ask her to complete
this I was brushed aside so she could deal with someone else who had suddenly
appeared behind me.
After waiting 15 minutes I gave up and stormed out.
I phoned salesman number one the next morning and the response I got was "It's
not life threatening"!!!
At that point I was furious and it was his life that was under threat.
I wrote to Arnold Clarke's head office to try and get this sorted as I was
getting nowhere with the salesman and was finally given a manager's name to
Again after countless phone calls he finally got back to me to arrange for these
problems to be sorted, again, at the expense of our time and at their
We never received an apology off anyone at the garage or head office and I would
have thought this was the least of courtesies they could extend.
The funniest thing is that when we were talking to the salesman on the first
meeting we even said that if they treat us well then we'll be back in 3 years
for another new car from them.
I don't think so now.
Promises delivered??? MY ARSE!!!
Sorry if I have rambled on but this is the shortened version! 25.8.2003

And now for my tale of woe...
In March of this year the timing belt on my car broke - which I bought in
September 2001 (registered Dec. 2000) and had only done 16,000 miles. The car
was collected and taken to the Kirkcaldy dealership where, after some
investigation, it was decided that the engine would need to be replaced. Only
after a few days of my car being at the garage and no work being carried out on
the car whatsoever (and after some prompting by myself) did the dealership think
to organise a courtesy car. 
I collected the courtesy car and swapped my insurance as requested to cover the
courtesy car for the period of 1 week while a new engine was fitted to my Fiat
Brava. Towards the end of the week I received no contact from the garage
regarding the state of the repair so I decided to phone the Kirkcaldy branch. I
was told that they were still waiting on Arnold Clark's insurance company to
view the car and give the go ahead for a replacement engine. They added that
they would organise an extension to my insurance for the courtesy car. Another
week went by and still I heard nothing from the branch regarding the new engine
for my car so I phoned again. This time they said that the work would take
another week or so and asked if I could extend my insurance as before to cover
the courtesy car. I reminded the person from Arnold Clark that a week
previously I was told that they (the local branch) would organise the insurance
cover. Due to Arnold Clark's incompetence, I then real!
iced that I had been driving the courtesy car with no insurance for a week!!! 
The engine was finally replaced after almost 4 weeks.
Roughly 1 week after I received my car with the new engine I started noticing
the return of an old problem which I had asked Arnold Clark to investigate about
a year earlier but I was told that their mechanics couldn't find anything wrong
with the car. When the car had been driven for a while it started to cut out
when idle or when slowing down at junctions and, after the engine change, the
problem became much worse. This was not only very irritating but it made driving
extremely hazardous - stopping at junctions caused the engine to stop, which
also obviously had the knock on effect of causing the brakes and power steering
to fail. The engine also had a bad habit of "bogging down" when pulling away
from junctions, making turning onto roads a carefully timed operation rather
than a simple procedure. Another new problem that appeared was that the cabin
also smelled of car fumes when being driven at anything other than motorway
speeds - neither pleasant nor safe for anyone !
in the car. I took the car back to the branch who amazingly said they could find
nothing wrong with it. I should add that the driverís seatbelt, which until the
car had been taken back to Arnold Clark, worked perfectly now started to stick
when trying to pull the belt from the holder into the fastener. Due to holidays
etc, I struggled on another month or two with the car in the same condition then
took the car back to the Kirkcaldy dealership. 
Happily this time the mechanics actually found the cause of the problem - a
faulty rev sensor - but I was told that they had broken parts of the engine
cover when investigating the problem. The receptionist explained to me that a
number of parts were needed and she would phone me the following day to arrange
a suitable date for the repair to take place. The following day (18th July) I
received no phone call and now, over five weeks later I am still waiting for my
car to be repaired! Again, following investigation by Arnold Clark's mechanics
there appeared to be new damage to my car - scratches on the front passenger
bumper. I can't prove that Arnold Clark's mechanics were responsible for these
scratches but I know I didn't do it and I'm certain the scratches were not on
the car when I left the car at the Kirkcaldy garage. I have contacted the
Kirkcaldy branch a number of times to find out when the parts will arrive and
when I will finally get my car repaired but incredible!
by it appears nobody has any idea when the parts might arrive. One excuse I
was given was that the Fiat factory in Italy was on holiday for a fortnight -
does this mean that no parts are available for Fiat cars anywhere in Europe?! A
week or two might have been acceptable but after five weeks I realise that
either sheer incompetence or just lack of any level of customer service must be
to blame. I have not been contacted once by the branch over the last 5+ weeks
for any updates on the situation and when I make contact I always get the same
message - the parts have been ordered but they haven't arrived and don't know
when they might arrive. 
To anyone reading this (and all the other messages) it's hopefully crystal clear
that Arnold Clark are completely incompetent and have absolutely no
comprehension of what customer service is. 
Never, ever be tempted to buy a car from Arnold Clark. 25.8.2003

Having worked with this company previously for three and half years it is good
to see someone taking a stand against some of the shoddy dealing which is all
too common. There are a lot of good people working there as well trying just as
I was to pay the bills but the hands get tied all too often, shape up or ship out
type of thing.
Anyway just two little stories I can share with you. About 3 years ago AC bought
a bucket load of Proton Personas from Motability, most only a year old. They
sold well due to the price and equipment. However being built in Malaysia the
West of Scotland didn't agree with them too much, that and the crap build
quality, so the boots used to fill up with water. Upon returning them the
customer would be told, "no problem, still under manufacturers warranty",
whereupon myself and a fellow valeter would be told to take out the spare wheel,
drill a hole in the boot to let the water out make sure it was dry and put the
wheel back.
On another occasion I was picking up a salesman delivering a car just outside
of Edinburgh, we arrived at the dealership where the customer had arranged to
come to early. The salesman came over and told me to make sure my car was
running and ready to take off before the customer as the car she getting "had
been running like a bucket all the way up"
It really used to annoy me seeing people getting tucked up like this and in the
end that had a great influence on me leaving, that and earning 3 times as much
working elsewhere.26.8.2003

I had arranged hire of a dual control car from Arnold Clark 4 days in advance. 
On the day I was supposed to take the car out - having arranged time off work,
and the person taking me out having arranged time off work, I was called to say
the car had to go in for repairs and was therefore unavailable. What a joke!! 
P.S: they have some of the rudest staff I have ever had the misfortune to deal
with!  26.8.2003

I was really pleased to find out about your site, well done for trying to ensure
others are not caught out in the same fashion as we have been. My car was
involved in an accident, it was pushed off the road and the whole passenger-side
was flattened. The approved repairer was Arnold Clark in Dundee and I was wary
as I have heard of others who have had difficult experiences with the company. 
However, being the approved repairer, I felt obliged to go there. The car was
not picked up for 2 days having had to be abandoned at the side of the road in
another town. I then proceeded to the worst 5 months of my life. The car was
repaired but it was sub-standard, I think in all I refused the car 6 or 7 times,
each taking about a week in-between for them to supposedly "rectify" the
difficulty. However, just coming up for Christmas, they refused to accept that
the car was still not to the standard it was before the accident and told the
hire car company to withdraw the hire car - t!
hey helpfully arranged the cancellation of that car from 12 midnight that night. 
Needless to say I was furious given that I work 24 hour shifts and was about to
start work, Arnold Clark is 24 miles from my home. Still into February, I had a
water leak from the passenger door which they allegedly fixed on 4 occasions. 
This was nonsense given that it was an interior shower curtain that was the
problem, they must have been taping the thing back together each time the 48
mile round trip was at my expense as had the previous journeys. All in all, not
only did they completely botch the job from start to finish but they were rude
and inconsiderate and in my opinion attempted to bully me into accepting a
substandard job, not least because I am a young female driver. I felt that I
was continually patronized and that the employees did not care about the upset
that they were causing by their incompetence.
Hope that this is another one to add to the very long list of complaints. For
your information, I was so sick of the company by the time I eventually got my
car back I could not face the prospect of a painfully drawn-out and unsuccessful
complaint's procedure which is not really like me. Arnold Clark wins again! 26.8.2003

bought a car from AC Crow Road, I asked the salesman what checks AC had done on the car to make sure it was their car to sell. I was assured by the salesman Bob Leishman that all checks had been carried out and it was definitely AC's car to sell.
The only problem I had, was the car only had one key, Bob couldn't be more helpful, he was going to phone the chap who sold them the car & arrange for a new key to be made with the ex owner footing the bill.
I paid my deposit & arranged to pick the car up on the Friday.
My husband took in our licenses' to be copied the next day for our insurance, he was told by Bob that they contacted the "owner" and it turned out that the car belonged to a company who had a contract hire with AC. The car was not for sale & the company wanted it back.
I was livid, I was guaranteed that John Clark was personally looking for a replacement car, same year, make, model & spec. I was told I would receive a reasonable discount for the mix-up.
A week later after me phoning him, Bob eventually asked me back to Crow Rd to view a car, it was a VW Golf 1.6s, the registration was an 02.( the car I bought was a VW Golf 1.6se, full electrics, cd player, remote locking, air con, etc, registration 01). The car he was offering had no extra's it was a basic Golf but he was wanting me to give him more money for a lesser car because it was an 02 reg.
He was no longer helpful, he was rude, I caught him out with his lies, (according to Bob, the car I bought had no" mark-up, "the reason he took money off the car was because they had so few sales that weekend, he said AC don't have mark-up's on their cars), he told me that he couldn't take any money off this car, because unlike the other car I bought this one didn't have a mark-up on the price, but he would give me the insurance for it, I was paying £9353.00 for the 01 car, that was the car, insurance & road tax. He wanted £9500.00 for the 02 car, that was for the car & insurance but I would pay the road tax. WHAT A CHEEK! He told me that he was doing me a "deal" & if I didn't want to take I could just get up & walk, he was only trying to help me out. I could have a look around & see if there was anything else I liked, as they had tried their best to find me another car, but I refused the deal. In my opinion if you had a choice between an 01 & an 02 car & the 01 had a much better spec, with extra's, I would take that against a basic 02 any time. He couldn't see this, he kept saying " I'm offering you a newer car at a reasonable price." B******KS!
I walked out and went to the Verve garage on Dalmarnock Rd, who looked up their internet site & found me 4 VW Golf's in minutes with the same, reg, colour, mileage & spec as the one I bought from AC, but AC couldn't find me one even although their part of the VW dealership.
I am still waiting on my deposit, although I have requested it.
N.B I bought a VW Golf from Killermont Motor Company, ( Maryhill Road ) The guy there was great, no flannel, no sales pitch, I am delighted with their service & will be recommending them.
Yours severely P'd off with AC. 27.8.2003

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