Dealers/Garages Holdcroft Honda Cobridge & Holdcroft In General Review! #ThePromiseIsBroken

Discussion in 'Dealers, Garages & Body Shops' started by Azzaaaaaaa, Tuesday 12th Feb, 2019.

  1. Azzaaaaaaa Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    United Kingdom Aaron Stoke-on-Trent

    I'm posting this to showcase a complaint I have with the Holdcroft Honda Dealership in Cobridge, I rang the Stoke Volvo office to query the complaints process as I'd been told that the only step left to me was to take the Honda dealership to court, however I've found the Holdcroft complaints procedure online clearly detailing there's an escalation process to the customer-care team, which is something Honda haven't advised.

    I had asked Managing Director, Mr D Holdcroft to speak to me about this along with his PA, however on multiple occasions I’ve had no luck in getting through to either, I sent most of the prior information to him directly on email but never had a response other than from a dealer principle from Warrington (great bloke) who said the MD was considering the company stance on my complaint, that’s the last I heard.

    Since then the MD has refused to meet with me and Holdcroft have cut all ties with me after lengthy debates and arguments which resulted in both cars being re-purchased by the's been a nightmare of an ordeal.

    Here's my story.

    The complaint is in relation to the purchase of two vehicles from Holdcroft Honda Cobridge, one a 2009 Honda Accord EX GT (PN59YSV) and a brand new Honda Civic SR (DG18OUY), we've had, and continue to receive appalling service from the dealership on both vehicles.

    The complaint at present had led me to contact a separate Honda branch (non Holdcroft) to arrange for both car's to be serviced there, which adds over 20 miles of distance for servicing or warranty, however at present I feel it's the best way to ensure that both cars are checked and serviced properly, as the checks and service we've had at Cobridge is dismal.

    Unfortunately the servicing arrangement didn't take place as it would have put my wifes day to day job at risk because her work is tied to the local area, and my car was never fixed by Holdcroft Honda Cobridge despite numerous attempts...

    Anywhere here's where we started out.

    Firstly the Civic, we purchased a brand new Civic and traded in our 2016 Toyota Auris 1.4d Business Edition, we wanted an EX grade however there were apparently some issues around what the car was valued at which would have meant we would have needed to put down I believe over £3000 in addition to the deposit for the vehicle, we settled on a lower trim level and asked for the Heated seats from an EX to be installed into the SR vehicle as part of the purchase.

    A reasonable request? We were willing to pay the difference to get them installed as an optional extra, note also that at the point of having the car, the diesel had not been added to the brochure so we were reliant on the old brochure which didn't list a 1.6 SR diesel in there, we were told it was fine and that could be arranged by the salesman who we'll call...N!

    We also asked for a set of He-Man dual controls to be installed into the vehicle as it would be used by my wife who's a driving instructor, these are required for her work - and we've used the He-Man sets of dual controls in every car we've had for over 10 years with no issues nor fuss.

    They're kind of the got to brand for nearly all instructors, as part of the complaint I even sent a poll out of which 87% said they'd only use He-Man controls, a compelling figure!

    The offer letter for the car was printed and said "Heated Seats" & "Dual Controls", to which we queried in both cases with N at the time -

    "You ARE fitting the EX heated seats and HE-MAN dual controls right?"

    That's what we asked for, N assured us not to worry about it not being fully described on the offer letter as he would be dealing with the installation and as we'd told him what we wanted in detail during the discussions he knew what kit we wanted installing in the vehicle.

    We also queried the service interval on the vehicle, we were told it was to be 10,000 miles which was the same as the Auris, that's good as it meant we wouldn't be spending more on servicing, I quickly asked the parts team to price up a service kit as we took the Auris to an independent garage for servicing and used a genuine service kit, they told me the Civic was on a 6000 mile service schedule not 10,000.

    Uh - oh,

    I queried this with the sales and service team who assured me it's 10,000.

    Fast forward to the day of collection and N informs both my wife and I that he received an email THAT MORNING stating the service intervals were now 6000 not 10,000 - not what was said originally. Convenient?

    In addition when we looked over the car we found that the heated seat switches were missing from the dash (under the touch screen), I asked N where they were, and he said down at the bottom of the seat - I said why aren't they in the dash like they're supposed to be? His response was because they're aftermarket, you didn't think you were getting Honda ones did you?


    I'm utterly floored at this point as the dealership hasn't fitted what I asked, despite me querying this on the offer letter and being assured what we asked for was what was going to be fitted, both my wife and I were party to the conversation with N.

    I took a closer look over the car and found the switches for the aftermarket seats weren't even sitting into the seat, they were falling out, in addition the wiring to power the heated seat was falling out of the centre console (near the handbrake switch), which I had to push back under the centre console to prevent it getting caught on the seat runners and potentially damaging the system if it shorted to the steelwork on the seats.

    We took the car home, and then brought it back less than 2 days later when it conked out, I mean in the sense the car refused to start and it displayed an anti theft warning on the dash board, there was nothing turning the key would do - we attempted to 'bump start' the car three times which made no difference, only starting on the 4th attempt.


    I brought the car straight back to the dealership for it to be looked at however service weren't available, and N told me well I don't know what you want me to do other than call out the AA. A long story short here the AA recovery arrived and found that the battery connections were loose and there was condensation in the headlamps (headlamps were an unrelated thing, which eventually cleared up) - he tightened the cables back up and we drove home. My assumption here is the heated seat installer didn't correctly tighten the cables back up after disconnecting the battery when installing the seats, however it poses the question why wasn't the car checked over before hand over? Surely there's some check done to make sure the car looks OK?

    Fast forward again to the next fault we had which was the alarm going off on it's own with no one in the vehicle. This happened repeatedly, the only fix I'd found is disabling the ultrasonic sensors inside of the vehicle, leaving the car less secure (there's a button on the roof console to turn them off temporarily).

    In addition to this my wife reported that the dual controls had seized, the brake pedal is now on the floor and won't move. She calls the dealership to be palmed off with a response from N who sold us the car that essentially said call the installer directly, what do you want me to do?

    Which she did, however shouldn't have had to as the contract for installing those dual controls is with the dealership, we're not directly involved with the installer. I broached this with the service manager who agreed with me that as Holdcroft organised it, they should have at least rang the installer to query what to do, not just said not our problem, the business manager disagreed with this and said its quicker for you to do it...

    Anyway she called the installer who said oh yeah they get stuck sometimes, you need to move a swivel switch...(turns out there's no such part LOL)

    Now at this point note we've had HE-Man dual controls for over 10 years with no issues nor fuss, never had a problem and most certainly they've never seized on any car we've had - as it's a huge safety issue if your car starts to emergency stop on it's own!

    My wife managed to free up the dual controls, however this happened 2-3 more times and during this time I'd engaged the dealership to find out what's happening with the controls, as I was on site most weeks due to my Honda Accord needing more warranty work (it's needed a LOT which was still ongoing in September/Oct 2018, we had the cars in Feb/March!!) I was told by the new car sales manager (let's call him T) that he wasn't sure what was happening with the duals but the guy they used was reputable and approved, so I asked for his details.

    I received the details at the end of the day after having to ask a few times to get a response, it was at this point I found they'd used a random man-in-a-van, so I called HE-Man directly to see if he worked for them as an approved installer, they confirmed in email (attached) that he's not one of their approved installers.

    So at this point we'd asked for HE-Man dual controls and genuine heated seats from the EX Grade Civic and we've received aftermarket heated seats alongside a dual control kit that hasn't been installed or approved by HE-Man - i spoke to the dealer principal (let's call him A) who said to me:

    "Because you're so fussy with the kit you have in the car, you contact He-Man and sort it out and I'll pay for it"
    (Amazingly when I brought this quote up on site he now argues he never said that)

    Which I did, :salute:

    I contacted HE-Man and asked them for a list of installers near me and the price on a kit for the new shape Civic.
    He-Man told me there was no kit for the Civic yet, as they'd not manufactured one, and they'd need a vehicle for 6 weeks to do so.
    So now we've got incorrect heated seats installed, along with dual controls installed by an unapproved installer that aren't even a HE-Man product!

    I’d note here that driving instructors use specialised motor vehicle insurance, a lot of which won't insurance the vehicle if they aren’t using official HeMan dual controls (I've had this checked)– which isn’t a bad thing as they represent quality reliability and safety, they’re controlling the brake and clutch of the car, they have to be in perfect working order and made properly otherwise you’re putting people’s lives at risk.

    I spoke to the 2 closest installers alongside speaking with HeMan on what else could be fitted to a vehicle, and at this point they gave me two numbers of fitters and only one option - to fit what's called a general purpose kit, which is a prototype kit that needs to be adapted to the floor pan of the vehicle.

    I contacted both numbers, the first refused to take the existing kit out of the vehicle because of deemed liability on his part if anything goes wrong, the second asked me to meet him at a HE-Man conference so he could have a look over the car to see if he could potentially get the general purpose kit installed, as there was no guarantee's on it being able to be installed in this shape of Civic.

    I took the car down to meet the installer, who looked at the existing kit and immediately managed to pull the brake pedal off of the car, it wasn't even bolted in place, he proceeded to look over the driver’s side and noticed the clutch cable was starting to fray (this is a fairly hefty steel cable), he advised that the installation wasn't fit for purpose and he would not advise to continue driving the car, stating the car only had 1-2 months of life left in that kit before it failed and potentially damaged the car - note at this point every time the dual controls failed in the vehicle they caused the car to come to an emergency stop, putting the life of both my wife, her pupil and other road users at risk.

    I spoke to the dealership again and said the easiest way to resolve this was to take the new shape Civic back and give me a 2017 previous shape Civic, however I’d want some serious good will applied because of the dismal service I’ve received and the dangerous condition the car’s been left in, the reason I asked for a previous generation Civic was that HeMan had already produced a kit for that shape of Civic and so it was available as a production item, not the general purpose kit that we were offered for the new shape, all of the fixing points and assessments had been looked at, whereas with a general purpose kit the installation is dependent on the individual installer first wanting to take up the work as it’s a large risk on their part, secondly the installer being able to install the kit and mount it in such a way that it doesn’t damage anything on the other side of the floor pan or bulk head.

    I felt the previous generation Civic would have sorted both the installation of non-approved heated seats and the installation of non-approved dual controls, and at this point I’d say that at no point during the sales process did the dealership come back to either my wife or I to ask or verify that we were using:

    · A non-approved installer that was not He-Man approved
    · A non-approved set of He-Man Dual controls
    · A third party to install the heated seats
    · The fitting of non-genuine heated seats

    There was no dialog or checking with us at all, and my argument with the dealership rightly includes that I took the word of the sales exec "N" as someone I could trust with making what I wanted in the vehicle happen – as I described it, I didn’t realise I needed to hand hold the dealership and correct them at every turn, which is what I’ve had to do on both vehicles.

    I found a vehicle at the Warrington branch that I wanted brought to Cobridge, I’d already spoken to the dealer principle at Warrington ("K") whom I’ve had a number of chats with and I find to be an honest and open guy who’s willing to assist where he can, and he agreed the car could be sent down and it wasn’t a problem.

    I asked the Cobridge team to bring the car for me to view with a view to sending back the new shape and taking the old one, something that was deemed to not be a problem by "J", the sales exec we spoke to when we went down to the dealership in the evening after I’d met up with the installer from He-Man to assess the state of the current installation.

    The next day I chased to see if he’d spoken to the Warrington team, “No they’re still in their sales meeting”, fair enough, I called back after dinner – “J with another customer” , fair enough but can someone find out if he’s called Warrington please – “Yes no problem”.

    I got no call back, in the end I got my wife to call the dealership as I didn’t have the time to call again, and she spoke to J who said he’d been calling me both on my mobile and office line all day to update me (I’ve no missed calls, voicemails on either my mobile or office line at this point) but "T" has blocked me from bringing that car down to the dealership until your complaint is resolved.
    So at this point my resolution was to use a previous generation Civic, but I was blocked from doing so.

    More conversations with the dealership occurred and I asked the finance company to process a complaint also and to get involved with things at the dealership, their complaint is ongoing but essentially I told both parties that if the car is off the road, as we’ve been advised not to drive it, then I need a replacement vehicle ASAP as it’s used to run a business and we can’t afford to not have it on the road for a prolonged period of time.

    We looked at getting a lease car and returning the Civic however the shortest lease time was 3 months and £600 a month on top of the Civic payments, the finance company wouldn’t halt the finance during the complaint even if the car went back to the dealership so we were left with no option but to explore the fitting of the general purpose kit.

    It was at this point I’d also learned that should there be an accident with the vehicle then no one is insured as the vehicle would be running with an existing known fault, I explained this to "T" and his response was that this was “False Information” and that we would be covered by insurance – I had this checked by my eldest daughter who works in insurance and she confirmed that the insurance would likely not be covered as it breaches what’s classed as taking reasonable care of the vehicle.

    So again at this point the dealership has told me one thing and what’s actually happening is different.

    At every point of the complaint with the dealership they’ve gone back to the offer letter saying it states only dual controls and heated seats, which we queried at the time and were assured this wouldn’t be a problem, now conveniently the "N" ‘forgot’ that conversation even happened, and whilst the dealership argues it doesn’t state genuine heated seats or heman dual controls it also does not state anywhere that they would be fitting generic heated seats, by a third party I was unaware of and unapproved dual controls by an unapproved installer.

    I’ve posed this question to the dealership and had no response each time, I’ve asked why when the car was having these parts fitted did no one send anything to me to query if this dual control kit was OK, or this heated seat system, or can we use other parts for the dual controls as an official production kit wasn’t available? The only reason I can think that they didn’t ask me was that they were fully aware it wasn’t what I wanted and should they have contacted me It would have raised a country sized red flag in terms of this not being what we asked for and discussed with the sales exec during the sales process.

    To be crystal clear here, if I’d have known they weren’t fitting what we asked for we would not have purchased the vehicle, I can't stress this enough – we would have carried on with the Auris (which had factory heated seats alongside a production approved HeMan dual control set) which had never had an issue in the 2 years we had it, in comparison both cars we’ve had from Holdcroft have been a nightmare to deal with.

    At this point we’ve had the general purpose kit installed and it appears to work OK, however I mentioned to both the dealer and finance company that I was reluctant to look into this option as it wasn’t a production kit, and my sneaking suspicion was that should I have this installed, the dealership would write off the safety critical aspect of my complaint, which they have done insisting they’ve fixed the problem, which they haven’t – I’ve had to fix everything myself, organise the fitting, speak to the company, meet with installers, take the car to Birmingham for the day (so I lost a day’s wage there in addition to my wife), and even though we’ve now got a HeMan kit, it still wasn’t what we asked for, it should have been a production kit, not a kit that’s had to be grinded down and welded for it to fit properly as I’m sure you’d appreciate it wouldn’t look the same, and for a £24000 car I wanted everything to be as it should have been, a factory car, with factory seats and a factory approved he man dual control kit – something the dealership should have made me aware of during the sales process and did not.

    Again if the dual controls were not available for the Civic we would not have brought the vehicle. If the seats to be installed were described to have been non genuine we would not have brought the vehicle.

    We had a production kit on the Auris and factory heated seats, I’m struggling to understand the dealerships viewpoint in that I’d go from that car to then give them £24000 for a brand new vehicle but say yeah fit the cheapest seats and controls you want it’s fine. We just wouldn’t and didn’t do that, and it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch for the customer to expect the sales exec to deliver on what’s discussed during the sales process, otherwise why have conversations about new cars at all if you can’t trust what’s being said verbally?

    I managed to find out who they’d used to fit the heated seats and "A's" issue was the installed seats were a 2 stage heating system and the EX Civic is a 3 stage, and they weren’t compatible, of which I replied I asked for genuine ones, this isn’t my concern, fix it – they refused.

    They offered to move the switches anywhere else if it was suitable, which it was not as my issue was that it wasn’t a genuine kit.
    I came up with a compromise arrangement, the installer they used make both a 2 stage and 3 stage heating system, if a 3 stage system was fitted instead, the installer (and I’ve spoken to them and confirmed this already, however the price would be over £720) could make use of the genuine Honda heated seat switches and replace the small plastic section over the heater controls which doesn’t currently have the switch blanks present, and this would give me a set of seats that look as close to OEM as possible, as Honda rejected the fitting of a complete EX setup as it would cost too much money – they refused to even investigate what parts they’d need to replace and what the cost would be, it was an outright refusal without investigating.

    At this point I asked the question on why the offer of a 3 stage system wasn’t given to me during the sales process, why a 2 stage when the EX Civic has a 3 stage system as standard? It’s almost as if again if they’d have told me this I would have quickly realised they weren’t using genuine parts.

    Holdcroft rejected this offer and their final response to me has been to replace the SR seats with a new set which aren’t modified and to refund the £600 it cost them to put the 2 stage heated seats into the vehicle – its either that or take legal action I’ve been told as I asked for the escalation process and nowhere did the dealership make reference to Holdcrofts complaints procedure (a little odd that one of the dealerships doesn’t know their own complaints procedure?)

    Holdcroft are stating they’ve followed a rigorous sales procedure and they’ve essentially done nothing wrong (and are even pointing me towards their previous motor ombudsman decisions!), however what we agreed with the sales exec and what we queried when the offer form was supplied we were told not to worry and that everything would be sorted as we’d agreed with him, even to the point we asked for a specific range of number plates, pick what you want on a new car he said, we gave him a number of specific plates and he came back a week or so later with a list which had none of the ones we asked for – this is all that’s available we were told, again another example of being promised something and not delivering.

    I mean take my Honda Accord, brought in February for an extortionate sum considering what’s gone wrong with it, the Approved Used Honda check on the vehicle was carried out by Stevie Wonder, as the amount of faults I was left with on the car is a joke – which I’ve since found out the technician was sacked from the dealership not long after completing my check, amazingly I had a service done where the technician highlighted I needed a new tyre as it had 1.6mm of tread on an inner edge, I took it to an independent tyre fitter who has rubbished the health report as he can’t find tread lower then 3.1mm – when I queried this over the phone earlier this week I was told the technician again is no longer with the dealership, brilliant, every time I find something wrong with the Accord, the offending staff member disappears!

    I asked Honda Warrington to do an approved used check on the accord for piece of mind as I didn't trust the competence of the garage staff after everything that had happened, they refused - what other life threatening faults could the Accord or the Civic be hiding that the dealership just isn’t competent enough to see?

    To date, and this isn’t an exhaustive list as the dealership won't release to me the warranty work information that was done prior to me picking up the car to add to the service pack I have with the car…
    · DPF Forced regeneration
    · DPF Acid Treatment
    · DPF Replacement Filter Fitted
    · New Clutch Master Cylinder fitted (after greasing the old one) - which is now squeaking again less than 5000 miles in...
    · New Door Trim (It was actually stolen by a staff member from another Accord for sale on the dealership and placed on to mine)
    · New switch pack on the passenger door
    · Handbrake adjustments as it wouldn't hold on a hill - they said it's normal...
    · New 4 wheel alignment as the previous one hadn’t centred the steering wheel properly
    · There’s still a chip in the windowscreen to repair
    · The boot water channel was resprayed
    · It’s been sold with two rear tyres with cracks in the rubber
    · It wasn’t serviced prior to pick up, I’ve now got to pay for an air con clean as it stinks when it first comes on every now and again – I’m hoping the clean fixes it and it’s not something else going wrong.

    This is in 6 months of owning the car, its actually been to site that many times that I know almost everyone's name on site, I’m on first name basis with everyone on site, and I even had a customer approach me asking me to explain the technical features on the Civic to him – I’m being mistaken as Staff!

    The servicing on the Accord was also a joke, I brought it on finance which meant 2 free services, I was called up by the holdcroft team to book it in for it’s major service and I said it’s good I have two free services, “Oh no they’re only for minor services” “You’ll need to pay us £150 for the major service”, WHAT? I had to query this with the service manager on site to get the work done as a free service.
    At every point, in both car experiences, this dealership has found a way of messing up and trying to assume there is either nothing wrong or I’m in the wrong here.

    I’ve tried approaching the Motor trade ombudsman but they refuse to look into the case of the Civic as the car’s being used for business, trading standards have been informed following a call with citizens rights and the consumer helpline, however I can’t see this helping now that Holdcroft have issued their final stance which is to replace the seats with new ones which aren’t heated and refund the £600 cost for installing them, however that still leaves me out of pocket, the 3 stage kit is £720 and the installer has informed me it would be extra for them to fit them into Honda switches as they’d need to bench test the system first, in addition I’d need to provide them with the switches, plugs for the back of the switches along with the dash plastic to be replaced.

    I wanted a new car personally to replace my 2006 Skoda Fabia Vrs, which I’m glad I’ve kept as I'm leaving an open invitation here on the forum that if anyone would like to give me the outstanding balance on the Accord they can happily take the car off my hands and I’ll go back to the Skoda, as that car has never let me down in 4 years of motoring whereby I’ve done 50,000miles upwards, the Accord however has had all of these problems in 5,000 miles.

    I’ve actually been to site that many times I’ve driven most of the courtesy cars, in pretty much every engine size and gearbox variant, alongside model – I’ve only the CR-V left!

    We wanted the Civic as a more affordable car to run than the Auris, we were told it would be cheaper to finance (it wasn't), cheaper to run and more reliable (HA!) however the amount of problems the dealer has caused with both vehicles has left us feeling like we’re the ones in the wrong for buying a Honda in the first place, we stated what we wanted during the sales process and we also queried what was put on the offer letter and we were assured it would be as we described, an official He-Man dual control kit and genuine heated seats from an EX grade Civic – the sales exec was quoted as saying “I can fit any optional extra into a vehicle” something the dealership now denies, strangely despite everyone that denies it not being part of the original conversations.

    We’re now left with a car that costs more than our previous one, with a cracked centre console (thanks to the dual control installer originally, which again Holdcroft seemed to miss on their checks that the centre console is hanging off on the passenger side), damaged seats as the switches for the existing heated seats keep falling out. And this is independent of the alarm issue that can potentially reoccur, the window wipers that when set to auto seem to move to full speed with a single drop of rain hits the screen, but it slows down in a downpour, the ADAS kit that occasionally reports every road in the UK as a no overtaking lane…it’s been such a nightmarish time that it’s actually affected my wife’s health a large way, something the dealer principle over the phone (because he doesn’t put much in writing, and when asked about things he ignores them via writing) denies having any adverse affect on, which is in complete contradiction to both the Warrington & Stuart Graham branches who when I asked for a second opinion there both immediately understood that the stress it’s placed on both my wife and I would have a negative impact on health.

    It’s left me not wanting another Honda, and that's despite the fact I love the styling in the Accord, I was even considering an import of a Gen9 at some point but they've shot my confidence in the brand, in addition it’s begun to spread like wildfire that this dealership isn’t to be trusted amongst the driving instructors in stoke on trent, and considering theres 39,000 of them in the UK, it doesn’t take long for that experience to shun people away from the new Civic, the word's also spreading amongst the pupil base, if you consider for every one instructor there's at least 10 different pupils being taught at one time period, and we're getting feedback from pupils already when they're asked what car they'd consider for their first car, they're immediately writing off the Civic because of the way Holdcroft sells and manages customers.

    The dual controls, don’t look the best, but they’re a He-man kit installed by a He-Man installer, so I trust they shouldn’t fail, they just don’t look the best because they aren’t a production item, but I’m not happy that I had to do the majority of the leg work to fix the problem myself because the dealership were utterly clueless in being able to sort this out, and It makes sense for them to ask me to deal with it now, considering there was no production kit available, something they should have known as you’d assume they would have contacted He-Man to get the controls fitted, it looks like they didn’t contact them at all despite us asking specifically for that brand of controls.
    The heated seats aren’t a genuine item, and I’ve even tried to come to a compromise agreement with the dealership to put a higher grade of heated seat in from the installer which will allow for the installing of genuine Honda switches, making the system look OEM which should have been what we received in the first place.

    All we want is a safe car that’s as we discussed, which Honda have refused.

    I’m not asking for the world to be put right,

    just replace the seats with either an EX installation (which Honda said would cost too much and be too complex), or fit a three stage system from the installer and use Honda Switches, to date we’ve been offered no apology, no admission of any wrong doing on either cars and certainly no good will to put things right in context of what’s gone wrong – I couldn’t seem to get through to the dealership you could have killed someone, and they’ve treated my complaint like I’ve a scuff on an alloy wheel.

    I'm hoping the customer care team can offer some assistance, as Honda Customer Service UK have been a joke thus far, the Accord is too old for them to care despite it being under warranty and an approved used vehicle, the Civic they won't touch either as all Honda dealers in the UK are franchised so it's not their problem, they're quoted as saying they're "Honda in name only".

    Moral of the story? Don't ask for any optional extras or anything that's not a completely standard vehicle that they have to do nothing to - they're not competent enough to get it right, although saying that, my Accord was a standard vehicle and that's been fraught with problems too, nothing optional or extra there, just a heap of things not working and not checked before sale - despite being approved used. Make of that what you will.

    I won't be touching Holdcroft Honda Stoke again - we're moving to get the car's serviced in Warrington at a separate dealership as a result along with getting another approved used safety check performed on the Accord as the first one was performed by Stevie wonder...

    UPDATE AS OF Feb 19.

    Following my original horror show with Holdcroft, the Accord failed again in September/October time, I'd had enough at this point and put a review up online telling others exactly what I've put to you here, the response from Holdcroft was to refuse to do any further work on either car - they refused to put anything right despite prior arrangements and refused to be amicable in order to get things sorted.

    They asked me to remove my reviews multiple times, and when the accord failed, I brought it to site via AA escort, I've an AA engineer witness who watched them refuse the car point blank because of the reviews online (they came out ten minutes later with an "offer" (they refused to put into writing) and said we'll look at the accord if you remove your reviews online. I said I won't be blackmailed or bullied by no one!

    In the end they sat on their hands and did nothing, I had to propose a solution, for them to pay off the finance on the cars and take them back, which they did - it was after that we found out they'd underpaid us for the finance on the cars, the CAP auction sheet we were given listed only two categories, not all three to get the best price, and the Civic was immaculate as was the Accord (well at least no different then when I brought it 6 months prior!!), I even tried to part ex the accord at a local KIA garage who laughed at the car saying it was covered in stone chips, despite being an approved used Honda?

    Anyway, they purchased the cars back, and subsequently blacklisted my name from every Holdcroft dealership they own.

    I thought blacklists were a myth, but I reached out to the Nissan branch to ask for some details on the new K14 micra, they read the message but didn't respond - i said are you not allowed to speak to me? Bam blocked, I've also been blocked from both the stuart graham, holdcroft honda cobridge, and holdcroft motor group facebook groups to avoid me both leaving reviews or comments on their posts...

    I'll be updating this thread with the evidence I've collected as I can, this is the second time I've uploaded this kind of post, the first resulted in legal threats to the former admin Ichiban who messaged me saying he'd had legal threats and didn't want this on his doorstep, the post was deleted, when I queried why, I was banned from here too!

    Luckily I managed to speak to Leo at HTune who took on board everything I'd been through and unlocked my account and I've asked permission to post this in advance :BooYeah:

    So yeah - Holdcroft, they talk a big game about the 50 year unbroken customer promise, it's only unbroken in the sense that everyone they've let down they've hidden from view.

    I've left google reviews, yell reviews, reviews everywhere I could, they attempted and continue to seek for my reviews to be taken down, I mean take the google ones - my images would magically disappear the night after uploading them of the damage to both cars, I queried this with google business support and they said the owner of the Holdcroft Honda Cobridge Page is flagging your images as violating standards and they're being auto deleted, luckily after reporting that as an issue to both google and to the managing director - it seemingly stopped!

    I'm not the only one who's been fobbed off by them, there's a growing number of us who've all been let down, and when we've asked for things to be put right, we've been met with a wall of denial (as they still say they've done nothing wrong despite evidence to the contrary).

    This thread will be updated with other peoples stories as I gain permission to post them, I'm working with another sufferer of a Holdcroft Horror show at the minute and he's keen to make his story public once he has a resolution, which we're pushing damn hard for!

    Any questions? Let me know, I've nothing to hide, and perhaps you've something to gain by being made aware - I can only hope that by reading this people take more time and caution when buying from them, making sure everythings water tight before signing - or heck, don't buy from's your choice! :Hooray:
    - - - Updated - - -
    I believe the social media ban list currently stands at:

    Stuart Graham Honda - Banned
    Holdcroft Honda Cobridge - Banned
    Holdcroft Renault - Banned
    Holdcroft Nissan Hanley - Banned
    Holdcroft Dacia Hanley - Banned

    Now is it right to ban people for saying they were treated badly by the company they've left a review of?

    I don't think that's fair, in addition I don't feel it represents a level of professionalism that you'd want as a customer, if whenever you complained you were met with a ban and outright silence, you'd be hard pressed to find reasons to want to buy from them again!

    So Holdcroft? Congratulations for continuing to alienate yourselves from the public... :Hooray::Hey:
    cat-guy likes this.
  2. cat-guy Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    cat-guy United Kingdom
    Aaron, I had a run in with Holdcroft Honda seven years ago and personally I would not trust them to wash my car and I can understand your dealings with them.
    I now use Birmingham Honda and have found then to give me fantastic service.
    Azzaaaaaaa likes this.
  3. Zebster Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    I realise that one of the OP's cars was new, but it really does puzzle me why anybody buys a secondhand vehicle from a main dealer?
    Matt at H-Tune and honda_saj like this.
  4. Azzaaaaaaa Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    United Kingdom Aaron Stoke-on-Trent
    It was approved used mate,or should have been! I'd got a fabia vrs so it was quite the upgrade! I didn't have the money for two brand new cars
  5. Zebster Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    No, I didn't mean that you should have bought two new cars! I meant that you should have bought the old secondhand Accord from somewhere much cheaper... if you bought from any regular dealer you'd have got the exact same legal protection and saved a fair bit.
    Azzaaaaaaa likes this.
  6. Azzaaaaaaa Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    United Kingdom Aaron Stoke-on-Trent
    Good to know, the Mrs would love another Honda, but with her having a local business, having servicing out of the area wasn't good for her, plus no one would take the Accord on as a repair job as the warranty that came with the car which was supposed to be approved used, turns out to be a listed warranty which isn't approved used! So the Accord was sold as approved used and I now find it didn't meet the criteria to begin with! This is despite the parts warranty being with Holdcroft, and when I asked Derby Honda to look at it, they said we will call you back once we've investigated the history on the car, they called back and said we won't get inbetween yours and Holdcrofts complaint, I said that's fair but little did I know "A" had already been on the blower to Derby giving them the background on our issues, from Holdcrofts view of course. He admitted it when we went to site for a meeting.
  7. Zebster Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    It's a pity that HH can't be invited to comment. This forum was previously very close to them.
    Azzaaaaaaa likes this.
  8. Azzaaaaaaa Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    United Kingdom Aaron Stoke-on-Trent
    They won't communicate with me at all on any level, email, calls, social media messages, they ignore the lot and block me at each turn.

    They have had plenty of chances to respond, in most emails I said you've a chance to turn this around into a positive experience, they did not do that each time.
    They could also have replied to this when I posted it last time, instead they called the previous admin threatening legal action. When I get on the pc il upload the message here for everyone.
    - - - Updated - - -
    It was more the finance that led me to Holdcroft as I didn't have the cash to get it outright, and the lure of the approved used scheme, fully warranted mileage, 300 or so point check, preferential MOT and 12 months warranty, it was the only accord on site as I didn't know they'd been stopped in the UK, I absolutely loved that Accord but it was such a lemon! Multiple faults, the biggest being DPF faults that kicked it into limp mode but there never was a code logged, it stumped the AA engineers lol, especially when it failed with less than 3g of spot content in the DPF.
    Zebster likes this.
  9. Golf_R New Member Getting Started

    European Union fireman sam england
    Hi guys, sorry to chirp in I've had Hondas for years up until 2 years ago when I leased my Golf R which goes back in April and I've always had Hondas in the past.
    I was originally a Cheshire lad until I moved to London with work and my folks have had Hondas from them for years and still use them for servicing, They got a CR-V 2016 petrol. As my Golf is due back soon I popped in when visiting my parents and test drove the FK8 last week. The local dealer in London were so funny about letting me drive it, wanted my inside leg measurements and a deposit before I got behind the wheel. Holdcroft were brill, so relaxed, actually a breath of fresh air.
    Ordered my new car for March 19 reg, got a good deal too discount wise including mats and a tank of fuel. I rang three dealers before I placed an order and the most any dealer would do was free service plan. I had no issues with Honda so far..
    Dealt with them before (Civic diesel 2006, Civic Type-R FN2 2009, 2011 LSD )
    Folks deal with them still after 26 years (typical Honda oldies) lost count how many they have had
    Would recommend to others too.

    Sorry to hear about this episode, sounds messy, but working in a retail industry myself selling to the public you allow for 3-5% of things to go wrong. then you get customers who are nice to deal with and customers who are not, @Azzaaaaaaa people don't get banned from business these days, it just doesn't happen so you must have really kicked up a stink, get over it mate, you say they bought the cars back?? move on life is to short, you seem to be getting a real kick out of this (strange) do you not have kids, grandkids, a wife, a hobby to occupy you? or just bored?
    You want see what a real crap service is, I could name and shame some VW, TOYOTA, FORD rs dealers and also some supposedly Rated independent dealers, but I won't spam the internet with my horror stories.
    But rather than posting to the world, nip back in and have a chat with them, BE A HUMAN, NOT A ROBOT, this world of technology takes up to much of our valuable time, can't beat old school, pick up the phone have a chat, or go back in.

    @Zebster id like to see a reply but I couldn't reply in a forum in my industry either, I guess that would be the same with them.
    HondaHeritage and SpeedyGee like this.
  10. SpeedyGee Club Manager Club Staff

    England Speedy Birmingham
    I couldn't have put it better myself @Golf_R :Thumbup:
    Golf_R likes this.
  11. Azzaaaaaaa Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    United Kingdom Aaron Stoke-on-Trent
    No apology necessary, I welcome others views, in no way am i saying they are bad with 100% of customers, it would take something really special to alienate every customer that comes to site, and I agree there are positive experiences too - the Accord experience for example was pleasant! I went in, test drove it, noticed things wrong, tracking out, bits of trim missing from the door, bald tyres etc (approved used?), and said right I'll take it if you sort all that out, yeah yeah we'll sort that - came to pick it up on handover day and NOTHING had been done, like at all - and during this time it had supposedly had the 300 or so multi point inspection, which noted nothing I'd found - when i queried how none of this had been picked up on inspection their response was that the technician was no longer there, i found out later on he'd been sacked for substandard performance.

    Wanting the inside leg measurements sounds a bit odd for a test drive, I can't help but remember that old friends episode "but that's how they measure pants!" LOL

    I was expecting no issues with Honda myself, I was lulled in with the reliability they're supposed to claim fame to, admittedly you can't have 100% reliability on EVERY car you make because its dependent on how they're driven and maintained etc, but for it to happen to an approved used and a brand new car from factory seemed a little odd, especially when in both cases the things that should have been checked on the car were Holdcrofts responsibility, and the fitting of the dual controls and heated seats into the new Civic were again organised by Holdcroft - and I got one story after another with them, well we used BAS "our motability specialist", so I rang them and said did you put these dual controls in? Nope, so I asked Holdcroft again, give me the details for who you've used, they gave me a guys details which I looked up and he's a random man in a van - so I contacted BAS again, do you know this guy? Yeah we've heard the name but he's not affiliated with us, righto... rang He-Man, do you know this guy, is he an approved technician to fit your kit? Nope he's not one of ours, and the image you've sent in of your kit proves it's not actually our kit either - hang on, WHAT?

    I contacted the installer and said who told you to fit a cheap aftermarket kit, why didn't you fit He-man? Oh it wasn't available - well why didn't you stop the job and query it with the customer? Well the person who gave me the job said to fit the cheaper kit as it was all that was available, the person organising the work was...Holdcroft. So they told the guy to fit cheap parts into the car knowing we'd specifically asked for He-Man genuine parts, and I can't state this enough, if they'd have said at ANY point yeah we can't get the dual's sorry - could we fit these? The anwser would have been. sorry we'll stay with our current car, instead they chose to not contact me, fit cheap parts and let us trade in the Auris so we were stuck with the Civic!

    I completely agree with you though you'd allow for 3-5% of things to go wrong, but your customer service reputation is based on how you respond to customer complaints and work with the customer to change that negative experience into something positive, for example, this all kicked off because I left them a google review saying pretty much what I've defined above, but in less words as there's a character count limit. Now at this point they were getting reviews from customers I'd say between 1-2 a week, as soon as I posted that review, suddenly there came an influx of 5* reviews daily, almost as if they were trying to push my review out of sight because it's done in post date order depending on how you filter the results, so I thought no you don't, so I updated it when I could to keep it on top - rather than work with me in getting this sorted, their response was to state the following:

    "Google reviews can be amended in many different ways. However for people reading this review, please see a selection of over 536 reviews on Judge Service (then there was a link to it) where we're rated 4.6 overall out of our genuine customers and 98% of our customers would reccomend us to their family and friends."

    I don't see that as a response from someone who wants to work with the customer to overcome issues?

    Another example

    I was fantastic to deal with, go into branch and speak to the service team, ask the service manager Christian - I was more than amicable with everyone there until sales started lying to my face, and "A" began saying things in person he'd immediately back track on when I quoted what he said in a further conversation - at that point I felt disrespected and as if they were shifting the blame on me for the Accord being constantly broken.

    I mean at what point did I do something wrong here? I asked for an approved used car, and it had a million and one faults, most of which I noticed prior to hand over, which they agreed to fix and didn't, so it was 6 months of constant trips to get things sorted out - the large one being the DPF system which just never worked right and always left the car in limp mode.

    I had a brand new Civic SR from factory, it wasn't even dealership stock as the diesel was literally just coming out, it wasn't even in the brochures etc. and I asked for heated seats from an EX to be put in and He-Man Dual controls to be put in, we asked for specifics, and in both cases they fitted cheap aftermarket kit that failed in the case of the dual controls and weren't installed correctly in the case of the seats.

    It's not like I asked for engine conversions or the roof to be cut off, asking for custom bits to be added to a car they were used to, as they're a motability supplier, so they're used to people asking for hand controls for those with limb impairments, or wheelchair modifications put in, this wasn't a big deal? Yet they managed to screw both areas up, and then swore blind they did nothing wrong.

    I did kick up a stink yeah, because at the point we were at in september, they refused to MOT the accord, or service or repair it, which meant I couldn't use it - it was in limp mode and wouldn't pass an MOT, I contacted Derby Honda and they refused to look at it because of the complaint I had with Holdcroft - it was only when I went to site for another meeting "A" said he'd been in contact with Derby Honda to inform them of the history of the car - a bit weird?

    They also refused to do anything with the Civic too, this included repairing the cracked centre console the dual control installer broke then tried to stick back together with Hot melt glue!

    I carried on kicking up a stink because as a customer there was nooooooooooooooooooooo way I was being left with the accord the way it was, remember it was under approved used warranty (supposedly) so it needed to be repaired by Honda, and as they'd had 3 prior repair attempts at the engine and DPF on the accord, plus the new DPF they fitted had a 12 months parts warranty, that parts warranty also fell with Holdcroft - I couldn't take it anywhere non-Honda for fear of losing what was left of the warranty.

    In the end they tried silent treatment, so I proposed they purchase back both cars for what we paid for them, they purchased them back instead for a lower amount than we'd paid - we had to pay a value of £1232.34, to this day I don't know what that charge relates to, but the numbers seem odd...
    123 234? Almost made up - I queried this with "A", "With the letter you proposed last night, what does the £1232.34 break down as, i.e. what's this payment for?"

    His response?

    "We are not obliged to share the calculation of how the offer was put together"

    So you want me to pay over a thousand pounds, just because? The finance company had no idea where this figure had come from either.

    As far as getting over it's concerned, with respect, no. I was a customer, a damn tolerant one too giving them 6 months to fix issues that should not have been there in the first place, I was led there on the reliability of Honda and the Holdcroft customer promise saying they'd do their best for customers etc, had I known what I know now regarding trying to hide negative PR I would have run a mile, and its through accounts like mine I'm warning potential buyers to be cautious when buying, make sure what you're asking for is written how YOU want it on the offer letter, not how they've told you it should be - that was my downfall, apparently there was only so much room on the offer letter (fair enough I'll take your word for it "N"), which then turned into, well you didn't define it on the offer letter as genuine parts so we didn't fit genuine parts...WHAT?

    They did purchase the cars back ah, but the CAP valuation they gave was misrepresented, it gave two out of the three valuation categories, and a helpful local dealership when I looked at getting someone else to buy the Civic and accord from me in exchange for having multiple vehicles off them in a short period, they informed me that they'd clipped off the top valuation to make the cars appear to be worth less than they actually are, giving them a higher resale value - despite saying the offer cost the company a lot of money...I mean - does that sound like a genuine thing to do as a trusted dealership?

    I'm not getting a kick out of it all, and that's a very odd thing to come out with seen as we've never met, I just don't take things lying down, and when things are agreed, they should be delivered upon, it's like asking for a specific house and someone delivering you a trailer with the same house number on, and saying well just live with it -

    The amount of stress and hardship this put on me and my wife was ridiculous, and when I said to them you've quite literally made my wife ill with what you've done and their response was that they don't see how the situation could cause anyone to be unwell and how this was their fault...

    On the flip side to that, for anyone thinking i was a complete Tw*t to Holdcroft and just a complaining consumer, here's a quote from "T" regarding our conversations and meetings

    "I have met you in person on several occasions and have found you to be a pleasant and genuine person."

    I know there are a multitude of other dealerships with appalling customer service, I had issues with a toyota dealership where everything under the 5 year warranty they tried to throw out saying it's an instructor car so its void, and every time I'd ask for someone else to look at it and they'd say no he's wrong, we'll fix I'm hardly saying every dealership is perfect but Holdcroft.

    I also accept they aren't, as I've said, bad with everyone. Because each encounter is controlled by different individual sales staff, my issue snowballed with the management team, it was there I found this wall of, we didn't do anything wrong and we don't think "N" would have said that, with NO proof what so ever, and when I proved things to the contrary I'd be met with silence, they'd refuse to reply - I even submitted GDPR requests for information about my time there, and they gave me bits, when I asked for the rest - silence yet again from "A".

    My wife's got two kids yeah, I can't have any - probably for the best really as I'm Autistic and it's not the most pleasant thing to have, sure it's a benefit in a lot of areas, but there are downsides too, such as what you're seeing now - because people need to be treated fairly, and I can't / won't accept that treating people like dirt and then blocking them from commenting further is appropriate.

    I would take your advice and go back into branch, however I can't as like I said I'm banned from ALL dealerships they own, despite only using the Honda Cobridge one - this was confirmed in person where I took two witnesses with me to avoid anything being misconstrued and people thinking I've taken things too harshly etc. their final written response to me was

    Dear Aaron,
    The groups senior management believe it is in the best interest of all parties, given that you are not accepting the final offer made by Holdcroft, to avoid any further distress that any future business is placed with another Honda dealership outside of the Holdcroft group. This is the view of the Honda senior management team and Darren Holdcroft is aware of this position.
    Kind Regards

    The offer in question there was to remove the heated seats and replace with standard non heated seats, something they knew before offering I could not accept as my wife suffers with her lower back, and the heated seats are required as a daily pain relief device.

    I appreciate your honesty though :Smile: !
    - - - Updated - - -
    If you've something more to say SpeedyGee, I'd appreciate your thoughts, I've spoken to a number of former customers who've been put into similar situations after dealings with Holdcroft, I'm still speaking to one now who's in the middle of a complaint that's left him with a vehicle that's outright dangerous - in addition to yet again being sold as another "Approved Used" car.
  12. Azzaaaaaaa Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    United Kingdom Aaron Stoke-on-Trent
  13. Zebster Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Do you now think that it may have been better to have pursued a refund via available legal channels (as suggested by Ichiban), rather than follow Holdcroft's procedures and posting on social media?
  14. Azzaaaaaaa Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    United Kingdom Aaron Stoke-on-Trent
    I tried that beforehand, I tried pushing for a rejection of both cars, they said they couldn't reject the Civic as I had no basis under consumer rights law as it was a business vehicle (however that's now been questioned as it wasn't purchased by a business and it was technically my car), the Accord they said they could look to reject, so I began looking at that, then the finance company said as you'd done 7000 miles in the car (gone from around 59000 to 65000 ish) they'd charge 45p per mile for usage which was £3150 (if I've worked that out right), which would mean I'd have to pay a lump sum to the finance company to clear the finance as the car would be worth much less than I paid for it, which I think was 7200 but with finance it was more like 9K or something like that (don't have the figures to hand).

    I asked the finance company what to do and they said get the faults proven, so i said how? They said get an inspection done on it, I said that won't help as it won't prove root cause, they said it would, i contacted multiple assessors who agreed with me that it wouldn't as they were not allowed to remove bits from the car to prove root cause, that's a garage job not an independent assessors job, so they could only confirm there was a warning on the dash and it was in limp mode, something the AA already had done twice. They said take it to another honda garage, i already mentioned i tried Honda Derby, no luck there, I said what next? they said take it a normal garage and pay for them to fix it, I said it would invalidate the approved used warranty I believed it had got at that point...they had no further suggestions.

    As for following Holdcrofts procedures, you have to.

    You can't take anything via legal challenge until you've exhausted the internal complaints procedure, which was exactly what I did, all the way up to requesting an audience with "D", the MD of the company, who refused to meet me (odd), he also never replied to me, but got one of the other Honda Managers "K" to do it on his behalf (odd).

    As for following them on social media, I don't think there's anything wrong with finding their social media and posting a review on there to say you wouldn't recommend them, if you're then blocked for doing so I don't find that to be an acceptable method of dealing with negative PR.

    Of course if you feel differently, I'm genuinely open to hearing it - I don't want this to be a complete whitewash of Holdcroft, if there are happy occurrences, there's no reason to not share them, if a business is doing something right it should be praised as great work for the customer, similarly all I'm trying to do here is show that where they've done something wrong, that should be pointed out and used as an opportunity to improve relations with customers going forward.

    To my knowledge I'm the only person (based on what HH have said) that's ever been banned from their business, and I'm also the only one who's taken this to such a degree, and that's because people should be made to feel like liars, they shouldn't be made to feel that they're the ones in the wrong and definitely shouldn't be made to feel that they've been left with poor quality items after repeatedly trying to get things right - rightly or wrongly I've taken this as a schoolground bully scenario, and I had enough of being on the receiving end of that in my younger years and workplaces over the years, this time, i stand up for myself, my wife, and other customers. :showoff::salute:
  15. Azzaaaaaaa Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    United Kingdom Aaron Stoke-on-Trent
    I'm not criticising anyone here but I do think it's interesting that when people express a negative experience there's a lot of flak that you get from people thinking your a time-waster or just complaining for the fun of it, I mean take the response i had to my review on Car Dealer Reviews

    "I've been looking for a new car for a while. I'm looking for a new HR-V or the new Toyota Chr. after reading your review i can take only one outcome from. You sir are one raving lunatic with by the looks of it to much time on his hands. I will go to the dealer as well as the local Toyota dealer and review both garages on my findings. As there is only one review on this site, I've done my research on auto trader. They have over 350 reviews which I found useful! I hope that helps"

    I mean his comment made me laugh, and I was more than amicable in my reply to him which stated:

    "This is in response to Martin's comment which is summarised below: **Martin daniels in response to Selling new Honda Civic not as agreed! I've been looking for a new car for a while. I'm looking for a new HR-V or the new Toyota Chr. after reading your review i can take only one outcome from. You sir are one raving lunatic with by the looks of it to much time on his hands. I will go to the dealer as well as the local Toyota dealer and review both garages on my findings. As there is only one review on this site, I've done my research on auto trader. They have over 350 reviews which I found useful! I hope that helps ** Hi Martin, thanks for your comment, The HR-V is a cracking motor, as is the CHR - admittedly the CHR seems a bigger car in comparison and the material finish in the HR-V isn't as nice as I'd like, both are good cars. I think you've got a bit confused following my review, you're welcome to visit whichever dealership you chose, I've used both Holdcroft and the Pinkstones toyota you're referring to, Pinkstones sales I never had any issues with what so ever, had issues on the service side however based on recent discussions I'm confident that's resolved now as the service manager has left the firm who caused most of the issues. As someone with mental health differences I get the lunatic comment from time to time, so rest assured I forgive you for your ignorance in the matter, as for time on my hands I had to spend nights and weekends battling with the dealership in order to get a resolution as this was the second car I'd purchased from them, the first being an approved used Honda Accord which never worked right from the get-go, and after 6 months of it being one fix after another they refused to fix it on account of me leaving them a negative review online, so they left me with a non-functional vehicle, and the Civic they refused to rectify the heated seat issue they caused in the first place. After a long drawn out debate they reluctantly agreed to purchase the vehicles back from us but have banned us from all Holdcroft dealerships within the UK, and have passed on my information to every branch as a result (I gave no permission for my information to be shared in that manner). We've since brought from Bristol St as Toyota stopped doing diesel powertrains and we couldn't use a petrol for business, so we've found some semblance of a resolution, albeit I've had to chase for it for over 6 months as the dealership refuses to accept any liability or responsibility that they ever did anything wrong. Had I known about the negative reviews that are swept under the carpet and the blocking via social media they do whenever anyone gives them any bad press it would have meant I would have avoided buying from Holdcroft and I would never have had these issues. Yes you're right they do have 350+ positive reviews, but it's the way you deal with problems that defines how you are as a dealership, lets assume the majority of people who've left positive reviews have had no issues with cars, because Honda build good cars - that's no reflection on Holdcroft as they have no input into it, look into the reviews of those who have had issues with cars and see how the dealership has resolved, or NOT in most cases, issues that have been raised to them. I'm aware of multiple people who've had problems with the Holdcroft group. I escalated my complaint right to the managing director who refused to meet with me, that's how serious he was about the Holdcroft customer promise and being able to rectify issues amicably. You've researched Autotrader and that's great, however almost all of autotraders results come from Judge Service, a service the dealership pays for, and happily picks and chooses which results display on their website, also note that the judge service scores are based on the last 3 months only, so don't factor in most negative complaints they get as they're 'forgotten' about in 3 months time, there's also the motor ombudsman scores, which I believed would be a better statistic, however when I raised the issue they had 29% recommendation on the Motor Trade Ombudsman's website (I have proof), it seemingly overnight jumped to 94%, so too did their 4.1 score on google when I pointed it out, where the odd review appearing on there from time to time suddenly jumped with lots more people leaving reviews (almost like they were asked to counter the negative feedback). Enjoy your new motor, the 1.8 hybrid CHR looks a fantastic motor, if you can afford the higher trim levels!"
  16. Zebster Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    I'm not taking sides and I have never had anything to do with Holdcroft, other than buying a few things from their very helpful and efficient parts department (who previously gave this forum a decent discount).

    It does appear that you've been given a terrible runaround and fobbed off with deniable lies. But I feel this is the problem with following the other party's dispute proceedings without also taking independent legal advice (and not necessarily just the free advice available)... Like with many things, if you play the game by 'their' rules then you are likely to lose. And accepting vehicles that have faults (or do not meet the agreed spec) will undermine the chances of the necessary work ever being satisfactorily undertaken.

    If this thread has any point (other than allowing you to 'vent') then maybe it should be to advise others on how to avoid the same problems that you have suffered. I'll offer up the advice "never trust a car salesman"...
    Azzaaaaaaa likes this.
  17. Azzaaaaaaa Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    United Kingdom Aaron Stoke-on-Trent
    I know and I appreciate your honesty :Smile:, I've heard multiple people say the parts team are great, and from the dealing I had with them, couldn't fault them, they told me the service interval was 6K on the Civic and knew more than the sales team did who argued it was 10K, if I'd have had more dealings with them i could have stopped the sale there LOL !

    Yeah their dispute process is essentially complaint goes to sales manager "T", then if not sorted is escalated to "A", but there's also the customer care team who can review the case and advise further, they did not reply in my case at all, I attempted escalation to the MD "D" but he refused to comment.

    I sought formal legal advice alongside using citizens advice, consumer helpline, I rang both financial and motor trade ombudsman services, i tried 3 different mediation services to see if they would intervene, I asked Honda UK to assist or mediate, I asked the finance company for assistance, I really did try everyone and everything to push this forward as time was never on my side, it was a case of the Civic not being fit for the road which put my wifes business at risk, then the Accord died and I couldn't get to work so had to lift share which wasn't sustainable long term.

    I agree there should be some aspect of helping others to be more aware should they buy from Holdcroft, and I'll add some notes to that below, but I'd also say that this thread, or others, should have some semblance of customer feedback in there from hopefully more than I, which we've had from the helpful comments thus far. Good idea though :Smile: !

    My advice to potential buyers would be as follows:

    1. Seek out the negative reviews, I can't stress this enough, look at the responses by the business and what the customers had to say, heck reach out to them if you can, social media reviews will allow you to do that - ask if they got it sorted, if they brought from them again, the perceptions of those who've been badly treated will speak volumes more than those who have had positive experiences, and I say that because if you're treated badly, you potentially don't buy from them again and usually your family and friends shy away also, it has a large impact on a lot of people.

    2. when specifying your new car, check over the offer letter before signing, and if the wording is not correct or it does not state EXACTLY what YOU want as the customer, ask for it to be changed, don't do as I did and accept "N"s response that there's only so much room on the offer letter, heck hand write it if you need to and request a copy so it can't be 'lost'.

    3. when specifying a used car, organise an independent check over of the vehicle, it's powerful evidence - should you need to dispute things with a finance company or the dealership or ombudsman, they will want to see proof the car was faulty at the point of purchase, now within the consumer rights law anything within the first 6 months is deemed to be there at the point of sale, however getting a finance company to respect the law as I found out is challenging as they outright refused to accept that just because it was in the consumer law that they had to agree with it, they wanted proof.

    4. on your new / used car, if anything has not been fixed or prepared in the way YOU want it, as YOU defined it in the offer letter, DO NOT ACCEPT THE HAND OVER OF THE VEHICLE, as if you are part-ex'ing your vehicle and you accept a car via handover that still has issues you're not happy with., you can't go back to your old car if it's been taken in part ex! believe me, I've tried to find the damn thing, it's in the wind!

    5. You have a very limited time to set up a service plan if you buy a new car, and its limited to the accounting period for the sale of that car, we were told we could bring the money in for that and "N" would let us know when we needed to be here for, we brought the money in and were told sorry your too late (he hadn't let us know anything), and there was no apology or anything for it - luckily "C" in the service team was more than happy to sort us out with a Holdcroft one (unfortunately another reason I couldn't move to another dealership, as they weren't Honda service plans, they were Holdcroft specific ones).

    6. Don't accept anything on face value, "N" never once said we couldn't have things when we asked for them, hence asking for EX heated seats and He-Man Dual controls, it was a relaxed atmosphere of yeah we can do that, no worries, Hakunamatata! LOL only when the proverbial hit the fan, did his response change to one of, I never agreed that, it wasn't possible - note this was again after hand over.

    7. Be wary of anyone pushing positive reviews, negative reviews serve as a reminder the business isn't squeaky clean, but it shows how they've managed to potentially resolve issues with customers and shows they have good customer service, if you're concerned about reviews like mine and you're told to just ignore them and look at 536 other positive ones, does that say to you that we're good at resolving issues if something goes wrong? Or does that say well just hope things don't go south because we're not the best at dealing with the fallout?

    8. APPROVED USED CARS - any car 8 years old or over IS NOT APPROVED USED, check the main honda website for the official T&C's on it, but at 8 years old if anyone says you have an APPROVED USED WARRANTY like they did with me, they are lying! At 8 years old the warranty changes to something called a listed plan warranty, which only covers specific items, if you have a fault not defined by that plan then tough luck, you're out of pocket and paying for it yourself (unless it's within the first 6 months and you raise a complaint stating in consumer rights law 2015 anything within the first 6 months is assumed there at the point of sale).

    I'm sure there's more advice to add, when it enters my head I'll upload it LOL
    Zebster likes this.
  18. SpeedyGee Club Manager Club Staff

    England Speedy Birmingham
    Sorry @Azzaaaaaaa but my father is very ill at the moment, he has my full attention, so I am not on the forum so much.

    I can see you have had a torrid time and some very bad experiences. I'm not going to take anyone's side here as I don't know the other side of the story.

    What I will say is that from working in the car industry myself I have seen that unfortunately what you have experienced can happen at any Dealership selling any brand of car. Even for Dealerships that usually have a very good reputation and level of service.
  19. Azzaaaaaaa Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    United Kingdom Aaron Stoke-on-Trent
    I'm sorry to hear that - I hope things look up for you soon! My wife was in hospital a few years ago with headaches that bad she was quite literally feral, pulling hair out screaming rolling around on the floor etc, barely conscious from a human capacity - so I know how you feel attention wise :Frown:

    I would have had another car probably from another branch quite quickly as we needed another car, but this blanket ban put a stop to that - it's not stopped me getting cars, but using main dealerships locally has become an annoyance as I either need someone else to take the car or a separate dealership I've had the car from to send it in as one of their own, so like Bristol St if we have an issue with the Nissan I can't use Holdcroft Nissan, but if they needed main dealer support they could send it in on my behalf so they've told's a funny old world!
  20. 155695 Premium Member Club Supporter

    England Keith Essex
    Reading this tome brings to mind (for more than one reason) Leo Tolstoy's famous novel, War and Peace!