Wicked Campervans — Attempt to warn prospective customers of my bad experience
I am travelling NZ with my girfriend. We are from the UK. I am writing to complain about the company "Wicked Campervans". Based in Australia, also in New Zealand and the UK.
The best way for me to convey the details of my complaint is to attach the email sent to the company in question this morning 04/10/06.
The complaint is regarding the quality of the rental vehicle rented to me and the disgusting level of customer care shown to me during correspondance with this company during the vehicles breakdown.
My intentions are , besides recieving compensation from the company in question, to ensure that noone else has to endure the upset caused by the situation when renting from this company in the future.
The company is extremely popular with travellers like myself as it is a budget rental company. However, I believe that the stress resulting from the problems I have had far outways the small amount of money saved by using this company as opposed to another rental firm.
The email I sent is as follows:
I am writing to complain on two counts; firstly reference the actual vehicle rented to us and secondly regarding the way in which we (Miss Jodie Twose and Mr Nick Siddorn) have been mistreated during the vehicles breakdown in New Zealand.
In respect of the vehicle CYL845 'Batman'. Within two days of collection the van, the power steering malfunctioned. We took the van into a garage in Rotarua, and were advised that the pump required fluid, this we had filled up at the expense of 5$, in addition we had the driver side wing mirror
fixed as this had collapsed. After 30 minutes of driving away from the garage, the power steering again malfunctioned. A few days later, the battery light came on, and a burning smell came from the engine. We rang roadside, and then the AA, after 30mins someone came out to us and asked us to follow them to the garage in Waitara.
At the garage, we were told the power steering pump hose needed replacing, we hung around from 11am till 13.30, after which time, we were told the problem was fixed. We then drove the vehicle in the direction of our next destination, shortly afterwards, the battery light came back on and within
half an hour, the electrics went and the power failed, leaving us stranded quite literally in the middle of nowhere. We went to a local farmers house and used the telephone, to call roadside and again the AA. We sat in the car for 3 hours waiting to be recovered, we telephoned the AA twice, and were told that they were unable to tell us where the contractor would be dispatched from or how long it would take, so we were left on the side of a very unsafe road.
Finally, we were recovered but it was too late in the day to take the van to a garage, so we were driven to New Plymouth, not a place we intended to visit, and dropped off at a campsite for the night, at our expense.
At 8am this morning, we were picked up by the same contractor and taken to a second local garage. At the garage we were told, the alternator had failed and needed replacing. We were told we would be back on the road "at best" that evening. Having been dropped off in town in New Plymouth we telephoned roadside assistance to enquire what wicked campers could do for us in practical terms as we have now lost two days, possibly leading to three days, of our holiday. I now refer to the second of our two complaints.
On the phone I dealt with a Mr John Webb. Mr Webb was also the person that i dealt with on the days of the breakdowns. Upon explaining my dismay at the prospect of loosing two days of our holiday, Mr Webb advised me that he had spoken to the garage with the van and that we would be back on the road very shortly. He said that the part would take "about half an hour" to replace. This not being the timeframe that was given to us by the garage; I immediately phoned the garage again and relayed this expected timeframe to them. The garage again told me that the van would not be ready to collect
until, as previously stated, the end of the day.
I then rang customer services only to be connected to Mr Webb who was apparently doing some after hours call service for Wicked. The conversation that I had with Mr Webb is THE PRIMARY reason for this email. When explaining my dismay regarding the situation we are in, I remained calm and
respectful for the duration of the call, despite being upset. I explained our reasons for our concern; the time lost, the expense incurred by us, the fact that we are in a place that we do not want to be in with no vehicle which is loosing us time in The South Island. I requested the telephone number for the Auckland Depot in the hope that a replacement vehicle could be brought to us. Mr Webb refused to give me the contact number of the depot and proceeded to tell me that: "I was pushing his buttons" that I was "getting in a mood". He then put me on hold while he "calmed down".
At NO point in the conversation with Mr Webb did I raise my voice, use an inappropriate tone or behave disrespectfully towards him. I specifically told him that I appreciated the fact that he does not work in customer service and was told by him that even if i tried again later I would not be able to speak to anyone on the phone regarding my situation. He then gave me this email address and I terminated the conversation.
In light of the above, I expect to be compensated in full for a total of three days vehicle hire, the cost of the campsite for two nights and the petrol wasted. I also want to know why a replacement vehicle could not/ can not be provided. I am certain that had we been dealing with another rental company that we would not have been treated in this way and would have been provided with a replacement vehicle as soon as the above problems started.
In anticipation of a prompt response.
Jodie and Nick
As mentionned above, I am writing to somehow attempt to warn prospective customers of my bad experience. I am also unaware as to what options are now open to me in regards to my rights. Any advice would be grately appreciated. Response via email is preferred as due to the nature of our visit to NZ we have no fixed address or mobile telephone number in service.
Nick and Jodie