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Hi,

My father-in-law recently p/x'd his old Sedona for a 2006 new shape model, at Kia Whitstable Harbour Garage here in Kent, paying part cash & £3500 part financed (through the garage themselves, using Santander Consumer Finance). He also bought an additional £500 5 yr warranty, for his own piece of mind.

Before leaving for home, 2 electrical issues were noticed:
1. Electric side doors randomly opening
2. Electric mirrors not operating correctly.

The garage says they didn't know anything about the problems, until that point we noticed it.
To be fair, they tried to resolve the issues there & then, but couldn't find the cause - So as an interim, removed the fuses which operated both electric side doors & advised they'd order some parts & give us a call when they were in, ready for fitting.
We got a call from them some days later, drove to the dealership, but found the issues remained. They therefore advised they would order further parts, which they hoped would be in the following week.

This was the last he heard of it, until he had a call out of the blue from the sales Manager, advising the costs to repair both faults would cost £1800 - something they were not prepared to pay.

Because of this, they asked for the car to be returned to them the following afternoon....as they wished to cancel the entire deal (he hand the car back, they cancel the finance agreement, any monies owed , including money he was out of pocket & he be handed his old car back)

He was distraught to say the least, but he wasn't given an option. They weren't prepared to pay the £1800, even though the faults were on the car when he picked it up & the warranty wouldnt cover the work either apparently.

We went to the garage the next day, signed some paperwork & finally got the keys back to the old Sedona.

3 weeks later, he gets a letter out of the blue from Santander Finance, advising that Harbour Garage did not pay the settlement fee which they had advised Harbour garage was due (i.e. to close the finance account for good).

I personally called Harbour Garage & spoke to their General Manager/Director, Mr Richard Miller to discuss this. Although apologetic at first, this soon wore off...our previous conversations with him, led him to asking us "Will we be buying another Kia?". When told no, the response was "Well if you're not going to buy a Kia again, I no longer have to talk to you. Goodbye"..followed by hanging the phone up.

In this conversation, he advised me that Harbour Garage believed Santander should quash the settlement figure due to the problems we'd experienced with the Sedona in the 2-3 weeks we had it. At no point, did they offer to pay the settlement figure of £89, nor did they let us know their intentions. The letter from Santander was the first we knew. Mr Miller simply said "Well don't bother paying it". When I mentioned it's my father-in-laws credit rating was at risk here, the response was "Oh..didn't think of that...remind me, how old is your father in law?". I replied 72, after which he replied "Well if he's 72, does his credit rating really matter? It's not like he'll be buying many cars in the future is it?"

I was livid, digusted & appalled by this. They strongly believe they shouldnt have to pay the settlement figure, as "after all, the credit is in my father-in-laws name not theirs", but it was the garage who called the deal off, not us???

I'm sorry to rant on about this, but we're disgusted that a supposed Kia Main Dealer, can leave a paying customer out of pocket on a car which clearly wasn't fit for sale with unadvertised faults.

This is the garage who on their website show the moto "The family name you can trust".... hmmm....we had a car from you for less than 3 weeks, YOU call the deal off, we end up with stress & hassle which is still on going.

Ironically, the car was back up for sale less than 24 hours after we returned it to them. They claim they've fixed it, but who knows (http://www.northgate-group.co.uk/kiaHarbourGarage).

This is the first (& hopefully only) time we'd had grievance with a secondhand car bought, certainly not something he thought he'd have from buying from a Kia Main dealer. I've contacted Kia Head Office, who have basically advised each of the dealerships are franchises, where secondhand car sales are not governed by them. Therefore only the dealership we bought it from can deal with the issue.

Would anyone know who legal/non legal we could talk to re: this ongoing issue? I don''t believe Harbour Garage should be able to get away with treating a customer so badly, especially not even clearing the finance settlement figure THEY had requested from the lender - so a deal THEY CALLED OFF


Would we recommend Kia Whitstable Harbour Garage here in Kent to anyone? Never in a million years. We wouldn't want anyone else to have to go through this
 

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Ah, there are some names from the unhappy 3 month period of my Kia ownership experience: Harbour Garage, Whitstable, Richard Miller, the Sales Manager, and in my case, Spencer Gale, the salesman.

My advice would be to never deal with this garage while Richard Miller is still there. Your experience has several parallels with my own, and I rue the day I failed to stand my ground and insist that my deposit was repaid. Richard Miller doesn't know consumer rights any more than you or I, apparently, so if you are EVER tempted to put a deposit on one of their non-"Kia Approved Used" cars (and you can see why when you see the cars), bone up on your consumer rights and be prepared for quite a hostile showdown, or face a miserable experience of driving away a damaged car and a worthless conditional contract of sale for them to organise the repair of the car at no cost to yourself.

You really, really do not want to have a bad experience like that. It totally spoiled the Kia experience for me, and because of that, I ditched that car and the brand.

Kia Head Office should take note that some of their representatives are living up to the User Car Salesman stereotype, and it is tarnishing Kia's image.
 

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Hi Everyone,

We are extremely sorry to hear that you have had such a negative experience at the Harbour Garage dealership. The Sales Director Richard Miller has since left the company and there is now a new management team in place who are working as hard as possible to create the very best customer experience. We have now also been given a 5 star rating for both sales and service from Kia.

We hope that we can continue to provide an exceptional service throughout our dealership and we would love to see you here again soon.
 

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I was going to pay them a visit last week end but after reading this thread and my previous visit not being the best experience I decided to avoid, i finished up going to the Canterbury dealership and ordering my new Kia from them instead. Edited by: Gazza1970
 

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They certainly have a lot of repair work to do regarding their reputation (or lack of...).

I think I might have been tempted to visit them just to gauge the attitude of the place and then go to Canterbury!
 

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That's a helluva expensive 9.5 year old Sedona they were selling. You'd expect it to be flawless for that money.
 
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