I will never buy a Nissan again!
“Why not?”, you may well ask. Let me explain:
It's not all bad news

The quality of a relationship is based mostly on trust. That would include trusting one’s partner, parents and children, trusting one’s employees or employer AND also trusting one’s suppliers.

As I am simply no longer able to trust Nissan SA, I will never again buy a Nissan. Recently a Court of Law decided that fine print protection is not an excuse for companies to perform poorly. Nissan SA has fine print embedded within their system, which not even the Nissan dealers are always aware of. Be aware of this when buying a Nissan – you may be one of those caught by Nissan SA’s strange in-house rules.

My story started where I was ready to purchase another 4 wheel drive vehicle. I test drove various vehicles and finally had to decide between a Hilux, Jeep and Navara - all pre-owned with low kilometer readings. I compared and weighed all aspects such as guarantees, motor plans and availability of dealers (I am based in Pretoria). I also test drove all these vehicles and after careful consideration finally decided to buy a Navara.

I then started to shop around and was finally referred by one of Toits Nissan Hatfield’s sales people to a client who wished to sell his Navara. At this point it is important to mention the following: one cannot purchase a Navara without a warranty or service plan (unless the kilometer reading or time range determines differently). You are welcome to check any magazine, speak to any Nissan dealer or Nissan sales person (perhaps by now Nissan had officially informed their dealers differently). The fact that all Navara vehicles are covered by a service plan was confirmed with dealers and sales persons when I did the comparisons of the three vehicles. These warranties and service plans are also transferable.

I took my vehicle for its 15 000 km service to Toits Nissan (it was, after all, they who referred me to the client) and they serviced it – no sweat. Then, when it reached 30 000 kilometers, I took it to the same dealer. It was just then that the problems started. I dropped my vehicle off for the service but after some phone calls from the technical people I went to collect my Navara the afternoon only to find out that the vehicle was not serviced. I just couldn’t believe it since it is a fairly big mission for me to have the vehicle available to them for a service for one full day! This is where the integrity, and trust breach happened. The technician gave me the following news: “Your car is not covered by a service plan and since you did not explicitly indicate that you will pay, we have not serviced the vehicle!”

Understand now that the vehicle was not taken to Toits Nissan Hatfield only for the
30 000km service, but also previously for the 15 000km service. Then suddenly, they could not service the vehicle! I phoned Nissan SA and received a phone call the following day, stating that I do not have to worry – the vehicle has a service plan. I was not surprised by the news since the circumstances as explained said it all. But do not judge Nissan Client Service on that! That afternoon somebody from Toit’s Nissan phoned me again and explained to me that the vehicle is indeed not covered by a service plan! At that stage I was convinced that the whole of Nissan went crazy! The following day I made numerous phone calls and the explanation was as at least now consistently as follows: “Since you bought the vehicle from somebody who had purchased it directly from the factory, it is not covered by a service plan.” I found this explanation so outrageous that I personally brought it under the direct attention of the Managing Director of Nissan SA, and his Personal Assistant by way of a letter and three phone calls. The MD did not bother to contact me and the PA smoothly delegated it without ever even acknowledging receipt of my letter, or getting back to me. I was phoned by two people, and later by a third after I also logged the complaint on Hellopeter.com. Unfortunately these were people without any jurisdiction over this matter.

The questions remain: How will/should any person know that a specific Navara is not covered by a service plan if there are exceptions to the rule that not even the dealers are always aware of? Why will/should the client confirm the existence of a service plan in the booklet if it is generally advertised and publicised that Navara vehicles are, as a standard, supplied with a service plan? How is it possible that my vehicle was serviced under a service plan the first time and then the second time around (and after a further 15 000km) it was decided that no service plan exists?

Perhaps I should just add the following: I instructed Toits Nissan to fix a serious problem during the 30 000km service, which of course they did not do since the vehicle was not serviced. This directly resulted in the vehicle breaking down on two different occasions and needing to be towed away by the AA and delivered to Nissan. You can imagine what that did to the already shattered image I have of Nissan.

You be the judge and decide whether or not you would place your money in the hands of a company such as Nissan! I will most definitely never again buy a Nissan and the only obstacle currently keeping me from purchasing a Hilux is the lack of time and energy to go through the process of selling and buying again.

But, cometh the time, goeth the Navara!

Marius Venter

Tell the world on hellopeter.com

Marius Venter also owns a BMW and energetically refers people to Menlyn BMW. The reason? BMW understands client service and will, in Marius's opinion, without any doubt be able to teach Nissan a few lessons in client service!

Since BMW does not manufacture a double cab, Marius will soon be the owner of a Hilux or perhaps a Mitsubishi - but a Nissan product ever again? NOT IN A MILLION YEARS!

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