Five year free new car servicing

Hello,
We purchased a new car in May 2021. We were hesitant to buy the car because of its price but the salesman said he would give us five years free service and a courtesy car to pick up and return the car after the service. He even specified the brand of courtesy car.
This morning I received a call from the service department to say that the courtesy car now costs $33.00 each way because of the reinstatement of the fuel levy. My husband called the dealership for further clarification because the fuel surcharge was in place when we bought the car and the courtesy car was still free.
After the conversation, the sales manager emailed to say they would waive the courtesy car fee, however the free servicing was for five years or 102,000 klms. Included in the email was our ‘Service Plan’ which we have never seen before nor was it mentioned. It states that the arrangement was for five years or 102,000 kms We were never given any limiting mileage and in fact we stated at the time that we have higher mileage than the average person. We were assured the servicing would be free for five years with courtesy car included.
I have an email from the salesman confirming the five years free servicing.
Can you advise me how I should proceed? I would definitely have purchased a cheaper car if not for the five year free servicing.
Kind regards,
Maree Churchill.

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Hi @Spinning, welcome to the community.

The first thing you need to do is find the sales agreement, signed on the purchase of the car. This is likely to have information, terms and conditions associated with their 5 year free service offer.

If you can’t find your sales agreement, see if you can search for and find out online what the 5 year service plan was at the time of purchase.

Most free service plans have limitations. These can be government/fleet vehicles excluded, number of services and mileage.

Until you have such information, it won’t be possible to argue a case of what was offered.

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Many thanks, I’ll seek out the sales agreement.

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There is no reference to servicing on the Sales Contract that I can see.

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How about brochure or offer document given at the point of sale?

What was the car brand to do an online search?

If no information can be found, then it becomes he says - she says. In such case they will point to documented information they have saying this is the offer at the time if sale (May 21) and this is what will be relied upon.

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Thankyou for your response. I have an email see below……The deal was offered by the salesman not by the car brand which was Range Rover.

“ I am happy to include five year free servicing as well as a five year warranty and five year
roadside assist at this price. The servicing will offer a pickup/drop off service from your home address with
a loan car so it does not inconvenience you in any way at servicing intervals. It has a 2.0L turbo 4 cylinder
petrol engine with really great power.”

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There should have been some information or literature about the 5 year free service, as

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This is the:
LAND ROVER SERVICE PLAN HANDBOOK.

It states:

Subject to these Terms, including but not limited to the Coverage Conditions and Servicing Conditions, in exchange for payment of the amount set out in the schedule on the website:

a. you are entitled to acquire from any Authorised Land Rover retailer, within 5 years of the date of first registration of your vehicle or until the vehicle reaches its maximum kilometre allowance, Scheduled Services to be performed on the vehicle by Land Rover Approved Technicians at such Authorised Land Rover retailer as per the schedule on the website;

b. the cost of those Scheduled Services will be borne by JLRA.

It states there is a maximum kilometre allowance.

Check to see if there is a copy in the car with the car’s manual or with information provided at the car’s purchase.

If you can somehow prove you didn’t get the service plan handbook at purchase of the vehicle, you might be able to argue the plan is unlimited kilometre based only on the salesman’s email. If you do have it, then they will point to it saying this is the information supporting the plan and contains the T&Cs of the offer.

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Yes, we expected some sort of limitation at the time and I asked the salesman to confirm the service details which he did in the email above. We checked several times that the dealership would provide five years free service and unlimited klms and free courtesy car. The salesman assured us that was correct. He stated the only thing we would have to pay for for the next five years was brakes and tyres.
This all came about today when we queried the courtesy car charge, which they waived but with the announcement that the servicing did in fact have a 102,000km limit. First time it was mentioned to us.
This is a clear case of deceptive and misleading conduct in my opinion. We got quite friendly with the salesman and he knew we actually expected to get what he promised!
I appreciate your help, many thanks. As it stands at the moment is the head Salesperson has referred the matter to the Principle Partner. The dealership is huge and located at Campbelltown NSW. Its 60 kms from where we live so we would never have bought a car so far away but for the courtesy car/free service we were promised as stated in the email.
Again, thankyou.

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Oh! Sorry, I didn’t see your response about the service manual before I wrote back.
When we took receipt of the car we couldn’t find the service manual or handbook.
We contacted the salesman who told us for Range Rover you find both online. This so inconvenient. The car was delivered to us with no mention of the manual being online.
I suspect you’re exactly right and all will be revealed in the handbook. I never look at it because we live in an area of patchy signal and its a very complicated matter to find anything. Many thanks again.

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Hi @Spinning

Welcome to the forum . I spent a number of years in the Auto Industry . It is the importer and manufacturer who determine the service intervals and warranty length . The fact that your vehicle did not have an owners or service guide provided to you at purchase raises a red flag to me .

At a guess the salesperson offered you the deal to you to close the sale . I would definitely discuss the matter with the principal of the dealership .

Be careful if you are offered an extended warranty . We will say from 5 to 8 years . The first five years are covered by the importer and manufacturer the last three years by the dealer . On my vehicle the price jumped from capped price $279 to $800 after the five year finished .

Naturally I told them to put it where the sun does not shine . My own mechanic serviced the vehicle for $200 .

Always remember this . The books , owners and service and warranty , are printed by the manufacturer and the importer not the dealership . The dealership is beholden to explain EVERYTHING in those books . Your salesperson to me is a hang over from the old days where loose cannons sold cars .

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Thanks for that information Vax2000. and taking the time to respond.
Here’s the thing, we were promised by the salesman that service to the vehicle would be FREE for five years and that they would collect and return the car to us leaving us with a courtesy car. The next service ( booked in at least four weeks ago ) is due on Monday 7th Nov. Yesterday they phoned to say there was now, due to the fuel surcharge levy being reinstated, a $33.00 charge each way for the courtesy car. We disputed this because when we bought the car the fuel surcharge was in place, so nothing has changed. They relented and agreed to waive the fee but the head salesperson emailed that the free service would finish at 102,000kms as per our ‘service plan’ We were NOT given a service book ( we had to find it online ) we can’t find any reference to a ‘service plan’ in it and at no stage was a km limit mentioned. Had it been, we would have bought a Toyota from the local dealer, instead of a Range Rover where the dealership is 60 kms away. The free service was the sweetener for us and the reason we bought the car.
Now we feel mislead and deceived because we genuinely believed the servicing was free for five years, ‘ except for brakes and tyres’ were the exact words. I asked and received an email stating exactly that. It is only yesteday that we were told it was free for five years OR 102,000 kms.
My question is who do we approach, outside of the dealership, to complain? The Dept Of Fair Trading? The ACCC? Is there some Govt body to whom I can spaek to about this?

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Further to what @vax2000 has said.

I would use this as the basis for arguing that at purchase it was communicated that the only known limitation of free servicing was the duration of 5 years. No information on mileage was given as evidenced in the salesman’s email. They also didn’t provide or give you information about how to get the full T&Cs of the service plan offer.

At the point of sale, conditions associated with the purchase must be available to the consumer. Providing them post-sale, as you have indicated, isn’t satisfactory and doesn’t allow a consumer to determine if a purchase is in their interests.

As your complaint has been escalated, wait for a response before taking further.

The next recourse would be to write a formal letter of complaint to the dealership and JLRA. If this doesn’t succeed, then an option would be your Office of Fair Trading. It isn’t worth complaining to the ACCC as they don’t deal with individual complaints. They focus on significant contraventions of the Australian Consumer Law.

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Thankyou Vax2000. I’ll follow your advice.
We wouldn’t be so upset but for the fact that at the time of purchase we questioned
the free 5 yr service so closely, especially in regard klm restriction. It was couched as a special deal, to pursuade my ( genuinely) reluctant husband.
We’ll follow your advice, many thanks again.

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Range Rover vs Toyota?
The retired farmer over the road purchased a Mitsubishi to replace the Land Cruiser. Something about the price. No special deals when it came to servicing for either.

When we had a lender from a dealership a few years ago it was free, but we had to return it with fuel filled to where it was when we received it. And, we had to show the receipt for the fuel to prove we had put fuel in.
Seemed a fair deal.

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I would never trust any car sales person have to be the worst at convincing bit anyone can fall for being told that they get things free as the other members say check out the terms and conditions.

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Car companies find it cheaper to ignore consumer law and they will even go so far to provide you with the contact details of the relevant consumer organisation in your state.
We found this out the hard way when purchasing a replacement car of the same model recently.
Several of the features that we had previously in the old vehicle were missing in the replacement one. Went back to the dealer for an explanation. We were told sorry we will need a software upgrade to fix it. Booked into the service center. On the day it was sorry again we will have to get the upgrade from the manufacturer. This process was repeated several times until in end the dealer admitted there would be no upgrade. Tough.
The manufacturers published specification states that it is a guide only and subject to change without notice and refer you to the dealer about what your cars options will actually be.
However he dealer says that they don’t know what the vehicles options are until it comes off the back of the truck to be prepared for delivery.

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You can name the car manufacturer and model if you want to.

Software upgrades to allow features to work or to get ongoing subscription payments, I hope is squashed by the ACCC in the future.

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