Thompson First garage taking the ****

    My driver side window stopped working and after doing a bit of diagnosing I worked out that the window motor had ceased. Because the window is frameless, the window has to drop to open the car so the window had been catching the plastic apex pillar trim causing it to crack.

    I also noticed that my rear tyres would be wearing unevenly but I knew my tyre pressures and tracking was spot on. I spoke with my local BMW dealer who told me that my suspension must be the only other cause.

    With this in mind I phoned Warranty Direct who I have a policy with and they told me to take the car to my local Thompson First garage and as they have an account with them, they would take care of everything. The alternative was to take it to a garage of my choice and pay for everything myself, then claim it back off Warranty Direct. I went with their "approved" garage so that I didn't risk being out of pocket.

    So I book and take my car into Thompson First telling them what's wrong with car. After 8 hours I decide to ring them and they tell me that indeed, I need new suspension mounts, new window motor and apex pillar casing but they haven't actually done anything so I can collect the car if I wish.

    I do so and a few days later they tell me Warranty Direct will only authorise the window motor and that I'll have to pay for that myself and claim off Warranty Direct. I tell them no, they have an account with them and for them to invoice them. They wouldn't budge so I get fed up and say fine I'll just take car to a more accommodating garage. They said OK but I have to pay a £70 "diagnosis" charge. I said, you're having a laugh, I didn't ask you to diagnose anything, I just wanted you to get authorisation from Warranty Direct and then to go ahead and fix the car. They just kept repeating that the invoice was outstanding and they expect payment asap. I hung up and left it at that.

    I've now written to Warranty Direct asking them to put it in writing that Thompson First have account with them and that it is OK to invoice them as they won't believe me.

    Rant over, just thought I'd share my horrible experience as I noticed there were a few other garage related rants and one more wouldn't hurt!


    warrantys are not worth the paper they are written on!!!!

    A Warranty Direct policy isnt worth the paper its written on, we wont deal with any WD claims,if we really have to, we bill the customer who then has to (try) & claim the monies back, but WD wont pay out the full amount in some cases and they dont always pay out for diagnosis, be prepared for a battle !

    good luck.

    Original Poster

    I understand I am only covered for what is listed on the policy so don't have any quibble with that. My argument is with my local garage trying to make me fork out £70 for something which I already knew and didn't ask for! They obviously don't care about customer satisfaction cos I know where I won't be going in future!

    I wish I just took it to Nationwide Autocentres now!


    Do Nationwide use crystal balls for diagnosis then?

    Original Poster


    Do Nationwide use crystal balls for diagnosis then?

    Haha I dunno but I know I wouldn't have any problems getting them to claim it off Warranty Direct.

    keep dreaming.

    Original Poster

    Right got it sorted. They're taking Thompson First off their list of approved garages and have told me to take it to Nationwide. They have also assured me they will reimburse me the diagnosis fee if I send them a copy of invoice and will settle the invoice directly with Nationwide for the covered parts. Happy days

    Original Poster


    Got my car back from the garage today, they told me my strut mounts (which Thompson First had diagnosed as badly worn and needed replacing) were fine, should last another 5 years. The reason the rear wheels were wearing unevenly was because the rear tracking was way out (which is odd because I have taken car to garage to do tracking every year and each time they've said it's been spot on, albeit at a different garage). They also told me that the door which had the faulty window motor had never been opened so the previous diagnosis can't have been very thorough!

    So Thompson First have effectively been paid £70 to misdiagnose my car and to repeat what I already told them. Cheeky *******!
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