Me: I got some thing to tell you about and I’m going to make it fast. I’ve got a new van. You: Hmm New van which one?
Me: It’s a Peugeot Partner Business 1.6 75 bhp.
You: What the same one as the Citroen Berlingo you bought before and had that trouble with?
Me: Yes I had some trouble with it but it wasn’t a problem with the van it was problem more with the man who put in the electrics for the pump and then what happened afterwards with the local dealer who supplied the van to me. They took two weeks to fix a problem, meaning I didn’t have the new van for my new employee to drive so in effect I was losing money. So when I had the problem again – with another mobile fitter and the same van – I took it to another garage other than the one I bought from and this time they fixed it in one day! So the problem was with the Citroen Garage here in Bristol and not really the van. I had another problem recently with another Citroen dealer in Bristol who didn’t solve a warranty problem with the van in an elegant or efficient way so really Citroen dealers and the way they operate have some thing to be desired. The van though has been fine, it is great to drive, is very good on petrol – averaging about 48 ish to the galllon, has a great radio and It goes well and has the threesome seats. So you can have your ultimate fantasy … three in a van. Really the only problem with it was nicked.
You: Three in a van nice. What did you say the problem was nicked? What do you mean?
Me: Easily they smashed the window and ripped it off it’s bracket.
You: So expensive for a new window but what was it? The problem thing?
Me: That annoying awful Traffic Master. The Sat Nav with the year 2000 display and the annoying nagging woman, worst than the wife, and that’s saying something, who would keep on changing her mind.
You: You mean that it gave you different routes depending on the density of the traffic.
Me: Well yes it did but then it would change back to the original route, and then change again sometimes right at the last minute. For me I like a route and then that’s it unless I become stationary. To replace the stolen Traffic Master would be £300. So Tom Tom versus Traffic Master the Tom Tom wins every time; I use the £100 one.
You: So why the Peugeot Van?
Me: Well we really like Peugeot . The wife had a beautiful Peugeot 406 Sports Coupe when we met and she bought it from the same garage we now use in Bristol, so really that was the start about ten years ago. Also our office manager’s husband works for Peugeot on the service desk and when we had gone through the Ford dealers (terrible service) for our van servicing and also tried Citroen and Daihatsu dealers (very expensive), with lots of hassle and cost, we tried Peugeot once and then have never looked back. So all our vans and company car now get serviced by them. The dealer in Bristol, Robins and Day, is actually owned by Peugeot itself and once you know this you start to understand why Citroen and Peugeot, in Bristol, are different. One is a franchised dealers and the other one doesn’t. Once you know that it makes the decision easier. We never really thought about buying from them until one day we had a call from Peugeot head office who asked us if we’d like a chat to someone from our local branch about van supply. So we made the appointment and they came to our office and saw us. They told us that they could arrange a fit out of the vans to our spec and supply us when we needed them. We also had a meeting with the main finance person from the Robins and Day who advised us on the best finance package to go with and advise our franchisees on. Up until now I have been taking the franchisees van from one fitter to another getting each stage of the fit done. This has meant me, and sometimes the franchisee, driving the van between the different fitting stations. I wanted someone to do this for me so that I could get a the same build but without my input. So I bought my van a couple of weeks ago and the intention was to go through the process of getting it fitted out so we could get it right before we have to do some franchisee fits next month. As we have got used to getting the vans fitted ourselves the quality has been ever increasing and is now top notch. Peugeot did get us a quote from a professional coach builder company in Bristol. The spec they gave me wasn’t detailed enough, and the van fits they showed me didn’t have the welded seams on the joins of the Polypropylene panels we have in our wet area and I’m sure the build wouldn’t have matched mine and the cost would have come in at another 1000 pounds. I have already looked at the spec of one of our competitors and decided that I could build a better fit for the price that their supplier does it for. They don’t do like we d; they just put in a polypropylene partition which is just 14mm thick as the partition and don’t line the rear and water-seal the rear compartment like we do. Ours is water tight stopping any fluids getting into the central compartment, there’s isn’t. Because of this arrangement they use a mobile water tank which I guess by the look of it is impractical. And the oven cleaning dip tank they use has clasps on the lids. I think the reason they use clasps is that they can’t get the quarter turn fasteners like we use, as they are extremely difficult to source and it took me six months to get them and they had to be specially made in the US. From my experience clasps either get wear and lose their tension, or the fitting become loose over time, meaning the fit of the lid won’t be 100% meaning leakage over time, if not straight away. This would mean the fluid in the tank would have to be kept low meaning that one charge in the morning wouldn’t be enough. Our lids with the fasteners all the way around are 100% water tight and secure which means we can fill the water level up high which helps to keep the dipping solution hot and it also means that the tank will stay secure even in an accident, giving more safety all round, to the diver and other road users. My lids are also designed to be lighter meaning less weight to be picked up so your back doesn’t get the hit. The tank is also insulated and this really does mean it only needs heating up for one and half hours a day, so no trailing leads at jobs because the tank has gone cold. So the secure tank combined with our sealed rear compartment – we line the back area with polypropylene and also get the joins welded to give the seal – along with the way we fit our rinse water tank, means we have a unique product for our franchisees. And the partition behind the wet area is a proper 14mm ply board meaning it can be used to fit shelving and be used to secure our ladder and other stuff, and brilliantly, this partition is fitted without brackets, it is lined up and then stuck in place to form the perfect partition (before the rear part is lined). This has takes the skill of a carpenter we have used for every van fit. Also Peugeot have given me their Peugeot ‘Protect’ Paint guard protection stuff for free, and all my future franchisees’s Peugeot vans will also get it for free too (so this is worth nearly £300). So the vans will have that showroom shine for a few years to come and look the business for their oven cleaning business. So in all a perfect fit in a van supplied by those lovely Peugeot people at Robins and Day.
You: So do you like the van then? 🙂
Me: Well yes thanks you can tell? But with my van I had a look at it when I bought it but I haven’t sat in it or driven it yet! As I said the van fit is being sorted out by Peugeot but they are using the crew that I have used with one of them doing more stuff to bring the number of moves down. So it is still going through it’s fit and I should have it next week. We are going to put on a couple of extra stickers this time, so will look smart. I did notice it was the same as our Citroen except it had the Blue Tooth kit for making hands free calls on the phone and also it had Air Con which I am looking forward to trying out with some hot weather next week.
You: So it wasn’t fast at all.
Me: No sorry I got carried away a bit but I think you can see that I really love my new van…
Graham Rogers Started OvenGleamers as one man in a van in Taunton in 2004. The business grew to a five van operation by 2007. OvenGleamers first franchisee started in October 2010. OvenGleamers Became An Associate Member of British Franchise Association in 2012. Now growing National OvenGleamers Network. OvenGleamers are AGA and Big Cooker Cleaning Specialists. Graham writes on this blog and films videos and has a podcast.
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