My family and I were recently looking at swapping our car for a different model.
Trade centre UK have 5 branches that are located strategically throughout the UK. The branch we visited was Coventry. Sites are also also in Rochdale, Rotherham, Wednesbury and Birmingham.
If you have not visited one of their locations, their sites are large with hundreds of cars on site to view. Hence our visit as we would likely find a car of interest. A warehouse of cars with plenty of space inside and out. They of course also have an online presence.
So, what did we think?
On arrival, we did not have an appointment but we were greeted and our needs identified. The sales person then shows us cars that met our requirements, while using an iPad to identify possibly vehicles.
The team members who helped assist with identifying a car were very helpful. The focus on sales is almost too intense though with the sales team. They will stick by you like glue unless you ask for some space. While very friendly and process driven, they are slightly too scripted with the sales patter. Some more natural and genuine interest would be appreciated.
When purchasing a car, the team do push their after sales lifetime warranty. Of course you would expect this from any company wishing to gain ancillary sales. Quite a hard sell though so you must stand by your guns if you are not interested. To be fair, it is probably a decent warranty but everyone has to make up their own mind on whether it is a good offer for you.
Our purchase was in June and you gain a standard 28 day warranty and you are also assured that a 99 point check list has been carried out on the car to check reliability and quality. If any issues, you can then get in touch to resolve.
When collecting the car, a nice touch was a cleaning kit with contents including cleaning solutions and cloths.
But what are they like when you need after sale assistance?
While you will get all the help and support which includes phone calls prior to the pick up of your car, getting hold of the staff afterwards is more of a challenge.
We faced a difficulty which also has caused great inconvenience. While I wont get into all that detail about the issue, the point is that contacting the team to get an issue resolved is stressful. No one is ever available to talk to when you phone the customer service team. Over 9 days we had to leave messages 6 times. Eventually we had to speak to reception and leave a message after advising we would have no choice but to visit the branch if no one was going to speak to us.
Trade Centre UK need to address this balance of available staff between sales and support. It is not good and we have an ongoing issue that is still not resolved. When complaining, they do not address the need or resolve. No initiative or attempt to make you feel valued, and a total lack of urgency.
If you provide after sales, even when something goes wrong, it can result in future follow up sales. Get it wrong and you lose the customer for life. Trade Centre still have an opportunity to effectively resolve the issue. Let's hope that do.
Would I use Trade Centre UK again at present? Doubtful but like I say, they have the opportunity at present to put things right. The staff are pleasant enough but the company has some serious issues.
Rating due to after sales service is at best below average. Certainly a good option to buy a car but be mindful that gaining after sales support is difficult. This view appears reflected in their TrustPilot reviews.
Proceed with caution when purchasing. Like many companies these days, no interest in retaining the customer after the initial sale and they have your money.