I was alerted to Paul Hollibone’s story from his post on Facebook. It was intriguing. It got even more interesting diving into it with him.
“Well, after a week of fun, our BYD Atto 3 which suffered the charger failure is now back in our hands. Andrew at Automall City Service in Albion advised that the emergency cable failed, which also caused the solenoid to fail? I’m sure that means something to someone. All is fixed, car is back on the road, and I have nothing but good things to say about Andrew and the team at Albion. During its stay, the car also received the update with Apple CarPlay activated, and it runs just as expected. Andrew also advised that in a few days’ time, some BYD Atto 3‘s are arriving as loan cars for that location. Also props to Justin at Indooroopilly EVdirect for looking after us and being our middle man during what was a very stressful and difficult time.”
With little prompting, Paul told me the details that led to the post:
“We initially had a bad experience with BYD and EVdirect. We had a pre-order and we eventually arranged a test drive with the Indooroopilly, Queensland, location. The test drive was great, as was the consultant who went with us, but it turned to shit after the test drive. They referred us to their business manager who was the typical used car salesman, pushing all the typical car sales crap, not listening to us or our needs. We wasted what felt like hours but was in actual fact 1.5 hours with him, where we achieved nothing. He had no answers for us about our car; and was about talking us into using their finance, insurance and extras. We walked away disappointed and wanted to give up on the BYD brand, despite loving the car.
“We shared our experience on social media, where it was clear we weren’t alone with this experience at this location. An executive at EVdirect contacted me apologising and vowed to make it right. She managed to push our concerns to the head of Eagers Automotive. From there the experience changed, and we were handed to the Indooroopilly customer service manager who took care of us going forward. They were very concerned about our experience, and did everything they could to right the wrong of what had occurred. They went as far as organising a test car to be brought to our house for the day (an hour+ trip away from the experience centre) with no strings attached. Whilst the initial experience was not good, and had us ready to walk away, the team made it worth our while and I’m glad they convinced us to stick with the Atto 3.
“We had been driving the car for about 3 weeks when we plugged the car into our home charger overnight. The next morning, we woke up — it was Sunday, the best day of all days to take the car out for a morning drive. At this point, the car was blocking our other car from getting out. When we went to unplug the car, it wouldn’t unplug. We went through the manual, followed the troubleshooting guide, and we just couldn’t get the car to unlock the cable.
“So, we then resorted to the emergency release, which then failed. We were stuck with a car that wouldn’t move because it said it was plugged in, and no way of getting the car to let go of the charger.
“We rang the roadside assistance who are included in the car purchase, who came out to help us. They checked the car over, but apart from following the troubleshooting guide, were sadly more clueless than us. He tested the 12V battery and said ‘not much more I can do mate, have a great day.’
“I put a social media post on the local BYD support group, which is what saved me on this day. A wonderful chap named Martin from the Robina Experience Centre contacted me, and we discussed the issue. It was his day off, but he was willing to try and help me. We did the troubleshooting, we tried different things. He spent an hour and a half dealing with me directly that day, and sadly we had no success.
“Martin then referred me to a man called Justin at EVdirect who again tried to help me over the phone, though sadly without any luck. Again, all in their spare time and on a Sunday. Justin was also speaking to BYD engineers to try and solve the problem. By now it was approaching 12pm, and whilst Justin was unable to get the charging port unlocked, he managed to help me through a process to get the car into a rollable and moveable state. Doing so allowed me to move it out of the way, so we could get the other car out. This process would prove to be handy when it came for the car to be towed the following day.
“Justin checked in with me the following day, and after we realised we had no other option, we arranged for the tow truck to come and collect the car, and for the vehicle to be sorted out by the Eagers team at Albion. Justin worked with the team there to get the car in, and to get a loan car sorted for us. From that point on, other than having to drive a petrol car, the experience was smooth sailing. The Eagers’ Automall West Albion service team looked after us well, got us going in the loaner car, and 4 days later we were able to return the car and pick up the BYD again, all fixed.”
“Once the vehicle arrived at Albion, the process was easy and simple, the paperwork was minimal, and the drop off and pick up of the vehicle was not like a traditional car service experience.
“It turned out that the fault was one that BYD and EVdirect had not experienced before, so very rare. We got our charging module and emergency release cable replaced, and all seems to be good again.
“During this time, I also let the customer service manager who helped us earlier in the piece know what was going on, and he did everything in his power to ensure we were looked after.
“I never thought I’d say this after our initial experience with the team after our first test drive, but they really did the best they could to look after us.”
Thanks for sharing your stressful, yet positive experience with us, Paul! As I recently wrote about a Polestar driver’s experience, prospective EV buyers can be reassured that they will be taken care of when they take the jump into the future with an electric car.
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