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Our Fleet Test Drive: Ford S-max - 4th Report Update

Date: 15 October 2007

The satnav's had some stick off us but maybe we've been a little too hasty.

18 SEPTEMBER 2007
Mileage 14,887
Forecast CPM 32.3p
Actual CPM 36.8p
We prefer manual handbrakes over electrical ones like the S-max’s. Our Volvo S80 suffered the same problem, but it’s occasionally not disengaging as it should as you pull away.
20 AUGUST 2007
Mileage 14,615
Forecast CPM 32.5p
Actual CPM 36.8p
The long haul to South-Western France was made a lot easier with the brilliant and intuitive sat-nav. Which was good as we had little time for conventional maps after missing our ferry.

8 AUGUST 2007
Mileage 13,589
Forecast CPM 32.5p
Actual CPM 36.8p
Mini-MPVs and summer hols go together like buckets and spades. We’ve not seen the S-max or our art editor since the school hols started. The pair, plus family, are in France.

MAIN REPORT

Our long-term S-max is perfect for a trip to the Alps. Intelligent satnav, ample room for four, iPod socket, comfort and cruise control meant we were in good spirits come 5am when we left Sussex on the way to a P&O Ferry at Dover.

The high spirits lasted over the hassle-free crossing and into France when an errant stone planted a six-inch crack in the bottom corner of the windscreen. It began to grow, so once we'd settled into the apartment it was time to try to get a replacement.

Day 1

Call the BusinessCar office and ask them to log the problem with RAC Auto Windscreens because the company hadn't provided a number I could use in France. RAC Auto Windscreens ring but I miss the call, so they leave a message giving me the same number I couldn't get to work.

Day 3 (a.m.)

Haven't heard any more from RAC Auto Windscreens so call the office again and ask them to track down another UK number. RAC says it has no record of the original logging and takes the same info again, but wouldn't give me a phone number for the French subcontractor, promising that they would call.

Day 3 (p.m.)

RAC Auto Windscreens call to say the French claim neither mobile number I've given is working, even though RAC has just called me on one of them. They promise I'll get a call.

Day 5

Time for the toys to exit the pram. Editor Tristan Young calls the RAC press office; I instantly get a call from the RAC with the phone number for the French subcontractor, who hadn't ordered the windscreen because they hadn't managed to speak to me. The new screen would be available in the middle of the following week, which is no good when my return ferry was a day away and it would also be a two-hour round trip to take car to windscreen! Another call to the UK and a new windscreen is ordered for London. I get a call late on Friday saying RAC will be at the office Monday morning to do the work its Euro colleagues couldn't do in a week.

Day 8

RAC Auto Windscreens turn up on time and take the car away to the nearest depot because it's raining and our car park's out in the open air. The car returns three hours later complete with new screen but, in a final kick in the ribs, without the 30 Euro Swiss motorway pass that was stuck in the corner of the old screen. A call to the fitter leaves him promising to drop it back to our office in the next 24 hours. Still no sign.

Surely Autoglass couldn't be any worse? Find out here



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