Fowlers of Bristol. A review of their service levels which failed miserably (in my opinion).
Fowlers of Bristol Review
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Fowlers of Bristol

Motorcycle Sales, Servicing & Accessories.

Having purchased a new Yamaha Super Tenere from Fowlers of Bristol, they were the obvious choice when the bike was due its first service. I timed the service to coincide with the start of a trip into Europe. The Main Dealer Service a day before I set off should have been a positive experience and should have given me the confidence that the bike was in good order to complete the 2000 mile journey ahead. Unfortunately the exact opposite happened and I was forced to take the bike to another dealer after being completely let down by Fowlers.

The morning of the Service.

When I booked the Service (three weeks in advance) Fowlers told me that they could not fit me in before the departure date of my trip. After some pleading they agreed to fit me in but on the understanding that I may have to wait around for a couple of hours, this I accepted and I happily arrived at their Bristol premises on the morning of the 29th April 2014. The bike was booked in and I set about having a mooch around their showroom. After a couple of hours I noted that my bike had been moved into their service area and so I walked to their Service Reception to ask for an estimated time for completion, this is where I first experienced (in my opinion) the rude and unhelpful manner which would last throughout my visit and beyond. The conversation went along the lines of; ME “I notice that my bike has moved into your Service Bay, can you give me an indication of how long it’s likely to be?” FOWLERS “No”. I try again, ME “ I’m just looking for a rough idea so I know what time I will land at work” FOWLERS “I don’t know and I don’t have time to go over there.” I decided that I wasn’t going to gain anything by having an argument and that it would definitely not expedite the completion of my service so I walked away. Whilst outside cooling off I noticed my bike reappear, I watched one of the Fowlers staff wheel it into a queue to be Jet Washed. Given that I still had a significant Motorway journey (in the rain) I told him it wasn’t necessary. He parked the bike and told me to collect the keys etc. from Reception. Once again I head back to the Service Reception. ME “Hello again, I’ve just spoken to one of your team and he has parked my bike up outside, it’s ready to go” FOWLERS “ We will phone you when your bike is ready”. ME “It’s parked outside, I asked them not to wash it, it’s ready”. FOWLERS “I need confirmation from the Service Area”. At this point I started loading up my bike, fitting the luggage back on etc. By the time I returned Fowlers were ready to talk to me and hand back my keys, they also made a big song and dance about their Motorcycle Visual Health Check (click for image)

When it really went wrong.

If this experience with Fowlers of Bristol had just been the bad manners and unprofessionalism (my opinion) that I have outlined above then I probably wouldn’t have felt the need to write this review. I had already made  the decision not to return, however, what happened next went beyond unprofessional (in my opinion).  Five minutes after leaving Fowlers (the first opportunity to gain any speed) I noticed the left hand side of the Fairing flapping around. I pulled over and immediately saw that the bottom fastener was missing. I called Fowlers and their initial response was one of apology and I was given assurances that their Service Manager would call me. I was already late so I asked Fowlers to send me details of a Yamaha dealer close to my next destination (West London) where I would now be forced to spend time having them replace the missing fasteners and also check to see if anything else was loose, at this point Fowlers were still apologetic and accommodating. I continued my journey with my newly serviced bike held together with Cable Ties When I arrived in London I had time to call the dealer that Fowlers had sent me the contact details of, incredibly none of them had the fasteners in stock, after more time on the phone with Fowlers I managed to get them to agree to send the parts down to West London Yamaha. Later that day I received a call from Fowlers Service Reception, the tone can only be described as hostile, the young lady informed me that she had spoken to their ‘Technician’ who says that he had no reason to remove any fasteners from that side of the bike, he even went on to point out that the bike had Heated Grips fitted (implying that it was this work that had loosened the fasteners). The young lady told me that based on this they wouldn’t entertain any costs from my local dealer to replace the fasteners or check the bike (despite previously agreeing). I started to point out that regardless of whether they had removed the fasteners or not, they had filled out a Motorcycle Visual Health Check (click for image) which clearly shows that a visual inspection of the Bodywork had taken place. I was getting nowhere. The following day I put a call into the Service Manager, she listened to my summary and said that she had not been informed, she also said that my treatment and experience at the hands of Fowlers was unacceptable, she asked for time to speak to the relevant parties and promised to call me the next day. At the end of the following day I receive a message saying that she had been too busy and she would definitely call me the day after. I received no call.

Conclusion.

Based on my experiences with Fowlers of Bristol (face to face and by phone) my perception is that they are rude, unprofessional and inept. I will never return there, I could never trust them to carry out work to a decent standard and more importantly I could not rely on them to make things right when mistakes happen.