Niall Hampton

See other Blog articles filed in ‘Editor's Blog’ written by Niall Hampton
Tell us about your ’van! Take part in our Owner Satisfaction Survey 2017 and help us help you and fellow motorcaravanners buy with confidence

Wouldn’t it be great, while researching an imminent ’van purchase and scouring the motorhomes for sale pages, if you could call on the experiences of hundreds – if not thousands – of motorcaravanners who have been there and done it already? Surely it would be invaluable to know more about a particular manufacturer or motorhome range, rather than have to take what you’re told at a show at face value, or what you’ve come across on the internet? And how useful would it be if this information source carried responses on used motorhomes as well as new ones? Well, you can tick all these boxes – and more – by consulting the annual Practical Motorhome Owner Satisfaction Survey, which is published in our April magazine. 

But to make the survey work as best it can, to help your fellow motorcaravanners buy better, we need your help. Tell us about your new or pre-owned motorhome, its supplying dealer, and the base vehicle it rides on. If you enjoyed premium-quality service when buying an entry-level motorhome, or if your new acquisition has a snag list that keeps on growing, then why not share it with fellow members of the motorcaravanning fraternity? 

Whether you own a campervan, a van conversion, a low-profile or an overcab coachbuilt, or an A-class or liner, we want to hear from you. And if you bought privately, then make your voice heard by taking part in our survey.

And this year we have a brand new partner! Our Owner Satisfaction Survey 2017 is brought to you by Practical Motorhome and The Camping and Caravanning Club, and is generously sponsored by Club Care Insurance. 

The Practical Motorhome Owner Satisfaction Survey was launched in 2004, to open a channel of communication between motorhome buyers, whether they were spending £2000 or £200,000 on their dream ’van. The survey is divided into five sections, covering purchase information, the motorhome, the base vehicle, the dealer it was bought from, and the future – would you go through with the same purchase again, if you had the chance? 

The responses to our Owner Satisfaction Survey have gone on to become a regular feature in the pages of Practical Motorhome, and they tell it like it is – however uncomfortable this is for motorhome manufacturers or dealerships. 

Based on what you tell us in the survey, we come up with satisfaction scores for manufacturers, supplying dealers and base vehicles. Those who have impressed win a coveted Gold (for scores between 80-100%) or Silver (60-79%) award. 

Every year, we publish the results in a dedicated section in the magazine, with full analysis of the trends underlying the data, i.e. which particular types of motorhome are in vogue, who’s buying them, the average price paid … and other ‘sweet spots’ in the market that buyers are gathering around. It’s also a great opportunity for respondents to have their say about the kind of service they’ve received during and after their purchase. 

So here’s a challenge… These are the biggest complaints since the awards started. Try ranking them in order (answer at the bottom of this story). 

  • Difficulty obtaining spares 
  • Failure of dealers to return phone calls 
  • Sloppy pre-delivery inspections (PDIs) 

The picture built up by the Owner Satisfaction Survey over the years has therefore provided buyers with an invaluable resource of genuine insight – as well as some of the leading manufacturers, too. Some have approached us for comments on individual ranges, which they can take on board for future revisions. Manufacturers value this genuine user feedback – which is given anonymously, of course – as it complements information garnered from dealers on the sales front line. 

So whatever kind of buying and owning experience you’ve had, from rattling blinds to wonky cushion seams, or just sheer pleasure with a given vehicle, we want to hear about it. This is your opportunity to tell it like it is, in complete confidence, so that your fellow motorcaravanners can buy better. You never know, next time it could be you looking at motorhomes and campervans for sale and grateful for the insight this survey provides.

To take part in the Owner Satisfaction Survey 2017, cut out the entry form in the November 2016 issue of Practical Motorhome (on sale 22 September), and post it to the address indicated. 

And here's the answer to the above question: 

  • Sloppy pre-delivery inspections (PDIs) 
  • Failure of dealers to return phone calls 
  • Difficulty obtaining spares 

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