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Customer stories - Tony and Barbara Exton: “Nothing is too much trouble.”
blog / opinions / holiday / family
Tony and Barbara Exton are long-term customers of Winchester Caravans & Motorhomes.
The couple have been using the Colden Common dealership for 24 years and say it’s gone from strength to strength since the change in ownership in 2015. They just won’t go anywhere else…
What’s your history with Winchester Caravan & Motorhomes?
We went to the caravan show at the NEC in 1996 to see what it was all about. We got talking to a dealer from Reading and they suggested we visit their showroom in the New Year as it’s the ideal time for buying pre-owned caravans. When we visited them we were underwhelmed with the experience and left empty-handed. We knew that Chichester Caravans had a branch in Colden Common (now Winchester Caravans & Motorhomes) so we decided to try there next.
The experience was completely different! It had such a lovely atmosphere the minute we walked in the door and the team were welcoming and attentive without being pushy. We bought our first caravan from them shortly after - a brand new Bailey Ranger 450. We tend to upgrade every 3-5 years and we’ve bought six caravans from Winchester Caravans & Motorhomes in total.
Another important factor is that the prices are great too; we usually go in with an amount that we want to spend in mind and we’re always pleasantly surprised at the deals we’re offered - it’s fantastic value for money.
Do you use the workshop and accessory shop?
We’ve bought many items from the accessory shop over the years; since the change in ownership we’ve noticed how much the shop has improved - in every way - from the layout to the variety of items stocked. We’re now at the point where we have everything we need for caravanning, but we always fall back on the shop for any spares and extra bits we need.
We’ve always used the workshop for all our servicing and repair needs and I can honestly say we’ve received exceptional service every time. Whatever the need or issue, the team sort it quickly and efficiently. I was pleasantly surprised recently to discover that even though the premises are currently closed to the public due to the COVID restrictions, the workshop team are working hard behind the scenes to continue their service.
Our caravan service and a few repairs were deferred due to the lockdowns last year, so the team came over last month and collected it, carried out the work and brought it back spotlessly clean with everything sorted. Nothing is too much trouble. It’s great that the management have found ways to continue effectively running their business in a contact-free way at this difficult time.
Is there a particular customer experience that sticks out in your mind?
We’ve currently got a Bailey Unicorn Vigo, but unlike our previous model - a Unicorn Valencia - it didn’t have an on-board water tank, which was something that we had really wanted. They told us to leave it with them and after a while they managed to obtain a tank that would fit and they supplied and fitted it for us, including positioning the changeover valve where we preferred. Things like that make you feel truly valued as a customer and it makes you want to reward them with your loyalty.
Why do you like caravanning?
We love the freedom it gives you! We both worked in schools for part of our careers so during that time we had to go away during school holidays, but we liked the fact that we could go to adult-only caravan sites and enjoy some peace and quiet even at those busy times. Now that we’re retired we love the fact that we can just up and go whenever we fancy! We’ve travelled all over the UK in our caravans - from Devon and Cornwall to Kent and Norfolk, Dorset and Wiltshire to Yorkshire and the Lake District as well as Wales and Scotland too.
The other advantage is that it’s great value for money - after the initial outlay, which is equivalent to a few trips abroad, you’ve got a fantastic vehicle in which you can enjoy, and take, as many trips away as and when you like. You choose your holiday style - luxurious or on a shoestring - both are possible. There’s so much to see in this country so we prefer to do that now rather than go abroad.
What’s so great about Winchester Caravans & Motorhomes?
Everything from the premises itself to the exceptional customer service we’ve received each and every time we’ve dealt with them. The site layout is great, the positioning of the vans is ideal and you’re able to go in them freely and take a look around at your own pace. There’s no pressure at all to buy, but the staff are on hand if you have any questions that need answering so it’s a great balance.
It’s a very friendly and welcoming organisation and we’ve never been let down by them - all our purchases and servicing/repair work has always gone smoothly. In the past, the shop has ordered items in especially for us and they’ve always been right too. They’ve assisted us with so many things over the years, never saying no to a single request we’ve made. They’re extremely helpful!
It’s also nice to be recognised when we visit the showroom - many of the staff have been there for 20+ years and it’s nice to see some familiar, friendly faces when we go in - in the sales department, shop and workshop. Retaining staff like that says a lot about the company itself too. It's like a big, happy family!
We have in the past ventured into other dealerships for a nose, but after a trip to one of the competitors locally where we experienced an atmosphere that was frosty, a set-up that was restrictive and staff that were pushy, it reinforced to us that no one can beat the service offered by Winchester Caravans & Motorhomes. We’d recommend them to anyone looking for a caravan and motorhome dealer - they really cannot do enough for you!
Find out more about Winchester Caravans & Motorhomes, our friendly team and explore the ranges on offer! Get in touch if you’d like to find out more about any of our products or services or if you just fancy a chat!
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