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Diagnosis fee under warranty


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I bought a new Majestic (Elddis) motorhome from Marquis just under 2 years ago, with a 3 year warranty.

I've recently asked the supplying dealer if a fault could be fixed at the same time as the forthcoming habitation inspection, and been told that a £39 for 30 minute "Diagnosis fee" would be necessary as I'm past the 12 month point.


I believe such things are only applicable for used vans with Automarq warranty and also if you want a dealer that you didn't buy the van from to undertake a warranty issue, neither being applicable to me.


I'm not trying to have a go at anyone, but who has it wrong, me or them? Has anyone come across this?

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You haven't identified what the fault is & if related to the base vehicle or the habitation side ?? An indication of the fault, could no doubt elicite a more defined reply.

If there is a fault that is covered by the warranty, it is the dealers responsibility to rectify it, without an "diagnostic" charge.

BUT you need to check the details of the warranty. Some faults could be classified as wear & tear or "willful" damage, even though still within the warranty period.


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The terms and conditions of the Elddis 3-year manufacturer’s warranty are here:




Although all original equipment is covered by the warranty during the first 12 months, during Years 2 and 3 the following items are no longer covered:





Windows and glass

Deterioration of exterior paint work

Soft furnishings, carpets and floor coverings

Entertainment equipment

Fluorescent tubes, bulbs, LEDs and fuses

Plastic and GRP exterior panels

Plastic products including A-frame covers, wheel spats and shower trays

Minor adjustment of blinds, hinges, catches, stays and doors


There may be instances when work needs to be undertaken to decide if a fault is, or is not, covered by a warranty and it’s quite usual for a charge to be incurred for that exploration/diagnosis. If it is concluded that the fault is covered by the warranty, it’s usual for the cost of the exploration/diagnosis to be waived.


Ask Elddis what their policy is...




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Thanks for the answers.


The problem in question is a leaking boiler dump valve that also doesn't seem to relieve pressure sometimes. I wouldn't have thought this could be classed as a wear and tear item (I can't even buy one), but maybe the dealer is covering all corners. If a charge like this is refunded as suggested I don't have a problem, but otherwise it just seems like another way to bleed the poor customer.

As suggested by Derek I'll ask Elddis for some clarification, but I'm wondering if this is just a grey area.

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The Dealer doesn't seem to be impressing you, whatever the fault or problem with the MH, and I'd presume you'd buy from elsewhere next time and you'd not recommend the Dealer to others.


What happened to keeping good relations with their customers ?


I had an electrical problem recently on my Ducato based MH and local garages were very helpful with diagnostic work and advice - they'll get my business again - but I wouldn't go near your Dealer.

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My understanding is that everhopeful’s motorhome is an Elddis Accordo 120 and I believe this model has a Whale “Expanse” underfloor water heater.


I’m not familiar with this appliance, but - as it is installed underfloor - the heater’s dump valve may not be immediately accessible. It’s often the case that motorhome major appliances (fridges, heaters, etc.) carry their manufacturer’s own warranty, but if the 3-year warranty relating to everhopeful’s motorhome has the same terms and conditions as those shown in the first link in my previous posting above, its heater appears to be covered during Years 2 and 3 of the Elddis manufacturer’s warranty.


Vehicle dealers soon learn that it is most unwise to trust buyers’ fault diagnosis and, while everhopeful knows that his motorhome has "a leaking boiler dump valve that also doesn't seem to relieve pressure sometimes”, a dealer will want to confirm that this diagnosis is correct before carrying out under-warranty remedial work. And if the confirmation takes time, the dealer will want the cost of that time paid for by somebody.


I once had a conversation with a garage workshop manager about vehicle owners saying “While I’m here, can you just check something for me as I don’t think it’s right?” and then complaining when the check is carried out, nothing is found, and a charge is levied for the work and time the check involved. He instanced a motorhome owner who had brought his vehicle in for under-warrenty work and presented a list of things he thought were ‘not right’. Nothing unusual was found when the motorhome was inspected and test-driven and the owner complained vociferously when a bill was presented to him. I asked if the motorhome had paid up and was told “Yes - but if he had not been so stroppy I might have written off the cost”.


When it comes to under-warranty work a good relationship with whoever is going to carry that work out is a godsend.



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As usual Derek is spot on with my model, but the water heater is the normal above-floor 8 litre Whale. If I could buy a valve I would already have changed it as it really is a simple 5 minute job with a push-fit connector.

I feel a very simple job could end up with no good result because just sometimes the valve behaves normally, and what is the betting that that will happen when the dealer "diagnoses" the fault as ok.


The cost of the charge being levied isn't the point at all, as I just felt it was imposed rather too readily. Solomongrundy's suggestion about Dealer recommendation is also spot on as, since the call to the dealer, I have already been looking elsewhere for my next van.


When I worked it was impressed on me that in any contact with a customer I was "the company" and anything I do or say could impress or lose that customer. As we all know the very worst thing any customer can do is to simply disappear elsewhere.


I won't be causing any grief over this, but I've already bought two new motorhomes from them, and if they want my continued business, it's up to them to impress me with a fair outcome.

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everhopeful - 2018-02-25 8:07 PM


...The cost of the charge being levied isn't the point at all, as I just felt it was imposed rather too readily. Solomongrundy's suggestion about Dealer recommendation is also spot on as, since the call to the dealer, I have already been looking elsewhere for my next van...


Solomongrundy appeared to be suggesting that it would be a practicable proposition to take your motorhome to a local garage to get the Whale problem sorted out. However, this fault relates to the motorhome’s habitation side and, for it to be corrected under warranty, will need to be addressed as indicated in the Elddis warranty’s terms and conditions. The Elddis warranty that’s on-line states


"Reporting a fault


In the unlikely event that you experience a problem with your caravan or motorhome please contact your Retailer.


It is with the Retailer that your contract of sale exists and consequently they have the responsibility to ensure any complaints and warranty issues are addressed. Any other approved Elddis, Compass, Xplore and Buccaneer Retailer or Service Centre may carry out work at their convenience or discretion, but are not obliged to do so.


All Elddis, Compass, Xplore and Buccaneer products are classed as portable and therefore all work under warranty requires the caravan or motorhome to be delivered and collected from the selling Retailer.”


So your first port of call should be the Marquis dealership you bought your motorhome from less than 2 years ago.


You say “...I've already bought two new motorhomes from them, and if they want my continued business, it's up to them to impress me with a fair outcome.”


That’s exactly the attitude you should be taking with whoever you spoke to at Marquis and who advised you that there would be a £39 diagnosis fee to investigate the leaking boiler-valve when the habitation inspection is carried out.


I would have thought that a habitation service ought to include checking that a motorhome’s water system is operating correctly and, if a motorhome owner says that a valve on the water-boiler occasionally leaks and/or does not release pressure, this would be something to be investigated within the service process. It’s quite likely that (as you fear) the valve will behave itself when the motorhome is at the dealership - but unfortunately that’s Sod’s Law.


Dealerships make a profit from selling motorhomes and your Marquis retailer has made two profits from you. It’s possible that Marquis has a policy that involves charging a ‘diagnosis fee’, but they can easily choose not to impose this on good customers.


If the terms and conditions of your Elddis warranty (I assume you have the documentation) indicate that what you’ve been told by Marquis is incorrect regarding what’s covered in Years 2 and 3, you should challenge Marquis’s assertion. The Elddis on-line warranty seems clear enough but, if Marquis disagrees, complain to Elddis. I’ve had to do this once when a motor dealership told me something warranty-related that I was confident was wrong - I contacted the vehicle manufacturer who ‘corrected’ the dealership in no uncertain terms.


When there are complaints about motorhome dealerships on this forum, I sometimes wonder why the complainants seem to be so unwilling to face up to the dealership when they dislike how they are being treated. I can't see how Marquis could justify charging extra for what sounds like something that should be part of a habitation service, is easily inspected and (if a replacement valve were available) would be easily fixed. Obviously, if there is doubt over the problematical valve being covered by your motorhome’s warranty, you’d need to resolve that with Elddis/Marquis.


I note that you say that you cannot purchase a replacement valve yourself, but I think this is the part that would be required




Me, I wouldn’t want to fork out 50 quid to replace a faulty valve if I believed that replacement should be free under warranty, and I’d certainly strongly encourage Marquis to rethink the ‘diagnosis fee’.


Dare I say this, but if you start talking about ‘grey areas’ and ‘not causing any grief over this’, if Marquis fail to treat you as a valued customer, you’ll have to accept some responsibility yourself for Marquis’s attitude. Although Jesus may have said "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth”, this does not apply where disagreements with motorhome dealerships are concerned.


Here endeth today’s lesson...

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I agree with what Derek says and you should tell Marquis your history of purchases and tell them how you feel. Unfortunately, I recently read a Post elsewhere by someone who had similar problems of Marquis failure to rectify problems, some of them serious. They were so angry that they trawled the internet to find other instances of Marquis failures and highlighted them. Some customers had a limited success by a direct approach to the MD of the Company. These instances of terrible service were not just at one branch, they were at a number of branches.


Anyway, that's the bad news, the good news is you might be able to sort it out yourself (after first trying Marquis again). I had a similar problem to you but on an Alde Heating automatic bleed valve on the Boiler. It was a simple job to remove it and I found small plastic debris (presumably from the build) inside it. If all else fails, remove it and wash it out. It could be as simple a fix as that.

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When everhopeful spoke to Marquis, whoever advised him about the ‘diagnosis fee’ may (as everhopeful suggests in his original posting) have been referring to a Marquis “Automarq” guarantee not an Elddis warranty.


A file showing a 2013 edition of the “Automarq” guarantee can be viewed here




This guarantee is clearly intended for USED motorhomes sold by Marquis and the terms and conditions (Page 3) say


“This guarantee does not cover diagnosis, maintenance and component failure due to wear and tear...”


But everhopeful purchased a NEW motorhome from Marquis and (I would have thought) he should have Elddis warranty documentation relating to a NEW Elddis motorhome, not documentation relating to an “Automarq” Mechanical Breakdown and Habitation Guarantee used-motorhome ‘insurance policy’.


I suspect that there has been a breakdown in communication here and everhopeful should go back to the Marquis dealership and emphasise he bought his Elddis motorhome NEW from the dealership some 2 years ago and, when the motorhome is with the dealership for its Year Two mandatory habitation service, the water boiler’s valve will need to be inspected.


Hopefully Marquis will then appreciate that a ‘diagnosis fee’ will not apply to that inspection as it will be the Elddis NEW MOTORHOME warranty that will apply to the valve inspection, not an “Automarq” used-motorhome guarantee.

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Thanks for your valuable input derek and 747.


When things get confusing it is really reassuring to hear from experienced motorhomers who can have a calm logical look at the situation.


I intend to calmly but firmly request a simple explanation of why I am being asked for a fee that seems inappropriate at best. Hopefully they will realise that a mistake has been made and we will remain friends. However, if I have to pay, I will but make my protest, and they will be the ultimate losers. There is after all absolutely nothing in my warranty paperwork to support their claim so they will need a good reason.

I now wish I had not called them in the first place, but was trying to obviate the need for a return journey for 10 mins of work. it should as said be part of the hab inspection anyway. If they don't change the valve I'll do as suggested and give it a good wash out. If that fails I'll either try try another fault report or fix it myself.

Well done Derek for finding the item on the web - I searched all over but didn't find that one. The cost is high, but isn't far above another "diagnostic fee" or diesel cost and a day out of my life!

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The Whale AK1205 valve is fairly widely available on-line. This is the cheapest I could find, with the £44.99 asking-price including VAT and carriage.




Assuming that your motohome is covered by Elddis’s 3-year warranty and you have the warranty documentation that details its terms and conditions, there should be no question of you paying a ‘diagnosis fee’ for Marquis to check the Whale boiler’s valve.


You really should not be considering the possibility that you might have to pay such a fee. When you take the motorhome in for its habitation service you should inform Marquis that the Whale valve occasionally leaks and fails to release pressure, that you believe it will need replacement and you expect this would be done free-of-charge as the fault is clearly covered by the Elddis warranty. If there’s any argument, that’s the time to ask Marquis to justify why they should disagree with what you’ve just told them.


Whether your Marquis dealership keeps the Whale valve in stock is anybody’s guess, but if they do not I doubt they would have ordered one in as a result of you calling them. If they don’t have a valve to hand when you visit, probably the best you can hope for is that the valve shows itself to be faulty when your motorhome is being serviced, Marquis concludes that the valve requires replacement and that you’ll need to arrange another visit to have the valve changed. I’m pretty sure Marquis would not agree to obtain a new valve and send it to you to DIY the replacement task.


As your Elddis warranty has another year to run, even if Marquis can’t find anything obviously wrong with the valve during the service, you can still ask them to ‘officially’ log the fact that it occasionally leaks and does not release pressure. If the valve deteriorated further at least Marquis would have been forewarned.


As you bought your present motorhome from this Marquis dealership two years ago and another motorhome from them beforehand, I suggest (hopefully diplomatically) that unless you have been particularly dissatisfided with the service you’ve received from this dealership up till now, you don’t take this ‘diagnosis fee’ business too much to heart. People often provide wrong information genuinely believing it’s correct and and if that’s what’s happened here and you’ve been happy enough with how this Marquis dealership has treated you in the past, ‘writing off’ the dealership due to an isolated incident may be counter-productive.

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I always thought on warranty issues that the dealer was the messenger and the manufacturer was the decision maker. Admittedly, the responsibility for resolving the issue does rest with the dealer making life difficult for the dealer which has to balance the needs of the customer with the demands of the manufacturer - including Whale in this case. Many service companies use the 'Diagnosis fee' or 'Call Out charge' to discourage what they would say are frivolous claims.


What would matter to me is not the notion they may charge a fee - I would challenge it as the OP is being advised - but whether they do in fact charge me when I believe it was a valid warranty issue. The pragmatist in me says that the fault needs fixing and I could spend more time arguing over a principle than the actual cost of fixing. How Marquis resolves this issue would determine my future relationship with it although I wouldn't expect it to cry over the possible loss of a sale of a new motorhome in years to come.


I hope everhopeful is successful in getting the problem fixed without paying for the diagnosis, part and labour.

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