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I've been a proud owner of a 2007 year model Civic EX since very late 2006, purchased from a dealer that is almost a two hour drive from where I live.

My local dealer, less than five minute drive from where I live failed at every stage, and I have given them so many opportunities to gain my business without success.

Initially I booked a test drive via the Honda web-site, turned up, took the test drive and then as a cash buyer opened the discussion on price - my key thing was cost to change, so if they decided to give me a discounted price on the new car and a poor price on the trade in or, full price on new, great price on trade in all I wanted was the smallest possible cost of change.

The answer I got was: we don't provide any discount on the new prices. We won't trade in your old car, a 2 year old Peugeot 307 CC worth 12k. That was such a brick wall, there was no where to go from there, my answer was OK, thanks for your time and left.

They then proceeded to phone and chase, I found this very amusing they even thought they had a chance of winning my business, by this point I had a Honda dealer in Southampton and Christchurch bidding for my business. The chase calls continued, with "if you don't buy the car from us, you won't get local support or servicing" which I found even more amusing.

My car was purchased from a superb dealer in Christchurch, Dorset - perfect, excellent customer service - only problem they were so far away. They even collected the car from my home, drive it to their dealership, carried out repairs and a service and returned it at no extra charge. Exceptional dealership and wished they were closer.

However driving past my local dealer when I had a simple fault the temptation to drop in and process a basic warranty claim I thought what the heck... What a mistake...

The main key needed a new battery, the spare which at this point had never been used for two years was also flat. So I dropped in, and the service guy then proceeded to round both the heads on both keys to the point were he gave up, handed me two batteries, relieved me of some money and left me with keys which now couldn't be opened. I took them back to my office/workshop and drilled the heads off the screws to get into the keys and made good the mess the dealership had left me with.

The spare key with a new battery worked fine.

The main key which had seen two years of use was still intermittent, and then again failed. So I went back, another new battery was fitted (easy this time as the key now was no longer held together with a screw, but just the plastic clips).

A few weeks pass and the key fails again. So they agree the key must be faulty and they take it from me to process a warranty claim.

I got a call some weeks later to tell me the key is in, and they'd need the car with the spare key to re-program the new key etc for a morning, I asked could this work be done at the next service in four-five months time, they said yes! I'm a busy person and taking the car off the road for an entire morning is inconvenient; I was up and running with the spare key so I was in no rush.

Five months on, I phone to book my car in for a service - this would be the first time this garage would get my service work, but also kill two birds with one stone and get the keys sorted at the same time - fairly logical. At this point I am told that the key had been returned to Honda!!

So I had to wait to speak to someone, I started calling them to chase this frequently, and as time went on the frequency of my chasing dropped off. A year on I was still chasing but now they claim they never had my key and Honda has no record of my warranty claim! Two years on I really jumped up and down; the service manager just gave me a dull answer without making any effort - I lost my rag with him and stirred him and the service manager plus half the work shop who appeared to see what the fuss was about into action - they then made some effort and tried to look up past records on my car, all I wanted the first guy to do at the very start.

So Honda Churt (Surrey) have lost my key, they have no records at all, Honda UK couldn't give a damn and the best anyone can offer is to supply a new key at cost price, circa £120-140 if memory serves me correctly (this was some time ago).

Honda - this is the worst dealer I have dealt with. Great car but your local dealership is really letting the side down. Possibly the worst sales experience and worst customer service/after sales support I have ever had!

Posting now, as the spare key is now mis-behaving in the same way the first key did. Still without the key Yomans Honda in Churt/Honda UK lost. I've been meaning to write this review for some time.

I'd love to buy another Honda, but I will avoid the Yomans group, sadly the next nearest Honda dealer is also from their group, I'd assume they're just as bad but not willing to take the chance.

Shame Honda UK didn't do more. If you're reading, I'd be happy to post a happier follow up story, if not I've told all my friends and family about the poor experience I have had and told them to make the journey to Christchurch, many have thankfully.
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