Five Star Autocentre to the Rescue!

Earlier this year we noticed that our main car (Zafira – necessary due to the need to transport twin babies, our four year old daughter, Debbie and myself plus copious amounts of luggage!) was making a grating, scraping sound in certain gears so we booked the car in for an investigation… Well… we didn’t make it… or rather the car didn’t. Several days before the scheduled appointment, we were about to park up when we heard a loud ‘clunk’ and then quickly realised we would be going nowhere fast that morning…

Despite me telling the RAC that we would be needing a recovery vehicle, they insisted on sending a roadside technician out who (not surprisingly) told me within 60 seconds that the car was immobile and would need recovery… Just as well we had broken down outside one of Debbie’s churches and was able to make good use of the ‘Full cooked breakfast’ that was on offer… So I called Five Star Autocentre who were most accommodating and were happy to take delivery of our precious vehicle once the recovery vehicle arrived.

Within a few days, we had our car back on the road with a reconditioned clutch, gearbox and dual-mass flywheel (common problem with the Zafira, it would appear). We noticed a significant vibration that seemed to happen only when the car was running at motorway speeds and under heavy load (typically driving up steep hills – of which there are many here in the Pennines!). Five Star were prepared to take the time to listen to our description of the problem and we left the car with them for further investigation – haven’t had any problems since… Delighted to discover a company that looks after it’s staff, trains them well and is prepared to even put an engineer in the car for a test run to get to the bottom of an intermittent problem. Doubt I’d get that level of service from a main dealer…

Every time we take our vehicles (Debbie has a car too) to Five Star, we leave the premises confident that our motors are in safe hands and know that the technicians doing the work are skilled, experienced and well trained. I have found every one of their staff to be polite, courteous and a delight to do business with. If you’re looking for a car service company to put your trust in, I can highly recommend these guys (and gals!)… Keep up the good work and thanks!

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Microsoft Technights

Just got back from a fantastic training night with Microsoft at the Hilton in Manchester looking at Small Business Technical Pre-Sales, covering Office365, Intune, Windows 8.1 and Server 2012 R2…

The latest email I received about this event mentionned that I was to ignore the previous email claiming that the event had been cancelled but failed to mention that the venue had been changed from the Hilton in Piccadilly to the one in Deansgate… Oh well… Needed the exercise anyway! That was after fighting with the parking meter that had a card reader which stated “Please Wait. Please Remove Your Card” so having tried both options (which resulted in a ‘Transaction Cancelled’ message and no parking ticket being issues), I found two nearby shops where I managed to get spare change for the parking meter by buying a chocolate bar and fizzy drink… I mean… c’mon guys… we’re trying to pay the fee – at least make it easy for us! I certainly wasn’t going to ring an 0844 number from a mobile phone and the darn machine wouldn’t take notes…

So now it’s time to take the assessment and get that ‘tick in the box’… I can feel a strong coffee coming on…