Case Study -worst customer service

Ace Handling – Forktrucks Online- Rugby UK

Over 8 months with no resolution

This case study is for training Gabion1 staff, on how not to deal with customer issues

6 months after issues reported to Ace on first day of use, 21st Aug 2018

Feb 8th 2019 Craig Warren (MD of Warrens Limited t/a Ace Handling) has Sarah the service manager email me asking me to call him on 07886 000771

Ace Handling is an example of a company that in my opinion uses warranties as a marketing tool solely to increase sales

The term of the warranty offered, is no indication of the support your will receive, if a problem occurs

I have found Ace handling to be deliberately difficult to deal with, and their company policy seems to be to ignore complaints, even if you have an open and shut case

Ace Handling ignore requests for resolution of forklift issues for 6 weeks at a time

Read full timeline of problems and responses below, before dealing with this company

Feb 2019 Fork Lift Truck Association make contact with Gabion1

As an industry body, promoting ethical trading and safety standards,they provide me with links to various official websites for UK forklift industry

I am informed that Ace handling are no longer members of the FLTA

20 Feb 2019 Rachel Bond General Manager Warrens Limited t/a Ace Handling

Sends email offering refund for forklift on condition, negative internet posts removed.

21 Feb I reply accepting terms, 5 weeks later no sign of any money from ACE, no further communications from anyone at ACE.

It appears that the culture at ACE, is slow from the top down, assuming they can afford to pay again in my opinion ACE are being deliberately difficult to deal with

Please watch the video, before reading the timeline below

forktrucksonline is Ace Handling’s Ebay selling name

I have found dealing with Warren Ltd t/a Ace Handling also t/a Forktrucks online
To be the worst experience of after sales service I have ever had, and the opposite of the statements made on Ebay
Read the timeline below to see that Wareen Ltd, ignored my emails and requests for action for over 6 months

Summary of Ace Handling staff responses

Nick Matthews, Operations Manager

Very fast to reply to emails, while trying to secure order for forklift. after sales support almost zero

Pamela Hawkins, Sales Administrator

Has yet to reply to an email

Sarah, Service Manager,

Ignored problem and emails for 6 weeks, until David Bird posted a You Tube Video of the forklift problems, Sarah will ignore emails for a week or more.

The best way to get a reply from anyone at Ace to a forklift problem, is post a new You Tube Video of the issue.

All the above staff of Warrens Limited t/a Ace Handling were ccd into all emails from Gabion1

None of the 3 staff replied to emails requesting action sent to them 11th , 17th and 20th Sept, by David Bird of Gabion1.


26th July 2018

1st email between Nick Matthews (operations manager Ace Handling) and Gabion1

16 threads in the emails between Nick Matthews and David Bird

Prompt replies to sales questions by Nick Matthews

By the 2nd August 2018  forklift sale conditions were agreed between Ace and Gabion1
except whether or not to accept Ace Handling’s trade offer on our existing forklift

10th Aug 2018

Nick Matthews of Ace Handling agreed to drop off the refurbished Manitou Forklift by 15th August to our new site and collect the trade-in Forklift after 30 August from our old site.

16th Aug 2018

Refurbished Maintou delivered to new site, delivery did not happen 15th as Ace’s delivery driver had phoned in sick.

21st Aug 2018

First day of shifting premise and use of Manitou forklift

22nd Aug 2018

Problems with Forklift reported after 1st day of use

Reported performance issues that Gabion1 was having with Manitiou first thing Wednesday morning by email
brakes/clutch/gearbox/lifting 1700kgs loads with a forklift rated to 3000kgs

23rd Aug 2018

Ace send mechanic to site, who tells David Bird that the the electronic brakes/clutch is factory set for flat conditions, and he will need special equipment and manuals to reset the forklift to work on slopes.
No adjustments were made to the forklift were made on this site visit,
The mechanic said that Sarah (Ace Service manger) allocated the jobs he had to do each day, and that someone would return when told to by Sarah

11th Sep 2018

Pamela Hawkins (Sales Administrator) emails Gabion1 to arrange collection of the trade in forklift
This is almost 3 weeks after the Ace mechanic visited site, Sarah the service manager had contacted Gabion1 or sent the mechanic to fix the problems reported 22nd August

11th Sep 2018

David Bird emails to Pamela Hawkins, Nick Matthews and Sarah at Ace Handling restating the problems with the refurbished Manitou forklift,
No one replied to this email

17th Sep 2018

David Bird again emails to Pamela Hawkins, Nick Matthews and Sarah at Ace Handling
No one replies to this email

20th Sep 2018

David Bird again emails to Pamela Hawkins, Nick Matthews and Sarah at Ace Handling
No one replies to this email

6 weeks after the mechanic site inspection, and emails requesting action on 11th, 17th and 20th Sept none of  these emails were replied to, by Sarah, Nick Matthews of Pamela Hawkins

3rd Oct 2018

David Bird again emails to Pamela Hawkins, Nick Matthews and Sarah at Ace Handling
Including link to You Tube Video of problems

4th Oct 2018

First email from Sarah (Ace Service Manager)
Sarah is able to send an engineer to site, the next day Friday 5th or Monday 8th Oct
The power of You Tube

5th Oct 2018

David Bird replies to Sarah, Nick Matthews and Pamela Hawkins
Saying Monday suits Gabion1 best, and restating the issues,
Sarah (Service manager ) replies confirming engineer will be on site 8am Monday

10th Oct 2018

David Bird emails Sarah, Nick, and Pamela,
Asking for money back,
1/as the forklift hour meter reading does not match the sales info, and by the way the forklift behaved appeared to be far more than 5000 hours old
2/the engineer indicated that the fix he had done may not be long term solution
3/ I was not confidant that the Manitou could handle the required

11th Oct 2018

Sarah emails back saying
“Thanks for your email. Please leave this with me, I will need to look into your comments made below and will come back to you as soon as I can.”

17th Oct 2018

6 days later Sarah emails back
Hi David

Please see my comments below ref: Manitou MSI30 serial no 195360.

At the time of sale the hour meter reading showed just over 5000hrs as per Nick’s email dated 30.07.2018. When the truck was going through the refurbishment process within our workshop, unfortunately the hour meter reading display had been cracked and broken. This was replaced. We pride our ourselves on offering excellent refurbished trucks, we would never deliver a truck to any customers with a cracked hour meter reading display. I’m sure you can appreciate from a customer’s perspective this was the best course of action.

When the truck was delivered to you on 16.08.2018 the hour meter reading was 63hrs. At the time of delivery and since there has been no query regarding the hours. If there had we would have been more than happy to explain what had been done and why.

I have reviewed the original quotation and the truck should have been supplied with work lights, this has been an over sight on our behalf. I do apologise for any inconvenience which has been caused and I will arrange for the work lights to be fitted as soon as possible.

There is no evidence that the Manitou forklift will not be able to lift 3000kg. When the engineer was on site the heaviest load available at the time was 2000kg, which the engineer tested and reported no issue’s, to which your driver/colleague also agreed.

The engineer has adjusted the throttle valve, there is no suggestion that this is to the max but should the truck require a new throttle valve during the warranty period we will look to replace this for you, free of charge.

We will not be issuing a refund for the Manitou you purchased from us. The truck is fit for purpose.

Please could you let me know when would be a convenient date/time for us to fit the work lights.

Kind regards


17th Oct 2018

David Bird replies to Sarah, Nick and Pamela
Hi Sarah

Please produce the damaged hour meter
It is standard practice for such parts to be held for proof of defect.

Cheers David Bird

25th Oct 2018

8 days later Sarah replies
Hello David

Unfortunately the damaged hour meter has been disposed of. As I’m sure you can appreciate with the amount of trucks which go through our workshop on a weekly basis we are unable to keep all damaged/broken parts on site.

Kind regards


25th Oct 2018

During the 8 days it took Sarah to reply to the question on the Manitou forklift’s, hour meter
The fix that the engineer did failed, The lifting and operating issues returned,
The Manitou forklift had done less than 2 hours work since the engineer visited 8th Oct, and as useless as ever
I emailed a YouTube video of the problems to Nick, sSarah and Pamela Ace, and again asked for my money back

25th Oct 2018

No one at Ace replies to my emails
But You tube email me advising of a privacy complaint in the video

26th Oct 2018

David Bird at Gabion1 emails Ace
Hi all

I am disappointed, Once again you chose not reply to my email
Your response to the issues raised, was to approach You Tube to try and have the video removed, due to personal privacy concerns
Rather than deal with the problem, in a good corporate manner.

You will now find that the video has been edited and complies with all privacy policies of You Tube
Ace Handling tried to “shoot the messenger”

26th Oct 2018

Friday Gabion1 receive an unsigned email asking what the new issues are

29th Oct 2018

Monday Gabion1 email Sarah at Ace Handling, stating that the old problems are back and that they can not fix the hour meter
For the 3rd time I asked for my payment to be refunded and the forklift to be taken away

7th Nov 2018

No reply from Ace Handling for 9 days. So I post another You Tube video showing that the forklift can not move along flat ground.
Only after posting the YouTube video do I get a response.
Ace want to take the forklift off site, I just want my money back, as no way is this machine any good., How speedy would Ace Handling be at dealing with the issues.
Ace Handling have ignored so many of my previous emails. I again asked for a refund .

8th Feb 2019

Receive email from ACE
Good afternoon David
When convenient please could you give my MD Craig Warren a call on 07886 000771.
Kind regards
Service Manager
Ace Handling

14th Feb 2019

Derek Martin, Director, Fork Lift Truck Association and Consolated Fork Truck Services. emails David Bird at Gabion1
In most industries there is a “Governing Body” set up by its Members to monitor and improve the standards in that particular industry, together with spreading the word of any changes and updates issued by the HSE.
The Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) is such a body for the fork lift side of the materials handling industry.
Derek Martin informs me that Ace Handling are no longer members of the FLTA

20th Feb 2019

Rachel Bond
sends email
Dear David

Without Prejudice

It is the intention of Ace Handling to refund to you all monies paid in respect of the Manitou MSI30 you purchased. This will then be collected from your site on a mutually convenient date.

The condition of the full refund is that all negative posts, comments and You Tube videos are removed from all sites posted on, please confirm by return that this will be actioned.

Kindly supply bank details and confirmation by return.



21th Feb 2019

I accept offer by email

27th March 2019

No further communication of sign of the refund

Latest video of stuffed Manitou taken 1st Nov

Only after posting this video, did I get another reply from Sarah