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Platinum wheels Swindon: my current impressions
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ade and liz flint
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 5:12 pm    Post subject: Platinum wheels Swindon: my current impressions Reply with quote

I've been dealing with Platinum again to get 2 of my B3S wheels sorted following a nail attack on the rubber which brought forward my intended tidy up. Effectively the wheels were tidy, original, but had a bit of penetration of moisture in a couple of places through the lacquer.

Those of a suitable vintage on here may remember my previous dealings with Platinum and their owner was exemplary, and I sent 9 of my own wheels there, and indeed at least 2 close friends full sets. I've been full of praise for them over the years, and indeed had recently been berating Porsche Cardiff about the shoddy work their local 'wheel experts' have done to my GTS wheels following a 'workshop incident', and telling them 'Platinum wouldn't behave like this: I'm taking them there!'.

I arranged for the 2 B3S wheels to go in, and for new PS2's to be delivered direct to Platinum so that local monkeys on tyre braces didn't damage my newly finished rims. The standard turnaround now for diamond cut wheels is a full working week!! I dropped the wheels in on Monday 20th, collecting today Thurs 30th, with Bank Holiday costing a day.

A few issues cropped up which grated, thus:-
1. An initial enquiry call was unanswered and went to answerphone. I didn't get a call back. I had to keep chasing them.
2. After a full working week I called them to be told my wheels were done, but no tyres had arrived. After some pi$$ing about I found the delivery evidence from the courier signed by...the person I was on the phone to! They had mislaid them!
3. Promised callbacks didn't materialise
4. A further call I left on answerphone went unresponded to.
5. Eventual contact led to response 'we damaged a wheel on tyre fit and it's now back in the dip line'. My response was that I need my wheels as car is due in Sytner's bodyshop next Monday for the boot hatch replacement under warranty: essential as a strict 21 day limit is in place by BMW warranty claims. They responded that I could take as is, and return later for a further refurb. Luckily, they hadn't yet dipped it! A call to say there was a delay and could I manage without was not made by them.

Now, the above offer is on the face of it 'ok'. However, this incurs a further week off the road (yes it really takes that long) and a return trip to Swindon with two bridge tolls. Not inexpensive: plus 2 half days needed to do the return trip.

Can't say I'm terribly impressed: I can accept a handling error, but the lack of communication has driven me mad, and the seemingly unbothered aspect that they cocked up and in the fallout are costing me time and money to rectify their error. It also grates that they insisted on full payment, now, even though one wheel needs re-work. My early thoughts on this were to find somewhere more local to try (I've had 2 good recommendations in Newport and Cwmbran) as the timescale is troubling, so paying in full leaves me tied in here.

Fortunately, I have direct personal contact details for the owner, and I've got a call with him next week after his holiday when I will outline my frustration: again, not at the error, but the overall 'feel' as a customer that appears to have gone from the business. The impression I get is that they are doing lots of big contract work for local dealers, and private customers are less important....we'll see what's said when I get my thoughts across to him, and I'll feed back my thoughts here.

In good news, the 5% discount I'd arranged for forum members still applies. Ask for it.

Below a 'not so good' wheel....and a good wheel. Not shown is my frustration! Evil or Very Mad



[/list]

Since handling and fitting the wheels I've found some poor workmanship, too, Vis: a 'pooling' effect of paint or lacquer on a spoke, and the side of one diamond cut spoke area has had the tool seemingly go down it. Overall, a bit shabby, but luckily all on the rework wheel. Standards have fallen.
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Current:
E91 B3SBiturbo #127; Space Grey, striped & slipped
981 Porsche Cayman GTS; Racing Yellow
Focus STline dog wagon; Deep Impact Blue

Previously loved:
ALPINA: E92 B3SBiturbo #285, E90 D3Biturbo #097, E85 Roadster S #168 & variety of 'grey' 4 and 6-cyl BMW lumps.
PORSCHE: Macan S, Cayman 981 S
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Rav
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I live in Marlborough, just outside Swindon.

Platinum wheels used to be owned by a different company and were really good in workmanship. This told as outside would be many very exotic cars from modern to classic.

After Platinum took over, the workmanship and customer service went through the floor. I have heard a lot of bad stories.

Next time, give these lot a try - I have friends in the trade who have sung their praises.

http://www.myalloys.co.uk/
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ade and liz flint
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rav wrote:
Platinum wheels used to be owned by a different company and were really good in workmanship. This told as outside would be many very exotic cars from modern to classic.

After Platinum took over, the workmanship and customer service went through the floor. I have heard a lot of bad stories.

Next time, give these lot a try - I have friends in the trade who have sung their praises.

http://www.myalloys.co.uk/


They were a subsidiary of Lepsons: about 2012 they went alone and were very, very good for the year or two I used them extensively around then. Now, they seem to have dropped the ball somewhat. The quantity of wheels they throughput is incredible now: maybe the issue. Still lots if high end, too. Local Audi dealer also appears to use them for customer bespoke wheels, as does Mercedes.

Thanks for the alternative recommendation
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Current:
E91 B3SBiturbo #127; Space Grey, striped & slipped
981 Porsche Cayman GTS; Racing Yellow
Focus STline dog wagon; Deep Impact Blue

Previously loved:
ALPINA: E92 B3SBiturbo #285, E90 D3Biturbo #097, E85 Roadster S #168 & variety of 'grey' 4 and 6-cyl BMW lumps.
PORSCHE: Macan S, Cayman 981 S
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Metrics
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ade sorry to hear of the bad experience. When you mentioned you were intending to take the wheels to Platinum I was going to suggest you tried Lepsons in Kent. I didn't as you sounded pretty experienced and happy with Platinum.
I've had 5 sets of wheels done over the last couple of years with Lepsons and in my experience they are second to none for the sheer quality of the finish. I've not found another company that can get the lacquer coat so flat it's like glass.

Some pics of my B10 wheels here

Also, a note of caution - if the spoke "tips" had started to corrode, then a diamond turned "recut" will not last, it will return - it's the nature of the beast I'm afraid. You're better off having the whole wheel repainted silver, although I appreciate this isn't OE and given you've had 2 wheels done probably require a matching set.
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ade and liz flint
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice job by Lepsons. They had issues in the past iirc, so must have sorted themselves in the years since. Kent is a touch far for me to travel with wheels, though.

My previous experience with platinum was spot on, but as already stated, standards appear to have slipped: I've now a nice rear and a scruffy one.

The only issue with them pre strip was some minor whitening under a couple of diamond cut tips; I've a background in materials and engineering and I'm really not too concerned this will become an issue. I'm actually more concerned the screwed up wheel needs another skim of the diamond cut faces: material is short there Evil or Very Mad
_________________
Current:
E91 B3SBiturbo #127; Space Grey, striped & slipped
981 Porsche Cayman GTS; Racing Yellow
Focus STline dog wagon; Deep Impact Blue

Previously loved:
ALPINA: E92 B3SBiturbo #285, E90 D3Biturbo #097, E85 Roadster S #168 & variety of 'grey' 4 and 6-cyl BMW lumps.
PORSCHE: Macan S, Cayman 981 S
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Metrics
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ade and liz flint wrote:
Kent is a touch far for me to travel with wheels, though.


They collect from your home and return via courier for a small fee. Every now and then they have offers of free collection/delivery.

Alternatively I can recommend Chris @ Exel wheels who collects wheels and replaces them with loaners while the work is completed.
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2012 Alpina D5 BiTurbo No. 13
2002 Alpina B10 V8S No. 60
1993 Mercedes 190E 2.6 Sportline spec
2005 Audi TT 225
1991 Mk1 Golf GTI Sportline cabriolet
1983 Mk1 Golf GTI
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Metrics
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ade and liz flint wrote:
I'm actually more concerned the screwed up wheel needs another skim of the diamond cut faces: material is short there Evil or Very Mad


Agreed.
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2012 Alpina D5 BiTurbo No. 13
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ade and liz flint
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Metrics wrote:
ade and liz flint wrote:
Kent is a touch far for me to travel with wheels, though.


They collect from your home and return via courier for a small fee. Every now and then they have offers of free collection/delivery.

Alternatively I can recommend Chris @ Exel wheels who collects wheels and replaces them with loaners while the work is completed.


Good to know: cheers!
_________________
Current:
E91 B3SBiturbo #127; Space Grey, striped & slipped
981 Porsche Cayman GTS; Racing Yellow
Focus STline dog wagon; Deep Impact Blue

Previously loved:
ALPINA: E92 B3SBiturbo #285, E90 D3Biturbo #097, E85 Roadster S #168 & variety of 'grey' 4 and 6-cyl BMW lumps.
PORSCHE: Macan S, Cayman 981 S
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octanejunkie
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since the topic is wheels, i'll tell you of my recent experience.

Phoenix Alloys in Bristol.
Had some Jag XJR rims done there last year. They were heavily corroded, with a smattering of kerbing to boot. Considering the state of them the finished product was very good. They also welded up a crack for me. They were quite a simple one piece design, so lent themselves quite well to a refurb. Many imperfections were able to be covered up by slathering on the powder coat.

Over the last two weeks they've been doing a set of 20" Softline's for me.
Classic Alpina rims with quite exacting spec. These they have had slightly more issues with. Mind you, i've been fussier with the finish. They weren't damaged, but had a bit of curbing.
The main problem has been explaining about the valves and them chucking too much powder coat on everything. One wheel had to go back due to a poor finish and minor damage. The center caps had to go back twice to be stripped and get the finish right. (there was so much powder on them, you couldn't see the part numbers on the back...).
I got a small refund for my trouble, and they were never any less than apologetic and accommodating. They are good on the phone too.
For anyone considering using them, make sure you are very clear about what you want. They have a high turnover and need to be made aware of specific details and instructions. 345 for 4 wheels with tyres on/off/balance.
Oh yeah, and 400 for all the extra little Alpina specific bits that needed replacing.. Rolling Eyes
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Burnham
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used Lepsons in Swindon for my 997 wheels back in 2008 and they were excellent. Repainted all 4 Lobster Claws Black with a polished silver rim.

I recently noticed a kerb rash on my NSF wheel annoyingly..Ive been so sooo careful with them in the 18 months Ive owned the car, and the wife has been too (shes well aware its my first brand new car!). I only noticed when it was dropped back home by the detailers recently.... Frustrating.

Ive managed to find a local wheel refurb guy on the Island who obviously knows his stuff. He does diamond finishing and sorted a friends Corvette wheels recently so its now booked in to be sorted...

Then it will be perfeft again!
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ade and liz flint
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A bit of an update, here.

I spoke to the Managing Director of Platinum at some length late last week. He was disappointed that the usual levels of customer service, and those he requires from his business, had not applied here. He was aware of a few issues and those added into the mix by our chat were noted and staff were to be re-focussed on the aims of his business.

The conversation was totally cordial as I've known him for a few years, certainly since they withdrew from their arrangements as a sub-branch of Lepsons, and he trusts my judgment and is always welcoming of feedback, good or bad.

Regarding to quality issues: he apologised and it would seem his lack of appearance in the facility over a week or so coincided with the errors on my wheels. He routinely casts an eye over '80% or so' of all wheels through the facility. Obviously, that he wasn't there (a fact I was aware of) shows here.

Regarding the paint finish: it appears the spray booth operator had not followed instructions to use the correct filter on the spray gun. If the finer filter is used, the metallic effect of the sparkle paint is lost: as in my wheels' case. A coarser filter allows the metallic particles through and improves the appearance of sparkle silver.

Regarding customer follow up ie replying to calls: they are short of an office based staff member to do these onerous tasks. That is in the process of being sorted out.

I've communicated directly with the MD today to arrange return of the faulty wheel, and probably one other as we're making the journey. He will ensure the job is done properly this time: my report will follow! With respect to my diamond cutting worries re further material removal, that will be undertaken with great care, and a touch of 'fiddling' around the edges may be utilised to prevent the tips blurring further into the spokes. It's a pity the profile of my spokes isn't the same as #286 were: they were far more 'squared off' whereas #127's curve and blend into the spokes. A thought is that a wheel was damaged when new, and all others were treated to the same reshaping by Alpina prior to shipping the car out

As a business, Platinum process about 400 wheels a week and are Porsche GB's sole wheel refurbishment source: quite an accolade based on my experience of Porsche GB. They do not, however, do any Dick Lovett group wheels: Porsche centres in the area (and indeed my own in Cardiff) are owned by Dick Lovett group, and they have recently started to refurb their own wheels with disastrous results. The reason DL went their own way was simple: Platinum require at least 4 days to turn round a diamond cut wheel: DL want them in 2. It's impossible to give a quality finish on a 2 day turn around of a diamond cut wheel, so Platinum withdrew their service rather than lower their quality. Bear this in mind with any fast wheel turnaround you're offered, and this makes sense now as the wheel I'm unhappy with on our Cayman was done in less than 2 days and is an abysmal effort (done by Flat Out in Cardiff). I doubt the lacquered finish will remain impervious to moisture for long at all, and anyway I hate tatty workmanship so it'll undoubtedly end up being refinished sooner rather than later Rolling Eyes

So, I'll see what occurs with the wheel(s) I send in next week. I'm somewhat heartened, now, though and things ought to improve once he's had chance to talk to his staff about the issues he recognises. He is totally enthusiastic about his business, and that shows through in conversation with him.
_________________
Current:
E91 B3SBiturbo #127; Space Grey, striped & slipped
981 Porsche Cayman GTS; Racing Yellow
Focus STline dog wagon; Deep Impact Blue

Previously loved:
ALPINA: E92 B3SBiturbo #285, E90 D3Biturbo #097, E85 Roadster S #168 & variety of 'grey' 4 and 6-cyl BMW lumps.
PORSCHE: Macan S, Cayman 981 S
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rattusM3
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mmm, shame, used Platinum (Swindon) to refurbish my M3 wheels and they did a great job of the Shadow Chrome affect, this was a couple of years ago.

Will have to keep an open mind when it comes to refurb the Alpina wheels, may think about using Lepsons and their collection service, as recommended by Asim.

Kev
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2002 Alpina B3 3.3 #220
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1992 E30 M3 (sold - what a twat)
1986 E24 M6 (working on)
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ade and liz flint
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rattusM3 wrote:
Mmm, shame, used Platinum (Swindon) to refurbish my M3 wheels and they did a great job of the Shadow Chrome affect, this was a couple of years ago.

Will have to keep an open mind when it comes to refurb the Alpina wheels, may think about using Lepsons and their collection service, as recommended by Asim.

Kev


I've got my workshop slot booked for next week, Kev. I'll feed back my impressions here once completed. All being well, my feedback to Platinum highlighting a couple of areas of 'weakness' has helped the MD to get his team going the right way again, as I've always previously had a really good service from them.

It seems with all these alloy refurb co's, that many of them aim for volume and not quality. Dropping refurb timescales isn't something I want to subscribe to, so be wary if anywhere offers super-quick turnrounds of your wheels unless their plant works 24hours a day! Many of them seem to start off with the best of intentions, and fall away rapidly as the effort takes its toll on them, and then resort to unsatisfactory finishes leaving the unit.

Hopefully this intervention will return Platinum to the quality they produced previously, as without direct feedback they're not always aware that problems are occurring.
_________________
Current:
E91 B3SBiturbo #127; Space Grey, striped & slipped
981 Porsche Cayman GTS; Racing Yellow
Focus STline dog wagon; Deep Impact Blue

Previously loved:
ALPINA: E92 B3SBiturbo #285, E90 D3Biturbo #097, E85 Roadster S #168 & variety of 'grey' 4 and 6-cyl BMW lumps.
PORSCHE: Macan S, Cayman 981 S
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rattusM3
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ade and liz flint wrote:
['ve got my workshop slot booked for next week, Kev. I'll feed back my impressions here once completed. All being well, my feedback to Platinum highlighting a couple of areas of 'weakness' has helped the MD to get his team going the right way again, as I've always previously had a really good service from them.


Thanks, that would be handy.
Assume you used their courier service?
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2002 Alpina B3 3.3 #220
2006 E46 M3
1992 E30 M3 (sold - what a twat)
1986 E24 M6 (working on)
Ford Grand C-Max Family Wagon
And lots of other BMWs from the past
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ade and liz flint
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rattusM3 wrote:

Assume you used their courier service?


No. I take my own there now with tyres as I trust them to fit them Rolling Eyes and they use painted balance weights. Otherwise I'm fannying around here with fitters and my own weights. It just so happens Liz is in Swindon on business next week so the journey to drop them is 'free'. I'll collect when completed 4-5 days later. A return trip from here Inc bridge tolls is less than 15 in the Focus: cheaper and safer than couriers.

When we lived in furthest westest Wales, I used to use a trusted tyre fitter to strip and re-rubber/ balance and courier them myself. Pricey though for courier.
_________________
Current:
E91 B3SBiturbo #127; Space Grey, striped & slipped
981 Porsche Cayman GTS; Racing Yellow
Focus STline dog wagon; Deep Impact Blue

Previously loved:
ALPINA: E92 B3SBiturbo #285, E90 D3Biturbo #097, E85 Roadster S #168 & variety of 'grey' 4 and 6-cyl BMW lumps.
PORSCHE: Macan S, Cayman 981 S
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