Clean up your garage
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05 Jan 2009 14:35
Consumer Minister Gareth Thomas today launched a new drive to raise standards
of car servicing and repairs. He wants garages to sign up to a Code of Practice.
He today wrote to MPs asking them to contact garages in their constituencies and
urge them to sign up to the Motor Industry Code of Practice for Servicing and
Repair. He has also asked them to bring this Code to the attention of consumers
in their area.
This Code was launched at the end of the summer and is designed to improve
the standards of garages across the country. To date over 5,000 garages have
already signed up to the Code with more joining every day, but more need to join
to make this code a success for consumers and for business.
Gareth Thomas believes it is important that good garages across the country
show their customers and prospective customers that they are prepared to commit
to this industry standard by signing up to the code.
Gareth Thomas said:
"When you book your car in for a service or repair, it can be a lottery
whether you get a good deal or are taken for a ride. This tough new scheme will
drive out the cowboy garages that charge for unnecessary work or miss major
faults through incompetence.
"Many garages are already driving up standards by committing themselves to
this Code. Regular inspections coupled with an enforcement regime will ensure
consistency of service. A helpline for advice and a searchable guide will help
people to get a good deal and help garages to raise consumer confidence in their
"Garages that don't want to their business to get left behind should sign up
to this Code as soon as possible."
People who want to find a good garage they can trust should visit
http://www.motorindustrycodes.co.uk or call 0800 692 0825.
Mystery shopping surveys continue to confirm the sub-standard practices
across the country revealed in BERR research and which estimated a cost to
motorists of up to £4 billion a year. For example:
* 43% of garages did not provide customers with an accurate quote prior to the
* 40% of garages missed/did not replace at least one item on the service
schedule. This was particularly so for female car owners - 58%
* 12% of independent garages carried out work that had not been agreed with
customers prior to the work being undertaken
Advice to garages: The Code is an industry-wide, self-regulating code of
practice to promote and safeguard consumers' interests by helping them identify
better businesses and encouraging garages to raise their standards of customer
* Any garage in the UK who service and/or repair cars or light commercial
vehicles can sign up to the Code, providing they agree to meet the standards set
* Annual subscription fee will be £75 per outlet, with a further cost of £175
every 24 months for a compliance check
* Full details can be requested by interested garages by contacting email@example.com
* The Code will be monitored by the Code administrator (Motor Codes Ltd), who is
in turn monitored by the Office of Fair Trading
* Subscribing garages will face a regular unannounced compliance check to ensure
they continue to meet the standards set out in the Code
Advice to consumers:
* Visit http://www.motorindustrycodes.co.uk to identify your nearest subscribing
* In the event of a dispute:
* Speak to the garage's dedicated customer service representative
- If unable to resolve complaint, phone the free consumer advice line - 0800 692
- Refer complex cases to the conciliation service
- If conciliation does not resolve the complaint to the satisfaction of the
consumer, subscribers will agree to independent arbitration, with a fixed fee
for each party, if the consumer wishes.
* Feedback on garages visited via freepost reply forms available at each garage
or online via http://www.motorindustrycodes.co.uk, allows garage customers the
opportunity of appraising Motor Codes Ltd of the sector performance.
Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform
7th Floor, 1 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0ET
About the Author
© Crown Copyright. Material taken from the BERR- Department
for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform replacing DTI - Department for
Trade and Industry. Reproduced under the terms and conditions of the Click-Use
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2009-01-05 21:47:18 in Business Articles