How not to get fobbed off by a garage (and what to do if you have been!)

Protecting yourself when using a garage

How not to get fobbed off by a garage

1-cars-975634_640-1

1) Agree a price for the work with the garage ideally in writing so it can be used later if there is a problem. This should be a quote not an estimate

2) Ask exactly what work will be covered including service and any parts and get this in writing

3) Ensure that the garage knows to contact you if it feels that additional work needs to be done and this should also be in writing. You could agree an amount for small matters without having to call but I prefer the everything agreed in writing approach! Why you should write not ‘phone to complain effectively

4) If it is too late and you haven’t done this then s/he should get two estimates from other garages as evidence and start the process below. If forced to pay then you should state in writing “payment under protest”

What to do if things do go wrong when you use a garage:

1) The Consumer Rights Act 2015 from October 1st last year covers vehicle repairs and servicing. So if the consumer believes that the service has not been undertaken with reasonable skill and care or has taken an unreasonable length of time (or longer than the agreed time) the consumer can request a refund/part refund or insist that the job is undertaken properly.

2) If the vehicle doesn’t work as it should after a repair some days after and this is due to poor work that the consumer can also claim.

3) If the garage refuses to provide redress by either giving a refund or redoing the job the consumer can go to arbitration through the trade association if the garage is a member.

4) You are also entitled to out of pocket expenses if you have had to use different transport whilst the job is redone but you must keep this to a minimum.

5) If your vehicle gets damaged at the garage the garage is responsible. The garage must pay to put things right under the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 (Consumer Rights Act 2015 from the 1st October) unless it can prove that it was not responsible. If the garage says it is not responsible for vehicles left in its possession it is in breach of the Unfair Terms in Contracts Regulations 1999 (Consumer Rights Act 2015 after 1st October)

6) You can also write to the CEO of the garage/chain by getting the contact details from www.ceoemail.com

7) Be polite, assertive and quote your legal rights. Complain in writing wherever possible as this is clear evidence in court should you need it. Give a time for when a response is expected and what will happen if a satisfactory response is not received (e.g. contact Trading Standards, the Trading Association, go through the Small Claims Court etc.)

8) If all that fails you can go to the Small Claims Court.

Research the garage before using

The Motor Ombudsman is the self-regulatory body for the motor industry. Its voluntary membership of thousands of garages is committed to maintaining high standards covering new cars, the administration of new car warranties and car service and repair. Search their database for members who sign up to a code of practice and if things do go wrong will partake in alternative alternative dispute resolution.

How to be smart when using a garage

Help for buying a car

Car buyers alert: how not to get fobbed off

Everything you need to know about financing your car purchase

Further help in complaining about goods and purchases

book Logo cartoon cow at a laptop of book cover. How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!

 

GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!

 

 

 

Top 20 Tips How to complain effectively!

Top 20 Tips for Complaining Effectively

 

How to be smart when using a garage

Choosing a garage to undertake repairs on your vehicle
When you choose a garage you should look to see if it is a member of a trade association and if any doubt about the authenticity of the sign you can contact the trade association to check. You can also look online to find garages which are members of the association.

Always agree a price, preferably in writing, before work is undertaken. You may also wish to agree on a maximum total cost for incidental small items which can be incurred without having to call you. If you haven’t done this and you feel that you are overcharged then you should get estimates for the work from other garages to use as evidence. If you are forced to pay, ensure that you state, (in writing as usual is best), that you are paying under protest.

When choosing a garage to undertake work see more details here.

When things go wrong
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 (Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 for purchases prior to 1st October 2015) covers vehicle repairs. So should you believe that the repair that you have received is not of satisfactory quality or hasn’t been undertaken in a reasonable length of time you can assert your legal rights and request a refund or that the job is undertaken properly. This includes when a vehicle does not function satisfactorily a few days later due to the repair. Should the garage refuse to refund or redo the job you can go to arbitration through the trade association if it is a member. For peace of mind you might always want to check that a garage is a member before taking your vehicle to it. You should always give the garage a chance to put things right as you have a legal obligation to keep costs to a minimum. You should also be compensated for out of pocket expenses such as using different transport when the garage undertakes the job again but you must keep this to a minimum.

If a garage damages your vehicle then this is a breach of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 prior to 1st October 2015) and the garage must pay to put the damage right unless it can prove it was not responsible.

If the garage claims that it is not responsible for vehicles left in its possession it is in breach of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 for servicing before 1st October 2015).

For templates and more tips and advice for complaining about garages see the bestselling book.