Garages urged: Sign Up to Service and Repair Code
Consumer Affairs Minister Gareth Thomas has issued an open letter to the independent garage sector calling on them to subscribe to the Motor Industry Code of Practice for Service and Repair, which helps consumers to identify garages which are responsible and reliable businesses.
The new Motor Industry Code of Practice for Service and Repair was launched by Motor Codes Limited to consumers in August 2008.
The code means that consumers can have confidence that participating garages adhere to high standards and will do their best to resolve complaints to customers’ satisfaction if things go wrong.
Gareth Thomas, Consumer Affairs Minister, said:
"The code has got off to an encouraging start with some 5,000 businesses already committed to participate. A successful code is good news for consumers and business. It means garages show a clear intent to operate an open and honest business which attracts customers.
"It’s particularly important during the economic downturn that consumers are reassured they’re getting a good deal."
Chris Mason, Director of Motor Codes, said:
"The more businesses that demonstrate their commitment to this important piece of consumer protection, the greater the confidence that motorists can have in the service and repair sector."
A code subscriber commits to:
- honest and fair services;
- open and transparent pricing;
- complete work as agreed;
- invoices that match quoted prices;
- competent and conscientious staff;
- a straightforward, swift complaints procedure.
The code itself allows consumers access to:
- a free consumer advice line (0800 692 0825);
- free conciliation and low cost, legally binding arbitration;
- more rights than required by law.
The Minister is calling for further commitment from the independent, non-franchised sector which stands to benefit by being known as responsible operators. The code is also an aid to competition because it places both large and small operators on a level playing field.
The code is currently working towards full OFT approval. To achieve this it will have to demonstrate that it is working effectively to protect consumers and that enough businesses are participating.