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Rip off garages

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On 07/05/2024 at 22:09, Charliedog said:

Toyota have been a breath of fresh air, well organised, no nasty surprises, great coffee, nothing to complain about

You're lucky, Stoneacre have taken over around here & they're a bunch of robbing *****. Luckily there's an independent Toyota Service Centre in Penrith, 100 mile round trip but worth it.

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6 hours ago, PERCE said:

You're lucky, Stoneacre have taken over around here & they're a bunch of robbing *****. Luckily there's an independent Toyota Service Centre in Penrith, 100 mile round trip but worth it.

It used to be the case that even major manufacturers used 'independents' as their agent.  My parents bought their cars from a local garage that was an Austin Morris main agent - but was a single garage and the owner lived on site.  Similarly with Vauxhall where the owner was certainly on site daily (I know his son, though the business is now in a major group).  It was the same when I bought my first Honda from as Honda dealership, where the owner lived locally.

There was a local group (3 branches only I think) that had the Ford franchise around here until quite recently.

LandRover have for a long time only had big chain groups as main dealerships ........... and they have been awful, hence the large number of independents.

There are two Toyota dealerships reasonably close, both part of larger groups, but as far as I have heard - reasonably well regarded.  No personal experience yet, but Toyota have an extended warranty policy  linked to using a franchised dealer.  https://www.toyota.co.uk/owners/toyota-warranty

This is extended for 12 months or 10,000 miles at each dealer service up to 10 years or 100,000 miles.  From what I have read this seems to be fairly operated without using 'loopholes'.  Again no personal experience.

My recently departed BMW had a BMW operated 10 year extended warranty, but it was at extra annual cost after 5(?) years - and also had an excess (£150) and a long list of 'conditions' and 'exclusions'.  I did however have work done and it was honoured, so no complaints.

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I'm not defending poor garages, but rip off isn't exclusive to the motor trade, I think it's just an easy target.


Anyway, true story...

We had a regular customer, a plumber, who's van we looked after.

He came in one day asking if we could look at the brakes as they seemed noisy.

After a brief road test and a look on the lift, we reported that the front pads were very low, and the discs were worn, so quoted to do both.

He got irate as apparently we were ripping him off and he wasn't paying that sort of money! So off he went (we didn't charge for looking at it).

Returns a week later to tell us how useless we were, that him and his son had replaced the discs and pads as we'd advised and the noise was still there, clearly we'd got it wrong and made him spend money he didn't need to, told us we should look at it again and get it right.

Put the van on the lift and popped the front wheels off to see the shiny new discs he'd fitted covered in gouges with the new pads installed...backwards. 😀


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5 minutes ago, Wymondley said:

I think it's just an easy target

That's true - and the 'motor trade' (as in the garages) are trapped between the consumer and the manufacturer. 

Classic example.  Some years ago - early days of computerised records, I went in to the main agency/dealership for a spare part - a trigger assembly for the fuel injection that went in the ignition distributor.  Parts bloke looked on microfiche and said that he'd need the VIN as there were several possibles.  He helpfully came out with me to the car park and took the VIN from the plate on the car.  We got back to the counter, and he added the VIN and it then said we needed the engine number.  Back to the car - and it was impossible to read the engine number as you could just see half of it - the rest being hidden behind a pipe.  At home - I went underneath and with some difficulty and a torch got the engine number - then remembered it was also on the car registration document - and luckily the numbers matched.  Back in the parts department next week armed with engine number - my number didn't fit any of the 'ranges', for parts despite the engine being original to the car. 

Parts counter man then got the workshop foreman out for me and he looked under the bonnet, took the top off the distributor, and told me I needed a replacement kit as the original part was superseded and went back in the parts department and got one for me 'off the shelf'.  What a load of hassle over a part that was (if I remember right) only around £20 for the replacement kit anyway!

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I went to merc commercial for an airbag recall. 
they fitted it in about 2 hours. I jumped in the motor and they had put none of the pillar trim back on and the horn didn’t work. 

the excuse was - we are really busy and didn’t have time to put all the bits back or test it. 
I did ask how they would guarantee the airbags had been fitted properly - we use trained technicians who are also quality checked on the completion of the job was the reply …….

most unfriendly lot - not even the offer of a brew. 

complete shambles and I vowed never to have a merc commercial


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