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More problems with Garages

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Post Wed Oct 24, 2007 6:53 pm

More problems with Garages

I have written here in the past about problems I have had getting good customer service from a local garage that is a major Scottish Franchised Ford dealer.

Back in January my car was serviced there - and I'm convinced the oil was never changed - I queried this at the time and was talked into believing that I was mistaken. In retrospect I believe I was was conned into believing they had actually carried out the oill change (the new oil was jet black).

In the summer my mother bought a car from this same dealership which had defective suspension (which I also wrote about here at the time). The problem was eventually resolved after a lot of arguing on my part and I vowed never to use them again.

However, my car had been fitted with four new tyres by the same garage (before I experienced these more recent problems) and since then I have had to check the tyre pressures on a regular basis as they lose pressure after only only a week or so. More recently this problem had become worse on one of the front wheels and I discovered that all four tyre valves were leaking, so Alison took the car back in today to have the valves changed.

When I called back this afternoon to collect the car I was told one of the tyres also had a cracked sidewall so they had fitted a new tyre (which I would have to pay for). And I was told that when the tyres were originally changed they had not fitted new valves (which I always thought was standard practice) hence the reason for the faulty valves.

I was not happy with having had a new tyre fitted without first being told that this was required. Secondly - the tyre was a different brand and tread pattern to the other three.

I told the manager I was not prepared to pay for a new tyre which I had never agreed too. I told him I was taking my car away to have a new tyre fitted somewhere else. He told me they would have to remove their tyre first. I refused to allow him to do this as this was not a problem of my creation and I was no longer prepared to waste any more of my time with them.

I then took my car away without paying anything.

About half an hour later the manager phoned me and told me I would have to return their tyre. I told him this was not my problem it was his problem. He then said he would send someone around to remove the wheel and I told him if he did this, I would phone the police. He replied he would phone the police if I didn't return the tyre. I told him to do what he liked and hung up.

Half an hour later the police phoned :-?

I explained that I thought it was absurd that the dealership should involve the police. I had not stolen anything - merely took back my own car (the fact that it was fitted with a new tyre was incidental - I had never asked for this to be done). After I explained my version of events the policeman suggested that it would be best if I would allow the garage to send someone up to my premises - remove the wheel and tyre and return with the old tyre. This would mean there was no inconvenience to myself.

I reluctantly agreed and the old tyre has now been re-fitted to the wheel and returned to me. I declined to have the wheel re-fitted to the car and fitted the space saver wheel instead to allow me to take it somewhere else to have a new tyre of my own choosing fitted.

I just had to get that off my chest!

(edited to try and make more sense of my rambling)
Last edited by Phill Fenton on Wed Oct 24, 2007 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Wed Oct 24, 2007 7:16 pm

I think you were right to stand your ground phill... too many companies out there taking us all for a ride at our own expence. Particularly car garages... i really dislike dealing with them.
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Post Wed Oct 24, 2007 7:56 pm

Im in the fortunate situation of being a trained mechanic, and I cant believe some of the things mainly dealerships have tried to pull ( I never say Im qualified). Good move by standing your ground, there is no way a garage should be doing any additional work without asking.......
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Post Wed Oct 24, 2007 8:51 pm

Phil
silly question, did you have valve caps fitted?

Peter
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Post Wed Oct 24, 2007 9:17 pm

Hi Peter - Yes there has always been valve caps fitted. The faulty valves were made of metal and were leaking at the point where they exit the wheel rim. I discovered this by spraying a weak solution of washing up liquid onto the wheels to discover where the air was escaping from. Where the bubbles formed was how I knew it was the valves that were faulty and not just a puncture.

The garage told me these had started to rust internally and that was why they were leaking. I was astonished to learn they hadn't automatically changed them when the new tyres were originally fitted. I think they expected me to accept it was no fault of theirs whereas I have always understood it was good practice to always change valves when fitting new tyres.
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Post Wed Oct 24, 2007 10:13 pm

I had dispute recently when I changed my car Phil. Fought it for ages with letters, calls and visits to the garage and their head office and even MD in person. Never got anywhere though. They're tight as a cat's *** and stubborn into the bargain. Surprised at the police getting involved though. Thought this would've been a civil matter.
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Post Wed Oct 24, 2007 10:23 pm

good for you phil for not giving up.... :wink: its worse for women who go into garages....blokes instantly think we are thick and that they can tell us anything and charge the earth....i used to make a point of asking for my old parts back ie: brake pads disks etc...only one garage declined and said the parts went into the skip and it was away :-? there not all bad though ive just bought a new car and the garage has spent a fortune getting the bits sorted for me, which i thanked and told garage owner i really appreciated it, he has after all a reputation to think of.....just what us good signmakers would do eh? :D make the customer happy :wink:

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Post Wed Oct 24, 2007 10:46 pm

well done - its just poor service.

metal valves are some times not changed to save cost as they are a lot dearer than normal and would have mucked up there pricing. or bad quote in the first place.

chris
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Post Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:24 am

stripeynick wrote:Surprised at the police getting involved though. Thought this would've been a civil matter.


That's exactly what I thought - this was a civil matter and not something to be wasting police time with. (The policeman even told me so - that this was really a civil matter) but advised me that he was simply trying to smooth things over and to prevent too many people from suffering "high blood pressure".

Personally I thought the whole thing was hilarious - the dealership certainly never expected some middle aged white guy to go stealing a tyre from them - they expected me to meekly pay up. Instead I turned the tables on them exposing their sharp practices.

Rock and roll :punk: :punk:
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Post Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:37 am

I'm sure you were right Phill, and it sounds like you have a rogue dealer there but, as always, there is another side to the story.

I wouldn't tar them all with the same brush but some of the stunts the general public try to pull on garages are diabolical. Lieing, cheating and downright dishonesty by the customers are an everyday occurrence at any garage. The public often seem to regard a garage as fair game.

I've been out of the motor trade for twenty years now and one of the main reasons for leaving it was that I detested having a daily battle of wills with these people. I have a lot of friends still in the trade, and some of the stories they tell me you wouldn't believe, but I can make you the offer of standing in a service reception for a week and seeing for yourself what goes on.
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Post Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:54 am

I guess it's a chicken and egg situation John- what came first - the crooked car dealer or the crooked motorist.

Personally, I think motorists are simply reacting to years of being ripped off by unscrupulous garages.

I would like to point out that I do a lot of work for Arnold Clark (a large Scottish motor company) and have always found their managers and sales people to have great integrity. The dealership I have mentioned here are in no way connected to Arnold Clark but are another Scottish franchised Ford dealer.
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Post Thu Oct 25, 2007 1:00 am

Phill wrote:I would like to point out that I do a lot of work for Arnold Clark (a large Scottish motor company) and have always found their managers and sales people to have great integrity.

You know where to buy your next car then Phill.

Tell your mum as well. :D
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Post Thu Oct 25, 2007 2:48 pm

this is typicle crappy service phil ....as far as i was told ...and believed it ,
it is very much standard practice to replace a new valve when fitting a new tyre for safety sake .Further more they fitted a new tyre without you asking ....thats there problem .Its your choice to make that decision not theres .Ive been shafted so many times by garages ive lost count
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Post Wed Oct 31, 2007 6:08 pm

It gets worse :(

Yesterday driving back from Dundee the brakes became noisy. I inspected them today to discover the rear pads had worn down to the metal. The car was serviced less than 5,000 miles ago (I checked the service record against the milometer today) and I reckon I should have been advised that new pads were needed at the last service. They were obviously not checked (neither was the oil changed in my opinion)!!

I'm fuming and think I should take this further (hot)
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Post Wed Oct 31, 2007 11:26 pm

I know, I know...I should really let it go :roll:

:lol1: :lol1:
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Post Wed Oct 31, 2007 11:27 pm

Difficult call Phill.

What is the service interval on your car?

In an ideal world, if the brakes, or anything else, is going to need replacing before the next scheduled service, then you should be informed. However, with the best will in the world, whether the brakes will last to the next service can only be their judgement on what is average. Some drivers are heavier on the brakes than others and won't make it. Others might last two services on the same thickness of pads.

Be aware that they will get a bollocking from their next customer for changing brake pads on a routine service when they had 5,000 mjles left in them.

As signmakers, we tell horror stories about our customers. Believe me, garages do the same. :)

I don't think it's worth arguing about and that if you are really that unhappy with your garage then just vote with your feet. Save yourself the blood pressure on an argument you can't win.
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Post Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:24 am

Any half descent garage should have informed you as an advisory on the service record. Rear brakes do wear out a lot slower than the fronts unless you have a problem with the calipers. If you are down to the metal, its probably going to cost you a set of discs too...........
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Post Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:43 am

Graeme Harrold wrote:Rear brakes do wear out a lot slower than the fronts

Have you seen how Phill drives? :D
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Post Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:47 am

John Childs wrote:
I don't think it's worth arguing about and that if you are really that unhappy with your garage then just vote with your feet. Save yourself the blood pressure on an argument you can't win.


well said John...

i think we can all relate to your situation Phill, and in most cases many of us would do as you did, stand our ground and not pay for work we didnt authorize...

deal with the guy you do all the work for, i'm sure they will appreciate the return business too...

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