Automotive Blog

Come on guys, let's go back to basics

Fraud

Across Europe, all types of car repairers complain about the decline in demand affecting the aftermarket. There are objective reasons to explain this trend which have been identified by ICDP for some years: the decreasing annual distance driven by motorists, longer recommended service intervals, higher vehicle reliability, drop in new car sales, limited car parc growth, etc.

Industry players all recognise the real need to not only attract more leads but above all to retain customers.  Here, one can also assume that the most effective way to keep a customer loyal is to supply high quality service together with good value for money.  However, this latter point is apparently not always fully understood by repairers.

The French General Direction for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) has recently published the result of an enquiry carried out amongst the car repair and maintenance workshops in October 2015 (http://www.economie.gouv.fr/dgccrf/reparation-automobile).  In total, 803 outlets were visited and they looked at:

• The non-respect of menu price content
• The non-respect of recommended job times
• The non-respect of labour rates
• Test drives being systematically charged even for jobs not needing any test drive (e.g. oil change)
• Jobs being charged without being completed actually.

In total, the controllers reported over 300 breaches which translates into a 40% rate of repairers who are not complying with the basic rules.  Without providing detailed figures, the report also mentions that car manufacturer franchised dealers and auto centres seem to be much more aware of the legislation than independent garages.  Maybe some breaches relate to negligence, others are clearly dishonest and are certainly not the best way to achieve high loyalty rates.

So guys instead of complaining, please go back to basics!

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