Great News - end to rip off services! - automaticallyuk
Just read an article on the first page of the Sun. It says that a new European directive comes in this month. The directive states that an owner of a car can have his/her car serviced at any garage with a qualified mechanic, and still keep the manufacturers warranty.

I take this to mean that if you buy a new car you can have it serviced by the independent garage down the road, at the regular service intervals, at a greatly reduced price etc. If anything mechanical goes wrong or trim falls off etc then you can still take it back to the dealer and have it repaired under warranty.

The new law will mean that if the car has been serviced, according to the rules, then the warranty remains valid.

Therefore, if you buy as VW, you can have it serviced outside the VW network and still keep the warranty.

This could save motorists £'s.. and is surely good for the industry.

However, I guess owners will have to take a few garages to court to get any joy.

Any thoughts on this and future impacts of the legislation. Or has anyone encountered any problems ?

Cheers,

automaticallyuk
Great News - end to rip off services! - matt35 {P}
automaticallyuk,
Good news, but..question;
What is someone who can post an interesting article, with correct punctuation, doing reading the SUN?
Were you waiting in a queue in the barbers?
Matt35.
Great News - end to rip off services! - googolplex
The cynical side of me thinks that it will make little difference since these days specialist garages seem to have to plumb your car into their ecu thingy and fiddle around. I'm not sure I want the local independent poking around inside my Mondeo TDCI anyway; well not until its done a good 100K and is well out of warranty.
Still, its all a step in the right direction.
Splodgeface
Great News - end to rip off services! - martint123
Another part of the legislation is that manufacturers have to make available documentation and service aids available to the independants (if they can afford them!). This would include diagnostic code readers and what the codes are.

Great News - end to rip off services! - andymc {P}
I've read (probably on this site) that the cost of acquiring the software for just one brand can be around £30000. If that's true, not too many independents will be able to afford to run more than two or three brands, especially when new models are brought out. It would be interesting to see such a situation legally challenged on the basis of anti-competitive practices.
andymc
Great News - end to rip off services! - peterb
If you ran a firm which made high value and complicated Widgits and provided a three year guarantee, how happy would you feel about another firm, not accredited by you, maintening the Widgits during the three years?
Great News - end to rip off services! - peterb
I should have explained in the post above why I'm in sympathy with the motor co's. The firm I work for (a management consultancy) has a very similar issue in a totally different field. It works like this:

1. We put something in for a client
2. They tinker with it using in-house people or sole-trader consultants (cheaper)
3. Over time it gets screwed-up.
4. Someone notices
5. We get the blame
6. Client refuses to use us anymore and tells all and sundry
Great News - end to rip off services! - teabelly
I wouldn't mind paying £50/60 an hour main dealer charges if they were any better than independents. Often the standard of service received is way below that of an independent. I have found main dealers to be incompetant and overpriced and so have most of the people I know. The person working on the car is often some spotty youth that can barely string together enough words to make a coherent sentence and diagnostics consist of attaching the car to the code reader. They are incapable of doing anything else. I don't see why I should lose a 3 year warranty by taking my vehicle to someone that is competant rather than a main dealer.

If manufacturers want me to pay their outrageous charges then I expect perfect service. Car goes in once, it is fixed, and it doesn't break in the same way again and they don't introduce other faults while they're at it.I already get that kind of service from an independent for £30 an hour why would I want to pay double that for extra faults and repeat visits?

If the service received from main dealers was superior to that of independents then people wouldn't be complaining about having to stay with them to keep the warranty.




teabelly
Great News - end to rip off services! - Aprilia
Main dealers don't recruit their technicians from Oxford and Cambridge - often you will find the most committed, knowledgable, experienced and enthusiastic staff at independents.
A lot of main dealers see most of their business as straightforward servicing (cars under warranty) and the odd bit of warranty work. Give them a more complex problem and their brains aren't used to it.
For out of warranty work the lads in the workshop will be on commissions and targets; mostly the service dept. is treated as a separate bussiness unit and the manager will be under pressure to turn a good profit. This is why warranty work sometimes doesn't get done properly and out of warranty cars sometimes get uneccessary repairs!

A good friend of mine has been a partner in an independent outfit for about 15 years. He's really got into electronic diagnostics; he has been on many of the Bosch courses and takes literature home every night to read. He really *understands* vehicle electronics - he's not just a 'unit swapper'. You'll not often find that level of committment and understanding at a main dealer.

Sadly though, I don't think things will change very much. The major manufacturers have spent the year hiking the price of their software and special tools to ensure that very few independents will be able to afford to buy them.
Great News - end to rip off services! - tunacat
I had this idea in the back of my head from somewhere that you WOULDN'T actually invalidate the manufacturer's warranty by having your car serviced by an independent or other agent, it's merely an incorrect view promoted by the manufacturers.

Correct or not?
Great News - end to rip off services! - Aprilia
Someone may want to correct me - but I think it is the case at present that you CAN have your car serviced elsewhere whilst it is under manfr. warranty (provide all evidence is kept, etc.). The situation is more complicated with some 3-year warranties in which years 2 and 3 are not manfr. backed - they are actually an insurance scheme. The insurer can then, of course, impose particular conditions about where the car is serviced.
Great News - end to rip off services! - arnold2
Both my cars - Toyota and VW - have a 1 year manufacturers warranty and a 2 year dealer one ? Wonder how this will work, then ?

Still, I've found main dealer servicing seriously suspect - when I had my oil & filter done once, I could have sworn they hadn't done ANYTHING, as the car still ran a bit rough ... on the contrary, after my local Kwik-Fit the difference is very noticeable...
Great News - end to rip off services! - Graham
Er the first poster here mantioned that the mechanic had to be "qualified".

I wonder how s/he will have to be qualified, done ALL the manufacturers couses at a very high expence?


BTW I have found a small independant who owns the business. I feel that I can trust him, so I'm well chuffed.

Last (only) time I used the VW dealer I too felt that they had done nothing at all to the car. But I couldn't prove it.
Great News - end to rip off services! - Aprilia
When I had a lot of dealings with the franchised dealers (few years ago now) a lot of them would do what was known as a 'sunshine repair' - this means park around the back in the sunshine all day and then do an invoice for the company.

Most often this was done with company cars that had minor but irritating and time consuming niggles (e.g. some minor water leak from an unknown source; rattle or squeak that would take hours to track down etc. etc.). The receptionist would say, 'yes, been looked at, think we found the source of the problem, see how it goes'. Nine time out of ten the customer goes away and doesn't come back. Private owners tended to be a lot more stroppy though.
Great News - end to rip off services! - eMBe {P}
.. a lot of them would do what was known as a 'sunshine repair' .. >> what a lovely euphemism for fraud!


IMO, if you have your car serviced by a competent person in a competent manner, and according to the manufacturer's specifications (e.g. using genuine authorised parts and not cheap/fake inferior quality ones) - then you should be OK in a court of law.

The solution (which is good from both the buyer's point of view and the manufacturer's) is to offer 3 or 5 year servicing packs as BMW currently do with the MINI (small additional charge) and 3/5 Series Diesels (5years/60,000 miles free servicing included).
Great News - end to rip off services! - Aprilia
*Servicing* is not usually the problem; most of them can tackle that OK. Its when you go in with a slightly more unusual fault that the trouble starts.
Great News - end to rip off services! - Alf
When I was a nipper my dad used to run a garage out of our big shed at the bottom of the garden. One day I took him a bacon sarnie for breakfast and noticed all this new metal he was working on.

I asked him why he was 'repairing' new cars, he said that he was just servicing and changing the oil for the dealer garage as they were busy. The punter was happy ,he got the stamp in his book,(oblivious as to who was actually doing the work!) the dealer was happy (charging dealer rates and paying my dad independant rates), my dad was happy with all the continuing new trade.

All is definetly not what it seems in the motor trade thats for sure!

Alf
Great News - end to rip off services! - peterb
"Great News - end to rip off services"

For a glorious moment, I thought the price of Welcome Break's pic'n'mix was coming down!
Great News - end to rip off services! - Dipstick
Fan of Richard Herring by any chance, Peterb?
Great News - end to rip off services! - peterb
Fan of Richard Herring by any chance, Peterb?


Eh?
Great News - end to rip off services! - puntoo
difference since these days specialist garages seem to have to plumb
your car into their ecu thingy and fiddle around. I'm
not sure I want the local independent poking around inside my
Mondeo TDCI anyway; well not until its done a good 100K
and is well out of warranty.


Splodge as of 2002/2001 all the ecu connections in european cars had to use a single standard connector and also conform to a single european standard. There are now plenty of options available to the small garage to hook up a laptop and diagnose engine faults.

If you had a few hundred quid even you could diagnose faults !!!
Great News - end to rip off services! - Dipstick
Peterb,

Sorry, not trying to get this off topic. Richard Herring is a comedian (see www.richardherring.com) who had a campaign against the extortionate prices asked for pick'n'mix.
Great News - end to rip off services! - peterb
Thanks. He sounds like good deed in a naughty world!
Great News - end to rip off services! - Mark (RLBS)
One thing that nobody has mentioned is the question of ex-gratia payments.

On occasion a manufacturer will pay some or all repair costs of a car, theoretically out of warranty, where it has been serviced all the way through by their own dealers.

They don't have to make this payment, and if they decide that they will only even entertain such a claim from cars which have solely been serviced at their outlets, then it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to do anything about it.
Great News - end to rip off services! - MrWibble
Flip side is you pay less by servicing at independents so it equalises unless you are very unlucky. Of course forcing companies to honour warranties is hardly the stuff of a free market - they will find a way round it to maintain margins
 

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