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Motor Repair Code of Practice avoids need for costly legislative burden

Thu, 27 Aug 2009

According to the findings of a Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) member survey published this week, by far the biggest concern of its members is the burden of legislation and compliance, diverting attention from their businesses – with 81.5% making the claim. While not shocking news, what is surprising is why more independents are not grabbing the opportunity to subscribe to the Motor Industry Code of Practice for Service and Repair, an initiative designed to deter government from introducing more legislation for garages.

Motor Codes Limited, which is backed by the industry, government and the consumer lobby, was established last year to act as the self-regulatory body for the automotive sector and launched the Code to give garages the means to demonstrate they are responsible, customer-focused and transparent in their business activities.

“Garages that commit to the Motor Industry Code of Practice for Service and Repair are willing to show their commitment to treating their customers responsibly,” said Trading Standards Institute chief executive Ron Gainsford. “It seems the survey respondents may be overlooking a most obvious business benefit to be gained by subscribing to the Code – a clear intent to operate honestly, giving greater confidence to customers. In turn this should bolster government’s belief that the industry is taking the right action, so avoiding the need for legislation. We have a good level of confidence that this self-regulatory Code will allow us to focus our efforts on tackling the bad guys who tarnish the industry’s efforts and reputation.”

Considerable effort went into developing this industry-wide Code to ensure that it stays affordable for businesses and meaningful for consumers. Compliance should not place any additional burden on responsible garages and gives the additional benefit of enhancing a business’ marketing toolkit.
 “The message here is clear: subscribe to this Code to avoid costly and intrusive legislation which forces you to change the way you operate your business,” said Chris Mason, Motor Codes director. “The bottom line is, if you are a responsible garage, you will not be overly burdened by operating the Code and your customers will have the peace of mind they deserve.”

The Motor Industry Code of Practice for Service and Repair safeguards consumer interests by helping them identify responsible garages and encourage the sector to raise and maintain a high standard of customer service. More than 5,000 garages in the UK have already subscribed to the Code which is currently progressing through the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) Consumer Codes Approval Scheme. It has completed the first stage of the OFT’s code approval process.

Developed and launched in response to consumer concerns over pricing, quality of work and customer service, the Code commits subscribing garages to:

•    honest and fair services
•    open and transparent pricing
•    completing work as agreed
•    invoices that match quoted prices
•    competent and conscientious staff
•    a straightforward, swift complaints procedure

And offers motorists:

•    a free consumer advice line (0800 692 0825)
•    an online search facility allowing consumers to locate their nearest subscribing garage
•    free conciliation and low cost, legally binding arbitration


More at Motor Codes


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