It says most of its sales staff have been retrained following the BBC ‘Whistleblower’ investigation, conducted in summer 2004, which saw covert filming of the sales and service departments at Yes Car Credit’s Croydon branch. Two of the companies other sites, in Warrington and Hull, have closed as profits fell 60% to £4.4m.
“Since the filming took place last summer, Yes Car Credit has introduced major changes to its sales, service and car preparation processes and has retrained most of its sales staff,” says a spokesman. “Improvements to customer service, vehicle quality and complaints handling have been made. A number of the managers at the Croydon branch are no longer working for the business.”
During the Whistleblower programme broadcast on BBC1 last week the service manager at Yes Car Credit’s branch in Croydon was secretly filmed telling the BBC’s undercover service technician: “It’s Stevie Wonder services here – keep your eyes shut.” He blamed the pressure of tight budgets for making technical staff cut corners when preparing cars for sale, although he claimed items such as tyres and brakes were always checked and replaced if necessary.
In response to the trading results the company says it will “further strengthen the management team and make reductions to the cost base.” It does not expect improvement in 2005, although Yes Car Credit says the situation is “recoverable”.