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OFT backs service code of practice

The Office of Fair Trading has approved Bosch’s Car Service code of practice.

Bosch is the first organisation within the motor vehicle mechanical repair and service sector to successfully secure approval for its consumer code of practice under the OFT's Consumer Codes Approval Scheme.

The OFT only approves codes that have proved effective in safeguarding and promoting consumers' interests beyond the basic requirements of the law.

The code's membership consists of independent garages providing car repairs and servicing, and sets the standard that members must comply with when providing vehicle services to customers.

Howard Price, Bosch technical service manager, said: “We are extremely proud to gain approval for our code of practice and thereby, recognition of the commitment to quality and service by the BCS network.

“The BCS code of practice is a genuine desire to ensure that people who have require their car to be serviced or repaired can be sure they will receive the highest quality of service.”

Consumers will now be able to look for the BCS/OFT approved code logo when looking for car servicing and repairs in order to gain the benefits of the approved code which include:

  • A requirement to provide clear pre-contractual information including completion times, the offer of a written estimate that includes the cost of parts, labour, any other costs or services and VAT.

  • Cancellation rights exceeding those available at law

  • Guarantees on the work carried out (parts and labour)

  • Protection of any prepayments if a BCS member ceases to trade

  • A requirement for BCS members not to recommend or carry out work which is unnecessary or unnecessarily expensive

  • Formal procedures for dealing with consumer complaints with a free conciliation service if a member's own complaints procedure does not resolve an issue

  • An independent redress scheme (arbitration)

  • Regular anonymous visits/mystery shops to test the technical and customer handling skills of the BCS network plus annual audits to ensure the code is adhered to

  • An independent disciplinary review panel to ensure that the disciplinary procedures deal effectively with instances of non- compliance.

    John Fingleton, OFT chief executive, said: “This is good news for consumers seeking car servicing and repair services.

    “Consumers can be confident that where they see an OFT approved code logo they will receive a high standard of service and they will be treated fairly if problems arise.”

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