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Independents hit back at Citizens Advice findings

The Independent Garage Association (IGA) is outraged by recent Citizens Advice findings suggesting that independent used car dealers and garages are the top cause of consumer complaints.

Used cars bought from an independent dealer came at the top of the list with 45,425 complaints, 76% of which were about faulty motors. Mobile phone contracts where in second place with 11,974 complaints and repairs from an independent garage came in third place with 11,437 complaints.

The figures from the Citizens Advice consumer service reveal the biggest consumer problems faced by people in England and Wales between April 2012 to February 2013.

The IGA has been in contact with Citizens Advice to try and establish how this information is gathered and what evidence is provided to verify a complaint. However despite numerous attempts to gain this information Citizens Advice is yet to provide it.

Stuart James, IGA director, said: “The IGA is extremely concerned that the figures produced by Citizens Advice do not accurately represent the independent garage sector and welcome the opportunity to work with them to address the genuine issues.

“All of our IGA members adhere to a strict code of conduct to ensure they offer the very best service to its customers on a daily basis.

“We also offer the National Conciliation and Arbitration Service (NCS), an independently run service for customers of IGA garages who feel that the member has not carried out its obligations to deliver a quality service. In fact the NCS only receive 30-40 complaints a month of which 96% are dealt with there and then.

“The IGA will continue to attempt to liaise with Citizens Advise to ensure that the independent garage sector is not having its reputation damaged through flawed figures.”

Top 10 problematic products

  1. Used cars bought from an independent dealer 45,425
  2. Mobile phone contracts 11,974
  3. Repairs from an independent garage 11,437
  4. Upholstered furniture 10,632
  5. Mobile phone handsets 10,268
  6. Lap-tops, notebooks and tablet PCs 10,241
  7. Women’s clothing 9,293
  8. General building work 8,726
  9. TVs 8,511
  10. Beds and mattresses 7,868

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  • Hamln - 22/03/2013 23:27

    Lets get a few facts out in the open some VMs supply non original parts in their brand to repair cars. Service is completely missed in the dealerships. 18 days is not unusual from diagnosis to 'repair' fitting a part which is not the fault is becoming ever more prevalent. These are real problems for component suppliers as the parts are to spec but totslly unuseable, classed as 'no fault found'. Dealerships with poor sales performance are in general poor in service and repair and costly in warranty returns. Independents on the other hand want to solve the drivers problem today to free the ramp for future customers. They invariably fit an original component brand to ensure no returning vehicle. The dealears are not as good as they say they are but then they do have the ear of the press and governments with nice jaunts to experience the vehicles. I'm with the IGA peope don't get taken in by the hype from VMs or as they are referred to in the independent sector vechicle assemblers as 75% of the components are developed, designed and produced independently. Drivers are scared of affecting their warranty and put up with the dealerships blarney.