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From previous postings of mine many of you will realise in my day job I'm an mot tester with a bit of a thing about fast fit centres and their workmanship.
On Friday I came across a particularly sloppy and potentially dangerous bit of work done by another national company, I wont name and shame them here but they are recognisable from the description in the link.
I know, pay peanuts and get monkeys, but surely some basic competence checks should be carried out before letting them loose on customers cars, and that a basic sheck should be made of the installation prior to it leaving their premises.
I make no apologies about linking to my blog, there is information there for all car owners apart from my occasional rants.
I used to use a local fast fit (type) centre for MOTs. I was frequently appalled by the manager speaking to clients on the phone. Some of the tales he told to explain why so many parts needed changing were just unbelievable. They were evantually shut down!
I've seen some poor, sloppy fitting,bodges and unneeded parts in the past usually from the tyre fitting companies, but this is potentially the most dangerous I've seen.
I think that if you looked at the overall picture, they are no worse than franchised dealer’s workshops with regard to the standard of their work. I think it’s the connotation of “fast fit” that bothers people. Manufacturers such as Ford and Vauxhall have fast fit sections at some of their dealers so the principal is sound.
I have no problem with the principal of fast fit centres as such, it's the inevitable upselling that goes on as they try to make their bonus. For my sins I did work in one, not kwik fit, for a week !! I left after hearing 3 depot managers bragging to each other about their upselling skills, and saw this in action, a puncture repair ended in a bill of £500, that was the last straw. They seem to target young mums who have gran in tow, then upsell to gran on safety of the grandchildren, of course gran gets out the credit card to help out. The above scenario occurred recently to a vehicle I sent out with only an advisory notice for a tyre, apparently the discs and pads were badly worn as well! As we don't fit tyres we generally send them elsewhere, with a recommendation on who to use, a local tyre dealer. I personally will not recommend the likes of kwik fit no matter how much advertising "can't get better"
mark2 - that's exactly the kind of thing I saw - disgraceful to take advantage of those who know no better.
I agree that it's the upselling that bothers people and your example of a young mum with kids and gran is a good one. Looking at your blog, you are obviously a well qualified and experienced mechanic and I’m sure practices such as unnecessary upselling stick in your throat. Unfortunately, it goes in in many areas of consumer buying where the less informed are vulnerable.
Its not just Cars, Think of Cowboy builders. I have seen plenty of them in my time When I worked for myself. Not just the ones that you would expect to make blunders, but those with all the certificates and so called qualifications and papers to fill a library that make biggest blunders. When I Set some one on to work for me, it was we will see what you can do not what you have got.
I have just had a car MOTd with what I thought was un called for failed item. One was the number plates they had a slight faded patch in the upper corner on one, not interfereing with the clarity of the plate. The windscreen was anothe item, it had three scratches which didn't seem to obscure the view, very expensive. I have a neighbour who has n plates which make the plate look like an 02 when in fact it is an N reg yet that has been passed for the past three years. All in all it cost me over £600 and that included getting a good deal on the windscreen.This wasn't an old car it is a 04 with only 30,000 miles FSH. But what can you do.
I saw something a few days ago about having MOT done at your local council testing station, where all the council vehicles are done. By law these places must also be open to the general public.
The argument was that, because the mechanics employed there are not allowed to do repairs, they have no incentive to fail the vehicle.
All you need to do is find your local authority testing station and book yourself in. Mine's a good few miles away but I will be using it next month.
The article in question was in one of "Martin's" money saving newsletters.
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