The results of the Motor Codes Survey for Nov 2010 indicate that levels of satisfaction and customer service are high at 94-96%.
Motor Codes has been set up by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders with the support of Trading Standards as a self-regulatory body for the automotive sector. It aims to provide a service both for member garages and for consumers, offering clear codes of practice, a consumer advice line, and a database of garage members who subscribe to the codes. Consumers can give feedback on the service they receive and those garages who receive top scores become ‘golden garages’.
In theory it is a much-needed independent means of providing reassurance when you have your car repaired. You should be able to search for a garage in your area, check their feedback, and choose on the basis of this.
It’s early days yet and you may find the choice of subscribing garages to be limited in your area, but the real test of something like this comes when consumers need support following bad service or a bad repair. If you do have a bad experience at a garage how will Motor Codes help you to resolve the issue?
Well, if your garage isn’t a subscriber in the first place then your options are limited under Motor Codes. There is general advice on the website to help you know your rights, but the real support is there if your garage is a subscriber. The actual complaint process that takes place once you submit an issue isn’t clear, but there is a direct consumer advice line, and you can submit an issue via the website after you have tried to resolve the issue with your garage.
It remains to be seen how well the service manages complaints or issues raised by consumers. The way complaints are dealt with is the key to consumer satisfaction, but if this service is catering both to member garages and consumers, can it do this equally and impartially for both sides?
Hopefully it can.