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Estimates and fitting faulty parts


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I have two questions which relate to some work done on my car recently.

 

Firstly, every time I have any work done at my local garage, I ask for an estimate or a quote before they start work and I never get one. In fact, I often don't know the cost until weeks after the work has been done when a bill arrives in the post. It really annoys me but I'd like to know if there are any laws or regulations in this area.

 

Secondly, I had to have a new part fitted and apparently, the first replacement was faulty so a second one was fitted. Whilst I was only charged for one part, it looks like I was charged for the labour to fit two. Is this not a rip off? I used to have my own business and I would not dream of charging a client for time spent on something which had been faulty when supplied.

 

I hear people suggesting that maybe I should go to another garage but given that I live in the middle of nowhere and it is the only one for about six miles, that's easier said than done.

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If you are not questioning his procedures and methods, then you will get no answers. I can only really reiterate what others have told you, if you are not happy with the service, then go elswhere.

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When I said, 'I hear people suggesting that maybe I go to another garage', I was being figurative - in that that was the kind of response I was anticipating.

 

Is there nothing that says that a garage must provide a quote when asked BEFORE carrying out work. Or that they cannot charge for fitting a faulty part?

 

Yes, I will probably go to another garage but the logistics of doing so are extremely complicated in my situation. If I really had a choice, as I did when I lived in a town, I would have already voted with my feet.

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There are no regulations to that effect as far as I know, just make your instruction 'implicit' next time and put it on paper and hand him as well, then you could well take the upper hand.

 

If you are going to move on and feel no sense of loyalty or friendship to this garage, then write to him recorded and request a return of the 2nd labour fee. If you received a bill and have paid it without making that payment 'under protest', that may well be seen as your agreement to the charge and would put you on the backfoot.

 

PS I don't know of many garages who do work and bill you later.

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The garage could well be right here. The warranty on the work carried out applies in two parts. One is on the part itself from the manufactuer of said part, the other is from the garage on their labour to fit the part. The manufactuer only warrants the part provided it was fitted correctly and this has it seems been honoured. As the garage has fitted the part correctly there is nothing wrong with their labour either so would be entitled to change the part.

 

Most car manufactuers would cover the whole repair if a genuine part was fitted by a non franchised dealer and then subsequently repaired by the franchised dealer.

 

When it comes to aftermarket parts though the game changes.

 

In general the public consensus is that the garage should take the hit with them recovering the charge from the supplier. This is far from easy to do.

 

I think the law is a bit vauge on this type of issue and is another example of why the SOGA needs a thorough overhaul to be fair on both the consumer and garage.

 

In all honesty, I think you have a good relationship with the garage and should sit down with them and discuss the best way forward so that you both recover the additional outlay. I've had exactly the same issue with a clutch a couple of years ago the difference was I could influence things and the supplier paid up the garage in 24 hours.

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