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Aircongate

I have a little tale to tell, and hopefully some people will find it amusing.  I laughed…

A few weeks ago we were due to visit my parents in Wrexham, in time for my mum’s birthday.  At around the same time, the car’s MOT became due.  I phoned our local garage, but they couldn’t fit it in until after the weekend, no good if we wanted to drive to Wrexham.  In an act of desperation I called Evans Halshaw, on Redfield Road in Nottingham.  The lady on the phone said yep, no problem, I could bring the car in on Friday morning and leave it with them.

When I turned up on Friday morning and walked into reception, I was told that I shouldn’t have been told to bring it in because they were already overbooked.  Nevertheless, they would march on valiantly and, so long as I was happy to leave the car with them all day, they’d look at it if they got the chance.  How very nice of them.

I called towards the end of the day to ask if it had been done.  It had.  It failed.  It failed quite badly:

  • One of the rear numberplate lights had blown.
  • The offside rear suspension coil had cracked.
  • The offside read brake pipe was corroded.
  • The exhaust wasn’t properly secured to the car (due to corrosion).

They wanted almost £700 of my hard earned to get it through the MOT.  But that wasn’t the end.  Apparently their (apparently very busy) engineer also had time to look over the rest of the car, and came out with some additional work that he recommended:

  • A new steering rack, due to “slight play.”
  • New tyres + tracking.
  • A new front, middle and rear exhaust section.
  • New windscreen wipers.
  • The inspection light is on, and so the car needs a service.
  • The air conditioning unit to be “debugged.”

For this they wanted to charge an additional £877.84.  In total they wanted to charge me £1502.45!!  I reckon the car’s worth around £1200, part-ex, so they were effectively telling me that the car was a right-off.

But wait, that’s not all.  The thing is, our car doesn’t have an airconditioning unit.  Quite how they were going to use the £32.95 they wanted to charge me for the work, I don’t know.

Here’s my issue: given that they wanted to charge me to work on a part that wasn’t even fitted to the car, how could I possibly trust anything else they’d said about the car?  That’s quietly ignoring the minor case of trying to obtain money by deception.  But that’s not all.  The following day I got under the car to have a look at what they’d said for the MOT.  They were right, the exhaust, suspension, bulb and brake line all needed work.  So here’s the thing: given that they clearly had looked at the car, why had they still tried to stick me for 30 quid?

Nothing here adds up, and I’ve lost all faith in them.  The car eventually went to our local garage where they did the necessary repairs and re-tested the car for £349.  I mentioned the other issues to the mechanic and he laughed.  One of the things he said was that he didn’t think he’d seen a steering rack that didn’t have slight play in it.

Having laughed in the face of the guy at Evans Halshaw and been generally derisive about their “service” the chap told me he’d take another look at their quoted prices and “see what he could do.”  He was going to call me the following day.  He never called.

So all in all, I’m not a happy bunny with Evans Halshaw.  Foolishly, they decided to email me asking me to fill in a questionnaire about my recent visit.  Oops.  So I filled that in, and received a phone call a few days later from some high-falutin’ manager type asking why I’d rated my last visit as 1*.  So I told him.  He said that he’d investigate and “take it right to the bone” and would call me back the following day to let me know what the outcome was.

He never called.

Louise
February 10th, 2011 at 9:15 pm

They’re rob dogs. I took my corsa there for a couple of years for MOTs as they were close to work. First time they came up with a list of advisory work, accompanied by a load of tsk tsking – don’t know if it’ll last another year if you don’t get it it done type comments. I didn’t bother, as it had passed the MOT. Then when I took it back the following year I got a new list of advisory / tsk, tsk, really should be done work – but completely different to the previous years. No mention of the stuff that ‘desperately’ needed doing 12 months ago…..

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