Green Flag accuses garages of charging motorists for “unnecessary work”

Research criticised for painting "a very generalised and negative picture"

Green Flag accuses garages of charging motorists for “unnecessary work”
Image: Bigstock.

Automotive repair company, Green Flag has accused garages of charging motorists £3.4bn annually for unnecessary work and up-sells.

The breakdown company claims drivers are overspending £90 on average for each vehicle, with a change in brake fluid being the most common “unnecessary charge”.

Workshops are also being accused of “unnecessarily” draining and refilling antifreeze as well as up-selling fuel and oil cleaners.

Green Flag say new brake pads and discs are being needlessly sold despite wear being within safety limits, as well as new windscreen wipers.

“Drivers are overspending on repairs”

Nick Reid, head of automotive technology at Green Flag, said: “Our research highlights just how much drivers are overspending on repairs – fuelled by a combination of the changes in the MOT test and a lack of confidence in negotiating with garages, motorists are becoming less equipped to ensure they’re getting the best deal on repairs.

“This is particularly evident by our findings that 61 per cent aren’t sure what MOT stands for, and the fact that 39 per cent don’t understand what is being checked during a test.”

Speaking exclusively to GW, Bill Fennell, chief ombudsman and managing director of The Motor Ombudsman, said the research findings “paint a very generalised and negative picture”.

He added: “Contrary to their study, our latest consumer research, also conducted this year, revealed customers having an increasingly positive view of the service and repair sector.

“In addition, satisfaction with the work conducted by the thousands of garages who are accredited to our Motor Industry Code of Practice for Service and Repair across the UK has remained consistently high during the past few years.

Customer transparency

“As to the issue of overspending and needless work being carried out, the Motor Ombudsman’s Service and Repair Code requires that accredited garages are always fully transparent with consumers to help avoid the occurrence of both of these situations.

“For example, any work that needs to be undertaken should be clearly explained, and all associated costs should be itemised and written in black and white before anything is done on a customer’s car.

“This allows motorists to have the right knowledge to make informed decisions prior to any spend and not be subject to any unwanted surprises later on down the line.”

Share your comments and experiences below.

Home Page Forums Green Flag accuses garages of charging motorists for “unnecessary work”

Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)
  • Author
  • #163297 Reply

    Automotive repair company, Green Flag has accused garages of charging motorists £3.4bn annually for unnecessary work and up-sells. The breakdown compa
    [See the full post at: Green Flag accuses garages of charging motorists for “unnecessary work”]

    #163319 Reply

    I think Green Flag should concentrate on training their breakdown operatives. I have seen some of their so called technicians misdiagnose faults on cars that have been pulled in to us.

    #163320 Reply

    tar and brush come to mind, what you need to target, are all your good garage type schemes, that needlessly flush every engine, add product’s to fuel systems , generally get listed by using products in every car to keep your listing, with the host company, also the abundance of book online sites that are opening that offering fixed price work, take a chunk of the repair costs regardless as to if the vehicle needs said work

    #163324 Reply

    Green flag couldn’t find their arse with both hands and a map, let alone a fault with a vehicle.
    So where are the details and evidence for this report?? Oh no, that’s right, we’ll just stick a generalised statement out there that will damage the industry further.
    Why not concentrate on the dodgy garages, and bring in some legislation for licencing mechanics. Electricians and gas engineers have to have it, so why not mechanics?
    I don’t need to worry about this report at all. Everything is transparent here.

    #163326 Reply
    stewart duthie

    Well not bad,car recovered into garage by green flag, fuel pump faulty,so was told by mechanic and customer just fit a fuel pump,thats the fault.
    checked and added fuel that cured car fault,just think if we had replaced fuel pump in car.
    like some state, keep to your own domain and dont try scoring brownie points by bad mounthing every garage in country.

    #163328 Reply
    Peter Miles

    So changing the brake fluid is “unnecessary work”? Try telling that to someone who’s just come down a long hill and lost any braking because the fluid boiled!
    Ridiculous article. If they really know of a garage that’s overcharging and/or doing unneeded work then take your evidence to Trading Standards. That way you can start to stop it!

    #163330 Reply
    Peter Wood

    How very naive of Greenflag. Their spokesperson may have had some vehicle repair businesses in mind when making such statement, or perhaps one of their own operators, much the same way with some builders, some plumbers, some joiners, some lawyers, etc. There are bad apples, out there, that are only in business to make a fast buck.

    In my experience the vast majority of vehicle repairers and particularly those that subscribe to the Motor Ombudsman, look after their customers. They work on building that relationship and trust, because they want the repeat business, they want that solid customer base that they can rely on for their businesses growth.

    #163329 Reply

    This type of comment really makes my blood boil! The amount of customers that come through the door via recovery with a misdiagnosis and report that the recovery guy didn’t even open the bonnet or know how much wear is left on a brake pad, even had one that told us the auxiliary belt was the fault only to find a ‘cat’ trapped in the engine! (you cant tell me he didn’t see it! The cat did survive its trauma I am pleased to say). What happened to customer care?
    We pride ourselves on customer care, that’s why we have 3rd and even 4th generations bring their cars to us…that speaks volumes in itself.
    Look after the customer and they keep coming back and recommend you to friends and family.

    #163332 Reply

    I have to say that very broad and generalised statements like these really don’t help the industry to say that brake fluid replacement when due replacement is an unnecessary cost is quite scary really .

    #163334 Reply

    I am pleased to see The Motor Ombudsman’s positive comments.

    #163336 Reply
    Melvyn scott

    It’s seems to me you don’t really know what your talking about . Have you read the manufactures recommendation on brake fluid change , off course you have , so why publicsise this regarding brake fluid , and antifreeze . It means we are servicing vehicles in the correct manor

    #163337 Reply
    Paul Rumbles

    It is hard to see how this report benefits unless you know Green Flag runs Smart service, another company that others customers saving and puts an adviser between the garage and the customer. A practice the RMI have warned its member against.

    #163368 Reply

    I agree with Green Flag that there are unscrupulous garages out there, but that’s the same in any walk of life. (I bet there are some dodgy recovery companies too). We’ve had our fair share of cars brought into us with reports of all sorts of things needed that aren’t actually, but in my experience, most garages are honest, value their customers and generally just trying to make a living whilst keeping their customers happy. I can only speak for ourselves, but we endeavour to give our customers an honest opinion of what’s needed and how desperately it’s required.

    Green flag should be aware that when you point the finger, the other three point back at you.

    #163369 Reply
    Chris Angus

    You can’t tar every garage with the same brush, sure there are many that are ripping off customers! We do lots of brake fluid changes during servicing but we always follow the manufactures service schedules. We dont add flushes and fuel treatments either.

    #163442 Reply
    Steph Savill

    Glad I finally caught this. Great and clearly frustrated comments here. Wouldn’t it be nice to have one set of minimum industry standards in place for all garages/dealers so those businesses that tar the industry reputation wouldn’t be able to trade without investing in quality/training/licencing of sorts? Then we could let competition rip re customer services, facilities, specialisations, value and so on. Without compromising motoring safety or ripping off customers with unnecessary add ons.

    #165916 Reply

    The ombudsman service is not fit for purpose, it is not impartial, it has been set up to protect garages from honest hard working people, not the other way round, they look after their paymasters.
    The ombudsman service mismanaged my sons case after a main dealer sent out his car out with a damaged head gasket, after 3 months of repeat visits the engine seized. It took the ombudsman service 11 months to find my sons case in favour of the dealer despite the engineers report from DEKRA in my sons favour. my son is £1000 out of pocket for unnecessary repairs no car for a year and a car worth £6000 turned into scrap.

Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)


Reply To: Green Flag accuses garages of charging motorists for “unnecessary work”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have your say!

0 0

Lost Password

Please enter your username or email address. You will receive a link to create a new password via email.