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Press releases 2007 -

OFT approves Bosch car service code of practice

98/07    9 July 2007

Robert Bosch Ltd's Bosch Car Service (BCS) has become the first organisation within the motor vehicle mechanical repair and service sector to successfully secure approval for its consumer code of practice under the OFT's Consumer Codes Approval Scheme.
 
The OFT only approves codes that have proved effective in safeguarding and promoting consumers' interests beyond the basic requirements of the law.

The code's membership consists of independent garages providing car repairs and servicing, and sets the standard that members must comply with when providing vehicle services to customers.

Consumers will now be able to look for the BCS/OFT Approved code logo when looking for car servicing and repairs in order to gain the benefits of the approved code which include:

  • a requirement to provide clear pre-contractual information including completion times, the offer of a written estimate that includes the cost of parts, labour, any other costs or services and VAT
  • cancellation rights exceeding those available at law
  • guarantees on the work carried out (parts and labour)
  • protection of any prepayments if a BCS member ceases to trade
  • a requirement for BCS members not to recommend or carry out work, which is unnecessary or unnecessarily expensive
  • formal procedures for dealing with consumer complaints with a free conciliation service if a member's own complaints procedure does not resolve an issue
  • an independent redress scheme (arbitration)
  • regular anonymous visits/mystery shops to test the technical and customer handling skills of the BCS network plus annual audits to ensure the code is adhered to, and
  • an independent disciplinary review panel to ensure that the disciplinary procedures deal effectively with instances of non-compliance.

John Fingleton, OFT Chief Executive, said:

'This is good news for consumers seeking car servicing and repair services. Consumers can be confident that where they see an OFT approved code logo they will receive a high standard of service and they will be treated fairly if problems arise.'

Howard Price, Bosch Car Service Technical Service Manager said:

'We are extremely proud to gain approval for our code of practice and thereby, recognition of the commitment to quality and service by the BCS network. The BCS code of practice is a genuine desire to ensure that people who require their car to be serviced or repaired can be sure they will receive the highest quality of service.'

NOTES

1. The aim of the OFT's CCAS is to promote and safeguard consumers' interests by helping consumers identify better businesses and to encourage those businesses to raise their standards of customer service. The core criteria cover the organisation of the code sponsor, the preparation and content of the code, complaints handling, monitoring, compliance and publicity.

2. The CCAS consists of two stages:
Stage One - The code sponsor makes a promise that its code meets the OFT's core criteria. The code sponsor must make sure its code contains measures designed to remove or ease consumer concerns and undesirable trading practices in its sector. At this stage, the code sponsor is not allowed to claim OFT approval for its code because there has not yet been an evaluation of how well the code is working in practice.

Stage Two - The code sponsor must prove its code lives up to the initial promise it made. The burden of proof lies with the code sponsor. The code sponsor must also show that the code is being effectively implemented by all who claim to adhere to it and that consumer disputes are being properly resolved. When this burden of proof has been met, OFT approval of the code and promotion will follow.

3. Robert Bosch Ltd applied for approval under the Consumer Codes Approval Scheme (CCAS) for the Bosch Car Service code of practice in April 2005. It completed stage one on 31 January 2006. See press release 40/06 for further information.

4. See the Consumer Codes Approval Scheme section on this website for further information.




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