18 September 2012: At some stage, most vehicle owners will require the services of an auto body repairer, general repairer, auto electrical or even a general fitment or service centre. We all want quality, professional service, but the difficulty comes when trying to choose the right supplier.
“The test for a good service provider should consist of a number of carefully considered questions. The more questions you ask and the more research you do, the less likely you are to come out feeling fleeced and lighter in the pocket,” says the Automobile Association (AA).
Reputation is everything, so ask around. There’s no more powerful consumer satisfaction indicator than people out there who have had the same experience. Ask your friends, get them to ask their friends; you’re bound to find some good advice that will point you in the right direction. In addition, find out what previous customers have to say about the service they received; it’s always a good indication of how you can expect to be treated.
You can also gauge the quality of a service provider through their industry affiliations. For example, services like the AA’s Quality Assured endorsement give businesses a tried and tested industry backing. Crucial decision-making factors are already considered, assuring you of professional customer service, sound business practice, quality workmanship and parts that come with warranty, expert advice and value for money. This is the safest route to take, and it will take the legwork out of researching the credibility of companies out there, helping to put your mind at rest.
Everyone is looking for competitive prices, so it’s also a good idea to get quotes from a few different repairers or service centres. This will also let you know upfront what your costs are likely to be. When it comes to cost, however, it’s important to select a provider that understands exactly what you need and gives you an overall hassle-free and quality experience, together with value for money, as opposed to cheap service. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions based on which suppliers the service provider uses, and where they get their parts from – the last thing you want is for your brake pads to be replaced with a cheap option that will only leave you back where you started in a few months’ time.
Lastly, always confirm beforehand what services are offered by the repairer or service centre as some only specialise in certain brands. If your car is not in warranty, make sure you let your service provider know the specific make of your vehicle and guage their level of comfort to deal with the brand.
Automobile Association of South Africa (AA)
011 799 1126