BSI Hits Back at Which? Report Criticising Garages
BSI has aired it views on Radio 5 Live and BBC Leeds following a Which? report stating that garages are not correctly servicing cars. According to Which? there is still “incompetence” in UK car garages following an undercover investigation that found nearly 90 per cent of the garages investigated by the consumer watchdog missed (or ignored) at least one potentially dangerous fault. However, the report failed to mention that BSI-operate Kitemark scheme “offers the most robust certification because of its rigorous criteria.”
All Kitemark garages are inspected and audited before they even get their licence. They are mystery shopped to ensure that the quality of service is consistently delivered and they are annually re-inspected to ensure standards are maintained. Anyone not maintaining the standard will have their Kitemark licence removed. To obtain the Kitemark garages must address key areas: customer service, customer satisfaction, customer facilities – such as waiting areas, staff competencies – the quality of workmanship in the garage, their ability to use the equipment available, technical inspection and importantly fair and transparent billing. All these elements are then assessed by independent BSI inspectors and must meet stringent benchmarks if the valuable Kitemark is to be awarded by BSI.
There are currently 118 garages that have the BSI Kitemark therefore the take-up has been slow. However the aim is to get a strong driving force behind the scheme to make the BSI Kitemark the industry standard in order to protect motorists. Conservative MP Robert Halfon has recently tabled a Parliamentary question to get the BSI Kitemark for garage servicing to be the standard for the industry.
Fighting BSI’s corner, both Quentin Willson consumer motoring champion and MP Halfon spoke at length on the BSI Kitemark scheme for garage services and why it should be the industry standard. Quentin Willson informed listeners: “There is a problem within the industry, as it isn’t thoroughly regulated and some garages are over charging. Recent research by You Gov conducted by BSI identified that nearly 60 per cent of motorists said they were “fairly to not at all confident” that the work they had paid for had been done. Motorists need to be informed and ensure that the garage has a good reputation, which will help to protect them; the easiest way to do this is to visit a BSI Kitemark garage. It is audited and regularly mystery shopped and if you do not maintain the standards, the Kitemark is taken away. BSI Kitemark garages actually deliver the best and most robust proof of quality at the moment and address the concerns of Which?
MP Halfon added: “These stories are far too common. Therefore I am pushing for the BSI Kitemark to be the industry standard. BSI Kitemark is a well-recognised household name for plugs etc so now we need it to be used for the inspection of garages. In order for them to adhere to legislation to ensure they are doing the right job and are working to a high standard. I have put forward the BSI Kitemark scheme to be adopted by garages with a Parliament motion. I will also be actively lobbying to ensure that garages service cars to the highest standards therefore meeting the BSI Kitemark standards.”