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Have been proper ripped off by a Nationwide garage. AIBU to complain?

(49 Posts)
HexBramble Thu 14-May-15 21:27:00

My vehicle started making some grinding noises when driving last Sunday. Was taking DH to the airport - he's abroad all week until Saturday night. Made it home safely. Monday morning, the 5 mile journey into work was the same - grinding noises. Monday evening, I was taking 5 6 year old girls to a sports event and I was stressing about the safety of the car. There is a garage that deals with MOT's, brakes, tyres and exhausts within walking distance of my workplace, so I phoned it, explained my concerns and they booked it in.

Great, I thought, It will at least be safe. I assumed, since I wasn't using my usual garage, that I'd be faced with a slightly higher bill, but worth it to be safe. Garage phoned back with a diagnostic - I needed two new front tyres. OK, I replied. Fair enough, I actually did need them, so go ahead and get that sorted. We agreed on a mid range quality pair. 'The noise...' said the chipper voice on the phone, '...is your calipers, my love. All on the back. Plus you need new discs and pads'.

Crikey, I replied, is that what's making the noise? 'Probably' came the reply. 'But you need them doing'. So I gave them the go ahead.

Picked the car up yesterday afternoon to be whacked with a £860 bill. The manager could see that I was visibly shaken by this, so explained that my tyres along were £425 quid (think big vehicle). The rest, is the brakes. Needed doing. I paid, thinking, the car is safe. That's what counts.

Car still making grinding noises. I think I'm imagining it, but no, upon driving today, it's definitely there. To be safe, I ask the opinion of a car-mad friend, and he confirms that there's no way the garage could have test driven it, no way they diagnosed the problem (he reckons it's the Bearings) so no way they addressed the reason for why it was booked in in the first place. Plus, I have been charged a massive amount for what they have done.

I am so angry, and want to do something. I dont want to give them my vehicle back as I don't trust them now, but I want the huge over cost and oversight to be challenged. I have also posted this in WWYD but there's not much traffic there, and I'd really appreciate some viewpoints on this.

HexBramble Thu 14-May-15 22:14:15

Desperate Bump!

mindthegap79 Thu 14-May-15 22:16:36

Argh, YANBU. I don't have an answer though. Maybe get your car mad friend to take it back in? Call CAB too. I feel for you. I hate garages and avoid them if I possibly can. However, I think you should have agreed the price before giving them the go ahead.

LooksLikeImStuckHere Thu 14-May-15 22:19:54

Could you ask to see exactly what investigative work was carried out on the car? Explain the noise is still there and for that much money you would expect the problem to be fixed.

I'm not surprised that you are angry but maybe those things genuinely did need doing. Without a second opinion pre the work being done, it'll be hard to prove otherwise. If it was an intermittent fault, maybe it just wasn't there when they test drove?

It could be the bushes on the suspension. I had a car once that made a grinding noise for that reason (but am in no way an expert!)

I'm not sure how the callipers, pads or discs would make a constant grinding noise confused

Jasmineskye Thu 14-May-15 22:21:07

Is it QF by any chance ...?

SeenSheen Thu 14-May-15 22:29:38

Crikey, I replied, is that what's making the noise? 'Probably' came the reply. 'But you need them doing'. So I gave them the go ahead.

This is the bit that the garage will point to when you complain that the noise is still there.

However I would still go back to them, preferably when there are other customers there and complain loudly that they failed to diagnose and rectify the problem that you brought it in with.

Many garages nowadays seem to work in the way that you have described. They often rely on a computer to diagnose and I think it may require that problem 1 is fixed before it can move on to problem 2.

Perhaps the stuff that they did find did actually need doing but probably not urgently. Unfortunately there are many garages like this which will cajole you into having additional work done, particularly if they are not busy that day.

If they do find the problem, don't just tell them to fix it, ask for a quote. Then ring around and find what the going rate is and then decide where to get it done. It is easy to get a quote once someone has told you exactly what the problem is.

Good Luck.

Griphook Thu 14-May-15 22:30:42

So how many tyres dos you get?

And did ask for costing before giving the go ahead?

I would take the car back and state that the noise is still there, and see what they say you've nothing to loose p

HexBramble Thu 14-May-15 22:31:14

Thanks all.

No, not QF. I won't name them, just in case, but I assume they're in every city.

The noise is pretty constant. It's bloody obvious in fact. I've also googled the itemised bill they have me and they've stuck on tons mark-up for each part.

Had they actually sorted the grinding, then I'd be less pissed off, but they've taken my months salary and still not addressed the reason for the actual booking.confused

SpringBreaker Thu 14-May-15 22:31:41

what car is it?

(my partner is a mechanic and I have showed him this)

amicissimma Thu 14-May-15 22:38:38

My sympathies. I'm sure that the idea of taking it back to them feels like throwing good money after bad.

Are there people who live near you who you could ask to recommend a garage that they like? Neighbours? Our local garage survives entirely by word-of-mouth which means they give great service.

Have a look at Honest John's Good Garage Guide to see if there's a well-thought-of one near you.

HexBramble Thu 14-May-15 22:43:04

Thanks Spring. I have a VW Transporter T5.

Thanks everyone.

SpringBreaker Thu 14-May-15 22:49:06

He says ask for your old parts that they have replaced too so that you can see them.

GiddyOnZackHunt Thu 14-May-15 22:50:48

It's surely Kwik Fit. Bunch of lying liars.
Does sound like bearings or suspension.

anyoldnameforathread Thu 14-May-15 22:56:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SeenSheen Thu 14-May-15 22:58:21

OP said it's not Kwik Fit. Mr Clutch is another one of similar dubious reputation.

Allbymyselfagain Thu 14-May-15 23:27:14

Weirdly I went to the same nationwide garage as above with weird steering and grinding issues and they told me there was nothing wrong with my car. Took it to Vauxhall a week later to be told brake discs where on last legs and car was dangerous. They are awful!!!!

GiddyOnZackHunt Thu 14-May-15 23:30:13

Sorry seen was confused by the 'Q' instead of the 'K'.

Cabrinha Thu 14-May-15 23:37:54

I don't see how you can complain at the cost of the work done, if you didn't bother to ask how much it would be. Half the cost was the tyres, you had a phone call agreeing what kind to get. Why on earth didn't you check the price then?

Whether they've done unnecessary work is another matter, also whether they properly investigated the grinding. Certainly sounds like they haven't done the letter.

Absolutely complain about that. But you can't complain about the cost of tyres if you didn't bother to get a quote for them!

Cabrinha Thu 14-May-15 23:39:09

And honestly, if my child were one of the ones you gave a lift to, despite having concerns whether your car was safe, I'd be pretty pissed off hmm

HexBramble Fri 15-May-15 04:54:40

Cabrinha, I booked the car in on the Monday because I was concerned about carrying passengers that Monday night. Hence I didn't have it, and I didn't put anyone's children in it.

I agreed a mid-range tyre as the 'budget' tyres, in his opinion, we're not great quality. 2 budgets came to about £230 in total. The mid range, in understood, would come to about £400. I've scrutinised the bill and my 2 tyres come in at about £250 after being told it would be £400? I'm confused why they still seem to have given me a seemingly budget tyre.

Yes, I should have obtained a quote for the rest but never in my wildest dreams did I think that callipers, pads and discs would cost me that much. I was teaching back to back on that day too, so took his call during a revision lesson after seeing 3 missed calls huge apologies HeadMaster and my Year 11's .

I've been charged nearly £10 for scrapping the metal of the old discs! Could have done that myself and got the cash for them.

HexBramble Fri 15-May-15 05:00:41

Sorry - I meant that I was rushed taking the call.

HexBramble Fri 15-May-15 05:03:50

My usual mechanic is a childhood friend and was trained in VW, so I get a top job at fair prices. I spoke to him late last night and he's told me to question the bill. He'll diagnose the problem and sort it for me too.

So angry with myself for taking it into this 'reputable' firm.

TerrorAustralis Fri 15-May-15 05:22:07

I can't believe they charge you for scrapping the discs. They surely get money for scrap? My dad was in the business and sold the scrap parts. (Theft of scrap was actually a big problem.)

HexBramble Fri 15-May-15 06:18:54

I know Terror blush

"Environmental Disposal of parts"

Cheesed off.

Hate confrontation, but I'm going to have to sort this.

HexBramble Sat 16-May-15 10:35:56

Update for anyone interested:

Before complaining, I've done my homework. The budget tyres I've been mis sold are not given very good reviews online at all, so I'm unhappy about that and the hugely marked up price I've been charged. All the other parts have been bought from a click and collect same day service company just 2 miles away - they gave me an itemised breakdown of parts - again, a massive mark up.

Went in yesterday. First mechanic I spoke to greeted me by saying that he remembered my van. I responded pleasantly enough by asking if he remembered who test drove it for the diagnostic and he mumbled something about being on a job and "I'll get the manager". Manager arrived and said he knew nothing of my job because he'd only just arrived that afternoon and was the sickness cover.

I outlined my complaints - the cost, the mis sold tyres, but more importantly, the fact that grinding noise was still there. He agreed that the cost is high, but that labour costs is included in each unit price. I responded and said that the labour costs are unreasonable since calipers, pads and brakes are not isolated units so why should I be charged as if they are? To add insult to injury, the scrapping costs. He tutted and said that I shouldn't have been charged.

After a 30 min conversation, he told me that he couldn't refund as everything has to go through ahead Office. He has advised me to go for a hefty refund, and has outlined what I should be putting in writing to the area manager. He strongly advised me to NOT email though, and to send letters via recorded amd signed for. Told me more or less what to write and that I should have a successful outcome. He also advised me to get a reputable garage (my usual garage) to put in writing what the issue is and how much it will cost to put it right and shove that in the letter too.

My mechanic friend has drive the car - he is 90% certain that it's the Bearings.

Writing the letter this weekend. If anyone can advise me further, I'd be grateful.

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