Customer Complaints - Be helpful but beware

When you get a complaint from a customer don’t automatically rush into saying ‘Yes’.  Small repairs like changing a bulb, fuse, doing up a clamp, bracket etc then fine.  
 
However some customers will try your patience to the extreme and it can be tempting to carry out a large scale repair or exchange the car just to get them ‘out of your hair’.  
 
In such instances wait and give the complaint some thought.  Take the example of a clutch gone through wear at 70,000 miles even though they’ve only had the car two months.  
 
It is not an unexpected occurrence and does not mean it was defective when sold.  
 
Repair by all means but get them to pay a reasonable rate for the work.  It’s not a freebie.  
 
The other aspect to consider is if you agree to do a repair without any formal agreement as to why you are doing it (eg ‘without admission of liability’) then the law assumes you are doing it because you are legally liable.  
 
As such, if you do the repair and it doesn’t cure the problem then you have started down a slippery slope.

Published: 19 Mar 2012

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