Beware of being helpful! Tips to avoid the pitfalls

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The problem arises when a customer returns with a problem on a car and without considering whether there is a liability the retailer goes straight in and starts a repair.

Author: Dennis Chapman
Published:
Reading time: 2 minutes

This article is 12 years old.

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It is not uncommon for clients to bring through cases where being helpful has jeopardised a case that could have been defended.

The problem arises when a customer returns with a problem on a car and without considering whether there is a liability the retailer goes straight in and starts a repair just to get the customer off his/her back.  By doing this you are admitting liability for the problem and therefore are taking on issues if the repair doesn’t work and secondly any additional costs such as recovery, hire car charges etc.

The answer is to firstly assess the problem without accepting any liability. 

Secondly talk to the customer and get agreement on the way forward. 

If it is a case that you have liability then clearly it makes sense to sort it out earlier than later and make sure you are not opening up an open cheque book for any additional costs. 

If it is a case where you are not liable eg the car operated satisfactorily when it left your premises and a problem has arisen though fair wear and tear then make it clear to the customer that you are not liable to do anything.  If they then request you carry on with a repair get them to sign a note to confirm you are not accepting liability.  If need be make a charge for your services as you might for any customer.

Dennis Chapman

In remembrance of Dennis Chapman 1951 -2015

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