How Kwik Fit risked my life to make a sale. Shocking exclusive.

February 2, 2010

It’s not often – if ever – that I use the blog to have a bash at Mr Corporate: I have no need to, and have worked with a number of outstanding corporates in the last 10+ years.

Until today.

The story is concerning Kwik Fit. How they attempt to sell non-required expensive items to trusting customers. How they lie about the work they carry out on customers cars. How, in one case, they even left the car as a death trap and sent the customer on their way.

That unfortunate customer was me.

I’ve given Kwik Fit management the opportunity to address the issues – by email more than 10 days ago, and back in October and November, when the regional director went round all the Kwik Fit Bristol branches to strong-arm the managers regarding their service techniques. He even moved the manager of the branch where my car was turned into a death trap to another branch regionally.

Was I, the customer, contacted at any time then? No.

Have I been contacted regarding the email below? No.

Are Kwik Fit management so concerned about risking customers’ lives they will resolve the issues? No

Customer service which risks lives – it’s always going to be worth reporting. Whatever you do, please do NOT take your car to Kwik Fit for repairs. Unless you’re happy to spend excessive money, have your time wasted, and possibly your life put at risk.

Here’s the email sent 10 days ago, to the regional director and Kwik Fit MD Ian Fraser:

I write to you further to my experiences of Kwik Fit at your Whiteladies Road, Clifton, Bristol branch – I have included the Kwik Fit Managing Director Mr Fraser, as well as the Guardian Money consumer letters editorial contact on this email, to ensure you actually respond externally to the issues. I suspect that much of this information will be news to Mr Fraser, given your previous conduct of sweeping the issues under the carpet and not contacting me, the customer, directly to apologise and resolve this.

As you are well aware, I visited the Whiteladies Road Kwik Fit branch in October 2009, with brake pads and discs needing replacing on the rear of my mini cooper S. This work was completed the same day for £249.64. Your branch manager Robert Sandow also tried to sell me new front tyres at £325, which were, I later discovered, not actually legally necessary at that time.

Having driven my car less than three miles, I was aware of the brake warning light still being illuminated on my dashboard, as well as the rear wheels still squeaking irrespective of braking or not. I returned to the branch, where Mr Sandow informed me the electronic system on the cooper S would reset within 50 miles and that the brake pads and discs were “settling in”. Mr Sandow also informed me that it could well be the caliper needing replacing, which would cost “up to £350” to replace. All nonsense.

At the time I was commuting to work some 150 miles North each day, and within a further 48 hours the issues had not been resolved. I contacted the Whiteladies Road garage, and was told to bring in the car for a further check.

I gave permission for the caliper part to be ordered, and was told it would be ready to be fitted on the Monday. I took time off work, losing two days’ consulting time (£600), as the caliper item which arrived 24 hours late into the Whiteladies Road was in fact the wrong size. I was told I would have to wait another 24 hours for the correct-sized caliper to be delivered to the branch – which resulted in another day off work on Tuesday.

In the interim period, I also had the work independently checked. I discovered that the brake pads had not been fitted correctly: in fact, one of the brake pads was metal only on one side, with no pad. Hitting metal-on-metal on each contact, which was of course incredibly dangerous. The fact that this work has been cleared and passed as road-worthy still makes me shudder.

Another interesting fact to come from that independent check was that the rear caliper was perfectly fine and did not need replacing. Furthermore, the brake warning light had remained on because the mechanic at Whiteladies Road had not re-connected it – a shoddy example of missing even the simplest details.

On insisting that the replacement brake pads were to be of genuine Mini/BMW quality, and not the lesser-quality pads and discs used from Unipart by Kwik Fit, Mr Sandow informed me via a telephone call he would “see what he could do, but fitting genuine parts was not usual Kwik Fit procedure” which gave me further cause for concern.

Eventually, genuine parts were fitted on the car, a number of weeks after the initial dangerous installation had been noted.

I had posted on my Bristol editor blog around my uncomfortable experiences with Kwik Fit and how dreadful and dangerous customer services were delivered. I am aware that you had read this blog post. I am aware that you subsequently visited all the Bristol branches at this time – October 2009 – and gave clear warnings to your branch managers that work was to be watched carefully, and I understand you were very concerned about the editorial contained in my blog at that time. So concerned, in fact, that at no point did you contact me, the customer.

The matter was brushed under the carpet. Mr Sandow, whom I understand previously worked as a Manager at McDonalds, was moved to another Kwik Fit branch in Filton, Bristol, however you did not contact me at any time leading up to the end of 2009 to ensure the matters were resolved to my complete satisfaction.

I had been hoping to hear from you, as I have been subjected to poor customer service, dangerous mechanical work on my car, no offer of recompense for working time lost, the insult of mis-diagnosis of the faults on my car, not to mention attempts to sell me items for my car which were not needed. You do not seem concerned that your staff had turned my car into a death trap, wasted my time and cost me money, as well as not addressing the issues directly with me, the customer, and offering an apology and some kind of recompense.

Although I have deleted the blog post from October, if I do not receive a satisfactory result from this email, I will re-post the updated experiences on my Bristol Editor blog, covering your lack of customer service after a Kwik Fit branch effectively turned my car into a death trap.

Just so you know, my Bristol Editor is read by approximately 300 people daily, and is featured three times per week on http://www.journalism.co.uk, the UK’s premiere journalism website, where a considerable number of national newspaper journalists and editors review the content for story leads and articles regularly.

I also have a Twitter feed with more than 1,100 followers – a mix of customers, journalists, editors, online reporters etc. I will have no hesitation in also posting this unresolved story there. As you will see, I have included the Guardian Money editorial contact in this email, so their consumer affairs contact can review the information and contact me directly should they feel the story is of interest. I hope to hear from you within the next 7 days, or unfortunately I will be forced to post the details online.

I will also consider posting my experience on Review sites such as:

http://www.dooyoo.co.uk/transport-automobile-services/kwik-fit/1384001/

Please reply in writing only, via this email address, as I am not prepared to engage in unrecorded telephone conversations. I am giving you the opportunity to resolve this with a written email proposing solutions. I hope that you take appropriate action this time, rather than attempting to keep it as an internal matter, and not contacting the customer directly with an offer of resolution.

Not even as much as an apology has thusfar been offered. I am, indeed, ‘amazed at what you do’.

Regards,

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88 Responses to “How Kwik Fit risked my life to make a sale. Shocking exclusive.”

  1. bristoleditor said

    So, there you go – I didn’t really want to do this, but as I am sure you’ll agree, when faced with such a blatant disregard for customers’ lives, given the lack of response from Kwik Fit, I have been left with little choice. These are facts which need to be out there.

    If you have any similar examples from your experiences with Kwik Fit, please post them here. With my blessing.

    • Heather Margan said

      Hi.
      I have just had an experience with Kwik Fit, that has left me fuming. I also was left with a death trap rather than a car. I went to Kwik Fit in Staines, because i had a flat tyre and they were the nearest garage. They told me I needed four new tyres, which i reluctantly paid for. I am hard of hearing and had no idea i had a problem ntil my fiance drove my car and said there was a weird knocking noise coming from my wheels. I took the car to another garage who told me that all four of my tyres were near to falling off. I was shocked, they told me how dangerous it was and how i could have lost my life or killed others. I wrote a letter to kwik fit and recieved no reply so i sent another letter, recorded post this time. They replied and a director called me. He said that they had not received a letter from me before and it was not their problem and they would not be liable. I am so upset about this, i could have had a major accident. This company should not be allowed to put people’s lives at risk like this. Someone has to take some action. I am not going to let this drop.

      Heather Margan, Reading.

  2. Thomas said

    I’ve not heard anything positive from Kwik Fit and have an experience of my own.

    January or so last year my wife’s tyres went balding after struggling in the ice. I’d told her to ring round and possibly go to a tyre fitter nearby, but she wanted the peace of mind that she could go to a ‘trusted’ company, get them fitted and get out of there. She was looking after our two children and had to take them along.

    She’d been on line and noticed the tyres were about £30-35 each, with the most expensive being £80-ish and were available.

    When she arrived, they sat her in the waiting room and checked the tyres. They came back and said, yes she did need them replacing and they would check the stock. They came back and said they only had one type of tyre in stock for a Ford Focus, one of the most popular cars on the road.

    NONE of the tyres Kwik-fit claim to fit were in stock (the internet claimed otherwise)or were likely to be in stock. The the ‘top brand tyre’ they did have were over £100 each.

    “All four needed replacing” when only the front drive wheels needed replacing, but he’d do a deal making it around £95 per tyre (buy three get one free).

    My wife declined and said she felt confident in driving home and back when they had the new tyres. This is when it got nasty. The hard sell kicked in and she felt intimidate by the salesman who wouldn’t accept no, frightening her about deliberately harming the children if the car was in an accident and how she’d get severe penalties from the Police on her way home.

    She relented and paid but felt cheated. Back at home she checked the tyres on the website and felt she should have paid the price on one tyre for all of them.

    We contacted them immediately. The car had barely gone more than 3 miles – they refused to accept anything wrong had happened and refused to accept they had forced a sale my wife didn’t want at any stage. They were rude, ignored us and ignored any negative comments I made.

    I was contacted by Kwikfit insurance recently, the poor girl didn’t understand that I’d not be giving a penny to the organisation ever again.

    just type Kwikfit into twitter or the search engine, and you’ll find you’re not alone

    • bristoleditor said

      Hi Thomas

      Many thanks for your inputs – another awful example, and I found the hard-sell approach using the potential safety of your children particulary distasteful.

      I had a similar “you need to replace the tyres now, if I were a policeman doing a spot check blah blah blah’ on my first visit to the Kwik Fit branch.

      All to make an extra sale. Shocking.

      The Google search is proving very interesting too – doesn’t the Kwik Fit management care about their commercial reputation? We’ll see.

      Thanks again and best wishes

  3. jake said

    Disgraceful.

    My uncle used to be a mechanic and he always told me to stay well away from Kwik-Fit as he claimed that they are “extremely dishonest, money-grabbers who don’t give a toss about you or your car”!

    • bristoleditor said

      Hi Jake

      Many thanks for your comment – I guess my main concern in all of this has been the fact that personal safety was put on the line for the sake of extra sales at the Kwik Fit branch.

      The waste of time, poor service, loss of earnings…this is still irritating, but putting the life of a customer on the line? Needs attention.

      Thanks for your input.

    • andy said

      thats out of order, many people have had bad experiences with kwikfit, reading through some of these posts on here, i am currently employed by kwikfit and have been for 5-6 years, and as a company they are a very dishonest company to work for extremely overworked pressurised and apauling wages, i get lied to on a daily basis about bonus/wages,time off,etc and given false hope about career opportunities weekly for months now. what people have to understand is, most of the time it isnt the fitters who are dishonest, its the force selling and the preassure coming from up above us that basically threatens us with out jobs if we dont “sell sell sell”, so if you do ever visit kwikfit in the future those lads/girls who you speak to are under constant preassure, daily phonecalls telling them how badly they are doing at the moment and that people will be loosing their jobs very soon if we dont start selling harder, so just remember all they are doing is keeping their heads above board holding onto the jobs they have and they DO value your custom, thats most of them, i agree kwikfit do employ some absolute idiots alot of the time who dont know their arsehole from their elbow, but it isnt the case everywhere. thanks

  4. What really a great post..I put my concern to this blog that you continue writing such a wonderful post..

  5. Vic said

    I have worked in the so called “fast fit” industry for 28 years.

    I would never entertain working for Kwik Fit.

    It is common knowlege within my industry that Kwik Fit centre staff are put under tremendous pressure by the senior Kwik Fit managers to hit targets. The only way you can achieve your target on Kwik Fit, and keep your job, is by ripping people off.

    The senior kwik Fit managers telephone the centre managers serveral times every day for “updates” and if they have not sold enough tyres, trackings, brakes etc they are “encouraged” to sell more to the next poor bugger who drives onto the forecourt.

    Kwik Fit have what they call “ticket values” which measures how much money the centre staff have taken off each customer. They require a ticket value of around £150 !

    So if you go in there for a simple puncture repair, which is around the £20 mark, they then go to work on getting another £130 worth of work out of you, that in most cases you do not need.

    Whilst the Kwik Fit area manager may be concerned about the quality of workmanship on your rear brakes, and he may have an internal investigation, dont expect him to care about the misselling, after all that is how he gets his bonus!

    Kwik Fit senior management are very good at laying the blame for misselling at the door of the lads in the centres, when in reality if they didnt harass them several times a day they would’nt feel under such pressure to rip people off.

    My advice is to give this awful company a very wide birth !!!!

    • bristoleditor said

      Hi Vic

      Many, many thanks for your comments – much appreciated, and incredibly insightful.

      Whilst I can appreciate the commercial realities of working in such a competitive industry, I have been struggling since late October to find the justification for the Kwik Fit branch manager and his senior managers for risking a customer’s life by approving poor workmanship. The attempts to up-sell expensive, unrequired parts for my car added insult to injury, I guess, but ultimately, it’s been the blatant disregard for customers’ safety which has forced me to highlight this example of pursuing profit before customer service and safety.

      Let’s not forget, Kwik Fit management knew about these issues and never made any direct contact in late Autumn. Kwik Fit management knew of the inconvenience I had put up with, the 2 days’ waiting for parts to arrive, the fact I did not receive genuine parts on the first installation. Kwik Fit management knew more than 10 days ago of the facts in full, following Mr Zanobini’s internal ‘investigation’, and still made no attempt to contact me and resolve it. What message are the directors sending out to customers?

      Your factual details highlight the issues within Kwik Fit branches. I am really pleased you’ve added them here, thank you so much.

      Nothing will justify the fact that Kwik Fit management are happy to risk lives in grabbing extra sales. And still, no response from the Kwik Fit MD Ian Fraser.

  6. bristoleditor said

    The twists and turns…

    It appears, further to my initial email to Kwik Fit management 11 days ago, that Claudio Zanobini has not worked for them for more than 2 years – according to Head of Customer Services Linda Hindle.

    Strange that I got his contact details and email address for the complaint from ringing directly the Kwik Fit head office. Their records seem to need updating, as I pointed out.

    That aside, the actual divisional director Simon Benson has put me onto the company’s Operations Director Dave Rees, who I’ll be meeting next week to run over the horror story above. More updates to follow, of course, and do please add your further experiences of Kwik Fit here. It needs to be seen.

  7. bristoleditor said

    Interesting to see that Kwik Fit have decided to engage with Twitter.

    Find them on @Kwik_Fit

    I noticed, however, that the vast majority of posts are from unhappy customers looking for resolutions. Why not add your comments there, it might help your cause.

  8. […] 7, 2010 It appears, judging from this last week, that not all companies take their online reputation management that […]

  9. Lisa said

    Hi there,
    I have just been directed to your post about the ‘not so’ Kwik fit, so I thought I’d let you know my encounter this week.

    I have just finished writing my strongly worded letter to their head office, though from your post, it doesn’t look like I will be getting a reply any time soon.

    I was in my local Kwik fit (Fleet in Hampshire)only 2 weeks ago when my car, a relatively old Peugeot 106, has exhaust problems, so I took it there as I wanted my car fixed pretty quickly.

    I had a friend of mine who knows what he’s looking for take a look at what needed doing, the box had disconnected from the pipe.

    The staff were friendly enough, and carried out the work that day, but I did feel that the £160 to fix it was a little over the top, but they replaced the whole lot. I went away happy enough.

    I returned yesterday to the Fleet branch, after having to make an appointment and waiting a week, though they never seemed to be ‘that’ busy.

    I took the car in at 8.30am as there was a grinding noise coming from the front breaks. ‘Discs and pads’ I was told at first, but I left it with them to go to work.

    The day passed and ‘Not so kwik fit’ hadn’t even looked at it by lunchtime when I called. I was called at around 2 and told it was ‘not good news’. I went down there with my dad in toe, and the guy showed me what needed doing, to be honest, he was friendly and was trying to explain things to me, but if you know nothing about cars then he could have talking in a different language.

    I was told, the front and back break systems needed replacing totally, new cylinders, cables, springs, pads, discs, brake fluid the list goes on…. total nearly £1000. The car is only worth about £800!!!

    I said I can’t afford it and could he kindly put the car back together so I can get it home. But was assured it was safe to drive.

    I have now had 2 other garages look at the car and GUESS WHAT….. Only the front brake pads and discs need replacing, totalling between £100-£175.

    NONE of the other things need doing. NONE.

    The lovely guy who is now fixing my car, used to work for the awful company, and has told me a few ‘tricks’ that they do. My leaking brake fluid, would have been in fact lots of wd40 sprayed on it make it look leaky. Nice.

    I feel like they tried to take me for a total mug, and that so many people must be being ripped off in this way, let alone putting people live in danger. COWBOYS.

  10. bristoleditor said

    Hi Lisa

    Many thanks for your comments – much appreciated.

    The catalogue of unhappy customers seems to be building, and your experiences are unfortunately another to a lengthening list.

    I would advocate writing a blog post or some form on content online, which is visible on the web – and also lodge your unhappiness on their Kwik Fit Twitter account: you’ll find it on Twitter @Kwik_Fit.

    This online presence of theirs has currently been pretty much hi-jacked by unhappy customers posting comments.

    I will be meeting the Kwik Fit Operations Director Dave Rees tomorrow, and will be posting on my blog, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Friendfeed social media platforms the outcome of that meeting.

    We’ll see.

    Pleased that you got decent service eventually!

    Bestest,

    BE

    • Lisa said

      Hi again,
      Just thought I would update, I have had a call from someone at head office just a moment ago. He was calling to let me know that he received my complaint and was going to do a surprise inspection on the branch v soon! (I wont say when just in case!) then he will be in contact! Watch this space!!

      Lisa

      • Lisa said

        Sorry, Also, just reading other comments since I wrote mine, I did my complaint online on thier web site and got an reply to say they were looking into it 7 days later. Seems online is the way to get someone to read it.

      • bristoleditor said

        Hi Lisa

        Thanks for your replies – hoping you get the response it so surely deserves.

  11. bristoleditor said

    Latest update:

    Well, having had a meeting with Kwik Fit’s operations director Dave Rees today – and, to be fair, he was very attentive, there should be a formal response to my requests for resolution within 72 hours.

    I was hoping to upload a link of the full audio version of the meeting, but Mr Rees wasn’t happy for it to be taped…ultimately, of course, this whole story is about ensuring that customer service is addressed, and no further lives are put at risk.

    The Bristol Evening post are looking at the story, as well as the Council’s trading standards officers – if only there had been an appropriate response at the right time, this could have all been avoided. Maybe.

    Don’t forget to follow Kwik Fit on Twitter and add your comments to them @Kwik_fit so the multiple customer complaint issues can be resolved there too.

  12. bristoleditor said

    And for the record, those requests for resolution are:

    1. Compensation in full for all work carried out
    2. compensation for working time lost due to delays
    3. An independent full check and service of the car
    4. A full and public review of Kwik Fit safety reporting
    5. A public apology by the MD on this blog
    6. The name of the manager responsible for the internal ‘investigation’ in late 2009

    Will keep you updated.

    Add your experiences here, it needs to be seen.

  13. k f manager said

    i was once a manager at a kwik fit depot who has been recently dismissed wrongly and taking them to a tribunal believe me this happens right across the company i now what ur thinking im slagging the company off for being dissmissed i now that all the staff are under that much pressure to get sales they r doing anything to get sales and cars out the same day so it looks like they r having a good day on sales the only blame must lye with is the directors who put that much pressure on the staff i hope the other managers who were wrongly dissmised like me can make some comments good look take them for every penny u can

    • bristoleditor said

      Hi Brian

      Many thanks for your comments – much appreciated.

      It’s good to see further confirmation of the sales pressures put on managers at branch level. I also hope your tribunal goes well.

      I wouldn’t say you’re being unfair in your assessment of comments here – it’s clear you have grievances, as do I. And many others, as we’re increasingly seeing on this blog platform alone. To be balanced, it’s not so much about taking them for every penny for me, but in my experiences with Kwik Fit, I am keen to see their life-risking practices put to scrutiny in a public arena – and for demonstrable action to then be taken. Any compensation I receive will be welcome for the inconveniences suffered due to Kwik Fit.

      Ultimately, they have a duty of care to customers. It’s not being fulfilled. Simple as that – such a shame they appear to be failing in their duty of care to employees, too.

      Many thanks Brian, and good luck.

      • kfmanager said

        believe me u can see why they end up having bad reports all the time the way they put pressure on staff to get sales they have 3 conference calls daily to see how much they have done sales update how much brakes and trackings and if they dont like what they here they ask u what are u going to do about it so u can see what happens the next customer is going to have it so it keeps the directors of there back and believe me this happens 3 times a day 7 days a week and so on the way they deal with complaints is shocking they try to hide things and if u do have a complaint made against u and u now ur ops manager ur ok he will try to grt u off it looks like this is whats happened to u

  14. sandra said

    Kwik fit do not care about employees or there customers i am sad to say.also they like to keep things hush hush they have put my family through hell the past few weeks and i am shocked that the oparation managers can lie and run from what they have done.obviously the person who did the investigation about your complaint the first time did yes just sweep it under the carpet and what i would like to no is why is the manager who done your work still is working in filton he should of been suspended as soon as you put in the complant and as the work was dangerous should be dismissed stright away.I just hope that you get all your answers you wont and in the time scale they have givein 72 hours wasnt it? it will be intresting to see if you do get a reply within this time and that no one else has to go through the same problems.

  15. bristoleditor said

    Hi Sandra

    Many thanks – we’ll see, indeed.

    I have a number of other Press contacts alerted to the story and ready to run further editorials from Monday, should there be a continuation of the previous appalling customer service example already seen by Kwik Fit. It really is in their best interests to ensure they engage, respond accordingly and resolve it now.

    Please feel free to highlight further your Kwik Fit experiences here in more detail, and also file your issues on their Twitter account @Kwik_Fit too.

    The facts need to be seen. Hiding behind a corporate logo is no longer acceptable business practice.

    Good luck.

  16. bristoleditor said

    Here’s the link to comment directly with Kwik Fit regarding your customer services experiences:

    http://www.kwik-fit.com/customer-comments.asp

    I am wondering if anybody has tried this, and their experiences following using the online contact form?

    Please share here, as well as on Kwik Fit’s Twitter account @Kwik_Fit. Is it a useful tool or just a corporate PR exercise?

    • Cypriot said

      After work on replacing brake disks and pads went disasterously wrong (still not sure if all the work was necessary, but at least I had the presence of mind to ask to keep all the items they replaced) I used their website to comment on how unhappy I was with the work.
      I was contacted by Mr Carrol and work is still (after around 3 weeks) going on to resolve the issue.
      Last chance for them to fix the problems FOC is this weekend.
      After that it will have to be legal action in the small claims court I am afraid.
      I have to admit I am impressed by head offices response so far, just that the people at the centre don’t seem to give a hoot

  17. sandra said

    I am completly shocked at what i have heard tonight. And think that now it is time for someone ie from the company to stand up and show just how low Kwik fit are willing to stoop. I myself would love to share what problems we are having but at the moment it is in hands of solistors and would not wont to do anything to jeopardize our case. But we will be contacting the bristol evening post and other press as have been advised that they would be intrested in taking up the story.I will do my upmost to make sure that the people accountable CAN not hide from there involvement and no one else has to suffer the same treatment as us.

    • bristoleditor said

      Hi again Sandra

      Sorry to hear you’ve had to resort to the time, expense and emotional upset of taking legal action. A sorry state of customer relations, indeed.

      As well as the Bristol Evening Post, I also advise you to get in touch with BBC Bristol, Bristol City Council Trading Standards, and the newsdesk of a national newspaper – the Guardian money section were the first journalists to receive my story, and I am liasing with them as we speak. The Bristol Evening Post have looked into the story, and contacted Kwik Fit for comments – this should be appearing in the Monday or Tuesday edition.

      I should also be hearing – according to Dave Rees, Operations Director at Kwik Fit – from the company themselves by close of play on Monday, regarding my horror story and their offer of resolution. I will, of course, be posting any information and proposals to resolve the situation here.

      You can also post your complaint to Kwik Fit on Twitter @Kwik_Fit if you wish. These online channels are far more effective and public than a letter to their Head Office.

      I truly hope you engage with the media, local Council and other official industry regulators – these may prove more useful to you than expensive solicitors at this stage.

      Good luck.

  18. sandra said

    Hi have you had your reply yet ???

  19. bristoleditor said

    Well, after the meeting with Dave Rees, Operations Director at Kwik Fit, the promised contact point of 72 hours has well and truly passed.

    And no resolution offered by Kwik Fit.

    I am wondering what Trading Standards and the Guardian Money will be making of this – I am well aware they are monitoring the blog with a view to action.

    The Bristol Evening Post are already examining the case, and this post is receiving more than 100 hits daily.

    Extremely disappointed that a senior manager in Kwik Fit has gone back on his word, further compounding the already-existing issues firmly unresolved.

    Do you have anything to say, Kwik Fit?

    The issues are not going away, and your non-response following the meeting nearly a week ago only highlights what you truly think of your customers.

    Dave Rees, and Ian Fraser, the MD at Kwik Fit – do you think your company is treating customers well?

    That is, by the way, a rhetorical question.

    • sandra said

      Sadly this seems to be what kwik fit do best.And when you do get a reply it will problely say that they have looked in to your complaint and after careful Consideration do not feel they have done anything wrong. They dont care about how its affected you or anyone else for that matter They seem to think they are above the law and can do what they like well its time they relised that there are policies and procuders they have to follow and as they are the ones who make them you would of thought they would abide them. also i have been informed that the operations manager is on hoilday soon so i hope he has the decency to contact you before hand. good luck sandra

      • bristoleditor said

        Hi Sandra

        Many thanks for your continued support and inputs – much appreciated. I am hoping you get more positive outcomes, too.

        Holiday or no holiday, Dave Rees has not resolved the issues within a promised timeframe, and this highlights where they are in terms of treating customers with due care, commercial common sense and corporate responsibility. I have a number of other media interested in the story, and have been informed by a legal associate there is also a strong case to pursue through the Courts. All of these actions would, of course, raise further the negative profile of a corporate lying to customers and endangering lives.

        It’s only a matter of time before the impact of such actions deliver results. One which even a holiday cannot escape.

  20. bristoleditor said

    Latest developments…

    Rather than actually deal with the issues above and resolve them in a responsible way, Kwik Fit management are utilising the services of their PR Agency to attempt to discredit the story – disgraceful backdoor PR comms tactics.

    So, why aren’t the PR Agency making any contact? Begs the question though, really – how DO you defend a client who risks the lives of their customers?

    I am not now expecting contact from Dave Rees, of course.

    Glad the Times has run my comments though: looks like it’s the start of an ongoing uphill dialogue with Nationals, TV, radio et al.

  21. […] 16, 2010 This is the extension of a sorry tale – my own experiences here. The story […]

  22. Lisa said

    The next update…..

    Someone from Kwik Fit has just arrived at my office to collect my car to take it for its ‘independant’ inspection….

    Its a nice thought, though, not sure if its independant if its going back to the Fleet branch!! They have flown an inspector in from Scotland,(I am located in the south east)to give a full inspection to see if the work they SAID NEEDED doing does. (bearing in mind that I have now had some work done on it!)

    I have now had 2 other garages check the car, both with the same results, and NOT what kwik fit said needed doing.

    Is it too much to ask for to get a honest report of whats wrong?? I just want a safe car to drive!

    ALSO, to add to the frustration, kwik fit fitted my exhaust before the brakes fiasco, and the other 2 garages who have checked the car have reported that its not fitted correctly and is soon to fall off again. SIGH.

    I have asked Mr Cummings, the guy who just took my car away, to fix that TODAY. Without fail. And I will be taking it back to another place this afternoon to check it.

    Mr Cummings did just say to me, ‘the guys at Fleet said that they showed you the problem, it was on the ramp nad you looked at it, so they were telling the truth, we just to to clarify this for you’. A tad patronising I think, and yes they did show me, and spout language at me that I dont understand, or know what im looking at, so how am I to know know that part is broken… I dont know what it looked like in the 1st place.

    I’ll update this afternoon……. Lisa

  23. bristoleditor said

    Hi Lisa

    Thanks for the updates regarding Kwik Fit’s poor service: it still all revolves around them mis-selling, wasting your time and poor management. Same as my issues. Not forgetting the life-at-risk issue of course.

    Look at the comments on this review site of other Kwik Fit customers too – absolutely shocking stuff.

  24. bristoleditor said

    And so the farce rumbles on…latest developments here, from an email I have just sent – having called Dave Rees, Kwik Fit’s operations Manager, to establish why he hasn’t contacted me within 72 hours of our meeting on 11 February with resolutions, as promised.

    This has been sent to Lynda Hindle, Kwik Fit’s Head of Customer Relations. Apparently she was supposed to be writing to me on Dave Rees’ behalf. Sigh.

    ‘Dear Linda

    Having just spoken to Dave Rees, whom as you know I met on Wednesday 11 February, he assured me that my issues had been heard and that you had written to me.

    I have not received any correspondence from you.

    More concerningly, Dave Rees also assured me that he would personally come back to me within 72 hours of the above meeting, which he has failed to do. I have called him today, rather than him ringing me. Once again, a lack of service on Kwik Fit’s part.

    I am astounded that even after taking time out to meet a senior manager, my issues and problems have not been met head-on, fairly and squarely with appropriate action. Kwik Fit have been given opportunities to resolve the serious issues in point.

    I am aware that one of your consumer PRs attempted to discredit my story with a good Press contact of mine regionally: let me remind you of libel and defamation laws: Kwik Fit’s only defence in the Courts would be one of Fair Comment.

    I imagine any solicitor would have difficulty working with this, given the catalogue of dangerous and financially-irresponsible service experiences I have had with Kwik Fit. Attempting to discredit a writer with an honest and reputable standing is dangerous ground indeed, and I would advise against this course of action. I will have no hesitation in engaging my solicitor on this matter.

    Returning to the issues which remain unresolved, I would appreciate a telephone call to update me of progress further to Dave Rees’ assurances on 11 February. You can reach me today.’

  25. bristoleditor said

    Well what an end to the week.

    Kwik Fit have emailed me a scanned PDF of a letter they allegedly posted on 12 February, the day after my completely fruitless meeting with Dave Rees, Operations Manager for Kwik Fit.

    The letter, incidently, never arrived.

    And the response? How have Kwik Fit handled the multitude of issues raised in the above blog post? The life-risking mechanical work, the time-wasting, mis-selling, evasion, tardy management and generally contemptible corporate behaviour?

    The 2 paragraphed letter ends with this:

    ‘We take any customer complaint very seriously, as Dave Rees said when he met you to discuss the issue, and we apologise for any inconvenience caused. We do feel that this issue has been dealt with fairly and consider the matter closed.

    Yours sincerely

    David White,
    Customer Services Director’

    Clearly, here’s an organisation in denial. The last time I saw an organisation in this much denial, Bill Clinton was in charge of it. And his cigar, of course.

    Let’s be clear here.

    The issue(s) have not been resolved
    The matter has not been dealt with fairly
    The apology is too little and too late

    As for the added insult of Kwik Fit’s PRs trying to discredit the story last week – legal advice is now being taken regarding a separate defamation action.

    I have already been advised that there is a separate claim to lodge regarding Kwik Fit’s life-risking, time-wasting and mis-selling delivery to me as a consumer.

    Under the Supply of Good & Services Act 1982, Kwik Fit have no defence for their mis-management.

    So, despite having been given the runaround by Kwik Fit, having a senior manager deliberately waste my time in the hope I’ll quietly disappear…this only further confirms the actions which need to be taken against this awful corporate organisation.

    I will continue to post all updates and experiences of upcoming actions here – and for the management at Kwik Fit who are reading this and not responding?

    Please also keep an eye on the growing number of vocal customers joining the Facebook and Twitter groups already established.

    This will not go away. You are accountable to us all.

  26. anonymous for obvious reasons said

    HI came across this site whilst on the internet and felt I had to comment , I worked for Kwik Fit (sorry don’t hate me for it , I was young and needed a job) about 18 years ago having served an apprenticeship as a car mechanic i was out of work and applied for a job with Kwik Fit , where do i start , from the first day it was an education in ripping people off ,every customer that came in for whatever reason was subjected to hard sell , if you came in with a punture you were told the tyre was damaged and could’nt be fixed , reasons ranged from the nail was in the edge of the tread and was dangerous to repair , the tyre had been driven flat ,the tyre was below the legal limit , all crap to get the customer to buy a new tyre , Then you got the car on the ramp and you could really go to town , the shock absorbers were leaking (enter a tin of wd40 spray )and dangerous and you could’nt replace just one all 4 had to be replaced , we noticed your brake pads are worn would you like us to carry out a free brake check where the owner would be told a list of needless work would be required and the car was a death trap unless it was carried out immediately , off course the brakes were fine but when dealing with trusting members of the public who knew nothing about cars you could convince them they were in real danger driving their car . After an hour or so doing free checks you would present the customer with an over priced estimate for work that their car did’nt need and the chances of they getting away without it being carried out were slim , if the customer said they did’nt have the money to pay for the work they were asked did they have a credit card , if they did’nt then the jobs needing done were looked at and the manager would hard sell them in to getting half the work done now and book the car in for the remainder to be done at a future date , all of a sudden the car did’nt need all the work staight away and the dangerous death trap would be fine until payday with half the work done . the staff are all paid a wage but to make descent money they had to reach their targets to get bonus’s . I work for myself now and still have experince of kwikfit ripping people off , an elderly lady bought a toyota yaris of us with 30k miles on the clock and a full mot , in Northern Ireland mot are carried out in government run independant centers so they are done right , took it to kwikfit after a week with a punture and was told it needed the front and rear brakes replaced , she came back to us very upset with her son in toe threatening court action as we had ripped her off , we put the car on the ramp and stripped the brakes to show there was nothing wrong with the brakes ,we phoned the branch she had been to while she was there to speak to the manager and were told he was off and given a number for head office to ring , in other words go away we dont want to speak to you .I could spend all day listing the stories of ripping people off and i only worked for them for a couple of months as i got a proper job with a reputable company .Most of the fitters are good guys but they have no mechanical exams and are self taught and started with the company as floor brushers and picked it up as they went along until they moved up a grade , anyway thats my experiance of Kwik Fit and my advice to the public is avoid them…

  27. bristoleditor said

    Many thanks for your candid comments.

    Shocking revelations indeed – and further highlighting commercial practices which Kwik Fit management would rather not have aired in public. Really useful.

    Their policy, in my experience, of not engaging and resolving customer complaint issues is making more and more sense when I see your kind of inputs. Thank you.

    Any response from Dave Rees or Ian Fraser to this?

  28. Mary Branscombe said

    I don’t have any KwikFit horror stories to tell because I was told by a mechanic friend some years ago that they are known in the industry as StitchFit and refuse to ever use them. Time for some reputation management?

    • bristoleditor said

      Indeed Mary

      But it appears no public comments are forthcoming.

      The customer experience is, simply, overwhelming – how could any PR manage that reputation?

  29. carol said

    Hi
    Due to kwik fit not being able to do a investigation to save there lives i have taken it upon myself to find out what the hell is going on.It really is bad that i am being told by staff that one of the operations managers who i will not name YET but will say that he runs the central aera of Bristol is moveing his centre managers to diffrent centres due to the fact they have been found to be Ripping fleet companyies off. Also help to cover things up when they know what they are doing is wrong.And as for there policies and procedures senior management cant follow them what so ever so how can they expect the lads in the centres too.

    • bristoleditor said

      Hi Carol

      Many thanks for your comments – yet another sorry and sad twist to the Kwik Fit tale.

      I suggest you contact trading standards, regional and national media, and demand a full written explanation from Kwik Fit – don;t make the mistake of having an unrecorded meeting with any senior managers from Kwik Fit, it is just an exercise on their part in fact-finding for further denial rather than actual issue resolution – as I found out.

      Please also post your experiences on the Facebook Kwik Fit official page, as well as the anti-reputation page established by myself – make the information totally public. And I would also appreciate if you continue to highlight your case on my blog – happy to help publicise it, of course. Many thanks.

  30. bristoleditor said

    Many thanks to all for your comments – please keep them coming.

    Also add your experiences to the anti-fan Facebook page on Kwik Fit here:

    http://www.facebook.com/thecontentconsultant?ref=profile#!/pages/Kwik-Fit-the-worst-corporate-reputation-in-the-UK/335225647428?ref=ts

    An E-book on corporate reputation is being drafted now – in which Kwik Fit will be featuring heavily. For obvious reasons, as listed ad infinitum above.

  31. […] how Kwik Fit delivered potentially life-threatening work on my car. I wrote about this experience here, and gave Kwik Fit customers the opportunity to also comment on their experiences of Kwik […]

  32. Oddly, I’ve never had anything but efficient and courteous service from Kwik-Fit (London NW5). I’ve just gone for tyres, though – and maybe once an exhaust. But it’s been a while since I used them (quite a few years).

  33. bristoleditor said

    Here’s an interesting story that was emailed to me by a source today – concerning life-threatening work carried out on another customer’s brakes in Manchester:

    http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/s/1107769_mway_terror_after_kwik_fit_blunder

    Your thoughts?

  34. selina said

    Hi, just read with total disgust the many stories of kwik fit ripping people off. Well, I’ve just joined that group. I took my car into the local centre last saturday and asked them to check if I had a fuel leak as I’d noticed what I thought was petrol on my driveway. Once on the ramp they told me the fuel was fine, nothing wrong at all BUT I needed a new tyre as this one was “dangerous”. ” wouldnt pass an MOT” and should be done immediately. cost – £87 for the tyre, balancing and wheel alignment. THEN he came back and said he’d noticed I needed new shocks as the ones on the car werent up to standard and were not safe. Cost – £120 each but he could do them for £150 for the pair. I said initially that I couldnt afford that but he went on about how the shocks affected the suspension and it wasnt safe. Eventually I agreed, I was too worried about safety not to. THEN he came back and said that I needed a new boot Cost £60 but he would do it for £20. He showed me the hole ni the boot but I have no idea if that were there before or not. Anyway the shocks were to be done in three days but in the meantime I was to pay £87 for the tyre and alignment AND a deposit of £17 for the shocks. A friend advised me to go to another garage and get them to look at the shocks. This I have done and SURPRISE, SURPRISE there is nothing wrong with the shock absorbers, they are perfectly O.K. AND the wheels have NOT been aligned, AND they have sold me the most expensive tyre in their range when I could have got one £20 cheaper. They have taken money for work that hasnt been done, and were all set to take another £153 for nothing. Obtaining money by deceipt. I have phoned customer service twice and am told that the manager has been e-mailed and he should get back to me “in about three days”. Meanwhile they have cashed the cheque (in one day!!) and I cant find a phone number for head office. How can anyone look you in the face and blatantly lie, he actually said “you can trust me”. Disgusting.

  35. bristoleditor said

    Here’s what ignoring customers did to Dell – looks like Kwik Fit are replicating their tactics:

    http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/blogspotting/archives/2005/08/the_impact_of_o.html

  36. […] And a side-step, silence policy, or backtrack will always be picked up and highlighted – like this […]

  37. bristoleditor said

    An abundance of even more unhappy Kwik Fit customers here too…join the group and have your say publicly.

    http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/group.php?gid=48357020670&ref=mf

  38. Samantha said

    I have been reading this blog and series of postings with a great deal of interest as my husband and I have just had dealings with Kwik Fit ourselves. Upon discovering that two of the tyres on our car needed replacing, my husband took our Zafira (5 years old) into the local branch of Kwik Fit. Once there he was told that all four tyres actually required replacing, which he agreed to as we have two very young children and one on the way (obviously safety is a big issue). The bill was presented to him (around £250) and promptly paid. For the next week the car was barely used. However, a few days ago as we were out driving the car suddenly started losing power on acceleration and the exhaust emissions light came on. By coincidence, we were just around the corner from the same branch of Kwik Fit we had visited for the tyre replacements and so we pulled over to request assistance. My husband and I knew that potential causes of the problem were the oil and also the spark plugs but these were dismissed almost instantly by a mechanic. The man stood at the back of the car as my husband revved the engine and then claimed he knew the problem. He told us that the exhaust of our car was blocked and that to rectify the situation he would need to strip away the full exhaust for cleaning, and potentially replace it. My husband asked for a quote for the work and was told £500. We drove away immeidiately as thankfully we did not have that kind of money to spare at the time. I decided to research online that night the possible causes of our car’s issues and discovered that both the oil and spark plugs could indeed be responsible, as well as minor issues with the fuel filter. We then decided to call local garages for a quote for a new exhaust (Kwik Fit’s supposed worst case scenario) and discovered that it wouldn’t have cost us £500 for a brand new exhaust for a Jaguar, let alone a Zafira. After some discussion, we decided the best course of action was to visit our local Vauxhall dealership who examined the car and recommended a full service, costing £180. With this completed, all the cars issues have now been rectified and the exhaust light has extinguished with the car returning to full power. According to the dealer, a service where the oil was changed, spark plugs replaced, etc. should have been the first port of call for the issues our car was experiencing. Instead, Kwik Fit elected to concoct a story about a blocked exhaust and even offered to order us a replacement on the spot. They were prepared to take a further £500 from a young family who they had already taken £250 from only a week or so before. A new exhaust would have been entirely unnecessary for our car but all Kwik Fit saw when we drove on the forecourt was huge pound signs. I cannot forgive them for this nor get over the dishonesty. Believing our car to be in a bad state of repair, we took the steps of adding further money onto our loan and endured days of stress wondering how we would cope with such an astronomical bill. Being almost five months pregnant, it was stress that I clearly did not need. We are now warning all our friends and family to stay away from the crooks at Kwik Fit who think nothing of charging you ridiculous prices for parts that your car just does not need. I wish you all the best of luck in resolving your issues with this corrupt company.

    • bristoleditor said

      Hi Samantha

      Many thanks for your inputs – shocking stuff.

      I am once again surprised and amazed, not in a good way, at the way in which Kwik Fit operates at every level.

      Please also join the anti-fan Group on Facebook: simply type ‘Kwik Fit’ into the search, you’ll find it on Facebook. The comments there are also more of the same, and ranking on Google now.

      Best wishes

  39. bristoleditor said

    If you’re looking for the divisional director at Kwik Fit who is regularly searching this blog to see if he’s mentioned – here he is:

    http://www.linkedin.com/ppl/webprofile?action=vmi&id=57666421&pvs=pp&authToken=tIhO&authType=name&trk=ndir_viewmore&lnk=vw_pprofile

    Simon Benson, divisional director, Kwik Fit.

    About time a response other than “this matter is now closed” came from your management team, Simon. Fail.

    Why not contact Simon via his LinkedIn profile above and let him know personally what Kwik Fit can do to resolve your issue/problem/mis-selling/over-charging/life-threatening service/all of the above?

  40. bristoleditor said

    Simon Benson, divisional director, Kwik Fit – his LinkedIn profile can be found here:

    http://www.linkedin.com/ppl/webprofile?action=vmi&id=57666421&pvs=pp&authToken=tIhO&authType=name&trk=ndir_viewmore&lnk=vw_pprofile

    A response other than “this matter is now closed” needs to come from your management team, Simon. Massive fail.

    Why not contact Simon directly and demand your resolution to issues around poor service/over-pricing/mis-selling/life-threatening mechanical work/all of the above?

  41. […] Kwik Fit example, where I utilised a rising audience to highlight life-threatening service from Kwik Fit […]

  42. Salma said

    Hi
    I had a slow puncture on my driver’s side front tyre and took my car to KWIK FIT Burnley Lancashire. I asked them to check the brakes whilst I was in. Ever since this day I have heard a knocking sound coming from the front of the car. I rang kwik fit to complain and they said it was nothing to do with them and is probably the ‘ball bearing’ and I needed to take it back to the manufacturers gararage. I did that today only to be told the Said tyre was loose and had not been tightened properly. So I

  43. Sam said

    Just found out today I have been driving around for 3 weeks with a loose tyre that kwik fit in Burnley lancshire fitted. Endangering mine and my 3 children. My Husband rang them last week to complain about a knocking sound that has been coming from the car since they worked on it only to be told its not them and it is probably a ‘ball bearing’ and pure coincidence. Any advice on next steps????
    I have just put in an official complaint.

    • bristoleditor said

      Hi Sam

      Another shocking story highlighting poor customer service from Kwik Fit. No concern for safety, just as was my experience of Kwik Fit. If you ring their customer services manager Lynda Hindle direct on 01506 864164 and highlight the fact you’re going public with your issues against Kwik Fit, you may at least give them the jolt they so deserve.

  44. […] also been causing something of a stir in the South West with his one-man campaign against alleged shoddy practices by Kwik-Fit, showing that you don’t have to work for Watchdog to stand up for consumer rights. Here are […]

  45. bristoleditor said

    Yet another Facebook group of unhappy Kwik Fit customers:

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=489040255463&v=wall&ref=mf

  46. […] April 27, 2010 Answer? Try these phrase searches on Google, and you’ll be brought here. […]

  47. […] 13, 2010 I am talking about the Kwik Fit deathtrap car blog post, of […]

  48. […] that’s why Kwik Fit have maintained complete silence over this corporate reputation debacle throughout the whole of 2010. Posted by bristoleditor Filed in […]

  49. bristoleditor said

    Found this blog post a while ago – what is most interesting is the fact that Nick is incredibly well-connected, and his blog is well-read.

    Oh dear, Kwik Fit, oh dear.

    http://truebusiness.co.uk/2010/02/22/how-to-trash-a-companys-reputation-in-2-weeks/

  50. Paul said

    I have on more than one instance noticed an internal memo / sales target form for staff eyes only, which included;

    ‘Up sell pads to discs x 10’

    I am all for business and work in a commercial environment but to use road law, safety etc to misrepresent sales is no less than fraud.

    • bristoleditor said

      Hi Paul

      Many thanks – this further highlights the lengths Kwik Fit management will go to ensure profit comes before personal customer safety. Disgusting.

  51. mr s.adams said

    Hi took my mercedes c200 to quik fit to have my air con checked and recharged as blowing out hot air told they had checked and charged it,worked for two days then as bad as before .I had Mercedes garage check car found leaking condensor notifyed QuikFit they said the leak must have been to small for thier machine to detect, wouldnt refund me either absolute rubbish service I intend to take this further

  52. brian said

    just reading the last comment if there was a leak before the machine would not charge ur a con so they must have blown a seal by putting to much gas in i used to work for them and seen this happening regular go to headoffice for a refund

  53. Julianlately said

    Any news on your situation?

  54. Roisin said

    I took my car to kwik fit for an MOT as they were doing a deal.The car had been driving fine. They said that the wheel bearings needed changing on the rear wheels to pass the MOT so they did it. Three weeks later the car was shuddering and there was a lot of noise from a rear wheel so took it in and they said the sub-axle was bent and would cost £400 to replace. I am a girl who knows nothing about cars so got my dad to phone and complain and they said they’d repair it for free! never a good sign. 5 days after it was fixed (which took 2 weeks!) I was driving the car on the motorway when it starting shuddering again and smoke came off the rear wheel. The man from the AA said the wheel which had just been fixed was 2 minutes away from falling off the car and rolling across the motorway! will of course be making a formal complaint!!

  55. ian said

    I recently have had a run in with Kwik Fit.
    I took my mothers car to the kwik fit shop in Corby to inspect the exhaust.
    They ordered a new exhaust which was the wrong one and told me they could not get hold of the right exhaust. I then asked them to return the car with all the parts they had taken off however they only return one part. I later learned that the exhaust could easily have been repaired if I had all the parts however Kwik fit said they had lost the other part.

  56. doris day said

    I would be very keen to go in posing as a potential customer. I am a fully qualified MOT tester and have a recently inspected car sent in, with a set up puncture repair that is perfectly able to repair and see what they can come up with.
    I have a potential vehicle that I can use as this experiment. I will get a garage I know with a good reputation to test this vehicle and provide a full report, so that it is completely independant to myself. I get a day of fancy dress too ha ha

  57. Viv said

    I am writing to add my comments regarding the fraudulent activities engaged by my local Kwikfit branch at Rosekiln Lane, Reading.

    I was approached by a work colleague of my wife to take a look at his Fiat Idea as he thought that a recent oil change allegedly carried out by the above had not actually been carried out. Some 2 days after the event, I examined the vehicle and noted that the engine oil level was low and the oil itself was pitch black with the viscosity of water. The oil filter housing showed no signs of having been removed / replaced either. I have been a fully qualified vehicle technician for 32 years, so I really do know when oil has been changed, and more to the point when it hasn’t. I told the unfortunate owner of my suspicions. He then showed me a Kwikfit quotation for items ‘requiring rectification’ in an Interim Service, which he had requested at the time that the oil change had been ordered. The owner is a Portuguese national who is working / living in the UK, and not really car savvy although very aware that something was definitely amiss with the whole affair. The list he showed me stated, amongst other things, that the vehicle required new front brake discs, pads and ancillary parts and the brake fluid replaced. It also stated that the auxiliary drive-belt was ‘perished and cracked’ and should be renewed. The estimated cost of these, and other, repairs would be in excess of £650.00.

    I checked the belt and found that it was a little shiny, but in good overall condition. Without removing the wheels I could do a cursory inspection of the front discs and pads only to find that they too were in fully serviceable condition. Interestingly all of the door and bonnet catches and hinges had been covered in a white spray type grease, no doubt to make it look like someone had been diligent in their work. LOL !!

    I suggested that the owner contact Trading Standards immediately with a view to opening up a case, detailing the problems and obvious irregularities, which he duly did. He then also contacted Kwikfit to complain, via their web page.

    The following Monday (yesterday) he was contacted by Kwikfit asking him to take the vehicle to a Humphries Tyre branch in Basingstoke Road, Reading for an inspection and meeting with Area Manager Simon Carrol, this morning (Tuesday). The owner asked me to attend this ‘meeting’, which I duly did. I was somewhat suspicious that the meeting was to be conducted at a supposed competitor, and that it clearly was not going to be an independent and unbiased inspection.

    However we arrived at the appointed time and met with Simon Carrol. From the outset he adopted a very passive aggressive stance and became very officious when the owner explained that I would be there as his representative in a technical advisory capacity. The car was put on a ramp and a worker set about checking the sump bung and then removing the the oil filter housing. At this point, as we were left to observe from the Reception, I decided to go and see what was happening and to hear what was being said between the worker and Carrol. They both clammed up as soon as I approached so I asked to see the filter. I also suggested that the oil condition could quite easily be checked by simply checking the dipstick. This was met with reluctance so I withdrew the stick myself and asked the worker, and Carrol, what they thought about both the low level and the filthy condition of the oil. The worker was about to comment when Carrol immediately jumped in to state that no-one could porperly ascertain if the oil had been changed without conducting a chemical analysis. It was at this point that I had my suspicions confirmed. there was no way that Carrol was going to admit that we were right, even with the evidence clearly before him. I ponted this out and he became very hostile, although not rude, and began eyeing me in an attempt to intimidate both the owner and myself. I admit that I became very annoyed at this attitude, and told him in no uncertain terms that I considered the test to be a waste of time, and also that he and Kwikfit were trading fraudulently. I also stated that it was my belief that any further investigation of the other fictitious items on the quote by him would be worthless and clearly prejudiced. At this Carrol ordered me out of the premises and set about verbally and physically intimidating the owner.

    I explained that as far as we were concerned the matter would likely be the subject of a court action, to which Carrol shouted “bring it on ….”

    Carrol then proceded to berate me further as we were driving away.

    This episode, I’m guessing, is par for the course for Kwikfit. Dispatching a thug to bully both the complainant and the staff doing the ‘inspection’. I’m military trained and therefore not easily intimidated by bullies like Carrol, but I dread to think what he gets away with when dealing with women and smaller chaps. If he is representative of Kwikfit management they seriously need to start worrying. I’m sure they know about this thugs methods, and deserved to be sued. I knew from the very outset that Carrol had had plenty of similar encounters.

    The owner cannot afford the £195.00 cost of an AA Engineers Report, on top of the £105.00 he was fraudulently billed by Kwikfit for the oil change that wasn’t done. And I am left feeling frustrated, insulted and very sorry for the poor owner who went to Kwikfit in good faith, only to be abused and robbed.

    My question is, having viewed blogs like this one (which is excellent BTW), and the thousands of bad reviews on the web, why Trading Standards constantly fail to take action against Kwikfit? We can’t be the only people to make an official complaint to the OFT. There is reams of evidence on the web, even by Kwikfit employees past and present !! So what the hell is being done about this blatantly fraudulent and possibly dangerous business activity? As usual nothing !!

    No wonder Britain’s broken and getting worse!!

  58. Ian Craig said

    Having just visited the Bletchley MK branch of Kwik Fit I have never been so humiliated in my life, the atmospher in there is all most intimidating. I recieved verble quotes from National Tyres and Formula 1 to replace a tyre on my Landrover discovery for £165 but they could not do it for 2 days. I then tried KwikFit who informed me that they had the tyre in stock this suited me much better but they said they could not match the price of £165, I thanked them for their time and phoned Motorcare and they quoted me £185 and could do it the same afternoon, as I wanted to use my car to drive to the airport that afternoon leaving at 2.30 I thought I would call KwikFit back to tell them that I could get the tyre fitted For £185 and could they do it for that price “absolutly no problem bring it in and they would do it for £185” as they had the tyre in stock this was solving all my problems, so off I go, when I got there I was told I would be dealt with in due course, after about a 10 minute wait a young lad started to take the wheel off my car at this point the manager started to question me as to where I had got my quotes from I told them National and Formula 1 for £165 and stressed that I had another quote of £185 and that they (KwikFit) had agreed to do the job for that price. He then proceeded to phone National and F1 for a price and was quoted £212 by F1 this was the price thy quoted me to start with but with a bit of negotiation they agreed £165 but of course they are not going to say that to a competitor, so KwikFit then started to say that they wanted £212, this after assuring me before I went there that they could do the job for £185, all this was going on in front of a shop full of people, I said he had wasted my time by bringing me into the branch on the pretext that would do the job for £185 he accused me of wasting his time and virtually accused me of lieing about the quotes I had obtained. A great way to treat a client infront of waiting customers, anyway I told them to replace the wheel and I am having the tyre replaced at Motorcare Bletchley Mk for the price of £185. I will never deal with KwikFit again and will do all in my power to advise others to stay well clear of this Micky Mouse company.

  59. Richard said

    I have just had a bad time with kwik fit, i took my car in for a full service the other day, which yes fair enough i know about there reputation so i should of stayed away but when they quoted me £120 less than most other garages that i phoned around so in these hard times i thought go for it! So when i arrived to pick the car up once they had told me it was done and that there was no problem with anything on the sevice, so i thought GREAT, but as the rest of you reading this will know……well mr, there are a few things that need doing, 2 which yes i admit did need doing, but then they told me my brakes, discs, pads, brake fluid, anti-freeze???? just needed to be topped up not changed!!!! drop link and track rod end. So i phoned around and got some quotes for the work that needed doing, i was quoted £290 all in compared to the £600 i was quoted by KWIK FIT?????? Ive just got my car back after the garage i had taken it to to have the work done that kwik fit had told me i needed, i was very happy to find out that my total bill was not £290 it was £133 all in, and i was told that my brakes are fine, the garage worker told me they have tried to pull a fast one. SO PEOPLE, AVOID KWIK FIT AT ALL TIMES!!! you have been warned!!!

  60. Mysoft101 said

    I was nearly killed when they did my brakes, and left the brake clamps on. I went back to whiteladies branch the next day complaining about poor efficiency – and they insisted there is nothing wrong.

    I discovered the clamps 2 days later when car failed to break in Exeter. I was lucky not to have an accident. I went to the Exmouth branch where they eventually sussed the culprit. I complained to the head office and all I got was 50 quid voucher. I should have sued really.

    Avoid!

  61. Shamu said

    Wow ! I am at present deciding what steps to take re shocking service from KF – had new brake pads and discs fitted in my car in December 2010 as they required them for the MOT (£429), which KF also carried out. Last week 6th April, one of my rear brake pads flew out while I was driving on the motorway. Not good. I got the car to KF who were confused as to how this could have happened, practically accused me of having someone else doing work to the brakes, but agreed to replace them. Interestingly they said this time they would use a fitting kit, which they didn’t use the last time. I collected the car and they offered no explanation, but said that they’d fitted new pads and discs on both rear brakes and all was well. 2 days later, while driving, the same thing happened, rear brake pad on the other side came off while I was driving. I phoned them and they told me to get the AA to take the car to them and they would look at it but again, could offer no explanation and assured me they had been quality control checked etc etc etc. When I said I didn;t see why i should get the car to them at my cost they were uninterested and offered no solution. I went online and downloaded photos of a correctly fitted rear brake pad and the proper fitting instructions for my car. Alas, they have been fitted wrongly, anti rattle springs have not been fitted to the rear pads and the angular cotter pin has been fitted with the split pin hole the wrong way round thus leaving the cotter unsecured and able to vibrate loose. Brake fluid is coming out now too. The last I spoke to KF I said I would get the car to them, I haven’t and they haven’t been in touch again. I really don’t want them to touch my car again, but am unwilling to pay someone else to rectify work that they’ve messed up. I am going to have to hire a car now too, at my expense.
    Have emailed trading standards and am awaiting a reply.

  62. Tom said

    Hi there

    I would like to if I may put a slightly different angle on all these posts on here.
    I also worked for Kwik Fit from March 1990 to July 2007, during this time I was never asked or have it sugested I “rip a customer off” or “oversell”,
    true we did have to give updates during the day, however that is simply so the area manager knows how you are doing to target, and lets face it a company without targets will never survive,
    kwik Fit issue all there employees with a Terms & Conditions Handbook, and also have very good training courses, in the habdbook and on the training courses no one is told to oversell, they are however told to check all 5 tyres, how would you feel if you had new tyres fitted and had a puncture only to find your spare was bold? You would complain! they are told to check brakes, how would you feel if you went in for tyres and a couple of days or weeks later you required brakes? you would feel the fitter who done your tyres failed to spot them and complain!
    The list of questions goes on and on,
    I do appreciate you have all had a bad experience at Kwik Fit, the correct way to look at your complaint is to break it down bit by bit, eventually you will realise your complaint is with the fitter who initially done the job and not with the company, I agree if the area manager states he will get back to you within a certain amount of time then this should be done, this is a seperate complaint about the time scale of resolving the complaint, and should not be added to the original complaint,
    Whilst i worked for KF I too recieved complaints, ranging from buyers remorse! (agreeing to the work being carried out and regretting it later) to stating my staff have put lives at risk!!!
    On 1 occasion can I say a member of my team left a car in such a way that it should not have been driven ut (wheel nuts loose) on this occasion the fitter was dismissed and a full refund & a personal apology was given by me!
    Incase you are not aware any car “knowingly aloud to drive on the road in an unroadworthy manner is liable to prosecution under the road traffic act,
    Your complaints should be dealt with almost line by line, if after dealing with your complaint the person who fitted the job was at fault you could have a case for prosecution against that person,
    Kwik Fit (still to this day) will discipline and dismiss any person found to be selling parts to a customer where it is proved the work was not required,
    Kwik Fit also offer the old parts back to you for your retention so you can obtain a second opinion, (when getting the 2nd opinion politely refuse to say where the parts were removed because most other fast fit outlets do have a grudge against cars going to Kwik Fit and will almost certainly say you have been ripped off,
    In 17 years at KF I never had trading standards involved in any complaint, I never had court action taken against me, and I went a full 12 months without a single complaint from being honest and up front with the customer,
    All of your complaints should have been put to the Manager in person in the first instance, if the Manager feels he cannot handle your complaint he will simply pass it up the line, until it is dealt with,
    Please don’t think I am supporting KF on all of your complaints, I no longer work for them (my choice) and whilst all your complaints are genuine, I do feel things would not feel as bad had you first approached the Manager and if he/she stated they will pass the complaint upwards a name should be obtained, a log of dates, times & who you contacted should be kept, and you would then be able to prove how poor your complaint has been handled,
    The X Employee who stated he/she was advised to oversell or rip off a customer is verging on a legal case being taken against them by KF!!! for all the years I worked there I saw many a member of staff be dismissed for either over selling, shoddy workmanship, and poor customer services, none of which are encouraged by the company,
    I am still in the fast fit trade and I have taken the KF values with me, and I have to say the business I am a manager for now has still got budgets, I still give updates, and I still get moaned at for occasionaly missing budget, but like KF’s rules “any member of staff overselling or causing a serious complaint will be dealt with by way of a disciplinary which may lead to dismissal”
    Might I suggest you try and obtain a copy of there “terms & conditions of employment” which clearly states all of this and the fitter signs this to say he will adhere to the companies policies at his induction!
    Kind regards
    Tom

  63. Katbrookes said

    Well I am also battling with Kwik Fit over some tyres they replaced a few weeks ago so thouught I would share my experience.

    My first complaint which I made via their website was regarding them selling me 2 rear tyres when I’d only booked in and paid for the front tyres. They agreed to sell them to me at the same price as I’d paid online for the front ones. After the hard sell they then found they didnt have enough tyres in stock and had to get some from another branch – this meant my hour slot turned into an afternoon.

    Since the tyres were fitted we’ve had more drama. We were on our way home from Cornwall doing around 70mph when my husband heard a vibration noise and pulled the car over to find that all 4 wheels were loose, the front ones could be undone with a finger the back ones required half a spanner turn to tighten – lucky we’re still alive! I complained again via the kwik fit website and the following day received a call from an Operations Manager called John asking me to take it to a centre at my convenience for an assessment of any damage as there was a potential disciplinary at stake for the fitter. They said it would take no more than 15 mins so I agreed and took it in to a local centre last Saturday to be greeted by John and another Manager called Andy Bennett who listened to my version of events and seemed fine until I told him the car had been into another garage for an MOT since they fitted the tyres. He then quickly changed his tone and was very defensive. They took the wheels off and couldnt tell me if there was any obvious damage, no report was done and photos werent taken. He was quick to blame the MOT garage as they were the last ones to touch the car and they MUST have taken the wheels off!! He said he would go away and make a report to his Technical dept and would be in touch. I asked him for a copy of any report and he told me I wouldnt get anything unless I requested it in writing.

    The same day we went into the MOT garage who stated that they hadnt taken the wheels off and would have had no reason to as it was a straightforward MOT. I was advised by a friend to also get an independant assessment of the wheels so yesterday I took it into Mazda who said they couldnt tell if the wheels were damaged but to be on the safe side I should replace the 4 wheels at a cost of £190 + VAT for each wheel.

    I received a call today from Andy at Kwik Fit asking me to send them a copy of the MOT cert so they can cross reference the mileage and then make a decision…. He still insisted that the MOT garage MUST have taken the wheels off, even though I told him they hadnt!! I am going into the MOT garage this evening to collect a signed statement from them to state they didnt take the wheels off. This will be sent to Andy at Kwik Fit along with the MOT Cert. If he still doesnt back down there will be a letter of complaint going to their head office. I am now potentially driving around in a very dangerous vehicle thanks to Kwik Fit – I cannot afford to replace the wheels so I have no option but to fight them.

  64. Kyzarvs said

    Hi,

    I emailed a complaint to kwik-fit today and then posted on my blog about it ( http://www.idontrememberthat.co.uk/?p=105 ) – something I have never done before.

    My complaint isn’t as bad as yours – I ordered ‘v’ rated tyres (up to 149mph for my 130mph top speed Vectra 2.2) and was told that V “only runs up to 120mph” and that the V rating has a “significant impact on the load rating”. They then proceeded to flog me the next rating tyre up. I wasn’t sure about it, but didn’t want to go off on one with the wrong information so I got home anc checked my facts that yes V rating was what my car came from the factory wearing and the load rating (91) of the tyres sold to me were identical to the ones I ordered.

    Only £33 out of pocket but I was also amazed to find that by the time I’d got home, my online pdf of the order had been altered to the W rating tyres, along with the increased cost to cover their tracks – sneaky!

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