Concerns relating to vehicle sales have made up the biggest proportion of contacts for the first half of 2017, with a 21% increase in comparison with January to March. A third was in relation to cars that were not of the appropriate standard at the point of sale, and more than one in 10 contacts were consumers explaining that they felt that they had been given insufficient information to make an educated decision about the purchase of a financial product.
The level of Service and Repair related contacts also rose by 13% in quarter two versus quarter one. Work carried out by a garage which was not agreed beforehand was the subject of nearly half (43%) of contacts, and issues around charging for diagnostic or exploratory procedures contributed to an additional 34%. A fifth of contacts related to concerns around the checking of work which had been undertaken.
In contrast to the volume of contacts going up, the quantity of cases being opened has seen an 11% decrease between quarters. This decline has been driven by the highly effective approach of The Motor Ombudsman’s impartial adjudicators, whereby consumers and accredited businesses are given the necessary resources to help resolve the dispute between themselves quickly and amicably before the start of any formal adjudication.
Holly McAllister, Head of Customer Service and Quality at The Motor Ombudsman, said: “Since the beginning of 2017, the Vehicle Sales Code has clearly stood out in terms of the nature of contacts that our adjudication team has worked on, and the second quarter indicates that this is likely to remain the pattern as we go through the rest of the year. Although we have seen even greater demands placed on our alternative dispute resolution service, it is nevertheless encouraging to see at the same time, the great efforts that all parties are going to in order to resolve disputes without the need for a case to be raised.”