Disputes do arise, but in most cases repairers are more than willing to work with the customer towards a resolution. So it’s in your best interest to first try to settle the matter yourself.
If you have an issue or concern about a repair the first thing to do is speak to the repairer. Be polite but clear about what the problem is and what you believe needs to done about it.
If the complaint is genuine, most repairers will appreciate the opportunity to put things right. Even if it’s a simple misunderstanding it is their opportunity to set the record straight and keep you as a customer.
If the vehicle develops a problem that you suspect is related to an earlier repair it’s important to return to the original repairer. But this may not always be possible, so you should at least contact the original repairer first before authorising further work.
If you have to deal with another repairer it’s worth asking him / her to contact the first repairer as they may be able to shed some light on the history of the fault, or if it’s found that they have contributed to the problem, negotiate to have it corrected.
Where there is no option but to involve another repairer, it’s important to keep any parts that have been replaced and to get a clear and detailed statement, in writing, as to what the problem was. This will assist if a third party needs to investigate and try to negotiate an outcome. Plenty of clear and detailed photos may also help.
Where a dispute can’t be resolved amicably between the parties you have a number of options.
- If the repairer is a member of the RACQ Approved Repairer scheme our Technical Advisory department can assist in investigating the matter and negotiating a resolution with the repairer. In addition we provide independent opinions on faults and failures. We can also offer advice and assistance if the repairer is not part of the scheme, however our ability to negotiate an outcome in such cases is limited.
- If the repairer is a member of an industry body, such as one of the Motor Trades Associations, the body may be able to assist in negotiating a resolution.
In cases where the repairer is unwilling to negotiate there are some more official options.
Queensland’s Office of Fair Trading will investigate such matters and may be able to assist with a resolution.
Alternatively, as a last resort the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal has many of the powers of a court, but offers a low cost legal option for resolving common consumer disputes.