21.02.09: Time to retire old codes and back one?

Time 13 years ago

codesWITH a super complaint hanging over the heads of the service and repair industry, isn’t it time everyone clubbed together and backed one code of practice?

That’s the question that keeps on cropping up in the Car Dealer office when we discuss the schemes put in place to self-regulate the service and repair industry.

The Motor Industry Code of Practice for Service and Repair – headed up by Car Dealer columnist Chris Mason – is clearly the industry leader.

It meets all the requirements laid down by the authorities to avoid the threatened super complaint, but yet it still faces opposition in the market place.

Why is that? The RMIF, for example, has actively promoted the Code of Practice to its members and the press this week, but take one look at its website and you’ll see it’s still highlighting its own reconciliation code too.

Surely they should just be ditching their offering and backing one industry standard? If everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet – and the Code of Practice is obviously working – then why not back it fully?

It’s obvious that strength in numbers is the goal to satisfy Consumer Focus, the OFT and the government that they don’t need to go down the super complaint route.

But the industry also needs a ‘central operation’ so it can properly self regulate – as the official bodies are demanding. This will give consumers the confidence they need in the service, and rid the industry of its shady past.

So what do the RMIF say? Why don’t they just openly back the Code of Practice fully by ditching their own scheme altogether?

Well, I put it to them and this is what they said: ‘We’ll get back to you.’

As soon as they do get in touch, I’ll let you know what they say, but in the meantime I asked Codes director Mason what he thought.

He told me: ‘We need a call to arms for the trade associations to really put their weight behind the Code and provide some consistency in advice to motorists who are looking to them for a steer in the right direction.’

I think it’s about time the old codes knocking about were retired and the industry backed one standard?

I have no doubt that standard is the Motor Industry Code of Practice – just how long will it take everyone else in the trade to realise this too?



James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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