Consumer Code of Practice

Consumer Code of Practice

Your guide to the standards and practices of the Bosch Car Service Network

Bosch is a very familiar name to the consumer through a variety of products ranging from domestic appliances and heating products to power tools and gardening equipment – all with a reputation for quality.

Within the realms of the automotive world, Bosch has been no less active and has supplied a variety of automotive products and systems to vehicle manufacturers for over 100 years.

Bosch is no stranger to the aftermarket either. In the UK, Bosch has operated approved repairer schemes for over fifty years. For the consumer this experience has culminated in the Bosch Car Service programme.

The Bosch Car Service (BCS) programme is in essence the bringing together of all the benefits offered by a reputable local garage combined with the support and expertise available from Bosch, a global supplier of automotive technology.

The BCS network is made up of selected independent garages that are able to demonstrate an ongoing commitment to the highest levels of technical and customer service. Bosch Car Service appointments are typically family run garages where the owner or proprietor is directly involved in the day to day running of the business.

BCS garages will, as standard, participate in a programme of quality and performance checks to ensure prescribed standards are maintained.

You can recognise a Bosch Car Service garage by its distinctive building facia signage which features the wording Bosch Car Service along with the blue, black and red Bosch Car Service logo.

For more information on the Bosch Group please refer to www.Bosch.co.uk and for further information on Bosch Car Service, please refer to www.boschcarservice.co.uk

Quite understandably, many customers do not possess a thorough knowledge of how their vehicle operates and equally, many garages are unable to secure the confidence of the customer when they carry out a service or repair.

Therefore, the purpose of this Code is to provide a clear guide of the standards and practices that you can expect from a BCS garage and enable you to make an informed decision to use a BCS garage.

This Code has been fully approved by the Trading Standards Institute (TSI) and is therefore authorised to use the TSI logo. Approval of the Code by the TSI is your assurance that BCS garages are committed to offering the highest standards of customer service.

BCS garages are required to comply with the provisions of this Code. These provisions specify how a variety of customer handling measures and trade practices are to be conducted to the benefit of the consumer.

BCS garage staff will receive training which enables the provisions of this Code to be put into practice, thus ensuring that the consumer is provided with the best possible service.

We also appreciate that despite, the best efforts and intentions of the BCS garage, it is possible that a customer may nevertheless feel dissatisfied with the service they have received. So our code includes procedures to enable such situations to be dealt with fairly, speedily and at minimal cost

The procedures outlined in this code are additional to the legal rights assured to the consumer and the content of this Code is not intended to detract from such laws and remedies.

This Code of Practice relates to the activities of the BCS garage associated with the mechanical repair and /or servicing of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. These services specifically include:

  • Standard interval servicing
    For example, major and minor annual servicing
    (Compare services here..).
  • General mechanical repairs
    For example, repairs and servicing of brakes, transmission, steering and exhaust systems.
  • General fault finding and problem rectification
    For example, work related to auto electrics, air conditioning electronics, cooling and wiping systems.
  • Fault diagnostic service
    For example, the detection and correction of faults within modern electronic control systems associated with fuel injection, engine
    management, ignition systems and braking systems.

In addition to the above work, some BCS garages may also offer other services, some common examples are shown below:

  • Bodywork
  • MOT testing
  • Tyres
  • Vehicle recovery

Please note, these and other services on offer may not be related to vehicle serve or general mechanical repair work and also, they may be monitored
through other schemes designed to protect the consumer.

For these reasons, these services fall outside the jurisdiction of the BCS Code of Practice. Nevertheless, the BCS garage is still expected to offer the highest level of service and in the event of difficulty, Bosch would endeavour to be of assistance to the customer.

This section of the Code explains the operational standards and procedures that BCS garages will employ to ensure customers receive a proficient level of care and attention.

Customer Care

BCS garages will:

  • Not discriminate for any reason and will treat all customers with courtesy, respect and fairness.
  • Make every effort to understand the customer’s requirements and expectations, and will not recommend or carry out work which is unnecessary or unnecessarily expensive.
  • Before starting work, ensure that the customer fully understands and agrees to the work which is to be carried out. That is, the content of the work, the parts required, the overall costs including VAT and warranty coverage.
  • In the case of vulnerable or disadvantaged customers, demonstrate the highest level of patience, understanding, care and helpfulness to ensure that the customer has access to and is able to make a balanced and informed choice of services and/or products.
  • Not use any high pressure selling techniques to carry out work, but will inform the customer of any action that in their opinion is to be recommended on the grounds of safety, reliability or simply good customer care.

Costs and Charges

BCS garages will:

  • Offer and, if required, provide customers with a detailed written estimate that includes the cost of parts, labour, any other costs or services and VAT.
  • Before continuing, seek customer authorisation for any work or costs that become apparent during the work phase but were not previously agreed.
  • In the event of diagnostics work, provide costs before starting the job.
  • Display details of accepted payment methods (credit cards etc) within the customer reception area.

Completion Time

BCS garages will:

  • Provide the customer with a realistic completion time.
  • Use a formal diary or management booking system to underpin completion times.
  • If a delay becomes unavoidable, give the customer as much notice as possible so as to allow the customer to agree alternative completion arrangements or to exercise the cancellation rights afforded by this Code

Displaced Parts

BCS garages will:

Make available upon request parts removed or replaced, for customer inspection.

Invoicing

BCS garages will:

  • Provide an invoice which clearly shows as appropriate, details of labour charges, parts replaced, consumables used and any specific service routines carried out.
  • Ensure that the content and value of the final invoice will correspond to those details previously quoted, subject to additional work being authorised by the customer.
  • Include on the final invoice recommendations or observations regarding the need for further work or concerns related to safety aspects.

Warranty (Guarantee)

BCS garages will:

  • Guarantee their work.
  • Respect and abide by the statutory rights afforded to customers by law.
  • Provide customers with clear and accurate details of the warranty coverage before and after the completion of work.
  • Not engage in the high pressure selling of additional guarantees.

After Sales Service

BCS garages will:

  • Respond promptly and effectively to any enquires from customers relating to work they previously carried out.
  • Investigate and rectify queries or problems associated with the original repair and/or service, wherever possible at no cost.
  • Before starting any additional work, discuss and agree with the customer
    any charges which have become apparent.
  • Seek at all times to minimise any additional charges and ensure these charges are proportional to the original repair and/or service that was provided.

Workmanship

BCS garages will:

  • Unless requested by the customer and subject to availability, supply service parts of an equivalent or matching quality to those fitted as original equipment.
  • Repair and service the customer’s vehicle in accordance with specifications published by Bosch or to vehicle manufacturer specifications as published by industry-recognised provider of such information. Additionally, a BCS garage may offer a local service and the content of this work will be clearly detailed to the customer either through a document menu, a display board or through discussion.

This section of the Code describes how some important legal and commercial measures are handled by the BCS garage in order to give further support to its customers.

Contract Terms

BCS garages will:

Comply with the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999.This ensures that the rights and obligations of the customer and the BCS garage will be balanced and that contracts are presented in plain, easy to understand language.

Cancellation Rights

BCS garages will:

  • Allow the customer to cancel the repair/service agreement at any time, in writing, subject to any legal right to cancel the agreement without liability.
  • Hold the customer liable for no more than any reasonable costs already incurred up to the time of cancellation. These costs may include labour and parts for work already completed plus the cost of other parts or services ordered or obtained but which cannot be cancelled, returned or resold.
  • Where a repair/service agreement is cancelled, always minimise any costs to the customer.

Prepayments

BCS garages will:

  • In the event of a prepayment or deposit being made, provide a clear receipt which details the value of the payment made and the exact nature of the product and/or services that this payment relates to.
  • Confirm to the customer how such a deposit or prepayment is protected by Bosch in the unlikely event that the BCS garage ceases to trade.

Advertising & Promotion

BCS garages will:

Be legal decent, honest and truthful and will comply with the British Codes of Advertising and Sales Promotion and any other relevant code of advertising and all other statutory requirements.

The BCS garage and Bosch have a strong commitment to customer satisfaction and would therefore like to work with the customer to resolve any complaint fairly and quickly. Should the complaint remain unresolved despite these efforts, then the customer has the option of pursuing independent arbitration. This section of the Code describes the complaint handling procedure.

Step 1: Complaining to the BCS Garage

Should a customer feel dissatisfied then we would politely request that the customer complains first of all directly to the BCS garage concerned. This maybe done either in person, by phone or in writing.

If a customer wishes to write to the BCS garage but is unsure of whom to contact, then the BCS garage will confirm the postal address and relevant contact name. If requested, the BCS garage will supply this information in writing to the customer.

Should the customer prefer to pursue a complaint through another person or a recognised consumer organisation like Trading Standards, Citizens Advice etc, then the BCS garage will continue to cooperate fully to resolve the complaint.

The BCS garage will have in place a clear and accessible mechanism for recording and dealing with customer complaints. The responsibility for dealing with complaints will rest with the BCS Principal or another nominated individual. Details of the appropriate person to contact will be displayed in the customer reception area.

The BCS garage will acknowledge written complaints within 5 working days of receipt.

The BCS garage will seek to resolve any complaint within 21 days of its receipt.

If a customer wishes to write to the BCS garage but is unsure of whom to contact, then the BCS garage will confirm the postal address and relevant contact name. If requested, the BCS garage will supply this information in writing to the customer.

Should the customer prefer to pursue a complaint through another person or a recognised consumer organisation like Trading Standards, Citizens Advice etc, then the BCS garage will continue to cooperate fully to resolve the complaint.

The BCS garage will have in place a clear and accessible mechanism for recording and dealing with customer complaints. The responsibility for dealing with complaints will rest with the BCS Principal or another nominated individual. Details of the appropriate person to contact will be displayed in the customer reception area.

The BCS garage will acknowledge written complaints within 5 working days of receipt.

The BCS garage will seek to resolve any complaint within 21 days of its receipt.

Step 2: Conciliation by Bosch

Should the BCS garage be unable to resolve the complaint, then Bosch is willing to provide a free of charge conciliation service. That is, Bosch will work with the customer and the BCS garage to resolve the customer’s complaint speedily and fairly. Customers should note that this service does not prevent them from seeking redress through other legal means.

To use this service the customer is invited to contact Bosch directly on 0800 077 8866 or email bcsqueries@uk.bosch.com. Alternatively, if a customer wishes to write to Bosch directly then the address details of Bosch may be found at the back of the Code.

In the case of customer telephone calls, Bosch will acknowledge the customer’s call and record details of the complaint immediately. Bosch will also discuss the nature and content of the complaint at that time or contact the customer within the next 5 working days to discuss the complaint.

In the case of written complaints, Bosch will confirm in writing to the customer that the complaint has been received within 5 working days of its arrival at Bosch. Should Bosch require a written account of the complaint and/or need other information to investigate the complaint then Bosch will ask the customer to provide it.

Bosch will endeavour to resolve the customer’s complaint within 21 working days of its receipt. The recommendations made by Bosch to resolve the complaint will be binding on the BCS garage, however the customer remains free to reject the proposal made by Bosch.

Step 3: Independent Arbitration

Adjudication enables a complaint to be reviewed independently of Bosch and a recommendation provided as to how the complaint may be resolved. The recommendation of the Adjudicator is binding on the BCS garage; however the customer remains free to reject this proposal.

The Independent Adjudication service is only available if the customer has sought to resolve the complaint using the Bosch conciliation service, this service is explained on page 10.

Following on from the Bosch conciliation service, Bosch will advise the customer in writing of its final conclusion regarding his or her complaint. This letter will also contain the contact details of an independent panel responsible for monitoring how Bosch operates this code of practice.

Should the complaint remain unresolved, and providing no more than six months have elapsed since the receipt of the final conclusion letter, the customer may elect to use the independent adjudication service. Here the customer is required to notify Bosch that the complaint is unresolved and request the matter be forwarded for adjudication.

Subsequently, Bosch will refer the complaint to an independent Adjudicator who will investigate the complaint, obtain evidence from the customer, the BCS garage and Bosch and make a written adjudication as quickly as possible – generally within 28 days.

Customers of the BCS garage network have a real opportunity to help make the BCS Code of Practice work to best possible effect, also to help Bosch monitor and improve the performance of individual BCS garages. This section details how customers may assist.

Customer Opinion and Feedback

It is important for BCS garages and Bosch to evaluate how successful we have been in achieving customer satisfaction. We appreciate that customer comment, both good and bad, will help greatly in the development and application of this Code.

Customers may complete a freepost satisfaction survey card; these cards are on display in the customer reception area of the BCS garage. The reply cards will be dealt with by an independent agency, so please send them back by post. There is no charge for this service to the customer.

Customers may contact Bosch directly to obtain a satisfaction card; contact details of Bosch appear at the end of the Code.

Customer Requirements

When a customer is arranging a repair and/or service, Bosch would respectfully remind customers that they can help the BCS garage to meet their requirements by providing the fullest possible information.

Therefore, Bosch would kindly ask the BCS garage customer to:

Give as much information as possible, e.g. symptoms or concerns, or any previous repair history of the vehicle.

Feel free to fully discuss and understand the nature of the work that is to be undertaken.

Be clear and agree any specific or special requirements that the BCS garage is expected to meet.

When discussing your requirements with the BCS garage, please tell the receptionist if your car is covered by a vehicle manufacturer’s warranty or a mechanical breakdown warranty. Please also show the receptionist any policy documents that you have. This information is important since the BCS garage will need to understand the conditions of this warranty so its terms may be adhered to.

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Responsibilities of Bosch

This section of the Code describes the responsibilities Bosch has to ensure that the BCS garages follow the provisions of this code and also further develop the code so that it remains of benefit to the consumer.

Monitoring and Compliance with this Code

To ensure that the BCS Code of Practice is adhered to, Bosch will:

  • Audit the Best Working Practices, Technical and Customer provisions of each BCS garage annually.
  • Conduct regular anonymous visits/mystery shops to test the Technical and Customer handling skills of the BCS network.
  • Review and assess customer complaints and customer satisfaction
    feedback data to determine any need to revise this Code or take action
    against a BCS garage. Our scheme allows for a variety of measures ranging from actions to improve BCS garage performance through to expulsion of a garage from the BCS network.
  • Report and review the above monitoring and compliance activities with an independent panel so that we may ensure the consistency and
    appropriateness of our actions.

Further Development of this Code

To ensure the content of this Code remains relevant and appropriate,
Bosch will:

Endeavour to keep informed of the changes in consumer expectations, Best Working Practices and/or legislation. To this end Bosch will consult with consumer bodies to review the validity of the Code’s content and application.

Disciplinary Procedures

To ensure that compliance of this Code is enforced, Bosch will:

  • Subject those incidents of non-compliance which cannot be adequately addressed through the BCS quality development process to disciplinary measures.
  • Apply disciplinary measures that will be proportional to the nature and circumstances of the non- compliance. These will range from a detailed review discussion with the BCS garage, further detailed scrutiny of the BCS garage using a programme of site audits through to expulsion of the BCS garage from the BCS network.
  • In cases where disciplinary action resulted from a customer complaint, inform the customer directly of the action taken.
  • Ensure that all disciplinary measures taken by Bosch are independently verified to ensure that such measures are applied on an objective, fair and uniform basis.