Looks like Kwik Fit have been at it again. If you are an avid reader of our blogs – of course, you are, you will remember that six months ago we published a blog on Kwik Fit and complaints about their service.
Now Kwik Fit have apparently made an ‘unreserved apology’ following a BBC investigation. Watchdog, the BBC’s consumer programme revealed on 5th November that Kwik Fit are charging customers for £1.50 for each tyre for nitrogen inflation. Not only do they not ask customers if they want this service they often don’t even do it. Kwik Fit are literally charging for thin air.
Kwik Fit’s latest misdemeanour was revealed by customer complaints and a whistle blower who is still working in one of their branches. Watchdog sent out ten undercover employees to do some mystery shopping at Kwik Fit and they found that nine customers were charged for nitrogen inflation without requesting it. Experts then checked the tyres and found that only three customers had their tyres inflated with any nitrogen added to their tyres. Only two of these had any significant amounts of nitrogen added. The whistle blower has stated that staff were adding the nitrogen inflation to bills to meet monthly commission based sales targets.
Kwik Fit responded: “Our aim is to be transparent with our customers and provide them with the best possible service. We accept that in this case we have fallen short of the standards our customers expect from us and we apologise for that. In light of the findings, we are carrying out retraining to ensure that all our centre staff fully understand the benefits of nitrogen and ensure that all customers receive the standard of service which they would expect.”
This is the short version of their response which the BBC includes on their website. After a lot of waffle about the benefits of nitrogen Kwik Fit finally admit that they should have “taken steps to improve this transparency”. They go on to say “We are very concerned if customers have not received what they pay for and unreservedly apologise to any customer affected”. There was no “if” in this case as the experts cleared proved that most customers did not get their tyres inflated. This is not an admission of guilt and skirts around the issue as they continue to ply the benefits of nitrogen (again). Finally they state they will carry out retraining and ensure that “all customers receive the standard of service which they would expect”. In Kwik Fit’s case those expectations are getting lower. However, to finally sweeten the bitter pill they have been forced to swallow Kwik Fit offer customers the opportunity to return with their receipt and get their tyres inflated correctly and receive a £5 voucher as an apology. In the meantime while they review their procedures they offer nitrogen inflation free of charge to their customers.
This is the third time in the last five years that Kwik Fit has been caught out by Watchdog. Each time they apologise unreservedly and promise to review their procedures. Watch this space!
To view the TV segment click here.