The blog on Kwik-Fit’s warning about the dangers of i-sapping in our newsletter last month generated a lot of responses about Kwik-Fit. Not many of them were complimentary we have to say. This set us wondering, why are people so upset with Kwik-Fit? What's wrong with Kwik-Fit?
A whistleblower from Kwik-Fit revealed that the company has targets and customers will be tricked into paying for work that isn’t required so that staff can hit their targets. They also alleged that staff cut corners and don’t finish all the work so that they can get jobs done quicker.
BBC investigation into Kwik-Fit
The BBC’s programme Your Money Their Tricks did an investigation into Kwik-Fit. They sent ten cars into ten different Kwik-Fit branches for free brake and tyre checks. Before sending the cars off they were thoroughly checked by a forensic mechanic and fellow of the IMI, John Dabek. John, very cleverly, put silicone gel marks on each car so he would know if the cars had been thoroughly examined.
When the cars came back from the Kwik-Fit garages John checked them all over. He found that Kwik-Fit had not completed the full brake and tyre inspection on seven of the cars. The silicone on the tyres of some of these cars was undisturbed indicating that the tyres hadn’t been taken off to carry out proper checks. Some of the tyres had nails and screws lodged in them which Kwik-Fit had missed.
Also, Kwik-Fit had recommended over £700 worth of work on four of the cars that John felt wasn’t needed or wasn’t as urgent as they had claimed. The BBC programme sought a second opinion from another independent expert, Mark Brown, a mechanic and forensic car examiner and he agreed with John’s findings.
So the BBC reported back to Kwik-Fit and their response was that they could improve communication but they disagreed with the BBC’s report. Kwik-Fit stated that they do their own mystery shopping, have a whistleblower line to help identify any malpractices and undertake regular audits. They particularly disputed with the BBC that their advice over rear shock absorbers was correct and challenged the BBC to undertake independent laboratory tests on this.
A search on the internet reveals a lot of stories from unhappy customers and they all share one main theme. Someone takes their car into a Kwik-Fit garage with what seems to be a minor fault and Kwik-Fit claim that the fault is much bigger and will require more work than necessary so the price inflates. Several comments state that this often happens when taking a car for its MOT at a Kwik-Fit garage. Some people have even claimed that once they put their car into a Kwik-Fit garage problems get much worse and sometimes new problems develop, indicating that the mechanics have been really incompetent.
Their Facebook page is full of complaints along these lines; citing rude staff, unnecessary work suggested for repairs and crazy prices. One irate customer has even gone so far as to create an anti Facebook page for Kwik-Fit.
Let us know about your best and worst experiences with Kwik-Fit or other garages in the comments box below.