The Motor Ombudsman, the automotive dispute resolution provider, has reported sustained demand for its dispute resolution service during the third quarter of 2017. With over 9,400 calls and e-mails received from consumers between July to September.
The latest figures are slightly below the record volume of contacts seen in the second quarter. The Motor Ombudsman is now on course to handle a total of 34,000 Code-related contacts and 5,000 requests for information from businesses and motorists by the end of 2017, a 35% uplift compared to 2016.
The Motor Industry Code of Practice for Vehicle Sales saw the highest level of contacts (40%) between July to September of this year, followed by the Service and Repair Code (29%) and the New Car Code (27%). Around two thirds of contacts received in relation to the Vehicle Sales Code were because of defects with a car at the point of delivery, with the approach of staff during the sale of the vehicle being the second main reason for motorists getting in touch with The Motor Ombudsman (16%). The level of aftersales support supplied by a garage following the purchase of a vehicle, and inaccuracies within a business’ advertising materials, prompted nearly one in 10 contacts.
For the Service and Repair Code, issues surrounding the standard of workmanship provided by a garage made up over half of contacts during the past three months, whilst the charge for diagnostic work and the accuracy of quotations resulted in a fifth of all calls and e-mails. Furthermore, 19% of contacts related to the competency of the garage’s personnel.
Of the 27,600 Code contacts that have been received during the first nine months of the year, 1,509 cases were created, with 857 being raised in the third quarter alone. This equates to an average escalation rate of just 5% for the whole of 2017, meaning that 95% of contacts have been resolved quickly through The Motor Ombudsman giving information and guidance to the consumer and garage without requiring formal adjudication.
In tandem with one of the busiest periods of the year for new car registrations, September saw a significant increase in the number of cases being raised at 203, surpassing the monthly average of 168, with around 50% of these concerning the Vehicle Sales Code. Furthermore, of the cases raised so far in 2017, around one in ten were submitted to The Motor Ombudsman’s in-house ombudsman for a final decision.
Holly McAllister, Head of Customer Service and Quality at The Motor Ombudsman, said: “As we have seen for the majority of 2017, and throughout the third quarter, the Vehicle Sales Code continues to witness the greatest volume of consumer contacts, which are up 39% versus this time last year. The other Codes have equally shown a consistently high rate of contacts which demonstrates simply how much demand there is for our service, re-affirming our position as the ‘go-to’ point of reference for any motoring-related disputes. Similarly, being at the heart of the automotive sector, and handling contacts from consumers and businesses on a daily basis, this has allowed us to provide valuable feedback to industry to continue driving up standards.”