Motor Ombudsman reports record levels of customer contacts

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Automotive dispute resolution provider, The Motor Ombudsman, has reported a record level of contacts to its dispute resolution service during the first four months of this year, compared to the same period last year.

The body’s impartial adjudicators look to conclude unresolved disputes quickly and fairly, between consumers and its accredited businesses, including thousands of UK garages, 39 vehicle manufacturers and 11 warranty providers.

Over 11,300 contacts were received relating to its four Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI)-approved Motor Industry Codes of Practice; this is a 45% rise compared to the same period in 2016. Providing information and assistance to businesses accounted for a further 484 enquiries to April, a considerable jump of 231% compared to a year earlier.

The Vehicle Sales Code of Practice, which provides detailed guidelines for the sale of both new and used cars, together with the supply of finance and warranties, saw the highest level of contacts out of any Code in The Motor Ombudsman’s portfolio.

As awareness of the Code amongst UK motorists has grown following its introduction last September, the number of contacts has averaged over 50 per day since the start of this year, reaching a monthly record of 1,259 last month. The Motor Ombudsman witnessed the highest ever volume in a single four-week period, with April recording 3,343 contacts, rising above the monthly average of 3,259 seen during the first quarter of 2017.

Motor Ombudsman reports record levels of customer contacts

The largest source of customer concerns since April have related to the quality of a used or new vehicle at the time of purchase, the standard of work carried out, and warranties. An average of 95% of the contacts received each month are successfully concluded without the need for a case to be raised thanks to The Motor Ombudsman’s adjudication team. The volume of cases requiring a legally binding final decision from its in-house ombudsman, has ranged between 7 to 14% for the first four months of the year.

Head of Customer Service and Quality at The Motor Ombudsman, Holly McAllister, said;

“Ever-increasing awareness amongst consumers and automotive businesses of the value that The Motor Ombudsman offers has resulted in a significant uplift in the level of contacts that we have received since the start of 2017. The arrival of the Vehicle Sales Code has equally meant that we can now formally adjudicate on issues relating to the sale of both of new and used cars.”

Holly added;

“Case volumes as a proportion of contacts remain low which demonstrates the great efforts that all parties are going to in order to resolve any disagreements before needing formal adjudication which is very encouraging for all involved.”

Dealing with a trusted motor trader for your next leased vehicle

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