I collected my car late in the afternoon from the panel beaters. On the workshop floor I was shown the panel beating work on the boot of my car by one of the assistant managers. I asked him to open the boot with the unlocking lever in the driver’s seat of the car and then tried to close the boot but it wouldn’t close. The assistant manager called one of the employees and got them to change the setting of the latch. He said it was nothing but a minor adjustment that they would quickly do before they handed the car back to me.
I found it strange that the locking mechanism for the car boot did not work after my car had been at this panel beater for one month. My car I had been there so long because the panel beater had taken in the car but then only ordered the spare parts required from the automobile manufacturer. To think that they got the most basic and most important area of the car wrong is beyond me.
The next issue was that the tail light that fits into the top of the boot spoiler was unavailable because they had ordered the spoiler but had omitted to request the tail light at the same time. I will now need to wait another two months for the tail light. This means that since I took the car for the first inspection to this panel beater it would have taken 4 1/2 months to complete the job.
I drove the car out of the panel beater’s premises in the industrial area of Strydom Park in Randburg at about 5:30 in the afternoon and as I got into the early evening traffic jam I discovered a clicking sound coming from one of my rear speakers. I tried to turn on the radio but it was completely dead.
Right there I called the panel beater, told them about this and the manager said that I could come back and that someone working the late-night shift would check the radio.
To cut a long story short, I took the car back and the workshop employee found that when they had replaced the boot of my car they had forgotten to do the wiring for the rear speakers. While the technician was working on the rear speakers I looked at my front license plate and saw that it was hanging from the front of my car, about to fall off. I asked the panel beater worker to do something about it, which he duly did by fastening it with double sided tape.
Would you feel proud of letting any product whether it be a car or a computer out of your premises in such a sorry state? Would you allow such poor quality to come out of your business?
It is very disappointing to see such poor quality work. What’s even more disturbing is that this panel beater doesn’t even have a simple checklist to ensure that everything that they promised would be done on the car has been done? More than this, wouldn’t it make sense for this checklist to include a general check of the car to see that everything was in order? As an aside, I even noticed that my key covering had been smashed at the panel beaters and that they had cemented on a new cover.
I never chose this panel beater. This is the panel beater that one of these insurance companies that makes a lot of noise about how good it is insisted that I go to. The reason they insisted is that because of the economy they have cut back on top rate panel beaters and are now giving their customers the worst possible panel beaters that they can find because they refuse to pay increased labour rates.
I just think how different things would have been had I taken my car to the panel beater of my choice in Midrand which is an expert at dealing with my type of car. When I’ve had panel beating work done at this panel beater my car is handed over in perfect condition. This small business is proud about its quality. This small business does have a quality system. This small business charges slightly above the normal labour rate but delivers quality professionally. Because of its higher labour rate, the insurance company refused to deal with it.
But the insurance company that claims to look after its customers but is actually lying through its teeth will not pay for this additional labour cost (which is realistic given wage rate increases). Yet this insurance company will allow its customer to suffer all of this and go to the exorbitant (some would say extravagant) expense of hiring a car for one month rather than pay another panel beater that will do the job properly.
My point: How can a small business such as the low-quality panel beater get away with such pathetically poor quality work yet be one of the chosen and recommended suppliers of one of the largest short-term insurers in this country?