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Well I'll start at the beginning. I checked out nationwide Autocentre's website - very impressive and I could get a £5 discount with my Tesco clubcard. So I booked my car in for the earliest date possible, Friday 6th October (the day my current MOT expired).
I received an e-mail which said the manager would be in contact shortly to confirm my booking. That was on Monday. By Wednesday i was a little concerned that I had not received confirmation, so I gave them a call. They had no record of my booking, even when I gave them the reference number. Worse still he said they couldn't do it on Friday! He said he would call me back shortly. When he called, he said they could do it at 8.30am which I said was fine, I could walk to work as it was only round the corner.
Friday morning came and I arrived 10 minutes late due to heavy traffic on the A14. The guy behind the counter (the same one I had spoken to on the phone) practically bit my head off when I apologised for being late, saying it would put them behind for the whole day. I asked if he wanted me to re-book for another day, he said no they would still do it. I asked if it would be ok to collect the car at around 3.45pm when I finished work, he said that would be fine as long as nothing went hugely wrong. He took down a few basic details and asked me what price I had been quoted on the website, I said £39.15 with my clubcard. He said they would call as soon as the MOT was done. If the car failed he would have a list of prices ready for me when he called. I handed over my keys and went to work.
I sat waiting for the dreaded phone call. I knew the exhaust was blowing slightly and would need replacing never mind anything else they found wrong with my '95 N Reg Rover!
The call finally came at 11am with a list of things my poor car had failed on, including 1 sections of the exhaust ( but the middle section would not last long so he recommended I have this done too), the headlamps were too high, 2 brake pipes were corroded (which they need to make on site) and the handbrake was below efficiency. Then he said that during the MOT, the car had over-heated because they had split one of the pipes. He said I was lucky this had happened now as opposed to while I was driving! He didn't have any prices for me so I asked him to call back once he could tell me what it would cost.
It was 2pm by the time he called back (less than 2 hours before I ws due to collect the car).
He said that the split pipe would cost £18 from the manufacturer but he wouldn't charge me for the fitting although I would need anti freeze along with the new pipe, which would set me back £25!!! I said I would buy anti-freeze myself for much less than that, but he talked me into having it done, saying they would drain it and flush it through first.
The rear section of the exhaust would cost £65.17 and the middle section would cost £58.36.
£11.00 to re-align the headlamps.
An unbelievable £120 for the corroded brake pipes!
He then apologised, saying he had forgotten to tell me that the brake pads also needed replacing, another £89.77. I was adding up the cost as we went and had made a total of £423.45 (including the MOT fee with £5 discount).
Then came the best bit. He said the brake discs possibly needed replacing too, costing another arm and a leg - £136.54. I will pont out now, that my partner had taken the front wheels off about a week ago (to fit some alloys) and he says that the brake discs were fine and DID NOT need replacing. I said that as it hadn't failed the MOT on the discs, I would buy them else-where and my partner would be happy to fit them.
He said that because there was a lot of work to do, he would need to keep the car overnight and finish it tomorrow. I needed to pick up my 2 children from the childminder and my partner from work so that caused us a huge problem! We managed (with some help) to get everyone home, stopping at the garage on the way to pay them £588.44!!! I asked whether or not that included the brake discs which MAY need doing. He said it did, so I asked if I would get a refund if it turned out that they didn't need replacing. He went and had a look at the discs and came back 30 sconds later saying that it would still fail the MOT if they didn't replace them! He basically threatened me knowing that I needed the car. If I didn't pay the £136.54, he would fail the MOT!!!
So, feelling well and truly conned by now, I reluctantly paid the full amount.
I am going the collect my much loved car this afternoon and will ask them to show me each and every shiny new part they have fitted!!
On the whole I would say that Nationwide Autocentres are run by a bunch of cowboys who love nothing more than conning people out of their hard earned cash. DO NOT USE THEM!!!!
A promising first review and nicely presented- If you feel you would like to add or expand on the details in the review at any time in the future you can do this by pressing the edit link in the centre at the top of your review as you read it.
Welcome to Ciao!. Fionaxx
Soundsexciting 07.10.2006 18:36
I think in a case like this, backgound on the company is close to irrelavent as they should be avoided at all costs!! :)
Your experience has striking parallels to my own. Have a read of my review on these cowboys. You'll be surprised and you'll also realise that if you had the disks replaced then you may well have been ripped off. They do this to EVERYONE who goes in for an MOT
Alslad36 07.10.2006 15:53
My sentiments exactly (my review was rating their servicing capabilities). Don't know how they got to be approved by the AA. Darren