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  • FIRST POST
    • Horizon81
    • By Horizon81 13th Oct 10, 12:57 PM
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    Horizon81
    Good Garage Scheme - Beware
    • #1
    • 13th Oct 10, 12:57 PM
    Good Garage Scheme - Beware 13th Oct 10 at 12:57 PM
    The Good Garage Scheme - sounds like an independent scheme, possibly a quango, established to ensure that motorists can take their cars to somewhere trustworthy for servicing and repair, right?

    Well that was my assumption and I advised a relative to use a local member of this scheme 2 years running, in the (false) belief that they would get a good level of service, from an honest garage that carried out all (and only) necessary work, in line with the manufacturers service schedule for the car.

    After the second service at said garage (12 months ater the first one) I decided to have a look at the invoice. On each service, the garage charged for an air filter. This was unnecessary - even the manufacturers service schedule calls for an air filter to be replaced only once every 2 years. The car had only covered 6000 miles since the last service, and surely this garage should know that, as they did the service last year.

    However, and more importantly, on each service there was a charge for 'Forte Engine Oil treatment' and 'Forte Gas/Fuel treatment', each costing over £13, so £26 additional charge to each service carried out by a Good Garage Scheme member.

    I decided to look closer at their website and sure enough, the Good Garage Scheme is run by Forte - a lubricants company! FYI, their website states:

    Forte is a name that is synonymous with the very best in effective engine treatments. Our products are used on a regular basis by over 9,000 garages in the UK and our programmes are now part of the ‘norm’ when it comes to servicing a vehicle.

    The 'norm'? Maybe for the Good Garage Scheme garages, but it certainly isn't the norm according to vehicle manufacturers. Nowhere in any car I have ever owned does the manufacturers handbook/service schedule advise that use of these 'treatments' is necessary. And no main dealer I have ever used has advised that I use such a treatment on my car.

    Another assumption with the Good Garage Scheme is that prices are reasonable. After all, if you wanted to pay main dealer prices and get main dealer trained technicians using genuine manufacturer approved parts then you'd just go to a main dealer in the first place, right? Well, I checked the price of Oil and Pollen filter on the Good Garage Scheme member invoice with main dealer and in each case the main dealer price was cheaper by a few pounds. Secondly, the total price of the service - I checked with the main dealer what the price would be for a service for my relative's car and there is a big difference between an Interim Service and a Full Service - of course the main dealer knows which is relevant for your car by its age/mileage and would charge accordingly. The Good Garage Scheme on the other hand just gives you the same service each time - a Full one - and changes parts that do not need replacing, like the air filter in my relative's case, not to mention those treatments! The main dealers Full service price was consistent with the Good Garage Scheme member however the main dealers Interim service was considerably cheaper.

    To summarise, the Good Garage Scheme charges you for engine and fuel treatments that your car probably does not need. The suspicious would say that as the 'scheme' is run by a lubricants company that there is perhaps a vested interest in forcing these products/treatments on you without even consulting you?! Secondly, in this case, the total service price was more than that charged by a main dealer.

    Please don't think I'm affiliated with a main dealer of any kind. I can assure you I'm not. What I'm saying is that don't assume that Good Garage Scheme members charge reasonable prices and are honest, whilst main dealers charge expensive prices and change parts unnecessarily. This certainly wasn't the case here. Perhaps the ideal is to use a fully independent garage who you can trust, or who has been recommended to you. But given these unnecessary engine and fuel 'treatments' forced upon your car without consultation (and a £26 surcharge with every service) I'd certainly avoid any Good Garage Scheme members.
    Last edited by Horizon81; 13-10-2010 at 1:07 PM. Reason: MSE doesn't like the word Forte. The 'e' should be an 'e' acute, as the French call it.
Page 1
    • Strider590
    • By Strider590 13th Oct 10, 1:38 PM
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    Strider590
    • #2
    • 13th Oct 10, 1:38 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Oct 10, 1:38 PM
    In the same way the certain insurance companies own certain comparison websites, im sure that some garage chains own websites like the above.

    With the "good garage scheme" something or somebody has to pay for the idea and the running of the site, either garages pay the site to advertise their details OR they get sponsorship deals OR both.
    “I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an a** of yourself.”

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    • Horizon81
    • By Horizon81 13th Oct 10, 1:47 PM
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    Horizon81
    • #3
    • 13th Oct 10, 1:47 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Oct 10, 1:47 PM
    In the same way the certain insurance companies own certain comparison websites, im sure that some garage chains own websites like the above.

    With the "good garage scheme" something or somebody has to pay for the idea and the running of the site, either garages pay the site to advertise their details OR they get sponsorship deals OR both.
    Originally posted by Strider590
    The scheme is run by Forte - a lubricants company. Garages pay to sign up to the Good Garage Scheme, get good exposure and people thinking they're err.... 'Good'. In return they make customers buy Forte's unnecessary additives/treatments, so really it should be called the 'Very clever misleading scheme invented by Forte to flog its pointless products' but that doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

    I've done quite a bit of searching and this has been reported on many forums before. I'm surprised I wasn't aware of this already.
    • Strider590
    • By Strider590 13th Oct 10, 1:58 PM
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    Strider590
    • #4
    • 13th Oct 10, 1:58 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Oct 10, 1:58 PM
    Sorry... That sounded like I was defending it

    What im trying to say is you can't run a website with no income, nothing in life is truly free and people should be aware of and think about how these "free services" pay for themselves before they trust in them.

    The GGS site has no apparent advertising, this would set my alarm bells ringing straight away!
    Ads might be an annoyance, but they do tell you how a site supports itself
    Last edited by Strider590; 13-10-2010 at 2:01 PM.
    “I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an a** of yourself.”

    <><><><><><><><><<><><><><><><><><><><><><> Don't forget to like and subscribe \/ \/ \/
  • Hammyman
    • #5
    • 13th Oct 10, 2:54 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Oct 10, 2:54 PM

    Please don't think I'm affiliated with a main dealer of any kind. I can assure you I'm not. What I'm saying is that don't assume that Good Garage Scheme members charge reasonable prices and are honest,
    Originally posted by Horizon81
    There's been a fair bit of assumption on your part.
    You're assuming that they service in accordance with the mftrs schedule - THEY ARE NOT AND IT EVEN TELLS YOU THAT.

    At the end of the day its simple: If they've stated they use this additive etc etc then its the fault of the customer for NOT BOTHERING TO READ THE LITERATURE WHICH IS THE CAUSE OF MANY ISSUES.
    • Lum
    • By Lum 13th Oct 10, 3:17 PM
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    Lum
    • #6
    • 13th Oct 10, 3:17 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Oct 10, 3:17 PM
    To be fair, every good garage scheme member I've visited has had prominent posters in the waiting room and/or reception that blather about how good Forte's product allegedly is and clearly states that they use it on every oil change.

    When I've asked them not to bother they have always obliged without question, but really if they have a sign up saying they use it on every oil change, you can't really complain when you get them to do an oil change and they have used it.


    It could be worse, you could've gone to Kwik Fit and instead of being charged £26 for questionable oil additives that you probably don't need, you would have been charged £160 for 4 new brake discs that you definitely didn't need. Allegedly.
    • Horizon81
    • By Horizon81 14th Oct 10, 11:15 AM
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    Horizon81
    • #7
    • 14th Oct 10, 11:15 AM
    • #7
    • 14th Oct 10, 11:15 AM
    Fair point about it being customer responsibility to ask for a full breakdown of price before any work is carried out. Lesson learned. I wonder if all members of the scheme would be willing to not carry out the Forte treatments if asked, especially as that's the only reason of the scheme in the first place.

    In my eyes, the good garage scheme is all a total con. Never thought I'd say go to a main dealer instead but if they're cheaper and better equipped to deal with your particular vehicle then it makes sense!
    • mobile60
    • By mobile60 14th Oct 10, 10:57 PM
    • 1 Posts
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    mobile60
    • #8
    • 14th Oct 10, 10:57 PM
    • #8
    • 14th Oct 10, 10:57 PM
    the garage i used to work for was a member of the good garage scheme, to become a member all they had to do was agree to use the forte product for every service! the product is good and we still use it regularly for problem cars and my new workplace, but the actual scheme is just a con really,as anyone ,legitimate or cowboy, can join.
    • LeeUK
    • By LeeUK 15th Oct 10, 12:32 AM
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    LeeUK
    • #9
    • 15th Oct 10, 12:32 AM
    • #9
    • 15th Oct 10, 12:32 AM
    Also they never publish bad reviews on the GGS website, only the good ones.

    I took my car for a service at GGS garage earlier this year. Although I already knew about the GGS only being a front for selling Forte products. I used the garage based on local recommendations.
    • Strider590
    • By Strider590 15th Oct 10, 8:33 AM
    • 11,622 Posts
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    Strider590
    ^^ I think the place that did my cam-belt was one of these too.

    I used them 10 years ago and I remembered them fixing my handbrake for free when I thought the cable had snapped (they had even pre-ordered a cable in), so I went back again.
    “I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an a** of yourself.”

    <><><><><><><><><<><><><><><><><><><><><><> Don't forget to like and subscribe \/ \/ \/
    • sassy-one
    • By sassy-one 15th Oct 10, 3:35 PM
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    sassy-one
    I have always taken my car (over the passed 5 years) to a Good garage scheme and to a Bosch approved one and foudn them to not only be great but very polite, friendly and good prices.

    I think every place has some bad days and I expect you are one of few who has received a bad experiance of such.
    Life is to short to go on hating someone but there are some people who are pure evil and you are best far away as possible from.
    I've learned you should live every day as your last
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    • Horizon81
    • By Horizon81 15th Oct 10, 3:47 PM
    • 1,548 Posts
    • 895 Thanks
    Horizon81
    I have always taken my car (over the passed 5 years) to a Good garage scheme and to a Bosch approved one and foudn them to not only be great but very polite, friendly and good prices.

    I think every place has some bad days and I expect you are one of few who has received a bad experiance of such.
    Originally posted by sassy-one
    If the garage was good it was because it was good anyway. What we've learned is that the good garage scheme is a front to sell Forte products which are entirely needless.

    I wonder how many of these garages would be as willing as the one mentioned by Lum (above) and not insist on using these engine treatments if asked.
  • pelican1
    It's a big scam
    To join the good garage scheme you need to pay your £25 a month and buy the forte product which you then sell to your customers.

    You will get kicked off the scheme if you don't sell enough product!

    If you look at the feedbacks for garages they are all 90% or more that's because you can't leave bad feed back, well you can but it will not appear.

    The garages could well be good and the trustworthy ones will not be sticking in additives that your manufacturer does not recommend and in most cases would advise you do not need!

    I know this is an old thread but with the recent advertising campaign it's important that you know all is not what it seems.

    If you are using a garage that's in the GGS and they give you a good service and don't rip you off for forte products, stick with them they will be one of the good guys.
    Last edited by pelican1; 19-09-2012 at 11:47 PM.
    • TrickyWicky
    • By TrickyWicky 20th Sep 12, 1:15 AM
    • 3,862 Posts
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    TrickyWicky
    The Good Garage Scheme - sounds like an independent scheme, possibly a quango

    ..

    I decided to look closer at their website and sure enough, the Good Garage Scheme is run by Forte - a lubricants company!

    ..

    The suspicious would say that as the 'scheme' is run by a lubricants company that there is perhaps a vested interest in forcing these products/treatments on you without even consulting you?!
    Originally posted by Horizon81
    What did you really expect though? - Everyone in the UK is trying to stitch up and con someone else out of money somehow and making it look legitimate. It's having the instinct and the skills to see it coming before you're hit by it that many people seem to have lost these days. If it looks semi official and has a nice big round spikey 'SUPER DUPER OFFER' type thing on it people will flock to it and spend money.

    Advertise a genuine service at a genuine price and people don't want to know - they'll go off looking for that bargain with the super duper offer to convince themselves that it was money well spent - even if it actually costs them more for less. Because it was part of a so called offer (even if the offer was worthless) they'll still give themselves a pat on the back for finding it instead of using the genuine place with a genuine price.

    I can't help but wonder how many genuinely priced garages you overlooked while using your good garage scheme 'approved' garage

    Bottom line is that in this country, real honest customer service doesn't exist. It's a rat race, everyone wants your money and they're coming up with ever more sneaky ways of parting you from it.

    Many would say I'm a glass half empty type of person. Quite the opposite, I just see things for what they are and see how people are trying to screw me / others to suit themselves. 3 years before Woolworths collapsed I had an arguement with them about something and told their staff if they didn't change they'd go bust. I got a blank looking face back as if to say "We're woollies, we're untouchable you moron". 3 years later they went down the pan.

    Thats the UK for you.. everyone is trying to diddle someone.
  • nervous_gambler
    I foolishly used the GGS site to find a local garage for a repair (New water pump and repair of other water leaks). The repair turned out to be expensive and in the process they managed to make my heater cease to work. They were not interested in repairing that FOC although it was fine when the car went in.
    I tried to leave a review on the GGS site but found that anything other than a positive review does not get placed on their site. When I contacted them through their Facebook page, they told me they don't post 'inappropriate' reviews. My review was both fair and extremely civil. The garage had made a decent job of the main repair, but refused to take responsibility for the damaged heater, I thought it only right to relay that back to the Scheme.
    The response from GGS prompted me to look a bit deeper at the reviews on their site. I sat for over an hour looking at each review in turn for the list of garages in my area and there was not one single negative review to be found, so I am either blessed with living in an area full of perfect garages, or the review system is extremely biased in the extreme.

    My advice based on experience, is take absolutely zero notice of the reviews on the GGS site, they are utterly worthless.
    • Jonny1275
    • By Jonny1275 21st Dec 12, 5:42 PM
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    Jonny1275
    I would also advice anyone to disregard the good garage scheme…

    In may this year I had my mot done at a garage I had used before and who was a member of the good garage scheme. After going over what needed doing to the car I left the garage after being advised that the repair costs would not exceed £350. I collected the car three days later and was given a bill for £315, I drove the car away and all was ok. Shortly afterwards the exhaust stating rattling quite loudly and then scrapped when I drove over a speed bump. I returned the car to the garage and when it was lifted on the ramp myself and the garage owner noticed that the exhaust backbox that had been replaced had been help in place by a plastic cable tie?!?!? I complained about this and asked the garage to rectify the problem and left the car with them. When I collected it they advised they had secured the exhaust and then tried charging me £10 for my troubles without even producing an invoice. I left the garage without paying as the work should have been covered under the guarantee. A short while afterwards the problems began again and after having a good look at it myself I found that the exhaust mounting rubbers were all worn. I returned to the garage and they advised they were busy that day and asked if I could return the following day, when I went back the day after they refused to look at the car and after the conversation became heated their mechanic attempted to assault me! I contacted the good garage scheme and the fun began… they suspended the garage from their scheme and agreed to mediate, I advised that I had been quoted £88 to repair the exhaust properly and after a few days the ggs phoned to say that the garage had agreed to this but they wanted the old exhaust back. The cheque from the garage finally arrived 5 days after by which time I’d had to park the car up for 4 days as the exhaust was now dragging on the floor. I then went through a right carry on getting it repaired and decided that I shouldn’t be out of pocket as the garage should have performed the work correctly in the first place. I’ve started court proceeding against the garage and the ggs have jumped in and said that they are going to assist the garage by producing evidence that shows I accepted full and final settlement of the complaint. I politely pointed out to the ggs that not only had the garage not followed the code of conduct all members are supposed to adhere to, they also performed substandard repairs to the car and refused to rectify the problem when presented with it and that I verbally advised I would accept the £88 as long as no further costs were incurred. The ggs has also not published the feedback I left on the garage despite my keeping it very fair and simply advising that I would not use the garage again…
    • kirkofski
    • By kirkofski 24th Dec 12, 9:41 AM
    • 104 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    kirkofski
    I recently took my car for an MOT and it failed due to needing some welding on the sill's. The MOT station quoted me a price for the work but to be sure I was getting a good price, I got a quote from another garage(a GGS one). This turned out to be cheaper so booked it in.

    The short version is that the GGS garage chose to use filler instead of cutting out the rot and welding in new metal and the MOT station spotted it. There was a bit of arguing between the two garages resulting in the MOT station threatening to report the GGS garage to VOSA. The GGS garage then said they would re-do the repair and MOT the car for free.
    An hour later the car had a new MOT! I'm pretty sure all they did was sand down some of the filler and spray more underseal over it. They must have sanded down the filler with the car window down as the interior was covered in filler(and stunk of it) plus they had oversprayed the whole car with underseal(took me 2 hours to remove with tar remover)

    Anyway I put a review on the GGS for the garage and it never appeared(no real surprise).

    I have since sold the car and also found out that I must be about the only person locally that didnt know about the garage's reputation.

    You live and learn!
  • dispossessed
    The "Good Garage Scheme" isn't always !

    When I first discovered the scheme I contacted Forte and asked what safeguards were there to stop a garage owner from completing their own feedback cards etc. (eg. Job / Invoice numbers etc). Anything that could be independently verified if required. I received an e-mail reply that, ultimately, did not address or answer my question whatsoever.

    As the Garagre Trade where we live is to mechanical excellence what Genghis Khan was to Diplomatic Relations we decided to look further afield for our servicing needs. Ultimately we found a garage a few miles away who, as it happened, was a member of said "Good Garage" scheme.

    We took our 3 year old car there for its first MOT prior to which I had given the car a fairly thorough examination underneath, in particular, the braking system (on the basis one of the most common causes of failure).

    Pleasingly the car passed its MOT.

    However as I drove home, less than a couple of miles from the garage, the ABS light came on.

    Upon getting home I removed the front wheels for a quick look. I was horrified to discover that both ABS reluctor wheels were broken (they certainly weren't the day before !) and an absolute bucket load of copper grease spread liberally over the hubs et al (but not the rotors).

    How, why, and motivated by what I do not know but that vehicle had two intact ABS reluctors when it went in and two broken ones within a couple of miles of leaving.

    Go figure.

    I am sure that there are honest mechanics and garages out there somewhere. However, in 35 years of motoring I have still to discover one.

    One, perhaps interesting footnote : when I was a Law student, there was frequently a fairly large stash of Law textbooks in my car. Curiously, after dropping off the car at various garages, on several occasions, I received 'phone calls soon after along the lines of "my mechanic had to rush home and we cannot attend to your car" etc.

    Coincidence ?
    Last edited by dispossessed; 04-08-2014 at 4:10 PM. Reason: typo
    • LeeUK
    • By LeeUK 4th Aug 14, 4:07 PM
    • 6,063 Posts
    • 2,750 Thanks
    LeeUK
    Bosch approved garages
    Is it just my local Bosch approved garage, or are all of them out to over charge and rip you off?

    I've been to my local one twice for quotes and have been 40-50% more than what all the other local garages quoted.
    • colino
    • By colino 4th Aug 14, 4:09 PM
    • 4,935 Posts
    • 2,514 Thanks
    colino
    The same coincidence as fitter rifling through your reading materials as someone with half a clue of mechanics in this country calling discs rotors.
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