Ladies Vehicle safety & maintenance night

M1 Safety Certificates Ladies Night February 2014

As everyone does at the end of a year we take the time to look back over the year gone past, see what we have learnt and where improvements need to be made.

As the General Manager here at M1 Safety Certificates I took this time to reflect on how 2013 was for the automotive industry and what changes we as a company would like to make 2014 the best year yet.

One thing that we always focus on is giving back. Whether through charitable donations, helping local initiatives or donating services, we felt that 2014 was the year that we make sure we are contributing to our community more frequently.

After searching through many different worthwhile organisations that are related to road safety we found ourselves reflecting over where the issues lie in our field.

One thing that has been apparent in the media for many years is the exploitation of women when they take their vehicles to a workshop for servicing and repairs. You see it on the news programs as they name and shame the workshops that have blatantly ripped off their female customers.

Before coming into this industry I didn’t realise how frequently this happens. When I began talking to our female customers and asking them questions there were some of their experiences have not only been costly but degrading to their self esteem.

One example of such an experience is *Amanda who is in her early 20’s.

Amanda brought her sedan with a valid Safety Certificate. When she took the vehicle into a workshop to have it serviced she was shocked to find out the list of repairs was not only long but also expensive. There was over $3000 worth of work that needed to be completed according to the quote provided.

Amanda didn’t understand how a vehicle could pass a Safety Certificate Inspection with all of these things wrong with it and called the company who did the Safety Certificate.

When I received the call from Amanda she was understandably distressed and felt unsafe even driving the vehicle. Immediately a time was booked to conduct another inspection on the vehicle. While the vehicle was being looked over Amanda showed me the quote from the other workshop.

The mechanic in our workshop went over the vehicle in detail and the only thing that needed to be fixed on the car was a slight oil weep. A vehicle can pass a Safety Certificate if it has an oil weep or leak as long as it is not dripping onto the road surface or exhaust. Her weep was doing neither of these.

From the list he told her that not only was the vehicle completely safe but the weep could wait until her next service if she wanted to.

He took the time to show her under the vehicle where each of the items listed were and how they should look if they needed to be replaced. He was that confident with the vehicle that he said he would have no hesitation of putting his wife and children in it.

As you can imagine not only was Amanda relieved but also felt confident to drive her vehicle on the road.

The items on the list were overpriced and a majority of the quoted work did not need to be done.

It does go to show that it is so important that if you don’t have the confidence and relationship with your mechanic or something doesn’t add up right then always seek a second opinion.

From these experiences being shared and this is only one of many I have heard about from customers that we felt as a company that this was an area we wanted to give back to community.

Naming and shaming workshops in the past hasn’t prevented other workshops from taking advantage of women. Besides there is so much red tape in relation to defamation laws and we felt that it comes across as a negative approach to a negative issue.

Realising that another angle to tackle the issue from would be seeing why women are being taken advantage of. It comes down to confidence and education. Most adults in our society drive a car but the percentage of people who have a clear understanding of what is required to maintain their vehicle is alarming.

The idea of having an information night for ladies only stemmed from discussions of making sure that the ladies were comfortable in an environment to ask questions.

Throughout the Ladies Night presentation the guests were asking many questions and at the end of the night it was so pleasing to hear comments such as “There was one thing that I learnt tonight that I didn’t know…”

With the support of Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, Chris and Michelle who also made a presentation to the guests the night was a huge success.

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