Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Review of Servicing Stop Ltd


North Londoners Toby & Oliver Richmond


* * * * *

This is a special guest Incompetence Today feature, following an experience of staggeringly bad customer service at the hands of a company called Servicing Stop.

A while ago I watched Dragons' Den on BBC2 and three of the dragons made offers to invest in a company set up by Toby and Oliver Richmond, an online car servicing business which farms out the jobs to garages nationwide, offering competitive fixed prices, compliance with manufacturer’s warranty, free pick-up and delivery, etc. The Richmond brothers accepted Deborah Meaden’s offer of £100K for 30% of the business.

I have no interest in cars and limited experience of garages, mainly confined to being charged a fortune for stuff I'm never quite sure was necessary, and avoiding them generally unless I need an MOT. I drive less than 1,000 miles a year. Anyway, it was three years since my modest four year old Ford Fiesta had been serviced, so I decided to give Servicing Stop a go. I thought that with an investor like Meaden on board, it had to be trustworthy, at least.

What follows is a very dull and long-winded story of crap customer service. So unless you’re contemplating using Servicing Stop Ltd, I recommend you skip it. But if you’ve found this blog post whilst looking for customer reviews of Servicing Stop and are contemplating using them, I urge you to read on.

* * * * *

I booked a full service, an MOT and asked for a repair to the plastic wing mirror back which had been vandalized three years ago.

DAY 1: Thursday 27 August. For a brief time, it all went swimmingly. The car was collected at 9am by a representative of Acme Garage (not their real name), with a promised delivery time of between 4-6pm that same afternoon. I was impressed - same day service! I wondered a bit about the Acme man giving me his business card. It seemed to defeat the point of Servicing Stop managing the customer relationship - if I thought Acme were brilliant, what's to stop me calling them direct next time? (Quite a lot as it turned out).

The first fly in the swimminess occurred at 5pm, when John of Acme, struggling to pronounce my really not very hard to pronounce name, called me to say my car wouldn't be back today. He assured me it would be back at noon tomorrow.

DAY 2: Noon came and went. At 3pm I called Servicing Stop, whose T&C state that all complaints and communications must be conducted via Servicing Stop Ltd. I got a helpful-sounding woman called Jo Preedy, who apologised and assured me my car would arrive between 4-5pm. At 5.05pm I rang Servicing Stop again. A less-than-helpful bloke said someone would call me back. Nobody did.

I rang again at 5.30pm and spoke to Ms Preedy. She assured me that the garage had promised the car would arrive by 6pm. And, in what later turned out to be a rare example of good customer service, offered me a discount in the form of crediting the payment for repairing the wing mirror (approx £66). All was fine until the car didn't show up at 6pm.

It finally arrived at 8pm. Nobody phoned to check I’d be home to take the keys.

DAY 3: I checked the car. No MOT certificate provided in the glove compartment as I’d been promised, and it was a Saturday and my MOT expired on Monday. Also, the wing mirror hadn’t been repaired.

DAY 6: Monday 31 August was a Bank Holiday. First thing on 1 September, I emailed Jo Preedy with my complaints. (It had got to that stage where I felt it was written complaint time). Ms Preedy didn’t call me back so I called her that afternoon. She said Acme Garage would call me to arrange the mirror repair. They did, and said they’d pick up the car tomorrow.

DAY 7: John of Acme called and said they were having trouble getting the spare part, and he’d call again when they had it.

DAY 17: My car was finally collected for the wing mirror repair on Saturday 12 September. It was returned the same day. The MOT certificate was provided this time, and a postcard from Acme with a box ticked next to ‘interim service’ – when I’d paid for a full service. The car was also leaking oil, a 30cm puddle of it.

DAY 19: I took the car on a 2 mile journey and reparked it to check whether the oil was still leaking. It was; and this time it was coming through the radiator grille.

DAY 20: I rang Jo Preedy. She said the garage would call. John agreed the leak was abnormal and said he would call me back. Two days passed.

DAY 22: Having heard nothing from John of Acme nor Jo Preedy for two days, I wrote a formal letter of complaint to MD Oliver Richmond, asking for another garage to take over the oil leak repair and check that the service work I’d paid for had actually been carried out. I also emailed a pdf of the letter to Jo Preedy. This was Thursday 17 September.

DAY 28: After four working days of silence since the letter, (and six since the oil leak was reported), I got a call from John of Acme, wanting to pick up the car. I rang Ms Preedy and said I wanted a different garage to do it. She put me on hold whilst she consulted Mr Richmond (I got the impression he was sitting next to her). She returned saying this was contrary to Servicing Stop’s T&C. I asked her to direct me to the specific term which mentioned this. She tried, quoting a term which did not contain this restriction, but in the end couldn’t find anything. She put me on hold again to consult with Mr Richmond. Mr Richmond says it’s the law, she said. OIC. I told her that Distance Selling Regulations were the law and to tell Mr Richmond that their T&C didn’t comply with them. She asked me to repeat the phrase “Distance Selling Regulations”.

It would have been nice if Mr Richmond himself had deigned to speak to me, the customer who’d written to him, instead of leaving it up to Ms Preedy to parrot his bullshit at me, but whatev. I said okay, if you refuse then so be it. And that afternoon, Acme picked up the car. The driver’s clipboard notes revealed the source of John of Acme’s pronunciation problem – Acme’s records had my name spelt very weirdly.

DAY 29: Acme called to say they would try to deliver car back that day and would call later to confirm a time. The oil leak was due to a loose cap on the oil thingy, which hadn’t been screwed back on properly. They never did call back.

DAY 30: At noon, still no car, so I rang and was told it’d be with me in five or ten minutes. It was, but no-one had called to check I’d be home.

And no follow up call from Servicing Stop to check that my complaint was now resolved. It's now five days since the car was returned.

* * * * *

I haven’t ‘outed’ the garage as they are not the corporate entity with whom I had a contract. Servicing Stop are responsible for the garages they contract.

What really amazes me is that Richmond didn’t even bother to reply to my letter. The real test of customer service is how you deal with complaints, and good customer service is so moronically simple it beggars belief that they fucked up so badly. Just one sincere letter of apology from Oliver ("Ollie") Richmond would have ensured no bad press on this blog, no bad word of mouth to my friends and potential future custom from me. I was therefore very surprised to find, in an interview with fleetdirectory.co.uk, that Richmond claims to believe “customer service is key”. Absolute proof that this man is officially a wanker.

But he surpasses himself in another interview with Exchange & Mart

"In the past, dealer garages have had widely publicised negative press; ranging from them having a total lack of customer service, to their charging exorbitant prices for repairs and servicing. Amidst all this, we are fighting off the industry's negative image, offering outstanding customer service and slashed prices".
The company's adherence to the principle that the 'Customer is Always Right' is proving successful - they've already had to expand into larger offices and employ more staff, to cope with demand.
So, outstandingly CRAP customer service, plus Servicing Stop is not especially cheap. To add insult to injury, I received a card in the post today from my local Ford dealership, Dees of Wimbledon, offering a £99 full service including parts, labour and VAT plus an MOT for £9.99. Less than half what I paid. I hadn’t bothered to check Dees' prices as the last time I took my car to Dees two years ago to get the aircon fixed, the cost was extortionate and they’d quoted around £150 to repair the wing mirror.

Now I feel ripped off as well. Great.

P.S. More bad feedback to be found in the comments to this other blog post.

And click here for all posts on this blog about Servicing Stop.

59 comments:

  1. the person who put this blog needs to actually redeem themself otherwise they are cowards
    martin skinner
    md prestige car servicing ltd

    ReplyDelete
  2. @Martin Skinner

    Is this the same Prestige Car Servicing which has a rating of 2.2 out of 5 on here http://www.reviewcentre.com/reviews136792.html - ?

    I'm not 100% sure what your comment means due to the poor grammar, but curious to know what you suggest I do to "redeem" myself. Write a letter of apology to Oliver Richmond? Offer to pay him double?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have had AWFUL service from this company, who have scared me into thinking my car was worse than it actually was.
    A £160 (Bargain service) turned out to need £500 worth of work, including the timing belt which aparently was going to snap anyday - we had it done, and when it was returned (late I might add), they hadnt even cleaned it as per the website! Now 2 weeks on, I have a fault which aparently has nothing to do with the service, but surely the clutch would of been checked on a full service?? They have quoted £350 to fix it, alot more than Mr Clutch at £188!!
    The customer service was shit - they never phone back when they say, they say they have left voicemails, (on where I dont know), and half the people never know what the other person is doing. The mechanic was rude when he spoke to me, and scared me again by sayiing if the clutch snapped then we may end up stranded - with 2 kids!!! He certainly knew which buttons to press.
    I certainly wont be using them again!! What sounds like a ideal firm who collect your car, return it etc.. has turned into a ABSOLUTE nightmare!!
    DO NOT USE!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I found this site from googling "Servicing Stop reviews". If I had read this review earlier, I would not be sending my car to Servicing Stop.

    I too had bad experience with them. I sent my Lexus for an Interim Service last week. It costs £100 less than what Lexus normally charged. While my car was with them, they called me and told me my coolant needs flush & top up (£49), the same with my brake fluid (£49), my wiper needs changing, my brake pads need to change (£95) and the same with my tire.

    I begin to suspect a con as I just changed my wipers a month ago. I told them to just change the brake pads, but I wanted the old brakes pad left in the boot of my car. They then told me the brake pad can still last a few months and I could change it later with the tires. (They rang me at my work where all phone calls are recorded, so I have an MP3 file of the phone conversation)

    Once I get the car back, I found the engine oil was 3 cm above the maximum level. Incidentally, Lexus rang me about a safety checks on my car's power steering and I sent it in two days ago. Lexus also includes a free check and which I ask them to check the engine oil level as well. Lexus confirmed the oil is overfilled and they drain the excess oil for me. Lexus gave me all ticks in the green box on their check report, ie. no problem with Coolant, brakes, tires, etc...

    A comment in another review at http://www.blogstorm.co.uk/servicing-stop-co-uk-on-dragons-den/, S Ravenscroft commented that his Jaguar's engine blew up because of his engine oil overfilled by Servicing Stop.

    I am keen to see how Servicing Stop and Deborah Meaden are going to do to regain our confidence on their services.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I just had my car serviced from here and had the worst experience ever. I found the site through google and did just a little background check, was happy when I found out about the dragons dens. I should have checked more reviews...

    A normal full service of about £200 ended up being £462 and they changed all air filter, pollen filter, fuel filter, flushed brake fluids, all which were probably not required for my 2006 Astra, which never gave me problems and always drove well.

    After the service I had the engine light come on and loss of engine power. I called Servicing Stop who have an appalling customer service. They seem nice initially but cannot pronounce your name and then never keep their promises of calling back in half an hour. When chasing up, they claim to have called and 'left a message' - do they take people as idiots by lying??

    This happened during Christmas break, so I waited patiently until the holidays were over. Now after chasing again the garage called me saying that they do not have any premises and that I may have to wait weeks and they cannot guarantee any date. How ridiculous! It is so unprofessional for a company like this to deal with matters as such - getting the garage to call me and inform me that they are no longer open. The person even offered to come to my house to have a look when I mentioned that I cannot wait weeks. I refused to arrange anything with the garage and called servicingstop customer services and spoke to a lady called Jo, who said that a managing director would call me back. This is all tactics of taking so much time and giving the least priority for existing customers.

    People need to stop using this garage - you are better off going direct to dealer and get it serviced there. Servicing stop will claim to save you money but you will end up paying more and then having your car spoilt at the same time. They are only good at taking your card details to debit the amount, after that they do not want to know you any more. Keep Away... I have decided to take my car to Vauxhall garage and get it checked there, no more cowboys and no more incompetence..shame to investors in Dragons Den

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks Michelle, Joe & Abdullah for your comments.

    What is particularly striking is how all of you were told that you needed extras such as brake fluid flush, wiper change etc. I was told exactly the same.

    I am going to contact Deborah Meaden and see what she has to say.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Further to my comment above, just as I was about to take it to a different garage, I got a call back from servicingstop. They organised another garage for my car and I took it there to be checked. The garage did their checks and found out that one of the cylinder was misfiring and then finding out that my ignition coil was damaged and needed to be changed. Servicingstop then paid for the labour and also for new spark plugs (as one of them was damaged) and I had to pay for the new ignition coil only. Their customer services rang me again to inform that they will waive the labour charges and the cost for the plugs and I have to say that I have no grudge against them now. This is how customer services should be. I hope that they treat everyone this way and also choose their garages carefully. Please note that to be honest - I am not sure yet whether there was nothing done wrong by the initial garage or not - I was initially upset, but later happy how it went and hope the car gives no further problems. Good luck everyone..

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh my God!Am I glad I just googled this absolute shower.Heres my story....due to getting married next year and the missuses 56 plate Renault Clio needing a full service thought I would try and save a few quid rather than pay main dealer prices. Low and behold I found SERVICING STOP!!

    I rang them yesterday to arrange what I thought would be a very affordable service, fortunately as they don't work weekends, i was supposed to be ringing them back today with my fiancees work address so they could collect the car. Guess what? won't be ringing them now. I myself am in business (run a Gunshop) and am sick of businesses in this godforsaken country taking people for a ride!! I have always been both fair and honest to all of my customers and that's why they come back, I wonder what percentage of servicing stoppers are regulars??

    To summarise, I will be taking the car to a local garage and paying a little extra for a quality service rather than let these fuckwits near anything I or anybody else I know owns!!

    Also top marks and hats off to the author of this website, thanks for exposing this bunch of useless tossers and long may your little Fiesta be oil leak free!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. @Topshop - Glad to have saved you a potentially dreadful and costly service like the one I experienced. That was my aim in making this post. It's getting a lot of hits so I think it's working. Congrats on your forthcoming nuptials!

    @Abdullah - To clarify, your car developed faults immediately after the service (a not unfamiliar story), and Servicing Stop were good enough to fix them free of charge? Do we know what caused the faults in the first place - was it just a coincidence they happened just after the service? Are you also happy about all the extras you were charged for?

    ReplyDelete
  10. @Trufax

    Yes, the fault has been caused after the full service so it is probably not a coincidence. I am unhappy for the extras I paid, and could have done without all the headache. Would have been much better if dealt properly in the first place...

    ReplyDelete
  11. My thanks to @Trufax and everyone else who has posted their experiences with Servicing Stop. Like many others I was enticed by their advertised 'cheap service costs', hassle free service, and exposure with a Dragon. Fortunately for me I came across this blog before I engaged their services. I'll be going to the main dealer now.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I too had my car serviced with servicing stop. A routine service should of been £195, then got a phone call with an estimate of over a grand. From this point my car had been taken from the work place in Stockton to Birtley some 29 miles each way. I was then charged fuel. I finish work at 4.30pm and my car was not returned until after 6pm and damaged. The customer service is shit.. I rang to complain and got nowhere. Also a comment was made saying I should not drive my 54 Meganne yet they had the CHEEK to drop it off at my workplace and expect me to drive home some 20 miles away. When challendged about the damage to the alloy which is severe they said to me "its proving it".... oh my god !!!. I spent most of my working day chasing them and complaining about this. IF ANYONE HAS ANY SENSE, DON'T USE THEM, THEY ARE CRAP WITH A CAPITAL C. I would use stronger language but best not... as the facts are bad enough on their own !!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. @Ian, thanks for your comment, an all too familiar story, unfortunately. Spread the word.

    @Farid, you've had a lucky escape :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. hi, on behalf of Deborah Meaden, I can confirm she has nothing to do with this firm, the investment did NOT actually occur

    ReplyDelete
  15. @Cass, Thank you for confirming this. Are you aware that Servicing Stop are still using Dragon's Den's name on their website? There is no mention that Ms Meaden didn't actually go through with the investment.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Another "wiper, fluid, brake pad" guy here!

    What started out as a £199 service very quickly turned out to be in excess of a grand! When I mentioned the car was MOT'd 6 months ago the best answer the guy at the garage came up with was "Not all MOT places do such a great job."!

    I am actually more disapointed than anything else because I wanted to support "the little guy" but from now onwards I will just take my car to the dealer. I really thought Servicing Stop would have a stringent vetting process in order to preserve their name but it just seems like any idiot can pay them and that is it.

    My fault for not googling this sooner... they have a cool business idea but that's about it.

    Here are some prices that I was quoted, not sure if they are cheap or not but it should give some idea. This was for work on a 2002 Golf TDi...

    Change cambelt - £380
    Brake pads and actual disc on one side - £390
    Something about the steering rack - £300
    Brake pads only - £114
    Fluids (brake/coolant) - £52 a pop

    I ended up going with just brake pads, full service and fluids which cost £425.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Ive been in the motor industry for over 25 years and being a member of the Institute of the Motor Industry i make sure i stay informed of the latest happenings in the motor Trade.

    I decided to find out more about joining servicingstop as a work provider - however following several conversations, emails and reading their service contract i decided not to join - i sent some what i thought were useful comments back to the Director Toby Richmond - his return comments to me were not what you would expect from any motor trade professional -
    These guys don't know one end of the car from the other - they will take your money and run - keep well away!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Phew!!!! Was thinking of using Servicing Stop until reading the above.

    Thanks to all

    ReplyDelete
  19. It is a shame that some of these “ServicingStop” people don't seem to care about their customers isn’t it?

    I must say a big thank you to those that have contributed to this blog as I will now use a Honda Main Dealer in Ascot. They have given brilliant service in the past 5 years but they are not cheap, hence the temptation to use ServicingStop this time. Cloverleaf Honda it is then!

    I would just ask a small favour, even though we may be angry, can we refrain from using garage mechanic profanity please?

    Thanks again.

    BigTP

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi, amazing read up, I was just reviewing this company as I myself own a autocare business and out of the blue one of my centers have just received a welcome pack even though I told them 6 months ago that I'm not interested in their set up and don't want to be related with them!

    My only advise is ask your friends who they use, or neighbours.

    we small independents can sometimes offer a far better service than our main dealer counterparts, as well as offering a more honest service.

    I have built up a very successful business over the last 4 1/2 years in my local town by using one policy. "we don't rip people off" and amazingly they come back, as do their friends and family.

    good luck in the future to all, and remember don't accept that so much needs doing on your car without getting a second opinion, nothing needs doing straight away and if their being honest they will be happy for you to have a second opinion anyway.

    cheers

    ReplyDelete
  21. They are absolutely awful

    They charge more than Merecedes for parts

    They are rude

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thanks was considering using Servicing Stop - now they will never been touched. Am sorry to hear so many people had bad experiences - why are there so many cowboys (and girls) trying to make a fast buck - where did it all go wrong ;-) thanks again

    ReplyDelete
  23. I used them for my last service and MOT. They called to tell me that I needed to change my front tyres since they are near legal limit. I agreed. After I got my car back, I discovered that it started shaking at high speed. They did not do a realignment and tracking after changing and rotating the tyres! I had to spend another £40 at kwik fit to get it done.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oh dear, I read your site before letting my new golf go for its first intermediate service, but i bought into the dragons den thing so totally.
    Car returned with smashed wing mirror, didn't reset the onboard computer, so it is still telling me it needs a service, haven't heard a peep from Servicing Stop, they have a great automated testimonial ratings email they send you after the invoice, i guess you can imagine the rating I gave them! I anyone has a shortcut to getting some action I would be most grateful to hear it, such a shame, a great idea so poorly executed by a bunch of shysters, don't be like me avoid them at all cost.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I booked a service with these guys - connected me with an excellent garage and the service went well. But....as reported above some of the extras they suggested were quoted at exorbitant rates including a brake fluid replacement one year too early. It seems they add a huge margin on to the extras to make their money. Also very odd behaviour as far as e-mail is concerned - promised e-mail confirmation of service arrangements three times - no e-mail. Is this incompetence or are they hiding something?

    ReplyDelete
  26. Just booked my service with Serrvice stop...

    Then thought... hand on a tick and did a bit of googling.

    I have now cancelled my service with Service Stop - it's funny that they have no bad reviews on their 'unbiased' customer comments section... back to the main dealer for me costs are 40% more but at least I'll know that they'll do a good job... and give me a loan car.

    When asked as to why I cancelled I told them that I read some poor reviews about their 'extras', bad workmanship and poor customer service... I've used other on-line type services before with no issues - 'Black Circles' for tyres, for instance, were excellent all round - so don't be entirely put off, just do your research.

    Thanks anyway for the heads up on the cowboys!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Deborah didn't invest in the comany. The deal didn't go through aft er the end of the show, and it seems like a good thing for her in the long run.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Most garages are out of their depth unless you happen to have a side-valve Pop. Take the case of a friends son with a VW 1.9TDi van (105 BHP model). It kept losing power intermittently and the check engine light was coming on. Unfortunately he went to the Main Dealers. First the injectors were replaced to no avail. Next the fault was declared to be a worn-down camshaft! This was also replaced to no avail. After this it was declared to be the cylinder head, replaced to no avail. £1500 for SFA! On the way home the van misbehaved again but being a Friday night the garage had shut for the weekend. "Ah well we did say it might be the turbo" was the answer when the client returned the following week. Garage then replaced the turbo and charged another £1500. NO PARTS (that had nothing wrong with them) RETURNED. By the time I heard the sorry saga it was too late but according to information that I have discovered there is a common problem with these engines. What happens is ageing and cracking of the wires that drive the electronic injectors. It will be interesting to see if this is the real problem. If so how does he stand legally? For a start there is the missing parts (sold on eBay?) second is gross incompetence as surely a main dealer should know about stock-faults. Could be £3K for a few bad electrical connections - and its still not fixed! No need for OBD and Canbus scanners, just tune in to the grapevine. Its the pits. Thankfully I can solve most things myself after a career in Technical Support but most garages are way out of their depth and they just blunder along at the customers expense. By the way the garage would not release the vehicle until the bills were paid. Nice main dealer is now trying to wangle out of the problem by saying "the mechanic who did your work doesn't work for us any more". Sounds like a capitalist plot to blame the workers. Jeez you'd get better mechanics in a third world country wouldn't you? The term "Kaput Durch Teknik" seems appropriate. Oh almost forgot, the man had to buy another vehicle whist the garage was bumbling about.

    ReplyDelete
  29. omg i have an appt on thursday - which i will now be cancelling

    ReplyDelete
  30. Amazing !! I was quoted £148 for just a first oil/filer service for a new Vauxhall Vivaro . A polite gentleman called me at around 3.30 today and told me the front brake pads and rear brake pads are 95% worn and would cost an extra £300 plus vat . I asked for the van to be re-booked for that additional work . I got a call at 5pm for payment and they asked me for £581 plus vat as they have replaced te brake pads as well !!!

    ReplyDelete
  31. ANOTHER EXPERIENCE THAT WON'T "REDEEM" SERVICESTOP...
    My regularly-serviced Toyota Rav4 was taken to a Putney garage by ServicingStop. It's a 1996 model but with only 33K miles and it was SORN for 2 year after doing only 300 miles since its last no problem MOT. I was therefore somewhat surprised to receive a "bad news" call telling me that the car had failed due to a worn tyre, headlight adjustment, hand brake adjustment and... a "leaking brake servo". The latter was quoted at over £800 with labour and there was a long list of "additional work advised" including timing belt, water pump, spark plugs, all oil & fluid changes adding up to a total of over £1900 EXCLUDING the £250 charged for a full service and MOT!!

    I asked for the car to be returned and took it to a reputable local garage who did the MOT, serviced the brakes, changed the type, adjusted the headlamps, topped up or changed fluids/oils depending on condition for £525 all inclusive. Before I had the work done, I did the brake servo test and asked them to also check beforehand and there was absolutely nothing wrong with it.

    I don't know if it's incompetence or dishonesty but it was a complete waste of time and money. I am now in contact with ServicingStop customer care who are explaining that MOT tests can be "interpreted differently depending on the garage" and "given the age and mileage of the car, manufacturer servicing recommendations, etc" but even there the timing belt/water pump replacement (quoted at over £300+VAT) is given for 60k miles minimum. A previous ServicingStop representative had assured that an error of that magnitude (i.e. failing MOT on a major part that was ok) "would be dealt with very seriously" but they are not falling over each other to get back to me so far... we shall see...

    ReplyDelete
  32. I've been meaning to service my BMW 320D, for the past few weeks, but haven't had the time. I googled "BMW servicing" and servicing stop was the first site to come up. I looked through the website and it all seemed pretty impressive, so I booked a servicing for monday...luckily I came across your blog just in time. Obviously I'm going to cancel the booking and go straight to BMW...its better to pay more rather than going through the headache of these cowboys. Thank you so much, you've saved me from becoming another victim :)

    ReplyDelete
  33. Today I had my car collected after booking into servicingstop for a service and an MOT. Prior to it being collected I warmed the car up , (it was covered in ice and snow), scraped down all the windows, and checked the basics, Lights , indicators brakes, front and back. I have just received a call telling me my car failed MOT indicators and lights. (I was immediately suspicious as they were working perfectly this morning and almost every time I drive I do a basic check, anal I know but it comes from Riding a motorcycle in London traffic.) I was then read out a list of items and options, replace spark-plugs £110 for parts and labour... I confirmed this was just to replace the plugs and the cost of standard plugs..... The list went on , I have cancelled any further work and have demanded to get my car back..... NEVER AGAIN...

    ReplyDelete
  34. I would sincerely like to thank you all for your valuable and informative uncovering of this inferior company called Servicing Stop. I was considering to use them for my two new Honda cars and my gut feeling made me google their name. Am I glad I did!! I read all your personal experiences with them and would not touch them now with an 8-foot pole! The precious time you spent commenting on their terrible service will help the rest of us not get scammed by them and also put an end to their dodgy business...

    Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Customer service stil crap. They confirmed a booking for today by email then canceleld it at the 11th hour. By email not by 'phone!
    When I called them they said it could be done on 7th April. I asked which garage would be doing it as I doubted their ability to arrange it. Tanya (sic) could not tell me as "I need to speak to the garage" . She said she would call me back. Guess what Tanya did next??? Whatever it was she did not call me back nor didi she do so the following morning. So STUFF them.
    Disgruntled Jock

    ReplyDelete
  36. To all who have written, almost a year has past since the last comment, but i am sure they have not changed their ways, due to all the above i will not be using Servicing stop now or ever!
    I too found this site by googling servicing stop review. I'll go to the main dealers and pay slightly more for a better service all round. after all, you get what you pay for and from what has been said it has never been more true!

    ReplyDelete
  37. 1) By mistake I saw servicingstop ad on Google.
    2) I rang and asked for a simple change of oil and filter for my son's Smart.
    3) When they said they will report any other faults, I said I only want change of oil and filter.
    4) They sent our Smart to Westlake Garages, the most unreliable garage there is.
    5) Upon return the car was leaking oil badly.
    6) They forced Westlake to take it back to stop the leak, when they drove the car for fun and brought it back still leaking (they claimed the car was on test the whole weekend, when it was obvious from the mileage that it was misused).
    7) They charged me £211.19 for Oil filler cap before they could bring our car back. I had no choice but to pay and get our car back.
    8) Then they asked Remo Auto Centre to fix the leak. What they did to our Smart brought the engine alarm light on.
    9) Remo came again and temporarily made the light go away.
    10) Again on the first trip out the light came on again. Therefore it was obvious Remo was responsible for any damage to our Smart.
    My son has lost the usage of his car, he is out of pocket by about £350 for a simple change of oil and I have lost so much time in following up the case.
    I am sorry that I did not see the reviews about their company, otherwise I would not have dared to go near them. Therefore I have no alternative but to ask for the price of our Smart from the CEO of Servicingstop (Oliver and Toby Richmond) and if I get no satisfaction I will take our case to Which magazine and take them to Court to claim for a new Smart. In the meantime I have asked for the refund of £211.19 that they have taken from my son.
    I am sure they are going to ask for more to fix something else, before they bring our son's car back.
    Can anyone advise me what else I can do. Has anyone got the email address of the CEO.
    This was the truth and I was neither rude or sarcastic.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Feb 2010....L200 Warrior Serviced....badly.
    Mar 2010.. Truck returned to Garage as the turbo pipe disconnected as clip had not been tightened. Along with fan belt slipping. [AA advised after breakdown to return to garage]
    Jul 2011... breakdown taken to main dealer .. when garaged changed timing belt they did not tighten bolt and has now sheered in camshaft.
    Servicing Stop says warranty only for a year so will not consider the £1391.93 repair bill to have bolt drilled out. This is bad workmanship not parts warranty. Garage that did the work has now been taken over Dec 2010. [New Owners advised that they run garage into the ground.
    Servicing Stop should be accountable as they chose this garage. What checks do they run?
    Also how many other cars are out there serviced by this garage that could be potentially lethal.
    They do not want to know... and will not even discuss with me. Have reported to Trading Standards.
    Customer Service is the Key......bollocks...

    ReplyDelete
  39. Another trader who thought about signing up to be a servicingstop provider.

    What they are willing to pay to service providers for servicing is an absolute joke. It works by the garage submitting the bill to servicing stop who then charge the customer a bit more for the job. In order for servicing stops prices to be low - as they claim they are - they have to push the prices down with the service providers.

    It's a similar model to what a supermarket follows except supermarkets actually have a purpose. The formula is buy goods at the lowest possible price, pay your staff as little as possible, charge maximum price to the customer.

    They have an arbitrary price limit for fully synthetic oil which they say is the maximum we can charge. I think they say £30.00 - the oil actually cost around £35.00 and more if you buy it from somewhere like Halfords - £45.00 - so what is a trader supposed to do? Pay for the oil and accept a loss when selling it or put something else in instead. Neither is acceptable.

    I'll tell you something else as well. We're basically as good as told to up-sell and encourage people to buy extra fluid changes. So not surprising many comments above mention this.

    They also want the car washed and cleaned and don't pay for that. The only way you could do this cost effectively is to have car cleaning facilities on your own site because you sure as hell can't make earn any money if you have to give it all to someone else to wash the car afterwards.

    From the point of view of a potential service provider I can only see this being bad news. All they want to do is skim off the top of our trade and are only going to do what’s necessary to make that happen.

    All the things I thought they’d get wrong they have got wrong. The only incentive I would get for being a service provider is that I wouldn’t have to pay for advertising as they would get the jobs for me. But having to give them a massive cut means we can’t afford to be a provider of theirs so they can go stick it. What’s the point if we don’t earn anything from it. The customers don’t benefit either by the sounds of things. Just a bunch of sharks skimming the cream off the top.

    ReplyDelete
  40. The best thing to do with servicing stop if you are not satisfied, and like me feel you were ripped off... dispute the payment with your card issuer, and also start action through the small claims court. Servicing Stop billed me over £900, and after nearly a year of fighting servicing stop and their elusive if not fictional Julie Black, i was refunded.

    One main piece of advise is to check the date and time of your MOT certificate when your car is returned, and make sure it was issued, not before when they phone you to tell you your car has failed.

    The fact that this company has gotten away with so many conning tactics is outrageous, and still the reference to their dragons den appearance is somewhat tiring. I wish i had never seen them on dragons den, as i would never of bothered dealing with these scum bags!

    ReplyDelete
  41. I don't watch Dragon's Den and had never heard of this company but found them at the top of the Google hit parade when I was trying to find a new garage to service my Skoda (my old garage has closed recently). It was the delivery & collection service that enticed me to Servicingstop.

    Fortunately I decided to check them out before booking with them - and I found this blog.

    What can I say except thanks a million - now I wouldn't touch them with a bargepole!

    ReplyDelete
  42. After googling I found out this company servicing stop, they gaurantee cost lower than main dealer, but do not provide same satandard of work and dont complete full work as per service norms. I am not sure that there garages are work on dealer service standards as I recieved my car from then I started having electronic fault and my rear tyres need replacing they came back with a report stating 4-5mm thread. Never use servicing stop

    ReplyDelete
  43. ServicingStop is a very big con. I would say avoid them like a plague. My initial full service and mot for £185 ended up being £800. The car was driven to a garage 32 miles away from my place, so i ended up with a lot less fuel in my tank which can be added to the total mentioned above. Intially i was told i would receive the car next day but I insisted that since they collected my car from my workplace i needed it back the same day so i could get back to my loving family the same day. I thought these guys were joking. The car was delivered at 7 pm instead of the promised 5 pm deadline. They did not vacuum the car from inside as promised. What really blew my top was when the guy from the garage who delivered the car said that he would have charged me a lot less if i had gone directly to him instead of through servicingstop. Im warning you again. Avoid it. Stick to your local garages. Only go to them if you are very loaded and dont mind being conned of your hard earned money.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Never trust those clowns at Servicing Stop
    Front page of website- http://www.servicingstop.co.uk/
    "A car service at Servicing Stop validates your warranty and saves you up to 60% off main dealer prices".
    And
    "Our approved garages make sure that your manufacturers' warranty is protected at all times"

    In fact the car service Servicing Stop offer does not include the manufacturers requirement to change brake fluid and therefore clearly invalidates the warranty.

    ReplyDelete
  45. "Avoid at all costs."

    I had my clutch replaced and attended the 3 clutch inspections (even though it is hydraulic clutch.

    On the 3rd inspection I told them the bite point was high - they told me that it was my fault etc.

    I had a main dealer inspect & replace the clutch & then took Mr Clutch to the small claims court. Before the court date Mr Clutch paid out "to avoid the hassle of having to attend court"

    I am happy to advise anyone to avoid Mr Clutch and would suggest using Google (I wish I did before using them).

    Hope this helps someone else.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Thank God for finding this. Too many conmen around.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I have just cancelled my attempt at booking a service with servicingstop. Thank you for saving me from them.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Phew!!! That was close. Had booked them to service my Jaguar tomorrow. Then I found this site. Service promptly cancelled. Close call I think.
    Thanks to all who contribute to this.

    ReplyDelete
  49. had it not been for this blog, i would had wasted my money...thanks to this blog, i wont be using this company, rather pay a bit extra and go to dealers directly...will rather have a stamp and qualified serviced done to my car from dealers and when the time comes to sell my car, assure the next buyer its been serviced to exclent speciication and had no cowboys round the car what so ever

    ReplyDelete
  50. I am going to Barnet trading standards and advise everyone to do the same to put a stop to these cowboys
    trading.standards@barnet.gov.uk my experience takes me too long to write, but trust me it was bad, also you can write about it on ripoffreport.com this site ranks high and so anything you write will be googled easily

    ReplyDelete
  51. My car's not long had a full service, at a garage I've used for over 20 years - touch expensive but I trust them implicitly. They do charge around £55 for MOTs though, about £10 more than a Ford dealer at the moment, & as the car should pass, I've been looking for an MOT closer to home & cheaper.
    I was about to book an MOT with servicingstop but, as it was there, I listened to the clip from Dragon's Den. Not sure whether it's my broadband speed but the audio was out of synch with the video & I started thinking "this could be dubbed, they could actually be saying anything". So I googled them. And found this !
    Thank you people, for sharing your experiences with these shysters & so avoiding one myself.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Avoid this Company like the plague.
    I recently had my car serviced by this Company and apart from overcharging me for work that wasn’t carried out their customer service leaves a lot to be desired –i.e. non-existent.
    My car was booked in for a full service with their local garage in Bo’ness, Scotland, the car was picked up as stated between 08:00 and 10:00 by the garage representative. However, one hour later the garage contacted me and said they are running late and would not be able to pick my car up for about another hour. When I explained that they had picked up the car approximately one hour before the telephone was put down without further explanation – Black mark for :-
    Servicing Stop Garage
    Bomains Industrial Estate
    Linlithgow Road
    Boness
    EH51 0QG
    Later that same afternoon I received a telephone call from Servicing Stop advising that the car was ready and would be released back to me on payment of the servicing cost and additional work carried out. They advised that the additional work carried out was due to the fact that the Brake Fluid had been drained, the system flushed out and refilled with fresh Brake Fluid. This amounted to an additional cost of £55.00 over and above the servicing cost.
    Servicing Stop duly sent me a link to their secure payment system where I settled the bill in full. The payment receipt stated that I would receive a copy of the invoice within two / three days after the car was returned to me.
    My car was duly returned to me at the specified time by the garage representative, however, when I spoke to the garage representative about the additional work he stated that the Brake Fluid had not been drained out and system flushed. I can only assume that Serving Stop have altered the Service Report, which I have not yet received, to get more money out of me. Obviously, the total amount had to be paid before the car would be released back to me.
    After a few days I contacted Servicing Stop via email and telephone requesting a copy of the Invoice and Service Report to no avail, hence the non-existent after sales customer support. They even had the cheek to send an evaluation request to rate my experience with them by email.
    This is definitely one Company that I will not be dealing with again, as I said in my opening paragraph:-
    Avoid this Company like the plague. (big letters).

    ReplyDelete
  53. Not good at all.
    I found Servicing Sto on internet and I wish I had done better research.

    1) Fiday 27 Sep October
    I booked soimething that they call "Full Service" ten days in advance.
    I gave then all van's details and sked for quote.
    I was told that "Full Service" will cost 200. Over phone it was confirmed that it is price to pay
    and if any extra jobs need to be done I will be informed beforehand.

    2) Thursday 03 October.
    I left my van in their Putney Garage ( I volunteered to do so) at 10 am.
    Gentleman from garage promised to call me in lunch time.

    As nobody called untill 4 pm so I decided to call Servicing Stop myself .
    Chap who answered said he had had mechanic's report and he sterded to read it.
    And this is where all fun begins.

    Report:
    1) Front brake pads worn below legal limit. (OK fair enough), 148 GBP
    2) Far side CV gator broke (not surprised as I knew about it), 80 GBP
    3) Engine oil needs to be replaced 48 or so (???!!???)

    Wait a second. I booked " full service" asked for price and was quoted 200 GBP right?
    And after whole day of waiting you are saying me that replacing oil is an extra job?

    Guy I was talking to told me that although replacing oil filter is included oil itself is not.
    my subsequent question was.
    "Does it mean that as part of "Full Service" you replace oil filter but not oil itself ?"
    The answer was "Yes"
    When I asked him how technically it is even possible to do that without draining and re-using dirty oil he put me on hold and after a while agreed that oil will be included in price.

    The finalle of this experience was :
    1) I cant be sure weather they changed oil at all as there is no way to check it and my question "what kind o oil have you used remains unanswered".
    2) Cooling liquid is overfilled
    3) They forgot to put back engine cover and made me to return twice to replace it even though job takes 3 minute or so.
    4) They smashed side mirror that 2 weeks later is still not replaced.
    5) Drivers seat is stained with oil as they don't bother to cover it when getting into car in their obviously dirty suits.

    Once I paid my fee any contact stopped. I still don't know what kind of oil is in my engine and weather it was changed at all. I believe it was as it was overfilled too and I had to drain it.

    Garage job was done in:

    26 - 29 Winthorpe Road
    Putney
    London
    SW15 2LW

    AVOID AT ALL COST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Yikes! I was looking at ServicingStop for an MOT and service, but no way am I sending my beloved Honda there now! Thanks everyone for saving me a load of hassle (and dosh!!)

    Lucy :)

    ReplyDelete
  55. Avoid!!
    I had a "full service" in October 2013. The garage failed to seal back my fuel filter and I was continually filling my car with diesel until I brought it to the Audi garage to check. The undercarriage of my vehicle was 30cm in diesel with my engine flooded. Servicing stop were order to rectify this poor service under the goods and servicing act. They fixed the fault and I requested they cleaned all diesel and check for any further damage if any. They cleaned my engine with brake and clutch cleaner and water. This is the wrong product and the water caused electrical faults. I brought my vehicle to Audi who detected that the vbelt and cambelt needed replacing due to fuel leak. Servicing Stop offered no customer service intact are very argumentative on the telephone and in written format. This matter is going to small claims court as servicing stop offered £40 as a good will gesture. Avoid!!

    ReplyDelete
  56. I used them before i read this blog,got the call saying advisory notes were special oil needed (full syn),fuel additive,ie redex £35 and pollen filter £35.I don't like fuel additives and if i did it costs £5,filter £7 so it is extortion,they wanted to charge me £30 labour for pouring redex into the petrol tank.The car was picked up and returned on time but i think the garage is dodgy,i hope the car keeps running fine as it was before i used them.

    ReplyDelete
  57. I got screwed today by servicing stop. Thay quote a price then when they have the car bump up the price, You are forced to pay to get your car back. I just wish I new a way to stop other people falling into the trap advertisement lies, promises lies

    ReplyDelete
  58. March 2014 - they wanted to do unnecessary work and charge for unnecessary parts - but prepared to weld on the MOT Failure - of course they went ahead on the service without checking! cost £99 for an MOT fail basically, so I took my car to a recommended garage who said the welding was really two new sills and not worth doing ! No use complaining take your money and run.I complained for a week to a cheeky Chinese chappy as slippery as a bag of rattle snakes to no avail! but if even a few people post their bad experiences you will soon run out of victims. Also Trust Pilot don't seem to want to post my honest scathing review, they are in cahoots.
    Servicing stop have nothing to do with Dragons Den but imply an endorsement by keeping their video on their marketing.- find a local garage that comes recommended, more likely to value your custom and do a decent job at a fair price!
    Don't use STEER CLEAR -
    RATING minus ten out of ten *servicing stop is servicing Plop and stinks to high heaven*

    ReplyDelete
  59. Thanks for the warning, just cancelled. But on the upside, my local Jaguar deal knocked off £100 off the standard full service price. Use Servicing Stop to get a better deal out of your main dealer :)

    ReplyDelete

Be as rude and sarcastic as you like