Car dealers’ services under CPD scrutiny

January 29, 2014 - 5:03:46 am

DOHA: Tired of hearing complaints about car dealers not providing prompt after-sales service or carrying out repairs in time, the state consumer rights watchdog has set up an office in a service centre of a prominent automobile dealership to get a feel of the problems customers face.

The Consumer Protection Department (CPD) of the Ministry of Economy and Commerce has said it plans to open similar offices at the service centres of more car dealers.

The office of the CPD at Al Mannai’s service centre in the Industrial Area is manned by its inspectors. 

“We are going to set up such offices at the services centres of other automobile dealers as well in future,” the CPD said in a statement yesterday.

Al Mannai are dealers in several top brands of automobiles, among them Hummer, Cadillac, GMC and Subaru.

“The aim of setting up a base at Al Mannai’s service centre in the Industrial Area is to see how they are complying with the provisions of the consumer rights law of 2008,” said the CPD statement.

CPD inspectors would know in detail the quality of services the centre provides to customers and how prompt the services are.

The inspectors would get an idea of what happens on the ground, what kinds of problems customers face and the complaints they make.

“Also, our inspectors would have an idea as to how much time the centre takes to procure the needed spare parts to repair a car, and whether undue delays happen.”

The initiative (to set up a base in Al Mannai’s service centre) is part of CPD’s car servicing and repair monitoring mechanisms.

This would give the CPD inspectors an idea about how the service centres of other automobile dealers are catering to the needs of their customers, said the CPD statement.

The CPD monitors after-sales services provided by car dealers, both within the warranty period as well as after its expiry.

Local distributors of new cars are also accused of keeping prices of their vehicles very high as compared to those in some neighbouring countries. Unruffled, they have demanded that the government give them back their exclusive import rights.