A mechanic’s workshop with a host of negative online reviews about its pricing is defending itself over claims it's misleading customers.
On The Go Eastgate in Christchurch is accused of overcharging on warrant of fitness checks performed on Sundays.
Customer Lisa Milligan-Raye was caught out when she took her car to On The Go, and left it for an hour to have its warrant done.
When she returned, and went to pay the advertised $45 price, she was told it was actually $55 because it was the weekend.
"It got quite heated, and to the point where it was quite apparent he wasn’t going to give me back my car keys until I paid the $55, so in the end I ended up paying it so we could go.”
The company’s owner, Danny, claims it costs more to be open on weekends, hence the surcharge.
"We don’t have to advertise that," he said.
"I’m not that poor. If I want 10 dollars … I’m not that kind of person … I do donations of thousands of dollars so ten dollars – you’re talking rubbish," he said.
He also says he has a sign behind the counter that notifies customers of the $10 surcharge – but Lisa says she never saw a sign.
"He said 'you should have asked the price' and I said why would I ask the price if the price is over there on the board?"
An undercover actor sent in by Fair Go to have a warrant done was also charged $55, despite the pricing board stipulating the cost was $45.
The actor was asked to pay beforehand, but was not shown the weekend surcharge policy in writing.
Instead, he was told it was "something the boss does" on weekends and that the charge has been applied for the last six months.
Even though Danny claims he’s clear about his pricing, the law is even clearer – customers have to be made aware of any extra charges.
"If both the customer and the actor didn’t see it, it suggests the sign's not either large enough or in the right place," says lawyer Joe Edwards.
A search of On The Go Eastgate brings up the company website – its price list also states a warrant is $45 – and a long list of reviews from unhappy customers.
"The ten dollars doesn’t really bother me. It’s more the fact that they’re doing that to every customer that comes in. If a hundred customers come in, that’s a thousand dollars they’ve got for nothing," says Lisa.
Danny invited Fair Go back to his workshop, to take a picture of the sign he says shows the extra charge.
However Danny then changed his mind, trespassing the reporter and calling mall security.
"I don’t want the opportunity to respond," he said.