Fair Go: Sparks fly over who should pay for Dunedin repair shop's spark plugs error

Sparks have been flying between Gore and Dunedin over a car repair job, which was supposed to be an easy fix.

Your playlist will load after this ad

Jacqui and Clive Hutchins went to Fair Go with their predicament. Source: Fair Go

Gore residents Clive and Jacqui Hutchins were holidaying in Dunedin in December when they took their Mazda CX7 into Dunedin City Motors and received new spark plugs.

Six months later they started experiencing more car troubles, so this time they went to a local garage. There they discovered the wrong spark plugs had been fitted in Dunedin and had become fouled - so were covered in carbon.

The Dunedin City Motors bill from December was $315, the Gore garage was $600.82. So who pays? That’s where Fair Go came in.

The Hutchins thought Dunedin Motors should pay for the Gore garage bill, as it was the company’s fault.

However, Dunedin Motors told the Hutchins they should’ve been given the chance to fix the problem and would only offer a refund of their original invoice ($315) plus a $100 petrol voucher.

“This is where [Dunedin Motors] got mixed up between the correct and right thing to do,” Clive told Fair Go.

“The correct thing is quoting their consumer rights... The right thing is saying, ‘We’ve inconvenienced you by $600.'”

Dunedin Motors told Fair Go the second bill was an “extremely inflated invoice for what actually transpired”, adding the Gore garage “did basically the same work we did for double the price”.

It also added the wrong spark plugs were supplied to them, but they didn’t want unhappy customers so eventually offered to refund the Hutchins the $600.82.

“I’m over the moon, thank you, thanks for stepping in and helping out,” Jacqui told Fair Go, adding an apology “would’ve been nice”.

If you find yourself in the same situation as the Hutchins, remember under the Consumer Guarantees Act services must be carried out with “reasonable care and skill”.

If something goes wrong you have the right to ask the original service provider to fix it, but if the fix doesn’t work you can ask for a refund.