Review: Takapuna Car Clinic, Auckland

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I am sure you are wondering why would I write a review of a garage (Takapuna Car Clinic) on my blog. The way I see it, there can only be two reasons: either the service provided was exemplary or that it was atrocious.

Which one do you think it is?

The story

To begin my story, my car was due for a service and a WOF(Warrant of Fitness) and I decided to look on the usual coupon site like Groupon and Grabone to see if I could find a decent deal. The one that caught my fancy was a deal from the Takapuna Car Clinic. The deal itself looks excellent on paper. $59 for a service, 4 litres of oil, an oil filter and WOF instead of the $200+ it would otherwise cost me. To me, that seemed like a win-win situation. I figured even if the service was not up to the mark, how much could losing $59 hurt me. Even if it wasn’t great, well I get cheap service and a WOF. Furthermore, it required a booking 7 days in advance which to me looked like a busy garage. And a busy garage to me implies a good garage.

Oh boy, were all my assumptions wrong. I set up an appointment the required 7 days before. On reaching there, I was told to leave my car as it would take them a couple of hours to service it and get the WOF. Oh well, time to go to the nearby beach and kill time. After about 2 hours, I get a call saying that the car is ready to be picked up but they have found a few issues with the car. Some of them seemed routine probably to a tune of about $100. However, the real kicker was that they had failed my WOF because some engine support was broken. Was this piece relatively inexpensive? If only, the piece for which the WOF was failed cost an approximate $700. There went my relaxing day at the beach, while my car was being worked on. Anyway, long story short, I decided not to pay the $700, at which time I was told I can only drive the car to the house or to another garage to get a WOF unless I cough up the $700 and get the part replaced.

This was a little surprising as the car has been driven for less than 3000 kilometres in the last year and it had passed the last WOF. Needless to say, I got out of there as fast as I could. That’s not true, I spent some time sitting in the car searching for the nearest AA (WOF) centre. Thankfully, I did. The AA centre told me there is nothing wrong with my car and gave me the WOF in 15 minutes.

I guess the adage “You get what you pay for” has some truth to it.

Other reviews on the internet

Later on, I searched for reviews on the web and was not able to find too many bad reviews. The few that were there, for the most part, had given them excellent ratings. However, I did find a few bad reviews(some of which I have outlined below) on google plus and in the slightly obscure sites.

Disclaimer: The comments below have been reproduced as seen on the internet

  • This company deletes bad feedback on Facebook. Don’t trust.

  • Takapuna Car Clinic failed my car’s WOF because of apparently worn lower control arm bushings on left and right side of car and quoted a fortune in labour costs to replace these. I removed control arms and took the arms to my own mechanic to replace the bushings. According to VTNZ and my mechanic there was nothing wrong with the bushings. I’ve decided to replace bushings anyway since most of work was already done and had already purchased new bushings, plus the hassle with Takapuna Car…

  • Hideous experience. Warning! Never use this garage. I was ripped off on overpriced work that didn’t even need doing. While they also missed a crucial mechanical problem. The customer service is non existant, rude and arrogant. Worst experience ever! ”

Conclusion

The reason for writing this becomes self-evident. A review that the people at the Takapuna car clinic can’t delete and can reply to in the comments to defend their position.

At the time of writing almost 300 more people have fallen into the trap.

Have you been to this garage? How was your experience?