The Motor Ombudsman’s online Knowledge Base, the information tool designed by the automotive dispute resolution provider to make it faster and more simple for consumers to resolve their queries and complaints in relation to buying and running a car, recorded over 146,000 article views during 2019, the equivalent of around 400 every day.
Launched a year ago, the user-friendly Knowledge Base has become an increasingly important information resource for motorists, providing answers to some of the most commonly asked questions in relation to running a vehicle and dispute resolution in the automotive sector. Accessed via the “Find an answer” button at the top of any page of TheMotorOmbudsman.org, consumers can now consult a comprehensive library of over 110 articles relating to The Motor Ombudsman’s four Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI)-approved Codes of Practice, car ownership and commonly used automotive terminology, prior to raising a case. Furthermore, with the growing choice and rise in sales of zero emission models, a sixth category on electric vehicles was recently added to the Knowledge Base, touching on areas such as servicing, repairs, and whether they fall within the remit of the Codes.
Subjects in relation to the purchase of a new or used car accounted for 60% of the ten most popular articles in 2019, with “Can I get a deposit refund?” emerging as the most clicked on question in the Knowledge Base. Still in the New and Used Car Sales category, the next most read topic was whether owners are able to return a car within the first 14 days of ownership, and the implications of buying a vehicle at a distance and at physical premises. Rounding off the top three was a Service and Repair question asked by many consumers in terms of the action that can be taken in the event that a garage has not fixed a problem with their vehicle following a repair.
Other frequently referred to articles involved the conditions for rejecting a vehicle, a garage damaging a consumer’s car whilst in its care, or what a customer can do if a business was unable to correctly diagnose a fault. Rounding off the top ten most viewed questions was around the possibility of complaining about a mis-sold warranty policy, an explanation found within the Extended Warranties section.
Throughout 2019, the Knowledge Base also witnessed close to 48,000 user searches, with the terms ‘warranty’ ‘recall’ and ‘service’ proving the most used generic terms in the search bar. Consumers also searched for responses in relation to the action to take for more specific issues, such as a garage changing the water pump and head gasket, but not the old spark plugs, a dealership failing to send the new keeper slip to the DVLA after a customer had part exchanged their vehicle, a car being sold without a service and repair history, and a second hand vehicle breaking down in the first few hours of ownership.
Bill Fennell, Chief Ombudsman and Managing Director of The Motor Ombudsman, said: “Use of the Knowledge Base by consumers as the first port of call for information prior to raising a case with our dispute resolution team, has grown considerably during the past 12 months. It has therefore been very encouraging to see just how popular this tool on our website is proving to be. Going forward, we will be looking to expand the subjects included within our existing library to help to ensure that we continue to address the main issues and queries that consumers are ultimately searching for. The first few days of this year have already shown a significant level of activity across the Knowledge Base, and we expect this trend to stay as awareness of this already popular resource grows further.”
To access The Motor Ombudsman’s Knowledge Base, visit www.TheMotorOmbudsman.org/knowledge-base.