Tyre firm ripped off customers
AN Ipswich tyre and exhaust company is more than £7,000 worse off today after ripping off its customers.Terrance Akers, trading as Easy Tread Tyres and Exhausts was fined by the town's magistrates after pleading guilty to offences under the Trade Descriptions Act.
AN Ipswich tyre and exhaust company is more than £7,000 worse off today after ripping off its customers.
Terrance Akers, trading as Easy Tread Tyres and Exhausts was fined by the town's magistrates after pleading guilty to offences under the Trade Descriptions Act.
The successful prosecution follows an undercover sting operation carried out by officers from Suffolk trading standards in April this year.
The garage had been targeted due to previous complaints from consumers.
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An officer, posing as a consumer took a car to the company in Bramford Road, Ipswich, for a pre-mot check.
The officer paid £20 for the check. When the check had been completed the undercover officer was told the car would need two new tyres and a new exhaust before it would pass an MOT.
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An independent expert examined the car following the check and concluded that the exhaust did not need replacing and only one tyre would have to be replaced.
Speaking following the case Joanna Spicer, portfolio holder for public protection: "Consumers go to garages for expert advice. For the company to abuse their position of trust in this way is extremely disappointing. Hopefully, a fine of this size will deter others from following Easy Tyres and Exhausts example.
"Consumers need to be on their guard for this type of sharp practise. Try to use somewhere that has been personally recommended to you by someone you trust.
“Challenge decisions you feel are wrong. If you need further advice or want to report a trader carrying out unnecessary work, contact Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06”.
In mitigation, Mr Saunders, representing Mr Akers to South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court: "The person who carried out the work has moved onto another company.
“The financial incentive scheme previously in place has been stopped to remove the temptation for staff to wrongly advise consumers, when it came to repairs"
Mr Akers, who has run the business for the past three years and had been workshop manager for the previous owners, was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,219