Monday, February 5, 2018

Stevie Stowell, burst into tears when mechanics told her she needed to fork out £685 to fix air conditioning in her car - despite the vehicle not having it

Stevie Stowell, 19, said she was left "helpless" at having to break the bank to repair her Citroen C1, which she describes as "my lifeline".

Stevie was told by technicians at Kwik Fit Plus in Brighton she would have to shell out £685 to fix her compressor after a warning light flashed up on her dashboard.

But the student, who works part-time at Topshop, later breathed a sigh of relief when she learned from another garage she didn't have air conditioning when her dad sought a second opinion.

Kwik Fit Plus apologised to Stevie following the "misdiagnosis".

The 19-year-old, from Brighton, said: "The stop light on my dashboard was telling me something was wrong, so I took it to the nearest garage to get it checked.

"I have no knowledge of cars, so I just trusted that they'd got it right when they said I needed to pay to get the air conditioning fixed.

"I was so upset when I heard. I don't have that kind of money.

"I'm a student with a part-time job at Top Shop, so that would have been a quarter of my monthly wage.

"I felt helpless. I was wiping the tears off my face.

"That car is my lifeline."

Her dad suggested she take the car to another garage for a second opinion.

Another inspection revealed the bearing on the internal water pump had worn out - but there was no air conditioning installed.

The total bill to run the test and fix the damage came to £450.

"I was so relieved," Mrs Stowell said. "If it had happened during my mid-term exams, I don't even know what effect it would have had on me."

Dad Dean Stowell, 45, a taxi driver, said: "When she was told how much she would have to pay she burst into tears.

"I tried to console her. I was at Piccadilly Circus at the time, but I took the rest of the day off to come and pick her up because she was in a right state.

"She thought her car was kaputt."

Kwik Fit has now reimbursed Mrs Stowell the £50 fee it charged her for the diagnostics test.

Mr Stowell said the branch manager had apologised to him for the error.

A Kwik Fit spokesman said: "This was a genuine mistake for which we fully apologise.

"We made a misdiagnosis which led to incorrect information and a wrong quote being given to Mr Stowell.

"Unfortunately it was not picked up when we got a price for the part from our supplier - it would usually be flagged if a particular vehicle doesn't require the part in question.

"Clearly if we had started the work we would have quickly seen that it was not an air conditioning issue, and would have provided the right advice.

"However, we understand that this is of little comfort after the event, which is why we apologise to Miss Stowell and have refunded the cost of the diagnostic test."
Source: mirror News UK 

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