Are you kidding me?

Last week I took my new car in for its first service.

Obtaining the service was one of those pedestrian jobs that I had been putting off.

And, although my ex-husband had obtained a quote to have the car serviced some months earlier, I had forgotten about the price obtained.

I called the servicing branch of the dealership from which I purchased my car, thinking that getting them to service it during its warranty period would be the best way forward.  They provided me with a quote, which seemed quite high, but my passing thought was that I was paying a premium because my car is made in the UK (Land Rover).  After some argument about providing me with a courtesy car as part of their service, rather than their initial suggestion, that I pay for the loan car (something I had never done before with any previous services), I booked my car in for the service.

As is usually the case when collecting the car at the end of the day there were a few minor additions to the invoice. But, by and large, the invoice was close to the quoted price, so I paid it.

A few days later when speaking to my ex-husband he asked me what I ended up paying for my service. When I told him, he almost fell over and said the amount they invoiced me was almost $300 more than the quote he had initially obtained a few months earlier.  He explained he had spoken to two other women who received invoices from the same dealership that were inflated when compared with the initial quotes their husbands obtained.

It appeared this company had form for over-charging women, or at the very least a pattern was emerging with their charging practices.

Later that same day I called the company, asked for their servicing manager and put the whole story to him.  After (very little) argument and an initial claim that I had actually agreed to a second and not a first service, an argument that was quickly dismissed, the manager agreed to refund me the gap between the initial quote and the invoice I paid.

They had been busted!  Caught red-handed!

I couldn’t believe it.  October 2018 and companies in this country are doing this.  I am still considering whether I will pursue this. At the very least I needed to write about my experience and warn you all to be vigilant!  Discrimination and sexism in many forms is alive and well.  There is still so much work to be done in the area of equality and this is just one (almost unbelievable) example.

I have related this story to a number of male and female friends and their initial reaction has all been the same – are you kidding me?!

Anna Stanford