Image by RedPat
Few women enjoy taking their car to the mechanic in fact; it can very well be a particularly daunting experience. But why does that chore brings fear into us?
Several days ago a friend of mine took her car to an open service facility; you know, one of those many sprouting “Servitekar” for a simple tyre balancing job.
It was only such a small job of balancing the wheels and it was non mechanical thus she had informed the authorized service center for her vehicle of her intention to have the tyre job done at the “Servitekar” instead of at the dealership and they consented to it.
She had expected the job would only take about an hour max and around RM90 to RM100.
I think almost every woman reading this would at least had the experience at least once of going in to a mechanic shop, and being a woman immediately feeling like you’re not taken very seriously at all, or kind of looked down upon by the mechanics and supervisors there and that your ignorance of “mechanical jargons” is an instant bother to them. They expect you to hand them the keys, shut up, go read something and then come up to the counter to pay for stuffs you do not even need done.
You would be made to feel up the creek, intimidated and insecure. Well, you could call the other half over to handle it for you or you could step on things and speak up and be heard!
This friend of mine handed the keys for a simple tyre balancing job and 45 minutes later and she was told that she needed a new timing belt on a 12 months old car that’s still under factory warranty and with just around 10,000 kilometers on the clock!
As consumers in Malaysia, we are protected by the Malaysian Consumer Protection Act 1999. The Act which came into force on the 15 of November 1999, had lead to the establishment of the “Tribunal Pengguna Malaysia” (Consumer’s Tribunal Malaysia). The principal function of this tribunal is to make available an official channel for aggrieved consumers to properly file claims (provided they are below RM25, 000 and with a statute limitation of not exceeding 36 months) in a simple and speedy manner without needing to resort to expensive personal legal services (you only pay them RM5 for the service).
With the existence of the Tribunal, consumers can now seek redress against unscrupulous/unethical traders and suppliers of services or goods. All settlements are spoken as “Awards” and not judgments as this is not a criminal court.
However, any non-compliance with a Tribunal award within 14 days after finality is indeed a criminal offence under the Consumer Protection Act, 1999 and the Enforcement Division, in the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism shall take over the case and that would be big financial misfortune for the traders in questions.
If any of you ladies have these sorts of issues that needs a Tribunal redress, please visit these sites:
2) Get your “Form 1” from the “Portal e-Tribunal” here for commencement of action.
Finally, I have seen this elsewhere; an all female automotive service garage.
With some remnants of the old attitude around, and with the ancient mentality still harassing on our feminine honesty and humility, I think that it is just a matter of time before this becomes a “feminine” economic reality here too in Malaysia.
Ideally, as is the case in Toronto with "Miss Lube"; even men took their machines to the women for servicing nowadays...