Good Garage Scheme to star in ITV ad campaign

Forté Lubricants’ Good Garage Scheme will hit the small screen this September.

The company is launching its first national TV advertising campaign targeting motorists across the UK.

With the catchphrase ‘It’s like having a friend in the know’, the scheme’s two-week campaign on ITV1 and ITV2 will debut on September 28.

The advert aims to promote the Good Garage Scheme as a network of high-quality and trustworthy garages and workshops.

The TV activity follows four previous radio campaigns, the most recent airing in March this year.

Each of these radio ad runs boosted visitors to the scheme’s website by around 17 percent.

The Scheme boasts 2756 independent garage members and marketing director Rachel Greasby told CAT magazine this spring that Forté wants to increase this to 3000 by the end of 2009.

The Good Garage Scheme will go head to head with Bosch, which kicked off a year-long consumer promotion for its Bosch Car Service garage network on 50 Tesco lorry sides in August.

This post was written by:

- who has written 256 posts on CAT Magazine.

Emma has been CAT's editor since January 2008. There isn't much she doesn't know about the aftermarket - and her favourite topic is definitely BER!

35 Responses to “Good Garage Scheme to star in ITV ad campaign”

  1. Pete says:

    I know this is an old thread but one well worth reviving especially as I am currently in need fo a good garage. Its a shame it had to descend into abuse and nonsense which helps no one. How on earth can The Good Garage scheme get away with such blatant deception in not posting honest reviews, or rather anything of a negative nature. perhaps we should compain to someone but to whom? The BOSCH good garage scheme is also a con as is the ATA industry standard which you get just for showing up!!

    I have a Ford that needs a clutch and was quoted £960 by a local independent who have a pretty good rep. I decided to check out Fords prices. I contacted 14 main dealers in four different counties around here and not one answered the phone after being put through to service. Two machines actually hung up after three rings. I emailed five of the dealers and only one replied three days later. So if the main dealers treat us like that then what chance have we got!! However the one who did respond eventually quoted £757 all in, which is £200 less than the indie!! How on earth does that work. Crazy or what. After my ordeal I am happy to thoroughly recommend RATES FORD of Grays Essex and service manager Danielle who provided excellent professional and efficient help and good old fashioned service like it used to be. And cheaper then the independents too.

    WHICH magazine did a review of all the scams and BOSCH came out best but was also pretty abysmal. My personal experience of a BOSCH approved garage TEARS RECOVERY GARAGE SERVICES in Long Sutton, whom I used after the which report was just as pathetic as dealing with the other garage scam jerks. They failed to even show up to do any work, No apology nothing. I count myself lucky I never got to experience their awful service on my vehicle in the end. BOSCH garage scam themselves had no interest in my case and never even had the courtesy to reply.

    I think the moral of the story is dont trust anyone at face value when it comes to looking after your car.

  2. P Pamment says:

    P Pamment has changed his mind on the good garage scheme as after being in it for 5 years with 99.8 perc customer satisfaction has now been asked to leave after an audit just because I was not selling enough additives of which I only did when the customers wanted it I will! Not force it upon them as they suggest what a shame the scheme would work much much better if the forte additives had nothing to do with it then it could really be honest .Never mind, my gain because I won’t be associated with them .
    My garage has been in business for 32 years on recommendation and will be just as good with out the scheme .Phil Anchor motors.

  3. R C Jones says:

    How much does it cost to be a member of GGS? Monthly?

  4. Paul says:

    I totaly back all the Neg comments,The GGS came t, the rep said it was a genuine scheme, then promised me that any bad feedback from customers would not make it to there website, This scheme is complete BS..

    • Simon says:

      This is correct,I posted negative feedback about a certain garage and they would not allow it on there website. I emailed them and they never replied. I wrote a story on our blog about them and we where inundated with emails from people who also had negative reviews blocked. From the comments we received, the Good Garage Scheme is a total con and should be avoided when looking for a local garage.

  5. James Flanagan says:

    Having once been part of the legendary Good Garage Scheme i can tell you beyond doubt the Scheme is based on what you buy, not what you do.
    You are only a Good Garage Member if you buy plenty of the product.
    The whole scheme is based on Forte looking good and making a good profit nothing else.
    The criteria to become a member is willing to buy plenty nothing else.
    Not a single person from the “Good Garage Scheme” tests you on your knowledge or expertise.
    There is no selection criteria other than being willing to buy.
    The Garage/Workshop could be the best or worst in the country the good garage scheme only wants them to buy product.
    If you dont believe me ring the good garage scheme and ask them what tests they subject the Garage to
    Answer: NONE WHAT SO EVER!!!!!
    They come along, demonstrate the product, sell you some and wait for your next order!!
    Like i said, dont take my word for it, either ask the Good Garage scheme how they test for suitability or ask the member what they had to do to get on board.

  6. Jim Andrews says:

    I support the view that the Good Garage scheme is a total waste of time. Needed a new garage recently and selected one from the GG website. Had the work done, with a couple of specific things I wanted looking at. Specifics weren’t touched, the car was left with oily stains on the carpet and staff attitude was indifferent when I spoke to them about the problems. Once I’d exhausted everything with the garage, I provided a negative feedback to the Good garage website. Guess what, it’s never been published. I’m temped to now AVOID garages listed on this register!

  7. Ian Gray says:

    Further to my post above. I can honestly say that all of the feedbacks shown on my page where genuine customer reviews. Although I have to say, a very small proportion of customers filled them in. In fact we quite often found them stuffed in with the service book the next time we had the car in. It’s obviously up to the the garage owner which customers are handed the feedback cards and I doubt any are given to troublesome or unhappy people. The negative comments on this site prove that you don’t have to be good to be a member of the GGS which is a shame because there are obviously many very good garages on the scheme who are being treated with the same suspicion as the poor ones. Only one way to find a decent garage really…..RECOMMENDATION !!!!

  8. Whistle blower says:

    Could we all have the garage name and phone number please , because iam looking for a garage that could do a magic repair on a corsa with a hole in the block , I heard forte has a magic repair aditive that I simply add to the oil and It seals the huge hole in the block , keep up the good work forte reps !!!!

  9. Robert Hall says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more John. In this day and age alot of companies are selling additive’s etc. But by far Forte is on top. Some people see it as a sales pitch with GGS but i disagree. What customer’s enjoy with the website is the comment’s made by other customer’s. Also the provided Technical Bulletin’s which are very handy on problem car’s. Long live GGS i say.

  10. John W says:

    Interesting comments – but many mis-informed (in my opinion).
    We are a small family run independent (est 23 years), and we’ve seen it all – good and bad!
    We have recently joined the GGS and I believe it is a good thing for us and our customers, for a start Forte products work…FACT!!
    Over the years we have used many different products, some good some not so good.
    We had a corsa 3cyl come in for service – the customer complaining of a general lack of power, we did an oil & filter change with a Carplan engine flush (made no difference), The same day the Forte rep called in and suggested we tried his ‘Flush’ (and said he would cover the cost of materials) so we had nothing to loose!
    we did a compression test before (no.3 cyl was 50 psi lower than 1 and 2), we added his flush and ran the car for approx 30 mins, then drained the oil – left it for a while then fitted another oil filter, re-filled the oil & carried out another compression test…. WOW!! not only was the compression on no.3 cyl now 55 psi higher – the car was running and driving MUCH better.
    The piston rings must have been ‘gunged up’ and the Forte additive freed them off (remember the cheap flush did nothing). We have had many more occassions where the customers have commented on how well their cars were running after using the Forte products, so we have seen it with our own eyes! My customers and I love the products and the GGS, I have had many new customers through the GGS website – so all I can say is ‘Keep up the good work Forte and the GGS’

  11. Whistle blower says:

    The whole thing is a joke , I am a mechanic in a garage on the good garage band wagon and here is the truth , the rep brings in the forms we leave in the customers cars and we only put them in a very few cars , if the boss don’t like a review it gets binned and never makes it to the review page on the Internet ! The rep has never and I do mean never looked at the checklists , cause we don’t do them ! If we don’t sell enough forte we get removed and our huge good garage scheme sign gets removed ! Hello it means nothing at all anyway to customers , good reviews on this page , only because it’s forte managers repling , if you are reading this don’t believe the hype there is lots of good garages out there not on the scheme and also garages that are ! Ask friends etc that’s a better way to find a garage than this rubbish , hope you get to read this !!!!

  12. Big Bob Frye says:

    What a load of tosh.I have just tried to book my car in this week with a local garage in this scheme.They have not called me back have not replied to e-mails etc.I have marked them down on the webiste given them a low score as asked for on the site and have not heard a thing from the good garage scheme or anythinh from the garage and my comments on their lack of enthusiasim with taking my enquiry at the grage has resulted in my comments on the site being ignored and not placed on the site for the public to read. So only good comments will be posted and I am sure they are written by the company or the garage themselves.A total con and I want this good garage scheme stopped and closed down its a marketing con job

  13. Ian Gray says:

    As above, I think there are good and bad points about the scheme. We are a family run Garage / MOT centre and joined the scheme in 2008. However we have decided not to renew our membership this year. From a garage owners point of view, on paper it looks great. Unfortuantly it didn’t really stack up for us any more. The supposed discounts on insurance etc. are no better than I can negotiate myself. We were the highest rated garage out of the 30 GGS members in our area when stopped (99.8%)
    As far as using the products is concerned, I think using an engine flush & a fuel treatment on each service not only adds some £20 – £25 to the bill but is not really necessary. My customers were always happy with the service we provided before we started using the stuff.
    I also think it can have a negative effect on our reputation when Forte seem keen to sign up anyone who will sell their products whether they are any good or not. As far as the annual garage audit goes, we were only looked at twice in 3 years and the guy that did it told me that he “picks garages at random and not everyone gets checked”
    We are signed up to Motor Codes now which is based on merit and not selling additives.

  14. Some passionate comments here which is refreshing!

    To clarify we haven’t been chucked off the GGS scheme or refused entry. We are long standing members of Cheshire Trading Standards Golden Spanner approved garage scheme (recently scoring the schemes first ever perfect 100% mystery shop result following scores of 96%, 97% and 98% in the last 3 years). We are Motor Codes members with lots of feedback in the public domain averaging 99%, Motor Codes North West regional winner in 2010 Golden Garages competition and national runner up, CAT Garage of the Year 2010 and CAT Garage of the Year 2011. We are also members of the RMI although not signed up to the new Trust My Garage scheme as I now question how many schemes are necessary!

    The GGS scheme has 2 major compromises that unfortunately make the system flawed in my opinion.

    Firstly – The insistence on using Forte products during servicing work – yes I know some of you say this isn’t the case but when we had the scheme presented to us it was made VERY CLEAR that additives used were a criteria of the membership. Product pressure deserves no role in any quality control or good garage scheme especially if it is said manufacturers product who endorse the scheme.
    Secondly – The insistence of servicing all vehicles to the GGS specification! What utter nonsense – with Block Expemption and Right To Repair we all know the rules on servicing vehicles to manufacturer spec. How any scheme can insist that you only service to their spec is crazy. During the presentation of the scheme to ABP we said that we only service all cars to correct time or mileage manufacturer spec. servicing schedules and would not lower our standards to the GGS spec to which we were told that the scheme was probably not for us!! We agreed.

    Now don’t get me wrong being a member of any scheme is better than being a member of none and if the GGS suits you and your customers accept its flaws then good for you. The marketing of the scheme is good and if it makes any number of garages improve customer service levels then that can only be a good thing.

    The UK can only dream of a single compulsory government & industry backed minimum standards scheme as it will never happen so instead our customers along with customers across the UK have to be baffled by scheme after scheme after scheme all promising X Y Z whilst the bad garages continue to fly under the radar not joining any scheme hiding behind the bad dark days of old.

  15. Dave Bates says:

    All the negative comments about the Good Garage Scheme, If only those people understood how the scheme works !!
    Its funny how the people who slate the GGS are probably garage owners who have been refused membership to the scheme beacause they are not prepared to service vehicles to an industry standard and be totaly tranparent with thier service procedures offering the public peace of mind knowing they will not be taken advantage of when thier car needs a repair or service.
    3,000 garages cant be wrong ! If a garage is a member and does not adhere to the code of conduct they will be removed from the scheme.

    Dont slate what you dont understand ! The industry needs this type of scheme and the public deserve it. Money is hard to come by and the industry is all the better for good honest garages. Too many garages are still taking advantage of the car owning public.

    • Nigel Byard says:

      The statement “Its funny how the people who slate the GGS are probably garage owners who have been refused membership to the scheme beacause they are not prepared to service vehicles to an industry standard and be totaly tranparent with thier service procedures” really worries me. Since when has an aftermarket product been part of an industry standard service? If you really believe this then I would like to show the evidence of which ” official” industry body this service checklist came from.

  16. Daggo says:

    I asked my garage why they wern’t in the scheme, and they told me exactly why. All has been ecoed here.

  17. Tino says:

    Rubbish.I have been a member for 2 years and its only me and 1 other.The GGS rep pushes nothing on me.This is not a scam at all but as said before a body that people can go to if they have a problem.The ones that are kicked off are the ones that shouldn’t have got on in the first place.

  18. dave m says:

    I completley understand how the good garage scheme works its a scam all it is is a numbers game they are not looking for a quality workshop all they look for is to see which garage will use more forte product FACT no excus thats how it works and this came from the hourses mouth. if you have a garage with 1 mech and he is qualified up to his eyes BUT doesent do many services he will not get a look in BUT if you have a garage with 7 mech thats the target.

  19. Nick Stanyer says:

    I own a Service/Repair/MOT business we are members of this scheme in addition to others purely to give new customers some peace of mind that we are not the stereotypical garage. The GGS is run by Forte and we do promote their products but we don’t force them on people, likewise the scheme does have a code of conduct that and complaints procedure which has to be a good thing for the consumer.
    We are a busy, family run business and we firmly believe that our industry needs cleaning up and anything like this has to be positive.

    The majority of people who slag these schemes off are the bar room mechanics who are the first to bleat to Watchdog when they are over charged or quoted for unnecessary work by their local garage.

  20. T.Shoard says:

    Firstly i would like to congratulate Forte on their excellent Good Garage Scheme.The recent T.V. adverts will add vital extra income to the independant car repair/servicing sector that has suffered due to the scrappage scheme and recession.Yes the scheme is open to abuse by certain individuals though i beleive these operators would operate in the same way even if they were not in the scheme.The scheme does offer the consumer a greater degree of transparency and using the feedback cards and their own initiative should be able to conclude if the garage they have chosen is right for them.If a consumer is unsure about a garage or any other type of bussiness that they are proposing to use. They can contact their local trading standards office for reassurance.As for the comments that you have to buy a Forte product to be in the scheme most other trade clubs/scheme also have this as a prerequisite.And on a final note consumers often do their homework when making other purchases the garage industry is not a dark veiled secret, after many years of exposures and investigations they should now be able to make the right choice as to where to have their cars repaired.They are not forced to use a Good Garage Scheme member

  21. Rick says:

    There are several schemes similar to the good garage scheme and they all have some method of extracting cash from the members. Bosche have a scheme called Bosche Car Servicing and they would LIKE you to use Bosche parts in the service and repairs but it is not compulsory however they DO charge a high annual membership and you have to have the Bosche signage outside which costs more.

    The Good Garage scheme has a low monthly charge for members because they offset the costs by selling the (very good) Forte products.

    These schemes are good for the garage customer because there is somewhere to complain to if things do go wrong, there are minimum standards for service called the Industry Standard Service at the GGS but if your garage exceeds this standard then that is better but it does set down a MINIMUM standard that garages must adhere to, you do not have to lower your standards.

    These schemes use regular audits and secret customers to check on the garages.Are the people on here that are leaving bad comments in ANY kind of scheme that checks their work?? I wonder.

    Anything that helps weed out the bad garages is good IMHO.

  22. O Forrest says:

    I have to agree and disagree here, i own a vehciel workshop and i believe anything that gives the customer security (i.e. a body for complaints for example) will help.we are a family run business and pride ourselves on providing trust.Forte do make money out of it but it pays for a huge amount of advertising that adds to what i’m already doing.
    Beneficial for me and the customer.
    My 2p.
    O. Forrest.

  23. G L Motors LTD says:

    Could not agree more with these comments. Its just a con to get you to buy their over priced products that rarely work. I joined good garage guide (similar to forte) and found it a complete con, even the rep gave up and left. If your loyal to your customers and honest and do a good job,they will come back and recommend you to others.These schemes are just a con, and bads news for everyone.

  24. philip pamment says:

    can i say my garage is in the good garage and i disagree.
    We ask the customer first if they want additives.
    The service sheet are ment to be used in conjuction with the main dealers shecdule.
    Someone has to clean the trade up and i think they are helping giving customers some one to call back on if need be.
    We are checked by them un like most of the other motor trade bodies.
    so i think you need to pick on the bigger main dealers,tyre fitter etc: who are quoting for work that does not need doing,we see it all the time.
    we have to pay to be in this scheme as well.
    So no i completly dis agree
    p pamment

  25. p pamment says:

    My garage is in the good garage scheme and i think it is a good idea, yes you are asked to use there additives but we always ask the customer first,additives are not a bad thing they do work and do clean the parts it is ment to do.
    There service schedule is ment to be used in conjuction with the manuf’schedule so there is nothing wrong with that.
    and yes we do have spot checks on paper work but not once have i been checked on the amount of additives i have used.
    It also gives the customer someone to complain if they have the need to.
    Someone needs to clean the trade up.No body writes up about the disgracefull service,costs and unnecessary work carried out by the big garages and tyres fitters,we get them in all the time being told the vehicle needs this and that when ther is nothing wrong at all

    • Martin says:

      Hi,

      I use the Good Garage Scheme to find a good garage that would not rip me off like most would, and it did work and i did find the garages from the scheme in my local area and they provided a great service! This scheme does work and as some have already pointed out, ’bout time someone decided to clean this rip-off industry up and this is great start…besides customers including my self get to leave comments, not just fake comments from crappy mechanics who aint gotta clue…doooooooohhhh 😉 Thanks Good Garage Scheme!

  26. I just found this blog a while back when a buddy suggested it to me. I have been an avid reader ever since.

  27. Totally agree with the above comments. After meeting with the ‘supposedly’ Good Garage Scheme it soon became apparent that to become a member we not only had to LOWER our servicing standards (Good Garage Scheme uses its own service schedules that are inferior to manufacturer spec) but it was a very obvious scheme with the sole aim of increasing sales of Forte products.

    Not good news for either the motorist or the Trade in my opinion.

    Chris Meredith

    • Peter Turner says:

      Having been in the motor trade over 50 years,worked at main dealers in management rolls,I have yet to see a manufactures service schedule that is anywhere near the as comprehensive as those used by independant garages.The schedules used by main dealers is set by leasing companies who dictate to the manufactures what they will allow to be done,as they are the biggest buyers of new cars,the manufacturer kow tows to them
      and in my humble oppinion is scared to do otherwise.These service schedules are little more than oil and filter changes and a kick at the tyres.

      • What utter nonsense!

        If you genuinely believe that modern manufacturer spec servicing schedules are little more than oil & filter changes and ‘kicking the tyres’ I suggest the motor trade you have been in for over 50 years was on a different planet!

        Other than the fact that cars have to be serviced to manufacturer spec to maintain vehicle warranties, comply with the block exemption rules and legally they are the only services that permit you to stamp the service book ‘serviced in accordance with manufacturers specification’ I see no reason not to service to the vehicle manufacturer specification.

        The dark days of independent / fast-fits seriously outdated small, medium and major service schedules should be banished to room 101 as there is no place for such lapse & casual serving on a modern vehicle.

        Next you’ll be telling me that £19.95 oil & filter changes are all any modern car really needs……

        It’s 2011 and the motor trade (especially the independents) need to get with the system. COMPLY OR DIE.

        Chris Meredith
        ABP Motorsport CAT Garage of the Year 2010 & 2011

    • Peter Turner says:

      Chris,
      you need to get out into the real world ,ive just looked at both of my two vehicles service check lists both have no more than 20 items listed,the majority are mere checks,there is no mention of taking off wheels ,stripping down brakes,looking at major safety items.The motor trade i was in was built on proper maintenance carried out by proper mechanics of which i was one with an in depth knowledge of motor vehicles,we were not fitters of parts,we carried out proper servicing designed to keep vehicles running in the way they were meant to be safely and ecconomically.
      Most good independant garages use a far more comprehensive check list to any i have seen from a manufacturer.
      You lost the plot when you mentioned £19.95 oil and filter changes this is exactly what i am totally against ,this is not servicing its conning the public.

  28. Daves6599 says:

    You can only join if your garage sells Forte engines oils. And if you don’t sell enough they kick you off the scheme. They aren’t promoting good garages at all, just lining their own pockets.

    • CRAIG says:

      This is a total fake scheme designed to boost profits for forte.As long as you use forte adatives you are a good garage ,if you dont use enough you will be removed .what a total bogus moneymaking scam!!!!

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