April 16, 2003

Quebec journalist criticizes APA survey of repair garages

Montreal, Quebec – Pierre Michaud, host of the television show AUTOSTOP and well-known automotive expert, disclosed the results of a survey paid for and conducted by his company, Info Ligne Auto Inc., on garages recommended by the Automobile Protection Association (APA).

“Each and every year, the APA publishes an extremely limited survey – on some 40 garages among the 30,000 throughout Canada – that focuses almost solely on national chains excluding the other two-thirds of the industry. The automotive market is divided almost equally in three parts: one-third large chains, one-third independents, and one-third car dealerships. The
independents and car dealerships are given little to no representation in this study.” said Mr. Michaud. “I decided to shed some light on the situation created by the APA survey. I undertook a ghost car test – a test that is very similar to the one used last year by the APA. My associates contacted nine out of the 23 APA-recommended garages in Quebec to make them undergo this simple test. The results were conclusive: only one garage passed the test.”

“I am a strong proponent of organizations that inform consumers about the quality of service they are entitled to. This is exactly what I do on my television show, AUTOSTOP. When one works in the service industry, irrespective of the sector, one should expect that the services delivered will be measured and compared to those provided by competitors. However, I can’t understand how an organization that uses a methodology as controversial as that of the APA and one that so blatantly ignores two-thirds of the industry can be allowed to judge the quality of services performed by all mechanics,” he added.

“My work as host of AUTOSTOP, my professional relationship with Canadian Tire and broadly within the industry has lead me to believe that this study is not representative nor effective at delivering customer education, and that’s the reason that I felt strongly about this issue and committed to undertake the study. I think it’s important that consumers be aware that the study is flawed and that depending on how the test is rigged, you may get results which don’t paint an accurate picture of where we are today as an industry,” concluded Mr. Michaud.

A copy of the study is available from Mr. Pierre Michaud by calling (418) 569-6061.

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