A short rant about the NCT

 

‘….is committed to providing the highest standards in customer service…’

from the National Car Testing Service (NCT) website .

Hmmm. Some recent encounters beg to differ. My husband recently brought our car for its NCT. The following timeline illustrates his experience

 10.00 am Car taken in promptly and car test begins

 10.20 am Car test stops. All other tests stop. Reception closes up. All staff go on tea break.

 10.35 am Another customer arrives for her 10.40am appointment. Finds no staff to accept her car or commence her test.

10.45am (heeding the dire warning notices about being late and paying penalties) customer takes out mobile phone and dialls NCT Customer Services line to complain.

10.50am dramatic opening and slamming of doors, scurrying and bustling of bodies, as all staff suddenly return to work.

 10.51 Car testing recommences

11.10 Car passes NCT.

So – the entire staff take a 30 minute tea break. Simultaneously. Your given car test appointment time may encompass some or all of that break. You have possibly taken time off work to sit through the NCT. And the NCT tea break.

A few weeks later, my brother in law took my parent’s car to a (different ) NCT centre. It failed its test, due to the rear bumper being unclipped on one side. He was told it would not require a re test, just a visual re-inspection. Driving the car outside, my brother in law reclipped the bumper, by pushing it on with his thumb. An action that took approx 1.5 seconds. He drove the car back to the inspection bay area, to get it passed. He was refused entry. Because (it was was 3 minutes to 1 o‘clock) ‘ we are closing for lunch’. He was told to come back at 2pm or another day. Not having the luxury of a one hour lunch himself (to wait around for a 1.5 second re-inspection), he left.

So, NCT people; in 2012 – with your 30 minute tea breaks and 1 hour lunches – have you never heard of the concept of staggering?

 I find that just staggering.

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