They tell us… The Motor Ombudsman’s Knowledge Base, the online tool designed to offer consumers easily accessible information in relation to buying and running a car, has recorded 201,401 article views since the start of 2021. This is more than triple the volume seen during the same period in 2019 and is double the number of views in the first half of last year (98,373). It also follows a record second quarter for the tool in 2021, where more than 100,000 views were logged during a three-month period for the first time.
Accessed via the “Find an answer” button at the top of every page of The Motor Ombudsman’s website, motorists can consult over 180 clearly laid out questions and answers across 10 different categories in the Knowledge Base, which offer advice and information on the entire customer purchase and ownership experience, including buying at a physical garage or online, vehicle servicing and repair and extended warranties.
Two new categories have also been added in 2021, with the first being on how The Motor Ombudsman’s new mediation service operates, the benefits that it offers, and the role that it plays in the Ombudsman’s dispute resolution process. Complementing the existing resources on TheMotorOmbudsman.org, the second category expands the information regarding dispute resolution, and answers questions on topics, such as when the Ombudsman is able to assist consumers, the advantages of engaging in the process as an alternative to going to court, and how to find out whether a garage or dealership is accredited to one of The Motor Ombudsman’s Codes of Practice.
In terms of the most frequently consulted articles on the Knowledge Base since January, the frontrunner with over 20,712 views is from the New and Used Car Sales category regarding whether owners are able to return a car within the first 14 days of ownership, as well as the implications of buying a vehicle at a distance and at physical premises.
The next most referred to question during the first half of 2021 (13,360 views), also in relation to vehicle sales, was namely, “Can I get a deposit refund?”. This is in the event that a consumer wishes to cancel their order if they have already paid for a proportion of the cost of the vehicle. Rounding off the top three most-looked at Q&As, was about what the Consumer Rights Act 2015 legislation is, and how the law affects the purchase of a car (7,538 views).
The online tool equally offers motorists the facility to use the search bar to look for a response on a selected topic, and over 7,900 queries have been entered every month on average since the turn of 2021. Generic terms often used have related to warranties, servicing, faults, deposits and recalls. Other subjects being looked up have been around a vehicle being repossessed, whether compensation can be claimed for a timing chain failure, and paying a deposit over the phone for a car without any physical interaction with the retailer.
Bill Fennell, Chief Ombudsman and Managing Director of the Motor Ombudsman, said: “Since the introduction of the Knowledge Base at the beginning of 2019, it has become a popular and established point of reference for motorists, with visitor traffic literally growing month by month, which has been very encouraging to see. To ensure that the resource continues to resonate with consumers, our focus will remain on growing and updating the Knowledge Base in line with the queries that we are receiving from motorists, and evolving this important portal according to the latest trends in our fast-changing automotive sector.”
For more information, visit The Motor Ombudsman’s Knowledge Base at TheMotorOmbudsman.org/knowledge-base.