Taking in a repair

First Contact

When you take a bike in for repair, you are setting up a CONTRACT between yourself and the customer and it is therefore essential that your terms and conditions are clearly expressed as part of that contract. Long experience shows that most repairs are collected and paid for with no problem, but as always the problems take time and effort to resolve. The retailer increases the problems if no clear contract is made, easily remedied by using a good job card which contains all the necessary elements.

Job Cards

There should be a set routine when staff take in a repair which should include all the following elements:

1. Customer details including address, daytime and evening telephone

2. Clear identification of make, model, frame number or part for repair

3. Full instructions for the repair to be made

4. Indication of likely cost. Remember that an estimate can be adjusted on completion, but a quotation is a fixed price and cannot be altered.

5. Collection date

6. Further work to be done - establish whether additional contact must be made to authorise any additional work which becomes apparent during the repair. You cannot charge for additional work carried out unless the customer has agreed in advance.

7. Recommended work. If the customer refuses to allow additional work to be carried out, it is important to indicate any further faults that you have found on the invoice. This should help to prevent later accusations that you have damaged the machine whilst in the workshop. It will also offers limited protection from the possibility of future litigation following an accident on the grounds that you knew of a potentially dangerous fault and failed to point it out to the customer.

8. Method of payment. Should be agreed in advance and full payment received before the repair is released.

9. Draw the customer's attention to any relevant notices and terms and conditions on the job card, such as storage charges.

10. Ask the customer to sign the job card as accepting the terms and conditions.

11. When the repair is collected, draw the customers attention specifically to any further work recommended - see (7) above.

Storage Charges

If you intend to impose storage charges, this must be made known to the customer in advance. See Disposal of Uncollected Repairs.


Again, a contract is entered into when you agree to provide an estimate for repair. You must state if there is going to be a charge for the estimate and whether or not this charge will be refunded if the repair is carried out by you. Collection and/or delivery charges should also be separately listed.

Clearly indicate, especially with accident repairs that are not covered by fully comprehensive insurance, that if there is any delay in the work being authorised, you will impose storage charges after a specified time.

These terms and conditions must be made known before the contract is finalised, and the insurance company must also be made aware. When dealing with third party claims, establish that the customer in the first instance is made responsible for authorising the work and paying the full amount.