Pedders Statement 7th May 2010
On Wednesday 5th May, Channel 9’s “A Current Affair” program aired a follow-up story relating to Pedders Suspension. The initial story was aired on April 6 and Pedders official response to this initial program can be viewed by going to https://www.pedders.com.au/news/1/article73 . Although this follow-up program used footage and raised issues from the initial program (which is therefore covered in the above link) Pedders would like to offer the following information for relevant new issues that were raised.
• Pedders Suspension, a company which has built its reputation on honesty and integrity takes the allegations contained within this program very seriously and will be continuing comprehensive investigations into the operations at the store (s) mentioned within these programs.
• The two ex-employees interviewed as part of this program had a tenure at Pedders of 4 weeks and 5 days respectively. One of these “gentlemen” was employed with Southport in 2003 when it was a company-owned store and the other when it changed hands to the current franchise. On investigation of the former’s employment file a complete induction process was undertaken including a signed undertaking that the said employee had read and understood Pedders comprehensive Employee Handbook which outlines, among other things, the responsibilities of employees when conducting work on a Pedders premises. The reason for ending of employment within this employees file is “abandonment of employment”. Given the other employee’s very short tenure (5 days – which included two days absent) limited information is available.
• Allegations were made on this program relating to employees purposely failing components as part of a 28-point check for their own use. Although Pedders Management will include this as part of their extensive investigations it is common belief that this notion is absurd and totally false.
• Pedders training is a key strength of our support of our franchise and dealer network. Pedders 28-point check and wheel alignment courses are conducted in-store and where required by Pedders state managers and national office as part of their periodic store and interstate visits. This strategy enables these vital courses to be conducted on premises and with great frequency to enable all relevant employees to be trained on these vital elements as close to as possible to their employment commencement. “On the job” training conducted by Managers, Owners and fellow trained staff is a key component to the knowledge base of any industry and Pedders management provides the relevant mechanisms and support to ensure the success of this within Pedders stores also. Pedders conducts another 8 separate half day courses at each of its state offices with topics including advanced wheel alignment and power steering inspection. These courses are compulsory for all relevant Pedders people and are conducted in such a manner that all courses can be completed within a maximum of 18 months. These courses were developed in line with Pedders appointment as a National Registered Training Organisation (RTO). Other than these technical training courses Pedders conducts three national conferences annually, bi-annual state based product meetings, bi-annual state based owners/managers meetings and provides other mechanisms for the exchange of information including its own intranet site, emails, shows, trade nights, in-store national office visits, regular state manager store visits, a comprehensive and exclusive point of sale and catalogue system which is fed by over 10,000 pieces of product/fitment/technical information annually from the Pedders network etc etc etc. Pedders offers this extensive support to its network to provide the end customer with what we believe to be unrivalled expertise within the steering and suspension field.
• The owner of two of the Queensland stores mentioned within both stories is a 28-year veteran of Pedders and the steering and suspension industry and a current member of the Pedders Franchise Council. In terms of steering and suspension knowledge and experience he would have very few peers within Australia.
• The RACQ are not specialists in steering and suspension systems and have different inspection philosophies and methods to Pedders. Promoting the RACQ as an “industry expert” in steering and suspension is incorrect and their use in this story with reference to Pedders has the potential to be misleading as their approved repairers are a retail competitor to Pedders outlets.