Which? Child Car Seat Mystery Shop Investigation (2018)

Organisation: Which? & Good Egg Safety
Date uploaded: 26th September 2018
Date published/launched: September 2018

John Lewis and Mamas & Papas finished ‘bottom of the table’ in this Which? mystery shop investigation into child car seat retailers.Which? – in partnership with Good Egg Safety – sent mystery shoppers posing as customers who wanted to upgrade a baby car seat to more than 200 branches of high street chains and independent retailers.

In each store, sales assistants were assessed on their ability to ask ‘all of the key safety questions recommended by experts and manufacturers’.

In nine out of 10 mystery shop visits (89%), staff failed to ask all of these questions.

John Lewis and Mamas & Papas were the worst performers, with what was judged by Which? to be a ‘100% fail rate’, with none of the stores asking all the relevant safety questions when advising on which car seat to buy.

Despite a ‘high fail rate of 83%’, Halfords was the best performer in the mystery shop. In 38% of its Scottish branches, sales assistants asked all the relevant questions, while in England only two out of 52 stores successfully asked all the key questions.

Independent stores performed better than most major car seat retailers, with a ‘fail rate of 90%’.

Nearly a quarter of stores (23%) did not offer fitting demonstrations.

Which? and Good Egg Safety believe it should be mandatory for sales assistants to use a consultation form when speaking with customers to ‘make sure important safety information is not missed’.

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