Would you buy an MOT and a manicure, or a massage, if they were attractively packaged and priced? I’d certainly consider it.
As you may know, FOXY Lady Drivers Club includes a network of garages that meet our standards in terms of quality, ethics, value for money, cleanliness and customer services.
We do this because few women realise that garages aren’t regulated and mechanics don’t have to be licensed to repair our cars. Which can make for dangerous cars and rip off practices which we know a lot about.
So we check out garage credentials for females and then promote them as FOXY Lady Approved ie female friendly, requiring regular female feedback to keep them on our network and their toes.
To the best of my knowledge one of our FOXY Lady Approved garages in Oxfordshire, called Carterton Auto Repair, is the first in the UK to offer women the combination of manicures and massages included in the cost of their MOT. As you might expect, this is a bit of light-hearted marketing fun but not everyone always sees gender marketing messages in this light.
Just for the record, this sort of initiative isn’t new in the US, France or Australia where women seem more relaxed about this choice of customer services.
What Mumsnetters think of Manicures in Garages
So where best to find out what UK women think about all this than that august barometer of female taste, Mumsnet. Posted under Feminism/Womens Rights this is what NotRealName wanted her fellow Mums to react to, followed by others taking similar and opposed stances.
All this makes for interesting insight for FOXY of course, because motoring services for women are what we do. But it just shows you how different women can be from each other, let alone men. And how unforgiving women can be when it comes to their gender…
Luckily Carterton services are optional and we know why they are doing this and I’m sure it’s a practice that’ll spread, even if you drop your car off and go next door for your manicure.
Men can be arsey too
And if anyone thinks it’s just women that can be arsey here, think again. In a garage in Kent last week the owner told me he’d had to remove his offer of a free Club membership for women drivers leaving feedback because the men wanted to know why they didn’t get one. The owner didn’t know to say ‘Sign your FOXY Lady up, Bill’ and you can likely share her offers and such like.
All this is ironic really. The garage industry has been run by men for men since WWII. Even today only a woeful 2% of staff in the retail motor industry are female. And now that the number of women drivers is about to outnumber that of men, men aren’t prepared to put up with female service levels today, after expecting us to do precisely this for 70 years…
And if men had sorted out the motoring industry during their 70 year reign, it wouldn’t be as dysfunctional as it is and there’d be no need for a motoring support service like ours for women. Which would be an all round good thing.
So let’s all grow up here.
Women are different from each other.
Men and women are different from each other.
Mumsnetters include mouthy and tolerant feminist views alike.
We all need to get on with it and let individual choice prevail.
Let’s celebrate well-intentioned initiatives like Cartertons (and FOXY) that are designed to give us choices that didn’t exist beforehand. It mightn’t be for you and it’s definitely not meant for everyone. But it’s called personal choice and I for one buy it.