A mechanic refused to change a female motorist’s reading after wrongly adding 40,000km to her NCT certificate.
The finding is contained in Ombudsman Ger Deering's annual report, which reported the office received a record 4,791 complaints in 2022.
Speaking to Breakfast Briefing, the Ombudsman said this affected the car's value.
“This lady went for her NCT and received her certificate and didn't notice [the number] until later,” he said.
“This obviously had an impact on the value of the car.”
Mr Deering revealed that the incident took place during COVID, in which individuals were asked not to “linger” in the NCT Centre.
“Initially, the NCT said, ‘Well, no, you should have actually pointed that out when you were in the centre’,” he said.
“When we engaged with the NCT, and they looked at all of the circumstances, they accepted that it wouldn't have been practical or wasn't possible indeed for her to wait and check her certificate.
“So, they issued a new certificate with the correct number of kilometres on it.”
The increase in complaints made to the Ombudsman was largely driven by delays in processing passports, which made up 800 of the overall complaints.
“I'm glad to say that the Passport Office has put systems in place and liaises very well with our office in relation to actually dealing with those complaints,” he said.
“That was a one-off issue that we hope won't be repeated this year.
“There was a post-COVID rush … Brexit caused a significant increase in the number of people looking for Irish passports.
“What we like to see is where systems are put in place to improve services and rectify these kinds of matters.”
Mr Deering said the number of complaints about housing and local authorities is “not surprising.”
“It's important to say we can't produce houses for people or indeed we can't interfere with the things like allocation systems of houses,” he said.
“What we do look at is how people were treated during that process and whether it was fair and reasonable in the way that the application was dealt with."
The Ombudsman said his office often receives complaints about the housing payment scheme (HAP).
“There can be delays, and at this stage, it's very important if somebody is trying to access housing support that it's done quickly," he said.
“It's not necessarily always that somebody would get what they were looking for, but they may very, very well get a better explanation and be better able to understand why it is that a certain action has been taken or why something is taking longer than they would have liked.”
People with disabilities
Mr Deering said the transport options for people with disabilities are “quite shameful” in Ireland.
“It's hard to believe this but we had actually better schemes in place in the 60s, in the 70s, in the 80s, in the 90s", he said.
“My office found that there was an inequality in how some of the schemes were being applied.
“Sadly, instead of revising these schemes and making them more equitable, they were closed over 10 years ago – The Motorised Transport Scheme and Mobility Allowance Scheme.”
The Ombudsman said The Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passenger Schemes continued, but the criterion for accessing the schemes is “restrictive.”
“It really is unreasonable and inequitable to continue to apply those criteria,” he said.
“The real problem I notice at the moment is that nobody seems to be taking responsibility for it.”