While I'm not suggesting this has happened with your car you might find this story relevant. I recently got recalled to a Fiat Multipla I had put a clutch in 6 months previously as the clutch pedal was sticking half way down. I soon realised this was the master cylinder doing this but was totally confused by how I was going to be able to change this. (on a LHD model it woul've been simple) I told the customer and he said not to worry, he'd take it in to the Fiat main dealer. A month or so later he was complaining of the same problem even though the fiat agent had fitted a new master cylinder. I went back and looked at it and could see that the small amount of the cylinder visible from under the car had dust on it! Obviously not been change. The customer took a lot of convincing that they had relieved him of £225 and done next to nothing. The happy ending was that he returned to the dealers accompanied by trading standards who asked to see the technician who had done the work. When said technician appeared he was asked if the cylinder had been changed. "No fear that's a five hour job, I was'nt doing that on a Saturday, I just bled it" ----he didn't know he was speaking to trading standards. A Misunderstanding, it was claimed by the service manager and the cylinder was duly replaced. The Alfa cylinder does'nt take five hours to replace (neither does any other vehicle I've ever come accross!) but just bleeding it would offer a cosiderable profit boost. As I said, Im not suggesting your garage has done anything like this, but don't dismiss the idea completely. Can't help with the brakes Im afraid, not my specialty!