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Steve Mac

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  1. Thanks for the replies. Let me answer some of your queries. Bob, the car cost nearly £3000, so hardly 'banger money'. It is a particularly rare colour, which holds onto its value, hence the price. Citizens Advice did not say that the cost of the vehicle would be a factor under SOGA. Using your arguement, what would you say the price point would be where the dealer's obligations under SOGA no longer apply? Citizens Advice were of the opinion that as the corrosion was a factor relating to the design of the car, and not 'fair wear and tear' then my case was stronger. I can't see how the fact of whether or not the dealer knew about the corrosion or the previous repairs is relevant. If a high street shop sells you a broken product, they cannot simply say 'Sorry, we didn't know anything about it - you're on your own'. How is this different for a car dealer? Regarding the body shop and their statement. It is a well regarded business with a good reputation for quality work (which is why I used them). I have friends and family members who have used them before and I know their work is good. They often have high value vehicles in for repair, so are not some backstreet outfit who don't know what they are doing, trying to get out of doing a proper job.
  2. Thanks for the replies. Let me answer some of your queries. Bob, the car cost nearly £3000, so hardly 'banger money'. It is a particularly rare colour, which holds onto its value, hence the price. Citizens Advice did not say that the cost of the vehicle would be a factor under SOGA. Using your arguement, what would you say the price point would be where the dealer's obligations under SOGA no longer apply? Citizens Advice were of the opinion that as the corrosion was a factor relating to the design of the car, and not 'fair wear and tear' then my case was stronger. I can't see how the fact of whether or not the dealer knew about the corrosion or the previous repairs is relevant. If a high street shop sells you a broken product, they cannot simply say 'Sorry, we didn't know anything about it - you're on your own'. How is this different for a car dealer? Regarding the body shop and their statement. It is a well regarded business with a good reputation for quality work (which is why I used them). I have friends and family members who have used them before and I know their work is good. They often have high value vehicles in for repair, so are not some backstreet outfit who don't know what they are doing, trying to get out of doing a proper job.
  3. Hello CAGgers, On 23rd of June I purchased a 2001 VW Beetle for my wife from an independent dealer in Cornwall (I live in Essex, so it was some way to go!). The car was paid for using a credit card. Last week I noticed some rust patches had appeared at the corners of the roof. I took the car to a body repair specialist and now have a bill for £463.60 in front of me. Now, obviously I'm not happy with that, but what concerns me more is the advisory notice that the body shop have put on the invoice: "Due to the location and depth of the rust, the repair we have carried out is only superficial and will return most definitely within time. The location and nature of the rust under and within joining panel seals means that areas inaccessible to us will still be corroding underneath. Even a full roof skin removal and replacement will leave corroding pillars which cannot be replaced as these make up the structural integrity of the vehicle. In our opinion given the value, this vehicle and the repairs needed would result in a write off situation. This particular fault is due to the manufacturers design of the roof skin / roof pillar seam. The foam and rubber seals lock the water in the recess rather than expelling it. We would not expect to see this level of corrosion on a vehicle of this age and would therefore not consider it to be general wear and tear." Understandably my wife was very upset on hearing this news - she absolutely adored this car The body shop said that this corrosion had been happening for some time, and that the roof had already been repainted at least twice before. With this information, I rang Citizens Advice to see if they could help me, and they believe I have a case under the SOGA, as the vehicle is not of satisfactory quality and has not lasted a reasonable length of time. They suggested that as the corrosion cannot be attributed to fair wear and tear, then it would be classed as a manufacturing fault, and I could reject the car rather than accepting a repair (as a repair will not remedy the underlying problem). They also said I should give the dealer a call to see what his response would be. I did that this afternoon and he basically said it's not his problem and 'rust happens'. I am about to write a formal letter to the dealer, and was wondering if anyone could point me in the right direction with what to put to make it more, well, official sounding. I know I have to keep it short and sweet, but is there anything specific I should include? Any other help or advice would be very much appreciated. Steve
  4. Steampowered - thanks for the info, but the letter has already gone out! I'll give them 14 days instead of seven, just to be on the safe side though. As it happens, the manager who was meant to phone me on the Tuesday rang Wednesday morning whilst I was at the post office sending the letter. He still refused to give the refund, and started trying to tell me that I might as well wait until February as I'm hardly likely to go camping between now and then! Cheeky s*d! I just told him I'll wait for a response from the owner to my letter.
  5. Thanks reneadeimp. I've changed the wording now. Hopefully this will do the trick. I've looked up the firm at Companies House, so I know who to address it to (the very chap who sold us the tent, as it turns out). I haven't got in touch with the credit card company yet, as I'm hoping this letter will be the end of it. Fingers crossed.
  6. Today I rang the local Citizens Advice branch, and after a conversation with one of their advisers, I have drafted this letter, which I intend to send tomorrow morning. I have gone over the details of the problem again in the letter, as the owner is probably unaware of what is going on. Please let me know what you think. Dear Mr XXXXX, I am writing regarding the Outwell Wolf Lake 7 tent package and Awning Conversion that was sold to me on 8th June. Unfortunately when I used the tent for the first time in August there were a number of faults with the tent, including a carpet that did not fit, a bedroom inner tent that had already had a repair, a rip in a window vent, a broken fixing point on the groundsheet and a broken pegging point on the Awning Conversion. I phoned your XXXXXXX branch and spoke to XXXXXXX who informed me that XXXXXXX XXXXX were aware of the manufacturing fault with the carpet when it was sold to me, as he had suffered the same problem with the display tent, but that no replacement would be available until February next year. He arranged for a courier to pick up the tent and return it to your premises on 27th August. I have since been in conversation and email correspondence with XXXX at the XXXXXXX branch who has informed me that the Awning Conversion is out of stock, and that it also will not be available until February next year. I have since had this confirmed by Outwell themselves. When I heard this I asked XXXX for a refund of the £1500 purchase price, as six months is an unreasonable and unfair amount of time to wait for replacement parts. He refused to give me a refund, saying that I had to wait while he got in touch with the manufacturer. I disagreed with this, and was waiting for a further phone call from him today (Tuesday), which never came. When I phoned the XXXXXXX branch to speak to him at the end of the day, I was told that he was not there as it was his day off. In light of this, I contacted Citizens Advice in XXXXXXX who informed me that the terms of the contract between us have been broken under the Sale of Goods Act, as the tent and the associated items are not of satisfactory quality. They also said that as the replacement parts are unavailable, and especially as it was known that the carpet was faulty when it was sold to me, then I was entitled to a full refund of the £1500 that I paid. They also advised me of what other course of action to take if this did not happen. I am therefore rejecting the tent package and Awning Conversion under the aforementioned Sale of Goods Act and expect a full refund of the purchase price. If this is not forthcoming within seven days, I will have no other choice than to issue legal proceedings through the small claims court, with no further correspondence from myself . Is this OK, or should I have included or omitted anything?
  7. Right, I've done a bit of research and can't find how I can contact Trading Standards/Citizens Advice in that particular area (West Sussex). And to be honest, I'm not exactly sure what I am complaining about - is it that they are not sticking to the Sale of Good Act? Any help would be most welcome.
  8. Ok great, thanks. I take it by Trading Standards, you are referring to Citizens Advice? Whenever I've searched for Trading Standards in the past, their 'public' contact details are virtually non-existent and C.A. Is the only way through to them.
  9. How do I get in touch with trading standards? Do they have regional offices? I'm in Essex, but travelled 80-odd miles to buy the tent.
  10. It is an independent retailer with two large stores, but very well regarded in the field (if you excuse the pun!). It is a real shame, because up until this point, their customer service was very good. It seems that's only the case when they're taking your money, not giving it back to you...
  11. Sorry, cross posted. I know the name of the owner, as it was him that sold us the tent. Should I address it to him?
  12. So which order should procedures take? Head office/court first, then credit card company?
  13. OK, thanks very much. Was he lying to me then? They have a Facebook page, and I'm just wondering if a post on there telling other potential customers what they really are like would make any difference. I would only state the facts, obviously. I'm not the sort to rant on uncontrolably. My rants are quite controlled...
  14. Do I have to send a written letter, or will an email do? I have the manager's email address.
  15. dx - they are not the only retailer that sell this item, it's just that the manufacturer (Outwell) appear to have some very strange ideas when it comes to manufacturing and releasing stock. I eevn have an email from Outwell themselves confirming they will not be available until next year! If you do a shopping search for Outwell Wolflake 7 Awning Conversion on Google, you will see that nobody has them in stock. Mad, but true! renegadeimp - thanks for the advice. One thing I'm trying to get to the bottom of though is the manager's claim that I have no right to insist on a refund under SOGA, and that they have the choice on their course of action? He seemed pretty confident about that. Was he lying or just mistaken? To be honest I can't see where he's going to go with this when he comes back to me next week after finding out that Outwell don't have any.
  16. I see. Unfortunately this may end up being a little more difficult as the items were purchased as a 'package' that Mrs Mac haggled and so weren't individually priced. We would not have purchased the tent on its own, and I don't want to be left with only the tent and no awning/carpet.
  17. I like the sound of that, but at the moment the retailer is holding all the cards - they have my money and my tent. The guy I spoke to was the one who started quoting SOGA, and saying that I can't insist on a refund. What can I do or say that will make him change his mind?
  18. Thanks, dx.If he is correct, and SOGA says they are able to offer a repair/replacement before considering a refund, won't the credit card company say the same thing?
  19. In June I bought a tent from a camping specialist retailer (don't wish to name them at this time) for £1500. The deal we got included the tent, an awning converion kit and a tent carpet. Last month we went camping for a week and noticed several faults with all of the components. There were various rips, a repair that had already been carried out, and the carpet did not fit. I phoned the retailer and said I would be returning it, expecting a replacement. The guy I spoke to on the phone said thats fine, to arrange a courier with them and send it back. He also explained that they were aware of the issue with the carpet, as the manufacturer had somehow managed to get the production wrong for all of the carpets for that particular tent, and that they would all be replaced next year when they produced their next batch of carpets. I also emailed the retailer with photos of the faults, and they arranged for a courier to pick it up. A few days later I was phoned by the retailer who told me that they had received the items, and that they would be inspecting them. He also told me that the Awning Conversion was no longer in stock, and none would be produced again until Februaury next year, and therefore we would not be able to have a replacement until then. The tent however is in stock. After some discussion with my wife, we decided that it was unreasonable to be without this for nearly half a year, just because the manufacturer has some strange production schedules. It's like buying a saloon car and being told "yeah, we'll deliver the rear seats in six months" Earlier this week I emailed the retailer stating that we would like a complete refund instead, as it was unreasonable that they would be unable to supply us with the Awning Conversion until next year. I got no reply, so this afternoon I phoned them and they told me they would not be refunding me my money and would try to source an Awning conversion kit from the manufacturer, as the Sale of Goods Act states that they do not have to offer a refund, and that the consumer cannot insist on one. I asked them what happens if the manufacturer cannot give them one and he just said "We'll have to have that conversation when it happens." Where do I stand with this? Is he right to refuse a refund for faulty goods? Don't know if this makes any diference, but the tent was bought using a credit card. Any help would be much appreciated.
  20. Thanks for the comments, people. Just thought I'd update with what has happened.We took the glasses down to the optician at Tesco and spoke with the manager there. All the staff tried the glasses on and all agreed that something wasn't right. The manager wasn't able to say for definite what was causing the problem, but he was very helpful and said they'd get it sorted. He kept one pair to investigate and left my wife with the other so she still had a pair to use if she wanted. He said that the fact the glasses didn't have a coating on them could possibly be the problem. and kind of suggested that there'd be no charge if they had to put one on, so fingers crossed that's it, and all credit to the manager.Nice to have a good experience of customer service. Let's just hope the problem with the glasses themselves gets sorted!
  21. Hi there, A few weeks ago, my wife had an eye test and bought two pairs of glasses from the in-store opticians at Tesco. One normal pair, and one with the type of lenses that darken in sunlight. They were only a very weak prescription, so she does not need to wear them all the time. Ever since she got them she has said that something didn't seem right, but we put that down to her eyes getting used to the new prescription (I know this can take time as I'm a speccy four-eyes myself ). Last week, when wearing the glasses, she noticed when looking at a light, that she could see two lights, and not one. She tried the other pair and these were the same. I tried them on and saw that they were definitely two light sources instead of one - almost like a 'ghost' image. Now obviously when driving at night, this could be very dangerous, as the vehicles coming towards you could be slightly to the left or right of their true position. She rang Tesco this morning and told them about the problem. They said it is because she hasn't got an 'anti-glare' coating on the lenses. When my wife was in the optician ordering the glasses, Tesco never mentioned that there would be this problem if she didn't have the lenses coated. Now, as it stands, the glasses are unsafe at night, and distracting during the day unless you are standing in the shade. Do we have any recourse with Tesco in getting this sorted out? Obviously if they offer to put on the anti-glare coating and charge us for it, that's fine (I wouldn't expect it for free). However if they say they can't do anything about it as the glasses have already been made and they can't put the coating on, would we be entitled to a refund, as they are not fit for purpose? Many thanks, Steve
  22. Hello. Hopefully someone will be able to tell me if I will have to pay BT nearly £100 for the privelige of saying goodbye. I recently changed from BT's Unlimited Anytime plan to the Post Office Homephone. I had been on this plan for a couple of years before I decided to change to the P.O. after taking advice from Martin Lewis' site. Towards the end of my latest contract term BT sent me a letter saying that I would continue to stay on the plan, and I would start a new twelve month contract unless I told them otherwise by 17th June (the date my contract ended). Unfortunately due to a bout of illness in my house (two sons and then my wife all fell ill within a two week period, so my mind wasn't on my phone line, as you could imagine), I didn't get round to cancelling the contract before the 17th. I applied to the P.O. and informed BT of my intention to leave them via their website on the 24th June. At the end of BT's letter they state "Once your contract is renewed, you won't be able to cancel it before the next renewal date without incurring termination charges. If you do decide to end you contract within the 12-month minimum term, you will incur a single charge of £8.00 for each month left of the minimum term." Interestingly in the small print on the back of this letter there is this sentence: "Nothing in this publication forms part of any contract". Today I received a new letter from BT saying that they estimate that I will need to pay £89.07 in termination charges, and that my final bill will show the exact amount when it arrives. So, was I too late? Do I not get a cooling off period on the new contract? If I have to cough up then fair enough, but I'd rather not, obviously! Any help or advice would be much apreciated.
  23. Thanks. Wish I'd have remembered this site before I wrote the original letter (I'm a member from way back when banks were repaying their charges). Worst thing is that it is my wife's car but I was driving, so needn't have done a thing. Oh well, live and learn!
  24. Doh! I sent a letter before I read the posts on here. I parked at the Brewery car park in Romford, run by MET Parking Services, and ended up with a ticket. I took some advice from another site and sent them the following letter (paragraph with personal details deleted): "I had purchased a valid parking ticket (a copy of which is enclosed) when I parked the car that morning. This ticket cost £2.50 and expired at 3:08pm, covering the period when the Parking Charge was issued. I placed the ticket face up on the dashboard when I left the vehicle. The only way I can think that the ticket ended up face down is that the draught from me shutting the boot caused the ticket to flip over after I returned to put some shopping in the car. Therefore I do not dispute that the ticket was not clearly displayed when the Parking Charge was issued. However after taking legal advice, I do dispute the amount you have chosen to charge me for the ticket not being clearly displayed. When I parked in the car park and paid for a ticket, I entered into a contract with yourselves. Put simply, in return for a fee, I was permitted to park the vehicle in the car park as long as the vehicle clearly displayed a valid parking ticket. When the ticket flipped over, I broke the terms of that contract. Common law holds that the remedy for breach of contract is damages. This means you are entitled to damages covering the costs incurred as a result of me breaching the contract. For damages to be justifiable they must be a reflection of actual loss. As I had paid for the use of that space until 3:08pm, including the period in which the Parking Charge was issued, you did not incur any actual loss of revenue. I would like to draw your attention to a piece of consumer legislation called the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations (1999). Section 5 states: “Unfair Terms 5. - (1) A contractual term which has not been individually negotiated shall be regarded as unfair if, contrary to the requirement of good faith, it causes a significant imbalance in the parties' rights and obligations arising under the contract, to the detriment of the consumer. (2) A term shall always be regarded as not having been individually negotiated where it has been drafted in advance and the consumer has therefore not been able to influence the substance of the term. (3) Notwithstanding that a specific term or certain aspects of it in a contract has been individually negotiated, these Regulations shall apply to the rest of a contract if an overall assessment of it indicates that it is a pre-formulated standard contract. (4) It shall be for any seller or supplier who claims that a term was individually negotiated to show that it was. (5) Schedule 2 to these Regulations contains an indicative and non-exhaustive list of the terms which may be regarded as unfair.”   Schedule 2: Indicative and Non-Exhaustive List of Terms which may be Regarded as Unfair (e) requiring any consumer who fails to fulfil his obligation to pay a disproportionately high sum in compensation. It is obvious from this legislation that the terms of the contract between ourselves were unfair from the very beginning. Furthermore it is clear that your claim for £100 (or £50 if paid within 14 days) is grossly disproportionate to any loss you may have incurred, and as such is also unfair under the above legislation. In light of this, the contract between us and the subsequent Parking Charge you have levied against me is wrong under this legislation and therefore I will not pay the unfair charge which you are claiming from me. Please could you reply to me within 14 days stating your response. I feel this is more than enough time for a company of your size with a dedicated department and staff to deal with this matter. A stamped addressed envelope is enclosed for your convenience. If I do not receive a response within this time I will assume that the charge has been cancelled."        Anyway, this week (exactly three months after the ticket was issued and well after my 14 day deadline!) they wrote back. They state that the breach of contract damages arguement is invalid and that I owe them £50, as that's what the terms and conditions stated on the signs (they have graciously reset the original penalty amount down from £100 - aren't they kind?!). They also say that the sums are entirely in line with those set out in the British Parking Association Code of Practice (which I now know is written by the parking companies themselves). They also say that "the courts have already upheld fees of this sum to be reasonable". The last sentence of their letter is this: Additional costs may be inccurred upon transferal of this case to debt recovery agents and/or court proceedings. My question is what do I do now? Can I just ignore them even though I have already entered into correspondence with them, or should I write again telling them to poke it? Forgive me if this post is in the wrong place, I'm a novice at this forum lark.
  25. Doh! I sent a letter before I read the posts on here. I parked at the Brewery car park in Romford, run by MET Parking Services, and ended up with a ticket. I took some advice from another site and sent them the following letter (paragraph with personal details deleted): I had purchased a valid parking ticket (a copy of which is enclosed) when I parked the car that morning. This ticket cost £2.50 and expired at 3:08pm, covering the period when the Parking Charge was issued. I placed the ticket face up on the dashboard when I left the vehicle. The only way I can think that the ticket ended up face down is that the draught from me shutting the boot caused the ticket to flip over after I returned to put some shopping in the car. Therefore I do not dispute that the ticket was not clearly displayed when the Parking Charge was issued. However after taking legal advice, I do dispute the amount you have chosen to charge me for the ticket not being clearly displayed. When I parked in the car park and paid for a ticket, I entered into a contract with yourselves. Put simply, in return for a fee, I was permitted to park the vehicle in the car park as long as the vehicle clearly displayed a valid parking ticket. When the ticket flipped over, I broke the terms of that contract. Common law holds that the remedy for breach of contract is damages. This means you are entitled to damages covering the costs incurred as a result of me breaching the contract. For damages to be justifiable they must be a reflection of actual loss. As I had paid for the use of that space until 3:08pm, including the period in which the Parking Charge was issued, you did not incur any actual loss of revenue. I would like to draw your attention to a piece of consumer legislation called the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations (1999). Section 5 states: “Unfair Terms 5. - (1) A contractual term which has not been individually negotiated shall be regarded as unfair if, contrary to the requirement of good faith, it causes a significant imbalance in the parties' rights and obligations arising under the contract, to the detriment of the consumer. (2) A term shall always be regarded as not having been individually negotiated where it has been drafted in advance and the consumer has therefore not been able to influence the substance of the term. (3) Notwithstanding that a specific term or certain aspects of it in a contract has been individually negotiated, these Regulations shall apply to the rest of a contract if an overall assessment of it indicates that it is a pre-formulated standard contract. (4) It shall be for any seller or supplier who claims that a term was individually negotiated to show that it was. (5) Schedule 2 to these Regulations contains an indicative and non-exhaustive list of the terms which may be regarded as unfair.”   Schedule 2: Indicative and Non-Exhaustive List of Terms which may be Regarded as Unfair (e) requiring any consumer who fails to fulfil his obligation to pay a disproportionately high sum in compensation. It is obvious from this legislation that the terms of the contract between ourselves were unfair from the very beginning. Furthermore it is clear that your claim for £100 (or £50 if paid within 14 days) is grossly disproportionate to any loss you may have incurred, and as such is also unfair under the above legislation. In light of this, the contract between us and the subsequent Parking Charge you have levied against me is wrong under this legislation and therefore I will not pay the unfair charge which you are claiming from me. Please could you reply to me within 14 days stating your response. I feel this is more than enough time for a company of your size with a dedicated department and staff to deal with this matter. A stamped addressed envelope is enclosed for your convenience. If I do not receive a response within this time I will assume that the charge has been cancelled.        Anyway, this week (exactly three months after the ticket was issued and well after my 14 day deadline!) they wrote back. They state that the breach of contract damages arguement is invalid and that I owe them £50, as that's what the terms and conditions stated on the signs (they have graciously reset the original penalty amount down from £100 - aren't they kind?!). They also say that the sums are entirely in line with those set out in the British Parking Association Code of Practice (which I now know is written by the parking companies themselves). They also say that "the courts have already upheld fees of this sum to be reasonable". The last sentence of their letter is this: Additional costs may be inccurred upon transferal of this case to debt recovery agents and/or court proceedings. My question is what do I do now? Can I just ignore them even though I have already entered into correspondence with them, or should I write again telling them to poke it? Forgive me if this post is in the wrong place, I'm a novice at this forum lark.   EDIT: I've now moved this post to a more apropriate place, thanks.  
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