Good afternoon everyone.
First time poster so I hope I get all of the info you require to give sound advice.
fI have every email and every text that has been sent between me and the mechanic which shows the scope of work, each other's understanding of the problems (as presented at the time) etc.
I can make these available to anyone who wants to view them but the guts of it is as follows:
I have a 2006 Audi A6 2 litre diesel with about 130k on the clock. I bought it earlier in the year for just over £4k. Overall it's a decent car with only a couple of cosmetic marks. There's evidence that it has been serviced regularly by the previous owners and I am satisfied that it's worth the money that I paid for it
Typically, about a month after the warranty expired the car developed a fault whereby it wouldn't start first time. It would always start second time, but always with some kind of fault displayed on the dash. Perfectly driveable though. If you drove it for another half hour and left it, when you came back the car would start straight away, but this time without ABS or perhaps traction control.
Long story short I took the car in to a local tyre / exhaust centre near where I live to have the battery assessed. It was at this point where I received a flier for an Audi specialist who works in the area. I'm not certain at this point if it's right to state the name of this company, but the trading name clearly indicates that they are Audi specialists. The blurb on his flier certainly states that he caters for 'the discerning Audi / VW owner'.
So I gave him a call.
Long story short (again) he picked up the car on Oct 4th 2015. A few days pass before he states that it's related to the ECU. We agree on a price for a replacement (if he cant clean up the contacts on the existing one). He insists on bank transfer. I pay him and he confirms receipt by text. We agree on a labour charge of 2 hours. The part comes on a one day delivery. Over the course of the next 3 weeks he adds a connector kit and another hour of labour. I get the car back on 25th October At this point I have paid him £555 for both pieces of equipment and 3 hours of labour. He doesn't charge VAT.
Still no receipts, but he has confirmed that he has received the money in his account by text.
On 28th October I drive up the country and stop off the feed the kids halfway on the journey. I come out to start the car - you've guessed it! It doesn't start first time but it does on the second try. EXACTLY the same set of circumstances before I paid £555. I text him and let him know but I have to continue my journey without ABS - thankfully I don't need to use it. Straight away he states that it will be the ECU (almost as if he knows that this would happen).
I ask him again to post the receipts whilst I'm away. He agrees.
I get back - no receipts.
We spend the next 2 months getting a pickup date sorted. The day before he picks it up the cars fails to start at all. It's finally given up the ghost. The dash has a few warnings on it as normal, although this time it's arguing about Oil pressure. We know there's a faulty ECU at play, so it could be anything. He says that his labour and the ECU replacement will be free as its covered by a warranty. I still haven't seen evidence of this. Anyway, he states that his labour will be free and he will check the oil pressure to make sure - again for free (I have this confirmed in emails).
He picks up the car on December 18th (he tows it for free as his flier states 'free local collection / delivery').
After a few days he diagnoses a failed oil pump and quotes £310 for a new pump. He continues to state that, since the first job took so long, he will continue to provide free labour on the understanding that he fits the job in around other paying work - such as a few hours in the evening and on weekends. I agree and pay him. I feel that I have no choice since the car is a non starter and the bottom end is off.
7 weeks later, and a lot of texts about progress in the meantime, he still hadn't fixed it. I had enough and said that this was getting ridiculous as I needed my car back.
In the meantime I get a second opinion from an Audi VW dealer centre and their book rate hours for this job is 4.65 hours.
Long story short, I said that I wanted my car back as I had lost faith in his ability to fix it (7 weeks without a result. Add this to the three weeks he took to try and fix the ECU - without a result).
At this point he says that if that's the case then he will have no alternative but to charge me for all the free labour that he'd put to this job and states that it's in excess of 30!
So, in my mind, he's clearly admitting his own incompetence and demonstrating that he's misrepresented his skills to me as an Audi specialist.
I had the car flatbedded back to me in mid Feb as he told me that the sump had been removed (along with a few other things such as the top cover so that the internals were exposed - looks like the cams but I cant be sure - it's been a few weeks since I opened the bonnet). I didn’t want to tow it as I didn’t want dirt and grime getting into the bottom end.
So I am stuck with this car that needs minor assembly, some oil and probably a few gaskets / seals.
I still have no receipts or warranties, despite his early promises to get the posted.
I have sought advice from Citizens Advice and they advised me to ask if he is a member of an ADR scheme, which opens up a diaglogue about his reimbursing me a portion of the money. I hold out until we agree a figure of £600 as long as I sign a form (written by a solicitor) clearing him of any future dealings with the work he has done so far. I have yet to sign anything and he hasn't given me any details of who the solicitor is or the number etc.
It's now been a month since we agreed on the £600 reimbursement and I cant get him to reply to little prods asking him about the money or the form. Should I now proceed to Money Claims Online for the full amount? Should I add any compensation or interest?
If you got this far, you deserve a medal.