Hi everyone, I have joined this forum for some much needed help.
I bought a car from Available Car
(i won't say which one or no doubt they will email me and kick off)
with all cars they offer a 3k 3 month warranty.
I noticed the car had a window fault and also a mechanic had noticed during the service the spark plug plug rail had a spark plug damaged.
I contacted them and they told me it was no worry and i was covered under warranty so to bring the car in.
I took the car to them in July and they diagnosed it did have a fault and they would repair it once the part came into stock. I asked them to put this in writing, they did do this.
They then did not call me for 4 weeks and so I chased them,
i was told to bring the car to them on July 31st as the part had come into stock.
I took the car to them on July 31st and left it with them to repair.
Now my car for road safety purposes and also car insurance purposes has a transcend dashcam which records inside the car and the exterior.
I left the dashcam in and gave them the keys,
they then did a pre-check on the car for any dents/faults etc and only noted a driver side alloy wheel being scuffed.
the next day I got a phonecall on 1st August to say everything was repaired.
I went to the car and noticed damage to the passenger side door (a scratch) and a chip on the edge of the front bonnett and grill. I notified them of this immediately and also I discovered the window was not repaired properly.
They told me they would rectify the issue and asked me to let them have the car longer.
I then decided to take the dashcam out of the car and look at the dashcam footage to see how this damage could occur.
When I got home i found quite a bit of footage I would deem shows they did not take reasonable care of the car.
One clip shows a gentlemen cleaning the car with a dirty cloth,
another with his sweatshirt
and in one clip a gentlemen who seems agitated he has to take the car to their workship for repair and is muttering words like *** sake every few minutes or so.
In this clip I also believe you can hear stones hitting the car so hard that the camera has caught it which may have caused the chip/damage to the grill and perhaps bonnett.
I also noticed they drove the car around without seat belts on and using mobile phones.
As soon as i found this footage I contacted them and their branch manager contacted me and told me the cars are kept in a rocky compound and stone chips could happen but that they would rectify this (he rang me). He also asked for a copy of the footage
I explained this was 50gb of footage and over 50 clips stemming throughout the day
i would have to put this on a file sharing site like youtube for him to view .
He said that was fine.
I waited until 4th August and rang them again
they told me the grill would come into stock on 5th August as it needed a whole new grill and that they would touch up the bonnett area.
On the 5th I heard nothing and rang them, they told me the grill had not come into stock and I could collect the car and they would ring me once the grill had been ordered.
I went to go and get the car on the 5th August and noticed they had polished the passenger side scratch down however the damage to the grill and bonnett was still apparent.
I then got into the car and noticed my USB had been stolen and also some cigars which were from Bulgaria alongside some glasses had been damaged.
I didn't leave site and immediately reported it to them, with it being a Saturday the workshop had closed they helped me search the car for the items and some of the staff but we could not find these. I was told they would investigate and call me back.
I was so angry that I rang the police and reported it as theft as the usb was a 64gb drive which had my music, images of my family on and also navigation maps and connected to the vehicle you see. The police gave me a incident number.
I then said that the branch manager was waiting for the footage and explained I found it very unusual that i had filed a complaint about the treatment of the vehicle in their care and now items had been stolen/damaged consequently.
I also told them that I wanted a copy of their car signature sheets for hand over to them as it had no disclaimer about leaving property in the car neither did their premises.
They gave me this.
I then got a spare 8GB usb and went to try and copy the footage onto a USB so their manager had it, unfortunately the one to two clips were bigger than the whole usb,
i put screenshots on there and a video of the dashcam and how it should sound without stone chips hitting it. i gave it to a gentlemen at available car whos name i took and he promised it would be handed over to the branch manager.
I was furious and went home and did upload the clips to youtube, youtube told me I had to blur out people's faces so I did that using their blur tool.
Admittingly I shouldn't have put the footage on youtube and exposed them, but I was so angry that one of their staff had stolen my stuff that I did lose my cool.
3 weeks and have gone by and I sent them two letters and these are copies of the letters-
this letter i sent on the 4th august directly to the branch manager via email(when i was furious)-
Dear Avallable Car
On 31st July 2017 I took the above vehicle- XXX into your garage for repair of two window faults and a snapped bolt in the spark plug rail which were on the vehicle when I purchased it, which under your warranty agreement and the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 you agreed to rectify.
While in your possession for these repairs the car was damaged/missing items as follows:
Car was scratched on the door with two scratches in a t shape on the passenger side door.
This scratch remains on the vehicle and has only been partially rectified although has been lightly polished off by Available Car there is still a slight line/mark remaining now in a straight line.
Stone chips were marked on the front bonnet’s edge of the vehicle where it is lifted and opens and in the chrome grill surround area of the front bonnet
Car Headlights was left on which may have caused battery damage and require replacement/drain/inspection.
Two items went missing from the vehicle.
One item was returned damage to me (some designer sunglasses were bent)
Your staff’s pre inspection of the car stated no bodywork faults with the vehicle except wear and tear on the car’s alloys, before it was handed in, which is evidence they were not on the vehicle before it was handed to you.
You were under a legal duty to take care of my car while it was in your possession, this did not occur.
When you take your car into a dealership like Available Car, it's protected under the law of bailment, which says that anyone you entrust with your property has a responsibility to take reasonable care of it.
If they fall short of this, they're responsible for any damage or loss incurred while your car is in their possession.
In addition, the Consumer Rights Act (which replaces the Supply of Goods and Services Act from 1 October 2015) says that your dealership must provide its service with reasonable care and skill and will be responsible for any damage/loss caused if it doesn't.
Dealerships might display notices denying responsibility for loss or damage to vehicles in their possession however I note that I have checked the paperwork shared on drop off to you, photographic evidence of the documents I signed and also photographic evidence of your premises you have no notices/disclaimer regarding this. Photographs have been taken and stored to verify this.
Under the Consumer Rights Act, which replaces the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 and the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations 1999, the Availble Car sales agreement terms and conditions- these can't be used to try and take away, limit or restrict my legal rights in any of your contracts terms and conditions for your responsibility to duty of care of the vehicle. Therefore I am within my rights to ask for my car and the missing items to be replaced and repaired or be reimbursed.
Whatever the cause, it’s very unlikely that a court would uphold any claim from your company that you are fully or partially to be exempt from all responsibilities here, espically in this case where there is dash cam 1080P HD footage of your staff and an independent garage/s who can confirm that my car’s bodywork was free from damage.
I was informed that the car was repaired on 1st August.
I checked remote access dash cam footage which showed that car did not go to an Audi dealer as I had been led to belief by your staff it may do if they can't rectify the issue. There was no evidence that any repairer saw my car as if they had they would have had to check the automatic window which would have caused the dash cam to start as soon as the vehicle is started and just that it was in the workshop to have the spark plug rail fixed, which the images on the USB provided to you show.
The window can not be operated without the car starting.
I asked to see proof that a mobile mechanic had been and no paperwork was supplied.
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 and Supply of Goods and Services Act 198 requires you to use reasonable skill and care while carrying out work.-
THIS DOES COVER MISLEADING CUSTOMERS OVER THE REPAIR.
The fact that the vehicle was damaged while in your possession is evidence that you failed to take reasonable care. The dash cam footage shows damaging stone chips/excessively forceful driving and noise whilst the car was moving from site to site and this may be due to your site being untarmaced and worn access roads but in this instance seems to be as your staff member was upset he had to repair the vehicle. If your grounds could cause marks or chips, there should be a disclaimer again which you do not declare to customers or have any legal disclaimers to warn customers of.
I have now had the car back to me on 5th August, a light scratch remains on the passenger side door and the chrome grill is still not rectified as ‘the part has not arrived’ and I have found contents have been stolen from the vehicle.
The car head lights were also left on, which I have photographed and may have caused battery loss.
A USB stick which is a 64GB unit is missing and I am informed your workshop deny to have it alongside expensive cigars which were purchased from Bulgaria on my recent holiday.
Your staff have helped search for the missing items and been unable to find them in the vehicle when I reported this whilst the vehicle was on site. They have told me they hold no liability for personal items left in the car during when it is in your care for repair.
I have taken photographic evidence of your building and premises alongside the car repair paperwork and this lack of liability is not in writing anywhere, therefore you are liable.
This theft/damage has been reported to the Leicestershire police force and they will be investigating this matter as I intend to fully prosecute who has stolen my property. I believe they will be in touch with you shortly and are interested to see the dash cam footage too, specifically the mobile phone usage whilst driving.
Since reporting this to you and speaking to you, you informed me and implied to me from my understanding that your impression is that my car’s bodywork was poor condition originally when it was bought to you and it is implied none of the damage was caused by Available Car however you will rectify this anyway, which I believe to be untrue and unjustified.
C J Bull Motors in Arnold, Nottingham CHECKED both the front and back bumper on Saturday 29th July (these were the areas resprayed) and I have receipts to prove this alongside photographic evidence as I constantly check my car and care about this car so I have it checked the bodywork regularly as part of its regular valet/maintaince.
Both the AA, C J Bulls Motor Bodyshop and Pitstop Garage Mechanics do not agree the car’s bodywork was ‘poor condition’ and rated it is as good/excellent on their inspections of the vehicle.
There was no scratches or damage to any panels of the bodywork as per the photographic evidence I have and witness statements these professionals have agreed to provide.
If the car’s bodywork was poor when it was purchased as implied by Available Car then I was mis-sold the car which is a breach of the Sales of Goods Act as at no point was this mentioned to me or put on any paperwork.
Whoever removed the USB device had to go into the glove compartment where the USB ports are to remove the USB drive and none of your staff had any reason to go into this area, therefore I do believe this was a intentional theft.
I have invested money into the vehicle in both servicing and bodywork costs to rectify the ‘used’ condition of the vehicle and ensure it is well looked after, so this is not a lack of care on my part which I can provide evidence of.
I strongly believe the missing USB was removed by someone from Available Car to stop the dash cam recordings from reaching management after I contacted them on 3/8/17 as the thief believes it holds the camera footage of them from 31st July/1st August, however sadly they are wrong .
The packaging for the 64GB USB that is missing and was stolen, is now in your possession as this was in the vehicle at the time and handed to XXX under CCTV at your branch. The spare USB you hold images of the clips from is only a separate back up 8GB USB to be clear which your IT team can verify. As a result of this theft I am now left with no USB devices whatsoever for my vehicle to use.
I have also lost personal images of my XXX, music, videos and all my paid navigation content which were on the USB stick including purchased navigation maps.
The reason I believe someone stole this USB on your premises is as the dash cam caught footage of staff driving my car whilst answering and using their mobile phone without wearing a seatbelt. This is an illegal motoring offence (the police have confirmed it is as your area has a public road and public access and it not thus deemed as private property).
The dash cam footage also showed a member of staff swearing inside my car and where it was moving about several times causing paintwork damage and not using proper cleaning equipment to clean the car which may have caused scratches.
I have been left upset and angry that now the final straw for me is my car being returned to me with my Rayban Sunglasses bent, USB stolen and cigars stolen..in essence property being stolen and damaged.
Because of this I no longer wish to enter into correspondence with you via telephone until you rectify this matter immediately as I am very upset about this all, so you can contact me just via email as I refuse to discuss this matter any further with anyone from Available Car via telephone- your branch have had numerous oportunities to rectify this and failed. You can email me your resolution.
Youtube video links-
These links will be removed when the matter is resolved and for now have been kept private.
I look forward to receiving, within the next 7 days, your written proposal to agree a satisfactory repair, at no cost to me and at a garage of my choice as I no longer have faith in you at Available Car.
I also look forward to receiving a cheque for the missing items and repair of my Rayban sunglasses that were damaged alongside a form of compensation for the upset and inconvience this matter has put me at.
If you fail to respond in that time or to do the above, I shall exercise my common law right to employ another garage to carry out the work and look to you to bear the cost.
Any attempt to resist paying such a bill would leave me with no alternative but to issue a small claims court claim against you in the county court for recovery of the money without further reference to you.
However, in accordance with the Civil Procedure Pre-Action Protocol, I would be willing to refer my case to the Motor Industry Code of Practice for Service and Repair, as I understand they have a free conciliation and low cost independent arbitration scheme.
This would be a way of successfully resolving my dispute without resorting to legal action.
Please confirm whether you are a member of the Motor Industry Code of Practice for Service and Repair as I will be also be passing this matter onto them.
I rang them since sending the above letter and have recorded the phone calls, they constantly fobbed me of telling me it was being investigated for a few weeks and I got fed up so sent another letter shown below
This letter was sent via email and post to available car and the branch manager-
Dear Available Car Ltd
Reference: Damaged Vehicle & Stolen Contents
NOTICE: Intentention to commence Legal Action
As it has not been possible to resolve this matter amicably an you have failed to respond to me since August 5th, it is apparent that court action may be necessary, I write in compliance with the Practice Direction on Pre-Action Conduct to warn you that I intend to take legal action against you.
As you are aware my car has suffered damaged to the front bonnet, front grill and passenger side door whilst in your care. The car has also had numerous contents stolen and damaged whilst i in the vehicle has shown that your staff did not take reasonable care of my vehicle and did not clean the car with adequate cleaning equipment.
I gave you since the 5th August to rectify this matter and you have failed to do so despite contact from myself to chase the matter.
From you I am claiming the full cost of the repair to the parts of the motor vehicle you have damaged and replacement costs of the stolen/damaged items in the vehicle which total £1018.97
I have calculated this sum based on three quotes from three independent garages I have had inspect the vehicle and damage occurred. The cheapest quote I have obtained was of £802.18 including parts, paint and labour. The value of the stolen and damaged items totals £136.79.
I have also occurred bills in telephone call charges and time equivalent to £80.
Listed below are the documents on which I intend to rely in my claim against you:
Pre Inspection Report of the Vehicle taken on 31st July by Available Car.
HD 1080P Video Footage Evidence Footage clips taken from Vehicle’s Dash cam of Exterior and interior of the vehicle.
Pre inspection quotes of the vehicle’s damage taken from 3 independent garages.
Photographic Evidence taken of premises of Available Car which show no disclaimers regarding damage/stolen contents.
A copy of Leicestershire Police's report into the theft/damaged contents of the vehicle which is being investigated by XXX
In accordance with the Practice Direction on Pre-Action Conduct I would request that you provide me with copies of the following documents:
A copy of all mileage logs you took at each repair
A copy of every pre-inspection report of the vehicle that Available Car have taken every time they have attempted a repair and had the motor vehicle left with them.
A list of employees who worked on the vehicle and had access to it
CCTV footage of where the car was kept on 31st July-5th August
A full list of their procedural investigation and what action has been taken since the complaint was logged with Richard Kennedy.
I also note that Available Car Ltd have attempted to contact the file sharing site that some of the clips are being hosted on to claim a privacy infringement breach against me.
I have responded to this with the site’s host and the host site has agreed no breach of privacy has occurred and has kept the clips up.
I would like to remind Available Car that attempts to hide evidence like this are not professional and will not resolve matters.
This footage was recorded in a vehicle which legally belongs to me and is my legal property and therefore the law only refers to video content being illegal if it causes ‘intent to distress’.
These video clips are not all of the evidence to hand therefore do not cause any intent to distress and are done to help warn and prevent future consumers from having their vehicles damaged like mine has been.
I am allowed to host this footage under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, which states that: everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Regardless, I can confirm that I would be agreeable to mediation and would consider any other system of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in order to avoid the need for this matter to be resolved by the courts.
I would invite you to put forward any proposals in this regard.
In closing, I would draw your attention to paragraphs 15 and 16 of the Practice Direction which gives the courts the power to impose sanctions on the parties if they fail to comply with the direction including failing to respond to this letter before claim.
I look forward to hearing from you within the next 14 days.
Should I not receive a response to my letter within this time frame, then I anticipate that court action will be commenced with no further communication to you.
I've since had a call off the plolice asking for the dashcam footage stating they will investigate that was on Sunday, but have heard nothing since.
I then got this letter from the branch manager yesterday-
In response to your ‘Live Chat’ transcripts, customer feedback, calls emails and letter.
Available Car Ltd do not accept any responsibility for the ‘stone chips’ on the bonnet and front grille of your vehicle. Your claim that we have caused these by driving your vehicle is not accurate, this ‘damage’ has not occurred whilst the vehicle was in our care and we will not cover the repair of these items, as we are not responsible for them.
You claim that the video content that you have uploaded to YouTube is private, this is a blatant lie and illegal.
The videos you have uploaded are in the public domain and can be viewed by anyone at the present time, it is important that you understand that our team members have not given their permission for you to ‘record’ them and did not give permission for you to leave your dashcamera on for them to be recorded when you left your vehicle on our private property, nor has any consent been given by them or Available Car Ltd for you to record on private property or post the footage.
The individual employees are very upset that you have recorded them and they have begun raising complaints regarding the footage, that they were unaware of and had not given their consent to you, to use or share.
I would remind you that individuals and/or employees do have rights and you have no right to record individuals without consent. You have shown no respect for the individuals privacy and these videos need to be removed immediately. This is illegal and we can have you arrested for posting these videos on Youtube.
We intend to get a court order against you to remove the videos.
Your video clips do not support your claim that we did not apply ‘reasonable skill and care’ whilst your vehicle was in our possession.
You also claim that we have stolen items from your vehicle and damaged your sunglasses, your accusations are strongly refuted by us. You claim that members of the Available Car Ltd team have stolen cigars and a USB stick from your vehicle. A claim of theft is a serious allegation and I am pleased that you have notified XXXXX Police regarding your claims of theft, we will be happy to engage with them.
Your claims are pathetic, Available Car Ltd employees have not stolen, damaged or removed items from your vehicle.
Our Vehicle Technicians are all accredited within their profession, Available Car Ltd are not subscribers/members of the Motor Code of Practice for Service and Repair or any Alternative Dispute Resolution scheme.
I accept your refusal to speak to me, and as a Final Response, we will not be paying you or any third party any money or ‘compensation’ regarding your ‘accusations’.
I think the above letter is very unprofessional and for Available Car to go to the extremes of calling me pathetic is ridiculous.
I want to now sue this company as I now they did damage my car but with only the pre-inspection report as evidence next to the 3 quotes I obtained am I really in trouble for leaving my dashcam on and following THEIR instructions to post the footage on a file sharing site such as Youtube?
I feel like their manager set the whole thing up and strung me along to fob me off with the above email.
They prior stated on the telephone the grill was on order but I now get the above? I did end up removing the clips in worry to be honest.
In terms of me 'recording them' with out permission, the car dashcam is inthe middle of the car, its plugged into the cigarete lighter and shows display..i didn't physically go there and record them and surely they could have unlugged the camera if they didnt want to be recorded?
I now want to seek some legal advise on my case really from you all?