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Hi folks and thanks for taking an interest. I have a consumer issue which I would like some opinions on please? Please forgive me if this is in the wrong place. On 18/07 I selected and booked accommodation for two nights via the Booking.com website for a place called Juras Mols in Bigauņciems Latvia. I was hoping for a few days away from consumer related hassle, ha ha, must have broken a mirror recently. The website clearly says on the accommodation page: 2nd Paragraph: “Guests can enjoy a sauna and a heated indoor pool. ….” 4th Paragraph: “Free Wi-Fi and free private parking are available. …” My children very much enjoy swimming pools when they’re not on the internet and my wife also enjoys saunas and so I booked on the basis of the information supplied. The general facilities tab for the accommodation shows: Pool and wellness • Swimming Pool • Indoor pool (all year) • Fitness centre (Additional Charge) • Sauna Internet • WiFi is available in all areas and is free of charge. All rooms include: “Private bathroom, Hairdryer, Ironing facilities ….” From the rooms available at the time I booked a “Standard Quadruple room with Balcony” containing 2 single beds and 2 bunk beds at a total price of €138 which I paid via a Visa Debit card though the web site. The description of the accommodation and facilities along with the claim on the web site of the 2nd best hotel in Bigauņciems gave me good expectations that the accommodation would suit our needs for an enjoyable break. (laughable really as when I got there, I found there are only 2 hotels in that location ). On arrival we were met by a member of staff, who showed us the common dining room and kitchen and took us to room Num 3 where we were shown the door to our ‘balcony’. This was in fact a metal fire escape leading to the ground. It had close growing conifer trees and overlooked the ‘hotel’ junk yard which I obviously photographed for the record. We asked about the “pool” as we could not see anything that might be a pool and were told that there was no pool and no sauna available. My wife later discovered on the second evening while having a conversation with a member of staff in Russian that there was a sauna in a room marked “Private”, but that (paraphrased), ‘we don’t use it because we have so many guests’. Later we were allowed to store our luggage for a couple of hours between check out and departure in the same Private room. We saw that it was being used as a store room with mattresses and bed linen and was obviously not available to guests. The staff clearly didn’t want us to photograph this room. The only sign of any ‘pool’ was an empty circular ‘plunge pool’ of not more than 1m diameter. Wifi: The facilities says, “WiFi is available in all areas and is free of charge.” The normal expectation of a reasonable person would be that this would provide access to the internet. (Isn’t there something about internet access being a basic human right?). In truth is was sometimes possible to get a Wifi connection, but it did not give Internet access in most parts of the building that I tried. It was useless to us, unless we were in the common dining area on the ground floor. Not a complete disaster, but certainly not what was advertised. We returned from the beach on the first evening around 9 p.m. we found the shower was broken, and judging by the condition of the broken fitting, was of a long standing nature. Not the biggest problem in the world to hold the shower head up, although more difficult for the children to shower on their own, but certainly not a quality experience. Soon thereafter my children complained to me that the hot water in the shower had gone cold. I checked and there was no hot water from the shower or sink. I went to the reception and was told that it was because too many people had used the shower and that the accommodation’s boiler wasn’t able to make enough, but that it would be ok in about an hour. We ate and I checked the water on several occasions up until midnight and it was always cold. I checked again in the morning when it was at best tepid. So I ‘enjoyed’ two invigorating cold showers. I checked again in the late evening following our return from a day trip and again the water was cold. I spoke with another guest who said that they had never had hot water on any evening of their stay. – I took their name and address. This property and the facilities available to guests had clearly been misrepresented. Due to the lack of the advertised facilities: Wifi, proper balcony, indoor pool and sauna etc., I photographed and noted all of the problems and kept a copy of the website pages. I contacted the booking .com customer services on my return and informed them that I considered them to be in breach of contract due to their misrepresentation of the hotel and requested a full refund and claimed damages by way of the cost of a trip to the nearest indoor swimming pool with a sauna. I said that: I believed it was an express term, of the contract for services, that the facilities described would be provided as part of my booking at this hotel. It was also an implied term that the service provided would be done so with reasonable care and skill. Under UK law there are a number of pieces of legislation that provide consumer protection from unscrupulous or negligent traders, namely the: Misrepresentation Act 1967, Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (amended 2014), Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 and most recently the Consumer Rights Act 2015. I note now from their website that they disclaim liability for pretty much everything and state that “any dispute arising out of these general terms and conditions and our services shall exclusively be submitted to the competent courts in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.” I said I would be most surprised if there was not similar provision for consumer protection from misrepresentation by a business under the Dutch Civil Code. I also believe that Article 6 of EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DIRECTIVE 2005/29/EC – the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive covers misleading business practices (“A commercial practice shall be regarded as misleading if it contains false information and is therefore untruthful or in any way, including overall presentation, deceives or is likely to deceive the average consumer, ….”), is generally applicable in this instance. And in any event the Consumer Right Directive 2013 should still apply. First off they claim to have not received my email. Then they offered 25 Eur compensation without acknowledging or answering any point of my claim. Next they said that it was difficult after the event and again offered 25 Eur. They now claim that: it’s nothing to do with them as they are just an ‘advertiser’, that the hotel does not accept my complaint and again they offered 25 Eur. I have raised the matter on the ODR platform for what it is worth. I have asked Visa about a charge back and they have said, “It’s a very weak claim, but if you want to submit it we’ll take a look.” Misrepresentation of the fraudulent kind is fairly clear in my eyes. I’ve taken a look at the Resolver web site, but that talks about legislation relating to package holidays, which I don’t believe is appropriate for room only bookings. So, please: 1 Am I barking up the wrong tree or being unrealistic in expecting things to be as described? 2 Anybody know about the ‘harmonisation’ of consumer laws across Europe or the Dutch Civil Code? 3 Which is the most appropriate legislation? 4 Anybody had experience of the “European Small Claims Procedure” (I hope I've included the relevant link) Thanks in advance for any info. Dave
Hi All, I was unlucky to have experienced car accident back in February (other driver liable) where my Audi A1 was written off and I'm going through physio for my whiplash. In March I decided to purchase a used Audi A1 and found one on Autotrader via a private seller. I still have the description of the vehicle which stated what the car came with and also that the car was in 'EXCELLENT CONDITION'. My Dad went to check the vehicle, asked standard questions and took it on a test drive - all seemed fine and we made the transaction via a bank transfer. I received a bill of receipt signed by both parties with date, reg etc. Within 24 hours of receiving the car, The EPC and engine management lights came up on the dashboard and judging by the noise the car was making it was clear it was misfiring. The car was booked into the Audi garage and they advised one of the cylinders was misfiring and it would cost £130 to fix then it should be fine. Within days the problem came back and again I took the car back into Audi. They called to say it would cost £1600 for work to be done to ascertain exactly what was going on (I'm no car expert but it involved removing the engine). Anyway, at that stage I started to research online to find out what my legal rights were in terms of getting either a full refund from the seller OR have them take responsibility for the repairs. Under the consumer rights act 2015 I have no rights as the legislation applies only to traders AND we should have checked the car was fit for purpose. I then found a piece of legislation called the Misrepresentation Act 1967 which states: A misrepresentation is a statement of fact (not opinion) which is made by a seller (individual or trader) before a contract is made. If you relied on that statement when deciding whether or not to go ahead with your purchase, and this then turns out to be wrong, you may be able to claim compensation. There are three types of misrepresentation and your path to redress will depend upon whether the false statement was made fraudulently, negligently, or innocently. I don't know which type of misrepresentation but I thought fraud as the seller stated the car was fine when she knew it wasn't. The general remedy for misrepresentation is cancelling or unwinding the contract so that both parties are put back in the position they were in before they made the contract. Damages will also be available in some circumstances, either in addition to or as an alternative to unwinding the contract. The challenge we have is that for misrepresentation in the advert (in my opinion) is that the seller stated the car was in 'excellent condition' (an opinion not a statement) when we now know that the seller knew MONTHS BEFORE she sold us the car that it was misfiring/lights coming on 'sporadically'. As she knew, I'd argue that she misrepresented the vehicle in the advert. I have evidence from Audi stating the issues (in the cars computer system) were apparent from January and have been sporadic ever since. Thus far we have emailed the seller with the original quote and diagnostic from Audi requesting she cover the costs of repair but no reply so far. I'm guessing we can take this to small claims but of course if I can use the Misrepresentation Act I'd try that first (writing to the seller including all the evidence I have) in the hope she'll cough up the money to rescind the contract (as the law states) or have her cover the costs of repair. I am incredibly saddened that a woman who knew I was in a serious car accident and undergoing physio would blatantly omit information when she must have known (dashboard warning lights and noise of engine). Please can anyone advise or share their experiences? Many thanks in advance
Hi, Am in need of advice. In October I purchased a used Seat Ibiza advertised as an approved car with 33k on the clock (not true). It should have had full service history, full vehicle history check, multi point check and various other benefits. On the day of purchase the car broke down on the way home (dealer is some 50 miles away). The car went back and the dealer said there was a control module fault likely caused by dirt on the engine from it having been stood on their forecourt, so they reset the computer and that that was that. There were ongoing issues with the paperwork, ie there is not a full service history, I have not been given a copy of vehicle history (as advertised) or a copy of multi point check. Also the car did not have 12mth MOT as advertised. The garage took the car and MOT'd it some 4 weeks later and interestingly it failed it's first test which may suggest it was not roadworthy at point of sale. Then approximately two weeks ago the car again broke down. Engine light came on and car failed on a busy dual carriageway, I am a new driver so this was very scary. Managed to limp off the road and car stopped completely. It restarted with no issues some minutes later. Back to garage again but only after I threatened rejection of car. They are saying there is absolutely nothing wrong with the car because the computer says so! I am now rejecting the car on the basis it was misold to me. The mileage on the order form does not correspond with the service history book, or the previous MOT and is somewhat higher than that listed on the order form (the dealer is pointing out they did not wrongly advertise and quoting order form as proof, however previous MOT from 4 months prior shows it was falsely advertised). There is not a full service history, there is 26 months between services and is over mileage for required service and at the point of ordering it had not had a service for 26mths. I bought the car hire purchase and the finance company are saying because it was misold it is nothing to do with them! I have pointed out to them that they own the car and were misold it and they are saying it is one word against another's. This is despite the fact I can evidence adverts at the time and the documents! Can anyone help with where I go from here? I am prepared to pursue in Court if necessary. Many thanks in advance and hope my post makes sense. I am so mad, this is my first proper car since passing my test and my excitement has turned to despair.
Not my words - but the words of the Court of Appeal. Dishonest without intending to be, apparently. Sent "semi-literate" letters No intention to bring legal proceedings at all!!!!! See the judgment attached for the whole grisly story. Of course this Court of Appeal judgment is about Parking Eye but you may find similarities in the way of doing business used by other private parking companies. Apart from anything else this is more evidence of the slack attitude of the British Parking Association to the behaviour of their own members. The BPA must be aware of this. What action have they taken against Parking Eye for their breach of the Code of Practice?? If anyone knows, then please let us know. The BPA is the outfit which pretends to want to set an Independent Appeals Service. Has Parking Eye's access to the DVLA database been suspended? I don't think so. If you have paid money to Parking Eye then you have a basis for claiming it back. certainly, if you have paid the so-called "full rate" then you have clearly paid an unenforceable penalty and you should go and get you money back Please note that the trial judge held that the initial sum was an enforceable charge. The Court of Appeal referred to it but did not consider it and made no finding which approved it . In other words, don't let Parking Eye or any other parking company tell you that there is binding authority for saying that the initial charge is valid. That would be a porky. Thanks to user:Tomtubby for discovering this judgment. Important rider - the Court of Appeal decision was based upon the Parking Eye arrangement as agreed with Somerfields in 2005. If their agreements are different elsewhere then that could affect the situation. Now original High Court judgment also available below. Thanks to Tomtubby again.