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1FedUpConsumer

Used car dealer lied about service history book!

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(Please forgive any typos. I wrote the following in a hurry.)

 

Hi, I'm new here. 1st post. I need your advice. Real practical advice pease. I've had legal advice. Paid for legal asistance. Made dozens of phone calls and spent hours researching the problem online. Everyone I talk to says the other party doesn't have a leg to stand on and yet here we are a month later twisting in the wind. It's frustrating. :mad:

 

OK, so a month ago my husband and myself went to look for a used car for myself. Found an ad on ebay and went to go look at it. That car was not right for us but another car looked promising. I ony drive automatics and they didn't have that car in automatic at that location but another location did. Salesman shows us car on a computer and we ask the relevant questions: How many owners, does it have an up-to-date service history book, any previous mechanical problems with the car, has it been in an accident, miles? etc. He says 1 owner, yes it has a service history book, no problems, no accidents, 27,000 miles. We say we'll think about it and call the next day. We do and are asked to pay a £500. deposit to get the car from its current location to that location. We go see the car and are helped by yet another salesman (the salesman who drove the car from location 1 to location 2, where we were at) and ask the same questions, in particular about the service history book and can we view it please. Salesman confirms vehicle has a service history book and that it is in the office with the finance manager, whom we will be seeing next. We ask the finance manger to see the service history book and he says it is locked in someones office and that person has gone home for the day. As its after 9pm at night we think thats reasonable so didn't question it. Two days later we come back to pay for the car and pick it up and ask yet another finance guy to see the service history book. This guy says its over with the keys in the Pick Up office. We sign, we pay and we go over to pick up the keys and service history book. First off they hand me a plastic key and say its my "second key". Second key? I say. Yes, a purse key, he says. This ticks me off because they said the car had two keys; Which I and just about everyone take as being REAL working keys that will start a car, not a plastic key thats only purpose is to open your car door in case you lock your keys in the car! And sadly that's not all -Guess what? NO SERVICE HISTORY BOOK! Just a single piece of paper that details the oil change they gave the car! I'm livid at this point. I could have spit nails. If they lied about the existance of the service history book what else have they lied about? In one second flat I lost all faith in the company and the car. I demand to see the manager and tell him I do not want the car and will be leaving it there, I want my money back. He tries to get me to take the car but I refuse. He agrees I can have my money back but says to sleep on it. I do and the next day a salesman calls my husband saying they will provide a new service history book and an additional key. Husband says he will discuss it with me but doubts I will agree - I don't. The following day I speak to the sales manager and I tell him I want my money back, he agrees but says he doesn't have the power to refund my money and I need to email the Customer Service Manager. The following day I send the CSM an email and letter via Special Delivery formally rejecting the car. A few days later the CSM phones and is a real jerk. Won't listen to me. Everytime I say I was lied to he talks over me. He keeps saying how the car is "Fit for purpose" over and over. He refuses to refund my money. This was almost a month ago. This rotten excuse for a car sales business has both my money and the car. I do not want the car. I reject the car. I want my money back.

 

We hired a solicitor who said they didn't have a leg to stand on and wrote them a letter demanding my money back. The jerk CSM wrote back saying No. I've spoken to Consumer Direct, Trading Standards, an Ombudsman, so many others and everyone - EVERYONE - says the car sales business is in the wrong and I have a right to get all my money back. We paid just over £10,000 so can't do small claims court. Our solicitor bill is already over £500. and has gotten nowhere so how can I justify continuing to pay a solicitor? I already feel a right idiot for believing the lying salesmen and finance guys. I'm 45 years old! How could I have fallen for their lies? I've beaten myself up daily about this since it happened. If any one of the 4 had told us the truth I would have backed out of the deal before signing anything or handing over any money. The person who finally told us the car didn't have a service history book, the guy who handed over the plastic key, found out after looking it up on the computer when we asked/demanded. It only took him a few seconds. So obviously the two finance guys could have done the same as they had their computer in front of them the very moment we asked about it. The second salesman would have known what paperwork the car had because he was the person who drove the car from the first location to the location we saw the car at. We were blatantly openly purposefully lied to. They misrepresented the car and that is fraud. :mad:

 

So HELP! Please!

 

The car is a 2006 and I prefer not to name the make/model.

 

~ 1FedUpConsumer

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OK, first question is how did you pay? Credit card can be charged back. Debit card can be recalled if it is fraud and I would suggest this is. Cheques, CAN be bounced a lot later than a week, but I don't know how far down the line - again fraud comes in here.

 

I am hoping you didn't pay cash.

 

If you want to sue for that amount I believe it is the high court, someone else more knowledgable will answer that I am sure.

 

So, lets start with the blanks. How did you pay?

 

I would add that the police may well be an option here. They will try to fob you off with 'Its a civil matter' but insist on bringing a formal complaint of deception.

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Hi Wheelergeezer, Thank you for responding. We paid by debit card. My husband phoned the bank the day after and the bank said they couldn't do anything.

 

I never thought about getting the police involved. I would agree that based on our experience they (the company) seem to have a policy of deception. It's all so easy to see in hindsight. Thinking so much about it, the events, how the responses my husband and I got when we asked about the service history book seemed so planned like they say them often. Why all the paperwork wasn't available for us to view before we signed and paid. How we were repeatedly fobbed off to another person, with excuses as to why we couldn't see the service history book. They knew. They knew and they were all part of the grift to get us to sign and pay before we discovered the truth. Because they knew if we'd known there was no service history book we would have walked. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I feel soooo stupid for falling for it. So yeah, I agree they were deceptive. Why don't they have a policy of having all the paperwork available during the negotiation process? Why did we even have to ask to see the service history book? We all know why now - Because they didn't have a service history book to show us! So they lied. They lied to make the deal. Do they do this with everyone? How many of their cars are without service histories? How many other buyers experience the same as we have but just give up and go away after dealing with the rude CSM? (That the man has the title of Customer Service Manager is laughable!)

 

So has anyone been successful at getting the police involved in this type of situation?

 

~1FedUpConsumer

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Irrespective of the amount paid and owed in refund, send them a 'Letter Before Action'.

Detail how the car was 'misdescribed' and tell them they have 7 days in which to refund the amount in full or court action will be taken.

 

The court fee is £225 (as you probably know) but this seems to be the only way. The issue of the lba may prove enough. Any court fees will, of course, be recovered when you win.

 

Don't bother though if you have no intention of going through with court action.

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Just to clarify, where is the car?

 

The car is at the car dealers shop. I refused to take the car the night we paid and found out they had no service history book so it has never been in my possession.

 

Irrespective of the amount paid and owed in refund, send them a 'Letter Before Action'.

Detail how the car was 'misdescribed' and tell them they have 7 days in which to refund the amount in full or court action will be taken.

 

The court fee is £225 (as you probably know) but this seems to be the only way. The issue of the lba may prove enough. Any court fees will, of course, be recovered when you win.

 

Don't bother though if you have no intention of going through with court action.

 

Our solicitor has already sent a letter before action demanding the full amount we paid back by a certain date. The CSM replied with a No.

 

Earlier this week I spoke with a gentleman at Trading Standards and he said this type of car salesman is the worst type because they appear to consider the whole thing a game and the name of the game is them keeping my money no matter what. It's a pride thing for them. They refuse to loose. And because they know the car cost just £10,000 and legal fee's to file a high court action get weighed against the price of the car the other party (us) are less likely to file a case. The price to file a case may just be £225. but as court papers have to be filed by a solicitor and as our solicitor charges £185. an hour it add's up fast.

 

What I'd love is a solicitor who is willing to help us pro bono. Our current solicitor has met in person with my husband and myself once, written one letter to the car dealer and spoken with me on the phone once and the bill is already £500. :eek: Any solicitors out there who want to take a lying car dealer to court? Someone needs to stand up and shine a light on this car dealers dispicable actions.

 

~1FedUpConsumer

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This amount of claim (up to £15,000), would be assigned the 'Fast Track', Although it is usual to have legal representation in fast track, you do not have to or require the services of a solicitor.

You would only need the services of a solicitor if it was a complicated contract etc; but this isn't, it is a straight forward claim.

 

Don't forget also that 'all' costs can be claimed from the defendent, so any solicitors fees would be payable by the dealer and not you.

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This amount of claim (up to £15,000), would be assigned the 'Fast Track', Although it is usual to have legal representation in fast track, you do not have to or require the services of a solicitor.

You would only need the services of a solicitor if it was a complicated contract etc; but this isn't, it is a straight forward claim.

 

Don't forget also that 'all' costs can be claimed from the defendent, so any solicitors fees would be payable by the dealer and not you.

 

Oh, I thought fast track cases had to be filled out and filed by a solicitor. I'll have to look more into this. Do you have any links that would be helpful?

 

~1FedUpConsumer

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You can use the court services at the 'money claim online'. Have a read of this, it will tell you how to go about it and then you can decide if it is for you.

 

PRACTICE DIRECTION – MONEY CLAIM ONLINE - Ministry of Justice

 

Have a good read as it is easier than most people think.

 

Legal representation isn't mandatory on anything, you can defend yourself in a murder case if you want.

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You can use the court services at the 'money claim online'. Have a read of this, it will tell you how to go about it and then you can decide if it is for you.

 

PRACTICE DIRECTION – MONEY CLAIM ONLINE - Ministry of Justice

 

Have a good read as it is easier than most people think.

 

Legal representation isn't mandatory on anything, you can defend yourself in a murder case if you want.

 

Thank you Conniff for your advice. I'll have a look at the link and discuss it with my husband this evening.

 

~ 1FedUpConsumer

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I would write to them again once you filed the papers and remind tha the settlement costs have gone up to include solicitors and your costs and the longer it goes on the more it is going to cost them; similar line as debt collectors. Copy to MD of dealer and if part of group to HO.

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I would write to them again once you filed the papers and remind tha the settlement costs have gone up to include solicitors and your costs and the longer it goes on the more it is going to cost them; similar line as debt collectors. Copy to MD of dealer and if part of group to HO.

 

Hi reydetinu, Thanks for responding. Please forgive me for being daft but I'm new here. What/who is "MD of dealer"? I take it HO is head office. I'll catch on soon. This past month has been a steep learning curve. I now know more about the car we were buying than I ever expected to and now I'm learning about the law.

 

(I know as soon as you tell me what/who MD is I'm going to do a Homer Simpson "Doh!" on myself.)

 

~1FedUpConsumer

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Managing Director or owner or whoever runs the show check on thier web site or do search at companies house. take it up a notch; the manager may be going beyond his remit and has not informed paople up the chain.

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as raydetinu says go as far up the management chain as possible. as the salesmen and customer service manager will probably be on a bonus or commision scheme and quite simply do not want to lose it.

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id be really intrested to see how this works out as i got mugged off with a ropey car, having spent my entire 6 month bonus on it from service over seas.

 

it *****s me off how these cowboys roll around ripping people off and getting away with it everytime because there is no kind of licensing or regulation body for buying used cars.

 

no if i did go round and did break, the fraudster who sold me my cars legs, as i foolishly suggested on the phone, people would take alot more intrest.

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The alternative to breaking someones legs, but just as painful, would be for the public to start moaning and demanding more often instead of just accepting things.

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Hi 1FedUpConsumer ,

I am in similar situation like you. I havent gone to Solicitor yet.

Please update me If you have got your money back?

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Attu, thread is over a year old with n further update. Preferable if you start your own thread.

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