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Car bought 2 weeks ago going back for 3rd time - rights

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Hi All,

 

I'll try to keep this as short as possible, though a lot has happened in the last 2 weeks in relation to this issue :)

 

On Tuesday 22nd June I purchased a 2003 (53) Mondeo with 56k miles for £3,800 (including £500 px). Took it for a quick drive, all seemed good, though stupidly I did this with the windows up all of the time and air con on full blast due to the heat.

 

After buying the car I got it home same day and noticed a rattle in the engine which didn't sound too good. I consulted some online forums and after running some quick diagnostics believed the problem to be with the inlet manifold - known problem on this mondeo which can destroy the engine altogether if left unrepaired for too long. I called them the next morning and told them this (I didn't move the car in case it damaged the engine), and they advised me to take it back the following day for repair (Thursday 24th June).

 

I did this, and they sent me away in a loan car. Nice of them - or so I thought. When they showed me it I wasn't best pleased at all - it's a year 2000 Ford Focus, with a gash in the passenger door that had been badly filled/patched, a missing rear wiper (just the stub left), the drivers window didn't go down, and the engine whistled loudly when driving it. It was also filthy inside and out (all mud or something in the boot). Obviously after paying £3800 two days earlier for a new car, I wasn't impressed that I may have to drive this all weekend, including to a business meeting on the Monday, whilst they fixed my car. I had a moan at the manager who told me I was being unreasonable, afterall "to be fair they'd taken my car straight back in for repair, and had made me mobile" - I replied that "to be fair, I could ask for a refund". However, I liked the car and didn't really want to do this if they could fix the problem. In the end I left the loan car at my parents and used their car instead. My first question is, is that loan car actually legal to be on the road without a working rear wiper?

 

Fortunately they had my car ready the next day (Friday), and so I went back and got my new Mondeo back. All seemed fine until I got home, and the rattle had returned. By this time they were closed, and the workshop doesn't open weekends, so on the Monday I called and arranged to take it back at my next available opportunity - due to work commitments this was yesterday (Tuesday 6th July). I also reported a number of other defects with the car, including a faulty alarm, boot lid wouldn't always close, and a tapping underneath the car somewhere when driving 45mph+. I listed all these on a piece of paper which I left with them, and he said they'd take a look. Picked the car up late yesterday, just as they were closing. Started it up, no rattle, all seemed good. Started driving home, as soon as I go over 45mph tapping starts up - it had obviously not even been test-driven otherwise they would have heard it (it's not intermittent - happens every time I drive it). And the alarm no longer seems to work at all.

 

So, this morning I phoned them back, no answer on the first few attempts, then got an answer and was told the manager (who I'd been dealing with) wasn't in today but got given his mobile number. Called him on his mobile and explained the problem - he started getting quite ratty, telling me he wouldn't be doing anything today as he's got the day off and that he'd call the workshop tomorrow, apparently none of his staff could do this. When I challenged him about the tapping and about them not test driving it, he said "we asked the workshop to look at everything that would not be classed as wear and tear". Firstly, I severely doubt that a loud tapping when driving, particularly steering, is a wear and tear issue, and secondly I'd only just bought the car so it must have been faulty when I purchased it. I advised him that I'd be writing a letter to inform them that they have one final opportunity to fix all of the issues, otherwise I'd be requesting a refund. He wasn't happy about this, and just got ratty again and told me he wasn't going to talk about any further today.

 

My second question is, am I being reasonable? Some colleagues seem to think not, and that I should give them the chance to fix it, though one of them was insisting when I first found the issue that I should ask for a refund straight away - at least I've given them 2 opportunities so far to fix it, with a 3rd opportunity coming up.

 

Am I within my rights to ask for a refund? It was purchased on a credit card - though in a strange way as he doesn't accept card payments himself, we couldn't get cash of the credit card, so ended up paying his workshop, who passed the money onto him. Can I demand an instant cash refund, or will I have problems due to the way it was paid? Can I call the credit card company and ask them to return the cash to me, or do I have to battle with the sales company first?

 

I'd appreciate any advice. I don't want to seem unreasonable with them, they are it seems spending a bit on repairing the car, but after spending £3800 on a new car, I don't expect it to go back in for repair 3 times within the first 2 weeks (twice for problems that weren't fixed the previous times), and I also expect to get a better loan car (though I'm aware that they don't actually have to offer one at all).

 

Thanks in advance.

 

 

 

P.S. I would like to add that one of the reasons I would like a refund is because I've lost confidence in the car. Since fixing the engine rattle I can now hear a tapping, and although I expect some engine noise in a car of this age, tapping suggests to me that some damage may have been done inside the engine by the original problem (i.e. parts of the inlet manifold tend to break off and fall into the engine, causing catastrophic damage). With the other issues I've faced already with this car, I'm not confident of it's reliability once the 2 month/2000 mile warranty is up.

 

P.P.S. On my way home from work I thought of another option - as I've already been inconvenienced twice in having to drive back from Nottingham to Lincoln with my car and leave it with them, this time I would like to take it to a garage near my work, I can then drop it in there, walk into work, and pick the car up when I finish work. They can then invoice the car sales directly. I'm not sure they'll accept it, but it's another option to a refund (as their workshop have twice already failed to fix a problem it was taken in for).

 

 

Hmmm, this short post has become quite long hasn't it, sorry :)

Edited by damian78

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Further to the above, I sent letter to the car sales last Friday (9th July) basically explaining the problems I've had, rejecting the car and asking for a refund. I gave them 7 days to respond before I take legal action in the small claims court. This gives them until tomorrow to respond.

 

If they do not respond by tomorrow, what is the next step? I read somewhere that I need to send a second letter, saying that they've failed to respond and have 14 days to respond to this second letter before I take legal action without further notice. Is this second letter necessary? I've already given them time to respond, and said I'll be taking further action, why do this again?

 

Would the trading standards usually give them a call at this point to advise them of their responsibilities, or do they not do this any more? (I know several years ago when my parents purchased something they contacted trading standards, who spoke to the retailer direct and they then immediately gave the money back).

 

All the time this is going on I'm without a car (obviously I can't drive the car I bought as I've now rejected it). I've got a hire car this week, but it's costing me £200 - I can't afford to pay that again so as of next week I'm going to be completely car-less.

 

This to me is unacceptable because 3 weeks ago I had a car, I then part-exchanged it for another which turned out to be useless, the garage are flat-out refusing to fix it (unless I pay), which means after paying £3,500 (put the wrong cost in the first post above) I'm actually worse off than I was before. My concern is that when I take it to small claims, that could take 2-3 months I assume (depending on how busy they are), then if they award in my favour they'll give the car sales 28 days to pay up, so I could be 4-5 months without a car in total.

 

I could have gone to the credit card company but unfortunately the payment was indirect - the car sales don't accept card payments, we couldn't get cash off the credit card, so ended up paying the garage that the car sales use for repairs (which is an otherwise unrelated business), who then paid the car sales - so if we ask the credit card company for the money back they'll go to the garage instead of the car sales.

 

 

 

EDIT: What I might end up having to do (which I don't want to have to do) is retract the refund request and get the car repaired elsewhere, then attempt (don't like my chances) to claim the cost back off the car sales. At least this way I could drive the car around.

Edited by damian78

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First off, sorry your original post got missed.

 

I don't think you are being unreasonable at all and you have gone the right way about things.

 

Did you send your letter by recorded delivery and has it been signed for?

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First off, sorry your original post got missed.

 

I don't think you are being unreasonable at all and you have gone the right way about things.

 

Did you send your letter by recorded delivery and has it been signed for?

 

No problem, I thought maybe it was just a bit long for people to be bothered reading :)

 

I did send it by recorded delivery for a signature there end - I'm assuming they've received it. I haven't bothered phoning them to find out to be honest because I don't expect him to answer my call - it took a while to get hold of him last time and he basically told me he wouldn't be speaking to me again and everything has to go through his solicitor (not that he's told me who his solicitor is).

 

Without me knowing until after the event, my Dad actually phoned up and spoke to him (prior to me posting the letter), basically telling him that it was him that recommended me to look at their place for a car because he'd read some good reviews, and that he's disappointed with the way this has been handled. The guy apparently said that my problem is that I expect an £18,000 car for the money - no, I really don't, but I do expect something that doesn't make heads turn for the wrong reason, and that doesn't wake the neighbours up 4 times in the night because the alarm keeps going off. He also said that he wouldn't be repairing anything else unless I pay for those repairs.

 

What would your suggestion be for the best way forward if I don't receive a response? I could go straight to small claims court I assume, but then this could take a while and leave me without a car. Alternatively, as I stated above, I could take it to another garage and have it repaired, get a report to say what was done and that it wasn't a wear and tear issue, then claim that back (meaning I still have a car in the meantime).

 

Of course there is the issue that I've already requested the refund, so would have to inform him what I'm doing, and he might reject the idea.

Edited by damian78

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You can check on line here - http://track.royalmail.com/portal/rm/track;jsessionid=CVXMJCEGZB4H4FB2IGJFFHQ;jsessionid=CVXMJCEGZB4H4FB2IGJFFHQ?catId=22700601&emt=emt&track=track&default=default&imageRootPath=&loc=en_GB&keyname=track_home&gear=track

 

Under the Sale of Goods Act, during the first six months, anything that is wrong with the car is assumed to have been there at the time of purchase, also during that first six months, it is up to the seller to show there was nothing wrong with the car and not for you to show there was.

 

If you want to continue with the rejection, then you do need to send another letter. The courts like to see that an attempt has been made to reach a satisfactory agreement before they are used.

 

The mention of his solicitor is probably just an attempt to make you think twice, but as we know, solicitors have no power.

 

The next letter you send should be headed 'Letter Before Action' and reiterate that they have had 3 attempts to repair the car and that you are rejecting it under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended), the 'as amended in brackets is part of the title, and the Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1982 as not of 'Satisfactory Quality' or 'Fit for Purpose'.

 

You should give him another 14 days (I know it's a pain in the butt all this time, but it's to show you have tried your best), and end the letter with 'No further correspondence will be entered into'.

 

At the end of the 14 days, you go here - https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome and submit your claim. The fee could be £100 but you claim that back off the seller.

 

Most companies like this cave in as soon as they receive the summons.

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A bit more. TS will give you some advice over the phone, but wont intervene on your behalf, gone are the good ole days of your dads era of that sort of service. But you could give them a ring because you can then say in your letter, 'After talking to trading standards .....'.

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Thanks for the advice Conniff, suppose I'll just have to be patient and send that second letter and wait and see.

 

It may be that he's waiting until the last minute before responding (i.e. tomorrow), and that he'll realise he's got no chance of winning and so will just offer the refund, but I'm not holding my breath.

 

Will check that link later as well, I haven't got the receipt for postage wityh me as its in a folder at home, but will check it tonight.

 

Thanks again, will keep you posted.

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I expect Sailor Sam will pick up on this and offer advice again later - when he gets out of bed that is :)

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Hmm, got impatient and got my wife to text me the reference number. The following came up:

 

"Your item with reference XXXXXXXXXXXXX was delivered from our LINCOLN Delivery Office on 15/07/10"

 

So I posted it last Friday (9th), and it was only delivered today? Meaning they won't be happy when they are told they've got 2 days (today and tomorrow) to give me a response.

 

Edit: I actually told them they had 7 days from date of letter, as I read this online somewhere as it allows a couple of days for delivery, and was told by the post office it would be delivered saturday or monday (posted it about 3.30pm on Friday). So looks like I'll have to give them another week to be fair.

Edited by damian78

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I expect Sailor Sam will pick up on this and offer advice again later - when he gets out of bed that is :)

 

Hi... is it that time already...?

 

Anyway, thanks Conniff!

 

Hi Damian, Conniff has covered pretty much every thing so far but I have a couple of observations to make.

 

You say the seller insists that you go through his solicitor... fine! In your next letter to the seller, ask him for his solicitor's details and whether they will except service of papers on his behalf. also you say you have hired a car (obviously you have done the right thing by stop using the 'new' car in question). Also mention this in your letter and that you will be adding the cost of the hire to any potential claim which you may make via the courts. The letter should be clearly headed; Final Letter Before Action.

 

__________________

Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my scales at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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Hi... is it that time already...?

Anyway, thanks Conniff!

 

Hi Damian, Conniff has covered pretty much every thing so far but I have a couple of observations to make.

 

You say the seller insists that you go through his solicitor... fine! In your next letter to the seller, ask him for his solicitor's details and whether they will except service of papers on his behalf. also you say you have hired a car (obviously you have done the right thing by stop using the 'new' car in question). Also mention this in your letter and that you will be adding the cost of the hire to any potential claim which you may make via the courts. The letter should be clearly headed; Final Letter Before Action.

 

Thanks Sam. I did mention in the first letter that I'd be claiming for the car hire, but was told I probably wouldn't get it because I could use the bus, but thought I'd try anyway :)

 

However, I do have an interesting update to this issue. After scanning the internet for "tapping from wheel" (which is the main problem with the car), I saw a few people with similar problems and solutions, so when I got back I thought I'd take a quick look (only involved taking the wheel off, so couldn't do any damage). After looking over some of the solutions, I decided to check a couple of other things, and found that part of the radiator was hanging off (not sure it's important, just a strip of corrogated metal, the radiator is made up of loads of rows of these and it was the bottom row that was loose). I tapped it with a screwdriver to see if it sounded like the noise I was hearing and it fell off :) Unfortunately problem wasn't solved by this (though an annoying rattle was).

 

So decided to try one last thing before giving up again. I changed the front wheel for the spare (which was brand new). Took it round the block - tapping gone :) Put old wheel back on, tapping returned :( Removed weights for balancing wheels, tapping gone again :) Turns out the balancing weights were slightly loose, and were causing an amazingly loud tapping.

 

Question now is - where do I go from here. Obviously this was the main problem, it's now fixed (well, I say fixed, I'll need to get the wheels balanced). The other problems are the alarm (which from research appears to be a sensor under the bonnet) and the boot lid not closing (possibly needs adjusting). Although none of these should be fixed by me as they are the traders responsibility (as far as I know, under the sales of goods act), it would be a bit rediculous to ask for a refund due to these. Obviously I didn't know that the tapping was nothing serious (I thought it may be the steering originally) hence I wanted it looking into and fixing - now I know it is nothing serious I'm quite happy to keep the car. Should I still push for the alarm and boot be repaired?

 

We now have the biggest problem of the whole saga though - I'm going to look silly when I go back and say "don't worry about the refund, it was just a balancing weight causing the problem" :) Though I did a better job of fixing it than his mechanic.

 

Thanks again for the advice.

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We now have the biggest problem of the whole saga though - I'm going to look silly when I go back and say "don't worry about the refund, it was just a balancing weight causing the problem"

 

You don't have to tell him what the problem was, just that you have had it fixed. You can tell him that you will be willing to accept the car if the alarm and boot lid are fixed. If he can't do it, then inform him that you will take it to the dealer and forward the bill to him for a refund.

 

You can also tell him that as the radiator is on it's last legs, which will be classed as fair wear and tear as it isn't leaking, that you would like him to supply you one at cost price so you can change it.

Don't take the loss of some of the heat exchange ribs lightly, it means the others aren't far off and neither are the circulation veins either.

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You don't have to tell him what the problem was, just that you have had it fixed. You can tell him that you will be willing to accept the car if the alarm and boot lid are fixed. If he can't do it, then inform him that you will take it to the dealer and forward the bill to him for a refund.

 

You can also tell him that as the radiator is on it's last legs, which will be classed as fair wear and tear as it isn't leaking, that you would like him to supply you one at cost price so you can change it.

Don't take the loss of some of the heat exchange ribs lightly, it means the others aren't far off and neither are the circulation veins either.

 

Good point, and if he does ask I'll just say that I noticed a couple of the weights were loose so I took it to the local ATS and got the wheels re-balanced (which I'll probably do at the weekend).

 

I'll also do everything else you advised with the alarm, boot and radiator (thanks for the advice on that, it does actually look like a few other ribs are also missing so it may have been going for a while).

 

I wonder if I can get any money back on the hire car if I take it back early :)

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Who told you that you could'nt hire a car? You don't spend nearly 4k on a car and then within a few weeks have to catch buses because the car is faulty! Either the seller provides you with a courtesy car or he pays to hire one. If you were to win your claim in court you would be entitled to costs (all be it capped) and car hire would be allowed providing that the seller has refused to provide you with a car and/or deal with the matter satisfactory. I'm not saying that you would get the full hire charges back but It could be argued that the seller has prolonged the situation by not rectifying the faults satisfactory thus causing you un-neccesary inconveinince.

 

__________________

Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my scales at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.


Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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Who told you that you could'nt hire a car? You don't spend nearly 4k on a car and then within a few weeks have to catch buses because the car is faulty! Either the seller provides you with a courtesy car or he pays to hire one. If you were to win your claim in court you would be entitled to costs (all be it capped) and car hire would be allowed providing that the seller has refused to provide you with a car and/or deal with the matter satisfactory. I'm not saying that you would get the full hire charges back but It could be argued that the seller has prolonged the situation by not rectifying the faults satisfactory thus causing you un-neccesary inconveinince.

 

__________________

Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

 

Please click my scales at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

 

 

Someone at work, and I'm sure (but not 100%) that Consumer Direct told me the same thing - that its my responsibility to keep the costs to a minimum.

 

Unfortunately they could argue that they did provide me with a loan car the first time I took it for repair but I complained about the condition of it (as detailed in the first post).

 

I think my next step this morning is to give him a call and tell him I've fixed the tapping, which was the biggest reason for me asking for a refund. However, I would still like the alarm, boot lid and radiator fixing (although I agree radiator is wear and tear, I've only had the car since June 22nd, and haven't driven it for a week of that time, so it must have been knackered before I purchased it). I have a feeling he'll argue that none of those are covered, but as far as I know they are all covered by my statutory rights (?). Then as you said, if he refuses I'll tell him I'm going to take it to Ford and get it repaired, then send them the bill.

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Spoken to trader, he's said that I can take the car to a local garage and get a quote for the repair of the alarm - if I phone him up when I get the quote he'll decide whether he's willing to pay or not (depending whether he can get it done much cheaper, otherwise he'll get his workshop to do it, so either way he'll repair it). With regards to the radiator he said if it gets worse within 3 months he'll replace it for me, though I've also asked him to price one up for me.

 

So all has worked out quite well :) His attitude really appears to have changed since he got the letter, he's being much friendlier and more helpful than before so I think he's realised that he doesn't actually have an argument against a refund if I wanted to take that route.

 

Thanks yet again for all the advice.

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