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Hi,

 

On Sunday 7th Oct I decided to spend the day looking for cars. There was a car I really liked at a reputable garage in Bristol, so I drove to the garage to go and have a look at the car. Upon arrival I was informed that the car I had originally come to view was actually in the garage being serviced and prepped for sale.. In the meantime another car caught my eye. I asked about the car and showed my interest..

 

The salesman took me back into the office to find out more information about the vehicle that had caught my eye on the forecourt. This car had finance fall through and therefore no information was available on the website. However, the salesman offered to show me around the car and look first hand.. I really liked, so much I wanted to test drive it, which I did.Whilst on the test drive I asked the salesman "is the car fitted with cruise control?" his reply was "yes, but it doesn't work at slow speeds. You're not allowed to exceed 50 mph on trade plates". I took this as a verbal confirmation.

 

When I returned to the garage from the test drive I was greeted by their finance manager who offered me a 5 year finance deal on the car, which was too expensive and didn't allow me to have any money from my old car. I wanted to sell my car privately as I was convinced I could get more money from a private sale (he offered me £3400 I was looking for a minimum of £5000) as I have £2,500 I needed to pay off before I was to get a new car. I could put the other of the £2,500 I was expecting from the sale of my car as a deposit on the finance. Anyway, he did some calculations and he was able to meet my monthly repayment budget and offer me back £2,500 on my part exchange which was excellent. I signed the deposit and arranged to pick up my car the next day.

 

I went to pick up my car on the Monday after work and I could barely hold my excitement in. The salesman allowed to have a once over of the car before signing all of the finance documents. Again, I asked about how to activate/set the cruise control and the salesman said "It will be on the lever here, do you want me to go and get the car handbook?" I said "No", not wanting to waste any more time.. Presuming at that point that the car would surely have cruise control.

 

Anyway, I drove the car away with a big smile on my face. I drove to my mum's to show her the car. She lives on the other side of town so it requires a motorway trip. "Brilliant", I thought, as I was driving down the motorway I was struggling to work out how to use the cruise control so I asked my partner in the passenger seat to look in the car handbook. I was horrified when there was an extra lever illustrated in the handbook that wasn't featured on my car.

 

The next day I rang up to chase the cheque I was waiting to collect for the £2,500 cashback the salesman offered me for my part exchange. I also mentioned that I'm really happy with the car but that I had one problem, the cruise control. Because of the nature of my business, this is almost a bare essential on any new car I would purchase. The salesman said, "Oh, I'm not sure what we can do about that, come in tonight to pick your cheque up and we'll talk about it".

 

Cautious that big garages have vast backing of legal teams I rang my local citizens advise Bureau to explain my situation as above who said I have two options... To go to the garage and ask for a remedy to my problem (I.E - ask them to fit cruise control or refund me the value to fit cruise control). Alternatively I can request either money back or an exchange for a vehicle of the same value..

 

Loaded with this information, I returned to the garage knowing I'm fully within my rights to get either or.. I discussed it with the salesman who agreed that I mistakenly told me the car had cruise control, I explained whether it's a mistake or not, I need a vehicle with cruise control. He agreed and spoke to someone higher up. After conferring for about 10 minutes, the person higher up came over and said they will check and see what they can do and will let me know by telephone the next day.

 

I apologise for blabbing, but I thought it would be best that everyone was familiar with the situation.

 

My question is where do I stand if the following happens:

 

- they offer to cancel my finance agreement (what are my rights to getting my original car back)

- they offer to fit cruise control at their cost (is it legally required to be done by a dealer or approved garage)

 

What else can I expect from the garage when they come back to me?

Edited by plummeh
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I would say that you are entitled to an immediate refund as a matter of law.

On that basis you can negotiate for a reduction to the value of having CC retro-fitted or else they can agree to fit it themselves - but you wouldn't have to pay any more.

I think that you should prepare for your meeting by getting quotes from authorised garages for the fitting of Cruise control. It would be worth having this information in advance so that you know exactly what kind of value you are debating with them.

 

If they agree to fitted themselves then you need to make sure that you have a definite date by which the work will be completed. It really should be done within the next 14 days and I'm sure that it wouldn't take more than one day. However you need to talk about this with authorised garages to find out what it entails.

 

Next thing, I would start making notes of all the conversations you have had so far – and frankly I would start carrying a small recorder into the meetings and record anything that said – without letting anybody know. I think that you are very lucky – they could have easily have denied any promise about Cruise control. So far they may seem very cooperative – but these things can change when they start to realise that maybe it is going to cost more than they are happy with. It may be that they have in mind offering you a couple of hundred pounds – when retrofitting of Cruise control might be much more expensive.

 

If you don't record meetings you should at least make sure that you make notes during the meeting and also summarise everything that was said immediately afterwards

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Hi BankFodder,

 

Many thanks for your reply.

 

I will make sure I start taking note of the conversations - is this a precautionary measure should the case go further legally?

 

My ideal situation, because I have no other problems with the car, is for the retailer to ask me to get a price to fit the cruise control. This way, I will have my preferred choice of fitter whether that be a BMW garage or I have a close friend who specialises in BMW's. I don't really want to be in a position where I have to hassle around with either swapping the car for another, or getting my full refund and cancel the finance agreement but if push comes to shove I will have to do this.

 

If they say to me that they will get the car fitted with cruise control, and cover the costs of the fitting are the legally obliged to do it with a legitimate fitter?

 

Also, where do I stand if they offer to cancel the finance agreement on my part exchanged car?

 

Thanks again.

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I would reject the car immediately, but discuss with them what they can do to end that rejection (in writing in the first instance explaining your full reasons for rejection).

 

It prevents them dragging things then claiming you cannot subsequently reject.

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I am going to wait to hear their verdict on what they can do to get cruise control fitted - which they said they would get back to me today.

 

I have had a price from my main BMW dealer in Bristol who have quoted me just short of £1,000 to have it fitted.

 

Will let everyone know the outcome.

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Just had a call from the garage who said they have spoke to their local fitter (non-genuine, aftermarket parts) who can fit it for £750.00 and that the garage will absorb £500 of the charges as a goodwill gesture due to the misunderstanding between me and the salesman. I'm a bit concerned that because the car is within three years old, that by getting it fitted by a non-genuine BMW dealer that it will void the 3 year manufacturer warranty I have on the car. I said that I would prefer it was BMW genuienly fitted or I want my money back and the salesman said there's no chance of that and said that because the car was not advertised with cruise control I have no right to my money back and that it was my word against the salesman (who now denies he mentioned anything about cruise control).

 

Any advice from here is much appreciated.

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Just had a call from the garage who said they have spoke to their local fitter (non-genuine, aftermarket parts) who can fit it for £750.00 and that the garage will absorb £500 of the charges as a goodwill gesture due to the misunderstanding between me and the salesman. I'm a bit concerned that because the car is within three years old, that by getting it fitted by a non-genuine BMW dealer that it will void the 3 year manufacturer warranty I have on the car. I said that I would prefer it was BMW genuienly fitted or I want my money back and the salesman said there's no chance of that and said that because the car was not advertised with cruise control I have no right to my money back and that it was my word against the salesman (who now denies he mentioned anything about cruise control).

 

 

 

Any advice from here is much appreciated.

 

 

 

There is a place called Conrad Anderson that will supply and fit cruise control to you car for around £500 it is somewhere in mainland uk if you google BMW cruise control you will find them.

 

 

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Well guys - matter resolved, to satisfaction at least.

 

I rang up the car dealer who offered me the option of using their preferred choice of fitter, which I wasn't over happy with because this would void the year long manufacturer warranty the car comes included with. On this basis they said they would put £250 towards my preferred choice. When I asked to pick up the letter, the garage denied any knowledge of the conversation we'd had the night before. So I've had to take time off work, go down to the garage personally and sort out a letter which will garantee me to £250 once the work has been complete and I provide an invoice/proof of fitting. I rang BMW to see if there was any leniency in the price they quoted they said not by them, but one of their sub-contractors in Bristol (who apparantly, according to BMW, does alot of out-sourced work) on this basis my warranty will not be affected. He gave me a price for £541.67 + VAT so I am going to go with this option.

 

So overall I am glad with the outcome, so it was worth the 3 days of pure hassle bargaining with the garage - although I can safely say I will avoid the garage in the future.

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