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s75 Rights help


mas786
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Dear all,

 

Hope someone can help me.

 

I hired a luxury car from a company and paid them a £2000 deposit on my credit card, I did not take a copy of the contract though they have their standard terms on their website. The car was returned with no problems whatsoever and in pristine condition, this was not disputed. I then asked for refund of the deposit and was promised it would be done, however a few days later the trader refused saying they had been advised by the Police that they had received complaints of how the car was driven!!!! To my shock I contacted the Police who said they were simply chasing a complaint from a neighbour about noise (the car was a high performance sportscar).

 

The retailer now refuses to engage with me on this even to the point of not even supplying a copy of the contract, and telling me to do whatever I wish!

 

As I had paid on my credit card I thought I had some legal redress and therefore claimed under their chargeback scheme. I have now received a letter stating that they are unable to offer any assistance and would only be able to do so if the retailer is in clear breach of contract. They also state that due to the lack of documentary evidence in support of my claim they have no recourse to the retailer. They end by saying that although they cannot process a claim I should pursue the matter with trading standards or Citizens Advice Bureau.

 

Having read numerous posts on the internet re: s75 it appears they cannot simple do this as they were jointly and severely liable for breach of contract.

 

What advice can you give me in terms of taking this matter forward against both the Credit Card company and this rogue trader who should not be allowed anywhere near a CC machine.

 

Its a lot of money for me, and this was my wedding car. I am desperate for help as this has pushed me into debt. Please please help.

 

Many thanks in advance.

 

Mas

 

Additional info:

 

Having checked regarding refunds in their terms and conditions, this is the only thing that is apparent is:

 

"xxxxx Cars will provide refunds to those who are not in breach of any of our terms and Conditions."

 

There is nothing in the terms and conditions that remotely match the reasons verbally stated for not returning my deposit.

 

(As you can appreciate I have taken out their name.)

Edited by mas786
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I presume we're talking about two grand actually debited here, not just blocked against your card as is normally the case with car hire (at least it is for normal cars!)?

 

If they won't play ball, especially if they won't even provide a copy of the fundamental paperwork, and if the CC company won't help, then you might be left with little alternative to write them a Letter Before Action, giving a reasonable timescale (14 days? Others can advise...) to refund your deposit AND provide a clear copy of the original, signed hire agreement, or else you will have no option but to file a claim in the County Court.

 

I appreciate that you might not want to take this route, and it is worth trying Trading Standards first, but ultimately the threat of legal action should force the company's hand.

 

If you do so, copy the letter to your CC company because if you later obtain a judgement in your favour and the hire company won't / can't pay, they might then have sufficient reason to satisfy it on grounds of s75 joint liability.

 

Before you do this, collect any and all evidence that you already have as to the car's condition on return, and general compliance with the standard hire terms that you've found. You will need to be prepared to explain any discrepancy.

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If you paid by credit card, then the credit card company are equally liable.

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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I presume we're talking about two grand actually debited here, not just blocked against your card as is normally the case with car hire (at least it is for normal cars!)?

 

If they won't play ball, especially if they won't even provide a copy of the fundamental paperwork, and if the CC company won't help, then you might be left with little alternative to write them a Letter Before Action, giving a reasonable timescale (14 days? Others can advise...) to refund your deposit AND provide a clear copy of the original, signed hire agreement, or else you will have no option but to file a claim in the County Court.

 

I appreciate that you might not want to take this route, and it is worth trying Trading Standards first, but ultimately the threat of legal action should force the company's hand.

 

If you do so, copy the letter to your CC company because if you later obtain a judgement in your favour and the hire company won't / can't pay, they might then have sufficient reason to satisfy it on grounds of s75 joint liability.

 

Before you do this, collect any and all evidence that you already have as to the car's condition on return, and general compliance with the standard hire terms that you've found. You will need to be prepared to explain any discrepancy.

 

I have read the following from the ombudsman, which states there is no requirement to sue the trader in the first instance. Further down it also has a case example of a complaint upheld in a similar case.

 

"We often encounter some common misunderstandings when assessing these cases. The first is the belief among some lenders that consumers can only claim against them after they have first sued the provider of the goods or services. In fact, no such requirement exists and consumers can choose which party to claim against."

 

financial-ombudsman.org.uk/publications/ombudsman-news/62/62-consumer-credit.htm

 

that seems to imply I can proceed with pursuing the Card company. Any views on this appreciated.

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Good research. Yes the FOS has the advantage of being free, and the CC company will be bound by the decision made. The downside is that you have to go through the CC company's own complaints procedure (which you've already started so that is good) before escalating it, and all of this can take a while before a final decision is made, but once you've made your complaint to the FOS, you should be able to get the CC company to suspend the amount in dispute from interest and minimum payment calculation.

 

If the FOS decides against you then you can still go to court, with the costs and risks that this entails.

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If you desperately need the money, you may find that starting a county court claim against the trader (naming the bank as co-defendant) will get you there much quicker than following the bank's internal complaints procedure and going to the FOS.

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