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Beckybee

Halliwell Jones Mini dealership refusing to refund deposit***Resolved***

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Hello,

 

Sorry for the long wordy post.

 

I recently paid a £500 deposit and signed a new vehicle hire contract for a Mini with Chilli Pack from Halliwell Jones. 3 days later they contacted me via phone to say that Mini had increased the price of the Chilli Pack and it's now roughly £1000 more expensive (this wasn't advertised on the Mini website). The sales rep said that there was nothing that they could do apart from try to find another car that's already been built with the old chilli pack. They managed to find one that had everything I wanted but was more expensive because it had heated seats. After some hesitation I agreed to this car but called back about 20 mins later to say that i was unsure about what to do. I tried to negotiate a better deal but they wouldn't budge and made out that I had already had as much discount as I was going to get etc. and i said that i needed to think about it. By this time they had already bought this car from another dealership. I told them over the phone that i was going to try and get a better deal from another dealer because i wasn't happy with it at all and that evening that's what I did.

 

When I then asked Halliwell Jones for my deposit back they have refused on the grounds that i agreed to order the second car however, according to their terms and conditions the original agreement was cancelled when they could not fulfil it and the second agreement is classed as a distance selling one and because of this I have the right to cancel within 14 days and don't have to give a reason.

 

Am I in the right here? :|

 

Any help you can give will be very much appreciated.

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Yes, I think your logic is impeccable.

 

I think you should put it in writing to them in exactly that way and see what they say.

 

Also, if you have any further dealings with them on the telephone, implement the advice in our customer services guide first.


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http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/consumer-contracts-regulations

 

In fact you will see that there are a number of formalities which must be satisfied for a distance contract – and you will probably find that these did not happen


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Thanks for your response. :)

 

I have written to them on numerous occasions and their sales director has basically told me to go away and that he isn't honouring the refund because 'I have just changed my mind' (in his words).

 

I just wanted to ensure that I was definitely in the right before sending a 'Letter Before Action'.

 

Thanks for the consumer rights link, they definitely didn't inform me of my right to cancel or of anything else apart from the details of the car.

 

I think what they are trying to do is to insinuate that the second car is covered by the original agreement.

 

I am so glad i stumbled upon this forum. Thanks for your help.

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Only send a letter before action if you are going to go ahead and carry out your threat.

 

I'm quite sure that you will have to.

 

Write a clear letter detailing in a succinct and bullet pointed form exactly what has happened, why you want the refund and what law you are basing your claim on.

 

Tell them that if they don't respond to with the refund in full within 14 days that you will sue them in the County Court and without further notice.

 

At the expiry of 14 days – sue them.

 

If you're not prepared to do this step then don't bother to write to them. Don't bluff, you will only lose credibility.

 

I rate your chances of success are better than 95%. Frankly they would be stupid if they didn't put their hands up once they receive the court papers – but they will then be required to pay the court fee as well + the 8% interest that you should add to the total that you are claiming.

 

Use the 14 days to prepare your case, open up an account on MoneyClaim and draft your claim there. You don't need any particular form of words.

 

 

  1. The claimant agreed to buy a car from the defendant on XXX date
  2. the claimant placed a deposit on the car of £500
  3. the agreement was entered into over the telephone and therefore is subject to the distance selling regulations in place at that time under the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2014
  4. The claimant withdrew from the contract XX days later
  5. the defendant has refused to accept the cancellation of the contract and refuses to return the deposit
  6. the claimant seeks the refund of £XXX + interest pursuant to section 69 County Courts act 1984

I expect that that is all you need for the moment. Hopefully it will fit in to the word count limit on MoneyClaim.

 

If they don't put their hands up and they file a defence then we can have a closer look and help you to draft a reply to the defence if we think that it is necessary.

 

How far away from you does the dealer live? Because the case would have to be heard in your local court and they will have to make a trip there.


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Thank you once again for your help with this.

 

Just to be clear, the initial agreement was made on their premises. It was only after they had breached the terms of the original agreement that the second agreement was made over the phone.

 

So the list for MoneyClaim would look more like this:

 

The claimant agreed to buy a car from the defendant on XXX date

The claimant placed a deposit on the car of £500

The defendant broke the terms of the contract and was no longer able to provide the agreed vehicle at the agreed price

The claimant agreed, over the telephone, to take a different car for a different price and with different equipment

the agreement was entered into over the telephone and therefore is subject to the distance selling regulations in place at that time under the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2014

The claimant withdrew from the contract XX days later

the defendant has refused to accept the cancellation of the contract and refuses to return the deposit

the claimant seeks the refund of £XXX + interest pursuant to section 69 County Courts act 1984

 

I have drafted the letter before action. Should i be asking them to provide any documents or the recordings of the phone calls that they have?

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On the basis that the initial agreement was cancelled, and there was a new contract made over the telephone for a car which you had not previously seen, then I think that the rules applying to distance selling must apply.

 

At the end of the day, if they decide to defend then they will try to say something like it was all one agreement but which was varied after discussion on the telephone.

 

However, if you didn't see the replacement car then I don't think that there is very much mileage in their argument.

 

Of course it will be for the judge to decide. It sounds pretty amazing behaviour for the Halliwell Jones dealership who generally speaking seem to have a pretty decent reputation. Maybe the manager was having a bad day


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That was my thought too.

 

I've had a more amicable response today from the director and he wants to meet up to discuss it. This sounds promising so I will hold off with sending the Letter Before Action.

 

I'll let you know how I get on too.

 

:)

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I'd be tempted to have the LBA typed out and ready to go, shove it into the director's hand if they don't play ball. (and then send an additional copy by recorded post...)


My views are my own and are not representative of any organisation. if you've found my post helpful please click on the star below.

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So how are things progressing Becky ??

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Well, i've since had another Email from Mini group who are unwilling to get involved, despite the fact that I am still buying a Mini (you'd think they would want to look after their paying customers).

 

And I have a meeting booked in with the Sales Director of Halliwell Jones this Thursday so we shall see what they have to say then. I've got the LBA ready and will present it to him when we meet if he still refuses to listen to me.

 

I will update the tread after the meeting :)

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So the meeting today went well. They have refunded the deposit. :)

 

Thanks for the help everyone.

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Excellent well done Becky

 

I will amend your thread title to reflect the outcome.

 

Regards

 

Andy


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That is good news. No one likes to have to fight.

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All main dealers will cave in eventually, just be persistent, thorough and don't lose your rag, as tempting as it may be.

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