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Garage holding car to ransom.

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Hi all, new to the forum and looking for advice.

 

I bought a bmw 318d off eBay in February this year, within 2 weeks it broke down on me never to start again. I understand there is no comeback with the seller as it was a private sale but this where it gets complicated.

 

I had been saving up to get a reconditioned engine as I'd been told by my own mechanic that the timing change had snapped. Looking through e-bay listing I'd settled on a company called automotive_shop.

 

I approached them via telephone explaining my situation and the fact I was concerned that the listing stated they needed a serviceable engine in exchange of the recon. I told him it was a timing chain failure and he said that it was serviceable so I thought I'd go ahead with it.

 

What followed the conversation was a quote emailed to myself stating the following:

 

FURTHER TO YOUR TELEPHONE CONVERSATION, WE CAN OFFER YOU A ENGINE RECONDITIONING SERVICE WITH 12 MONTHS 12000 MILE WARRANTY, QUOTE BASED ON A SERVICEABLE UNIT INCLUDING RECOVERY AND LABOUR

 

This was at a cost of £1795 and a small part at the bottom of the invoice that states:

 

in the event of non payment received any costs incurred in recovering the amount payable by you the customer statutory interest shall occur. Please note; vehicle will not be released until full payment is discharged, any delays shall incur storage fees with legal costs.

 

To kick off the process they asked for a deposit of £900 and recovery of the vehicle was arranged.

 

Over the days it has been in I've been asking for regular updates and today I received one saying:

 

Engine seriously damaged many parts not serviceable, and a number of pictures of the inside of the engine. I called the number on the invoice and asked where I now stood in relation to this. I was informed they'd never seen one as bad as this and he was getting me a price together for repair.

 

A second invoice followed about an hour later to my shock which stated:

 

DEAR MR THOMSON, FURTHER TO OUR TELEPHONE CONVERSATION AFTER I EXPLAINED TO YOU WHATS CAUSED THE DAMAGE AND THE NONE SERVICEABLE PARTS...

 

LIST OF PARTS AND PRICES BELOW SIR

Product ENGINE BLOCK 650.00 1.00 650.00

Product CRANKSHAFT 350.00 1.00 350.00

Product CONRODS 95.00 4.00 380.00

Product PISTONS 112.50 4.00 450.00

Product TURBO 475.00 1.00 475.00

Product HYDROLIC LIFTERS AND TAPPETS 14.95 16.00 239.20

Product INJECTORS 168.00 4.00 672.00

 

All this equating to £4,700 minus the £900 I'd already paid leaving a balance of £3,800.

 

I was shocked to say the least, for that money I can buy a new car. So, as I haven't got that kind of cash, I explained that was way above my budget and where did I stand having the car delivered back to me without the engine and what exactly did the £900 deposit cost. Soon after I receive another invoice:

 

Service ADMINISTRATION COSTS 295.00 1.00 295.00

Service RECOVERY 2.50 90.00 225.00

Service REMOVE ENGINE AND DISMANTLE FOR FULL REBUILD SERVICE, AFTER WE FULLY STRIPPED THE ENGINE WE DISCOVERED THE ENGINE WAS BEYOND SERVICEABLE REPAIR. THE CUSTOMER ASKED US TO CANCEL THE JOB AND PALLET ALL PARTS TO SEND BACK WITH THE VEHICLE 65.00 16.00 1,040.00

Service DELIVERY BACK 2.50 90.00 225.00

 

All this equaling £1785 (£10 less than original quote) and a balance still to pay of £885! I can't believe they're trying to charge me the price of the original quote to send a car back to me with an engine in pieces. I fully expected to lose my deposit but not to still owe them money!

 

So I replied this afternoon saying can they explain what the admin costs are? They're charging £450 when their eBay listing says free recovery nationwide and £1040 for them to take the engine out, dismantle and tell me it's unrepairable?

 

The figures just don't add up to me, they've done less work than it would have taken to recondition it and are trying to charge the same money.

 

They haven't responded yet but I would like to know where I stand moving forward please? I'm reluctant to pay the full price for an engine coming back to me in pieces. I understand it was a non serviceable engine and I have to pay for some labour costs but the full amount is ridiculous.

 

Thanks in advance.

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There was a garage in the London area that used to behave in this way and were always in trouble with authorities. They used to find loads of extra work, hold cars to ransom if customers complained and the cars they worked on were fitted with very poor quality parts.

 

They can't hold your car to ransom, as it is your property. You can recover the car at your cost and if necessary involve the Police.

 

Also they can't add these additional costs not shown in their original adverts, if you are not going ahead with the new work that is needed. Report to Trading Standards at the council nearest to the garage if necessary. If you search online for Trading Standards, you should find a number to phone.


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Thanks for your reply. Worryingly I think these may be part of the same group. They seem to go under different names. The invoice says reconditioned engines but the e-mail address is bestenginerecon. Also the business address is coming up as a residential property.

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Thanks for your reply. Worryingly I think these may be part of the same group. They seem to go under different names. The invoice says reconditioned engines but the e-mail address is bestenginerecon. Also the business address is coming up as a residential property.

 

Yes that is the garage that has had a lot of unhappy customers. People have got cars back with help of the Police before. The local Trading Standards will know them very well. Previous connected businesses have been raided a few times.


We could do with some help from you.

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 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread

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