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Trader refusing to pay for repairs-Small Claims? ***Resolved***

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Hi,I'm new here.

 

Without mentioning names, I bought car for 5.5k.

described as"drives like new", immaculate condition" etc.

 

Within 28days, red EML light come on,

had it locally diagnosed as issue with electronic throttle and exhaust pipe seized shut.

 

I immediately notified the trader, who largely ignored me.

I consulted mechanics and was told the serious fault and I better be off rejecting it, under CRA 2015.

 

I had written the dealer (independent garage) quoting my reasons to reject the car, gave them two weeks to issue refund, meanwhile I am without a car.

They fobbed me off again, did not collect car,did not diagnose nothing.

 

So after two weeks, I sent letter before action via email and recorded delivery.

They called back asking me to take the car to nearest garage and if reasonable they'd pay.

I did not agree reasonable part however I had to tow the car to another reputable garage for further diagnosis and quote.

It came to 900+.

 

After 5 days of issuing the quote, they came back saying too expensive and I should bear all costing to take car to them and they will fix it(towing would cost around 500). I obviously rejected and went ahead with repairs, now asking them to pay the bill or there is a Small claims on their way.

 

Before you comment, please note following reasons I also rejected,apart from the cost of towing, which they asked me to pay.

 

1) they sold car with the main warranty provider, I did not get the document but all of their cars had their branding all over (approved dealer, 6m warranty) but I found out they lied. I had various dealings with the warranty company, who sent their staff to REMOVE all their branding trafer fraudulently was using. I have confirmation of this .

 

2) Autotrader reviews

- I naively trusted the reviews, more than 50 ,nearly all 5*.

Upon my issues, I went through one by one, and realised they are suspicious.

 

After lengthy dealings with AT, they were found that 46 of those(including dealers responses to those great reviews) were fraudulent.

 

Based upon the fact that they left me with no car for a month, lied to me about everything as stated above I could not be expected to trust them to repair anything to the required standard. (They must have cleared all fault codes prior to selling the car!)

 

There are other matters that I cannot comment on due to legal reasons too.

 

My question is : has anyone been in rotelt similar situation and any tips before small claims?

TIA

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First of all, we do not do Secret Squirrel on this forum. To get help and to get the best help you will need to tell is everything starting with the name of the dealer.

 

There are no advantages to keeping information back. As long as you are honest and straight dealing about your situation, you will stand the best chance of success.

 

On the basis of what you have told us so far, I estimate your chances of success in a county court action is much better than 95%.

 

You say that you are unable to give us some information because of "legal reasons". Please will you tell us what those "legal reasons" are.

 

Bring a small claims action is extremely easy and there is lots of information on this forum as to how to do it. Also, we will help you all the way including drafting your claim for you or checking the one that you have prepared before you file it.

 

You should make sure that you have got copies of everything you have found, photographs, screenshots of webpages because it sounds to me as if you have a lot of interesting information which will smooth your passage through the claims process even more.

 

You will need to make an assessment of all of your losses including the money that you paid for the car, any reasonable expenses incurred as a result of its poor condition – including any repairs, transport charges, fares – and maybe even the reasonable cost of car hire.

 

I think it is important that you start off by telling us who the dealers so that we can understand whether they are sufficiently stable to be sued or whether they are in a position to close their business and therefore avoid your action or subsequent enforcement proceedings.Also you have made a very basic beginner's error and that you have sent a letter of claim without any kind of plan in mind and also without following it up.

 

You immediately lose credibility.

 

 

If you send a letter of claim then you must know exactly what you are going to do when your deadline expires and then you must do it. You never bluff.


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First of all, we do not do Secret Squirrel on this forum. To get help and to get the best help you will need to tell is everything starting with the name of the dealer.

 

There are no advantages to keeping information back. As long as you are honest and straight dealing about your situation, you will stand the best chance of success.

 

On the basis of what you have told us so far, I estimate your chances of success in a county court action is much better than 95%.

 

You say that you are unable to give us some information because of "legal reasons". Please will you tell us what those "legal reasons" are.

 

Bring a small claims action is extremely easy and there is lots of information on this forum as to how to do it. Also, we will help you all the way including drafting your claim for you or checking the one that you have prepared before you file it.

 

You should make sure that you have got copies of everything you have found, photographs, screenshots of webpages because it sounds to me as if you have a lot of interesting information which will smooth your passage through the claims process even more.

 

You will need to make an assessment of all of your losses including the money that you paid for the car, any reasonable expenses incurred as a result of its poor condition – including any repairs, transport charges, fares – and maybe even the reasonable cost of car hire.

 

I think it is important that you start off by telling us who the dealers so that we can understand whether they are sufficiently stable to be sued or whether they are in a position to close their business and therefore avoid your action or subsequent enforcement proceedings.Also you have made a very basic beginner's error and that you have sent a letter of claim without any kind of plan in mind and also without following it up.

 

You immediately lose credibility.

 

 

If you send a letter of claim then you must know exactly what you are going to do when your deadline expires and then you must do it. You never bluff.

 

Great response, thank you

Let answer couple of points:

This is a sole trader rather than a big main dealer.

Because I have not yet gone to court, I will avoid naming his trade name. I think for now it's best thing to do.

I have all the copies, and will use them In court.

Once the court is concluded, I will surely update this thread with all more details.

Legal reasons: im not expert and do not want to harm my case by letting any more Info than necessary just yet.

Regarding the letter before claim: I originally rejected the car and the letter before action was in that respect. It was void as soon as they came back offering initially to pay for the repairs, which then they refused .(only offered like 40%)!

 

They cannot close the company down as simply they aren't company, meaning g I can go after their assets if it comes to that.

 

I have screenshots, emails, description etc all saved, those will be used to support my case.

I may sound bitter but I took out the loan to pay for the car, I have kids who need transportation every day and I cannot afford s...t like this. I have. Sent fair to them, they had one whole month to do something (during which I had to use taxi to take kids to clubs etc, work and so on).

 

To conclude, i really appreciate your response. It really makes aot sense what you said. Just if we take from my point there are still couple of things that I cannot yet disclose. (More fraud, mainly -which I am still trying to prove)

 

Thanks so much for your response.much appreciated.

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Sorry about some typos in here.

Just to add, they did not even bother to pick up letter before action from the post office(I had it recorded, which they missed and they knew what it was , therefore letter bounced back to me).I also sent the same info via email, and the text reminding them what was coming.

Thank for all your suggestions and help. Much appreciated.

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Firstly, don't imagine that a sole trader is somehow easier to get out then a limited liability company. If the sole trader has an established premises with lots of stock and has been there for a good period of time then you can be fairly confident. However, there are lots of sole traders who have a tremendous flexibility when it comes to avoiding judgements.

 

It might be an idea for you to look at the trust register online to see if there are any existing CCJs out against this dealer and whether or not they have been satisfied.

 

You say that you borrowed money to pay for this vehicle. Who was the loan from? Was it specifically to finance the vehicle? If it was then you could well have another line of action under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

 

Once again, you are quite wrong to withhold the name of the firm. It is publicity on these kinds of social media forums that can affect their businesses very badly and persuade them to start complying with their statutory obligations.

 

Have you checked the reviews and the Internet in general in respect of the reputation of this firm?

 

You have already seen that their reputation is sufficiently important to them that there are 50 or so dubious reviews on auto Trader. You should start checking around for honest reviews and also post your own review up on the review sites as well as naming and shaming here.

 

It's up to you of course, but I'm afraid that we tend to find the people who are new at the business of taking on dealers/retailers often think there is something to gain by not revealing details.

 

I think that people tend to think that if this is what solicitors do then they should do it also. Solicitors normally tend to do this kind of thing because they lack any imagination


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OP states that thy went ahead with repairs so this may prove to be an obstacle if it goes to court unless they can prove in writing that the dealer refused outright to do the repair. As it was within the first 30 days the short term right existed for the OP to reject the vehicle and get a refund. They chose the option of a repair and also went ahead with the repair.

This may be a difficult claim as the garage asked the OP to bring the vehicle to them. If the OP had done this and the fault was genuine then maybe they could have claimed back the towing charges. However section 20 (7)(b) does state that the goods should be available for collection by the trader and the OP has done this.

I suggest that the OP would not win in small claims court as they went ahead with the repair and never gave the dealer the chance to do a repair.

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I have mainly to disagree with you.

 

First of all, The Consumer Rights Act confers certain rights but it doesn't exclude other rights and remedies under normal contract rules.

 

Secondly, in order for the 30 day rule to come into play, you must assert your right within those 30 days. If you don't then you move to the six month rule – and once again you must assert your right within the six months. You have to make it clear to the dealer that you are asserting the right.

 

If the right isn't asserted then you fall back to your usual contract remedies which may include a refund or replacement – but under the consumer rights act, any defect which reveals itself in the first 30 days confers upon the purchaser a right to a refund or replacement whereas under the usual contract rules, one would then have to argue about the effect of the defect and whether it was simply a minor defect which didn't undermine the purpose of the contract (a warranty) or if the defect/breach was so serious that it fundamentally undermined the purpose of the contract (a fundamental breach) which could have the effect of terminating the contract.

 

In terms of the rest of it, once the breach of contract/the defect can be established then that is sufficient to merit some level of reimbursement of pecuniary losses – and then falls to the evidence available and what was a reasonable course of action to take in the circumstances. There is no doubt that once the liability for the breach was established, that the judge would then make a finding as to the amount of the award – and that would depend on the evidence.

 

In fact I find that I have disagreed with you on everything you have said.


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OP states that thy went ahead with repairs so this may prove to be an obstacle if it goes to court unless they can prove in writing that the dealer refused outright to do the repair. As it was within the first 30 days the short term right existed for the OP to reject the vehicle and get a refund. They chose the option of a repair and also went ahead with the repair.

This may be a difficult claim as the garage asked the OP to bring the vehicle to them. If the OP had done this and the fault was genuine then maybe they could have claimed back the towing charges. However section 20 (7)(b) does state that the goods should be available for collection by the trader and the OP has done this.

I suggest that the OP would not win in small claims court as they went ahead with the repair and never gave the dealer the chance to do a repair.

 

 

I take your point but disagree, here are reasons why :

 

1) they had one whole month to refund money(repairs were I my done after one month of car being stationary,not used)

2) they insisted I took the car to the another garage to get the repair quote-i needed the car, or I would not have bought it in the first place

3)once they got a quote, then they asked I took the car to them and I had to pay the costs

3) reasons highlighted above(fraudulent representation, fraudulent reviews) - easy to see they cannot be trusted

4) I have them ample chances during the whole.month to come, inspect and take the car away-none if which they did. To say that I did not make car available for collection isn't correct. I have proof telling them they can come and get the car, inspect as it was their right.

 

So the argument that dealer was not awarded a reasonable opportunity to put things right is invalid. You cannot expect a customer to be without a car whole.month, paying tax and insurance and using taxi while you sit in your backside and ignore their pleas.

Would you trust a seller who fraudulently misrepresented things and misslod you a car to the fix it for you?

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So the fact that the OP had the vehicle repaired at their own cost and is now trying to claim back that costs does not count?

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I take your point but disagree, here are reasons why :

 

1) they had one whole month to refund money(repairs were I my done after one month of car being stationary,not used)

2) they insisted I took the car to the another garage to get the repair quote-i needed the car, or I would not have bought it in the first place

3)once they got a quote, then they asked I took the car to them and I had to pay the costs

3) reasons highlighted above(fraudulent representation, fraudulent reviews) - easy to see they cannot be trusted

4) I have them ample chances during the whole.month to come, inspect and take the car away-none if which they did. To say that I did not make car available for collection isn't correct. I have proof telling them they can come and get the car, inspect as it was their right.

 

So the argument that dealer was not awarded a reasonable opportunity to put things right is invalid. You cannot expect a customer to be without a car whole.month, paying tax and insurance and using taxi while you sit in your backside and ignore their pleas.

Would you trust a seller who fraudulently misrepresented things and misslod you a car to the fix it for you?

 

Damn, using phone really messed up my spelling !!! I'm not usually that bad :)

And, yes I will name the trader shortly.

Thanks for your opinions, greatly received.

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So the fact that the OP had the vehicle repaired at their own cost and is now trying to claim back that costs does not count?

 

Correct. It doesn't touch on the issue of liability. The question of reasonable costs would have to be argued


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Correct. It doesn't touch on the issue of liability. The question of reasonable costs would have to be argued

 

That is what I am trying to and perhaps did not put it across correctly. It would be difficult to put across to a judge and depending on how the judge views the law it will be touch and go whether the OP would win in court as "reasonable" has no definition. Reasonable could be time related and be 24 hours or several months. The same applies to cost as £500 may be reasonable to one person but to another very expensive.

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That is what I am trying to and perhaps did not put it across correctly. It would be difficult to put across to a judge and depending on how the judge views the law it will be touch and go whether the OP would win in court as "reasonable" has no definition. Reasonable could be time related and be 24 hours or several months. The same applies to cost as £500 may be reasonable to one person but to another very expensive.

 

Several month, you expect customer to be without a car they paid nearly 6k for for several month? No judge in the work would side with that. As for the cost, I have a very good defence and two separate garage quotes to back it up- so if the matter of costs can also be argued in my defence.

Also , what about fraudulent misrepresentation-proven two independent cases(reviews, description and false warranty)- don't you think this will count in my favour?

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I would shy away from making any reference to fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation in your particulars of claim when you start the action. Judges don't like it and it's generally speaking not a very pragmatic thing to do.

 

Of course if you would explain more to us – which she won't – then we could understand whether it really is relevant to your desire to sort out the problem and put yourself into the position that you would have been had this never happened.


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Several month, you expect customer to be without a car they paid nearly 6k for for several month? No judge in the work would side with that. As for the cost, I have a very good defence and two separate garage quotes to back it up- so if the matter of costs can also be argued in my defence.

Also , what about fraudulent misrepresentation-proven two independent cases(reviews, description and false warranty)- don't you think this will count in my favour?

 

You state that you sent off the LBA 2 weeks after you first contacted them about the fault. They then took 5 days to respond which is reasonable. They told you to bring the vehicle back to them which is reasonable. You decided against this and went ahead with the repair.

I am merely pointing out any issues that may arise and not disagreeing as I do not liek traders to take advantage of people under any circumstances, but it is better to be forewarned than unprepared.

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You state that you sent off the LBA 2 weeks after you first contacted them about the fault. They then took 5 days to respond which is reasonable. They told you to bring the vehicle back to them which is reasonable. You decided against this and went ahead with the repair.

I am merely pointing out any issues that may arise and not disagreeing as I do not liek traders to take advantage of people under any circumstances, but it is better to be forewarned than unprepared.

 

Thanks for your reply.

Timeframe is unreasonable all in all adds up to one month, during which customer was without a car, being greatly inconvenienced.

 

Secondly, I just did not NOT bring the car back, I could not as it was not driveable. It is unreasonable and not even legal to tell the customer they have to pay returning charges, that would have amounted to more than£500 in towing fees.

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Thanks for your reply.

Timeframe is unreasonable all in all adds up to one month, during which customer was without a car, being greatly inconvenienced.

 

Secondly, I just did not NOT bring the car back, I could not as it was not driveable. It is unreasonable and not even legal to tell the customer they have to pay returning charges, that would have amounted to more than£500 in towing fees.

 

Actually, you would be responsible for the costs in bringing the car to the supplying dealer for a repair. The dealer would have to bear reasonable costs to retrieve the vehicle in the event of them accepting your rejection and right to refund.

 

That all seems rather academic now, anyway. You started out by doing the right thing by just rejecting the car and sending the LBA and you should have just pursued them through the courts for your refund which as said above, you would have had a very high chance of receiving.

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Actually, you would be responsible for the costs in bringing the car to the supplying dealer for a repair.

 

Sorry, but this is completely wrong.

 

Also I have to say that this thread seems to be developing into some fruitless exchange with very little purpose or direction.

 

I think you had your advice and you need to start taking action.

 

Have you taken any steps so far?


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Sorry, but this is completely wrong.

 

Also I have to say that this thread seems to be developing into some fruitless exchange with very little purpose or direction.

 

I think you had your advice and you need to start taking action.

 

Have you taken any steps so far?

 

I’m happy to be corrected of course. I would have thought that as a consumer you’re responsible for returning your TV to Curry’s for a repair, or your iPhone to Apple for a repair, returning your car for a repair would have been the same?

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Of course you’re right, a TV or iPhone could be handled and brought to the store. You can’t put a car in your pocket! Apologies it was a long day yesterday and I clearly wasn’t thinking, errr, clearly :)

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That's all right and very appreciated that you are so gracious about it.

 

If there is a fault in an item which amounts to a breach of contract then the retailer is responsible for all of the reasonable losses incurred – not only for the repair of the item


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Sorry, but this is completely wrong.

 

Also I have to say that this thread seems to be developing into some fruitless exchange with very little purpose or direction.

 

I think you had your advice and you need to start taking action.

 

Have you taken any steps so far?

 

Thank you, well said. I agree it is turning into disagreement in here. I got the advice I needed. Have given them until specific date, if not paid then off to court.

With respect to everyone, I'm not rookie I just wanted opinion especially of those who had similar experiences. I have read 100s posts,. Read CRA2015inside out, and yes one can go all the way without help but I got lucky and found legal help from solicitor who turned out to be friend of a friend, so I don't have to pay for the advice. I have now got expert report, quotes from three independent garages and plus all the proof for allegations I made above(for character reference of this trader).

One more advice- it would be better if comments here were pointed out as just opinions unless you're an expert and have qualifying merits to prove your case.

Finally, I will close this case and once again thank you to all of you for your points and comments in this matter.

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There is no reason to read the Consumer Rights Act inside out. It is worth being pretty familiar with the County Court process.

 

You say that you are closing this case. I hope this doesn't mean that you aren't going to let people know what happens as you go along.


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There is no reason to read the Consumer Rights Act inside out. It is worth being pretty familiar with the County Court process.

 

You say that you are closing this case. I hope this doesn't mean that you aren't going to let people know what happens as you go along.

 

No of course not. I will keep this updated you all on any future developments, including name(s) of these traders

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