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lawntreader

Hillside Leisure -Right to Reject New Campervan? - ***Resolved***

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I am new here but very glad to find my way here and would welcome any input.

 

i purchased a brand new campervan conversion from Hillside Leisure (175 miles from our home) on July 26th for £31,000 and, within 48 hours, during a storm, the alarm began to sound incessantly. We could not get it to stop, even after trying everything listed in the manual. We phoned Hillside on Saturday July 28th around 2.00pm. The young man who answered the phone said he would seek the advice of their technician and call us back, which he did. The technician told us that they, Hillside, couldn’t help, but that we should take the van to Nissan (the van is a Nissan) as the fault would lie with one of their components.

 

During the coming days, the alarm continued to sound randomly. Our neighbours were furious and we were beginning to feel quite stressed. We had a holiday booked (our first) but cancelled it because the sounding of the alarm being so unpredictable. We booked the van as we were instructed to into our local branch of Nissan who, because of the holiday time in August, were unable to fit us in for three weeks, but we accepted that’s what we had to do to get the campervan repaired.

 

We decided to ensure there would be no further problems, (the alarm had sounded at 5.00 am and seemed to be cycling through some pattern or other) to simply leave the van unlocked - which is what we did. No one from Hillside rang us or offered any input or help or asked to see the van during those 3 weeks.

 

Finally, on August 17th, we took the campervan into our local Nissan branch who seemed very helpful. However, later in the day we had a call from Nissan to say that they thought the internal sensors were causing the alarm to go off because the roof had been altered and so the issue lay with the conversion. I asked the Nissan man if they could simply disarm the alarm, but he asked who would pay for it. I said we had a van warranty with Nissan and a campervan warranty with Hillside, surely they must between them be able to do something. ‘Leave it with me’ he said.

 

An hour or so later, Nissan man phoned me and said he was not happy. Hillside would not speak to him saying they were ‘too busy’ and that there had been some words exchanged about their, Nissan’s, lack of expertise. He apologised but said they couldn’t do anything and we would have to collect the van, still with the fault.

 

At that time, I was furious and all the ideas I had of relatively trouble free motoring evaporated. Having had the campervan for just 3 weeks and driving home with the fault still on the van and this being the first experience of a problem was infuriating. I checked my rights and decided to invoke our short term right to reject the van as not fit for purpose after talking with CAB the next morning. We wanted our money back.

 

Since then, there have been 15 exchanges of letters between us and Hillside, each more unpleasant and accusatory. To be fair, after we rejected the van and asked for our money back Hillside did offer to inspect it and repair it, but why didn’t they do that in the first place and the problem was exacerbated by their complete lack of concern for us and our holiday cancellation. Perhaps, had Hillside apologised or shown sympathy or understanding of how difficult those three weeks of the unpredictable alarm were, we might have said please repair it. But they didn’t accept liability at the time, never contacted us and we simply followed their instructions to take it to Nissan. Hillside’s emails and later letters were belligerent and blaming, so we are still seeking a full refund. The van is still completely unused and sitting in our driveway still unlocked.

 

I contacted Nissan Customer Services who say they are unable to offer an independent inspection without the vehicle being stripped out by Hillside, so the advice Hillside gave to ‘take it to Nissan’ on that first afternoon was completely wrong,anyway. I have also tried finding arbitration but, so far, haven’t found anyone who can arbitrate because the van is under warranty and that includes the NCC whom Hillside are members of.

 

We are now at the stage of thinking we should take it back to Hillside to strip out and Nissan inspect, but we are so mistrustful of Hillside and have lost all faith in them and Nissan haven’t come out much better. We certainly don’t want the van back afterwards but wonder quite what exactly our rights are, here. Under the Consumer Act 2015 and the fact we rejected this van as not fit for purpose 23 days after buying it (and it’s never been used) we would welcome the experience, thoughts, advice and expertise of this Forum. Thank you.

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I haven't read your story thoroughly yet, but I see that you are just within the first six months of ownership. You should assert your rights under the consumer rights act which entitles you to insist on a repair and then if the repair fails you are entitled to insist on a refund or a replacement – at your option.

 

Send a letter immediately. Send it by recorded delivery. Also send an email. Make it clear that you are asserting your rights under the 2015 Act and tell them that you want it repaired. You should also tell them that you will be holding them liable for any costs you incur associated with the defect – including delivering the van to them and collecting it.


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I've read a bit more carefully and I see in fact that you have already invoked your short-term right to reject in the first 30 days. Well done.

 

In that case you can ignore what I said about the six months right.

 

I'm afraid that the only thing now is to threaten a legal action. How did you pay for the van?

 

You can begin a legal action in the County Court. However you need to be aware that if you happen to lose the case, that you may be liable for the other sides costs. If you win then they will be liable for your costs.

 

On the basis of what you have told us above, your chances of success are better than 95%.

 

If you want to start a legal action then you will need to send them a letter before claim and given 14 days. Don't send the letter if you aren't serious. Don't bluff. It's not worth it. You will lose credibility.

 

It will help you if you can get something in writing from Nissan confirming the defect which you have identified – but even if the defect happens to be an Nissan defect, it will still be the suppliers of the van to you who will be liable.

 

At the same time I would suggest that you go round to all of the mobile home websites and start telling everybody about your experience. You may be very surprised to hear others reporting similar concerns about the same company.

 

If you want to start a legal action then we will be very pleased to help you and we will assist you in drafting the claim – which will be very easy and very short.

 

If you do start a legal action then you will be claiming for the refund to which you are entitled under the consumer legislation and also any associated costs caused by the breach of contract and also I would think about putting in a figure for the loss of enjoyment in respect of your ruin holiday plans

 

By the way, please read our customer services guide and implement the advice there. It is very important.


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Hello, thank you for the reply.

 

Perhaps I wasn’t very clear that we have sent many letters recorded delivery rejecting the campervan as not fit for purpose, the first one well within 30 days.

Hillside do not accept the campervan as unfit for purpose and have requested to inspect the van and want to repair it.

They did not accept liability for the van on the day of the fault but referred us to Nissan, who then said the problem was with the conversion, which Hillside refused to accept. We are caught in the middle and this is the essence of our discomfort.

 

In addition, because the correspondence (over 10 recorded delivery letters from them and us) has been so deeply unpleasant, because they gave us bad and wrong advice (take it to Nissan, it’s a Nissan problem) and because we lived with the stress of the alarm possibly sounding for three weeks we just want nothing to do with this company and want them to take their unused campervan back. They may well repair the fault but then we don’t want to have to deal with them at all in the future.

 

They haven’t inspected the van themselves (I think we suspected they were trying to blame us for the problem) but Nissan say they can’t check the alarm sensors without Hillside stripping out, so we are thinking we should get it back to them. But we don’t want it repaired. After these awful months and the loss of our holiday , we just want a refund.

 

Thank you!

Our replies crossed.

Will stay in touch.

Thank you!

 

Bankfodder, you asked how we paid for the campervan.

Well, with our life savings.

It’s all paid for, unmoved since the fateful trip to Nissan and still unlocked with 380 miles on the clock.

 

May I just ask one thing.

Do you think it advisable to return it to Hillside (God knows we have had enough of it) and get the inspection done?

Edited by dx100uk
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Bankfodder, you asked how we paid for the campervan. Well, with our life savings. It’s all paid for, unmoved since the fateful trip to Nissan and still unlocked with 380 miles on the clock. May I just ask one thing. Do you think it advisable to return it to Hillside (God knows we have had enough of it) and get the inspection done?

 

This doesn't answer the question. Did you pay by bank transfer, credit card, what means did you use to pay with your life savings?


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The defect doesn't have to render the item unfit for purpose. According to the new 2015 legislation, it simply needs to be a defect. Who started using this kind of language? You or them?

 

Even if it is not unfit for purpose, under the old legislation you would still have been entitled to a repair.

 

In terms of what you should do with the van now, I suppose that your worst nightmare could be that you would return it to Hillside Leisure and then they suddenly go out of business and you lose your van as well as your money.

 

Probably the best thing to do is to hang onto it but make it clear to Hillside Leisure that you will also be applying a reasonable storage charge to your claim.

 

The good thing about you as an individual bringing your claim against the company is that even though you are the claimant, the case will be heard in your local court. That will put them to load of trouble.

 

Just to avoid any doubt, I suggest that you make sure that you get some expert corroboration of the defect – even if the cause of the defect is not identified.

 

Also, write to Hillside Leisure and invite them to carry out their own inspection of the vehicle and tell them that you will be happy to accommodate them if they will make an appointment. Point out to them that if they will not make a visit and inspect the van then you will put that out to the judge in the County Court case and they will have difficulty disputing the existence of any defect.


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Thank you BF.

In relation to corroborating the fault, I do have two pieces of written evidence from our local Nissan branch, one dated August 17th and the second, more formal, from the Service Manager October 8th reads,

 

“Just to confirm that the vehicle was inspected as Customer concern was alarm going off. We inspected the vehicle to find it had been completely modified and converted into a campervan.

 

We checked the alarm and suspect that due to the modification to the roof this may be causing the ultra sonics to set off the alarm.

 

Further testing of the alarm and wiring would involve removal of units inside the vehicle. We are not happy to work around the modifications made and recommend return to selling or adaption dealer.”

 

I do have that and a more informal email from another member of staff at our local Nissan branch.

 

I think your input to invite Hillside to inspect here is a really good plan.

We are very weary and just want it gone and sorted, but I think you have helped stiffen our resolve.

 

There have been some really unpleasant accusations thrown at us from Hillside

- not least that our contacting Nissan was “undertaken of your own accord.”

That made us particularly furious as we just did what they told us to do and just wanted it sorted.

 

In relation to the word ‘defect’ Hillside used it in one of their letters to us, so I think we may have used it without thought.

Thank you again, BF!

 

Sorry, just spotted your payment question.

We paid via two Debit cards,

lawntreader

Edited by dx100uk
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In respect of the defects, you don't have to ascertain the cause. You only have to ascertain that the defect exists. Can they confirmed that the alarm problem exists?

 

In the case of the payments, it's a shame you didn't use credit cards because you would have more protection. I'm not sure what the chargeback rules for payments of this size by means of debit cards are.

 

Maybe someone can help


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You rejected the campervan within 30 days.

Full refund is due.

If you have paid by credit card, even a small portion over £100, you can invoke a section 75 refund for the all lot.

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Thank you king12345. Unfortunately, we paid by debit card so I assume this section 75 doesn’t apply? Hillside wouldn’t accept credit card.

 

In respect of the defects, you don't have to ascertain the cause. You only have to ascertain that the defect exists. Can they confirmed that the alarm problem exists?”

 

We did video it going off and it has been taken to Nissan whose report I included in my previous post.

Edited by dx100uk
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I looked d up this section 75 and debit cards and it doesn’t apply, but there is this Chargeback thing, but we are 4 days over the 120 days which is bit hard. But for future reference it says

 

 

“Chargeback isn’t a legal protection like section 75. It’s an agreement Visa, Mastercard, Maestro and American Express have signed up to.

 

The scheme enables you to claim a refund from your card provider if a purchase doesn’t arrive or is faulty.

 

It works by the card company trying to claim your money back from the company you’ve paid, by reversing the transaction.

 

There’s usually no minimum spend in order to be covered by chargeback, but time limits apply for making a claim – usually up to either 45 or 120 days from making the purchase, depending on the type of card.

 

Chargeback claims can take some time to process because the card company has to get the money refunded before it can pass it onto you.“

 

But thank you everyone for this support

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I find it bewildering that Hillside haven’t insisted you get the van back to them for inspection, in the first place! It would probably take a good auto electrician a few hours to diagnose and either bypass some sensors or,

deactivate then incumbent alarm and fit a new one to the doors and engine bay only.

 

I suspect they think that you are suffering from “buyers remorse” and that’s why they are digging their heels in but they’re clearly wrong and this is abysmal behaviour from them.

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Agree with that..how silly of rhem

 

Dx


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

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Ps chargeback is 120 days from when you realise not from paid date as long as you have not passed 540 days


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

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Chuffnut, thank you.

It wasn’t until we rejected the campervan that they contacted us and wanted to inspect it and, to be fair, they then wanted to look at it, but that was three and a half weeks after purchase and after we’d gone through all the debacle at Nissan when this awful row between the two companies had kicked off and we didn’t like being in the middle of it all.

 

Yes, if they had accepted liability for the campervan in the first place or expressed the slightest bit of concern perhaps things might have been different. Certainly if I was MD of a company and someone had spent £31000 with me and 2 days in they had a problem, I would have been straight on the phone asking what was going on and seeing if I could help.

 

On the day the alarm first sounded, we sent Hillside the video of what had happened and they didn’t acknowledge receipt until weeks later when we provided them with evidence that we sent it.

Edited by dx100uk
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Ps chargeback is 120 days from when you realise not from paid date as long as you have not passed 540 days

 

 

That’s really helpful,thank you.

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In the case of the payments, it's a shame you didn't use credit cards because you would have more protection. I'm not sure what the chargeback rules for payments of this size by means of debit cards are.

 

Hillside wouldn’t accept credit cards. Perhaps if we had been more consumer savvy in July when we bought the campervan our alarm bells might have rung back then. It’s such a worry to have this campervan unlocked outside.

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Hillside wouldn’t accept credit cards. Perhaps if we had been more consumer savvy in July when we bought the campervan our alarm bells might have rung back then. It’s such a worry to have this campervan unlocked outside.

Hillside wouldn’t accept credit cards. Perhaps if we had been more consumer savvy in July when we bought the campervan our alarm bells might have rung back then. It’s such a worry to have this campervan unlocked outside.

 

Contact your bank by phone and then my post beginning the chargeback process. It costs nothing to try.

 

 

 

Decide if you are going to begin a legal action. You don't need any prrofesional help at this point.

Be aware of the risks and if you decide then we will help you begin.

 

You need to decide quickly.

Ask us any questions


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Hillside wouldn’t accept credit cards. Perhaps if we had been more consumer savvy in July when we bought the campervan our alarm bells might have rung back then. It’s such a worry to have this campervan unlocked outside.

 

Contact your bank by phone and then my post beginning the chargeback process. It costs nothing to try.

Don't expect your bank to be pleased or cooperative.

 

Before you phone - implement the advice in our customer services guide

 

 

 

Decide if you are going to begin a legal action. You don't need any profesional help at this point.

Be aware of the risks and if you decide then we will help you begin.

 

You need to decide quickly.

Ask us any questions


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One thing that would worry me in this sorry saga is that if the van is being left unlocked and subsequently stolen or damaged internally then your insurance company may well refuse to pay out.

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Imo you have to let Hillside have the opportunity to repair, refusing them their right is unreasonable. You cannot make up your own rules. A judge would probably dismiss your case or it would be set a side prior to going to court for exactly the above reason. You are taking this far too personally and not looking at it practically, any good vehicle Electrican would be able to fix / disable within a couple of hours. Stop escalating the problem and resolve it, get it fixed and move on.

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If it is a ultrasonic sensor issue you should be able to disable this function. Not ideal but at least you will be able to lock it.

 

There's usually a button in the car on the drivers side. It's a worth a look.

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Just for further sharing of information, I have contacted my bank to initiate the Chargeback process. I found them very helpful but they have informed me that the faulty goods/van needs to be in the hands of the merchant and they then have 15 days to act and if they don’t, the process of obtaining the refund can be initiated. So they can’t act until the van is returned.

 

I have been fortunate to have a friend who has a garage who feels any company should have the right to inspect a faulty vehicle. But, at the same time, Hillside tried to blame us for tampering and told us to take the van to Nissan in the first place. They never wanted to see it in the first 3 weeks. The element of mistrust here is so great, yet I don’t want to appear unreasonable.

 

I have also been looking at auto engineers and expert witnesses and all sorts to strengthen our position, but I can’t help noticing another week has gone by with a brand new, unlocked campervan sitting outside. The thought of court proceedings doesn’t fill me with joy, but I am wondering if this maybe what has to happen.

 

BankFodder your advice was to tell Hillside to make an appointment to come and inspect it here at our house, but then Chargeback cannot be initiated. Another week has passed, I have done more research but I am still unsure of my next best move. Any input welcome, thank you.

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