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Old Vine

Chariotts, Kettering - Deposit to hold not returned

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Looking for a car change and found one 30 miles away that we thought would fit the bill.

 

Rang the dealer to have a chat about the spec and he convinced me to leave a deposit on the car to hold it as we could not get there for two days.

NB This was to hold the car to view/test drive and was agreed verbally over the phone.


Went to dealers, nice car but a bit grubby externally.

Took for a drive and had a few issues with space and comfort.

Told salesman I would let him have a decision the next day.

 

Rang dealership and left message and followed up by email saying sorry but not interested.
It's now 21 days since the test drive and 18 since the account was debited (£250)


Salesman and/or boss not taking calls/returning or responding to emails.


I have no receipt for the money or T&C's and I have signed no documents at all.
Please don't tell me I'm stupid I already know!
Any advice gratefully received.

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What is the name of the dealer?

 

How did you pay the money?


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Well you already realise that you need to protect yourself a bit more by making sure that things are agreed in writing. At the very least you should visit our customer services guide and read the advice there and implement and record all your course.

You could certainly begin a chargeback procedure and I would suggest that you call your bank immediately and begin it – but it will take time also, don't expect your bank to be very enthusiastic.

In fact I suddenly realise that this probably amounts to an online purchase. Therefore you should write to the dealer immediately. First of all state the complete facts of the deposit – that it was subject to satisfactory driving et cetera – exactly as you have stated it here. Tell them that in any event, it was an online contract and as such you are entitled to a 14 day cooling off period and you are therefore rejecting the vehicle because it is not satisfactory and you want your money back.

This probably won't get your money back but it will give you a bit more leverage with your bank. Make sure that your bank understands that this is an online purchase and as such is protected by the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 and that the dealer is refusing to honour your rights as online customer.

You could also send a letter before action and begin a small claim that actually because it's a distance sale, it might be quicker and easier to go through the chargeback system.

Start that. Keep written records of everything. Record your calls. Come back here and let us know how it goes

 

Also go visit some review sites and make sure that everybody else knows about the attitude of this car dealer – Chariots of Kettering @Chariots_Cars


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By the way, if you do have to begin a small claim on this then I estimate your chances of success as being extremely high. Even without evidence, I can't imagine that any court would disbelieve what you say that you would calmly put a £250 deposit onto a car without having said that an eventual contract would be subject to a satisfactory assessment when you visited the garage. Anything else would be unbelievable.

In addition to that, you would rely on the fact that it was an online sale and that the dealer was breaching the Consumer Contracts Regulations. This would pretty well guarantee you success in the County Court – so if this is what you need to do, then don't worry about it.


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Thank you for your considered replies.

 

Here is the email I sent  to the owner/manager on the 29th April:-

 

On the 8th April we paid a "holding" deposit of £250 for a Mercedes 250GLA and arranged a test drive on the 9th April.

Your staff when we visited your site where helpful and courteous.

Sadly the car itself was lacking in expected space and was not the one for us.

We communicated the fact that we would not be purchasing the car on the 10th April.

On the 12th April the £250 was shown as transferred from our account. I sent an email to **** to appraise him of that.

On the 25th I sent a further email requesting an update on the refund. I had no reply.

On the 26th I made two calls to **** but he was always "with a customer".

It is now three weeks since the test drive and two weeks since the money left our account.

Could someone have the courtesy to give me an update of when I can expect to see our money refunded?

 

and this  is the one sent to the salesman on the 10th:-

 

Left message for **** at about 12:00 today but have had no call back as of yet.

After a day of deliberation we have decided that the the GLA250 was not the car for us.

Thank-you for your time and trouble in showing us the car and checking over our C180.

If you come across a decent low mileage C200 Sport/AMG line petrol/auto estate please give us a call.

Not sure if you actually took the holding deposit but if you have I would appreciate it's return!

 

I will start charge back with my bank today and send a formal letter (recorded delivery) confirming the above together with a duplicate email when I know the letter has been delivered.

 

I have found one other person complaining of the same treatment (no refund, don't answer phone calls or emails).

 

I will of course update on here with any progress.

 

Thanks again.

 

 

 

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In future, it's worth remembering (and noting for anyone else reading the thread) that if a car dealer pushes you for a deposit, they see it as a sign of commitment. To avoid situations like this, either leave a deposit as a sign of commitment you are entering a contract (whether you are or not) or, don't leave a deposit. Certainly don't leave one believing you are reserving something to stop other people buying it and that you can easily change your mind and get your money back easily from car dealers. They will push back hard on you. Rightly or wrongly, it's an avoidable situation.

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50 minutes ago, Old Vine said:

 

 

I have found one other person complaining of the same treatment (no refund, don't answer phone calls or emails).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please post a link to this person's story or review


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Thank you. Then I suggest that you put a review there as well as anywhere else you can find. Make sure the you emphasise that the deposit placed as a result of an agreement over the telephone was an online sale and that Chariots of Kettering then refused to return it in breach of their statutory duty under the Consumer Protection Regulations 2013. Unfortunately you probably shouldn't place a link to this forum on your review because otherwise the review will be removed. Just do the review


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It seems a shame because the reviews about chariots of Kettering are really generally pretty good and I don't feel that they have been faked particularly.

How sad that a company wants to damage its reputation for the sake of £250 .


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Hi,

That's exactly what I feel. If they had said in two weeks time we have a car to the spec that I emailed to them I would have purchased it. Sadly that's a £20k+  deal that won't be done by me.

I have contacted First Direct and they won't do a chargeback because I don't have a copy of the T&C's..... They suggest I go back and get them (probably not wise).

Thanks again.

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In answer to Chariots comments on Twitter ( we don't use Twitter yet).

We are pensioners, since the 10th April there have been very few occasions during the day when no one was at home.

Chariots have our land line number which has an answering machine, CLI & voice mail if we are on another call.

There have been no messages or missed calls from Chariots. To suggest we are not answering our phone is simply a lie.

I have sent four emails to them and they have never had the courtesy to reply, but I do have the opened email "read" receipts from Luke, Franco, Liam & Nick.

In 27 days Chariots have not replied to any phone messages (5) or emails (4).

Chariots say they would like to "discuss this with the customer directly", well they know where we are. They have our email, landline number and address.

It has taken posts on this web site and social media to get any response.

All of the other comments are moot and not germane to the actual issue.

It could be fixed very easily, without more emails, tweets or comments on websites.

I await a response.

I have sent this as an email to Chariots.

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In the light of our experience a few words of advice for all potential buyers at ANY car dealer.

Don't give them a deposit (to secure or otherwise) until you are 100% sure that you want the car.

Always make sure they accompany you on a test drive (they might throw it back in your face).

Any sales person is NOT your friend!

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the deposit would be seen by an averge person as being conditional, ie it was as described and fit for purpose etc so refundable if the car wasnt suitable.

As the deposit was solicited this places an obligation on the seller rather than the purchaser but proving what was said and who said it first will be difficult but there is little to be gained by the dealer in trying to keep your deposit as it will ultimately cost them more tahn that to fight a claim they are likely to lose and the damage doen to their reputation will spread much wider once it becomes irrefutable by way of a court judgement.

 

The other thing I note is they are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority so if they stick to their story a complaint about the misuse and non return of your deposit to them will cost the dealership a lot more than the £250 just to hear the complaint. the lack of paperwork for the deposit will be enought to clobber them, I cant spot anything obvious on their web site about deposits so they will be hard pushed to show any evidence of a non returnable deposit scheme

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