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paulfoel

Garage recovery fee £100 new thread

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April

Spoke to garage - can look at in 3 weeks.

Mentioned that car was not driveable, exact words "no problem I can collect"

Stupidly, I did not clarify this was for free.

 

So car goes into garage. Some work gets done but I decided not to go ahead with all of it. 

 

Alarm bells started to ring when he offered me about 5% of what it was worth "to save you paying me £100 to bring it back". I declined this and got the invoice to find I'd been charged £100 for "recovery fee".

At the time, I did complain and say it would have been nice if he'd told me that it was £100 instead of implying it was free. I could have got something sorted in those three weeks.

 

So then he mentioned again, it was £100 to bring it back and it needed to be gone next day or he'd be charging me storage fees. I paid the invoice for the work done plus the £!00 recovery fee under protestest. Arranged my own recovery at short notice for £55. I could have got it much cheaper given a few more days notice.

 

So this went on, I told him I wasn't happy with the £100 charge. His attitude was always "tough luck you didn't ask so its £100". Very unfair.

 

In the end, I thought, sod it I'm starting a small claim. This guy had been deliberately vague knowing I'd have no choice. And then tried to squeeze me when he had the car as well.

 

So this is where we're at now. Hes responded with an offer of £45 arguing that it would have cost me £55 anyway (it wouldnt - with 3 weeks notice I couild have got my mate to tow me).

And of course, hes now threatening to counter claim for the time wasted and stress if I don't accept.

 

I'll try and work out how to post the claim form without my details on it. 

 

Claim details

Claim number: 

Claim amount: £125.72

View amount breakdown
Amount breakdown Amount
Fee for Recovery £100
Interest £0.72
Claim fee £25
Claim Total £125.72

Reason for claim:

Car was booked in to Mr Thomas' garage several weeks in advance. At the time, a discussion was held as to how the vehicle would be transported to Mr Thomas' premises. Mr Thomas advised me that collecting the car would be no problem. At the time the car was booked in, no mention was made of a "Recovery charge" to collect the vehicle. I would argue that it would have been fair for Mr Thomas to make this clear at the time. The charge made of £100 is much more than the going rate. Again, I would argue that it would have been fair for Mr Thomas to make it clear at the time that collection of the vehicle would be at a premium cost.

Timeline

Date What happened
march Booked car into garage and discussed collection.
2nd April Car collected. Work begins on car.
5th April After deciding not to go ahead with the work, presented with invoice which includes £100 "Recovery Charge".

Evidence

Type Description
Letters, emails and other correspondence Facebook chat log. (Mr Thomas advised that car could be brought in on his trailer so its not an issue. No mention of charge).
Receipts Invoice plus chat logs indicating that "Recovery Charge" is £100.

 

The defendant’s response

Mr Ross Thomas admits they owe you £45. They don’t believe they owe the full amount claimed.

 

They’ve offered to pay you £45 immediately.

Their defence

Why they don’t owe the amount claimed

"The customer has asked for my full fee of £100 for the recovery of his car to my workshops to be refunded to him.

I find this unjust and unfair.

 

After we had recovered the car to us and completed other works to the car it became apparent that the work needed on the car was uneconomical. The customer asked for us to return the car to him, which would have incurred another fee of £100.

 

He decided to seek other avenues for the return of his car to him, eventually settling on a quote from another company of £55.

 

After the customer has paid our invoice to him in full, he has now decided to try and recoup the cost of my recovery from us and interest and fees, I dispute all of this. I have previously offered a gesture of goodwill, in the form of a refund to him of £45, which is the difference between our fees and the fee he sourced elsewhere to get the car returned to him.

 

I have based this on the fact that had he used another company to bring the car in to us in the first instance this is what he would have had to pay them instead of our £100 fee. I am happy to stand by this gesture in order to close the matter.

 

However if this is not accepted I will be taking the matter further, and will also be issuing a counter claim for my costs and time taken from business in dealing with this issue, and the stress and anxiety this has caused me. I hope this resolves the matter in a fair and just way. "

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Claim details

Claim number: 

Claim amount: £125.72

View amount breakdown
Amount breakdown Amount
Fee for Recovery £100
Interest £0.72
Claim fee £25
Claim Total £125.72

Reason for claim:

Car was booked in to Mr Thomas' garage several weeks in advance. At the time, a discussion was held as to how the vehicle would be transported to Mr Thomas' premises. Mr Thomas advised me that collecting the car would be no problem. At the time the car was booked in, no mention was made of a "Recovery charge" to collect the vehicle. I would argue that it would have been fair for Mr Thomas to make this clear at the time. The charge made of £100 is much more than the going rate. Again, I would argue that it would have been fair for Mr Thomas to make it clear at the time that collection of the vehicle would be at a premium cost.

Timeline

Date What happened
march Booked car into garage and discussed collection.
2nd April Car collected. Work begins on car.
5th April After deciding not to go ahead with the work, presented with invoice which includes £100 "Recovery Charge".

Evidence

Type Description
Letters, emails and other correspondence Facebook chat log. (Mr Thomas advised that car could be brought in on his trailer so its not an issue. No mention of charge).
Receipts Invoice plus chat logs indicating that "Recovery Charge" is £100.

 

The defendant’s response

Mr Ross Thomas admits they owe you £45. They don’t believe they owe the full amount claimed.

 

They’ve offered to pay you £45 immediately.

 

Their defence

Why they don’t owe the amount claimed

"The customer has asked for my full fee of £100 for the recovery of his car to my workshops to be refunded to him.

I find this unjust and unfair.

 

After we had recovered the car to us and completed other works to the car it became apparent that the work needed on the car was uneconomical. The customer asked for us to return the car to him, which would have incurred another fee of £100.

 

He decided to seek other avenues for the return of his car to him, eventually settling on a quote from another company of £55.

 

After the customer has paid our invoice to him in full, he has now decided to try and recoup the cost of my recovery from us and interest and fees, I dispute all of this. I have previously offered a gesture of goodwill, in the form of a refund to him of £45, which is the difference between our fees and the fee he sourced elsewhere to get the car returned to him.

 

I have based this on the fact that had he used another company to bring the car in to us in the first instance this is what he would have had to pay them instead of our £100 fee. I am happy to stand by this gesture in order to close the matter.

 

However if this is not accepted I will be taking the matter further, and will also be issuing a counter claim for my costs and time taken from business in dealing with this issue, and the stress and anxiety this has caused me. I hope this resolves the matter in a fair and just way. "

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Please monitor this thread for a fuller reply later but  other than  the fact that you shouldn't worry about his counterclaim, don't expect it to be very good news


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My understanding is that you contacted the garage to discuss certain repairs to your vehicle. You asked the garage if they would carry out the repairs and they agreed. Then came the question of getting the vehicle to the garage and the garage said that they would carry that out.

 

I think you have to take this as a whole. I don’t think that you can separate the transport of the vehicle from the rest of the arrangement.

 

I think that if this came before the courts, a judge would look at it in the same way and would not separate the elements of the agreement out.

 

There was clearly an agreement – either express or implied to pay for the repairs and I think that a judge would also consider that there was an agreement – probably implied – to pay for the transport of the vehicle. It is most unlikely that any professional garage would start offering to transport vehicles free of charge and I don’t think that a judge would consider that any reasonable vehicle owner would expect this service to be undertaken without any charge although this is precisely what you seem to believe.

 

So from that point of view I think that there was probably a contractual agreement to pay a sum of money for the transport of the vehicle.

 

The question is what price was agreed. I think rather foolishly neither you nor the garage actually discussed the price of the transportation and if you had done then it would have saved a lot of fuss.

 

Section 15 of the Supply Of Goods And Services Act 1982 says that where the price of services has not been agreed then a reasonable price will be implied. Although this Act oof Parliament has largely been superseded by the Consumer Rights Act I think it provides a good source for implying into this agreement how much should be paid for the transportation of the vehicle. You have found other means of transportation for the cost of £55 and so it seems to me that in the absence of any express agreement, £55 is probably the reasonable price and I would expect that if the matter was put before a judge in those terms, the judge would accept that.

 

On that basis, the garage has offered you a £45 rebate on the hundred pounds that you paid and I don’t think that you have helped yourself at all by apparently refusing it.

 

When I first read the original thread, I had gathered that it was the garage owner who had eventually declined to carry out the repairs. Had this been the case then it would have put you in a stronger position because effectively the garage owner would have been in breach of the contract and then I think he would have been responsible for all of the ancillary losses including the £100.

 

Reading this latest version of the thread, I now see that it was you who instructed the garage not to carry out the work which you had originally discussed. I think that this leaves you open to cover all the expenses which have recently been incurred to date – and that includes the £55.

 

Frankly I think that that by and large the garage owner seems to be acting pretty reasonably. I think that his defence is pretty persuasive but of course I’ve already said that I don’t think that he could bring a counterclaim for his costs or for any anxiety et cetera which he claims to have suffered as a result – unless he was able to support this by medical evidence and show that it had caused him pecuniary loss such as loss of business.

 

You’ve been here since 2010 and I think it’s a shame that you didn’t come to us before you started this. I congratulate you on having bought a legal action – many people don’t want to go that way at all. On the other hand I’m afraid that I think that in this case your legal action was ill-considered and it would have been better had you simply negotiated the return of the £45.

 

As it is, if the matter goes to hearing you will have to pay the hearing fee which may be over hundred pounds and I expect that the court will probably order that the garage owner should pay the £45 – which was already on offer and because you have turned down this reasonable offer I would expect that the court will make no order as to costs which means that you will have to bear the loss of your claim fee and also any hearing fee.

 

So my advice to you is probably to give it up as a bad job. Contact the garage owner and offer to take the £45 in return for withdrawing the claim. If the garage owner calls your bluff then I think that you are probably on a hiding to nothing and I think you should withdraw the claim anyway because I expect that the very best you will get out of it will be £45 from which you will have to deduct the claim fee and the hearing fee as I think it’s unlikely you will get these back in the circumstances.

 

The worst scenario for you is that the court decides that in the circumstances the garage has behaved very reasonably in trying to negotiate with you but that £100 is not unreasonable. In that case you stand to lose the £100, your claim fee and the hearing fee.

 

Once again, in my view there is no chance that a counterclaim would succeed and in any event, the garage repairer has not used the correct procedure for bringing a counterclaim so far.

 

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Thanks BankFodder. Makes sense.....

 

Still think - based on other dealings I had with the guy that hes tried it on. (He tried to offer me £200 to take the car off my hands, I've since had it valued at over £2000 so he tried it on a bit there).

 

I still think hes thought, wont say anything, keep quiet, easy £100 for 30 mins work collecting this car.... Nice little earner.

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Incidentally, how much would court fees be for this if it went that far?

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Personally I would just draw a line underneath it and move on, lesson learned, that would be the intelligent thing to do now.

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I have just read that the hearing fee/trial fee for a claim of your value is £25 - so much less than I had thought.

 

So your risk is your claim fee plus trial fee = £50 on the basis that the judge considers that you were offered £45 which you should have accepted and refuses to give you judgment for the £100 or the outstanding £55 balance.  Plus the defendant might claim reasonable cost of trabel plus loss of earnings for that day.

 

Your comment about him trying to offer an undervalue for your car is not relevant to this thread

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Can the defendant really claim loss of earnings? I thought the idea of the small claims court was just that they couldnt do that?

 

I remember taking an employment agency to court once. Refused to pay me long story. They called me personally the day before and threatened to claim £1000s in costs if I went ahead - trying to intimidate me.

 

I went to court and they didn't show so I won. But I remember the judge telling me they can't do this because it just means that people get bullied into dropping the case when they were probably right because they don't want to risk a financial loss.

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The no cost rule in small claims basically means that you can't claim your costs of preparing the case for legal representation et cetera. The idea is to discourage the use of lawyers and to keep the litigation as cheap as possible.

I have to say that I'm not aware of a case where loss of earnings has been awarded but I am pretty certain that it is possible within the rules – but you had better check it up and let us know if I am wrong or right – by the way. I can tell you that the judge would be very cautious about awarding loss of the day's earnings and certainly wouldn't allow a money grab. However, you need to consider that if by your litigation you have applied somebody to use up a days holiday or a sole trader to lose two or three hours of pay because they were unable to attend to a job that they were working on, then that would be quite unfair. The whole aim of the small claims system is to encourage litigants in person.

Also, the hearing would be set down probably not more than half an hour so you would be talking really only about half a day's earnings or even less.

You should check it out and let us know.

I'm going to say once again, that I think your action in beginning a claim was rather rash and I wouldn't be at all surprised if a judge took the same view.

If you force it to hearing, you never know the other side might put his hands up or he might not appear in court in which case you will walk away with your winnings plus court fees plus reasonable costs of travel plus a reasonable sum for loss of earnings if you can establish that you have actually taken that loss.


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https://www.moneyclaimsuk.co.uk/litigant-in-person-costs-and-expenses.aspx

 

Expenses such as court fees, reasonable travelling expenses, the cost of staying overnight if relevant, and up to £95 for loss of leave or loss of earnings if unpaid time off work was taken to attend the court hearing.

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£95 not a lot.....

 

Read somewhere that theres the option to have the issue determined by someone (I guess the judge) without having to attend court?

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