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    • If you are buying a used car – you need to read this survival guide.
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    • Hello,

      On 15/1/24 booked appointment with Big Motoring World (BMW) to view a mini on 17/1/24 at 8pm at their Enfield dealership.  

      Car was dirty and test drive was two circuits of roundabout on entry to the showroom.  Was p/x my car and rushed by sales exec and a manager into buying the mini and a 3yr warranty that night, sale all wrapped up by 10pm.  They strongly advised me taking warranty out on car that age (2017) and confirmed it was honoured at over 500 UK registered garages.

      The next day, 18/1/24 noticed amber engine warning light on dashboard , immediately phoned BMW aftercare team to ask for it to be investigated asap at nearest garage to me. After 15 mins on hold was told only their 5 service centres across the UK can deal with car issues with earliest date for inspection in March ! Said I’m not happy with that given what sales team advised or driving car. Told an amber warning light only advisory so to drive with caution and call back when light goes red.

      I’m not happy to do this, drive the car or with the after care experience (a sign of further stresses to come) so want a refund and to return the car asap.

      Please can you advise what I need to do today to get this done. 

      Many thanks 
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    • Housing Association property flooding. https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/438641-housing-association-property-flooding/&do=findComment&comment=5124299
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    • We have finally managed to obtain the transcript of this case.

      The judge's reasoning is very useful and will certainly be helpful in any other cases relating to third-party rights where the customer has contracted with the courier company by using a broker.
      This is generally speaking the problem with using PackLink who are domiciled in Spain and very conveniently out of reach of the British justice system.

      Frankly I don't think that is any accident.

      One of the points that the judge made was that the customers contract with the broker specifically refers to the courier – and it is clear that the courier knows that they are acting for a third party. There is no need to name the third party. They just have to be recognisably part of a class of person – such as a sender or a recipient of the parcel.

      Please note that a recent case against UPS failed on exactly the same issue with the judge held that the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 did not apply.

      We will be getting that transcript very soon. We will look at it and we will understand how the judge made such catastrophic mistakes. It was a very poor judgement.
      We will be recommending that people do include this adverse judgement in their bundle so that when they go to county court the judge will see both sides and see the arguments against this adverse judgement.
      Also, we will be to demonstrate to the judge that we are fair-minded and that we don't mind bringing everything to the attention of the judge even if it is against our own interests.
      This is good ethical practice.

      It would be very nice if the parcel delivery companies – including EVRi – practised this kind of thing as well.


      OT APPROVED, 365MC637, FAROOQ, EVRi, 12.07.23 (BRENT) - J v4.pdf
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Second hand car problems - scotland

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Sometimes people tell me that I should 'take action' about a situation when in my gut, I feel that there is little that I can do but just to get some peace, I look into it - and so it is with this.

In July, I bought a second hand 16 plate Ford Fiesta from a seller whose Gumtree profile lists them as a trader. I had no transport and the car was about 50 miles away but the seller offered to bring it to show me. I took it out for a drive (the fifteen minute run which your second hand car guide advises against relying on) and it seemed okay - my previous car was a fiesta and so it felt familiar. It was advertised as having an MoT until March 2024 and a timing belt and water pump change in December 2022 - this was painted on the cover under the bonnet. I offered £500 under the asking price of £5,000 which was accepted and I paid by bank transfer (another no-no I know).

The first time I went out in it, I got a TPMS warning. It was possible to reset the warning and then I got another 20 miles or so before i got another warning. I took it to a local tyre company who informed me that three sensors were dead. They didn't actually supply sensors so I had to buy some online before going back to have them fitted and on my way there, I got a warning saying 'Engine Service Now' with spanner and stability lights. I OK'ed the warning and got the sensors fitted. I didn't get the 'Engine Service Now' warning again but wasn't driving very far - maybe only 50 miles - before I went to visit family about 250 miles away and on the way there got the warning again so took it to a friend of my sister who is a mechanic and did a standard engine service, changing fluids etc. and checking the error codes via OBD2 which he said were mainly battery related. Great, I thought. Sorted.

However, on my way home, maybe five miles onto the motorway, the 'Engine Service Now' warning came on again, this time with the spanner, stability and engine lights. When I got home, I booked it into a local garage (they had a two week backlog which I took as a good sign) but when they phoned me to report their findings, they said that it looked like there was a problem with the timing belt and asked whether they should go ahead with checking it out fully informing me that it could be quite a few hours work at £60 per hour + parts. I agreed but when they phoned to say that it was ready, they asked if I was sitting down before they gave me the cost - £726 inc VAT.

When I picked the car up, I was shown video that they had taken of the timing belt which was quite loose and needed changing again - it is a major service job which should be done about every 100,000 miles or ten years depending on the car - not twice in a year. They also told me that the coolant system needed repairing as it was leaking but that wasn't urgent so could wait (I have it booked in for next week) but that would be about another £200. Whilst the car felt okay when I took it out for a test drive (very much like my old Fiesta), the difference in it now is remarkable.

In total, I will have had to spend about £1,200.

The mechanics at both garages have said that I could take action to recover the cost of the repairs but I wouldn't know how. However, it seems pretty clear that cycling the ignition temporarily clears the warnings and so it would be pretty easy for a seller to mask errors (they switched the engine off and handed me the keys when they arrived) unless a buyer were to take a long drive - I don't see how the seller could drive it 50 miles without the warnings coming on. Furthermore, the likelihood of three TPMS sensors failing simultaneously must be pretty slim.

Anyway, I'm not expecting to be able to do anything about this but I just wanted to be able to say that I have sought advice.

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I don't feel the need to protect them but I only have their personal name which might be considered doxing. They described themselves as a trader rather than a dealer - in my head, I see a trader as an individual and a dealer as a company. However, on Gumtree, they use the name 'Gold'.

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Okay, but one last question beforehand because I haven't done anything about this; i.e. I haven't even mentioned the problems to the seller - I thought I would ask if I had any legal rights to back me up before I contacted them and give them the opportunity to put things right if I did.

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Thanks for the advice and information.

I don't actually have an e-mail address for the seller - all contact was via Gumtree and phone. However, when I was trying to get a lift to go and look at it, they gave me their home address. My feeling is that I should contact them via a method already used as to shift gear (no pun intended) to a more formal method might be regarded as an aggressive move.

Should I wait until the car has been in for the other job? It goes in on Monday and I expect it back either Monday or Tuesday.

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I'm in Scotland so it is a different register but the same fee.

By the way, earlier you said:

'Enforcing a rights is a completely different matter. If the dealer chooses to be uncooperative then you will probably have to have the dealer.'

Would I be right to assume that that should have read  'sue the dealer' or something like that?

Edited by Geronimo1
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  • dx100uk changed the title to Second hand car problems - scotland

I waited until the latest job was completed so that I had an up-to-date cost. I have enclosed a redacted draft of my letter - I'd be grateful for any comments.

Curiously (by Google spookiness) although I haven't actually searched for anything on this subject, YouTube recommended this video from Black Belt Barrister who I occasionally watch and who uploaded this 8 days ago:




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2013 - just a typo. I'm getting old.

The car registration number is in the Re: line at the top but redacted for web publication.

I was under the impression that you had inferred and implied that the faults being present when I bought the car was significant. It was certainly the opinion of the mechanic - he said that the turbo lever was seized in a way that it must have been like that for months if not years and that all the other problems were obviously there when I purchased it and I would have thought that was intrinsic to the argument that I should be sold a car of satisfactory quality.

Having watched the Black Belt Barrister video, I almost referred to Section 75 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 but when writing letters like this, I like to keep my sword sheathed; i.e. give the impression that I am 'armed' (knowing my rights) without actually drawing my 'sword' (quoting chapter and verse) because being belligerent can draw offensive defence.

Anyway, I'll redraft shortly.

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I think that it can be proven by logic but we aren't time travellers.

Three of the TPMS sensors failing the day after I bought it? Pretty obvious.

The turbo actuator was seized and it could be seen that it had not moved for a long time.

The timing belt was loose but had been supposedly changed in December 2022. Either the belt was badly fitted (most likely) or it had stretched (extremely unlikely but wouldn't happen overnight - it happened within two weeks of purchase). Usually, a timing belt should need changing about every 100,000 miles or 8-10 years - not after 8 months. If a timing belt goes, it is usually catastrophic as far as the engine is concerned and would most likely mean the end of the car's life economically.

I think a jury (I'm being hyperbolic) would agree.

Anyway, I have to go out shortly but will work on another draft when I get back.

Edited by Geronimo1
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I have been delayed - not least by the weather. A fallen tree blocked the road on my way to go shopping yesterday and the central heating was causing problems when I got home. I've been trying to find a minute today but it is looking unlikely.

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Okay, well that was like doing homework that I didn't want to do (I had to forego my usual writing style to follow your guidance) and I am under a lot of stress with other consumer problems which I haven't brought up on here but I have uploaded a second draft letter.

I'm going away for a week on Thursday so I am hoping to get a letter fired off before I go.

Fiesta Letter REDACTED 02.pdf

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Okay, I'll remove the cc. If I have ever taken advice from any kind of body in the past (e.g. CAB/ASAP), I have added them as a cc because it hints that somebody with experience and/or qualifications has advised me.

I get that it would have been better to contact them before getting the work done but the circumstances made that difficult - on one occasion, I was half way down the motorway to visit family and when I came back and was told that it could be a problem with the timing belt - which it was - it wasn't an option to wait and see what the seller says

I would not be able to drive the car until it was fixed because, as I mentioned previously, if the timing belt goes whilst you are driving, that is probably the end of the car, economically speaking. Not to mention that the dealer is about 50 miles away from where I live. I was over a barrel but retrospective vision is 20/20.

No, I haven't had any reports done but I think that the invoices speak for themselves - I haven't got money to fritter away on frivolous repairs.

I'll edit it and have it posted by First Class Signed For and they should have it by Tuesday.

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Well, to be honest, when I have cc'ed CAB or ASAP in the past, I have usually had a reference number - there is always a reference number when you make a CAB contact (ASAP is kind of part of CAB) and it tells the recipient that there is an official record of the complaint.

My record so far with complaints has been fairly successful but as I said at the outset, it has only been other people nagging me that I should do something about this that has led me to make my initial post about it when I had thought that I had left it too late.

The fact that I had the work done prior to starting this thread is not news, I was quite up front about it. It started out with the smallish matter of the TPMS sensors it escalated fast along with my anxiety about the situation and I regret that I assumed that I had been had and that there was nothing I could do about it.

My first sentence in this thread was:

''Sometimes people tell me that I should 'take action' about a situation when in my gut, I feel that there is little that I can do but just to get some peace, I look into it - and so it is with this'

I had thought that this had been put to bed as far as the letter was concerned but I'm starting to get wound up about it again I'm going to leave it until tomorrow.

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I'm just putting it in my own words.

I have been trying to follow the guidance I have been given but I couldn't find the words to write how somebody else writes - it has really tormented me the last couple of days and if I didn't get something posted before I go away on Thursday, I might as well forget it so I just wrote the letter almost as stream of consciousness. I was polite and factual and expressed how unhappy I was with the way things had gone.

I'd rather not share the letter because it is printed out, in an envelope to be posted tomorrow and for the sake of a good night's sleep, I prefer not to submit it for analysis.

I believe in being honest even if the world is full of car dealers trying to rip you off and if it comes to nothing, I'll go and read 'If' by Rudyard Kipling again. Maybe the car dealer will get an ulcer.

Not totally related (or totally unrelated), I live by a maxim which says, 'if you lend a good friend £100 (it used to be £10 when I first heard it) and you never see them again, it's worth it'.

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The other point I meant to mention was that in the past, every letter of complaint I have written has, at least in the first instance, been addressed to the complaints or support department of a business, some of which were fairly monolithic.

This letter was written to an individual who had sat next to me as I test drove a car then came in my house whilst I transferred payment to their bank account. Somehow, my usual dead-eyed assertive (and rarely failing) approach felt wrong.

Also, without wanting to drag the point up again, adding a cc. or two at the bottom of a letter let's the recipient know that somebody else, probably somebody official, will be reading their reply. However, I didn't cc. anybody on this occasion.

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