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Bought car from Cinch - a few faults within 6 months, Cinch refuse to repair


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Bought car from Cinch.

Multiple faults within 6 months but they won't repair.

Submitted formal complaint to them, no response within 8 weeks.

Assuming next step is to issue LBA before small claims

Cars Without The Faff - cinch

I bought a car from Cinch in June 2023. A 2014 Hyundai for circa £14k.

Approx 4 months since purchase i reached out to Cinch via their WhatsApp customer service route (i preferred to do this as then it is all written for evidence, neither side can claim things weren't said or dispute when they were said) as there were 4 issues with the car:

  • Hesitation when driving occasionally
  • Car rolling slightly once handbrake applied
  • One of the front speakers not working
  • Rear camera misting up some days - i.e. it is not airtight. Makes it completely unusable.

I contacted them repeatedly over the course of the following weeks to arrange it to be investigated and repaired.

They initially said i could take it to a local garage of my choice and they would give me £100 towards this. I obviously told them to take a run and jump, and to book it in at a garage themselves, i wouldn't be responsible to employing a garage to investigate faults that are their responsibility to repair.

After a really poor run of poor customer service (will save you all the ins and outs, but it included things like Cinch booking it into a garage over the other side of the county and booking it for days that i was not available - i had told them which days i was available, etc) they did indeed book it in at a local garage for a day i was available to drop it off.

Car went to garage.

They advised that there was no hesitation that they can find (ok, i might have been wrong on that) but they can confirm the other 3 faults and in addition to this one of the washer jets was not working. Cinch took a week to think about things before coming back to me to say they won't cover any of it as it is over 90 days warranty period, and the specific feedback they then gave was:

  • Speaker declined as blown - this could not of been a pre-existing fault as not reported until oct. (i didn't notice it until then - it wasn't until i played around with the panning settings that i found that one speaker was not working)
  • Camera declined as the dealer has advised its damaged - this could not of been a pre-existing fault as not reported until Nov (wasn't until the colder weather and load of rain that the symptoms manifested themselves)
  • brakes and washers would be maintenance. (the car always rolled back a half foot since i got it, me being naive thought this was normal until a friend pointed out that it definitely is not!)

Despite being very clear at all contact with them that i was not making a warranty claim but i was asking them to carry out their responsibilities under CRA, they have completely dismissed me and said if i don't like it then i can complain (this was in December).

i emailed their complaints team with a full run down of events and why the faults need them to repair at no cost to myself as was within 6 months since purchase. I had an automated reply saying that they will be back in touch within 8 weeks with a resolution. 8 weeks ran out 4 days ago, and i have had no contact.

Si am fairly sure my next step is to open a case with MCOL.

But i would value everyone's advise on if there is something else i should do first, or if I am now good to proceed with a LBA.

Thanks!

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Have you had a written report done and a quotation of repairs?

Have you sent it to the dealer?

Have you actually asserted in writing your right to reject within six months?

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The car was inspected at a Hyundai garage when Cinch finally booked it in.

I have indeed had a written report and quote provided to me by the garage.

The garage also provided this to Cinch. 

I have asserted my rights under CRA in writing repeatedly to Cinch, that as the car is over 30 days but under 6 months (at the time I contacted them) since purchase then they need to repair the faults as the faults are deemed to have been present at the point of sale unless they can provide evidence to the contrary

. I hadn't specifically said about rejection of the vehicle as it was past the 30 day mark when I did contact them so short term right to reject had passed. 

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Okay. Please stand by for a reply later on tonight but probably tomorrow

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Very quickly, – although I suppose information is already in your first post – but maybe you could untangle it for me.

Can you list out the faults that exist on the vehicle at the moment
can you give us the likely cost of repairs.
Have you had any repairs already carried out
how much have you paid on those?
Has Cinch been informed of all the defects and the likely costs or actual costs?

Certainly time to bring a County Court claim.
In addition to answering the questions above, please prepare a letter of claim and post a draft here

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Sorry for delay in replying. Have been away, and needed to get home to get my paperwork.

Can you list out the faults that exist on the vehicle at the moment:

  • washer jet blocked
  • handbrake requires adjustment, as car rolls slightly once before handbrake engages
  • Front right speaker needs replacing
  • Reverse camera needs replacing due to water ingress

can you give us the likely cost of repairs.

  • Quote from the Hyundai dealer was £695.06 (correct as 28th Nov 2023) . I'm not sure if that is the costs that Cinch would pay and if i would pay more if i went there as a member of the public. I will have to call them to check.

Have you had any repairs already carried out

how much have you paid on those?

  • No. Car is still operational, so no repairs undertaken.


Has Cinch been informed of all the defects and the likely costs or actual costs?

  • Yes. The garage i took it to was at Cinch's booking (i.e. i did not take it to a garage of my choice, i made sure Cinch arranged the garage and it was their booking).
  • The garage reported the outcome of their investigations to Cinch. I called the garage at the time and who said they had reported the outcomes to Cinch but were awaiting approval to repair but it had been a day or two.
  • I elected to collect my car as couldn't be without it too long (which was the right choice it seems, as Cinch took a week or two to decide that they weren't going to authorise any repairs).
  • When collecting the car i had a chat with them and got a printout of their investigations and quote to repair.

I also had a reply from their complaints team a few days ago regarding the complaint i raised just before Christmas.

They have confirmed their final stance, that they will not repair.

they state:

"Having thoroughly reviewed your case I am in agreement with the technical team decision on the  14th December 2023. Therefore I am rejection your complaint as the faults were not present at the point of sale."

They have not replied or addressed any of my points raised.

It is quite laughable, but not entirely unexpected.

They did give details of the ADR scheme with South Yorkshire Trading Standards Services within 12 months if i wanted to use it (i don't!).

Here is my first draft at a LBA / Letter of claim:

[My address]

[Cinch's address]

Dear Cinch representative

Reference: your refusal to repair defective items on my car which had were present within 6 months of purchase

As it has not been possible to resolve this matter amicably, and it is apparent that court action may be necessary, I write in compliance with the Practice Direction on Pre-Action Conduct.

I bought a Hyundai Tucsun car from yourselves in June 2023. Within the first few months I noticed a few faults with the car (handbrake, speaker, reverse camera).

I reported them to your customer services a few months after purchase but your company have declined to repair these items, with the reason given that I didn't report them soon enough, so you assume that they were indeed working fine at the point of purchase.

However, despite repeated contact from me reiterating the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and that faults within 6 months of purchase are deemed to be inherent at the point of sale, you have reiterated that your position is that you are not liable for repairing these issues.

A complaint I raised with you in December 2023 has been responded by your over the past week confirming this as your final stance.

From you I am claiming the cost of repairing these issues at the local Hyundai main dealer that you employed to investigate the issues. These were quoted as £695.06.

Listed below are the documents on which I intend to rely in my claim against you:

  • Vehicle Health Check Report from Hyundai main dealer - which includes repair costs

I can confirm that I would be agreeable to mediation in order to avoid the need for this matter to be resolved by the courts. 

I would invite you to put forward any proposals in this regard. 

In closing, I would draw your attention to paragraphs 15 and 16 of the Practice Direction which gives the courts the power to impose sanctions on the parties if they fail to comply with the direction including failing to respond to this letter before claim

I look forward to hearing from you within the next 14 days. 

Should I not receive a response to my letter within this time frame, then I anticipate that court action will be commenced with no further reference to you.

Yours faithfully,

Jacktheband

 

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Please wait for a further reply to this tomorrow. However, at this point you should not be offering mediation. That is something that you can decide upon after you have issued court proceedings.
Your letter of claim should be very clear unless X, Y, and Z are done by a certain date that you will issue court proceedings on that certain date +1 day.

Have you received any comparative quotes from anybody else? It could be a good idea to do this

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Ok, will remove the bit about meditation. And will be clearer that what i want (i.e. them to have within 14 days have the car booked in for repair locally and for that repair to be carried out within 30 days).

I haven't had any quote from anyone else.

I did not want to start taking the car to other garages, i wanted Cinch on the hook for arranging repair so it is only this garage it has been to (the Hyundai main dealer).

The strange thing is that Cinch did indicate that they would repair by arranging for it to go to the garage. And then afterwards said that it was a few months after purchase so too late to claim it was inherent at the point of sale.

But all the garage had done was confirm the issue. If Cinch's position was that it is not going to be repaired, why did they bother agreeing for it to be investigated at the garage? Seems like a waste of time (from their point of view).

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First of all, I'm not sure why you want to given 30 days to do the repair. It is excessive. I have the sense that you feel that you have to be reasonable in order to gain the approval of the court if that's the way it goes.
You certainly should be reasonable but 30 days is excessive.

Frankly I don't think that you should get the vehicle repaired by Cinch. They have undermined confidence. They have been notified of your quotation and the cause of the problem and they either haven't responded or they have declined to help.

You have no way of knowing that if they are allowed to touch your vehicle, that they will do a quality job.

I would suggest that the best thing to do is to get the vehicle repaired and then send them the bill. One them that this is what is going to happen and that if they don't pay you within seven days of receiving the bill then you will sue them.

So I would book the car in for repairs on a date about 10 days from now. I would then inform Cinch in a letter of claim that the car is now booked in on XXX date. They have already had the inspection report in the estimate for repairs. You're paying the bill and seven days after that if they haven't reimburse you against the bill which you will submit to them, you will have them without any further notice.

This will give them about 14 days to respond with the payment. You will have your car repaired and if they refuse – which they probably will – then you issue the claim papers without any more mucking around.

If this appeals to you then draft a letter of claim which expresses this plan. Book the car in tomorrow for the work. Once you know the date then jiggle the dates of your letter around so that Cinch have 14 days before you sue them

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry for slow reply.

Have had a family issue i have been dealing with. All pretty much sorted so i can turn my attention back to this properly.

The 30 days is to accommodate my availability. It's giving them 14 days to get it booked in, but 30 days for the repair to be carried out (in case they only are able to give me days for repair when i am not available to drop my car off).

as long as they have agreed within 14 days a repair date that is within the next 30 days then that'll suit me.

I don;t want to just say 'agree a date in 14 days' in case the dates offered are months away.

Likewise, i don't want to say that 'it must be repaired within 14 days' as that then might corner me in terms of them offering repair dates for which i am not available to be without the car.

i thought it would be the most flexible (in my favour) approach.

As for not getting the car repaired by Cinch, i wouldn't be. The garage that inspected the car and who i have the quote from are quite independent from Cinch,. They are a Hyandai main dealer. I think they would be best placed to repair the car, i wouldn't really want to take it to another garage.

As for getting it repaired first and then sending them the bill, i am not currently in a position to pay for this up front out of my pocket. I know that there will be fees anyway by going small claims, but this will be significantly lower than the circa £700 repair cost quote.

 i would like to send them the letter of claim and then sue if they do not relent within 14 days. Do you think that might be a suitable way to proceed? How long would suing in the small claims take (i.e. how long could my car remain unrepaired)?

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The small claims process is not a quick process.

Letter of claim – 14 days.
Issue the claim – wait for an acknowledgement – 14 days.
Acknowledgement issue – 14 days.
This is for mediation – if you agree mediation, anything up to 6 months.
Mediation fails – or else you went directly to trial – could be 10 months or year.

Although I see that you don't have the means to sort out the repair, your best bet would be to get the repair and then to sue for the money.

Of course they could decide to settle at any point from the letter of claim onwards.
If they made an offer after you had issued the claim, I can imagine that they might try only to offer you the cost to repair and you would be out of pocket to the tune of your claim fee.
We would advise you to reject this because once you have issued the claim we think that you should claim back every penny.

Also if you did pay for the repair in advance you would claim a percent interest on that which is a pretty good rate of interest at today's rates

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  • 1 month later...

Hi.

Have had a death in the family which has consumed me for the past month hence only just getting things back on track in my life and dealing with these issue.

Bankfodder, i take your point about potential timeframe when i go to small claims and have decided to press ahead with the repairs out of my own pocket (well, putting them on the credit card).

I have been in touch with the main dealers again today to see if the quote they provided is still valid. They have advised that the quote they did provide was priced to Cinch who get a preferential labour rate. As an end consumer the quote is a bit higher. They have emailed me the new quote today which (inc parts, labour and VAT) is £950.98.

Si think my next step is to issue a letter of claim, omitting any offer of mediation (as i have already followed their complaints process to the full and been rejected, and there is no halfway settlement acceptable, it all needs repairing).

One thing to mention is that i bought the car from Cinch all on credit card (as i believe that is the most protected way to do things). Not sure if this makes any odds at all, or doesn't change the situation?

just looking for reassurance that letter of claim is next step.

And that due to the recent delay of action from me due to personal situation i am not out of time to take action, get repaired, sue, etc?

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4 hours ago, jacktheband said:

i bought the car from Cinch all on credit card

then the card provider is equally liable under a section 75 claim to them.

Section 75 and Charge Back..>Whats the difference and how to utilise them - General Consumer Issues - Consumer Action Group

 

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

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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  • 1 month later...

Just an update on this.

Over the past few months i have been liaising with Lloyds credit card services to make S75 claim.

I have submitted all details, evidence, chat logs, etc.

They are now asking me to take the car to an independent garage to get a report on the 4 issues, for the garage to give their opinion on the faults, what is needed to rectify, what might have caused it, if it was there at point of sale, etc. I have booked it into a local independent garage for this Monday (credit card will cover the inspection charge).

I just thought i'd check if everyone thought it is reasonable for me to need to take it to a garage?

I have shown them the evidence that there were these 4 faults reported within 6 months, and that Cinch's chosen garage verified that there were faults.

Lloyds credit card have said they cannot accept that as this garage are probably the ones that will end up repairing it so there is a clash of interest,

they want it checked out at a local garage that would not be involved in repair so would be independent.

Just wondering if needing to get this report is fair, and if really they should be arranging it rather than me trying to find one and pay upfront.

Have never made a S75 before so haven't got a clue!

Thanks,

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