Handling A Complaint With A Dealer

Monday, 19. September 2011

Hi, Graham Hill here, thank you so much for visiting my blog, I hope you learn a lot and as a result end up driving a great car. In order to do so you can get all the information you need by buying my book, An Insider Guide To Car Finance or use me to finance your next car. Happy driving.

The motor industry gets a bad press when it comes to the way it treats customers but I feel certain that the vast majority of car dealers act honourably and fairly. However, treating customers fairly doesn’t make for good headlines so I tend to only read the stories about the atrocious behaviour of just a few dealers when the customer, normally a consumer as opposed to a business user, has a complaint or problem. Sadly I am seeing more and more complaints suggesting that the problems with dealers are becoming more widespread.

I won’t give the details out but I read of a customer who had a car with a severe steering judder as well as handling and stability problems.

As the car was new one would expect the dealer to simply repair the car once the fault had been explained but in this case the dealer said that he couldn’t find the fault and that the car was fine.

But it wasn’t so the customer went off and had an independent inspection, carried out by the AA, and they confirmed the fault but the dealer still wouldn’t do anything and wouldn’t accept the independent findings.

I find this a disgrace but what is the driver to do? Personally I would be writing to the MD of the manufacturer copying in the MD/Dealer Principle of the dealership.

The press advises the driver to contact the Retail Motor Industry Federation as they have a dispute resolution service but if I was the driver I would simply tell the dealer that he was handing the car back for a full refund as there is clearly a problem with the car and under the Sale of Goods Act if the vehicle is clearly faulty and not fit for purpose then the vehicle can be returned and all the money returned.

His position would have been strengthened had he made a very small deposit payment on a credit card. It only has to be a few pounds but your legal cover under the Consumer Credit Act multiplies several fold, to the full value of the car in this case.

For regular readers of my newsletters and blogs you will know how many times I’ve mentioned this trick in the past but so few people know of it or do it. You can then make a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service which carries plenty of clout in such disputes and would certainly take the independent report into account.

If you have dealer problems please let me know but also let me know if you have had some good service, I get depressed just reading bad news. By Graham Hill

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