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Advice Needed! car repairs in garage!

cheztaz Avatar
9y, 5m agoPosted 9 years, 5 months ago
Hello there!

I do not know whether anyone can help at all, or even if I have come to the right place! ;-)

I received a quote over the phone to get a new engine fitted to my car. The garage is in Basildon, and I am in Cambs. I accepted the quote and they came to collect car and also advised the car would be ready in one week (ready for Saturday 09.06.07).

They took £100 deposit via credit card from me! leaving over £1k to pay.

I called them on Wednesday to confirm all was going ok and the car would be ready on saturday! they did not know and said call back Friday (then hung up!) I called Friday to see whether ready and was told that they did not know again! someone who did know would get back to me..and did not! Called saturday morning (6 times) and was finally told it would be 'next week sometime' and they hung up! I know I should not stereotype...but have heard about second hand car people/garages - as well as these lads sound like 'typical Essex lads' as my Mum would say! (these ones possibly worse with a arrogant attitude!)

Finally, yesterday I called them to be told it would be ready Thursday sometime! I said I was coming down by train(costing £38, and would be there in the afternoon - around 3.30pm - to be told..they will see what they can do, and will TRY and get it done but cannot promise!). I said I will call again on Thurs morning to confirm it is ready! (ebven though have paid for ticket already!)

I am now quite distraught over this! they have taken longer than they first suggested and I am a little afraid to 'have them try and pull the wool over my eyes' with regards to the sale and try and get more money out of me. Their customer services is appalling, they have not called me back, and seem to have passed me from pillar to post!

Does anyone have any advice for me for when I do collect the car in Basildon on Thursday please? I do feel I should be compensated for the inconvenience, and attitude (not to mention lack of customer service). I will be paying the remainder on credit card. I will be heading there on my own and do not have a male friend available who I can take with me to check the car will be finished to the right standard!
What if they try and charge me more? it was a verbal agreement! What if they turn round and say the car is not ready? ! I do not want to be intimidated into doing anything I do not want to do (and from the attitude of these guys, I feel thats how they treat a lot of people!).

Any advice appreciated please! Oh and will ensure I have the number of the local police station in my phone before I leave on Thursday!..just incase!

Thanks
cheztaz Avatar
9y, 5m agoPosted 9 years, 5 months ago
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Comments/page:
#1
[SIZE=2]That's terrible. :x [/SIZE]
[SIZE=2][/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]My mum had a similar problem with a delivery of a kitchen. They kept saying that they were waiting for the manufacturers to deliver it to the warehouse. A few weeks later they said that she never even bought it. So, she called the local police station and one of the constables went down to the warehouse with her. All of a sudden they "found" the kitchen and delivered it that afternoon. The policeman didn't even have to say a word![/SIZE]
[SIZE=2][/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]Try the police and see if they can help, but because this is a civil matter and not a criminal matter I'm not sure what they can do. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=2][/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]I'm sure people on here will come back with some better ideas.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=2][/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]Good luck[/SIZE]
#2
Phone Trading Standards in your area first to see how they see the situation...

If found to be a really dodgy situation, they will usually intervene.
#3
Sorry to here of your predicament but I am at a loss as to why you have chosen to have the repair done at a garage some distance from your home..was the quote that much cheaper???

I just hope they have done a proper job and you are not ripped off with bad workmanship and get a decent replacement engine..not one they have picked up at a scrappy.

As advised above check with TS as this lot may have some form..I personally would never have risked handing my car over to someone I had never met and without seeing their premises...but it's too late for hindsight..just hope it doesn't end in grief.
#4
Hello again, thanks for your help so far!

The car engine actually blew up in Suffolk, near my parents, and was easier to take the car to theirs than bring it back to my home, as did not have the space to store until a garage was found. I searched the internet for prices, and this one was the most competitive, and also provided a 2 year warranty, inc parts & labour, as well as the first 6 month service for free. All other garages provided a year warranty. They would also collect the car and take to the garage.

This garage was one of the closest to my parents house, who had an engine. I am sure that once fitted it will be fine, else why supply a 2 year warranty?

My main probems is that they will try and get more cash out of me and try to intimidate me to pay. If I refuse to pay, I am unlikely to be driving back home that night!

Have also spoken with Trading Standards who have logged my problem 'just incase' anything happens!! and been advised that even if it was a verbal agreement, they would be in breach of contract for not finishing in a timely manner, and that under a Consumer Credit Act 1974, I can complain to my credit card company and seek reimbursement!
[mod]#5
Do a search on google for the name of the garage and see if there are any horror stories on there. :thumbsup:
#6
my guess is they probably didnt have an engine in the first place
maybe they are trying to find one
it does take time
you must bear in mind that these maybe employ staff that dont turn up to work aswell
my mates a mechanic and he gets loads of problem cars in
and sometimes they maybe give you a quote on a job and the guys in the end dont make any money out of it because of all the unexpected work that comes up
#7
jasonrat
my guess is they probably didnt have an engine in the first place
maybe they are trying to find one
it does take time
you must bear in mind that these maybe employ staff that dont turn up to work aswell
my mates a mechanic and he gets loads of problem cars in
and sometimes they maybe give you a quote on a job and the guys in the end dont make any money out of it because of all the unexpected work that comes up



Fair comment Jason, and thanks for that! although a little courtesy and honesty would be nice! If they had said something along those lines in the first place and given a more realistic timescale, perhaps I could be more considerate! but passing me from pillar to post was not much help, and neither was returning my calls. They were perfectly happy to call me back and take my calls prior to the car being collected, but it was a different story as soon as the car was in their hands!

I hope there are no extra costs incurred, as I was quoted a price, and thats all I can afford!
#8
I see what Jason is saying but on the other hand the garage did say a week - if they were having trouble finding and engine they should have simply said so. Obviously no-one likes waiting but it's incredibly frustrating if you're not being given any information and have no idea what's going on.

Hope it all goes ok when you finally get the car back.

John
#9
The plot thickens. I called them today to ask whether I needed to bring the original key (programmed) down with me tomorrow. I finally got the owner who said the car would not be ready tomorrow. I argued the fact that I was told it would be ready last Saturday, then Thursday, and now not until POSSIBLY this weekend. He then asked what I had been quoted. I told him the price, that I was quoted, and that the price included VAT, 2 year warranty, supply and fit, labour and first 6 month service. I also said that I had not as yet received the email confirmation I asked for!

He asked how I was going to pay, and I said that I agreed to pay £100 deposit upfront on my credit card and the remainder on my card upon collection of the car. He replied by saying, I will only do it for you at that price if you pay cash. If you want to pay on your card you need to pay VAT which is almost £270 more! I said I was told the price included vat, and his response was, where is the email to prove it!!

Having spoken to family members, they have said, to tell the garage to sod off and keep the car then, and refuse to pay. The car value is a lot less than what I am paying for this engine! Do I cut my losses and just run? where do I stand legally? or what if I phone them and outright refuse to pay, they will keep the car and leave it at that? I can send my forms off to advise I have scrapped the car!..anyone know where I stand?
#10
It's a simple breach of contract - the £100 deposit paid shows consideration on your part (partially executed, partially executory).
Clearly the car being done is a condition of the contract ( a major term) but the timescale? It could be a condition if you placed emphasis on it being done by then (or they did) but otherwise it is only a warranty or innominate term.
If a contractual term is breached it depends on the type to decide remedy.
If the timescale was of utmost important, a condition, you can reputdiate the contract, take the car back, and sue them for all losses directly incurred such as train tickets.

If its not you have to fulfill your side of the contract too by paying what you agreed by the method agreed. They a bound to fix the car as agreed, and you can claim damages for the loss incurred (train ticket, plus a nominal amount for being late such as any lost work/ stress etc).

If I were you I'd be finding a solicitor specialising in contract & consumer protection law at the mo.


Best solution as it seems to me other than that? Pay it on card.. then dispute with card co.
If they are as big a cowboy firm as you make them seem they aren't going to play ball.
#11
Thank you for your advice. I am not prepared to pay more than quoted because I am paying by credit card. He will only honour this price if I pay by cash - which is not what was discussed in our initial phone call. The owner even said the person who quoted me that price did not even 'directly' work for the company...so who is this person who quoted in the first place?..I ask myself!

I know I have credit card cover but have spoken to my card issuer who said that unless I have a written quotation or some form of hard copy (i.e. the email I never received) then it will be very hard to progress with a claim!

I am dreading going down there on Saturday (thats if it is ready by then!)..these guys really are cowboys! I even have doubts as to whether they will honour the warranty and the service afterwards! and also who is to say that the recon engine is in good order..they could be ripping me off and I would be out of pocket!
#12
The proof is the lacking part. Always best to record conversations with this sort of trader (a mobile phone is very handy for doing this on the sly).


The quote isn't valid if someone other than the company issued it anyway - your quote would appear to be with someone else if so. I'd try and find out who exactly this other person is.
#13
True...but a little too late for that now. I think I am going to argue the point with them over the phone, and say iI am not going to pay, and see what they say to that. If they say, well come collect the car then (he did earlier when i said I was not happy to pay the VAT when paying on my card, as quote included this) I will arrange for some scrap dealer local to collect the car..and cut my losses!
#14
just spoke to my mate again
he said its illegal to quote ex vat prices in the first place
phone trading standards
tomorrow
theylll be on urside
join the aa/rac

ask the garage how much it would cost to come and colect the car

he also said the garage would love you to leave the car there
its probably worthalot more as scrap and parts
#15
Hi Jason

Have just PM'ed you! I have called trading standards and they did say the same as your mate! but unless I pay I do not get the car! I can only refuse to pay the extra when I go down there, because if I told them beforehand, they may do something to the engine to cause further faults! this seems to be what these guys are like!...Trading standards only gave advice and asked me to send them a letter!!

I am with RAC, but have no idea how much they will charge to collect the car, and also, the garage may not release the car without me paying for work already done!
#16
He asked how I was going to pay, and I said that I agreed to pay £100 deposit upfront on my credit card and the remainder on my card upon collection of the car. He replied by saying, I will only do it for you at that price if you pay cash. If you want to pay on your card you need to pay VAT which is almost £270 more! I said I was told the price included vat, and his response was, where is the email to prove it!!

This sets alarm bells off to me, while credit cards can often carry an additional fee it's nowhere near 17.5%

John
#17
Johnmcl7
This sets alarm bells off to me, while credit cards can often carry an additional fee it's nowhere near 17.5%

John


usually 3% or so.

Sounds like he's trying to get her to do a cash under the table off the books thing.
#18
Exactly.....origial quote was inc vat, and said I would pay on card, now owner saying quote ex vat and would only do it for quoted price if paying cash! if card, then pay VAT on top! Thing is, if pay by cash then have no comeback what so ever!
#19
How about involving credit card company? You paid your deposit using CC so they are now equally liable.
The problem is if they did repaired the car, you can't take it off them. They can keep the car until you pay. AFAIR, there was an article in Autoexpress recently about similar story and their advice was to pay the bill, but to write "paid under protest" on it and keep copy of the signed bill. Then sue the trader.

You might also get HM Revenue people interested in the story as it looks like the garage is trying to 'avoid' paying VAT.
#20
Hello Kommunist.

Thanks for your advice, am pulling my hair out here. I know I cannot take car off them if they have made some repairs to it without paying first..although he did say if I did not like it to arrange to get someone to come collect it today! (I have a feeling it has not been touched yet!) With regards to writing 'under protest' - I have been advised that, and told that getting the money back by sueing is likely to prove uneventful!
#21
Sueing is also likely to prove costly unless the court award damages for the breach, and costs again the garage.
You could try taking a friend with you for a witness.
Or if feeling less honest pretend said friend is either a solicitor or a taxman :P
#22
MMMMMM??..Any solicitors/trading standards or tax people online who are willing to meet me in Basildon on Saturday! ;-)
#23
Sorry mate, I can't think of anything else, to be honest. I never dealt with such garages (and, hopefully, never will).
The problem is that even if he'll tell you to come and pick up the car, he might not let it out (by claiming that he never told you to come in the first instance) and you'll pay for AA truck to be nothing more than taxi for you.
Sorry can't think of better arguments than a pair of AK47 or maybe an RPG. :)
Not that I suggest you to do that! (legal liability disclaimer and such)
#24
cheztaz
Hi Jason

Have just PM'ed you! I have called trading standards and they did say the same as your mate! but unless I pay I do not get the car! I can only refuse to pay the extra when I go down there, because if I told them beforehand, they may do something to the engine to cause further faults! this seems to be what these guys are like!...Trading standards only gave advice and asked me to send them a letter!!

I am with RAC, but have no idea how much they will charge to collect the car, and also, the garage may not release the car without me paying for work already done!

you have to pay what they have done to the car
ask them for complete details on the work done
banned#25
Any news?
#26
[SIZE=2]This all sounds very dodgy and just the sort of thing trading standards should be helping you out with. I would not go there on my own. Try and go midweek, ideally try and persuade someone from trading standards to go with you, it's a long shot...[/SIZE]
[SIZE=2][/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]There is no need to involve a solicitor, all can be done via small claims court. But you need to take advice from trading standards because if they have form, it is likely they might not pay even if you win. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=2][/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]That is no reason to do nothing. Don't be bullied and intimidated by their behaviour. Do some research and you may get somewhere. Badger trading standards, don't be fobbed off.[/SIZE]
#27
Hi All

Firstly a big thank you for all your help. I have informed Trading Standards and HM Customs and Excise about these people now.

A friend called them on Friday, to say I would be down to collect the car on saturday morning whether ready or not. So they could either finish the car, or remove everything. Friend has a garage themselves (bikes) and told the owner about the law against quotes, vat etc. Even mentioned about 'dodgy dealings' over whether paying by cash or card. i.e. was only so much if paying cash, but a lot more if on card!

I went down on Saturday with my parents and the car was almost done. I walked in on my own, and the owner said it would not be ready until Monday, and I had better go home as it was going to rain!!!! My parents then walked in and they were suddenly as nice as pie! My Dad had words, I do not know what he said, but he was not happy from the look on his face! and all of a sudden they said come back in two hours (so we went shopping) and the car would be ready!There is one small not working (some sensor), Dad said not essential but would need replacing in next few weeks, and the garage is going to order and fit f.o.c (not part of engine). Another trip down there! but taking car to Dads and he will take down there!

We waited and had coffee while they took the car out for a run to test engine (currently purring!) and then fully cleaned it!......anyhow, thought that was the end of it, until arrived at Parents house (doing only 60 mph all way home, to run car in! lol)...car had dried out when back at parents, and noticed the bonnett is scuffed and scratched from the top to the bottom! Dad reckons they spilt something on it, and used a rough cloth to wipe off...did not notice at the time, as car was soaking wet! so a little p*ss*d off at that, and do not know where I stand with it!

Oh and they finally let me pay the original quoted price on my credit card!! (after my friends at garage had words with them over the phone!)
#28
and noticed the bonnett is scuffed and scratched from the top to the bottom! Dad reckons they spilt something on it, and used a rough cloth to wipe off...did not notice at the time, as car was soaking wet! so a little p*ss*d off at that, and do not know where I stand with it!


They damaged it they should repair it - as long as you can proove they did as they have exercise reason care & skill - clearly scratching your car isn't a part of that. Ask them to do it when they do the sensor.

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