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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47902
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I put down £500 deposit on a brand new VW Golf estate that

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I put down £500 deposit on a brand new VW Golf estate that was at Grimsby docks. Unfortunately within 2 weeks my husbands back had gone (again) and we realised that a larger (higher) car was required. I rang the VW dealer to cancel, explaining the difficulty and the necessity of getting a larger car. No other comments were made. I 'phoned a week later asking if I had lost my deposit and he replied that VW charged the garage £500 for allocating a name to the car, however he would see if it was returnable. It is now 4 weeks and no contact. Should I just accept that my £500 is lost? Unfortunate for me but I was not bullied into ordering the vehicle.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How did you pay the deposit?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, Thanks. *****'m afraid.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Generally, when a person places an order for something and pays a deposit they enter into a legally enforceable contract with the seller. It is implied that the seller has accepted the deposit as security and as proof that the buyer wants to proceed with the contract. Unless the seller subsequently commits a serious breach of contract, or there was a cancellation clause, the buyer would have no legal right to cancel the agreement and if they do so they will be acting in breach of contract and risk losing their deposit. This is especially true if the deposit was described as non-refundable. If this was a business seller, they will be subject to certain consumer rules and regulations. For example, you will have some protection under Schedule 2, Regulation 1(d) of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999. It states that if the contract has been cancelled after a deposit has been placed you are entitled to have the deposit returned in full, unless the seller has spent time, effort and money, in which case they can deduct reasonable expenses. Even if some expenses have been incurred, if these are subsequently recovered, for example by selling the item to someone else, the deposit should still be returned in full. It follows that a blanket non-refundable clause that entitles the seller to keep the deposit in all circumstances is most likely going to be unfair and unlawful. However, if he dealer was charged the fee by VW and they could not recover that because it was a VW term and outside of their control then they may not be able to return the deposit because it is an expense they had incurred as a result of your order and they cannot get it back. If you are having difficulties in recovering the deposit when you believe you are entitled to have it returned, advise the seller that you will not hesitate reporting them to the Office of Fair Trading and, if necessary, pursue the matter further through the county court. Exerting such pressure could often work in changing the seller's position in this matter. I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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