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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I am currently in dispute with an on line car servicing company.

Resolved Question:

I am currently in dispute with an on line car servicing company. I have used these in the past and had no issues. On this occasion I booked my car in for a service and a cam belt change which costed me £755. My car was returned to me however I had to contact the company as the car was "juddering" whenever I drove over rough ground. The company advised me to contact the garage to whom they subcontract the work. The garage had 4 subsequent attempts to diagnose the issue. On the fourth attempt they diagnosed that the "bushes" needed replacing. I paid a further £176 to get this work done. After driving the car it was apparent that the problem had not been fixed. The garage suggested further work including replacing shock absorbers and other "bushes".
I expressed my dissatisfaction with this approach and we both agreed to get an independent assessment. I booked the car into Audi Camberley for a diagnostic. These immediately expressed concern about the running of the vehicle and within half an hour confirmed to me that 6 bolts were missing from the front of the car. In short, the front of the car was not bolted together and could potentially have fallen off at any moment.
This was confirmed to me by Audi sending me a video cam which showed the car stripped down and the bolts missing. In addition, they told me that the wrong cam belt was fitted and that explained the poor running of the vehicle. Audi declared the car unsafe to drive. I Instructed these to rectify the problem which costed me a further £455. The juddering has now disappeared.
I contacted both the garage and the internet company to whom I believe I contracted with, both of whom denied culpability. The garage asserts that our agreement was that I should have returned the car to them to rectify the problem. They also refute the video cam evidence claiming that for this to carry any weight, the car would have to have been stripped down while the tape was rolling.
Currently, the internet company is offering to refund the £455 paid to Audi. So far I have had to take 3 days off work to deal with this issue.
I believe that this falls significantly short of what would be reasonable. Can you tell me the following:
Is my claim for £2,500 reasonable. This includes the costs I have paid so far plus my time. In addition, I believe that the duplication of work has impacted the resale value of my car, not to mention the risk to me and my family as a result of the company's incompetence.
Secondly, the internet company appears to be adopting a "brokerage" role between me and garage. The company maintains that by me dealing directly with the garage I am contracting with these despite these instructing me to deal directly with these.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you,with,this.How do,you calculate the £2500 please?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
£455 paid to Audi to rectify the work, £176 paid to the garage to replace the bushes which was not required, the original payment to the internet company £755, £500 for my time and £500 for the impact on the resale value of my car. Note I now have 2 stamps in my service book within months of each other for the same work. I believe this must impact the resale value of the vehicle, not to mention the distress this issue has caused me.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Alex, are you still on the case?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Sorry for the overnight delay. You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value you would need representation for trial.Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Alex, I issued a 14 day letter which was sent over a month ago. The internet company and I are still in dialogue but we haven't had much in the way of movement hence my reason to take this further. I wondered whether you could clarify a few things for me please?The internet company maintain that they are not responsible. I believe their position is that because I dealt directly with the garage (their approved service centre), then they believe that my contract is now with the garage. Note however, I was instructed to take the car to the to garage by the internet company in order to resolve the issue. I believe the internet company is also relying on the following within their T&Cs "Service 4 Service Ltd is not liable for any financial damages or losses after or before works have been carried out on the vehicle, and / or, suffered by the customer whilst the vehicle is in possession of one of our approved service centres on or after the vehicle has been returned. Any legal proceedings in relation to this will not be the responsibility of Service 4 Service". Can you me in your opinion, does the fact that I took the car to the garage mean that I am contracting with these? This will be important as I will need to know who I need to bring the action against.Secondly is Service 4 Service ( the internet company) able to rely on such a clause in their Ts & Cs which on the face of it, protects them from any responsibility? Finally, although I have an engineers report from Audi, I intend get these to write me a letter confirming their findings and addressing the specific issues raised by the garage and Service 4 Service, however would you consider my financial claim against these as being reasonable?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
I would consider it to be reasonable. You could argue the terms are unfair and create a significant imbalance between the trader and consumer. The Court can then see whether they can be excluded or not.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Does that clarify? Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Alex, do you believe that I should bring the action against Service 4 Service.?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
I do yes. The terms seem unfair.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Does that help? Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks for your help
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
No problem. Please remember to rate before you go today, otherwise the site doesnt credit me for the time spent.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Thanks in advance. Alex
Ash and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Will do
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Thanks and enjoy the rest of the weekend - or whats left of it.