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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9339
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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To whom it may concern, I am writing to discuss the sale of

Customer Question

To whom it may concern,
I am writing to discuss the sale of Mercedes A class A180 which myself and my partner purchased on Tuesday 19th July 2016 from your Mercedes Benz branch in Milton Street, Glasgow.
We visited the branch on Friday 15th July and immediately fell in love with the vehicle. The price was 14.821 and we paid a 500 deposit to Bob Leishman, sales executive on that Friday and agreed to come and pick up the car on Tuesday 19th July.
We attended and met with Bob again who quoted that our outstanding balance in the car was 13,531.40. I picked up on this straight away and made Bob aware that I thought there was more to pay on the car however he said NO and the balance was paid in full using my Visa Debit card.
We left the garage under the impression that the car was paid. Bob said that he would contact us a few days later to see how the car was running and to get a customer survey done.
I received a phone call on Friday (3 days) after purchasing the car however as I was working I couldn't answer the phone. I then got a text message on my phone to advise that there was still 900 outstanding on the balance for the car and that it would require to be paid. I replied to say that I had questioned Bob regarding this at the time so in my view that was his error and we now had the car at home with us.
He tried to contact me on a further two occasions via telephone however I could not answer these phone calls as I was working.
Now to the bit that I am particularly annoyed with. At 6.45pm on Friday night Bob Leishman attended at my home address demanding the 900 to be paid. He said if he didn't get the money it would mean he would go into work on the Saturday he would be suspended and lose his job. I was astounded that he was on my doorstep emotionally blackmailing us along with threatening and intimidating me for his mistake that was made. He said he made the mistake because it was a hot day, however I find this ridiculous considering the fact I questioned him regarding this figure at the time of the sale.
I was also disgusted as he said he had been sent my his manager to get this money (this was a complete lie as I spoke to his manager Richard Helm) on Saturday who had NOT authorised any such behaviour, he has used Mercedes Benz, to gain my address to come out and intimidate myself and my partner to cover up his mistake.
I spoke with Richard Helm on Saturday who was very helpful and condoned Bob Leishman’s actions and when I made it clear that I didn't think it was right I should require to pay 900 due to Bob's error I was told that it would be passed to Dealer principle for internal action to be carried out. I felt satisfied with this because as a customer of Mercedes Benz the last thing I expected was threatening behaviour on my door step from someone who has made a clear mistake, the first one being quoting us the wrong balance, the second one being turning up at my door.
I then received a voicemail on Monday July 25th at 4.30pm from Grant Cameron the dealer principle, who I telephoned back and he stated that the only option was for the money to be paid or we would go down the court of law (under what legislation I have no idea as we have committed no offence), then it was changed to the car would be repossessed to we will go down the small claims court yet more intimidating behaviour which I feel as a customer I do not deserve whatsoever, and three different scenarios in a ten minute phone call.
Miss Fiona Barron
Could you confirm where I stand with this?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 11 months ago.

There is no hire purchase on the car and therefore title to the car passes on delivery. The car belongs to you. They cannot repossess the car. If they try to take it, or they do take it, report it to the police as stolen. They may have a retention of title clause whereby the goods remain their property until paid for in full but legally, it wouldn’t be enforceable if it was only on their purchase invoice because that is a term they have imposed after the event and they cannot rely on post contractual terms.

If he or they continue to harass you, whilst it’s not a criminal offence in Scotland as it is in England, it is still potentially a breach of the peace and the conduct should be reported to the police.

http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2002/11/15756/13116

I suggest that you write back to the dealer principal and tell them what I have told you above and that you have no intention of paying the money because the price you paid is the price that was agreed by Bob Leishman, that you queried it at the time and he confirmed it was the correct price. You have merely got a discount. Tell them that if they feel differently, they should not write or call you again, but they should issue Small Claims Court proceedings which you will defend.

There is one thing that I must mention and that is that if this does go to court and they satisfy the judge that this was a genuine mistake, you could lose your case. The fact that you raised the issue does help you but ultimately, if they do decide to take you to court, it would be for the judge to decide.

It would not be good advertising for them to be honest firstly that they made the mistake and secondly that they then took a customer to court over their own mistake.

Can I clarify anything else for you?

Please rate the service positive. It is an important part of the process by which experts get paid. It does not cost you anything but helps us greatly.

Best wishes.

FES

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thanks so much for ur help and assistance I am a police officer and wanted to know where I stood as I have been absolutely disgusted by Mercedes behaviour.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 11 months ago.

In all honesty, I couldn’t agree more.

Best wishes.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
now they have offered to take 300 off the 900 amount as they had offered me a service worth 300 if I laid the 900 Mercedes Benz are an absolute joke.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 11 months ago.

Whether you accept that or not is entirely up to you. Personally, I would be inclined to decline the offer.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I have declined it just lie after lie they have made a mistake turned up at my home address demanding money (breach of data protection and breach of the peace) and now offering me 300 off the 900 just lie after lie
Expert:  F E Smith replied 11 months ago.

I could not agree more

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Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi there I have no had a letter from Mercedes Benz stating that the balance is 900 outstanding and if I don't pay that amount it will be sent to their legal team, yet another contradiction from them just looking to see where I would stand?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 11 months ago.

In cases like this, they either issue Small Claims Court proceedings or write it off. You might want to write back to them you have no intention of paying them anything and tell them not to write to you again but issue legal proceedings which you will defend. They can’t simply bombard you with letters. In England & Wales it would be a breach of the Protection from Harassment Act and in Scotland it’s dealt with as a Breach of the Peace. It’s unlikely the police will want to be involved but that situation.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
No problem at all and the funny thing is I am a police officer and know the way Mercedes Benz have acted is clearly a breach of the peace and breach of data protection they way they have behaved and yes they seem to think by bombarding me with letters that will make me pay.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 11 months ago.

Call their bluff. Thank them for their letter and tell them not to delay issue legal proceedings immediately because you’re getting bored!

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
What would be worst case scenario for the case would you think?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 11 months ago.

The worst case scenario is that you have to pay the £900 plus court fee and if they have solicitors, a nominal amount of solicitors costs.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I would really hope that it wouldn't come to that they way they have behaved
Expert:  F E Smith replied 11 months ago.

Agreed

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