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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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We had a service done by a garage, they provided an invoice

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We had a service done by a garage, they provided an invoice saying it was free when we collected it (as we had a service payment plan).
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Then a month later they contacted us to say it was outside the plan and wanted £782.47 for the service
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Sorry was typing did not see your question, we are in Norwich, Norfolk, UK
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: At moment we refused to take their phone calls but we had a hard copy invoice in post today and i was going to email them to say we wont pay it

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today. Firstly, I need to ask some initial questions to determine the legal position.

Did they say why the service was outside the plan and have they provided a breakdown of the charge?

Hi there. I note you have responded with a second post. Leave it with me for now and I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
No problem, thank you, sorry i replied in wrong box, i could not see where to reply to your question in the screen I saw when i viewed your post.
Have attached the two invoices for you, might take me a while to respond now as about to drive home.

Thank you. The key here is whether under the terms of the service plan such a service would have been included. Also why they believe that it was not included in the plan? It should be down to the terms of the plan, have you checked that?

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
They sent us a copy of a document that said 3 services over 3 years but we had not seen that until after the service was done and have no proof it was a genuine document.
If we had of known there would be a charge for the service we would have gone elsewhere as another company in norwich do the same service for £250 less.
The confirmation of service plan contract we received from them 3 years ago when we bought the car laid out the monthly payments and things but made no mention whatsoever of any limit to the number of services.

Ok thank you. In the circumstances you can challenge them that they are trying to rely on terms which you were never made aware of. Under consumer laws any terms a business relies on have to be fait and reasonable and they have to be clear to you too. So if they provided no information at all on things like the limited number of services you get and then tried to enforce such limits on you, you could potentially challenge them as relying on an unfair contractual term.

 

At first, you should try and resolve this directly with their complaints department and pursue it as far as you can internally. In the event they decide against you, then you can simply refuse to pay (or offer a reduced amount). The ball is then in their court and they can decide whether to take it further or not. The only way for them to try and make you pay is by going to the Small Claims Court and winning their claim. They may never go that far though so if it is a risk you are willing to take, it could pay off. Even if they claim and win, you won’t have to pay much more than what they are claiming already, as they will be responsible for their own legal fees.

 

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thank you will give that a try.
Does it help us at all that the car was purchased from them 3 years ago by our son Nick, he paid for it and also paid monthly for the service plan and it is registered in his name, yet all the invoices have been addressed to me instead of him?
We bought 4 cars from them as a family and for some reason everything for all 4 has always been in my name, and they always seem to cal a different one of us to the car they are ringing about.

I wouldn’t say this has any major impact on the legal position or the original answer to be honest

 

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