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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I have logged an ongoing dispute with Citizens Advice

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Hi - I have logged an ongoing dispute with Citizens Advice regarding a car purchase. I was advised to send a ‘letter before court action’, which I did, and I have now reached the end of the 14 day response window. I have been back to Citizens Advice who have told me I now need to file for court.
Mr. R. Carroll
Concorde Motors
5s Symons Way
Bridgewater
TA6 4DRMelanie Monaghan
10 Avon Crescent
Wickwar
W-U-E
Glos
GL12 8NL26 August 2021Letter before court claimDear Mr Carroll;I am writing further to mediation between the AA and yourself regarding a Ford Galaxy Ghia I purchased from you on 17th July 2021.
AA contacted you because I am not satisfied with the faulty air conditioning, which I believed to have been fixed when I bought the car. You appear to be contesting this premise. I believe I first mentioned this issue on 30th July, well within the 28 day warranty, when I called to notify you of the issue with the alternator pulley. You were not willing to fully engage with me on this matter at that time, hence why I contacted the AA.I am therefore setting out the reasons why I have a right to claim under;Section 10 (1) subsection (3) of the Consumer Rights Act 2015Goods to be fit for particular purpose
(1)
Subsection (3) applies to a contract to supply goods if before the contract is made the consumer makes known to the trader (expressly or by implication) any particular purpose for which the consumer is contracting for the goods.The contract is to be treated as including a term that the goods are reasonably fit for that purpose, whether or not that is a purpose for which goods of that kind are usually supplied.When we first took the car out for a test drive, accompanied by yourself and my husband (driving), one of the very first things I did was to check the air conditioning, whilst mentioning that it was a crucial feature, because we have three dogs, and that a car without air con was pointless as it did not meet my needs - in effect, not fit for purpose.
We quickly established that the air con was indeed not working and I immediately expressed the importance for it to be fixed in order for a consideration of sale.Your response was that it was a 15 year old car and therefore nobody would expect working air con - I responded that I did expect the car features to be working, especially as you were not prepared to negotiate on the forecourt price. I reiterated the need for the air con to be working and in the end you agreed to put the car in for a gas test to see if it might just need a gas refill - in which case you would carry this out. I happily agreed to this under the premise that if it was just gas and it therefore resolved the issue, I would be happy to purchase the car.I left the car with you for another week as the central locking also needed repairing.
During this time the gas test was performed and I was called by a lady at the garage to say that the gas test had been carried out and gas had been refilled successfully.
My response (more than once) was “I’m so glad you’ve managed to fix the air con”,
I also explicitly said this to yourself when my husband and I came to pick the car up the following weekend. More than once I expressed how glad I was that the air con had been fixed and I mentioned again how I needed it for my dogs.I drove the car away - the air con was making all the right noises and appeared to be blowing cold for a short while, but unfortunately this didn’t last long.
I took the car to my local Ford dealer where they performed another gas test. They said the nitrogen was leaking very quickly but they were unable to find the exact locations, but there were multiple areas of leaking. They also identified that the air con pipe by the condenser was bent and chaffing against the rubber air con pipe. These are issues that would have been apparent at the time you sent the car for a gas test, yet you did not pass on any s
JA: What state are you in? And is a local attorney or other consumer protection advocate helping with this?
Customer: Sent too soon! Before I do, please can you tell me if I am likely to get a successful outcome? I have attached the letter I sent to the trader as it has all the details contained within.
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Apologies as the letter runs straight on from my enquiry as the message sent to you too soon - so there are no spaces in between the end of my message and beginning of the letter! Melanie.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: No thanks will this be a £5 enquiry?
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Hi in response you your question I am in UK!

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

What do you specifically want to know about this? Please note this is not always an instant service and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I am dealing with your question and will get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Hi Ben. Thanks. My ultimate question is whether I am in a good position to pursue this in court as obviously if the outcome appears more weighted in the traders favour I would not proceed as I would have to cover his costs besides my own. I’m a bit tentative - I feel I have a case but I wanted to get a more informed opinion before filing for court. I know you can’t give me a definite answer, but I would appreciate if you can tell me what the odds are? Thank you. Melanie.
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Sorry - to clarify - the outcome I am seeking is for the air conditioning to be fixed or to be compensated to the amount it would cost to get the air con fixed - or for a partial refund in order that I can get the issue fixed.

Thank you very much for clarifying. Unfortunately, the rules I work under do not allow me to discuss your chances of success in court. When solicitors determine these, we would conduct a formal case analysis and take the full details and evidence that are available into consideration. On this site we deal with very limited information in a Q&A format, so inevitably certain details and evidence will be missed. Therefore, if we discussed prospects of success based on this limited information alone, we could end up giving misguided advice and prompt you into either making a claim or not making one, when in reality we may have advised the opposite had we known the full details. That is why we are only limited to discussing the legal position and your options, without actually commenting on how good or bad a case you have. Hope this explains things for you and do let me know how you want to proceed

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Ok - please can you give me the legal position and options / whatever is within your remit with regards ***** ***** query?

No worries, how much did the car cost?

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
163;2995

Thank you. As this matter will go to the Small Claims Court you will not have to meet the trader’s costs, even if you lose. The claim is below £10k so the Small Claims Court will hear it. You will pay foe claim fees to start with (£115 to claim and if it is defended and it goes to a hearing – another £170 for that). So overall you are potentially paying £285 to get it all the way to a hearing in front of a judge., If you lose, then you get nothing in return and you lose these fees but you do not have to pay the trader’s legal costs, as each side pays their own.

So on the basis of your consumer rights, you can indeed consider whether to pursue a claim, knowing that at worst you will be £285 worse off than you are now. Plus, the actual steps of making a claim could force the dealer into reconsidering their position and negotiating further with you over a proposed resolution.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Great! Thanks Ben.

You are most welcome. If you have any further questions about this, please do not hesitate to get back to me and I will be happy to help. All the best

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