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  • FIRST POST
    • OrsonCarte
    • By OrsonCarte 12th Sep 17, 10:03 AM
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    OrsonCarte
    Garage Refuses To Provide Invoice - Barclaycard Refuses To Assist Under Section 75
    • #1
    • 12th Sep 17, 10:03 AM
    Garage Refuses To Provide Invoice - Barclaycard Refuses To Assist Under Section 75 12th Sep 17 at 10:03 AM
    Hello,

    On August 1st, I took a newly-acquired secondhand Mercedes to a Mercedes mechanic in Larkfield, who was recommended on the Mercedes forums, to investigate a vibration problem.

    Upon collecting the car a couple of days later, the proprietor told me that the shock absorbers needed to be replaced at a cost of several thousand pounds. I said that I would think about it. He then requested £150 for the 'work' that he had done on the car. I paid him with my Barclaycard and he said that he would have an invoice emailed to me as soon as his assistant returned from lunch. I specifically requested that he should itemise the problems that he had discovered so that I could discuss them with the dealer from whom I had recently purchased the car. He assured me that he would do so.

    To cut a long story short, the invoice never arrived despite several subsequent unanswered telephone calls, many emails and a (delivered) signed-for registered letter.

    It would appear that he has simply pocketed my £150.

    It subsequently turned out that the vibration problem was actually the result of the rear wheels being out of balance. I had them rebalanced at a cost of £20 and the problem has completely disappeared.

    I contacted Barclaycard to recover the money under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 because clearly no service had been provided.

    Barclaycard has refused to assist because I am unable to produce an invoice. They replied:

    Without an invoice/contract, Barclaycard are not able to establish a valid Debtor- Creditor-Supplier agreement in order to accept your claim under Section 75........etc., etc.

    Can it really be that easy for the garage to cynically rip me off and get away scot-free?

    Any advice would really be appreciated.

    Many thanks,
    Kevin
Page 1
    • wavelets
    • By wavelets 12th Sep 17, 10:30 AM
    • 158 Posts
    • 45 Thanks
    wavelets
    • #2
    • 12th Sep 17, 10:30 AM
    • #2
    • 12th Sep 17, 10:30 AM
    Hello,

    On August 1st, I took a newly-acquired secondhand Mercedes to a Mercedes mechanic in Larkfield, who was recommended on the Mercedes forums, to investigate a vibration problem.

    Upon collecting the car a couple of days later, the proprietor told me that the shock absorbers needed to be replaced at a cost of several thousand pounds. I said that I would think about it. He then requested £150 for the 'work' that he had done on the car. I paid him with my Barclaycard and he said that he would have an invoice emailed to me as soon as his assistant returned from lunch. I specifically requested that he should itemise the problems that he had discovered so that I could discuss them with the dealer from whom I had recently purchased the car. He assured me that he would do so.

    To cut a long story short, the invoice never arrived despite several subsequent unanswered telephone calls, many emails and a (delivered) signed-for registered letter.

    It would appear that he has simply pocketed my £150.

    It subsequently turned out that the vibration problem was actually the result of the rear wheels being out of balance. I had them rebalanced at a cost of £20 and the problem has completely disappeared.

    I contacted Barclaycard to recover the money under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 because clearly no service had been provided.

    Barclaycard has refused to assist because I am unable to produce an invoice. They replied:

    Without an invoice/contract, Barclaycard are not able to establish a valid Debtor- Creditor-Supplier agreement in order to accept your claim under Section 75........etc., etc.

    Can it really be that easy for the garage to cynically rip me off and get away scot-free?

    Any advice would really be appreciated.

    Many thanks,
    Kevin
    Originally posted by OrsonCarte
    If you are in dispute with the garage, then you need to do all the usual things.
    Start off by asking them nicely, then LBA, then legal action if deemed necessary.

    Credit cards do not as as judge & jury (well there will be no jury for cases such as this, but you know what I mean)

    In the absence of any other agreement, the court will decide your case based on it's own merits.

    All Section 75 of the CCA does is to allow you to include the credit provider as an alternative defendant in the matter who will be, if the case is proved, jointly & severally liable for the amount.

    (You can actually simply claim against the credit provider, but they will almost certainly wish to call the garage anyway, so best to include both if this is your intention)

    I suggest you seek independant legal advice before wasting more of your hard earned cash.

    I don't recall ever using my credit card without obtaining a receipt for that transaction, at least a card payment receipt - don't all terminals chuck one out automatically???

    Anyway, in case of dispute that you have paid the garage, surely your monthly bill from the credit provider will include it...

    As I understand your post, the £150 you paid was for the work carried out on your car. this may have simply been exploratory work, but someone has to pay for it. Who do you think should pay for it??? Why did you pay it if you did not agree with it at the time? That won't look good in court, sorry.

    What shock absorbers cost thousands of pounds???
    If the veracity of your account does not stand up to scrutiny in court, you will soon be shown the door.
    Last edited by wavelets; 12-09-2017 at 10:41 AM.
    • OrsonCarte
    • By OrsonCarte 12th Sep 17, 12:12 PM
    • 8 Posts
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    OrsonCarte
    • #3
    • 12th Sep 17, 12:12 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Sep 17, 12:12 PM
    Hello Wavelets,

    Thank you for taking the time and trouble to reply. Your points are well made and very helpful.

    Of course, legal action is a last resort as it's clearly not worth the potential cost to attempt to recover a relatively small amount of money. I guess what's irking me is that the garage knows that full well and can simply to continue to act with impunity as they are under no legal obligation to issue an invoice even after having promised to do so.

    Of course, I have the machine-generated credit card receipt but that only confirms what is not in dispute, i.e. that £150 was debited to my account and credited to the garage's account and itemised as such on my statement.

    My initial understanding when leaving the car was that the garage would provide me with a quotation for any work required free-of-charge. In my experience, that is pretty normal. The £150 bill only came up when they realised that it was not a sure thing that I would be spending several thousand pounds with them. To be honest, the prospect of the car being a money pit straight off the blocks frightened me and I was initially very grateful to them because (I thought) they had gone above and beyond and saved me from a very large bill in the future as the car was still within the dealer's warranty period.

    Of course, in retrospect, it is clear that they would never have, and never will, put the potential horror scenario into writing because it was a total crock. As I mentioned above, there is nothing whatsoever wrong with the suspension.

    I guess that I am hoping for somebody who has had a similar experience and prevailed to share their magic spell with me.

    P.S. The Mercedes S-Class has a pretty complex air suspension system, which is brilliant but notoriously expensive to repair when anything goes wrong.
    • shaun from Africa
    • By shaun from Africa 12th Sep 17, 12:24 PM
    • 9,598 Posts
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    shaun from Africa
    • #4
    • 12th Sep 17, 12:24 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Sep 17, 12:24 PM
    Would it be worth contacting your credit card issuer again and instead of a S75 claim, state that the mechanic has not provided you with a written quotation, something that was part of the agreement and because of this, you wish for them to start processing a chargeback as the paid for service was not supplied.

    As a chargeback doesn't cost the card company anything, they may be more amenable to taking this route.
    • naedanger
    • By naedanger 12th Sep 17, 2:21 PM
    • 2,191 Posts
    • 1,772 Thanks
    naedanger
    • #5
    • 12th Sep 17, 2:21 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Sep 17, 2:21 PM
    Hello,

    On August 1st, I took a newly-acquired secondhand Mercedes to a Mercedes mechanic in Larkfield, who was recommended on the Mercedes forums, to investigate a vibration problem.

    Upon collecting the car a couple of days later, the proprietor told me that the shock absorbers needed to be replaced at a cost of several thousand pounds. I said that I would think about it. He then requested £150 for the 'work' that he had done on the car. I paid him with my Barclaycard and he said that he would have an invoice emailed to me as soon as his assistant returned from lunch. I specifically requested that he should itemise the problems that he had discovered so that I could discuss them with the dealer from whom I had recently purchased the car. He assured me that he would do so.

    To cut a long story short, the invoice never arrived despite several subsequent unanswered telephone calls, many emails and a (delivered) signed-for registered letter.

    It would appear that he has simply pocketed my £150.

    It subsequently turned out that the vibration problem was actually the result of the rear wheels being out of balance. I had them rebalanced at a cost of £20 and the problem has completely disappeared.

    I contacted Barclaycard to recover the money under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 because clearly no service had been provided.

    Barclaycard has refused to assist because I am unable to produce an invoice. They replied:

    Without an invoice/contract, Barclaycard are not able to establish a valid Debtor- Creditor-Supplier agreement in order to accept your claim under Section 75........etc., etc.

    Can it really be that easy for the garage to cynically rip me off and get away scot-free?

    Any advice would really be appreciated.

    Many thanks,
    Kevin
    Originally posted by OrsonCarte
    I don't understand the reason Barclaycard have given for rejecting your claim. (I might have understood if they declined your claim because the garage claimed they did do £150 of investigative work.)

    Does your credit card transaction shows who received the payment, and if so is this the garage you are complaining about?

    If so then in your position I would write to Barclaycard and complain that they had unfairly denied the claim. I would explain that the credit card transaction is itself sufficient evidence to show (on the balance of probability and in that absence of any evidence to the contrary) that a valid Debtor-Creditor-Supplier agreement does exist. If they wish to dispute that then they should provide their counter evidence.

    I would then ask Barclaycard to either reconsider or treat the matter as an official complaint i.e. you are complaining they have unfairly denied your claim against them.

    I would then follow their complaint process to the end if necessary i.e. to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
    • OrsonCarte
    • By OrsonCarte 12th Sep 17, 2:56 PM
    • 8 Posts
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    OrsonCarte
    • #6
    • 12th Sep 17, 2:56 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Sep 17, 2:56 PM
    Thank you for your input.

    Yes, the name of the garage is on the credit card receipt. It is also on my credit card statement.

    I spoke to a very helpful lady at the Financial Ombudsman's office yesterday who told me that Barclaycard were behaving according to the letter of the CCA 1974 Section 75 by insisting on sighting an invoice or a contract and that, in the absence of said document, a valid Debtor-Creditor-Supplier agreement cannot be proven. This despite the fact that nobody is disputing that £150 has changed hands.

    I would imagine that Barclaycard are going to do whatever they have to do in order to avoid chargebacks because, presumably, they would lose their commission and potentially damage their relationship with the supplier, who, after all, pays them.

    The suppliers will be aware of this.
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 12th Sep 17, 3:13 PM
    • 3,872 Posts
    • 2,879 Thanks
    sheramber
    • #7
    • 12th Sep 17, 3:13 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Sep 17, 3:13 PM
    Go to the garage and ask for the invoice in a loud but polite voice- preferably when there are other customers in.

    Wait in the garage until you get it.
    • naedanger
    • By naedanger 12th Sep 17, 4:26 PM
    • 2,191 Posts
    • 1,772 Thanks
    naedanger
    • #8
    • 12th Sep 17, 4:26 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Sep 17, 4:26 PM
    Thank you for your input.

    Yes, the name of the garage is on the credit card receipt. It is also on my credit card statement.

    I spoke to a very helpful lady at the Financial Ombudsman's office yesterday who told me that Barclaycard were behaving according to the letter of the CCA 1974 Section 75 by insisting on sighting an invoice or a contract and that, in the absence of said document, a valid Debtor-Creditor-Supplier agreement cannot be proven. This despite the fact that nobody is disputing that £150 has changed hands.

    I would imagine that Barclaycard are going to do whatever they have to do in order to avoid chargebacks because, presumably, they would lose their commission and potentially damage their relationship with the supplier, who, after all, pays them.

    The suppliers will be aware of this.
    Originally posted by OrsonCarte
    I can see nothing in the wording of CCA 1974 Section 75 that gives the cc company the right to insist on sighting of an invoice or contract before becoming liable.

    The wording is here:
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1974/39/section/75
    • shaun from Africa
    • By shaun from Africa 12th Sep 17, 5:08 PM
    • 9,598 Posts
    • 10,758 Thanks
    shaun from Africa
    • #9
    • 12th Sep 17, 5:08 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Sep 17, 5:08 PM
    I would imagine that Barclaycard are going to do whatever they have to do in order to avoid chargebacks because, presumably, they would lose their commission and potentially damage their relationship with the supplier, who, after all, pays them.

    The suppliers will be aware of this.
    Originally posted by OrsonCarte
    As the loss to the card company is only 1% or 2%, they won't be too worried about any potential loss.
    Card issuers are normally only too eager to attempt chargebacks as they probably earn far more from happy customers than they do from small businesses and I doubt if there are too many businesses who would willingly terminate their ability to accept credit cards.

    This MSE member for example:
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5710011
    recently obtained a £6000+ chargeback against a car dealer.
    • shaun from Africa
    • By shaun from Africa 12th Sep 17, 5:14 PM
    • 9,598 Posts
    • 10,758 Thanks
    shaun from Africa
    I can see nothing in the wording of CCA 1974 Section 75 that gives the cc company the right to insist on sighting of an invoice or contract before becoming liable.
    Originally posted by naedanger
    As the credit supplier only becomes liable in the event of a breach of contract, without an invoice or other document stating what was or should have been supplied, any breach becomes almost impossible to prove.
    • naedanger
    • By naedanger 12th Sep 17, 6:06 PM
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    naedanger
    As the credit supplier only becomes liable in the event of a breach of contract, without an invoice or other document stating what was or should have been supplied, any breach becomes almost impossible to prove.
    Originally posted by shaun from Africa
    Yes but proof is only needed on the balance of probability.

    I would have thought it much more likely than not that the required Debtor-Creditor-Supplier agreement does exists than it does not when there is a record of the op buying an item/service from the supplier on the op's credit card. Therefore I don't think that it is fair of the cc company denying the claim for the reason they have given.

    If after speaking to the garage the cc company were disputing that the contract had actually been breached then I might understand (depending on what the garage says happened).

    I also don't think in general (not necessarily the op's specific case) that the lack of a written contract means a breach of contract will necessarily be nearly impossible to prove.
    • OrsonCarte
    • By OrsonCarte 13th Sep 17, 12:56 PM
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    OrsonCarte
    Thank you all for your input, especially naedanger. The link to the Section 75 page is very useful.

    I shall reply to Barclaycard and reiterate the point regarding the absence of a requirement for documentation. I will also imply that I am considering taking the matter further on behalf of everybody who has been, or will be, in a similar situation and see what happens.

    I will update this thread when I receive a reply.

    Thanks again.
    • naedanger
    • By naedanger 13th Sep 17, 1:43 PM
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    • 1,772 Thanks
    naedanger
    I suggest you say you will pursue your complaint methodically, ultimately to the Financial Ombudsman Service if necessary, rather than saying "[you are] considering taking the matter further on behalf of everybody who has been, or will be, in a similar situation".

    If Barclaycard are aware you know how to complain effectively, and will do so methodically, then I think it less likely they will try to fob you off. They will know that even if they fob you off you will take the matter to the independent Financial Ombudsman Service who will consider the matter properly and aim to ensure you have been treated fairly.
    • Cygnus Alpha
    • By Cygnus Alpha 15th Sep 17, 9:05 AM
    • 190 Posts
    • 311 Thanks
    Cygnus Alpha
    Thank you for your input.

    Yes, the name of the garage is on the credit card receipt. It is also on my credit card statement.

    I spoke to a very helpful lady at the Financial Ombudsman's office yesterday who told me that Barclaycard were behaving according to the letter of the CCA 1974 Section 75 by insisting on sighting an invoice or a contract and that, in the absence of said document, a valid Debtor-Creditor-Supplier agreement cannot be proven. This despite the fact that nobody is disputing that £150 has changed hands.

    I would imagine that Barclaycard are going to do whatever they have to do in order to avoid chargebacks because, presumably, they would lose their commission and potentially damage their relationship with the supplier, who, after all, pays them.

    The suppliers will be aware of this.
    Originally posted by OrsonCarte

    I think the woman from the ombudsman has been far from helpful. The fact is, the garage took your money and did not provide the service they said they would. You do not need reams of paperwork to establish this, Barclaycard themselves are aware of a transaction taking place because they processed it!


    You do not need to prove that there was a creditor supplier agreement, you just need to prove that the service promised was not provided.


    Barclaycard are jointly and severally liable for the actions of the garage. They are just trying to fob you off.
    • OrsonCarte
    • By OrsonCarte 4th Oct 17, 4:33 PM
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    OrsonCarte
    Thank you all once again for your advice. As promised, here is an update on the situation.

    I replied to Barclaycard expanding upon the points discussed above. I didn't threaten legal action but I implied that I had 'taken advice' and would be taking the matter further if there wasn't a mutually satisfactory resolution.

    A few days later, I received a telephone call from a very businesslike, but pleasant, customer services representative. He listened patiently to my tale of woe but was adamant that Barclaycard was within its rights to request a contract or an invoice for a chargeback under Section 75.

    To cut a long story short, he offered me £100 credit as a gesture of good faith if I was prepared to close the dispute, to which I agreed. I am still a little miffed that Stevensons has got clean away with it but it has been a learning experience and well worth the £50 that I am ultimately out of pocket.

    The very valuable lesson to be learnt here, and confirmed by both the Financial Ombudsman and Barclaycard, is to always get an invoice BEFORE handing over your credit card. Without an invoice, Barclaycard will not entertain a claim under Section 75. In retrospect, I have been very lackadaisical over the years regarding this point as I always expect people to play fair which, unfortunately, doesn't always happen.

    Always get an invoice before paying by Visa!

    I hope that my experience will be useful to you.

    Best,
    Kevin

    P.S. Unbelievably, I have just had to submit another claim to Barclaycard under Section 75. It's not my year :-(

    In this case, the supplier is Monarch Airlines, which has just gone into liquidation. Once again, it is perfectly obvious that the transaction has taken place, as evidenced by my Visa statement, but Barclaycard have requested hard copies of my Monarch receipt and flight confirmation documents before processing my claim.

    This confirms my previous experience described above that Barclaycard will always require documentation to support a claim. Don't get caught out.
    • vikingaero
    • By vikingaero 4th Oct 17, 5:25 PM
    • 10,324 Posts
    • 13,027 Thanks
    vikingaero
    If someone refused to provide me with an invoice, I would be reporting the person/company to HMRC.
    The man without a signature.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 4th Oct 17, 5:30 PM
    • 11,550 Posts
    • 8,677 Thanks
    unholyangel
    Thanks for the update.

    They're still incorrectly advising you though - no invoice is required. No invoice or receipt can ever be required to enforce your consumer rights because theres no obligation for a business to give one unless you're both vat registered (and if you're vat registered then you'll be a business and won't have consumer rights anyway).

    The legislation giving you rights under the CCA (including section 75) contain all the requirements in law in order for you to have a section 75 claim. If the act doesn't mention an invoice (it doesnt), then they can't make your rights contingent on one being produced.

    Perhaps not important to you as you seem to have already accepted their offer but personally, I would have called their bluff and made it quite clear that due to them trying to rewrite the law, I would now be claiming all and any costs I incurred in addition to the refund.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 4th Oct 17, 5:32 PM
    • 11,550 Posts
    • 8,677 Thanks
    unholyangel
    If someone refused to provide me with an invoice, I would be reporting the person/company to HMRC.
    Originally posted by vikingaero
    What would you be reporting them for? They're only obliged to provide one if both parties are VAT registered.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • OrsonCarte
    • By OrsonCarte 4th Oct 17, 5:59 PM
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    OrsonCarte
    Yes, that is correct. An invoice is only mandatory if both parties are VAT registered.

    Your point is well made, unholyangel, but do I really want to take on Barclaycard for the sake of fifty quid? I realise that there is possibly a point of principle at stake here but I don't have pockets deep enough to pursue it.

    Furthermore, as I mentioned above, both the Financial Ombudsman and Barclaycard appear to be pretty sure that Barclaycard's position is correct. Barclaycard must surely have come up against this situation before now and I would be surprised if they would respond thus if they hadn't already consulted their legal department..

    I have searched in depth for any legal or other actions that have tested the point without success.

    Good luck to whoever wants to take on Barclaycard over Section 75 as they must be experts by now. I would suggest that the lesson to be taken from this is never to hand over your credit card before getting an invoice. Otherwise, you will simply be running an unnecessary risk.
    • glentoran99
    • By glentoran99 4th Oct 17, 6:02 PM
    • 4,822 Posts
    • 3,828 Thanks
    glentoran99
    You could have went for chargeback instead, that was your resolution, Barclaycard then aren't out of pocket
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