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  • FIRST POST
    • jdavidson
    • By jdavidson 8th Jan 18, 9:56 AM
    • 13Posts
    • 1Thanks
    jdavidson
    Camper van hire 'damage' charges
    • #1
    • 8th Jan 18, 9:56 AM
    Camper van hire 'damage' charges 8th Jan 18 at 9:56 AM
    hi,


    i recently hired a camper vehicle from a company.
    We took the vehicle away and within the first few uses of a light switch button within the camper the button got stuck depressed in.
    This was through normal use with no excessive force. I get the feeling this had broken previously and was perhaps made worse by our normal use.


    We were charged £200 for the cost of an entire head unit.


    Is this an acceptable charge.


    The vehicle was also new meaning the part in question would likely have been under manufacture warranty.


    Thanks for any advice.


    Kind regards
Page 1
    • tykesi
    • By tykesi 8th Jan 18, 10:03 AM
    • 1,913 Posts
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    tykesi
    • #2
    • 8th Jan 18, 10:03 AM
    • #2
    • 8th Jan 18, 10:03 AM
    Is this an acceptable charge.
    Originally posted by jdavidson
    Yes - why don't you think you should pay for breaking someone else's property. Didn't you read the T&Cs you agreed to when you hired the vehicle?

    The vehicle was also new meaning the part in question would likely have been under manufacture warranty.
    Originally posted by jdavidson
    Warranties are for faults, not for damage caused be user error.
    £2018 in 2018 - £347.08

    £2017 in 2017 - £7097.88

    £2016 in 2016 - £3087.89
    • jdavidson
    • By jdavidson 8th Jan 18, 10:34 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    jdavidson
    • #3
    • 8th Jan 18, 10:34 AM
    • #3
    • 8th Jan 18, 10:34 AM
    so you're saying if you were to push a light switch say in your living room using normal levels of pressure and that switch broke it would be your fault and not a manufacturing error or a previously broken item?
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 8th Jan 18, 10:40 AM
    • 1,333 Posts
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    Aylesbury Duck
    • #4
    • 8th Jan 18, 10:40 AM
    • #4
    • 8th Jan 18, 10:40 AM
    so you're saying if you were to push a light switch say in your living room using normal levels of pressure and that switch broke it would be your fault and not a manufacturing error or a previously broken item?
    No, that's not what he's saying. Your analogy is flawed, yours is a different context.

    What do the conditions of hire say?
    Last edited by Aylesbury Duck; 08-01-2018 at 10:47 AM.
    • House Martin
    • By House Martin 8th Jan 18, 10:46 AM
    • 912 Posts
    • 790 Thanks
    House Martin
    • #5
    • 8th Jan 18, 10:46 AM
    • #5
    • 8th Jan 18, 10:46 AM
    hi,


    i recently hired a camper vehicle from a company.
    We took the vehicle away and within the first few uses of a light switch button within the camper the button got stuck depressed in.
    This was through normal use with no excessive force. I get the feeling this had broken previously and was perhaps made worse by our normal use.


    We were charged £200 for the cost of an entire head unit.


    Is this an acceptable charge.


    The vehicle was also new meaning the part in question would likely have been under manufacture warranty.


    Thanks for any advice.


    Kind regards
    Originally posted by jdavidson
    Was the headlamp broken. what has the headlamp got to do with a light switch. Sounds like a typical garage con to rob you. If the headlights were on all the time, big deal it should nt damage it
    • jdavidson
    • By jdavidson 8th Jan 18, 10:57 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    jdavidson
    • #6
    • 8th Jan 18, 10:57 AM
    • #6
    • 8th Jan 18, 10:57 AM
    Not sure where the reference of a headlamp has come from.
    The item that broke was a simple on / off light switch inside the vehicle. hence my comparison to a light switch within a property, a better one may have been the switch in a normal car that controls the interiors lights when you open the car doors.

    Digging out the terms now for exact wording.
    Last edited by jdavidson; 08-01-2018 at 10:58 AM. Reason: typo
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 8th Jan 18, 11:03 AM
    • 16,053 Posts
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    AdrianC
    • #7
    • 8th Jan 18, 11:03 AM
    • #7
    • 8th Jan 18, 11:03 AM
    Where did "headlamp" even come from? The OP said "head unit" - a term normally used to refer to the radio/stereo.

    Camper and motorhome warranties are rarely as simple as those on a more normal vehicle. Many items of the fit-out are likely to have their own warranties, which are often far shorter than the base vehicle. So for problems with the van itself, you'd have the vehicle manufacturer's 3yr warranty. For the cooker, the cooker manufacturer's 2yr. For the fridge, for the shower, for... An internal light switch would be part of the converter's warranty, probably.

    Remember, you're not simply paying £200 for "a light switch" - you're paying £200 towards the cost of the vehicle being unavailable for rent until it's fixed.

    Also - you say it's "new", then you say it was probably damage caused by a previous renter...?
    • jdavidson
    • By jdavidson 8th Jan 18, 11:09 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    jdavidson
    • #8
    • 8th Jan 18, 11:09 AM
    • #8
    • 8th Jan 18, 11:09 AM
    the switch still worked it was just no longer flush so it was cosmetic as much as anything.
    I meant new as only a few months old, less than a year certainly.
    • tykesi
    • By tykesi 8th Jan 18, 11:22 AM
    • 1,913 Posts
    • 2,660 Thanks
    tykesi
    • #9
    • 8th Jan 18, 11:22 AM
    • #9
    • 8th Jan 18, 11:22 AM
    Was the headlamp broken. what has the headlamp got to do with a light switch. Sounds like a typical garage con to rob you. If the headlights were on all the time, big deal it should nt damage it
    Originally posted by House Martin
    What has the headlamp got to do with anything, you're the only one who has brought a headlamp up on this thread, even the post you quoted doesn't mention it.
    £2018 in 2018 - £347.08

    £2017 in 2017 - £7097.88

    £2016 in 2016 - £3087.89
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 8th Jan 18, 11:56 AM
    • 1,333 Posts
    • 1,716 Thanks
    Aylesbury Duck
    the switch still worked it was just no longer flush so it was cosmetic as much as anything.
    I meant new as only a few months old, less than a year certainly.
    Originally posted by jdavidson
    I don't think you've got grounds for complaint I'm afraid. As AdrianC says, the charge possibly relates to more than just the material cost of the new switch unit. You broke it whilst it was in your care and you're going to have a hard time proving it was already damaged or inherently faulty.
    • House Martin
    • By House Martin 8th Jan 18, 12:11 PM
    • 912 Posts
    • 790 Thanks
    House Martin
    hi,


    i recently hired a camper vehicle from a company.
    We took the vehicle away and within the first few uses of a light switch button within the camper the button got stuck depressed in.
    This was through normal use with no excessive force. I get the feeling this had broken previously and was perhaps made worse by our normal use.


    We were charged £200 for the cost of an entire head unit.


    Is this an acceptable charge.


    The vehicle was also new meaning the part in question would likely have been under manufacture warranty.


    Thanks for any advice.


    Kind regards
    Originally posted by jdavidson
    Not sure where the reference of a headlamp has come from.
    The item that broke was a simple on / off light switch inside the vehicle. hence my comparison to a light switch within a property, a better one may have been the switch in a normal car that controls the interiors lights when you open the car doors.

    Digging out the terms now for exact wording.
    Originally posted by jdavidson
    Apologies, you mentioned the word "head " was replaced .anyway you know what these garages and hire companies are like. They are usually looking out for a way to rob people. That light switch which decided to malfunction was what I I consider to be part of "normal wear and tear " and as such should not have been charged if it decided to collapse itself when someone merely switched it on.
    Typical swindling hire garages and garages in general.
    The trouble is they have probably got your bond and can deduct it otherwise I would have called their bluff and said "see you in the small claims court " where any sensible judge would have thrown this scandalous charge out.
    • House Martin
    • By House Martin 8th Jan 18, 12:16 PM
    • 912 Posts
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    House Martin
    I don't think you've got grounds for complaint I'm afraid. As AdrianC says, the charge possibly relates to more than just the material cost of the new switch unit. You broke it whilst it was in your care and you're going to have a hard time proving it was already damaged or inherently faulty.
    Originally posted by Aylesbury Duck
    , Seems we have a lot of very biased ex or current motor trade employees on on here slamming every complaint against the motor trade "You broke it " can be also worded as "the part malfunctioned in normal usage " .
    • Jackmydad
    • By Jackmydad 8th Jan 18, 12:18 PM
    • 1,579 Posts
    • 3,696 Thanks
    Jackmydad
    As the others have said, you'll have to pay if something was broken.
    Who broke it? You or another person?
    Because, at least in my experience nobody ever broke anything by misusing it in some way. It's always the broken item that is at fault.
    • angelfire
    • By angelfire 8th Jan 18, 12:26 PM
    • 812 Posts
    • 184 Thanks
    angelfire
    Did you report the faulty/broken switch when you returned the vehicle to the hirer?


    For future, it might be an idea to go around the van yourselves before driving off, literally flicking switches, ensuring air con is working, the hob, fridge etc, are all in good order, rather than just the usual bodywork checks....
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 8th Jan 18, 12:30 PM
    • 1,333 Posts
    • 1,716 Thanks
    Aylesbury Duck
    , Seems we have a lot of very biased ex or current motor trade employees on on here slamming every complaint against the motor trade "You broke it " can be also worded as "the part malfunctioned in normal usage " .
    Originally posted by House Martin
    Interesting accusation. I'm not a current or ex motor trade employee, nor have I "slammed" the OP's complaint. I have simply pointed out that he will have a hard time to prove his case, given that the switch was damaged whilst in his care.

    If anyone on here is biased and has an agenda, it is you. You were quick to jump to a baseless conclusion about a headlamp to justify your view of the trade and your posts clearly display your inherent bias:

    Sounds like a typical garage con to rob you.
    you know what these garages and hire companies are like. They are usually looking out for a way to rob people
    Typical swindling hire garages and garages in general.
    Yeah, the OP's going to get really balanced and pragmatic advice from you, isn't he...
    • IanMSpencer
    • By IanMSpencer 8th Jan 18, 12:37 PM
    • 1,287 Posts
    • 974 Thanks
    IanMSpencer
    To be honest, I'm with the OP. These conversions can be pretty home-made and it is not surprising to me that there can be faults on them that come up under normal use. Let's make the assumption (unusual on MSE I know) that the OP is being straight about the lack of force.

    It is unfortunate that on something like this it would be impossible for either party to prove who did what. It may not help if the switch was broken and it was not brought to the attention of the hire company as that would tend to point to a cover up. These switches may well not be the same quality as we would expect from a volume car manufacturer who is conscious of warranty claims and so specs something that can do many presses with little chance of failure. They will not be original equipment, but simple things that get added during conversion.

    If I have objected to the charge and the hire company are sticking to their guns, assuming I had paid by credit card, I would make a complaint to the credit card company.

    I will happily pay for things that a break through carelessness or negligence. I would not pay for something not of suitable quality for the job. Chances are that inspection of the switch would have identified the cause of failure, and typically you would find it is some little delicate bit of plastic that has cracked or deformed. Then it comes a case of pot luck who it failed on - it might have been inappropriate force by persons unknown (including the OP) or it might be faulty manufacture or it might simply be poor design.

    I would put the onus on the hire firm to show it was by unreasonable conduct and I would say any T & C that held me responsible for something that was fair wear and tear or manufacturing defect or simply unfit for purpose would be unreasonable.

    Let's imagine a further twist in the OP's issue. What if the hire company knew the switch was faulty, perhaps they've had loads of them fail on these camper vans over the years, and chose to pretend otherwise? They plan to charge the poor sap where it finally broke on as there is a nice few smackers to be had from the unsuspecting punters who pay up because they are feeling guilty that it came away in their hands. Would it be reasonable to simply say "Tough, check your T & Cs, you've got to pay up."?
    • House Martin
    • By House Martin 8th Jan 18, 12:39 PM
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    • 790 Thanks
    House Martin
    To AylesburyD
    What with the words "YOU broke it " very "pragmatic advice indeed !, more like an accusation. You ve hung drawn and quartered him already and made your biased decision
    How do know that he/she "broke " it .It "malfunctioned with normal usage " is an alternative way of looking at it,
    Thats wear and tear in my book.
    It could have been badly made Fiat camper made up of penny pinching shoddy switch gear
    Last edited by House Martin; 08-01-2018 at 12:43 PM.
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 8th Jan 18, 12:52 PM
    • 1,333 Posts
    • 1,716 Thanks
    Aylesbury Duck
    To AylesburyD
    What with the words "YOU broke it " very "pragmatic advice indeed !, more like an accusation. You ve hung drawn and quartered him already and made your biased decision
    How do know that he/she "broke " it .It "malfunctioned with normal usage " is an alternative way of looking at it,
    Thats wear and tear in my book.
    It could have been badly made Fiat camper made up of penny pinching shoddy switch gear
    Originally posted by House Martin
    "Hung drawn and quartered"? Get a sense of perspective. The OP is £200 down and I think they'll have a tricky job to recover it. My "biased decision" doesn't matter, it's just my view. My advice was to check the conditions of hire, something the OP is checking out.

    If I really wanted to condemn the OP, I would have linked their breaking of the switch to something completely spurious, like a headlamp perhaps. Anything to fit my agenda.
    • House Martin
    • By House Martin 8th Jan 18, 1:18 PM
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    • 790 Thanks
    House Martin
    "Hung drawn and quartered"? Get a sense of perspective. The OP is £200 down and I think they'll have a tricky job to recover it. My "biased decision" doesn't matter, it's just my view. My advice was to check the conditions of hire, something the OP is checking out.

    If I really wanted to condemn the OP, I would have linked their breaking of the switch to something completely spurious, like a headlamp perhaps. Anything to fit my agenda.
    Originally posted by Aylesbury Duck
    Maybe you should "get a sense of humour " and I will try and keep a "sense of perspective". £200 is a lot of money to pay for a cheap piece of switch gear,.But there you go again with your assumptions with "their breaking of the switch " Any chance of reserving judgement into "who broke what ?
    The switch malfunctioned is a much more likely scenario.
    • fred246
    • By fred246 8th Jan 18, 2:48 PM
    • 947 Posts
    • 520 Thanks
    fred246
    They probably just pop the switch out with a screwdriver and the next customer will push it in and they will charge them another £200 and so the cycle continues. I would send them a letter before action telling them you are very experienced at using the small claims court. If they don't refund the money then you have to gamble on the small claims court fee. The online court fee is £25. They will then either have to pay you £225 or defend the claim. If they go to court the Judge will randomly decide depending on who they trust most. The motorhome people would probably be asked to produce the bill showing that they had paid £200 to rectify the problem. I think you have a good chance of winning but it is a gamble.
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