Paper tiger

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  • Alderbank
    Alderbank Posts: 2,777 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    MalMonroe said:
    Hi, if you used a credit card you can use a Section 75 claim. 

    https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/reclaim/section75-protect-your-purchases/

    You can appeal to the Motoring Ombudsman (but only if the seller is part of their scheme) 

    https://www.themotorombudsman.org/consumers/make-a-complaint

    You can contact your local media and ask them to publish your story.

    You can shame the seller online.

    Five years ago I bought a cheap old banger from my (now estranged) car mechanic's small business and it went wrong a week later. He wouldn't take it back or refund me so I started a Section 75 claim. He ended up having to refund me as well as giving me compensation for all the inconvenience. It took a few months, granted. But I would never let cheats get away with taking my money. Just because you may buy a car cheap doesn't mean that you don't have rights. Lots of negatives there but generally, if someone is selling something, it has to be 'fit for purpose'. 

    Bringing a claim to court costs and if you don't win the case, you end up having to pay. I'd try all the free routes first.

    Which magazine says - 

    https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/the-car-i-bought-has-a-problem-what-are-my-rights-aAnMC5b0ZzJb

    There are definitely ways and means of getting your money back. There are Ombuds-people (I can't say ombudsmen because some of them are women) for almost everything these days. And you can appeal to them. 

    It's a bit late now but it's always worth a quick google of 'check my car'. It's a government site and you can find out if there are any problems with a vehicle and there's the valuable MOT history check. If a car's had a lot of 'fails' or expensive problems, you can check there before you part with any money. I learned that too late for my car buying faux pas.

    You can always report the dealer as well, for running a dodgy business. 

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/report-someone-making-or-selling-unsafe-or-illegal-vehicles-or-parts

    And you can tell him that's what you intend to do as well. But only if you are in a well-lit area with a couple of friends.

    I do hope you manage to get a satisfactory result because I know what it's like, I've been through something very similar. I did win in the end, though, if that is of any consolation at all.

    PS Not all single parents are on benefits. I was (still am) a single parent and have never been on benefits in my life. 
    In what way are they (the trader) punished for ignoring or defying a law legislated in parliament?  I'm just trying to think of another law where one can completely ignore it and not suffer any consequences? I'm sure there must be??
    Yes, there are hundreds.
    I can tell that you don't know anything about law. That is why you are puzzled.

    There are two quite separate branches of law, civil law and criminal law.

    In criminal law, sometimes called public law, it is you against the crown (the state). Criminal law is designed to punish. People found guilty get a criminal record and are punished in various ways including community service, fines, imprisonment.

    Civil law is very different, even the courts are different. Sometimes called private law, civil cases are between two private citizens or legal persons, two equal parties. No concept of guilt or innocence and no punishment. The loser has to pay the winner money to put them back in the position they were in.

    There are hundreds of civil laws. Libel and slander are examples of civil law, as is trespass. No enforcement body such as the police cares if you are libelled or slandered. Nothing happens to your libeller or slanderer. However much you have lost, and it could be millions, nothing happens unless you take the initiative and take them to court. Even if you win, they are not 'guilty' but you would be able to try to recover your damages from them.

    Consumer rights are all examples of civil law.

    You should do a GCSE Law course at your local college. You would find it interesting.
  • I actually do know the difference between civil law and criminal law. Liable or not liable. Guilty or not guilty. 
    In trespass, slander etc damages can be awarded. Same as consumer law. Damages can be awarded. 
    Like you said you can *try* to recover damages and expenses. No guarantee you're gonna get them. 
  • eskbanker
    eskbanker Posts: 30,768 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic First Post
    eskbanker said:
    Alderbank said:
    I think we all get that you don't think much of our current consumer protection laws, and you are probably not alone in that.

    What changes do you think Parliament should make?
    It seems to me that OP isn't particularly concerned about the consumer protection laws themselves as such, but is frustrated by the realisation that their enforcement through the courts is inherently limited....
    Two points really. The first is people believe that the law will protect them and in some cases it clearly doesn't. It doesn't because there is no real incentive (other than good will,bad publicity etc) to do so. 
    This forum is full of people who have been shafted and who have had a raw deal. People who have seen their hard earned money thrown down the drain.

    When they ask for advice the best they can be offered is If all else fails take them to court. Like doing that is going to have the trader running for the hills. 
    It's not quite snake oil. But if feels to me like snake oil is the best we have got. 

    Yes it is civil law but so is a parking ticket. Admit the offence and take the penalty or dispute it and If found not in your favour, pay a bigger penalty.  
    I'm not saying I have any answers. But one look on these forums shows it's not a great system. I know some people are successful but the trouble they have to go through just to get back to where they started is ridiculous. 
    I don't think anyone promotes the notion that taking a merchant to court has them quaking in their boots. but most references will simply recognise that it's a last resort in the event that other measures haven't succeeded.

    Not applicable to your scenario but there is ever more consumer-friendly legislation and regulation that minimises the need for court enforcement, for example:
    • Financial Ombudsman Service, which is generally more sympathetic to consumers than courts, and is free
    • chargeback and section 75, facilities which can effect recovery of costs without the need to litigate
    • FSCS
    • Consumer Rights Act and associated contract cancellation legislation
    • rafts of legislation crystallising remedies in areas such as package holidays and flights
    • increasingly consumer-oriented regulations around pensions, insurance pricing, energy contracts, etc
    • social media via which some companies can be embarrassed into action
    Granted, some of these may still ultimately entail court action for enforcement, with its limitations, but in general, the consumer is in a far more powerful situation now than in the past IMHO....
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,903 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Also bear in mind that if a retailer wants to defend a court action, generally speaking they're going to have to send a solicitor to do so - which (in most of the examples we hear about here) will likely cost them more than the amount claimed for. And even if they win, they're unlikely to be able to get those costs back. So it makes sense for them to make the claim go away by means other than arguing about it in court.
  • shiraz99
    shiraz99 Posts: 1,715 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    I actually do know the difference between civil law and criminal law. Liable or not liable. Guilty or not guilty. 
    In trespass, slander etc damages can be awarded. Same as consumer law. Damages can be awarded. 
    Like you said you can *try* to recover damages and expenses. No guarantee you're gonna get them. 
    So what legal steps have you taken with your car issue you described then?

    It's OK slating the process and the possible difficulties involved but you haven't described anything to suggest you've actually tried exercising your statutory rights correctly in the first place.
  • Ah
    But they wouldn't have to argue about it in court. They would simply sit back and hope the punter will give in before then. They would however allow the punter to go through all the inconvenience and expense of fighting to reclaim what is lawfully theirs. Before it actually gets to court they pay up. With hardly any consequences for the trader.  
  • shiraz99 said:
    I actually do know the difference between civil law and criminal law. Liable or not liable. Guilty or not guilty. 
    In trespass, slander etc damages can be awarded. Same as consumer law. Damages can be awarded. 
    Like you said you can *try* to recover damages and expenses. No guarantee you're gonna get them. 
    So what legal steps have you taken with your car issue you described then?

    It's OK slating the process and the possible difficulties involved but you haven't described anything to suggest you've actually tried exercising your statutory rights correctly in the first place.
    I have informed the trader by email. Text and letter of the right to reject the goods as per CRA 2015. I have told them that I didn't need to accept a repair but I did allow him the chance to rectify the faults because I actually liked the vehicle and if it could be fixed then fine. 
    I have stated that I will exercise my right to apply to the small claims court which,once I have recovered the car to my safe keeping,I will be doing. 
    I'm not really slating the process. I accept it is the best we have.  I'm simply asking what incentive does the trader have to not be obstuctive? They take a gamble and if they lose the worst they have to do is give back the money.  


  • Ectophile
    Ectophile Posts: 7,311 Forumite
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    I have stated that I will exercise my right to apply to the small claims court which,once I have recovered the car to my safe keeping,I will be doing


    So are you rejecting the car or not?  You seem determined to keep hold of it.  But to reject it, you have to hand it back to the retailer.

    When it comes to dodgy back-street car dealers, they can run rings around the law.  By the time you win the case, the company you bought the car from may have been wound up, and they will be trading through a different company.

    Realistically, when buying a cheap car from a back-street dealer, it's probably best to assume you're buying it "as seen", and check for problems before you hand over the money.


    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
  • Well, we all learn from our mistakes. I've bought dozens of cars over the years and never had this problem. As for rejecting the car 
    I have already told him in two emails that I am rejecting the car. The first time I said I would bring the car back and expect refund. He said there will be no refund. First he has to examine the car for himself. So I left the car with him. After two weeks he emailed to tell me the car was running fine with no issues but no mention of fault codes on the dash or air blowers not working. He did say the oil soaked seats were fine when the car left the valeters. (Obviously a veiled hint that maybe I had thrown oil all over the seats a few days or even the same day I bought it).
    I messaged him again (4;weeks after buying the car);& reiterated the as per my last email. I wanted to reject the car and be given a refund.

    Since then I have heard nothing and had no response from my email.

    The car is still there because I am the registered owner. What exactly would happen if I left the car with the trader? The car is in my name as is the tax and insurance. Without it the car is not road legal and I can have no idea if the trader has/would park it on the road.

    As I have said in previous post. Saying, "reject the car " or "hand them back the keys" is NOT as straightforward as it seems.
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