One of my photos

Rip-off merchants?

September 20th, 2005 · Posted by Skuds in Life · No Comments · Life

Sometimes it is heartening when someone lives up to a stereotype. We shouldn’t be surprised – stereotypes often have some root in observed behaviour, even if it does get exaggerated. In some circumstances, like when you are dealing with an estate agent, builders or used-car dealer, the last thing you want is for them to live up (down?) to the stereotype.

My problem at the moment is with a used-car dealer…

When I bought my old Astra, years ago, from Astral Car Sales in Lowfield Heath, I had a good experience. When the Astra was on its last legs earlier this year, that was the first place I went for a replacement, but they didn’t have anything in which I fancied and could afford so we tried a few other places before finding the Laguna.

When we got the Astra, the dealers guaranteed it. They did this by including in the price three months of insurance to cover repairs. As it happened we did have a fault develop in the computer and they got it all sorted out straight away free of charge.

The people who sold us the Renault do not bundle in this insurance, but do push you to take up (and pay for) a similar insurance deal. Having had a happy experience with it before I took them up on the offer.

Now we have had some trouble with the car, took it to the garage to sort out, and found out that the insurance company have no record of the car at all. Either there was some cock-up with the administration, or the car dealer is pocketing the premium himself and keeping his fingers crossed that nothing goes wrong. The insurance company said we should ask for our money back, which I am certainly going to do.

Whether or not I name and shame the car dealer here and through chats with local press reporters depends on what sort of response I get. In other words on whether I get my money back gracefully. I have called Trading Standards too and one of their experts is supposed to be calling me back. Before I speak to xxx Ltd it would be interesting to know if anyone else has had similar problems and whether Trading Standards think there is the slightest chance of getting more than just my money back – maybe the interest on it since April or something.

I am being a bit coy about the dealers. While I am only too happy to bandy about the names of companies who I have had a good service from I don’t like to point the finger without being certain its not just an oversight. Having made so many mistakes myself in the past I find them easier to forgive than deliberate conniving.

Tags: ···

No Comments so far ↓

Like the collective mind of the Daily Mail, comments are closed.