GenghasBANG

Are we going to have to refund this customer?

32 posts in this topic

Hi All

Ive tried to do my own research into this, but the information has just been so conflicting its driving me crazy. And where i've only just started the job and this seemed quite heated, i didnt want to bother any colleagues as they seemed quite annoyed by it all. I did ask one colleague about 'distance selling laws', but he just brushed it off and said its nothing to worry about

Last Friday, we got a call from an eager buyer who had seen an ad for one of our cars on auto trader. After a bit of a chat, he agreed to place a £250 holding deposit on the car.

Today, when he was supposedly on his way up to see it, he had a change of heart. My colleague spoke to him on the phone, and he told us that he'd decided he wanted to go for a auto instead of a manual. My colleague told him that, as we hadn't mis-represented the car, he wouldn't be entitled to his refund back. He knew the car was a manual, and he still put a deposit down, why should we lose out when this car could've gone to someone else? Naturally the customer kicked off and first mentioned that:

1 ) Our advert on auto trader clearly says the deposit is refundable (although, it does say *subject to terms* right next to it)

2) RE - subject to terms - our website doesn't actually SPECIFY in any way, what *terms* these are. In his defence, this is true, it doesn't. It actually gives the impression that if someone changes their mind for whatever reason, they're entitled to a refund

Customer eventually hung up the phone, citing that he would just do a chargeback. To be honest, he sounded like a royal a-hole, and the thought of this guy getting his deposit back seems completely un-just. BUT, i have to wonder - as he hasn't ever been to see the car, and all the transactions/communications were done over the phone, is this situation not covered under the standard distance selling laws? We don't take deposits by credit card because of the haggle s75 can bring, but won't this case be just as hard to 'defend'?

I'd really like to be able to go back into work tomorrow and actually have a clue what i'm talking about lol, so thanks for any help you can provide

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Seems a tad harsh to me, a few days holding the car isn't the end of the world. If you have held it for a couple of weeks then fair enough keep the deposit. 

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3 minutes ago, MrC said:

Seems a tad harsh to me, a few days holding the car isn't the end of the world. If you have held it for a couple of weeks then fair enough keep the deposit. 

Look to be honest, despite the fact he sounded like a bit of a tw*t, i agree, he placed the deposit at around 5PM on Friday, we were open Saturday but not Sunday, then theres Monday and today, in reality, we've 'held' it for 3 days and he's now made it clear he doesn't want it anymore. 

This is really more about are we even 'allowed' to keep the deposit? For most things, i believe he'd have a mandated 14 days to cancel? It just seemed strange that no one around me even mentioned this? And when i did, it felt like i was being told it doesn't even apply in the situation?

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Legally I dont know where you and he stand. Morally Id have just given it back, Twat or not there is nothing wrong with good customer relations.

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If he is kicking up, offer him 50% deposit back, normally works and then get on with your business....

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You’ve misled him with unenforceable terms. If you haven’t got anything confirmed in writing agreed by the customer then you are skating on very thin ice. 

If he’s broken a contract you can justifiably retain what if has cost you.

It is simply not worth the aggravation and the subsequent bad reviews.   

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34 minutes ago, Arfur Dealy said:

You’ve misled him with unenforceable terms. If you haven’t got anything confirmed in writing agreed by the customer then you are skating on very thin ice. 

If he’s broken a contract you can justifiably retain what if has cost you.

It is simply not worth the aggravation and the subsequent bad reviews.   

ThisB)

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Do the right thing and refund him. It would be different if he’d viewed and test drove the car and then left the deposit, in that instance I’d agree with not refunding it.

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Doesn’t matter what anyone thinks is right or wrong the card company will side with him, so I would refund as already mentioned a bad review is heading your way an early refund might have avoided this. 

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You took his money over the phone which was ‘subject to some t’s and c’s which don’t actually exist. Give it him back. 

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We take refundable reservation fees. Its refundable if you come out and see the car and don't like it. Recently adjusted the terms on website so that if we hold the car for a few days and you just changed your mind that it is not refundable on that basis. Fairs fair and it pissed me off no end when people decided not to bother after holding the car for a few days.

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4 minutes ago, Rory RSC said:

We take refundable reservation fees. Its refundable if you come out and see the car and don't like it. Recently adjusted the terms on website so that if we hold the car for a few days and you just changed your mind that it is not refundable on that basis. Fairs fair and it pissed me off no end when people decided not to bother after holding the car for a few days.

Absolutely bang on Rory. If you have the correct terms in place and the customer has been made fully aware and accepted those terms, then it's perfectly fair to retain the deposit. 

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Posted (edited)

Thank you for all your replies, i imagine this is something that happens relatively often with other dealers, so trying to figure out the best way around it. I mean, its not like i personally can push for him to get a refund, just wanted an idea of where we stood legally.

Just got in, and, to give some more context, there are emails between him and my boss which do imply that he was planning to pay for the car? So he did show CLEAR intention of at the very minimum, coming in to see the car - If that makes a difference? We processed the car as sold subject to viewing, we sent him  some paperwork ; info about GAP, AA cover, receipt for his deposit and a blank order form - although, of course, its blank (that is to say - he has not actually signed anything yet)

@justina3 This is where my train of thought currently is, regardless of whether we think it's right or wrong, if he does file a chargeback with his bank, is he likely to 'win' it? 

45 minutes ago, justina3 said:

Doesn’t matter what anyone thinks is right or wrong the card company will side with him, so I would refund as already mentioned a bad review is heading your way an early refund might have avoided this. 

Edited by GenghasBANG

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1 minute ago, GenghasBANG said:

Thank you for all your replies, i imagine this is something that happens relatively often with other dealers, so trying to figure out the best way around it. I mean, its not like i personally can push for him to get a refund, just wanted an idea of where we stood legally.

Just got in, and, to give some more context, there are emails between him and my boss which do imply that he was planning to pay for the car? So he did show CLEAR intention of at the very minimum, coming in to see the car - If that makes a difference? We processed the car as sold subject to viewing, we sent him  some paperwork ; info about GAP, AA cover, receipt for his deposit and a blank order form - although, of course, its blank (that is to say - he has not actually signed anything yet)

@justina3 This is where my train of thought currently is, regardless of whether we think it's right or wrong, if he does file a chargeback with his bank, is he likely to 'win' it? 

The credit card companies in my experience almost always side with the customer, in your agreement with them they do not need to seek your authorisation to claw back any monies they see fit.

I am in full agreement with everyone else on this i would have given it back from the first phone call and offered a very sorry we couldnt help on this occassion if nothing else you would have ended up with a positive review which whilst not everyone agrees are worth anything i would have been happy with that outcome. 

 

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Thank you for letting us know Sir, I do understand as many people now opt for an automatic gearbox.  We have two options for you 1) We will refund you straight away and thank you for considering us or 2) We hold on to your deposit and find you a more suitable car within the next 7 days.  Eveything else, all the other benefits we discussed will remain.

What would you like us to do Sir?

KMPE likes this

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13 minutes ago, Mark101 said:

Thank you for letting us know Sir, I do understand as many people now opt for an automatic gearbox.  We have two options for you 1) We will refund you straight away and thank you for considering us or 2) We hold on to your deposit and find you a more suitable car within the next 7 days.  Eveything else, all the other benefits we discussed will remain.

What would you like us to do Sir?

Far more eloquent and stored in the memory bank when i next find myself in this situation. 

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3 minutes ago, justina3 said:

Far more eloquent and stored in the memory bank when i next find myself in this situation. 

He's giving the money back ultimately.  This way the worst that can happen is a positive experience and possible 5* review from the customer or a second shot at selling a retail car.

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Just give it back aswell. Why get into an argument over £250 with a tosser.  If the deposit was placed in person different story. 

Your right, he should be buying, it was commitment but on this one don't fight it just get on with something better.

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2 hours ago, Mark101 said:

He's giving the money back ultimately.  This way the worst that can happen is a positive experience and possible 5* review from the customer or a second shot at selling a retail car.

More like a 1 star and a "finally got my money back after a ruck, avoid" thst would be more typical of todays reviewees;)

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6 hours ago, tradex said:

More like a 1 star and a "finally got my money back after a ruck, avoid" thst would be more typical of todays reviewees;)

He literally emailed us today telling us that he’s taken pictures of the adverts, recorded himself going through our website to show our (in his words : lack of ) proper and clear t&c’s ( in case we decide to change anything so he has ‘proof’) , will be reporting all this to auto trader, and we can look forward to him blasting our name to the high heavens using ever medium available to him :mellow:

Our boss wasn’t in today, but my colleagues again didn’t seem very phased by it - apparently since he did the transaction by debit card ( and not credit card )he’s going to have an uphill battle getting the money back if he does decide to go down the chargeback route. 

Seems abit excessive lol

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, GenghasBANG said:

He literally emailed us today telling us that he’s taken pictures of the adverts, recorded himself going through our website to show our (in his words : lack of ) proper and clear t&c’s ( in case we decide to change anything so he has ‘proof’) , will be reporting all this to auto trader, and we can look forward to him blasting our name to the high heavens using ever medium available to him :mellow:

Our boss wasn’t in today, but my colleagues again didn’t seem very phased by it - apparently since he did the transaction by debit card ( and not credit card )he’s going to have an uphill battle getting the money back if he does decide to go down the chargeback route. 

Seems abit excessive lol

If you get slated across the web it’s your own fault and justifiably so. JMHO 

Can you get your boss to register and reply.

Edited by Arfur Dealy

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For the sake of £250 You're wasting too much time and breath.

 

Jeez. 

 

After all the time you put into this you will earn £1 an hour if you're lucky.

 

Or you could save all that time and spend it on other vehicles and business tasks

 

Its common for people not to have common sense....

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On 21/05/2019 at 10:49 PM, GenghasBANG said:

2) RE - subject to terms - our website doesn't actually SPECIFY in any way, what *terms* these are. In his defence, this is true, it doesn't. It actually gives the impression that if someone changes their mind for whatever reason, they're entitled to a refund.

If you've read through your own T&C's and even you (naturally biased) reading them it comes across that you'll be refunded if you change your mind after leaving a deposit, you've got to give him his money back..... Then change your T&Cs to rectify the mistake so it doesn't happen again.

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15 hours ago, Arfur Dealy said:

If you get slated across the web it’s your own fault and justifiably so. JMHO 

Can you get your boss to register and reply.

:-)

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