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Need some advice on a tricky customer if possible.

Had a customer come and buy a car from me 3 weeks ago. I could tell at the time she didn't want the car and her partner was more keen than she was. Never the less knocked her some money off for a few bits and bobs and on her way she went.

Get a text on the way home saying the clutch was overheating and causing it to slip they didn't want any money back but wanted to let me know. Not how i do business you tell me the clutch is slipping and ill refund you some money so i did.

Now 3 weeks later i get an email from her with an estimate from her garage for over 4k off repair work on a £1600 2003 car. Luckily for me i know the particular car better than i know my partner so i priced up all the work and there is still money left in it if i do the work myself might lose a day that could be better spent elsewhere but im not to fussed about that.

Now this is the part i need some advice on. I sent her a kindly worded email asking she returns the car to me and repairs should be completed within a week.

She has emailed me back advising that either her garage undertake the repair work or i collect the car and give her a refund.

I am not paying her garage and i don't think i should have to collect the car. Nothing on the list makes the car undriveable and most of it is bulls**t stuff.

Am i within my right to advise her she needs to return the car to me for the repair work.

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try getting her back by offering a courtesy car, if she refuses then fetch the car, either way get the car out of that bandit garage asap, as soon as she tells them to start working on it you lose control and become snookered.

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I would just collect and resell saves the grief if you still have money in it . 

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Just now, awc1000 said:

try getting her back by offering a courtesy car, if she refuses then fetch the car, either way get the car out of that bandit garage asap, as soon as she tells them to start working on it you lose control and become snookered.

Am i liable if she tells hers garage to start the work without my authority ?

Apologies for all the questions i know cars and i know how to sell but legal is not my strong point.

2 minutes ago, Casper said:

I would just collect and resell saves the grief if you still have money in it . 

That admittedly is part of my issue. Just brought back an insignia yesterday that wasn't a cheap sale so we don't have the cash until something else sells. We always keep a float but apparently not enough.

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, JA Trader said:

Am i liable if she tells hers garage to start the work without my authority ?

Apologies for all the questions i know cars and i know how to sell but legal is not my strong point.

My advice would be You should write in the terms and conditions of the sale that the car has to be returned to you for inspection by you or a garage off your choice  .  As per your situation as it stands  I would just collect asap refund and put it behind you .

 

Edited by Casper

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1 minute ago, JA Trader said:

Am i liable if she tells hers garage to start the work without my authority ?

Apologies for all the questions i know cars and i know how to sell but legal is not my strong point.

possibly, but regardless of if you are or not once she has incurred a bill she will likely chase you for the amount through a court,and judges generally hate the motor trade.

also research the garage and ask to see the quote, it's amazing how many change attitude and opinion once the trade calls asking about specifics.

if it did go legal, having offered a courtesy car or collect / refund will be in your favour if she has refused the offer of help.

if it were me i would collect the car and fix it or simply refund and collect.

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3 minutes ago, awc1000 said:

possibly, but regardless of if you are or not once she has incurred a bill she will likely chase you for the amount through a court,and judges generally hate the motor trade.

also research the garage and ask to see the quote, it's amazing how many change attitude and opinion once the trade calls asking about specifics.

if it did go legal, having offered a courtesy car or collect / refund will be in your favour if she has refused the offer of help.

if it were me i would collect the car and fix it or simply refund and collect.

I think my pride gets in the way sometimes i mot,d this car a week before she brought it and not a single issue with it.

She has sent me the estimate from her garage and the costs are beyond a joke.

I might just agree to collect it next weekend and hope for the life of me something sells between now and then.

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I think that, under the circumstances, your offer to complete the work yourself rather than getting someone else involved, would stand up in front of a judge if it ever went that far. In the meantime, a simple, firm but fair letter or email stating the simple facts; You will not authorise repairs which add up to almost 3 times the vehicle value. You will consider the repairs if the car is returned to you.

I do think your best way out of this is a refund. Everyone runs a tight ship but you have to have a float. she will not go away after this repair. there are 2 sorts of people who buy 2 grand cars. I think this customer is in the category to avoid. 

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On your own admission you could tell that the punter did not want the car ! You will learn to steer clear and with CRA you cannot be investing in these punters.

I would demand the car back by a recorded message/ letter and collect it now and get your repairer to check it out.If the punter is telling porkies ( which is usual)  you can then negotiate a price to buy it back and try and include an NDA for bad reviews.You have to ‘nip it in the bud ‘ ......get used to it !

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14 minutes ago, MattR said:

I think that, under the circumstances, your offer to complete the work yourself rather than getting someone else involved, would stand up in front of a judge if it ever went that far. In the meantime, a simple, firm but fair letter or email stating the simple facts; You will not authorise repairs which add up to almost 3 times the vehicle value. You will consider the repairs if the car is returned to you.

I do think your best way out of this is a refund. Everyone runs a tight ship but you have to have a float. she will not go away after this repair. there are 2 sorts of people who buy 2 grand cars. I think this customer is in the category to avoid. 

Thanks for the advice.

It would appear my tight ship is a little bit to tight this week. I have another car with even better spec i can offer her instead but like you say I am only going to end up in the same situation again.

I don't mind giving a refund to a reasonable customer any day of the week. Its the ones that take the p**s i don't like

1 minute ago, trade vet said:

On your own admission you could tell that the punter did not want the car ! You will learn to steer clear and with CRA you cannot be investing in these punters.

I would demand the car back by a recorded message/ letter and collect it now and get your repairer to check it out.If the punter is telling porkies ( which is usual)  you can then negotiate a price to buy it back and try and include an NDA for bad reviews.You have to ‘nip it in the bud ‘ ......get used to it !

I was ready to let her walk away. Didn't push the sale , let her and her partner drive the car. Honestly i did not want her to buy it Genuinely thought she was going to walk till the second she didn't.

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17 minutes ago, MattR said:

I think that, under the circumstances, your offer to complete the work yourself rather than getting someone else involved, would stand up in front of a judge if it ever went that far. In the meantime, a simple, firm but fair letter or email stating the simple facts; You will not authorise repairs which add up to almost 3 times the vehicle value. You will consider the repairs if the car is returned to you.

I do think your best way out of this is a refund. Everyone runs a tight ship but you have to have a float. she will not go away after this repair. there are 2 sorts of people who buy 2 grand cars. I think this customer is in the category to avoid. 

good point, by fixing it you are open to future abuse, basically you are offering the worlds best warranty.

best to refund, exercise your right to pay within 14? days, decline any claimed ownership costs from her by offsetting "free use of car over said period"

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Thanks for all the advice. I will disturb my business partners holiday later on and talk it over with him.

One last question the car is currently at her garage do i insist she returns it to her home address for collection or am i just being akward

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You can always ask the question . 

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If its just been MOTD I would refund her and just sell it again don't get your self stressed over it part of the job just get used to it

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4 minutes ago, Tony911 said:

If its just been MOTD I would refund her and just sell it again don't get your self stressed over it part of the job just get used to it

If she was 5 mins round the corner i might be more caring. Im not looking forward to the 6 hour round trip to collect it.

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29 minutes ago, JA Trader said:

If she was 5 mins round the corner i might be more caring. Im not looking forward to the 6 hour round trip to collect it.

Rather do 6 hours travelling then 12months of stress if it goes to court

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1 minute ago, Tony911 said:

Rather do 6 hours travelling then 12months of stress if it goes to court

Point well made

I really appreciate the advise on this forum. I will arrange to collect next weekend and hope something sells between now and then.

Will most likely be collected outside of working hours so cant collect from her garage.

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i think tonys 2 posts sum up the situation totally

my only input would be if you think a sale is going to be a future trouble one never ever complete the sale,ive always done this,ok i might have fallen out with a few people over the years but i sleep easier and ive been to court..........not nice see tony.s post again

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Had 1 not long back 12 hour round trip. Just make sure when you sell to long distance customers they agree and sign it's their responsibility to return car for any repairs 

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1 minute ago, Tony911 said:

Had 1 not long back 12 hour round trip. Just make sure when you sell to long distance customers they agree and sign it's their responsibility to return car for any repairs 

100% I have already amended my invoice no matter how far they always return to me

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Posted (edited)

Tell her you will not pay third party repair costs, end of. She can return it to you and you’ll refund as a gesture of goodwill. Its a 16 year old banger and her expectations should reflect that. If she refuses, tell the bitch to do her worse, no problem see you in court in 9months. 

Considering It’s only £1600, if she chooses the latter, you will quadruple the profit in that period. 

Too add, you can’t win in these situations, all you can do is either bend over or play them at their own game. Sometimes you just have to stand your ground and be ruthless. 

The choice is yours. 

Edited by Arfur Dealy

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6 minutes ago, Arfur Dealy said:

Tell her you will not pay third party repair costs, end of. She can return it to you and you’ll refund as a gesture of goodwill. Its a 16 year old banger and her expectations should reflect that. If she refuses, tell the bitch to do her worse, no problem see you in court in 9months. 

The second she sent me this invoice i told her im not paying the repair costs multiple times.

At this point if she returns it to me she can have her money back.

Ill leave it a few hours save an email slagging war and send her a politely worded reply asking for the vehicle to be returned and subject to it being in the same condition she can have her money back.

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2 minutes ago, JA Trader said:

The second she sent me this invoice i told her im not paying the repair costs multiple times.

At this point if she returns it to me she can have her money back.

Ill leave it a few hours save an email slagging war and send her a politely worded reply asking for the vehicle to be returned and subject to it being in the same condition she can have her money back.

It’s a wise move, if you feel it’s best to get her out of your life then do so. Good luck

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31 minutes ago, Arfur Dealy said:

It’s a wise move, if you feel it’s best to get her out of your life then do so. Good luck

I feel like i don't want some of these customers in my life at all. I refunded a chap yesterday for an insignia for an issue i thought i had fixed. Couldn't of asked for a nicer chap he gave me nearly 3 weeks to try and get it fixed.

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