CAR Dealer Club is new and improved for 2012 with the signing of a new legal team to assist you and a new manager to look after members.
Getting the right legal advice is vital when problem customers return to your dealership. Whether you’re running a busy franchised site or an independent outlet, problem cars cost money – and ultimately hit profits.
No dealer wants to turn away a customer without help, but we all know many can be extremely unreasonable. and it’s those unreasonable and demanding customers who quote Sales of Goods act this and trading standards that at you, which our Car Dealer Club legal advice line was designed for.
Our popular club already boasts hundreds of dealers among its members, but for 2012 we’ve improved the offer even further with the signing of a brand new legal team and new club manager. Lawgistics, a well established and popular motor trade legal firm, have just signed up to man Car Dealer Club’s legal advice line.
So what’s the club all about? Well, for just £34.99 members receive a full year’s subscription to Car Dealer Magazine, as well as access to a whole host of exclusive offers and discounts from suppliers. Without doubt, though, the biggest draw is the free legal advice.
A phone call – to a lawyer who knows the motor trade inside out – is available to all members. Whether you need advice on where you stand legally with a customer’s broken down motor, or just want to know if that blown head gasket could land you in court, the club’s legal team is on hand to help members when they need it.
Lawgistics have a simply cracking offer. As well as the free advice line, members also receive a free subscription to the firm’s basic membership package. This gives you access to the highly-experienced team of lawyers and advisors, and also entitles you to legal guidance notes, document templates and personalised motor trade stationery.
ESTABLISHED 10 years ago, Lawgistics are extremely experienced when it comes to helping dealers with legal matters. With more than 1,000 clients on its books, the firm, first set-up by David Combes and Dennis Chapman in 2001, has a reputation for assisting the motor trade with customer complaints, health and safety requirements, trade-to-trade problems, debt recovery, employee issues and much more.
‘David and Dennis ran and worked for a successful legal consultancy firm for more than 20 years, specialising in trading standards and consumer advice, before they set up Lawgistics,’ explains Joel Combes, the firm’s sales and marketing director.
‘The two directors saw a change in the automotive market’s legal needs and the issues dealers had 20 years ago are very different to the ones now. Cars have become more reliable, but sadly, more complicated when they develop a fault. Customers and employees are better informed of their legal rights and the Trade Descriptions Act has been replaced with the Consumer Protection for Unfair Trading regulations.
‘It used to be about mis-describing, insurance write offs and consumer credit licence requirements, now it is has very much turned around to unfair dismissal allegations, employee time-off issues, distance selling and credit card fraud problems and detailed correspondence with customers about their right to reject rather than repair.
‘We strongly recommend any dealer selling, servicing or repairing vehicles takes a close look at their stationery, systems and procedures to ensure the best defence when dealing with a potential claim from employees and consumers.’
‘With Car Dealer Club membership, a dealer can pick up the phone to us in the infancy of a problem and it won’t develop into an issue. It can get nipped in the bud at the start.’
Lawgistics have a team of experts who can help in all areas dealers might be affected on, and have a healthy band of clients. ‘We’ve got more than 1,000 clients who use different products – ranging from large dealer groups to smaller independents,’ added Combes.
But that doesn’t mean Car Dealer Club members will miss out – the free legal advice line can be used at any time and Lawgistics’ team will give honest and frank advice to help you out. But why offer it free? Well, as legal cases go, they can often get complicated and need further action. If you decide that you want Lawgisitics’ help, above and beyond the free advice, then reasonable fees will be discussed between you and the team. That said, if all you need is the free advice – or someone to bounce a problem off – the members’ advice line is all you’ll ever need.
Combes adds: ‘If you asked what the biggest problem discussed on our helpline is, it would be employment law as this can be very costly. But it is about getting it right in the first place, which is why we think dealers need a partner who is not only reactive, but also proactive in looking at problems before they happen and what can be done to prevent them.
‘Sometimes dealers can be scared to contact a solicitor because they think it will mean a large bill coming their way. But, with Car Dealer Club membership, a dealer can pick up the phone to us in the infancy of a problem and it won’t develop into an issue. Because of this, we find we get great results, and the majority of our cases will not go to court. they get nipped in the bud at the start.’
To become a member visit CarDealerClub.com or call membership manager Natasha Smith on (023) 9252 2434 who can take payment over the phone