So, isn't it about time the rights of a consumer were upgraded in law?

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Fergie 307

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Mmmm - you might want to check that, if it's not too late. I might be wrong, but I think that if you opt for a repair you have forfeited your right to reject goods for being faulty. Try Citizens Advice and Consumer Associ

Mmmm - you might want to check that, if it's not too late. I might be wrong, but I think that if you opt for a repair you have forfeited your right to reject goods for being faulty. Try Citizens Advice and Consumer Association websites.
You can certainly give them the opportunity to repair the goods, which is not unreasonable. If they are unable to repair it satisfactorily, or the repair fails again within a short space of time you can still reject it. I helped a relative in exactly this position. A two year old car bought from an independent dealer would randomly go into limp mode. They tried twice to repair it, each time it was ok for a few days and then did it again. They then wanted to send it off to a main dealer for repair, probably what they should have done in the first place. This would have meant her losing the car for at least a week, although they did offer her a courtesy car. At this point she downloaded pro forma letters from the CA website and formally rejected it. In fairness the dealer didn't put up much of a fight and refunded her the full amount she had paid. Being a bit of a cynic I think this may well have been why the car was traded in in the first place, so they probably knew it was likely to cause grief. But then they should never have put it on the forecourt. The CA website is full of useful information, and you can download all the necessary letters and so forth. I have gone through this a number of times, and helped others to do it. It's a bit of a faff, but I have always found that as soon as they realise that you know your rights, and are not going to be fobbed off, they generally do the right thing. This is buying from a company of course, many of the same rights still apply if you buy privately, goods being as described for example, but enforcing them is another matter.
 

Just4Fun

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In fairness the dealer didn't put up much of a fight and refunded her the full amount she had paid. Being a bit of a cynic I think this may well have been why the car was traded in in the first place, so they probably knew it was likely to cause grief. But then they should never have put it on the forecourt.
For that to be true the dealer would have had to know about the fault. They may have done but I think it more likely that the previous owner of the car never told them about it. More likely they had the same fix done elsewhere then took the car to this dealer without mentioning the fault. The dealer would have had to drive it around for a few days for the fault to show itself, and few dealers do that with trade-ins.

I would not want that car but I would be inclined to give the dealer the benefit of the doubt. Looking at it from their perspective they took a car in p/ex that turns out to have a fault. They tried to fix it. When their efforts failed they offered to get it fixed by the main dealer and to provide a courtesy car for the duration. When that offer was rejected they refunded the customer's money and cancelled the deal. What else would you want them to do?
 

plum60

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A lot of German manufacturing companies are family owned, they invest, plan and think long term unlike in the UK where the shareholders dividend is the top priority :)
To add I think the attitude of uk people to people that work in manufacturing or say factories is spectacularly low. It was often said if you don't do well at school you could end up working in a factory! Attitudes towards people that work in industry or get dirty whilst working is sooo bad in the UK. Maybe people work together more in Germany, both managers and workers- sounds like a fantasy to us here doesn't it?
 

plum60

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We have a society in which just about ALL have a right to exercise (legal) individual freedoms irrespective of education, competence, etc. We also seek to protect (rightly) those who are judged unable to make rational balanced decisions- mainly the young.

Yet many adults are incapable of exercising judgement or behaving responsibly - alternatives:
  • ensure that rights are earned only through demonstrating competence - exams etc.
  • extensive additional legislation ensuring those enabling freedoms do so responsibly
  • continue much as now - legislation covering gross abuses, personal responsibility for ones own actions and behaviour.
The first, however rational, would not sit comfortably with civil rights and personal freedom lobbies.
The second requires the implausible goal of legislating for every possible abuse in a society where pursuit of blame, often for financial gain, means legislation will never cover all contingencies.

The third is a balance between personal responsibility and corporate/government abuse. If folk want personal freedom, they need to take some responsibility in its exercise.
It's true to say people need some protection. If you sell to the general public you soon realise how easy it is to diddle them because many are totally clueless especially because most of them do admin type jobs and have no knowledge about practical things at all. They are unable to make informed decisions full stop. I also know that these people don't bother with laws, claims, consumer rights and such like because they are often struggling one way or another. Many don't vote now either or bother to return planning applications from neighbours. There is no will left in them to deal with the admin around faulty goods or give accurate feedback. They are the end user that is opting out and not really participating more and more in this and other topics discussed. I think that's honest.
 

Fergie 307

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For that to be true the dealer would have had to know about the fault. They may have done but I think it more likely that the previous owner of the car never told them about it. More likely they had the same fix done elsewhere then took the car to this dealer without mentioning the fault. The dealer would have had to drive it around for a few days for the fault to show itself, and few dealers do that with trade-ins.

I would not want that car but I would be inclined to give the dealer the benefit of the doubt. Looking at it from their perspective they took a car in p/ex that turns out to have a fault. They tried to fix it. When their efforts failed they offered to get it fixed by the main dealer and to provide a courtesy car for the duration. When that offer was rejected they refunded the customer's money and cancelled the deal. What else would you want them to do?
As you say the likelihood is that they were had over by the person who brought it in as a part exchange, and may not have realised. In that case you have to have some sympathy for them. The lady had just got to the point where she no longer felt safe in the car, it having cut out on one occasion on a busy roundabout where she was lucky not to have had an accident. I have just seen so much bad practice by car dealers over the years that it's hard not to be cynical. I think the best bet is to go to a well established place with a good reputation, which they have a strong incentive to maintain. Personal recommendations are always a good starting point.
 
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