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Selfy trader

Refunding a customer

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Hi guys, new to trading, started in January and mostly been loving it, however, in April I made the questionable decision to retail a 1.2 3 cylinder polo, despite the car having 67,000 Miles, 2 owners and full Vw and Specialist History this car has been a headache, sold to the customer a few days after it was listed on the market and about a week later the EML made an appearance, scanned and replaced both Lambda sensors at our garage under our warranty, light went out and returned a few days later, pushy customer demanded his Vw Specialist look at the issue or he’d like his money back, so I allowed his specialist to look at it, and diagnosed it as an ECU fault, every thing his mechanic said I paid out for because that’s what the customer requested, the car has been fine since July but today I got the dreaded text, the EML has returned and customer has ‘decided we cannot have these issues anymore’ and has demanded a refund, customer has had the car since late April, what would be your experienced plan of action?

Many thanks Tom

Edited by Selfy trader

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6 minutes ago, Selfy trader said:

what would be your experienced plan of action?

Dear customer, 

I was surprised to be contacted by you regarding the new issue on the VW Polo after we rectified everything your specialist previously noted and at great cost to us which exceeded the limit of our warranty cover. This new issue was clearly not present at the point of sale (otherwise the specialist would've picked it up when he last worked on the vehicle) so may I suggest you get in touch directly with them as issues not present at the point of sale and not covered by extended warranty fall outside the realm of our responsibilities as a supplier of used vehicles. 

May I take this opportunity to thank you once again for your purchase and for your business. 

Best wishes. 

Selfy trader

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Wow that’s pretty water tight, I’d really like to avoid court proceedings, the customer is an absolute nightmare, if worst case I have to give a refund, what is reasonable deduction after 5 months of owner ship? 

Thankyou so so much

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3 minutes ago, Selfy trader said:

if worst case I have to give a refund, what is reasonable deduction after 5 months of owner ship? 

Don't even think about it. 

Just send them the letter, recorded delivery by post. 

They might threaten with court but chances are they will not actually do anything. 

22 minutes ago, Selfy trader said:

I got the dreaded text, the EML has returned

I will correct you here as well. A new EML has appeared, not The EML has "returned". It couldn't return with the same issue if "their" specialist charged you to fix it and IF it is the same issue it is now down that specialist that got paid by you to sort it out.

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The long and short of it, was his daughter bought car without him, they didn’t have a pot to p*** in and every issue was down to me (quite rightly) and have rectified everything the VW specialist suggested it was, I even let the specialist supply the recon ECU to further cover myself, customer requested I extend the 3 months warranty on 19th of July which I was happy to do (pretty sure you have to give 6 anyway) and now he’s asking for the refund, does any of the above effect me? As said in first post, I am relatively new to this, trading alongside my friend and I myself am only 22, trying to do right by myself and customers but don’t want to be taken for a fool 

really do appreciate this solid advice!

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1 minute ago, Selfy trader said:

Wow that’s pretty water tight, I’d really like to avoid court proceedings, the customer is an absolute nightmare, if worst case I have to give a refund, what is reasonable deduction after 5 months of owner ship? 

Thankyou so so much

45p per mile. That’s what HMRC use so by using this you can demonstrate some logic. That’s of course if you chose to refund him. It depends entirely on your enthusiasm for a fight.

How many miles on the car at point of sale? How many now? How many since the fix in July? How much did he pay for the car?  

VW’s will throw a code for anything, change in temperature, when the wind blows in a different direction, when the owner sleeps in a certain position etc. 

If you have the stomach for it and don’t want to refund, write to him stating that under the CRA he is entitled to a repair not a refund. The previous issues regarding the EML were fixed to his satisfaction and this latest EML is unlikely to be linked to the previous issues. In order for you to offer a repair you will need him to have the car diagnosed at his cost and send the report to you in writing only. If it emerged that the fault is consequence of wear and tear them under the CRA you are not liable to fix the issue. If it emerges it is not down to wear and tear (seems unlikely that you couldn’t pin this on wear and tear) then you will carry out a repair using reconditioned parts or used parts as is your right to do so. Under no circumstances will you be offering a refund as you are not legally obliged to do so. 

I’d personally make no reference to a warranty whatsoever as it’s irrelevant if you intend to fight fire with fire. 

 

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4 minutes ago, Selfy trader said:

Wow that’s pretty water tight, I’d really like to avoid court proceedings, the customer is an absolute nightmare, if worst case I have to give a refund, what is reasonable deduction after 5 months of owner ship? 

Thankyou so so much

5 months use...He has probably done several thousand miles.Try offering a full  refund less the HMRC mileage allowance 40p per mile ( should be 45p I think) offer expires after 5 days.Then when you get it back have a go at his VW specialist.

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4 minutes ago, Selfy trader said:

The long and short of it, was his daughter bought car without him, they didn’t have a pot to p*** in and every issue was down to me (quite rightly) and have rectified everything the VW specialist suggested it was, I even let the specialist supply the recon ECU to further cover myself, customer requested I extend the 3 months warranty on 19th of July which I was happy to do (pretty sure you have to give 6 anyway) and now he’s asking for the refund, does any of the above effect me? As said in first post, I am relatively new to this, trading alongside my friend and I myself am only 22, trying to do right by myself and customers but don’t want to be taken for a fool 

really do appreciate this solid advice!

Look mate this all depends on what you want to do. 

Do you want a quiet life? Do you want to fight it and win in court? Do you want to try and reason with the bloke?

What do you want to do?

If it’s a quiet life, find out what the current mileage is, deduct the point of sale mileage, multiply by 45p, offer him a refund and deduct the above and refuse anything else. That will cover you legally should he take you to court. 

If you want to push back and see it through to the bitter end we need more facts. Mileage at point of sale, did you PDI, how much did he pay for the car, how many miles does it have now. 

Put the warranty aside for now, it means nothing when it’s either refund or fight fire with fire. 

You don’t have to give a warranty. 6 months or 6 seconds. 

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Explain you’re happy to resolve this new issue by having it back and fixing as per your legal requirements unde CRA2015 

or

You could offer the option of a refund minus 0.40p per mile, they’ve probs done 2-4,000 miles so that’ll reduce their refund by £800-£1600 - enough to give you some monies to fix it and put this nightmare customer behind you.

Edit: the fault wasn’t present at point of sale so your offer of a refund probably isn’t your legal obligation anyway 

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The first thing that needs to happen has to be a simple code read. It may be completely unrelated to the last repair and a fresh fault. 

If it’s a fresh fault pie them off. 

If it’s the same fault as last time, wedge the ECU up the mechanics arse and refund the customer less mileage, and check the car over for damage etc... 

 

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Thanks guys, the car was a 57/07 with 67,000 Miles on the clock, I’m unsure how many are on it now, I will try to find out the current mileage, this is very useful to know, another thing, I haven’t really got the money to refund him, all of my money (as I’m sure you are similar) goes right back into stock, haven’t had a single issue like this before, any minor issues are happily resolved by myself with a reasonable customer, this is just a tad stressful and I’m walking in unknown territory 

 

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Just now, Selfy trader said:

Thanks guys, the car was a 57/07 with 67,000 Miles on the clock, I’m unsure how many are on it now, I will try to find out the current mileage, this is very useful to know, another thing, I haven’t really got the money to refund him, all of my money (as I’m sure you are similar) goes right back into stock, haven’t had a single issue like this before, any minor issues are happily resolved by myself with a reasonable customer, this is just a tad stressful and I’m walking in unknown territory 

 

As my post above. We need facts and answers to the questions I asked. Or else it’s just speculation on our part. 

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Probably sounds like a skeleton having a wank in a dustbin now because the owner hasn't kept their eye on the oil level and the chain's jumped a tooth

Suggest you go look at the car non committal check the level and quality of oil look how many miles since purchase make a decision on what action you will take if any and keep to it

Or take the car away and put a Tom thumb on the second lambda if chain quiet

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4 minutes ago, EPV said:

Look mate this all depends on what you want to do. 

Do you want a quiet life? Do you want to fight it and win in court? Do you want to try and reason with the bloke?

What do you want to do?

If it’s a quiet life, find out what the current mileage is, deduct the point of sale mileage, multiply by 45p, offer him a refund and deduct the above and refuse anything else. That will cover you legally should he take you to court. 

If you want to push back and see it through to the bitter end we need more facts. Mileage at point of sale, did you PDI, how much did he pay for the car, how many miles does it have now. 

Put the warranty aside for now, it means nothing when it’s either refund or fight fire with fire. 

You don’t have to give a warranty. 6 months or 6 seconds. 

Miles at point of sale were 67,2xx

price was £2395 ‘knocked me £100’

yes PDI was done, car was absolutely fine, I had it serviced, mot’d and they all have a checkover regardless of wether we service or MOT them pre-sale and had driven it several miles as I do with all cars to check they are in a suitable condition for sale, il have to get the mileage off of the customer tomorrow but can imagine it has done a few thousand since purchase

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28 minutes ago, Nick M.K. said:

Dear customer, 

I was surprised to be contacted by you regarding the new issue on the VW Polo after we rectified everything your specialist previously noted and at great cost to us which exceeded the limit of our warranty cover. This new issue was clearly not present at the point of sale (otherwise the specialist would've picked it up when he last worked on the vehicle) so may I suggest you get in touch directly with them as issues not present at the point of sale and not covered by extended warranty fall outside the realm of our responsibilities as a supplier of used vehicles. 

May I take this opportunity to thank you once again for your purchase and for your business. 

Best wishes. 

Selfy trader

This.

I had a similar issue, fixed the original fault 2 months into ownership, 6 months later the customer got back in touch to claim the same fault had occured after 6000 miles! 

I posted on the AT forum for advice and Nick here gave me the confidence to stand my ground and refuse to give in for a refund. 

Never heard from the customer again after that email. Thanks Nick! :)

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3 minutes ago, Row said:

Take Nicks good advice and put it to bed.

As much as I like his letter I think that the bad customer feeling would continue so I stand by my advice

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45 minutes ago, Nick M.K. said:

Dear customer, 

I was surprised to be contacted by you regarding the new issue on the VW Polo after we rectified everything your specialist previously noted and at great cost to us which exceeded the limit of our warranty cover. This new issue was clearly not present at the point of sale (otherwise the specialist would've picked it up when he last worked on the vehicle) so may I suggest you get in touch directly with them as issues not present at the point of sale and not covered by extended warranty fall outside the realm of our responsibilities as a supplier of used vehicles. 

May I take this opportunity to thank you once again for your purchase and for your business. 

Best wishes. 

Selfy trader

Nik, Ive always loved your letters...Perfectly toned.... 

48 minutes ago, Nick M.K. said:

Dear customer, 

Issues not present at the point of sale and not covered by extended warranty fall outside the realm of our responsibilities as a supplier of used vehicles. 

May I take this opportunity to thank you once again for your purchase and for your business. 

Best wishes. 

Selfy trader

LOVE THIS..

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10 minutes ago, boring dave said:

As much as I like his letter I think that the bad customer feeling would continue so I stand by my advice

I expect the OP isn’t a mechanic like most of us and anyway, judging by how the punters behaved he’s not likely to accept the OP turning up to have an unqualified look?

Besides, the OP has plenty going for him here, he doesn’t need to have a look he just needs to write a polite fuck off letter. The punter can continue feeling as bad as he likes. 

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36 minutes ago, Selfy trader said:

The long and short of it, was his daughter bought car without him, they didn’t have a pot to p*** in and every issue was down to me (quite rightly) and have rectified everything the VW specialist suggested it was, I even let the specialist supply the recon ECU to further cover myself, customer requested I extend the 3 months warranty on 19th of July which I was happy to do (pretty sure you have to give 6 anyway) and now he’s asking for the refund, does any of the above effect me? As said in first post, I am relatively new to this, trading alongside my friend and I myself am only 22, trying to do right by myself and customers but don’t want to be taken for a fool 

really do appreciate this solid advice!

If you give an inch they will take a mile. Don't give ever an inch.

43 minutes ago, Nick M.K. said:

 

I will correct you here as well. A new EML has appeared, not The EML has "returned". It couldn't return with the same issue if "their" specialist charged you to fix it and IF it is the same issue it is now down that specialist that got paid by you to sort it out.

LIKE LIKE.

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5 minutes ago, Arfur Dealy said:

If you give an inch they will take a mile. Don't give ever an inch.

LIKE LIKE.

 

7 minutes ago, EPV said:

I expect the OP isn’t a mechanic like most of us and anyway, judging by how the punters behaved he’s not likely to accept the OP turning up to have an unqualified look?

Besides, the OP has plenty going for him here, he doesn’t need to have a look he just needs to write a polite fuck off letter. The punter can continue feeling as bad as he likes. 

Do you feel I’ve been more than fair over what is quite a cheap car? I mean we all have to swallow that cars go wrong but I’ve jumped through his hoops that he’s laid out and now his strategy hasn’t paid dividends he’s throwing the issue back at me

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2 minutes ago, Arfur Dealy said:

If you give an inch they will take a mile. Don't give ever an inch.

I agree with this. 

My advice is, construct a well written text/letter and send it to him. Make sure you get everything across and don’t contact him again. Don’t get involved in a back and forth conversation. If he wants to go to court let him do it. 

A similar thing happened to me a couple years back and I went to court (not saying this will happen here), but there are so many things I’d change if it happened again. I wouldn’t get involved in talking to him as this will just bring you down massively and waste loads of time. 

 

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26 minutes ago, Selfy trader said:

Miles at point of sale were 67,2xx

price was £2395 ‘knocked me £100’

yes PDI was done, car was absolutely fine, I had it serviced, mot’d and they all have a checkover regardless of wether we service or MOT them pre-sale and had driven it several miles as I do with all cars to check they are in a suitable condition for sale, il have to get the mileage off of the customer tomorrow but can imagine it has done a few thousand since purchase

You have nothing to worry about here mate, you seem to do the job properly and want to do the right thing by the car and customer and you’re looking for a bit of comfort and a good nights sleep and I think I can confidently say you’re in a strong position, you don’t have to refund him and Nik’s letter is all you need to say. You probably won’t hear from him again. Send the letter and get on with your life and forget it. 

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22 minutes ago, boring dave said:

As much as I like his letter I think that the bad customer feeling would continue so I stand by my advice

Bollocks, cut is dead and stop the billy from taking advantage

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8 minutes ago, EPV said:

I expect the OP isn’t a mechanic like most of us and anyway, judging by how the punters behaved he’s not likely to accept the OP turning up to have an unqualified look?

Besides, the OP has plenty going for him here, he doesn’t need to have a look he just needs to write a polite fuck off letter. The punter can continue feeling as bad as he likes. 

hi

reading the original post and what was done i see that the trader was over helpful

the customer sees this as a sign of weakness

this is why they are pushing now

if the OP sends that letter i bet on the 2.30 at kempton tomorrow he will get a lba

the customer has nothing to lose but £98 

this is why i suggest the seller uses all due diligence by going through all the motions and writing it all down times dates conversations

he then has a much better chance if it goes to court

think about it

so mr dealer this car had the same problem recurring since the day they bought it

remember an orange light is just an orange light to somebody not conversant 

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