In July 2012, I bought a car (BMW 335d) from Dorset Jaguar & Sports Cars.
I naturally tried to haggle on the listed price, but was assured that it was in immaculate condition, so wouldn’t budge.
Based on their assertions I bought the car, paid the deposit and arranged to collect the car the following week.
I collected the car on Friday, 20th July.
A few days later, while driving home from work in my new car, the tyre pressure monitor said I had a flat tyre.
I took the car to a tyre garage the following morning, who pointed out that the wheel had cracked in several places.
It had also been repaired (clearly visible by the welds!)
So I called the garage I bought the car from.
I spoke to Jason, the salesman who sold me the car.
Initially he was very helpful, asking me to email photo of wheel, so he could replace.
Sent me an email back saying “I am sourcing a wheel for you”
I carried on my day, and chased up later what was happening.
He told me that his boss (Paul Wynter) would not authorise the replacement wheel, as I had obviously gone over a pothole to cause the damage.
I asked to speak with him, but was told he was unavailable (yet was available to tell the sales manager not to replace my wheel…)
I said this wasn’t true, and under the sale of goods act he had a responsibility to put things right.
Dorset Sports Cars then requested me to return the wheel, so it could be repaired!
There was no way I was willing to have a cracked alloy (that had cracked several times) repaired, so declined, and insisted they replace it.
Also, this would of been very inconvenient – Since I’m self employed, I rely on the car to get to / from work etc…
They refused to budge, so I contacted VOSA – who were interested to re-inspect the car, as it had been MOT’d the day before I collected it.
VOSA re-inspected the car, finding no other faults, but expressed concern about the wheel.
Still, Dorset Sports Cars refused to replace the wheel.
So, I filed a claim through the small claims court against them.
They defended this, with paper thin claims of potholes etc… (as you would expect)
During the process, they took as long as possible with everything, in order to hold up proceedings:
They didn’t reply to my Letter Before Action, even though I gave them 14 days (instead of the suggested 7)
They agreed to mediation, which ‘stayed’ the case for 6 weeks, but then never contacted the court mediation service to arrange a date.
Dorset Sports Cars were supposed to send me the details / evidence they were going to be relying on, but never did.
Fortunately, I had documentary evidence that my evidence had been sent to (and received by) them.
At the hearing, they showed up (which I was surprised at, given their conduct throughout the process)
The judge found in my favour, on the strength of my evidence presented.
Paul Wynter complained that it wasn’t ‘conclusive’ to which the judge reminded him that it didn’t have to be ‘conclusive’ it just had to be whichever the judge thought more likely.
Dorset Sports Cars were issued with a CCJ for a total of around £1100, and were given 14 days to pay.
They said they wanted to appeal the decision.
The judge denied them permission to do so.
Naturally, they didn’t pay on time, but just as I was arranging enforcement of the order (and had emailed them to let them know this would be happening) a cheque turned up for the full amount!
Overall, I’m very happy that justice was done.