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Yet Another "Garage Ripped Me Off" Dilemma

Discussion in 'Serious' started by boiled_elephant, 8 Oct 2019.

  1. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Whitelist Bit-Tech in your adblock!

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    Quick one, guys, if anyone knows.

    I recently booked my car in for a timing chain replacement, quoted at £250-450. On the day it was to be dropped off, it also developed an oil leak and a warning light. I mentioned this to them. I had no contact all day, and at the end of the day they told me the timing chain job was £575 because more parts had needed replacing, and the oil leak was a big job (crankshaft seal) that they hadn't done but which will need doing soon and will cost several hundred as well.

    The dilemma: is not contacting me first about the oil leak a misleading omission as described by the CPR 2008 (given that the vehicle was purchased from them 8 months ago for £1200 and is worth no more than that, and I would not have agreed to any of the work if I'd known the total projected costs, as I feel they should have clearly known)? Do I have to pay for this job given that omission? (And even if I don't, do you think morally I ought to pay for it?)

    And secondly, if I do, is the telephone quote of £250-450 binding or do I have to pay them £575?
     
  2. Shirty

    Shirty Time travelling rogue Super Moderator

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    I don't know where you stand legally, but whenever I take a car in I'm insistent on getting a quote for the work done. Then, if either the job ends up requiring more parts/labour than quoted, or another issue is discovered I am to be contacted before any further work takes place.

    The hard part for garages is that they often have to take everything apart to find the root of a problem.
     
  3. GeorgeStorm

    GeorgeStorm Aggressive PC Builder

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    I mean I wouldn't think the 'quote' is legally binding, but the fact they did significant extra work to the car without calling to confirm is a big no-no in my opinion.
    Last time I took the car in because of a warning light, they rang to say it was x and would cost y, I went away and had a cry, then came back and said sure because it was easiest haha. They also topped up some oil without telling me in advance, but that was less than £10 and needed doing so I didn't mind.

    Whilst I don't know what you can do about this time, I know you can avoid them moving forward :)
     
  4. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Whitelist Bit-Tech in your adblock!

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    The root of their argument in defense of the extra repairs is "we already had it apart and the parts needed replacing, and it's costing us all the time it's on the ramp", which I can sympathize with in itself but legally it's absolutely not my problem. My feeling is that if there was a reasonable possibility of those other parts going, they should've known (again, their vehicle, 8 months ago) and factored that into the quote.

    I just spoke to Which? Legal, and apparently CRA 2015 means that this may all fall under 'satisfactory quality of goods' from when I bought it - after 6 months the burden of proof shifts to me, but they said that if the extras were parts that a garage would reasonably know were on their way out when the vehicle was sold, I may not be liable for the cost of fixing them at all. The tricky part will be proving that - apparently getting the word of other garages on this is the way to do it.
     
  5. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    Bingo. Bring the car (AND any parts that were removed for replacement, asking the current garage for those is usually a good habit anyway) to an independent mechanic, and get their opinion. If their opinion is that the failure should have been known at the time of sale, and/or that the 'other parts' that were replaced with the timing chain (maybe chain tensioners or guides) would have been reasonably expected to fail at a similar time to the cam chain, then get that in writing and bring it to the dealer.
     
  6. GeorgeStorm

    GeorgeStorm Aggressive PC Builder

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    Did they try to contact you? I feel their argument is stronger if they tried to contact you to check vs they didn't even try they just did it.

    But yeah getting another opinion sounds like a reasonable course of action.
     
  7. Shirty

    Shirty Time travelling rogue Super Moderator

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    The problem with second opinions is that they are very rarely free...
     
  8. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Whitelist Bit-Tech in your adblock!

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    They allege that they tried to call me but couldn't get through. This is rather odd because I have two phone lines, both were working that day (customers called, none were on for ages), both have answer machines, no messages left.

    Other garages seem to think the prices they're talking about are reasonable. They also confirm, though, that one could easily diagnose the crankshaft oil seal leak without starting any work. So they either didn't bother to look first, or they saw it and carried on with the work without checking with me. Or they tried to call but only tried once and didn't leave a message (which to me is as good as not bothering).

    I'm having trouble getting an opinion on whether this sort of thing would've been likely to be pre-existing when I bought the vehicle - I've taken it from 44k miles to 50k, which is a rather critical service interval. So while the garage should in good conscience have told me that big service stages were on the horizon when they sold it, they might not be legally in the wrong. If the parts were fine when I bought it and I put the wear and tear on them, I think it's legally my cost to bear.

    Still waiting on one more expert opinion, soon as I can get hold of him.
     
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