A garage won't give me my money back.

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charliepinto
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A garage won't give me my money back.

Postby charliepinto » Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:42 pm

Hi,

I hope this is the right place to post this. So about 6 months ago my car needed extensive work. Not the Capri. The car needed about 3-3.5k spending on it. This was the cheapest quote I got. The build required £1,800 worth of parts. So they said to take on the job they would need a down payment of 2,000 to give them a bit of money to start labour wise. We had used them many times before hence the trust to give this kind of money. Anyway, thee months later no work had been done. They said they were waiting for parts and that they were slowly coming in but as many had to be custom made they were taking ages. Suddenly when I said c'mon its been three months I need my money back now they said the panels had arrived, I never saw them though. I was fairly certain they hadn't ordered anything and my money had just been sunk into their business. But I said no its too late, I need the money back. As I was sure I was just being messed around. So they said fine but it would take time as they couldn't get refunds on lots of parts and they needed to wait until they had more money in until they could pay me back. So another month or two went by of me asking every few days. Eventually they flipped out at me and said it was all my fault and that they had no obligation to give me any money back as technically they fulfilled their end of the deal if they hand me over the parts? He said if we dumped all the parts outside my unit then they're in the clear, bar the 200 quid of labour. Is that true? I dint pay for a lump of parts I paid for a job to be done. Anyway I threatened court and I was met with the same response but then I got a call and they gave me 1,700 back. Month and a half later I haven't seen the other 300. What can I do to get that money? Is the ridiculous stamens that they're in the clear by giving me the parts true?

Thanks all

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Lcnlee
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Re: A garage won't give me my money back.

Postby Lcnlee » Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:55 pm

Are they part of any good garage scheme or approved garage of some sort. I would contact any company that they might be governed by I have a friend that owns a garage and I know the organisation's he deals with wouldn't be happy about this sort of thing.
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Re: A garage won't give me my money back.

Postby Caprigear » Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:02 pm

If the good garage scheme is anything like Trust a Trader then they'll allow anyone on there, doesn't mean they're any good.
I don't think the forum is the correct place for this kind of thing, yes, you'll get all kind of answers but there's only your side of things to base any answers on so they'll probably be incorrect - unless any member is a solicitor.
Your best course of action would be to get proper legal advice, yes, it will cost you but at least you would know if you have a case or not.
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Re: A garage won't give me my money back.

Postby Peter-S » Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:40 pm

This is probably not what you want to hear:

Your initial cheapest option is probably go to Citizens Advice and they may confirm that you have a case for recovering the money. I suspect though that as there is nothing in writing they will say its your word against the garage.
You could go to the small claims court but there is a fee to process the claim. If you win there is still no guarantee that you will get paid. If the garage is that bad they will just ignore the decision,
You could speak to a solicitor but there will be a undoubtedly be a fee for them to write a letter. Some solicitors will offer a no win no fee service to recover debts but they might not take it on without any 'real' evidence of what was agreed between you and the garage.
From what you say about them the garage will probably ignore any approach to deal with this in the knowledge that the debt is relatively small and can't be proved.
My feeling is that to chase this debt you will end up more out of pocket than you already are. Pay a solicitor for a single letter if you can perhaps but if it doesn't work then walk away and make sure that anything in future is in writing.
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Jasonmarie
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Re: A garage won't give me my money back.

Postby Jasonmarie » Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:34 pm

Sorry I agree with all , I would say that the garage is in real problems so getting £1700 back was lucky . I have read many articles in classic car magazines where the same thing has happened .
Take the loss and right it off as the biggest thieves are the solicitors one letter will cost you £300 .

Best of luck :beer:
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Re: A garage won't give me my money back.

Postby timfromull » Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:30 am

If you've had 1700 back, take it on the chin.....
I remember a lad on Car Sausage was taken for 5k by a Moggy restorer....... allegedly :deadhorse:

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pbar
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Re: A garage won't give me my money back.

Postby pbar » Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:38 am

You did very well to get the £1700 back, well done.

How about asking them for some of the parts back, in place of the £300. I know it's not ideal but they may be more willing, (assuming they did actually order them), and you can re-sell them and draw a line under this.

I will never pay up front for any work now I'm afraid, just too risky. Perhaps a small deposit to secure a sale, but nothing else.

Had a glazing company do some windows once, he asked for 50% up front so he can order the materials. Although he had done work previously, it was still goodbye. I mean, what if the stuff had come in and been incorrect, what then?

I'll pay when it's done, thanks, or, for larger jobs, stage payments.

I have found that some people are all over you before a job, helpful, friendly, positive, but as soon as they have the money then the willingness just drops away. But then it would I guess, they have nothing to strive for.

The best of luck it getting your remaining money back. £300 is a lot of money, plenty of people have to work 40 hours or so to get that.

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Re: A garage won't give me my money back.

Postby fordperv » Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:43 pm

So do the parts exist? Realistically if they do you will need them, have some of them off the garage, reflecting what others have said the legal route may cost you more to get back a small amount

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Re: A garage won't give me my money back.

Postby andyd » Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:24 pm

pbar wrote:You did very well to get the £1700 back, well done.

How about asking them for some of the parts back, in place of the £300. I know it's not ideal but they may be more willing, (assuming they did actually order them), and you can re-sell them and draw a line under this.

I will never pay up front for any work now I'm afraid, just too risky. Perhaps a small deposit to secure a sale, but nothing else.

Had a glazing company do some windows once, he asked for 50% up front so he can order the materials. Although he had done work previously, it was still goodbye. I mean, what if the stuff had come in and been incorrect, what then?

I'll pay when it's done, thanks, or, for larger jobs, stage payments.

I have found that some people are all over you before a job, helpful, friendly, positive, but as soon as they have the money then the willingness just drops away. But then it would I guess, they have nothing to strive for.

The best of luck it getting your remaining money back. £300 is a lot of money, plenty of people have to work 40 hours or so to get that.

:agree: and you have most of your money back :)
Never pay upfront or if so get a receipt!

:goodluck:

Daz-RSK
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Re: A garage won't give me my money back.

Postby Daz-RSK » Wed Nov 28, 2018 7:07 pm

Hi chap - this post isn't to throw spanners at you or to knock an obviously very frustrating situation for you, but I do have a few observations. Maybe you didn't post in the detail as there is a lot of detail here.

You need to pursue this professionally is my advice, if you still feel that £300 is worth chasing. Some here have said you'll pay that in fees, so it might be best written of.

OK, let's have a look - I have to pull this into sections because there is a lot here.

charliepinto wrote:I hope this is the right place to post this. So about 6 months ago my car needed extensive work. Not the Capri. The car needed about 3-3.5k spending on it. This was the cheapest quote I got. The build required £1,800 worth of parts. So they said to take on the job they would need a down payment of 2,000 to give them a bit of money to start labour wise. We had used them many times before hence the trust to give this kind of money. Anyway, thee months later no work had been done.



So did you agree a time expectancy with them ? Not exact, to the hour, but it would take this long if all goes well or this long if we hit a few delays / snags ?

I see this so often. You can't pin a garage down to the exact day. That would totally unfair. But what you would expect is this "It will take between this length of time and this length of time". Was that found out and how were you going to be advised of the snags if they came across any ?

I tend to use the "garage told me this length of time so I double it" trick. That provides enough leaway for stuff going wrong / other quick jobs getting in the way / holidays / absence / delays in items arriving / things breaking etc.

The thing I always try to respect is that when I am asking someone to do work for me on a motor, I am not their only customer. If it is a reasonable size project, other customers come in and ask if the garage could quickly do this job, only take an hour. To keep those ticking over customers happy, the job on the big project is interrupted. That's where the delays occur.

Just to show you indicatively from my experience - I recently had my Subaru engine rebuilt and the engine builder kept me up to speed each week. I would contact him or he contact me. In fact, my motor was delayed in getting on the ramp, to start. He said the build would take, with other work about, 5/6 weeks and took 9 weeks. But it was all very pleasant as we knew where we each stood all of the way.


charliepinto wrote:Anyway, thee months later no work had been done. They said they were waiting for parts and that they were slowly coming in but as many had to be custom made they were taking ages.


Custom made ? So they are relying on parts being manufactured ?

I don't want to paint a rosey picture of this garage that you have been involved with - but if stuff is custom made, surely then there are time delays as there is nothing on the shelf.

charliepinto wrote:
Suddenly when I said c'mon its been three months I need my money back now they said the panels had arrived, I never saw them though. I was fairly certain they hadn't ordered anything and my money had just been sunk into their business. But I said no its too late, I need the money back. As I was sure I was just being messed around.


Had your frustration got the better of you or was there more detail than this ? So you didn't believe the parts had arrived, the car had been sat there 3 months and first contact you had with them is that you want your car and money back ? I think there must be more to this ?

You must have had some correspondence / update within those 3 months, didn't you ?

charliepinto wrote:Eventually they flipped out at me and said it was all my fault and that they had no obligation to give me any money back as technically they fulfilled their end of the deal if they hand me over the parts? He said if we dumped all the parts outside my unit then they're in the clear, bar the 200 quid of labour. Is that true? I dint pay for a lump of parts I paid for a job to be done. Anyway I threatened court and I was met with the same response but then I got a call and they gave me 1,700 back. Month and a half later I haven't seen the other 300. What can I do to get that money? Is the ridiculous stamens that they're in the clear by giving me the parts true?



The issue is that as soon as you parted with some money for them, you have sort of entered a contract. Companies don't like change of mind because they are pregnant with stock that they don't need, for the customer's car. So turning the table - unless something catastrophic has gone wrong, you are sort of tied legally by contract. Otherwise the business is out of pocket, especially if stuff is made bespoke for the job and it cannot be returned.

However, there is a dispute and it does not matter what the size of the dispute is (in terms of what it is over - the disagreement). Clearly the whole business relationship has broken down.

There has to be trust on both sides and as someone said above, it would be enlightening to hear the trust failings from this company from their side. Businesses go bust from bad debt, non payers, people who said they want one thing and then transpire they didn't want that at all.

Please don't think I am knocking you or anyone in particular. This is not the object. All I am saying is that there is always 2 sides to the coin.

That's not to say your grievance is not real or that I am trying to undermine it. I am just seeing if there is any balance at all.

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Re: A garage won't give me my money back.

Postby atomic4 » Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:47 am

If you truly believe you’ve been messed about and this company has been truly unprofessional. Then name and shame is the way to go.
Keeps other forum members aware!

:goodluck: