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  1. #1
    DF PlaYa mrphil's Avatar
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    Default Car garage dispute

    Very long story short - took my car off public road using spare key (during garage opening times)


    Disputing work that was not authorised leaving me with a bill of £400+
    - car was booked in for diagnostics only.

    been going on for months now - found parts of car loose in engine bay where work was carried out so not happy to go back in to have my old parts put back on...

    anyway police are involved - I have all emails / recorded phone calls etc offering them money for parts only.

    police say it's borderline - and I need to print off all correspondence to garage so in the event he can put it to his supervisor as the garage was open - I took the car off public road - not even on there property and saying it could
    Be theft.... Email was sent prior to me collecting my car however garage say email is not active - ice
    not had any bounce back / postmaster


    Any advice on this situation?

  2. #2
    DF Jedi Zoots's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car garage dispute

    I Have to be honest with you. I can't make head nor tail out of most of that.

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    DF VIP Member Fear345's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car garage dispute

    Quote Originally Posted by Zoots View Post
    I Have to be honest with you. I can't make head nor tail out of most of that.
    Snap, it's like every other sentence is missing.

    Sent from my C6903 using Tapatalk
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  4. #4
    DF PlaYa mrphil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car garage dispute

    Trying to cut long story short lol

    basicallyi I took my car without paying, garage wouldn't accept a cheque under-protest

    they have rang police and trying to have me arrested and officer is basically saying it could be contruded as theft as I took the car during garage opening times...... Have the proof I've tried to resolve the matter

  5. #5
    DF Super Moderator
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    Default Re: Car garage dispute

    Tough one, but...

    Car has been worked on by a garage (poorly) without your express permission - you only wanted a quote for the work. If you haven't authorised any work to your vehicle, they are tampering with your property.
    You refuse to pay, take car without telling garage owner. Not theft, but it is a civil matter. Monies owed, etc.

    Police will only advise on the matter if it escalates to a criminal offence, they will only standby as peace keepers.
    Personally, I'd seek advice from the CAB and gather a case against them, threaten them with court for approving work on a vehicle they had no right to touch when you was only interested in an estimate (and never got one).
    Also, take the work they have done to a reputable garage and ask another mechanic to check the work and get a real quote to compare to.

    Tell the police you want the key to your vehicle returned and you will pursue them in civil court.

    Chances are the dodgy garage will realise they have more to lose than a shoddy job if it goes to court.
    Read up [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] and [Only registered and activated users can see links. ].

    This happens too often and usually it's an unsuspecting female that gets stung with high car repair costs and they pay just to keep out of the hassle. Sounds to me like they are trying it on with you now too.
    How long they have the car for?
    Last edited by DejaVu; 21st July 2014 at 11:58 PM.

    Thanks to DejaVu

    mrphil (22nd July 2014) 


  6. #6
    DF PlaYa mrphil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car garage dispute

    Thanks alot

    they had it for 3 days saying they had to wait until car was cold etc so had to be left over night etc

    they had the car for 3 days in the end

  7. #7
    DF Jedi blacksheep's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car garage dispute

    Theft needs dishonesty and intent to permanently deprive. They won't get you on that.

    Thanks to blacksheep

    mrphil (22nd July 2014) 


  8. #8
    DF PiMP Bobby Bouché's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car garage dispute

    Name and shame them mate !

  9. #9
    DF Jedi supraman54's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car garage dispute

    I believe the law involved is one where they hold "lien" on the car until you pay. However many other
    factors are involved so the CAB is the best place to start..

    I hope you soon get it sorted.. rogue traders!

    supe
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    Thanks to supraman54

    mrphil (22nd July 2014) 


  10. #10
    DF Super Moderator BertRoot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car garage dispute

    Some good advice here guys well done.

    Thanks to BertRoot

    supraman54 (22nd July 2014) 


  11. #11
    DF Jedi Zippeyrude's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car garage dispute

    Surely the garage have no right to hold on to the car until payment is made?

    If i take the car and payment is outstanding then this is a separate matter in my eyes.

    Theft would be when someone removes someone elses property - not your own?

    A matter of payment should be a civil matter.

    I'd be writing to them requesting the key back, and that unless they return it they are unlawfully holding on to your key and they must return it or it will be considered theft...

    As above CAB.

  12. #12
    DF PlaYa mrphil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car garage dispute

    thanks all, sorry about the first post, i was typing on my iphone as quick as i could without the other half knowing im getting some good advice, she says leave it to the police - typical,

    any how ive drafted this letter to be sent recorded delivery, the officer mentioned i should send some letter or something to chase up, but basically one of those, i didn't tell you that

    ive removed the names for obvious reasons - there already not happy i have the telephone calls recorded as i didnt say i was recording the conversations.





    WITHOUT PREDJUDICE

    RE: Vauxhall Astra Dispute
    I am writing to inform you that I have not heard anything back in relation to our on-going dispute; the last communication was on 4th July 2014, at 9:12am.
    I have since spoken with an officer from *** Police, who is informing me that you wish to hopefully pursue a criminal case against me, so firstly I would like to say before setting out points to this dispute, I own the said vehicle, it is insured, and owned by myself, the vehicle was parked on a public road, and no trespass had happened, I had phoned your garage twice prior to collecting and there was no answer, and then I had sent an email at 14:41pm on the 18th June 2014 stating vehicle has been collected , Theft needs dishonesty and or intent to permanently deprive, and I have made all necessary contact, whether by email, phone or letter, and can back these statements up to prove there has been no dishonesty or intent to permanently deprive.
    On to the points of dispute,
    · My vehicle was booked in for diagnostics and investigation in to why my car would not start when hot, I did not state at any point to carry out any work on my vehicle, I give no express permission what so ever, and you have tampered with my vehicle.

    · I had texted ***, on the Sunday night after finding his number, to let him know, that I have had the car looked at by an auto electrician, who pointed towards starter motor, and / or fuel pump, evidence provided in the text to *** that injectors where fine.

    · I feel ***, had impersonated or at least give the impression that he owns the garage, and then when I had a rude reply via text, he stated he is only a mechanic there, which then changed on a confrontation at my address where *** then says he’s the manager and soon to be joint owner.

    · When speaking with numerous people on the 3 days my car was in the garage, on these occasions I was first told what I know that it doesn’t start, and the battery will be left on charge overnight, on the second day, was told it starts off a battery pack, and that you was going to leave it on trickle charge, I was then told to phone back on the Wednesday so they can see how it is after further diagnosing.

    · Upon collection of the car, there was a bill of £409 give or take a few pound, and that the cam shaft sensor, battery and the starter motor had been changed, which I had NOT authorised to be carried out, or any part to be removed from my vehicle, a cheque was offered to be paid under protest when I spoke with someone at approximately 5-5.30pm on the 18th June 2014. This was refused, cash or card only.

    · ***, Has come on a ‘test drive’ with his brother, trying to locate me, and then *** come back on another day after he had found out my address and we had a confrontation, this is harassment, and I request that any person or relation to stay away, from myself, my family, my property and my vehicle, otherwise I will have a harassment order set in place. I’m disgusted that a customer’s car can be used for this purpose.

    · Since work has been carried out on my vehicle, there has been numerous issues, as the car is ex-police, it has a sump / under engine guard, which was rattling, and I was told by ***, that this is probably just a heat shield on the exhaust and nothing that the garage has done, yet I took it to a local reputable tyre garage, who found the bolts where finger loose, and confirmed this guard would need to be removed to get to the starter motor, there was also an over boost issue since the work was carried out, which the vacuum solenoid on the back of the engine, again around the area of the starter motor had been disturbed and one of the pipes had been pulled not creating a seal and allowing suction correctly.

    · *** eventually confirmed on the phone, after I put this to him, that 2 people might have worked on the car, putting it back together and that maybe something was missed, I have a voice recording of this conversation

    · ***, on the night of the confrontation, agreed with myself, that due to all this inconvenience and trouble this is causing, he would wipe the labour / diagnostics, and only charge for the parts, and would find out on the Monday, off the invoice how much the parts where, and that he would not charge any mark-up (10/20%) price on these parts and only the trade price is what I would pay. Which he stated the parts where from George Fords, who seized training a few years ago, eventually it came out that the suppliers where GMF.

    · Again on the night of the confrontation, I mentioned to ***, that the starter motor did not sound right, as if it was over starting, he laughed at me, and said were the only garage that fixed the car, and there was nothing wrong with it, 3 independent garages have stated, the bushes, or the dog? Is not working how it should, and that they would not have let the vehicle leave their garage how it was, *** offered for me to bring the vehicle back to get the starter motor replaced, and this would not be of any extra cost, and still only wanted the parts cost which was around £170 trade.

    · I do not trust your garage, you have left parts loose, or damaged, regardless of the offer of putting my old parts back on, I still do not trust your garage to carry out the work, nor do I now want any parts since it has been over 6 weeks, and I have no knowledge or proof that those parts come of my vehicle regardless of any opinion.

    · On the 4th July 2014, at 9.03am, I spoke with ***, and asked for my key back, and for him to collect an £87.04 outstanding bill for the camshaft sensor, and the battery that was changed, and that the starter motor we had discussed previously, that its faulty, needless to say no contact was made or has been made, I’m not trusting your garage to carry out any further work, regardless of a new starter motor or my old one put back on, from the start I never requested any of this work be carried out.
    I feel the price for the labour, is very high, and the parts are very high priced after getting quotes from 5 of the leading motor factors, I had a majority of the diagnostics done, by a friend who is an auto electrician, and I had made clear in text to ***, where you should be investigating, But you have tried to get one over on me, and then trying to charge me approximately £230 for labour and diagnostics, I think it’s disgusting, and I was told that I’m being charged 3 hours labour and diagnostics, but that you had spent a lot longer on the vehicle, yet instructions where to diagnose the fault, and that I had diagnostics done and were this was pointing (starter motor or fuel pump) so that works out at £76 odd an hour, and most local garages only charge between £30-45 and hour.
    The damage is done now, I want no more from your garage, my vehicle will not be coming back in to your garage for any work regardless, you left my vehicle unsafe, if that sump guard had fallen off when I was travelling on the motorway the results would have been catastrophic either to myself and family in the car, or to any cars behind again with any family members in , that sump guard was 6mm-8mm thick, mild steel, durable for high speed police chases for protection against curbs, speedhumps etc, and all I get told is it might not have been done up tidy or come loose?!
    I will co-operate with the police for now, and have supplied them with an evidence pack, of emails sent, and voice recordings of telephone conversations.
    You have tampered with my property and I gave no express permission to do so, and I will be informing trading standards and seeking advice from CAB.
    There’s a lot more I haven’t covered, but I feel no more need to explain myself, you tried it on with me, carrying out work that I did not authorise, and then charging me high repair costs hoping I would pay, you have then caused endless inconvenience and embarrassment knocking on neighbours houses, and you call yourself a reputable garage.
    I request my key is returned for my vehicle within the next 14 days from the date of this letter, please either give it to the officer who is currently dealing with this matter, or please return special delivery to my address above, and if you wish to pursue me in a civil court then you have my details above for any summons, any damage/loss/theft to my vehicle, whilst you have my spare key, I will be holding your garage responsible.

    Yours Faithfully

  13. #13
    DF VIP Member Bald Bouncer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car garage dispute

    The letter you are sending is too long and convoluted and a lot of irrelevant points that don't really help you need to strip it to basics, I would be stating the facts mainly no authorisation and making a without prejudice offer as it is clear you accept you have a debt to the garage and making an offer makes the chances of you winning a civil action should he take one much higher.

    Thanks to Bald Bouncer

    mrphil (22nd July 2014) 


  14. #14
    DF PlaYa mrphil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car garage dispute

    Hey BB, do i remove the without prejudice then, any chance you could quickly copy and paste and just scrap what you think, ill re edit then, as i want a strong standing letter, without giving to much ammo should they somehow get anything to back up my claims in the mean times, which they wont, i cant see it going any further to be honest as the bill is £170, by the time its gone through a fight and the risk they loose as my back up and evidence is overwhelming, just got it all ready to print, 20 pages of screen shots and a disc with voice recordings on

  15. #15
    DF VIP Member
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    Default Re: Car garage dispute

    I would have the letter drawn up by a lawyer, even a paralegal at the CAB will be better than a diy or form letter. With respect written English is not your strength and of course neither is the Law, BB is absolutely right but if you want to resolve it do it properly.
    If at first you don't succeed.....redefine success. . . .

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    Thanks to blaggard

    mrphil (22nd July 2014) 


  16. #16
    DF Jedi supraman54's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car garage dispute

    BB is right.. they might read the first paragraph and then seeing the size of the communication they will skip through and you lose any real impact.
    Bullit pointing would help I think..
    Labour charges around me (South London) are around £55 in a very reasonable garage but my BMW when I had it done in a non main dealer but nevertheless BMW/Mini garage were £120 and hour.
    I don't think you can challenge their labour rate..

    I feel for you mate as when I am incensed about something my irate emails tend to be overtstated..

    I did read all of your letter and the main thing IMHO is that they proceeded to work on the car with billable hours without your implicit approval.. they obviously are aware of this major error because they have tried to reach a compromise.... maybe settle for pushing them as far in your favour as you can via a compromise agreement

    I'm just a layman of course

    good luck with it mate

    supe
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    2 Thanks given to supraman54

    Bald Bouncer (22nd July 2014), mrphil (22nd July 2014) 


  17. #17
    DF PlaYa mrphil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car garage dispute

    Thanks guys - will look at rewording or Atleast a letter stating I've not heard anything since last phone call and not get in to any points but briefly explain in writing again why I'm not happy

    english grammar as a welshboy is not my strongest point

    Ill knock it down to a page letter and just say I've heard nothing and why I'm disputing and that I wish my key to be returned etc keep it amicable as I can

  18. #18
    DF VIP Member Bald Bouncer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car garage dispute

    Quote Originally Posted by mrphil View Post
    Hey BB, do i remove the without prejudice then, any chance you could quickly copy and paste and just scrap what you think, ill re edit then, as i want a strong standing letter, without giving to much ammo should they somehow get anything to back up my claims in the mean times, which they wont, i cant see it going any further to be honest as the bill is £170, by the time its gone through a fight and the risk they loose as my back up and evidence is overwhelming, just got it all ready to print, 20 pages of screen shots and a disc with voice recordings on
    No you have to state [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] it is important, I know what you are saying about evidence but you have to consider what a court would do or how they would look on it should it go that far, if you make no offer give no ground the judge may consider you unreasonable, there is no question the work was carried out and although the quality is questionable it is not the issue the court would look at as a primary one, a judge would first look at the fact the work was unauthorised but then he would have to also consider the work had been done and you have profited from the work so you have to be careful not to come across as someone just not paying/trying to avoid paying.

    By making an offer you greatly weaken their position as a judge then looks at them having done unauthorised work and you being reasonable enough to offer to cover the costs involved removing any profit and them still demanding to make money from an unauthorised transaction, point blank refusing and demanding is not the way to go as I say a judge may well look on this as you being in the wrong, judges tend to disregard any information they do not see as relevant to the case and it tends to muddy the water in the defence of the case so as important as some facts may seem to you if they do not have a direct bearing on the actual base of the dispute they are not relevant.

    My letter would be very straight forward stating facts not opinion or hearsay going on to make a without prejudice offer and resolution
    Last edited by Bald Bouncer; 22nd July 2014 at 12:15 PM.

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  19. #19
    DF Jedi DavidF's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car garage dispute

    Yep bullet points letter stating what happened
    Dear Sirs
    This letter is sent Without prejudice
    • Sent car for diagnostics only
    • XYX garage then carried out works based on the results of the diagnostics. This work was done without my consent
    • When I took possession of the car I had it checked by a 3rd party independent expert
    • Independent expert found several issues with the work done and the quality of the parts used
    • I am particularly concerned with part X which is not functioning properly

    Further to XYZ garage offer of not charging for labour and only charging trade price for the parts I am now prepared to make a full and final settlement offer of £xxx this represents all of the parts (Trade price as agreed) minus £xxx which will be used to replace part X as it is faulty and of inferior quality. This has been backed by my independent expert who has checked the car thoroughly and has created a detailed report which I can supply if need be.


    You want to write something along those lines in that kind of short concise style. Make no mention of your "expert" being a mate....that would make him far from independent and far from neutral. Also if they did decide to goto court then you really would need a written report on the work done by an independent garage/auto mechanic or whatever. Meet them somewhere in the middle regarding the parts they fitted that work. Even if they are loose or whatever you have gained new working parts and have not had to pay the labour or mark up....not great but at least something. You could even offer just half the trade value since you 1. Didn't want the parts and 2. They took your own parts and 3 the parts fitted may need remedial action.

  20. #20
    DF Jedi DavidF's Avatar
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    Default Re: Car garage dispute

    BTW your audio disk would not be admissible but a written transcript would be admissible as evidence if it did go to court because you did not inform the other side that you were recording them.

    Thanks to DavidF

    mrphil (22nd July 2014) 


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