The consumer’s issue:
“I bought a used car on 14 February 2017. I asked if the vehicle had a full service history and was told that it did, and was shown a service history. However, the dealership now can’t provide this to me and only three out of four services can be tracked down. I’m therefore looking for a refund and compensation.”
The accredited business’ response:
- The consumer had been able to peruse the service history at the point of sale, but, a few days after he took delivery, it could not be located and we considered it to be lost.
- We told the consumer at this stage that he could exchange or return the vehicle, but he did not go ahead with this.
- We managed to track down three of the missing services and offered to send out a new book, but the consumer was ultimately seeking compensation.
- We then made an offer of a new service book and two years’ free servicing.
- In March 2017, the final offer made was that the consumer could return the car for a full refund.
- We didn’t think that compensation was justified in this instance as the vehicle was functioning appropriately.
The adjudication outcome:
- The adjudicator looking at the complaint didn’t uphold it in favour of the consumer.
- He felt that the offers that had been made previously were fair in the circumstances, and that the MOT issue had been rectified, so the vehicle was safe. He also couldn’t see any financial loss to the consumer as a result of the partial service history. Therefore, no financial award could be made.
- The consumer disagreed with the adjudication outcome and asked for a final ombudsman’s decision.
The ombudsman’s final decision:
- On consideration, the ombudsman agreed that the previous offers that had been made were fair, but disagreed that the consumer was not financially disadvantaged as a result of the missing service history.
- The consumer would have paid more money for a vehicle sold as having a full service history, as opposed to partial, and would also make less money if he wanted to sell the vehicle, although this was not yet a tangible loss.
- As such, whilst the other issues had been resolved, there had to be some kind of award for the missing service history as the vehicle did not meet its description. This was also a breach of the Vehicle Sales Code of Practice, and both parties agreed about the description that had been given.
- The complaint was upheld in favour of the consumer, and they were awarded £750. The dealership was asked to send the customer the partial service history.