The consumer’s issue:
“I purchased a two-year warranty policy in 2015 to protect my car from mechanical and electrical breakdowns. In 2017, I extended the agreement for a further two years thinking that I would be covered. However, I’ve made a claim on the policy, as there’s a fault with the window regulator assembly, but I’ve been told that this component isn’t included on the policy.
Therefore, I deem to have been misled into buying the warranty and would like my money back. I consider the business to have acted fraudulently. This is because the policy covers parts which are reliable and are unlikely to fail, whilst components with a known failure history are excluded.”
The accredited business’ response:
- We told the customer that the only part of the electric window that we covered was the motor.
- The terms and conditions of the policy were provided to the consumer, and lists the parts that were included. Unfortunately, the window regulator wasn’t one of these.
- We also explained that warranty agreements contain various terms and conditions, and these cannot cover every eventuality or possible fault that arises with a vehicle.
The adjudication outcome:
- Based on the evidence presented, The Motor Ombudsman adjudicator didn’t uphold the complaint because the business is only obliged to cover costs when a listed component suffers damage.
- The window regulator wasn’t included on the policy, so the business didn’t have to cover the cost of the repairs.
- In addition, there was no evidence to suggest that the business had deliberately misled or withheld crucial information from the consumer, meaning that their claim was not upheld.
- The customer disagreed with the adjudication outcome and requested a final decision from the ombudsman.
The ombudsman’s final decision:
- Based on the information presented by both parties, the ombudsman agreed with the adjudicator and did not uphold the customer’s complaint.
- She explained that the terms and conditions would have been issued to the consumer, and he opted to extend the policy for a further two years.
- The ombudsman equally agreed that there was no evidence to suggest that the business had misled the consumer or that he’d been provided with misleading or inaccurate information at the time the policy was purchased.
- She also noted that the terms and conditions had clearly set out a list of covered parts, and specifically stated that all other mechanical and electrical components not mentioned within the agreement were not covered.
- The ombudsman remarked that the terms and conditions provided the option of cancelling the policy if the consumer deemed it unsuitable for their needs.
- She concluded that, while it was unfortunate the consumer had found himself in the position that he was in, it was unreasonable to expect a policy to cover every single component in a car and every eventuality.
- Both parties agreed with the ombudsman’s final decision, and the case was closed.