The consumer’s issue:
“I purchased a vehicle with a five-year service plan. Whilst I did not receive any formal documentation to confirm the five-year service plan, there is a scribble on the invoice about a five-year service plan. I also subsequently received an e-mail from the dealer confirming the plan. When it came to servicing my vehicle, I asked the business to check the validity of the service plan, and I was advised that there wasn’t one in place. When I complained to the trader, they only offered me a two-year service plan as they informed me that they do not sell a five-year service plan.
I am therefore seeking confirmation of the free five-year servicing agreement promised at the point of sale by the dealer, and validation of the same, or compensation for the cost of an appropriate alternative agreement. In either case, I would like further compensation for the delay and effort incurred by me in pursuing the matter.”
The accredited business’ response:
- We can confirm that we will honour the terms of the five-year service plan.
- We are unable to apply the five-year plan at this stage. However, the terms work out at two services (one every two years), either by time or mileage.
- The car has already had one of these services on 28/11/17 at 14,714 miles, and therefore based on this mileage, the car would be due another service around November 2019, or sooner, if the mileage use changes. This service is the larger of the two services.
- Whilst we are unable to apply the plan, we will undertake to honour the terms and conditions of the five-year plan, and we can confirm that we will carry out the next scheduled service on the vehicle at no cost to the consumer.
- We will provide a confirmation letter to the customer to this effect.
The adjudication outcome:
- It was recognised by the adjudicator that the following breaches of the Vehicle Sales Code of Practice had occurred:
Clause 4.3: Staff will be clear on the specifics of their vehicles and sales processes, including the terms of any contractual documents.
Clause 8.0: The accredited business will continue to provide you with support and assistance following the purchase of your vehicle.
- As an independent body, The Motor Ombudsman could not comment on the verbal discussions which took place, but The Motor Ombudsman upheld that the e-mail confirmation of the service plan offer was part of the contract of sale.
- The customer accepted the offer from the business and the case was closed.
- A recommendation was made to the business to have a post-sale checklist to ensure that all necessary documents are provided to customers, and that it’s signed by both parties.