A TRADESMAN who splashed £23,000 on a van for his work, has claimed that it was riddled with faults that started just 30 minutes after he drove it away – but he managed to get his revenge.
Electrician Stewart Logan, had racked up almost 70,000 miles in his previous van, and decided the time was right to stump up the cash for a new model – from the Kilmarnock branch of Evans Halshaw in Ayrshire, Scotland,
When 50-year-old Stewart took a second-hand Citroen Relay on a test-drive, he noticed various fault warning lights that appeared on the dash, including the van requiring an oil change and headlights not working.
Salesman at the dealership reassured Stewart that any issues would be rectified before he returned the following week to collect the van.
But when the dad-of-two collected the van on June 28 he said a number of warning lights “came on within 30 minutes” of him leaving the forecourt.
Stewart said he was then “passed from pillar to post” for months by Evans Halshaw's customer service department without repairs being made.
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After getting the van checked out by an independent MOT station, Stewart claims six issues were found including a leaking oil filter and the handbrake and tyre tracking needed to be adjusted.
Having no luck with the car dealership, Stewart decided to plaster the back of his van with his complaints to publicly shame them into sorting out the issues.
The complaint reads: "I bought this van from Evans Halshaw in Kilmarnock – date of purchase of van 28/06/22. And they are bad. Within 30 mins warning light came on.
"Independent MOT station found 6 faults. Van still not fixed."
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Stewart, from Kilwinning, North Ayrshire, said: "Everywhere I go, nine out of ten folk are saying 'good on you' – there's great support out there.
"I certainly tried over the weeks and months to get it sorted out without having to resort to the decal.
"I'm just a one-man-band and a small business. People have said go to the small claims court but I'm a very busy guy.
"I'm very disappointed. You go to a company like that to have a bit of backup and have somewhere to go back to.
"It was £23,000, that's a lot of money for me. It's £400 a month for the next five years – that's a big commitment.
"So I thought it was a better way [to] name them and shame them, I don't see any problem with that.
"I said at the time that I understand these things can happen, but it's how the problems are dealt with.
"That's what will decide how good the company is, and I know how good it is because we're months down the line and it's still not repaired.
"Once they have the money, they're not interested.
"My van was going to get a sign written anyway, so I thought 'I'll give this a try and see if it gets things moving'.
"What else can the smaller person do against a big company like that?"
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
The law protects any car buyer if something goes wrong with the motor, as long you weren't made aware of the issue beforehand, and the problem is considered unexpected and not simple wear and tear.
Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, motorists can reject the car within the first 30-days of purchase and claim a full refund if it isn't "as described".
For example, if it develops an issue you wouldn't expect of a car in that situation, or the dealer has claimed something about the vehicle which wasn't true, you could be eligible for a refund.
But sellers don't have to accept your rejection, meaning you would have to take them to court to enact your rights.
The law applies to both new and used cars, and even gives some protection for those buying a car privately.
When purchasing a motor from a dealership, the car must be of satisfactory quality considering its age and mileage, meet any description given to you and be fit for purpose.
If it doesn't meet these guidelines, you have the right to get your money back within the 30-day period.
But if a problem arises outside of that period, you can still ask the dealer for a repair or replacement free of charge.
If the repair or replacement doesn't resolve the issue, you could then be entitled to a refund.
During the first six months after purchase, it's the responsibility of the seller to prove the fault wasn't there on the day of purchase, but after the first six months, it's up to you to prove there was a fault when you bought the car.
Self-employed Stewart said that while the van's “not going to fall to pieces tomorrow”, the level of customer service he's received in trying to get the van repaired has been unacceptable.
He added: "It's not really about the van, it's about the customer service.
"I'm a self-employed electrician. So say I came to your house and rewired it, then tomorrow night you plug the kettle in and the sockets tripped.
"You'd phone me back and say 'It's not working, it's not been wired right', and I'd come and fix it.
"I went back to them on the very same day to get the faults resolved, but you're always a problem to them.
"I find their attitude as a big company just to be that they've got the money.
"You buy the van and deal with a salesperson, where you get the patter 'yes it'll be serviced and fully valeted'.
"Then as soon as you've bought it that's it, you've got to deal with another department.
"They had days to get the van ready, and within half an hour of driving the van it was quite plain they hadn't done anything that they said they were going to do.
"The van's not going to fall to pieces tomorrow, there's just things wrong with it that shouldn't have been.
"I even went to the branch and dropped the spare key off and said I was going on holiday for a fortnight and the van still wasn't done."
The tradesman said he's lost all confidence in the company, and that he wants repairs to be made by an independent garage with Evans Halshaw reimbursing the costs.
He also wants them to cover the two days' wages he will lose while it's being fixed.
"My total confidence and trust in the Kilmarnock branch, along with the company as a whole, has gone," Stewart said.
"I'm happy for it to be fixed but I want it done at an independent garage.
"They've said in principle they agree, the van can go into an independent garage, but they're not happy about reimbursing me or for the two days' wages because they could get it done a lot quicker.
"It's a few hundred quid, it's not thousands.
"I don't think it's too much to ask of a big company like that.
"I think you're either part of the problem or part of the solution, and every time I make contact with the company they always seem to be part of the problem."
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Evans Halshaw Kilmarnock declined to comment when approached for comment.
Evans Halshaw's parent company, Pendragon, have also been approached by The Sun Online.
THE SIX ISSUES STEWART CLAIMS THE VAN HAD THAT WEREN’T SORTED BY EVANS HALSHAW
1. Oil filter leaking
2. Warning light on dash (change oil)
3. Warning light on check lights (NSF Headlight out)
4. Handbrake (needs adjusted)
5. Warning light on (OS registration bulb has no cover)
6. Same warning light (NS registration bulb not working)
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