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We bought our second caravan in September 2018 - a 4 year old Elddis Affinity - having traded in a much loved Elddis Crusader which we had owned for about 10 years and also purchased from the same north-west dealer.

 

At the time of purchase, we were assured by the salesman that the van had the remainder of manufacturers warranty.  During the first year of ownership, we only managed to take the van out on 1 short trip about a month after purchase and found no issues of concern.  The next trip was a longer European trip in August 2019 and we noticed a slightly sticky rear corner steady.  When our annual service was due in September 2019 (not with the dealership but with our own appointed service workshop), we mentioned the fault expecting to be told it was fairly minor.   It turned out to be fairly major when the engineer informed us that the rear washroom was showing almost 100% damp at floor level and the floor was actually rotting - pushing the steady through it.  The report stated that the dealer would almost certainly of known about this issue at the time of sale one year earlier.  They also reported a cracked roof light which had received a recent bodge repair.  The final bad news was that after checking with Elddis, the warranty had in fact been voided because the service record was not intact!

 

Obviously, we returned to the dealer.  After a bit of stalling and messing around, they eventually asked for their own inspection.  We obliged and took the van to their nominated engineer who gave exactly the same opinion - that the damp was so bad, the dealer would of known a year earlier.  A flurry of emails and many attempted phone calls which the dealer wouldn’t take, we asked for some help towards the cost of repair.  The response was stonewall and they stated that because we hadn’t taken their “extended warranty” and waited a year for a service, they wouldn’t help.

 

We decided that we needed to have the van repaired to actually use and enjoy it so we opted to have the work carried out with the dealers nominated repairer.  It was booked for February this year but has only just been completed due to lockdown.  It was a very pricy fix!  We would like to try and recover something from the dealer so I’m after any advice on offer to help us with our case as we have two independent inspections stating the damp was so bad it would of showed up on pre-sale inspections and would of been known to the dealers service staff before it was sold to us.

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Take out a small claims. Fill it out and send it to the dealer, do not go for the online method ask for it to be heard in court. Sometimes this is enough to focus the dealer mind and he possibly wont want the hassle. cost about £35

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Range Rover Swift Conqueror 565

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One of the forums members (Legal Eagle) is in the legal trade and will undoubtedly give some expert advice. Whether what he says is or isn’t what you really want to hear, it’ll be factual. I hope you get sorted.

2018 Volvo V90 and 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB

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Not being privy to the full details of your purchase and subsequent communications with the dealer it would be wrong of anyone to make assumptions as to exactly what would succeed for you so the best thing you can do is seek one to one legal advice. Armed with two engineers reports, your receipt for the full cost of repairs plus evidence of any other necessarily incurred, directly related expenses you should be aiming to make a claim for the full amount. Since you have already had the repairs carried out at your own expense, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 is of little to no use for you as it contains no provision for the reimbursement of expenses.

 

If you do not have a preferred solicitor you could subscribe to Which? legal services but in the first instance you could try making use of the free legal advice services offered by one of the clubs if you are a member or alternatively through any free legal advice available through an insurance policy you hold e.g. caravan, car or house.

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:goodpost:  

 

Excellent advice (as always)

Experience is an awful teacher who ends up sending you simply horrifying bills

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You can pursue them under the CRA and I would point out to them you are aware of it. Before you sue them if you are going to you need the cost of the repair from your engineer and you can issue a small claims summons, which is cheap for you but costs them far more to defend. If you are a member of either of the clubs their legal helpline might be useful, but if not Citizens Advice have a very good web site covering the subject.

I appreciate the idea of using Which Legal if you are a member, but the system is very straightforward and most people will have no problems with it. Do not forget to add interest at 8% and your own costs.

As Legal Eagle says you might find you have cover for the legal proceedings probably with your house contents policy but also free legal advice with any Union Membership.

If you used a credit card or used  the dealers HP for any part of the purchase, you should also have a claim against the finance company, in which case contact them.

Good luck.

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  • 2 months later...

UPDATE.

 

We decided to use the on-line courts system to make a claim for the full amount of the repairs needed to put our van in the order we expected at purchase.  We gave the dealer many opportunities to help but they refused so we filed for the full amount.  Surprisingly, within a very short space of time, they accepted the claim and have now settled in full.

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Glad you got it sorted.

2014 SsangYong Rexton W towing a 2017 Sprite Major 4EB. (After June 9th).

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Yes - well done! Small claims court?

Graham

 

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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But it's  not good enough is it, though all too typical.  You've  got sales who'll  say anything , non existent preparation and management who think they can make up the law as they go along.  We've  all probably met it at some time.  Good old British service.

Oh and I forgot to say, they think you are being unreasonable to expect to get what you've  paid for.

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14 hours ago, rovinmad said:

But it's  not good enough is it, though all too typical.  You've  got sales who'll  say anything , non existent preparation and management who think they can make up the law as they go along.  We've  all probably met it at some time.  Good old British service.

Oh and I forgot to say, they think you are being unreasonable to expect to get what you've  paid for.

At least we have avenues of recourse relatively accessible to all, unlike in many other countries where you can be ripped off with no come back possible.

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15 hours ago, rovinmad said:

But it's  not good enough is it, though all too typical.  You've  got sales who'll  say anything , non existent preparation and management who think they can make up the law as they go along.  We've  all probably met it at some time.  Good old British service.

Oh and I forgot to say, they think you are being unreasonable to expect to get what you've  paid for.

It is a simple fact that in business everything comes down to the bottom line!

Even the most honourable dealer has to make a profit to survive.

There are a great many buyers who want the lowest possible price.

There are many dealers who will meet that requirement whatever corners they have to cut.

There are buyers who will try to take advantage of dealers by expecting more than they pay for.

 

However, there are some dealers who take customer service seriously, and meet their obligations fully and fairly, but to do that costs money so to still make a profit they are seldom cheapest!

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I am afraid that many dealers simply try to fob you off in the first instance and see if you are serious. In that way they save on those who back down and the saving should be far less than the extra costs you will have made them pay.  It needs more people like you to pursue these problems to get the industry to wake up.

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