I left my car in the garage to have the head gasket replaced. I first asked for a quote but instead the mechanic did the job and billed me £5,500.
I would never have accepted this amount but they will not give me the car unless I pay in full.
Consumer rights attorney Dean Dunham responds: It’s a big bill, but there is good news. The Consumer Rights Act 2015 protects you in this position, recognizing that dishonest traders often fail to agree a price and then attempt to defraud the consumer once the service has been provided.
Section 52(2) of the Act says that where the person or entity providing the service has not agreed or communicated any price, before entering into the contract, the consumer is only required to pay a “reasonable price” and nothing more.
In this case, it means you will only have to pay what a reasonable mechanic/shop would have charged for the job. My advice is to get a written quote from three reputable local mechanics/shops for the same job. You could then offer to pay the average of these three quotes, although to be safe I would advise you to pay the amount equivalent to the highest quote you received.
Once paid, you can demand the release of your car. If the workshop refuses, you will have two possible avenues for repair.
The first is to ask if the workshop subscribes to an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) system and, if so, file a complaint.
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 protects people in this situation, recognizing that dishonest traders often fail to agree a price and then attempt to defraud the consumer once the service has been provided, writes Dean Dunham.
The second is to take your case to court and ask for an order for the car to be released to you and potentially compensation. In any case, you must invite the workshop to deliver the car to you so that the legal argument can be defined as to whether you have a legal obligation to pay the invoiced amount or the reasonable amount you have paid.
Finally, if you end up going to ADR or the courts, it is important that you gather all the evidence before doing so. Importantly, you will need to have clear evidence that the workshop did not communicate any price before the work began.
I took out a one-year subscription for a monthly beauty box, but after the first six months I decided to cancel.
I have called countless times to do this but they keep sending me the boxes and deducting money from my card every month. What I can do?
BB, via email.
Dean answers: It sounds like you have two problems here. The first is that you have attempted to cancel the subscription “verbally” rather than “in writing”, which is what the terms and conditions of this subscription will require.
The second problem is that it appears that you are paying through a continuous payment authority, which is a payment collection method where the provider charges a debit card instead of withdrawing the money from your bank account using a direct debit .
Continuous payment authorities can be problematic as consumers often report that they are difficult to cancel. Additionally, they do not offer the same guarantee as direct debits and give the provider receiving the payment more flexibility over when and how much they withdraw from their account.
That is why I always advise against establishing this payment method for loan subscriptions and repayments.
The good news is that consumers have the perfect right to cancel a continuous payment authorization at any time, even if they still owe the provider money. In the first instance, you must notify the provider in writing (and include the date) that you wish to cancel the ongoing payment authority and, if possible, the contract (in this case, your subscription).
After this date, the seller has no legal right to withdraw any more money from your card and, if they do, they can request that their bank return the money. He will also be entitled to recover associated costs, such as bank overdraft fees; Therefore, it is important to cancel in writing to be able to provide evidence to the bank of the cancellation date.
In addition to notifying the provider that you want to cancel the continuous payment authorization, you must also notify your bank in writing. Some banks reject these requests unless you can demonstrate that you no longer have any liability to the provider. But banks do not have the authority to do this, as the Financial Ombudsman has determined on numerous occasions.