FAQ: How do I make a claim for poor service?

By Marc Abbott -

 01 October 2009 18:40

If you have had loads of grief with a bike you've just bought from a dealer, with some faults and a prolonged wait for parts it is sometimes possible to reject the bike.

However, in order for there to be a right of rejection under the Sale of Goods Act, the goods must be sufficiently faulty in that they are either a) not fit for purpose or b) not of satisfactory quality.

If you've suffered loss of use through the importer's failure to supply parts to the dealer for them to repair your bike.

But the bike itself isn't largely at fault, with say a chassis fracture or engine blow-up, then rejection is not your best course of action.

Instead, you should draft a letter of claim, warning them that you are going to hire a vehicle in the next day or two at their cost, and you intend to claim monies back from the dealer for the time already lost, less say, the first two weeks.

This is because you believe the firm to be in breach of the warranty contract, you would expect them to pass that cost up the chain, as the importer is in breach with them, but that's not your problem.

Common Law says that you should mitigate your losses, so chauffeurs and Ducati 1098s are out. But a bike with a similar performance, or a car with similar running costs would be considered reasonable if it ever went to the Small Claims Court.

Hopefully, the letter's arrival will focus their minds and get a swift resolution.

Here's some wording to use: "Please treat this letter as notification that a claim for losses arising out of breach of contract will be commenced against you in the County Court in seven days from today's date in the absence of your fully rectifying the faults with my vehicle.

"Please also note that my claim will include vehicle hire charges.

"A copy of this letter will be drawn to the attention of the court in support of my reasonably claimed losses together with a detailed chronology of events evidencing that you were given ample opportunity to rectify the situation amicably.

"I suggest that you forward a copy of this letter to your insurer immediately."

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