Cost to buyer returning van to retailer

Mar 15, 2015
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Bought a new caravan from retailer in 2017 caravan sited 70miles from retailer so use a mobile approved service man to carry out yearly service. Last year a high damp reading was found in rear of van 46% contacted retailer who insisted that I bring the van back to them for them to confirm the damp report completed by the mobile engineer I reluctantly agreed took the van on the 140 mile round trip there, engineer took about 2 minutes with his damp meter to confirm what was already known then 5 months later I again repeat the journey to get the repair done
Just had the mobile engineer do another service and again the same area has a high damp reading 25% so going in the wrong direction and another area at the front of the van 40%
Again contacted the retailer and again they want me to bring it up to confirm the latest report
My question is can the retailer insist I use my time and diesel to get the van to them just to confirm what an approved engineer has reported with a written report and then a second trip to get it fixed
 
Nov 6, 2005
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Under sales legislation, caravans are regarded as "portable" equipment so it's the owner's responsibility to return it to the selling dealer for warranty work - so yes, they can insist.
 
Mar 15, 2015
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Thanks Roger happy to take it back to do the repair but not just so they can confirm what the approved engineer has already discovered and reported on when I took it back the first time they just confirmed the damp with their meter didn't investigate any further so a wasted trip which meant a day off work
 

Damian

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Mar 14, 2005
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The issue is that your warranty is with your supplying dealer and no one else.
Whilst it is OK to use AWS mobile engineers to do the servicing, any main structure repairs are the responsibility of the supplying dealer.

An AWS engineer can only repair or replace items in the van such as parts for the heater, fridge etc as long as he is authorised by the items manufacturer.

It is quite normal for a dealer to want to confirm any fault picked up by another engineer, and that means taking the van back to him, even if it only takes a few minutes.
Many dealers also charge for a damp check so if your dealer has not charged you for that you have done OK.
 
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Jul 3, 2020
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I'd be very tempted to say to the dealer, happy to bring up for you to confirm but can it be I arrange for the caravan to be left for repair. rather towing in to and through twice, at least that way you be saying fuel on 2 legs of the journey
 
Mar 15, 2015
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I agree with you there rationale being they want to see what the problem is prior to getting permission from manufacturer to repair which has logic but when I took it back the first time the engineer didn't check where the problem originated just to confirm the floor was damp so they had no more information than had I not taken it up and I know that the manufacturer will authorise repair based on the mobile engineers report seems to me to be just making things more difficult for the purchaser
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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We had the same issue with a Lunar Delta caravan. There was 60% damp detected around front windows and floor by AWS tech who showed me the readings on his non evasive Protimeter. Dealer inspected again using a non evasive Protimeter and said it was only 35%, but did not show me the readings.
We had to take back the caravan 3 months later for the repair. Luckily it was only a 40 mile round trip. With the other damp issue we took it back 3 times for the same issue and was told it had been repaired, but on trading it in two weeks after the repair, damp reading was still high. :mad:
 
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Mar 15, 2015
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We had the same issue with a Lunar Delta caravan. There was 60% damp detected around front windows and floor by AWS tech who showed me the readings on his non evasive Protimeter. Dealer inspected again using a non evasive Protimeter and said it was only 35%, but did not show me the readings.
We had to take back the caravan 3 months later for the repair. Luckily it was only a 40 mile round trip. With the other damp issue we took it back 3 times for the same issue and was told it had been repaired, but on trading it in two weeks after the repair, damp reading was still high. :mad:
Thanks Buckman did you sell it back to the retailer you bought it from and did you get a retail price for the van due to the issues or trade price
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Thanks Buckman did you sell it back to the retailer you bought it from and did you get a retail price for the van due to the issues or trade price
We traded in with another dealer and unfortunately got a brand new caravan in even worse condition. It was 4 years old when we traded it in, but the 60% damp was in the first year and before CRA 2015 not that it would have helped.
 
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Mar 15, 2015
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I read in the Consumer rights act 2015 that the buyer should not be left out of pocket as regards any repairs etc. Yet from what you all saying this isnt the case I do wonder if we allow these retailers to get away with to much and then we all suffer at some stage
 
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I read in the Consumer rights act 2015 that the buyer should not be left out of pocket as regards any repairs etc. Yet from what you all saying this isnt the case I do wonder if we allow these retailers to get away with to much and then we all suffer at some stage
I guess it is like expecting a mechanic to come and repair your car at home? There are exceptions in the legislation and I guess this is one of them? This may sound nasty as I am not very good and putting things across so don't take it the wrong way.
It was your choice to locate the caravan on a seasonal site, your choice to have a dealer 140 mile round trip away and your choice to use an AWS technician. Nothing wrong with your choices and just something we have to accept when buying a caravan. :)
 
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Mar 15, 2015
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I guess it is like expecting a mechanic to come and repair your car at home? There are exceptions in the legislation and I guess this is one of them? This may sound nasty as I am not very good and putting things across so don't take it the wrong way.
It was your choice to locate the caravan on a seasonal site, your choice to have a dealer 140 mile round trip away and your choice to use an AWS technician. Nothing wrong with your choices and just something we have to accept when buying a caravan. :)
I do see your point if the van is returned for them to fully examine it to establish what is causing the problem but all there doing is sticking the same damp meter on the same spot and saying yes your highly qualified approved mobile technician was right it is a high reading bye bye see you in 6 months.
anyway hope you have sorted your caravan issues out cheers
 
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My understanding is that with the CRA you can claim the cost of the journey but I have yet to hear of a dealer accepting this. Even after 140 miles your costs may not be enough to take it further though. Possibly this is a good reason to buy locally if possible.
 

Damian

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The thing with caravans is that the warranty only covers the actual repair of the item, not the getting it to the dealer or returning it.

Just as an example, some time ago there was an issue with the Truma boiler in a lot of motorhomes where the top of the boiler had to be replaced with a modified one.
The actual repair took about 10 minutes to swap the tops over, but on one make of van it took 6 hours to get access to the boiler and another 6 to reinstate the kitchen units but the only cost that the maker would pay was 10 minutes.

They only pay for "On the Bench" repairs , not time either side.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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This is a contentious issue, becasue to rephrase Fordcortina, the CRA did suggest that where faulty goods were concerned the customer should experience minimum inconvenience, and could claim tangible losses the fault directly causes from the seller. That is why sellers are responsible for postage & packing costs for returning faulty goods under the terms of the Consumer Rights Act.

However there have been some people (who have posted on this forum) who have convinced the dealer to collect a caravan, and others who have charged the dealer for their travelling expenses incurred to return a caravan to the dealership. Whether these cases just demonstrate a dealer's goodwill, or whether they were advised it is part of their liability under the CRA was never proven to us.

Manufacturers warranties are an entirely differnt kettle of fish, and are subject to the terms and conditions of the warranty which states the manufacturers liability. I believe all caravan manufacturers warranties make transportation costs the responsibility of the customer.

The question customers need to bear in mind is which scheme to use, the manufacturers warranty or the CRA. You should consider the pro's and con's of each scheme, sometimes it is a clear advantage to use the manufacturers warranty as its often simpler and quicker, but if the manufacturer rejects the warranty claim depending on the circumstances a customer might consider trying the CRA route.

The CRA is not there to give a customer an unfair advantage over the seller, so attempting to seek a free of charge repair or compensation when it's not justified is likely to backfire.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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The CRA is not there to give a customer an unfair advantage over the seller, so attempting to seek a free of charge repair or compensation when it's not justified is likely to backfire.
Quite correct, but I think CRA 2015 also mentions that the consumer should not be left out of pocket due to repair issues?
 
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I read in the Consumer rights act 2015 that the buyer should not be left out of pocket as regards any repairs etc. Yet from what you all saying this isnt the case I do wonder if we allow these retailers to get away with to much and then we all suffer at some stage
I think we do. And I am guilty of this as well. I have had arguments with my dealer regarding this and I have had very little in the way of compensation for the many inconveniences I have suffered through poor manufacture, poor servicing and poor repairs.

I paint a bad picture, but must add I have also had very good service as well.

In my experience, the problem often occurs in the service departments lack of understanding in satisfying the 'customer experience'. and their lack of ability or perhaps lack of freedom to apply common sence.

eg. It would infuriate me when I wanted a service and the service dept would not budge from their mantra that the van HAD to be collected between 5 and 5:30. This caused so much problem with my work schedule I simply had to go elsewhere. Or other times when work has not been fully completed or not satisfactorily done. and they simply say, oh, well bring it back whenever.

I am far from intransigent, I am more than happy to work with others to find a sensible and logical solution but they have to have some realisation of the problems and disruptions there actions cause.

In fordcortina case there is some logic in the dealer wanting to assess the damp, perhaps to assess the work and time needed or to prepare a claim. But they could, I feel sure, ask for other assurances. Particularly as this is the second time.

As a slight asides. This year my service engineer did not do any damp readings. He told me that the NCC no longer recommend as they are so inconclusive. False readings due to variable technologies or quality of instrument, humidity and trying to take a reading on an imperious surface. Not to mention the understanding of the technician. Therefore a visual inspection is all that happens.

Has anyone else come across this?

John
 
Mar 14, 2005
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There will always be some argument about what is fair and what isn't, but is also hinges on what the customer requests, or is assumed to have requested.

The fact is there is no legislation or right for a customer to assume that the manufacturer will offer any sort of warranty with their product. It has become a tradition for manufacturers to do this, becasue they don't want to risk loosing customers becasue there is no warranty network for their products, when their competitors do.

When a manufacture does offer a warranty it is a bonus, and because it is effectively a gift the manufacturer sets the agenda for the terms and conditions. That is why the dealer has to ask you to sign a separate section or form to register you for the warranty. This does not sign your CRA rights away as they are immutable.

Consequently the manufacture can stipulate things like only certain parts are covered, and that all transportation costs are at the customer's expense, and that service intervals are observed on pain of loosing warranty cover. However even though its a gift, it is set out in a contract form and is binding on both parties.

Although a customer may have signed to accept the manufacturer's warranty package, they are not obliged to use it, becasue in the UK retail consumers have statutory rights as defined in the CRA, and these have nothing what so ever to do with the manufacturers. When ever a retail sale is made the CRA become effective, and if there is a fault with the goods or services, the customer has the right to a remedy against the seller (not the manufacturer unless they made the retail sale) For most caravans that means the dealer.

If when you have a problem you contact your seller, and you ask for a replacement or repair under warranty, the dealers tend to assume you mean the manufacturers warranty and will process the claim becasue it is financially least painful for them. But in reality they should be asking the customer which process they want to use.

So before making a warranty or CRA claim, consider which scheme will be the best, and make it clear which you want to use when you contact your seller.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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When a manufacture does offer a warranty it is a bonus, and because it is effectively a gift the manufacturer sets the agenda for the terms and conditions. That is why the dealer has to ask you to sign a separate section or form to register you for the warranty. This does not sign your CRA rights away as they are immutable.

Consequently the manufacture can stipulate things like only certain parts are covered, and that all transportation costs are at the customer's expense, and that service intervals are observed on pain of loosing warranty cover. However even though its a gift, it is set out in a contract form and is binding on both parties.
Interesting points however no contract between a trader and consumer for goods covered by CRA 2015 can over ride the current legislation. Also Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 may cover the unfair term and I am sure that the contract signed between the dealer and the consumer will be invalid.

If the caravan was bought on finance i.e. HP then the consumer cannot claim costs from the dealer. The consumer needs to claim from the finance company as they are now the trader.

Section 19 clause 5 of the CRA 2015 states "If the trader is in breach of a term that section 12 requires to be treated as included in the contract, the consumer has the right to recover from the trader the amount of any costs incurred by the consumer as a result of the breach, up to the amount of the price paid or the value of other consideration given for the goods." This seems to indicate that the consumer can claim costs from trader under CRA 2015 for breach of contract i.e.faulty goods.

For many of us we have experienced the dealer not willing to pay any costs for transportation of the goods back to their premises. If they do agree it is in the way of a free service or similar. The problem is one never knows how good the free service will be. IMHO one would be better off taking monetary compensation leaving you free to choose your service technician.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Interesting points however no contract between a trader and consumer for goods covered by CRA 2015 can over ride the current legislation. Also Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 may cover the unfair term and I am sure that the contract signed between the dealer and the consumer will be invalid.
Lets be very clear. The CRA relates only to the retail sale of the goods. It does not relate to the offer of a manufacturer's warranty. The manufacturers warranty is a separate contract with the manufacture, and the dealers involvement is only as an agent.

The manufacturer (unless they sell direct and become the seller) has no statutory liability to the retail customer for faults in the products they make. That liability is strictly with the seller. Consequently if a fault arises, and you choose to use the manufacturers warranty to have it repaired or replaced, the terms and conditions are laid out in the warranty policy. If that states the customer is responsible for all transport costs under this scheme, then that stands becasue it is an contract for a service supplied by the manufacture independent of the sales contract with the seller.

The above mentioned does not remove the sellers CRA liability. but to take advantage of your rights under the CRA you have to formally reject the goods to the seller in the prescribed manner.

Dealers and customers are jointly to blame this mish mash, becasue teh general public generally do not seem to understand what their rights are and how to use them, and Dealers re not obliged to advise customers they have a choice on how to mange failures.

It must also be borne in mind that just becasue you have a failure of some sort, it might not be a matter for the CRA, in which case it might be more appropriate to use the manufacturers warranty which does not require the goods to be proven faulty at the point of sale.

Now back to the specific point of thread. The ability to recover transportation costs for the repair/replacement of faulty goods depends on the circumstances of the failure, and which scheme (Manufacturers Warranty or CRA) you choose to use.
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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Lets be very clear. The CRA relates only to the retail sale of the goods. It does not relate to the offer of a manufacturer's warranty. The manufacturers warranty is a separate contract with the manufacture, and the dealers involvement is only as an agent.

The manufacturer (unless they sell direct and become the seller) has no statutory liability to the retail customer for faults in the products they make. That liability is strictly with the seller. Consequently if a fault arises, and you choose to use the manufacturers warranty to have it repaired or replaced, the terms and conditions are laid out in the warranty policy. If that states the customer is responsible for all transport costs under this scheme, then that stands becasue it is an contract for a service supplied by the manufacture independent of the sales contract with the seller.

The above mentioned does not remove the sellers CRA liability. but to take advantage of your rights under the CRA you have to formally reject the goods to the seller in the prescribed manner.

Dealers and customers are jointly to blame this mish mash, becasue teh general public generally do not seem to understand what their rights are and how to use them, and Dealers re not obliged to advise customers they have a choice on how to mange failures.

It must also be borne in mind that just becasue you have a failure of some sort, it might not be a matter for the CRA, in which case it might be more appropriate to use the manufacturers warranty which does not require the goods to be proven faulty at the point of sale.

Now back to the specific point of thread. The ability to recover transportation costs for the repair/replacement of faulty goods depends on the circumstances of the failure, and which scheme (Manufacturers Warranty or CRA) you choose to use.
?????????????????
 
Jun 16, 2020
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Lets be very clear. The CRA relates only to the retail sale of the goods. It does not relate to the offer of a manufacturer's warranty. The manufacturers warranty is a separate contract with the manufacture, and the dealers involvement is only as an agent.

The manufacturer (unless they sell direct and become the seller) has no statutory liability to the retail customer for faults in the products they make. That liability is strictly with the seller. Consequently if a fault arises, and you choose to use the manufacturers warranty to have it repaired or replaced, the terms and conditions are laid out in the warranty policy. If that states the customer is responsible for all transport costs under this scheme, then that stands becasue it is an contract for a service supplied by the manufacture independent of the sales contract with the seller.

The above mentioned does not remove the sellers CRA liability. but to take advantage of your rights under the CRA you have to formally reject the goods to the seller in the prescribed manner.

Dealers and customers are jointly to blame this mish mash, becasue teh general public generally do not seem to understand what their rights are and how to use them, and Dealers re not obliged to advise customers they have a choice on how to mange failures.

It must also be borne in mind that just becasue you have a failure of some sort, it might not be a matter for the CRA, in which case it might be more appropriate to use the manufacturers warranty which does not require the goods to be proven faulty at the point of sale.

Now back to the specific point of thread. The ability to recover transportation costs for the repair/replacement of faulty goods depends on the circumstances of the failure, and which scheme (Manufacturers Warranty or CRA) you choose to use.
All that make great sense but leave a question open in my mind. CRA to one side. Is the manufacturers guarantee between the dealer and the manufacturer or the customer and the manufacturer? Therefore, if the dealer went to the wall, could the manufacturer refuse to accept responsibility?

I seem to remember in the motor industry some years ago manufacturers made a big thing about their guarantee being honoured at any franchised dealer.

I do have memories of taking my van in for warranty work and being told that the manufacturer wont accept it for some futile reason. And my reply being, "OK but what are you going to do about it". Its an argument I have always won but I bet there are many customers who accept that from the dealer.

Sorry for the drift but just seemed to follow the trend.


John
 
Jun 20, 2005
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As the actress said to the Bishop, it’s all about timing. IMO, if you are within the CRA time frame use it even if the manufacturers warranty / guarantee covers it. The Dealer will have to do the repairs even if he does so via the manufacturer. The dealer may well then be liable for your extra costs. I do support the other comments, don’t buy from a far away Dealer.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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All that make great sense but leave a question open in my mind. CRA to one side. Is the manufacturers guarantee between the dealer and the manufacturer or the customer and the manufacturer? Therefore, if the dealer went to the wall, could the manufacturer refuse to accept responsibility?

I seem to remember in the motor industry some years ago manufacturers made a big thing about their guarantee being honoured at any franchised dealer.

I do have memories of taking my van in for warranty work and being told that the manufacturer wont accept it for some futile reason. And my reply being, "OK but what are you going to do about it". Its an argument I have always won but I bet there are many customers who accept that from the dealer.

Sorry for the drift but just seemed to follow the trend.


John
The Manufacturers warranty is between you and the manufacturer that why its called a manufacturers warranty. The dealer is an agent for the manufacturer and is instructed by the manufacturer.

The manufacture cannot deny liability for matters covered by their warranty even if the supplying dealer is no longer trading.

But, the manufacture is not liable for any matters outside of their warranty terms that would otherwise be covered by your statutory rights, as those rights are exclusively with your seller.
 

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