Spineless finance companies continue to cave in to consumers

An increasing source of annoyance is being derived from those finance providers who almost always crumple at the first sign of a complaining consumer, regardless of merit.

Of course, why shouldn’t they?  After all, they can always come after the poor supplier - whose car has been totally trashed - under the threat to our clients of “pay up or we will withdraw business from you”.  Sadly, the fact is that many of our customers rely on commission from finance companies so much that they lose the ability to dig their heels in. Clients are economically burdened to reverse perfectly good deals only to ensure that future business with the finance suppliers can continue. And the finance companies know it.

What we find is that many finance companies have little awareness that the Consumer Rights Act cannot cover the sale to them from our client.  This is because, as buyers, the finance companies are not “consumers” as defined in the Act.  They have obligations to the consumer under the Act but those obligations cannot be transferred from finance company to car supplier.

So, they seek to rely on a contractual term that says that the supplier will repay any losses incurred by the finance company - even if those loses are self-induced because they have repaid installments made by the customer at a whim.  Alternatively, they will say that if the case is referred to the Financial Ombudsman that the consumer will win.  No doubt because upon making such a submission they are hardly likely to advance to the Ombudsman any robust defence against their customer.

I particularly wish that the main “offenders” would appreciate that it is not the case that when faced with imperfections, the customer is entitled to reject the car automatically.  Headlight washers that don’t retract on a second-hand car does not render the vehicle unfit for purpose nor of satisfactory quality in the eyes of any reasonable person.  And wear and tear is just that. It is not a fault that was “developing at the point of finance inception”.

For those who are prepared to run the risk of termination of business with a finance company because of their behaviour are invited to contact Lawgistics.   Let us see if we can strike back at those finance providers whose support structure for their suppliers is riddled with osteoporosis.


Authors: Jason Williams

Published: 22 Mar 2017


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