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Car rental company, Disputing claims for damages
palasmy
post Fri, 2 Mar 2018 - 21:20
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Hi

The Green Motion car rental company is trying to charge me 2400 pounds for a burnt clutch on a vehicle that I rented from them in January. Basically I had only driven less than 100 miles in that vehicle when I alerted them of the smell. Without being given a chance for me to get an independent engineer to investigate the issue, GM had sent the vehicle to their preferred garage and got it fixed. Despite my constant efforts I was deprived of any chances to access the vehicle when it was being repaired and only got sent a couple of pictures showing the damaged clutch once they had completed the repair. Below is the explanation for their claim,

[i]Whilst I appreciate charging for items such as a clutch replacement is far from an ideal way to end of hire, we do on occasions need to do this. In order to avoid any non-expert opinion, I have asked a number of vehicle technicians for their view. You can obviously do the same. If a clutch was to fail due to general wear and tear, both sides of the clutch plate would wear away at the same or a similar rate. As you can see from the attachments this is not the case.

Once again, while I do appreciate that this is not an easy thing to accept, it is a reasonably simple thing for us to prove. In the opinion of the repair agents and other people that we have spoken to, the speed at which the failure occurred and the nature of the wear to the clutch parts suggests damage that occurred swiftly (i.e. not over thousands of miles) and as a result of the user at the time. Therefore based on this opinion, we are looking to you for the costs incurred for the damage to the clutch.
[/i]

On a separate account they have also already charged me 400 pounds for a windscreen damage on the vehicle that I took as a replacement for the clutch damaged vehicle. Again I'm disputing this claim as well, and my reasons for this are also fairly strong.

I have started a thread in MSE Motoring (link below) where I have fully described the case and also there are some good expert comments on the mechanical/technical aspects of the clutch.

http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showth..._term=27-Feb-18


I'm seeking some legal advice here as I foresee a legal dispute in the making. I haven't paid them for their claim yet and the deadline for the payment is next week. With such a bad reputation and history that this company has, I feel I shouldn't let them rip me off so easily. I would really appreciate some advice and some useful tips on how to argue my case.

Thanks

This post has been edited by southpaw82: Fri, 2 Mar 2018 - 21:41
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palasmy
post Fri, 13 Apr 2018 - 22:32
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Today I had an another email as below from GM, wonder if I should start considering a response?

"I have tried to contact you this afternoon to discuss the outstanding balance of £2169.72 you have with us. As payment has not been made, and not contact has been made from yourself, we will be issuing a legal claim against yourself. We would prefer to avoid this situation for us both. However, as you have not made payment we have no choice but to go down this route. I am available on XXXXXX to discuss this or you can email me with any additional questions.

Kind regards
"

Thanks
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Korting
post Fri, 13 Apr 2018 - 23:24
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As per before, wait until you receive a County Court Summons, they are trying to scare you and push you into settling out of court because they know there's a good possibility of losing.

And if they do phone you, my advice is that you're not prepared to discuss the matter on the phone.

This post has been edited by Korting: Fri, 13 Apr 2018 - 23:26
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big_mac
post Sun, 15 Apr 2018 - 21:52
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If the aim is to try and dissuade them from initiating court action, I'm not sure that silence is the best policy.
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palasmy
post Mon, 16 Apr 2018 - 05:26
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Thanks Korting and big_mac.

Just my feeling that any form of reply from me would mean that I'm prepared to settle for a compromise outside the court. However, I don't think I want to pay anything. I can understand my silence can trigger more annoyance for them, tricky one...


Any other comments is appreciated...


Thanks
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The Rookie
post Mon, 16 Apr 2018 - 05:33
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As long as you have made your position clear and why, then further communication isn't going to change anything, I would only respond if they add something new from their side that its worth clarifying/correcting. That to me would be the 'reasonable' behaviour a court expects to see.


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palasmy
post Mon, 16 Apr 2018 - 22:43
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Thanks Rookie, as GM has been sending me mails of reminders including a LBA over the past week and one today as well, I was thinking to respond as below,

"I'm not prepared for any discussions until Green Motion can show proof that the damage was not present before my hire and that any charges are reasonable and reflect that you have sought to minimise any loses incurred, and that the amount you are claiming is a true reflection of your costs incurred. You will of course be required to produce this information if you seek to progress a legal claim, so you must already have this on record."

Would appreciate your comments and advise

Thanks
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Redivi
post Tue, 17 Apr 2018 - 03:12
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I would phrase the reply as statements, not questions

The alleged damage to the clutch was an existing defect and not caused by my driving etc

The problem with asking for proof is that you've effectively admitted liability if they produce it
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The Rookie
post Tue, 17 Apr 2018 - 04:47
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I would also add something like as directed by the pre-action protocols, in order to establish both parties position in there, make sure they know you know about the PAP.

I did this with a DCA (assigned debt) chasing my daughter, their tone changed significantly, they had used the line they didn't have to supply it, I pointed out they would be expected to supply it as part of PAP if they were to take the legal action they kept alluding to. It was clear they had 'bought' insufficient material with the debt to have any hope in court, as they wouldnt have the material to contest my daughters defence, even if they had I was sure they would lose, but without, no hope at all.


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palasmy
post Tue, 17 Apr 2018 - 05:25
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Ok, thanks redivi and rookie, have changed a bit..

"As I have already made it clear in my earlier mails to you, the alleged clutch damage was an existing defect in the vehicle that I hired, which GM is attempting to charge me. As directed by the pre-action protocols, in order to establish both parties position, you will be required to first present your case to me with enough details than just simply asking me to pay."
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The Rookie
post Tue, 17 Apr 2018 - 08:52
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Looks fine to me.


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There is no such thing as a law abiding motorist, just those who have been scammed and those yet to be scammed!

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Steve_999
post Tue, 17 Apr 2018 - 12:01
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". . defect in the vehicle that I hired, for which GM is attempting to charge . . ."
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palasmy
post Tue, 17 Apr 2018 - 21:28
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The reply for my above mail was pretty much instant!!

"Thank you for coming back to me. The next email will have the information you require.

kind regards"
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Kyp_Durron
post Thu, 19 Apr 2018 - 14:49
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I have a relative in a similar position with Green Motion, the company have taken the payment from their credit card which is currently being disputed. I'm assuming if that's successful they will be in the same position as the OP is now, what I'm wondering is if the company does take them to court and wins what would be the worst case scenario? They would be due the repair costs they are after,the court costs (around £50 as the total claim is under £1000) and it looks like potentially some costs for travel expenses and experts at around a few hundred more, is that about right?
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The Rookie
post Thu, 19 Apr 2018 - 14:51
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£75, £25 for the claim and £50 legal fees, to claim any more they would have to show the defendant had been unreasonable.


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There is no such thing as a law abiding motorist, just those who have been scammed and those yet to be scammed!

S172's
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southpaw82
post Thu, 19 Apr 2018 - 17:18
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QUOTE (The Rookie @ Thu, 19 Apr 2018 - 15:51) *
£75, £25 for the claim and £50 legal fees, to claim any more they would have to show the defendant had been unreasonable.

Considering the fixed costs alone for a claim for £500-£1000 are £70 you might want to check. There are other costs recoverable on the small claims track that you haven’t listed.


--------------------


Any comments made do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon. No lawyer/client relationship should be assumed nor should any duty of care be owed.
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palasmy
post Thu, 19 Apr 2018 - 22:28
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I have received the below mail today afternoon. The mail appears to have been from a different person and the amount has been decreased from 2169 to 1808.. Does this all mean that internally GM has escalated the issue??

"First Notice Of Costs - LETTER BEFORE ACTIONDear Mr XXXXX

Further to rental agreement number RGW99451 we are writing to advise that we appear to still have an outstanding balance on your account. The details are shown below:


RA/Invoice NumberInvoice ReasonTotal OutstandingRGW99451DAMAGE£1808.1The vehicle was hired from Green Motion Gatwick Airport. If you require any more information then please contact us urgently.
THIS PAYMENT IS DUE IMMEDIATELY
In the case of debts relating to penalty charge notices or similar traffic offences, where you have three or more unpaid notices, then this is advance, written confirmation that your details will automatically be added to the RISC database. This may effect your ability to hire cars in the the UK and Europe in the future.
HOW TO PAY
In order to make a secure online payment please visit www.glir.co.uk and click on 'Make A Payment' and follow the instructions. Once full payment is received then we will cancel all future recovery action. In the event that no payment is made then we may proceed by issuing court proceedings without any further notice.
Yours sincerely
Elysia Chapman
Customer Services"
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cp8759
post Fri, 20 Apr 2018 - 00:18
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I would reply saying that they need to comply with the pre-action protocol for debt claims published at https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure...debt-claims.pdf and I would also suggest they take legal advice.
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The Rookie
post Fri, 20 Apr 2018 - 06:17
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I wouldn’t reply, it looks like an automated template, wait for the response to your request.


--------------------
There is no such thing as a law abiding motorist, just those who have been scammed and those yet to be scammed!

S172's
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Council PCN's
Rookies 1-0 Warwick
Rookies 1-0 Birmingham

PPC PCN's
Rookies 8-0 PPC's
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Kyp_Durron
post Fri, 20 Apr 2018 - 13:55
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QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Thu, 19 Apr 2018 - 18:18) *
QUOTE (The Rookie @ Thu, 19 Apr 2018 - 15:51) *
£75, £25 for the claim and £50 legal fees, to claim any more they would have to show the defendant had been unreasonable.

Considering the fixed costs alone for a claim for £500-£1000 are £70 you might want to check. There are other costs recoverable on the small claims track that you haven’t listed.


Does that mean the costs could be higher and if so, how much more?

Thanks
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palasmy
post Sat, 21 Apr 2018 - 22:08
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QUOTE (The Rookie @ Fri, 20 Apr 2018 - 06:17) *
I wouldn’t reply, it looks like an automated template, wait for the response to your request.


Yes Rookie, haven't replied as yet, will wait...
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