Feeds

Online car-buying firm agrees to more transparent pricing

OFT found webuyanycar.com staff got bonuses for undervaluing cars

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

An online car-buying company has agreed to change the way it operates after consumer regulator the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) said that was not transparent with customers about its pricing.

A year-long OFT study revealed that nearly 96 per cent of people who sold their cars to webuyanycar.com received less for their vehicle than the original online valuation.

The OFT found that We Buy Any Car Ltd's pricing practices may breach aspects of two regulations, the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999.

The firm give the impression that their online valuation of a vehicle is the price a customer can expect to receive, whereas the car's final valuation is subject to amendment following a visual inspection, the OFT said.

The OFT found that staff conducting the inspections were able to secure larger performance-related bonuses for re-appraising the value of cars to lower prices, which the OFT said had the potential to encourage unfair conduct.

The investigation found that We Buy Any Car's online valuation was not valid only for the seven day period as stated, and that the final price customers could expect from the sale of their car was subject to road tax refund being deducted, which the OFT said the firm had failed to make clear during the initial online valuation stage.

We Buy Any Car had also "failed to assess customer complaints in a fair, reasonable, consistent and professional manner," said the OFT report.

We Buy Any Car Ltd signed undertakings to address OFT's concerns. It has promised to make it clear to the customer that the final price for a vehicle will be decided following an onsite inspection.

We Buy Any Car will also inform customers at least 24 hours in advance of an appointment that their vehicle's valuation has been reduced for market reasons, and will address its bonus procedures to ensure employees do not stand to gain by artificially undervaluing cars, according to the undertakings.

Copyright © 2011, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.