Feeds

Online car-buying firm agrees to more transparent pricing

OFT found webuyanycar.com staff got bonuses for undervaluing cars

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.