|Complaints and queries about used cars are the most common issue handled by Scotland’s new national consumer service.|
New figures for July show that an average of 12 people contacted consumeradvice.scot about a used car sale every day.
Buyers raised problems after purchasing vehicles relating to lights, oil leaks or engine failure.
There were also complaints about incorrect sales descriptions, enquiries about warranties, and discoveries that finance agreements remain in place from a previous owner.
Many customers were exasperated after multiple attempts to solve the problem with car dealers and sellers.
There were 364 queries related to used cars last month, with 4,946 contacts in total.
consumeradvice.scot, which was launched in April this year with Scottish Government funding following the devolution of further powers to Holyrood, provides free and impartial advice to people on any consumer issues.
Experts advise people of their legal rights, such as the Consumer Rights Act 2015 which includes a short-term right to reject goods of unsatisfactory quality within 30 days.
consumeradvice.scot can also refer complaints to Trading Standards Scotland for investigation, but cannot carry out legal action on a consumer’s behalf.
consumeradvice.scot team leader Lorna Yelland said:
“The new consumeradvice.scot service is handling tens of thousands of calls and online queries from consumers across Scotland, ranging from questions about building work to parking fines to furniture sales.
“But used cars have proved to be the most common issue raised this summer, with buyers not sure what to do if something goes wrong after buying a second-hand vehicle.
“The new consumeradvice.scot service is free for everyone in Scotland, regardless of circumstances, and experts are available to offer impartial advice.
“Consumers shouldn’t be left in the dark about their rights.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
consumeradvice.scot is operated by the charity Advice Direct Scotland. Consumers can seek help in a number of different ways: freephone 0808 164 6000; online and web chat at www.consumeradvice.scot; and email via firstname.lastname@example.org
Consumer advisors can provide practical and impartial advice on how to resolve consumer problems, inform people of consumer laws which may apply to their situation, provide template letters which consumers can use to contact the trader or service provider they are having issues with, and pass relevant information onto Trading Standards for further investigation. They cannot make a complaint on an individual’s behalf or carry out any legal action on an individual’s behalf.