Gary was unhappy that he was unnecessarily sold a battery after his car broke down following the advice he was given from his breakdown cover provider. He asked us to look into the complaint.
Gary’s car broke down on his way to a music lesson. He called his breakdown cover provider, who sent out a patrol mechanic. The mechanic inspected Gary’s car and told him that he needed a new battery. Gary agreed to buy a new battery from the patrol mechanic for £120. After the battery was replaced, Gary’s car started.
Two weeks later, Gary’s car broke down again. He called his breakdown cover provider, who sent out another patrol mechanic. This time the mechanic was unable to diagnose the problem and so took Gary’s car to a garage. Gary’s garage fixed his car and told him that the battery wasn’t the problem and he probably hadn’t needed a new one two weeks earlier.
Gary thought he should be refunded for the cost of the battery and made a complaint to his breakdown cover provider. His provider said in its final response the patrol mechanic’s diagnostics showed that he did need the new battery.
Unhappy with the outcome, Gary contacted us to look at this complaint.
What we said
We first had to check if we were able to investigate Gary’s complaint. We’re not able to look into every complaint we get about vehicle breakdown cover because some providers carry out services that are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Gary’s provider didn’t meet this exemption, so we were able to investigate his complaint.
We looked at both reports sent by Gary from the garage and his provider from the mechanic that attended and sold the battery. We were satisfied that Gary didn’t need a new battery and he should be refunded for it. We informed Gary’s provider of our decision and asked them to refund the cost of the battery and to pay 8% interest on top.
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