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    Default Used Car Gallery, Car City - MY BAD EXPERIENCE

    Caveat emptor - Let the buyer beware!


    Just realllllly need to vent...

    28 June 2014 we bought a Holden Zafira from Dave at The Used Car Gallery, Car City, Ringwood VIC. It was sold to us as having a working air-conditioner. That was stated on the piece of paper in the window of the car, and whilst I was doing a test drive, Dave turned it to cold, said - see, it's blowing cold air - then turned it to hot, and left it on hot - Fair enough - the ambient temperature was only about 13C.

    The car is a 2002 model - no statutory warranty in VIC as it's over 10 years old. But it came with a "free" Sentinel Warranty from the National Warranty Company instead.

    A few weeks later, on a warmer day, we discovered that the car did NOT blow cold air. I called Dave, and he said it was probably a fuse... I checked them out, and all worked ok. Dave then said - well, the warranty will cover mechanical, but if it's just a re-gas, that's on me. Ok, I say - that's fair enough.

    Meanwhile, I had to save up and get my other car fixed - blown head gasket...

    So, on Tuesday this week, I finally got the Zafira in to my mechanic for a service, and to check the A/C. The result - it doesn't work because the compressor's clutch is MISSING. Not broken - it's missing. And, "Doesn't look like it's worked in a while". Quote to repair - $1,117.

    The "free" Warranty only covers up to $350.

    I call Dave again... and he says my mechanic is raping me, (his words), and go get the Warranty people to suggest a repairer, cos they'll do it for half the cost. I happily comply, and book the car in with their mechanic, who advises me at the time of booking - If I don't get the repair done with him, he will have to charge an inspection fee. That's ok, I figure - cos no doubt they do lots of repair work for these Warranty people, and they'll do it "cheap", like Dave has suggested.

    No, they quoted $1,359, after taking the compressor off, confirming it's buggered, and also finding a few other bits and pieces need fixing too.

    Again, Dave says no way, they're both trying to rip me off... Leave it with me, he says. Ok, I said, for the last time...

    Today he called me, and said he priced a compressor for $150 from a wrecker. Ok, I say - but what warranty does that have? What if it fails in 6 months? "It is a second hand car, so you get second hand parts". Ok, I say - so even if we go with a wrecker part, the quote still will be around $500 over the $350 that the Warranty covers - and I don't feel I should pay for this repair as the car was sold to me as having air-con. He then says that's the labour quote, which "his guy" would charge 1/3 the price for. I tell him - 2 different mechanics are quoting me approx $400 labour... What am I supposed to think? That they are ripping me off, or his mechanic has it wrong?

    As soon as I then started quoting parts of the Australian Consumer Law 2012 at him, he yells at me, "If that's the game you want to play, then I SWEAR to GOD you wont get any more help from me!" and hung up.

    I'm going to write to the owner of the business, and advise that I want them to pay the balance of the repair, to be done by the 2nd mechanic (as that's who the Warranty people suggested), or I'll take them to VCAT. And, I want the reconditioned compressor quoted, not one from a wrecker, as both mechanics agree that using one from a wrecker just increases the chance of either getting a dud part, or having it fail within a few months, then having to do more labour and re-gassing to swap it out again.

    I've been googling, and have found a site with numerous negative reviews about this particular car yard, citing similar experiences...

    SO frustrated...

    Last edited by cosmichobo; 1st March 2017 at 11:59 PM.
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