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PSA contract hire: perceived damage charges - please help

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  • PSA contract hire: perceived damage charges - please help

    Hello everyone,

    Apologies for starting a new thread but I've just received a letter from PSA Finance that has put me into a state of total shock - I am panic-stricken.

    My four-year-old Peugeot was inspected by Manheim on 22nd September. To my total bewilderment, the inspector estimated damages of almost 2000, and when I asked him to explain these he was pointing to things that *literally did not exist*. For example, he claimed a scratch on the back windscreen meant it needed to be replaced completely at a cost of over 300 - there were no scratches on the back windscreen; he claimed to be able to see dodgy repair marks in the paint on a panel that had never been damaged or repaired, at a cost of over 200.

    I did not sign any forms as I disagreed with his assessment. He advised me that Peugeot would probably look at the car and see that it was in lovely condition and not charge me anyway, and in any case, it was being sent directly to auction after collection. The car had full service history, no damage beyond very minor and expected surface chips and some scuffing on two of the alloys, previous repairs were done by insurance-recommended repairers, and it was 23000 miles under its contract mileage. In short, it was in really excellent condition.

    Fast forward to today and I've just had a letter demanding almost 2000 be paid within two weeks. I am distraught. There is no cost breakdown or evidence of damage, simply a demand for money and threats about credit ratings, and so on. I've never been in a situation like this before.

    The car was financed under a contract hire agreement. When I took it out (from what was a trusted salesman in a trusted dealership, more fool me - it's since shut down) I was under the impression it was a regular PCP agreement; the salesman even talked about how at the end of the contract I'd be able to pay the balloon payment and keep the car, which was always my intention. I did not realise that I had no rights in this respect until I tried to find out the settlement figure and was told that I had no option but to return the car by the end of the contract.

    I've emailed PSA customer service to ask for clarification and express my shock and upset at receiving this letter. What else can I do? I see there are some really helpful templates to download but I'm not sure if these can be used for a contract hire agreement or if they're specific to hire purchase, etc.

    Any help, support, or advice would be very much appreciated. I'm gutted. Thank you in advance.
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Hi Dandie

    R0b Could you please take a look and advise the OP.


    • #3
      Hello...anyone got any ideas for how I can proceed? I don't want to make a mistake and shoot myself in the foot! I'm still waiting on them sending me the inspector's report with photos but feeling sick thinking about how to respond.


      • #4
        Here's some information that should help -



        • #5
          Thank you, that is helpful!


          • #6
            Have a worrying update and would appreciate any help. I requested the damage report last Wednesday and they said they'd uploaded it to the online portal within 48 hours. They didn't, and I sent three follow up emails over the week to chase it.

            I got no response and no damage report, and today find that arrears notices and default sums notices for the full amount have been uploaded to my account...the original date for the full damage amount on the original invoice was 19 October, so I'm not in default or in arrears. I still don't have the damage report.

            I've emailed them again this morning and have cc'd their complaints department but I'm so worried about the extent of iincompetence and what kind of damage they could do to my credit score and life in general.

            Does anyone have any experience of this??


            • #7
              They've just this minute emailed to tell me that they will upload the damage report but that I still have to pay the full 2000 by next week and that complaints can take up to 8 weeks so would be in default if I wanted to challenge the report. I cannot believe this is legal...I'm gutted.


              • #8
                Follow their complaints procedure (look it up on their website). If the matter isn't resolved to your satisfaction, lodge a complaint with the FOS once you receive their final response.

                Keep all communication in writing. Send them a SAR, they will send you all the data on your account for the last 6 years. They have 30 days to provide it.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dandie View Post
                  They've just this minute emailed to tell me that they will upload the damage report but that I still have to pay the full 2000 by next week and that complaints can take up to 8 weeks so would be in default if I wanted to challenge the report. I cannot believe this is legal...I'm gutted.
                  EXC Can you please take a look and advise, many thanks.


                  • #10
                    Thank you echat11! What is an SAR? I've just received the damage report (finally!!) and the photos show nothing....he claims scratches on windscreen but his photo doesn't show any scratches; he claims bad repair done on an area that has never been damaged or repaired, and again, the photos show nothing. How can I counter this?? His photos are so unclear...he claims paint preparation marks in the paint and the photo just shows nothing but black paint.


                    • #11
                      I would write back explaining that you are disputing the claims of damage (add that the pictures are very unclear) that they are making and therefore disputing the 2000, so nothing is due until they finish their investigation and the FOS concludes it's investigation. Make sure you tell them a complaint has been made to the FOS.

                      Below is the SAR form:


                      Lodge a complaint with the FOS (it will take 8 weeks, but gets the process moving), make sure you highlight the following:-

                      'They've just this minute emailed to tell me that they will upload the damage report but that I still have to pay the full 2000 by next week and that complaints can take up to 8 weeks so would be in default if I wanted to challenge the report. I cannot believe this is legal...I'm gutted.'


                      • #12
                        echat11 thank you for getting back to me - this is all very helpful. I will keep you posted!


                        • #13
                          Hi echat11 sorry to be a pest, but I'm hesitating before I send this letter of complaint and would very much value your input.

                          I called the FOS today to ask for some advice and the woman I spoke to was excellent and very sympathetic. She advised me to lodge my complaint, be objective in my assessment of the damages, and to offer to pay for what I consider to be reasonable. I do not have a problem with that but she also advised that if I am worried about the impact on my credit score etc. then I should consider paying the full amount and claiming it back via the FOS complaint mechanism.

                          What do you think? From reading the forum I see that people generally advise against this because payment can be seen as passive acceptance of liability...


                          • #14
                            The thing is, they haven't provided clear pictures or evidence of any damage. The risk of 'defaulting' would effect your credit score etc. If you win your case the creditor would have to remove the 'default'. You strongly believe their claims of damage are without merit. It really is up to you which avenue to take. The creditor will use 'payment' as a sort of admission of damage, although no proof has been provided. It's not difficult to provide clear pictures, is it? You still have some time, 4 days to think about it.

                            Something else - https://www.irwinmitchell.com/activi...-under-protest


                            • #15
                              Thank you echat11 . What about agreeing to pay a proportion of the costs based on their evidence (scuffed alloys, etc.). So I'm not refusing the entire bill, only the parts for which there is no evidence of damage in either the inspector's photographs or in mine (or indeed in reality!!). Is my acceptance of some charges likely to go in my favour or against, do you think?


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