San­tander er­ror cost me car sale

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - READERS’ LETTERS -

I am at the end of my tether with San­tander Con­sumer Fi­nance hav­ing suf­fered a ma­te­rial fi­nan­cial loss be­cause of its ac­tions. Can you help? TR, SHROP­SHIRE

You were try­ing to sell a car that you had bought in May 2011. The first time you ad­ver­tised it there were two gen­uinely in­ter­ested par­ties.

You as­sured the prospec­tive buy­ers there was no out­stand­ing fi­nance. How­ever, they drifted away.

You ad­ver­tised again and this time a po­ten­tial buyer ad­vised you, to your cha­grin, that she had checked and found the car was shown as hav­ing an out­stand­ing loan against it.

You called the lender con­cerned, San­tander Con­sumer Fi­nance, which dis­cov­ered that it had an­other car un­der a per­sonal con­tract pur­chase that ap­par­ently shared your reg­is­tra­tion num­ber.

It then clar­i­fied that the chas­sis num­ber was dif­fer­ent from yours.

It tran­spired that a deal­er­ship mis­take with an­other car had led to your num­ber be­ing in­cor­rectly en­tered on San­tander’s sys­tem.

The fact that the reg­is­tra­tion num­ber was one ap­pli­ca­ble to an ear­lier year than when the ve­hi­cle was man­u­fac­tured should have been picked up, but hadn’t been.

San­tander quickly amended the in­for­ma­tion it had put on the HPI ve­hi­cle checker sys­tem (hpicheck. com) and the marker was duly re­moved.

How­ever, you sus­pect the re­search by the first two buy­ers may have turned up the same wrong in­for­ma­tion and that could have stopped them com­ing back.

As you say, any whiff of a prob­lem sell­ing a ve­hi­cle over the in­ter­net can make prospec­tive buy­ers sus­pi­cious.

You had paid for ad­ver­tis­ing that had come to noth­ing. Also you be­lieve you lost out on higher of­fers, in­clud­ing those from deal­ers, than the one you ul­ti­mately ac­cepted.

San­tander had of­fered £50 but that didn’t cover all your costs.

You went to the Fi­nan­cial Om­buds­man Ser­vice, as sug­gested by San­tander, but the case did not come within its re­mit.

In fact, San­tander re­it­er­ated this sugges­tion later as well.

I chal­lenged it for send­ing you on this wild goose chase.

It said it was a for­mal­ity to give de­tails of the om­buds­man but that it was look­ing into point­ing peo­ple in a di­rec­tion that is ir­rel­e­vant to their par­tic­u­lar case.

The bank also sug­gested that you could re­fer the mat­ter to the Fi­nance & Leas­ing As­so­ci­a­tion, the trade body to which it be­longs.

For more de­tails on this and ac­quir­ing a form call 020 7836 6511, see fla.org.uk or write to Im­pe­rial House, 15-19 Kingsway, Lon­don WC2B 6UN.

In­stead, seven months af­ter the is­sue came to light, you wrote to me.

San­tander now said: “Hav­ing re­viewed the case, we can con­firm that our er­ror caused Mr R un­nec­es­sary detri­ment when sell­ing this ve­hi­cle.”

It apol­o­gised and sent £350, which it says is in re­dress and for the in­con­ve­nience.

John Davis, seen with his wife, Rose­mary, spent two years try­ing to cash in his pen­sion

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