Santander error cost me car sale
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