[04/04/2011] Misleading valuations from Webuyanycar.com
The car buying company Webuyanycar.com, which has 114 branches in England, Whales, and Scotland has been ordered by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to make its operation more transparent. The OFT has established that close to 96% of the company’s clients have received less for their vehicles than the original estimation, which they received online. Left under the impression that they would be paid the estimated value unless they have given inaccurate description of their cars, most customers received a new valuation when an on-site inspection was carried out. The vehicle inspectors, working for Webuyanycar.com had set targets, and at the appointments were typically giving the customers valuation, which was, at times, 25% lower than the headline valuation. The OFT highlighted other concerns such as untimely response to customer’s complaints, and not making it clear to customers that the next business day payment service was optional. The clients were also left with the misleading impression that the headline valuation, which they received online, was valid for seven days only.
The chief operating officer of the company stated that the findings did not reflect the company’s current operation, and the website was updated after taking the OFT findings into account. The updates make it clear to vehicle owners that the online valuation is nor final and that the final valuation might take other factors into account. In order to improve their services and customer satisfaction, the company has spent £300,000 in training program.
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