A company that told people it could find buyers for their used cars has had its consumer credit licence revoked by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
Vehicle Seller, a vehicle-matching company based in north London, would cold-call people who had placed car adverts online or in magazines, claiming it could put them in touch with buyers for a fee of between £79.99 and £99.99.
But the OFT said Vehicle Seller misled customers, telling them buyers had already expressed an interest in their cars and that they were ready to view cars on the same day, or very soon afterwards.
Vehicle Seller also claimed these buyers were willing to pay more for the car than the original purchase price.
Once the company had taken money from its newly-acquired customers, it would simply re-advertise the cars on its own website and pass the details on to anyone who had expressed a general interest in the make or model of car.
OFT director of consumer credit Ray Watson said: ‘Vehicle Seller was engaged in deceitful and unfair business practices. This is unacceptable behaviour and we have therefore revoked their consumer credit licence.’
In November 2007, Which? joined Vehicle Seller as part of an investigation into vehicle-matching companies. The company said it had already lined up buyers for our car, but none came to light.
Vehicle Seller’s director, Mr Kieran Cassidy, was company secretary of another vehicle-matching company – Vehiclematch Services Ltd – which went into compulsory liquidation in December 2007.
Richard Headland, Which? motoring editor said: ‘The case of Vehicle Seller exposes some of the bad practice we’ve previously seen from vehicle-matching companies. We receive several complaints from readers who have advertised their car on websites such as Autotrader, or in local newspapers, only to field nuisance, sometimes high-pressure calls from such companies.
‘We advise car sellers to steer clear of vehicle-matching agencies, and always to insert “no canvassers” at the end of their car advert or listing.’
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