Highland Council’s Trading Standards team are some of the unsung heroes of the council. Officers from trading standards have been at the forefront in highlighting the unfair postal charges levied by many companies on deliveries to the Highlands. Their direct action has persuaded some companies to be more open about their charges or to remove them altogether. The surrounding publicity, resulted in the Scottish Government becoming more active on the issue.
Now the team, is highlighting some of the perils of buying a used-car and want to hear from recent buyers about their experiences. The survey is targeted at consumers who have purchased a used car only to find out later that certain information about the car was not disclosed to them by the dealer.
Gordon Robb, Trading Standards Manager for Highland Council explains; “Used cars remain the product type that Highland consumers complain about the most. Cars are often the most expensive purchase we make aside from our homes and if things go wrong, sorting them can be expensive.
“Many of these car complaints stem from issues which were not explained properly before a car is purchased. For example, was the car previously used by a hire car company or was the car accident damaged or perhaps modified in some way? Also does it have an underlying fault or is there a part due for imminent replacement?”
Trading Standards is concerned that many consumers and probably traders fail to realise that sellers are under a legal obligation to disclose upfront information which a consumer needs to take an informed purchasing decision. Importantly this includes possibly negative or off-putting information. This means a seller cannot remain silent or fail to disclose information they know or ought to know about.
Gordon Robb continued: “If you’ve recently bought a car and then subsequently realised that you didn’t get all the information you feel that you should have, then we want to hear from you. We will use the survey responses to inform our ongoing work with the trade to ensure that consumers are fairly treated.”
Car buyers can complete the survey at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SCOTSS-Car2014