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Make use of the car ombud

Date posted: 28.08.2014 | Author: Harry Bovensmann

8 Johan Van Vreden 300x293 Car ombud adds extra service

The car ombud, Johan van Vreden, helps mediate disputes that arise between the motor industry and consumers as well as suppliers. In terms of the initiative the ombud’s office can intervene in complaints involving used cars, car parts and other products sold by dealers that adhere to the ombud’s code of conduct.

Disputes over unfair purchase and service agreements, exaggerated prices, unsafe goods and breaching of warranty contracts are just some of the matters dealt with by the car ombud. Since the introduction of an advisory centre for both buyers and sellers, the ombud’s office has seen a drop of between five and seven percent in complaints lodged against the motor industry.

The advisory centre is manned by a team of experienced case managers who provide telephonic advice to both consumers and motor industry businesses. Principally the advisory system helps consumers make informed decisions when planning to lodge a complaint.

But Van Vreden cautions vehicle buyers or suppliers that lay complaints to come prepared. “Do your homework. Before lodging a complaint, make sure that you understand all the elements of the original purchase agreement.” He adds that as buyers of various motor vehicles, businesses are also protected by some of the ombud’s latest initiatives. “Recently we developed a unique project called Transaction Protected Project to protect both buyers and sellers of pre-owned vehicles from unscrupulous behaviour,” says Van Vreden.

This service is free to consumers, but a fee is charged to motor industry companies that deal with the office. Should a dispute arise between a buyer and a seller, a complaint must be lodged within 14 days if the parties involved cannot reach an agreement alone.

Complaint forms can be downloaded online and submitted in writing, but only after complainants seek telephonic advice first from the ombud’s office.

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