Mark Webster was thrilled to spot a Mk6 VW Golf 1.6 TDI Bluemotion in Match trim advertised at a very tempting lease rate on Bluechillicars.com. He clicked on the web link to pursue the deal and, after contact from a sales rep, signed a confirmation form stating the agreed payment terms and an estimated delivery date.
However, before a credit agreement could be signed, Mark’s wife received a phone call from Blue Chilli Cars with the news that it wouldn’t be able to fulfil the deal under the agreed terms; the monthly repayments would have to go up by £20.68, meaning Mark would have to fork out an extra £537 over the lease period.
‘They put pressure on my wife to agree immediately over the phone and then rang repeatedly over the next few days. They tried a number of high-pressure tactics such as saying that they had a car in our chosen colour, but we’d have to agree to the change there and then to secure it,’ Mark said.
We approached Blue Chilli Cars to ask what had gone wrong. It explained that the finance company funding the car had changed its terms, which left Blue Chilli unable to supply at the price it had advertised. ‘We are not in the habit of letting our customers down, but we cannot legislate for changes out of our sphere of influence,’ said a spokesman.
Blue Chilli denies it tried to pressurise Mark’s wife into accepting the deal. ‘Mrs Webster wanted the car quickly, so we said we may be able to offer it for quick delivery as long as they made a quick decision to go with the new price. This has been misconstrued to make it look like we were putting pressure on them.’
Blue Chilli then came up with an offer that Mark did find acceptable: a 2.0 TDI at a monthly rate of £230. This time the deal went through without any hitches and Mark finally took delivery of the car – two months later than hoped for, but better late than never, in his opinion.
‘While not exactly what we agreed to buy at the outset, the car did represent very good value,’ a satisfied Mark told Helpdesk.
What if this happens to you?
- Remember that if you organise a lease through a broker, the deal isn't done until the credit agreement is signed.
- Don't automatically accept amended payment terms without making sure you can afford them.
- If you're unhappy with a new offer, ask for an alternative. Always be prepared to walk away if it doesn't feel right.
We've prepared lots of useful advice, including a full guide on warranties that could help you with either a new or used car.
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