Life Lesson Well Learnt

In my opinion webuyanycar.com.au should be shut down and deregistered.

Sorry readers but I’m about to go on a little rant here. Read on though, as it may just prove to be worth your while.

Mask worn by the infamous Australian bush ranger – Ned Kelly, and the sales team at webuyanycar.

You’ve all heard that annoying jingle on late night television promoting the web site webuyanycar.com.au. Well the song is NOT the most horrendous part of doing business with this company. On the 22nd June I sold my Mazda 3 to the people at their Strathfield branch and the experience has been less than satisfactory.

I am a divorced dad and I only get to have my children every second weekend. With that in mind I really did not want to sell my car privately and waste precious time with my kids by taking potential purchasers out on test drives. I had done my research online and knew what the car was worth to a private buyer and what the dealers were selling them for, so I arrived at the outlet with a figure in mind that I wanted and another figure that was the lowest price I would accept.

They offered me less than half of the minimum figure.

This should have sent the alarm bells ringing, but I figured they were salespeople and they were just indicating their starting point. Let the negotiations begin. After a bit of bartering the sales guy went out the back to talk to his boss. He came back with another sub-standard offer and tried to convince me that the car wasn’t worth my price. He showed me a search on carsguide.com.au to prove his point. Unfortunately for him, he used the wrong year model.

More haggling ensued.

After another trip to his boss’s office, which resembled a shipping container with a desk inside and could well have been a pickup truck with the engine running, our super sales rep came back and said they probably wouldn’t up their offer because of the damage on the side of the car.

WHAT DAMAGE?

Upon closer inspection there was a white scuff mark on the drivers’ side rear door. I licked my thumb and washed it off.

This was another sign that I should have driven away and never mentioned it again. But alas, I kept playing the game. Eventually his boss got involved and we agreed to a figure that neither of us was entirely impressed with. Good negotiations always leave both sides unhappy 😉 I signed the deal and was promised payment within ten business days.

DUMB, DUMB, DUMB, DUMB, DUMB!

When the money failed to appear in my account I contacted their office only to be told that I couldn’t talk to anyone in accounts payable because they were too busy, and that I had to send an email to customer support. I did that, and kept calling. Eventually I got an email back on Friday the 6th July saying that they would be in touch with me within 48 business hours. This just bought them four more days with my money, however I did manage to get the direct number of someone to speak to in Customer Relations. Progress at last!

After emailing and placing several calls to a busy land line on the 10th July, I was getting riled.

My car was gone.

I had no money.

And the company was ignoring me.

Finally I managed to get in contact with Ms. Bonnie Elizabeth Parker in Customer Relations, who informed me that their director was overseas and all transactions were waiting for approval. Apparently they were being done one at a time for some reason that made absolutely no sense.

I’ve run my own business.

I’ve done electronic payments.

These can be batch-processed guys.

Don’t give me that shit!

Enjoy the song, whilst reading on.

Bonnie Parker promised to call me back within 48 hours with either a receipt number for the payment or a date that it would go through. That’s another two days they get to keep my money. These guys must be making a killing on the short-term money market.

I called them again on the 12th July and would you believe, Bonnie Parker was off sick. I’m not surprised. Covering for the incompetence of the management must be a highly stressful job. Answering Bonnie’s phone in her absence was Clyde Chestnut Barrow, who was struggling not to stutter his words as he spouted the farcical reasoning behind their inability to pay on time. Obviously he didn’t believe the directions from ‘management’ or had had enough dealing with irate clients all day and was suffering an adrenalin rush. Clyde couldn’t do anything except get his supervisor to call me back. At 4:23pm approximately three hours after I lodged my as yet unreturned call with Clyde Barrow, I had to phone wedontpayforanycar back again. Poor fellow was incredibly apologetic and I get the feeling that he was quietly searching for a new job on seek.com.au as he spoke to me. Clyde promised wholeheartedly that his supervisor would call me back “before close of business today.

At 4:54pm, too late for a bank transfer, supervisor John Herbert Dillinger called my mobile. The story I got told was one of woe and hard times.

They had received a glut of cars in May and were struggling to process them all. (Lucky sods.)

They’d had a glitch in their system whereby a whole slew of clients got paid twice for the same car and they had only just fixed the glitch and retrieved the funds. (Wish that was me.)

Their admin person responsible for creating payments had been removed from the system. (Hmm, that’s a telling reaction.)

Their Director responsible for approving payments was overseas. (Tax haven?)

Poor Dillinger could not deliver a line without his voice wavering. Clearly he too did not believe the tripe he was feeding me. Seriously, if your business is struggling to meet it financial obligations, you have computer glitches that pay double, your admin people are being removed from the payment processing system, and you have to approve payments one by one, YOU COME BACK FROM YOUR HOLIDAY AND DEAL WITH IT!!! At least that’s what a competent and ethical company Director would do.

I kept my cool though and managed to extract a promise that I would be paid within the next 72 hours, including the weekend. This meant that I should have received my money by Sunday night. Yeah, right! Thinking back on it, as I sat in the waiting room I recall a conversation that one of the sales team, had with a client who had not been paid. He told the caller that payments always arrive within ten business days unless there was a problem with the car. He suggested that the reason they had not received their money as yet was because there had been a public holiday in early June and therefore the required ten-day period had not actually lapsed. This discussion occurred in the background and hardly even registered in my mind, until now, so I went online over the weekend and found this site:

http://www.productreview.com.au/p/we-buy-any-car.html

Lots of unhappy people experiencing the wedontpayforanycar level of support.

Then, on Sunday evening as I curled up on my couch, I saw an ad on television for an upcoming exposé on A Current Affair. They were about to run a sting on a national used car dealer – tune in on Monday night. Oh no, there goes my car and my money. (Interesting point re A Current Affair, if you look up Used Car Outrage in their story archives you will see that there have been 95 comments – image below. Once you open the article, or use the link above, you will see that all the comments have been removed except for Wedontpayforanycar’s letter of explanation. Hmm….)

On Monday morning 16th July I telephoned them yet again. Bonnie Parker promised to call me back by 6:00pm. Not good enough, so I sent them a legal Letter of Demand. They had until midday to deposit the funds into my account or I would report my car as stolen and inform the Department of Fair Trading. Nothing was done – of course.

I did a search on the number plate and found that the car had been sold to Anthony Motors at Rockdale. I called the dealer in the hope that I could prevent them from selling the car until I had a chance to inform the police. Tony – the boss – told me he had bought the car at auction. Manheim Auctions I believe is the place that handled the transaction. Unfortunately he had already sold the car to a private buyer. To his credit, Tony called the auction house and relayed my story. They said they would look into it from their end. Tony called me back to let me know.

After several calls to Bonnie and Clyde, John Dillinger and Ned Kelly, I was finally given a whole new person to speak with. Ali Baba was jovial and making small talk and offered to take on my case personally. He said he would call me back in 48 hours. I told him he had ten minutes. He said he would call back whether he had an answer or not. I never heard from him again.

Anyway, I got paid eventually then the funniest thing happened. A staff member called me and asked whether I would recommend their services, HELL NO!

In my opinion do not, under any circumstances whatsoever, do business with webuyanycar.com.au!

You will regret it.

Images from Wikipedia and the ACA website. Song by Claude Hay. Only the names have been changed.

35 thoughts on “Life Lesson Well Learnt

  1. Mr Richard Burbage is trading in southampton England post code SO19 7HS.He is doing a very similar scam.Since he started trading (scamming) the begining of this year the company has changed name 3 times.

      • As from the 13th jan 2014, Mr Richard Burbage has been moving all the cars from his 3sites in Woolston, Southampton UK.As quick as he can. Most probably his scams are coming to a head service bills unpaid, court orders flying about. Time to time to run as quick as one can. will keep you informed as more info comes to light. regards theodore.

  2. Greetings from Florida! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to browse your website on my iPhone during lunch break.

    I really like the info you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m surprised at how fast your blog loaded on my cell phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .

    Anyhow, very good site!

  3. Thanx Matt for the ‘heads up’, these bastards will get theirs !

    You’ve saved me from surrendering my beloved NSX from this fate !
    Well done, keep it up and let’s get these pricks in JAIL where they belong !

  4. I’m a car dealer and I also buy many cars of the public for wholesale on or retail, these guys WBAC are industry cowboys’ or white collar criminals. They are deliberate and are buying cars knowing all the legal loopholes, for years honest Car Dealers have tried hard to shake the dodgy reputation the Motor trade has had, and these un-educated dishonest criminal have set it back again.

    But it all comes back to the basics, never had over any goods unless you are paid in full, its doesn’t matter what business you are dealing with stick to the proven golden rule, Money upfront or move on until you get it.

    • Thanks for your comment Bill.

      Dodgy operators in any industry tend to tar their peers with the same brush unfortunately. I know some very good real estate agents, yet their collective reputation is not very good.

      I sincerely hope that the actions of WBAC doesn’t adversely affect the business of honest businesses.

      As for your golden rule, well I certainly learnt my lesson.

      Warm regards,

      Matt

  5. I got a chq and it bounced they dont return my calls any more the web site is down.

  6. I can’t believe people have been paid in July and we are still waiting!! Now we will be waiting even longer. Please post links to social media websites!!

  7. I sold my car to We Buy Any Car one June 23. I was quoted on the Internet at least $10,200. They told me this data was 3 months old and the best they could do was $8000 plus 10% bonus for selling with in 7 days of booking my appointment. I was unsure so the manager waived the account fee of $50, not much but I caved. They told me I would receive a cheque in 10 days. I kept calling and calling after the 10 days. No manager was ever free to talk and I kept getting promises it was posted. Today I found out the company has gone into liquidation and I Won’t get my car back and I might not get all the money I was promised And it will take time! I’ve got bills to pay!

  8. You’re lucky. I’ve been doing then same thing and have gotten nothing and now they are in liquidation.

  9. I too am a victim of ‘webuyanycar.com.au’ and unfortunately their number has been disconnected so i drove to the office in Dandenong and as suspected it has been vacated – there is a sign that says they are closed until 31 July 2012 for stocktake – hmmm yeah right. Looks like they are completely out of operation now so at least no one else will fall prey to their dodgy business. I do feel for those that sold for a steep price and still had finance owing – i would call consumer affairs in that case. I ‘m writing mine off as it wasn’t a huge amount but will definitely be doing thorough research in the future. I could kick myself for not doing my due diligence this time and should have listened to my mother who sold her car to a similar type dealership a while back and received cash on the spot.!!

    • Turns out they have gone into administration – I got onto Highway Auto Group this morning and they told me “we have nothing to do with WBAC, you need to contact 07 3225 4300” – I called the number and they are Worrells Solvency and Forensic Accountants http://www.worrells.net.au/ – get in touch with them. I’ve also registered a security interest on my car with the PPSR.

    • Humour helps me cope with the blatant dishonesty and obvious criminal negligence of some people. It’s like the old saying, “If you don’t laugh you’ll cry”.

  10. Hi Matt
    I made the same mistake on June 17, leaving my old, bomby car at Strathfield after achieving the amount we had been told we would get at the wreckers. thought we were saving ourselves some hassle (big mistake). After 14 phone calls, 3 emails, posting my email trail on their facebook page, lodging complaints with DFT in Qld and NSW I fortunately stumbled across productreview.com.au, reported my car as stolen to Auburn Police, sent an email letter of demand and had the only returned phone call from the in 20 days. Saying “we paid you last night but it bounced back” and “we will pay you by 5pm today” I told the ever helpful natasha that it better be true because they were liars and all hell would break loose if i didnt get my money. She was most upset I said she was a liar! Luckily the money was there by 5pm.
    I also posted warings on every backpackers facebook page on the East Coast (about 200 …. just one hour and 3 easy clicks!!!)
    Never underestimate the power of angry consumers. although I now have my money i want to see these shonky bastards gone for good

    • Hi Karin,

      Good call posting warnings on all the backpacker sites. Never thought of that myself – great idea.

      Hopefully people power will get these guys shut down. Perhaps their directors will face charges. Either way, I just want to see all the other victims get some compensation.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Matt

  11. Hi Matt,
    another review page with a load of helpful info is http://stuffreviews.com.au/webuyanycar-com-au
    scroll down and there are some contact details for some of us who are still fighting the monster, some for ourselves and some for others.
    There is growing group who are waiting to find out about a civil class action. there is also a facebook page set up by Stuff Review for this business.

    I too got paid, but it took alot. But there is thousands of dollars owing innocent people and we are prepared to fight for them.

    regards,
    Brooke

  12. Hi Matt – we feel your pain. I represent webuyanycar.com (not webuyanycar.com.au) who have been established since 2006 and have 150+ branches in Europe and the United States. We’ve bought cars from hundreds of thousands of customers and we have a very high customer satisfaction rating.

    We’ve been reading the complaints about webuyanycar.com.au with increasing concern. They are not related to our business in any way yet we’ve heard from many people who have mistakenly thought they were part of our business and have experienced service that is simply unacceptable. We’ve also offered advice and assistance to customers who have been left waiting for payment. When we buy a car, we either pay the customer immediately by cheque (in the United States) or by secure bank transfer and the transaction is always backed up by cleared funds. As the World’s biggest specialist car buyer we know that a fast and hassle-free transaction is important to our customers. We have our lawyers working on the brand confusion problem.

    Hope you have a good outcome from your transaction and please feel free to contact me personally if you need any help with this matter. Once again to reiterate, webuyanycar.com.au is not part of webuyanycar.com, is not a franchise of webuyanycar.com and not connected in any way to webuyanycar.com.

    • Hi Jeremy,

      Thank you for the clarification and taking the time to right to me. I was one of the lucky ones who managed to get paid however I fear that many others will never see any money.

      Unfortunately your brand has been severely damaged in Australia by the appalling business techniques of the local management. My story is one of hundreds of people who have gone online to vent their frustrations. I sometimes wonder how many more have suffered in silence.

      Based on your assertions that you are not affiliated with these rogues I have removed my recommendation for people not to deal with any webuyanycar outlet anywhere in the world. If there is any assistance or advice you can offer the victims, I would appreciate hearing about it.

      Kind regards

      Matthew

  13. I rung the english version, and was not amused when they didnt even offer me 50 quid for it. Then i noticed the 45 pound “processing fee”… needless to say, im still driving that vehicle 2 years later…

  14. Sorry you went through that mess, but well written – and great song. Hope it gets around. We have crap places like that here too.

  15. Good to know Matt – will need to sell my car soon so will avoid this company

  16. The website webuyanycar.com.au seems to be diverting to a blank page at the moment. There is a new site webuyanycaraustralia.com.au which appears to be active but it only has a 1300 number and not the dodgy valuation page. I called the number a few times and it was constantly engaged.

    • webuyanycaraustralia.com.au is now a parked domain (blank screen). They surely cant be dumb enough to think that if they set up a new website/facebook etc the people chasing them arent going to find it and hammer them there.

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