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.