Webuyanycar.com.au In Liquidation

On the 26th of July I posted an article called Life Lesson Well Leant about the trials and tribulations of doing business with the most unethical car dealership I have ever encountered. With thousands of readers per week I had hoped to prevent anyone else from being conned by these miscreant charlatans.

Other web and social media sites also ran red hot with complaints.

Product Review was the first one I stumbled across. 71 out of 91 reviewers have slammed this company, and rightly so.

Stuff Review begins their appraisal with the elegant one-liner “What a bunch of shit.” I couldn’t agree more. So prolific were the responses that they created a FaceBook page on the 25th July to make it easier for people to engage with them and vent their frustrations.

Even A Current Affair got involved with a little expose. Unfortunately their follow up has been a little… lets say quiet 😉

The comments kept coming in thick, fast and vitriolic.

On the 27th July Mr. Jeremy Herbert, the Head of Global Rollout for webuyanycar.com contacted me with the following statement, which I ran on my site:

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.

Mr. Herbert was quick to distance himself from the corrupt shenanigans of webuyanycar.com.au and I must say, I cannot blame him. Their brand has been damaged, many Australians lives have been ruined.

On the 30th July, after hearing a rumour that the company had been shut down, I checked the forums. People had said that webuyanycar.com.au was in liquidation and that the firm responsible for managing the wind up was Worrells Solvency and Forensic Accountants. I tried calling but received no joy so I loaded their website and found the following press release:

KAR LAND PTY LTD TRADING AS ‘WE BUY ANY CAR’ – IN LIQUIDATION
Released: 30.07.2012

URGENT NOTICE – ALL CREDITORS AND INTERESTED PARTIES
Worrells Solvency & Forensic Accountants have been appointed as liquidators to ‘Kar Land Pty Ltd trading as ‘We Buy Any Car’.

The matter is in its infancy and we are process of collating all relevant information.

We ask for your patience during this period. Our office is currently being inundated with calls, we only have limited information to pass on at this time.

Information regarding this business will be posted on our website as and when it becomes available.

Please refer to this section ‘Press Releases’ for full information.

1. Customers – who have sold cars to the company
We understand that there are a number of people who have sold cars to the company and have not been paid. With the liquidation of the company, your claim will be a ‘unsecured debt’ in the company. Please note that regrettably you do not have the right to reclaim your car, only an entitlement to a dividend in the liquidation. This process will take some time, therefore we request your patience in the matter. In the meantime, customers are asked to provide us details of their claim, so that they can be added to our reporting database. You will be able to lodge this information via our homepage shortly.

2. Employees
With the cessation of the business, prior to our appointment, again regrettably employment arrangements have been terminated. We understand that there would be entitlements owing to you. Unfortunately the company doesn’t have funds to pay these entitlements. However we would like to inform you that your entitlements do have full priority (except for superannuation) and would be paid under the GEERS scheme (Government Employee Entitlement Redundancy Scheme). We are in the process of getting all the employee details and we will be writing to you in regards to your claims.

3. Creditors
Please note that the company has ceased trading, therefore you should not be making any supplies to the company. In the meantime, you are asked to provide us details of their claim, so that they can be added to our reporting database. You will be able to lodge this information via our homepage shortly.

The Australian company We Buy Any Car with the annoying jingle and immoral mismanagement had made the lives of its customers, employees and creditors miserable. Some people, like myself, managed to get our money. This was achieved through sheer determination, dogged persistence and the fortunate timing of our sale. For those that are still owed, get in touch with Worrells and lodge your claim as soon as possible.

Good luck.

Matthew

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.