Terry asks: I recently had an annual service at Kwikfit, including fitting two new front tyres. About three weeks after, when hand washing my car, I discovered damage to both sills of the car at the two front jacking points.
The damage appears to be caused by upward thrusts to the sills. It doesn’t seem too severe, yet I was given a price of £400-plus to fix it.
I’ve written twice to Kwikfit and had them inspect the car, but they’re denying liability. Is it worth pursuing through the small claims court?
Joanne Lezemore, Senior Solicitor for Which? Legal Service responds:
Whenever you pay for any service the contract is governed by the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982, which states that the service should be carried out with reasonable care and skill. If it isn’t, you can expect the service provider to put it right, or claim damages for the cost of having to put it right.
In your case, if Kwikfit are refusing the claim you may have to consider obtaining an independent report stating how it is believed the damage was caused (i.e. as stated by you, that it is clear it is recent etc).
If they still did not pay upon receipt of a report, then you could consider legal proceedings, such as the small claims court. Before doing so you would need to send a ‘Letter before claim’ to Kwikfit – you can use our template letter to make this process quick and easy.
The small claims procedure is a quicker and simpler way of using the courts to settle disputes than other parts of the courts system – you don’t need a solicitor, and the hearing itself is fairly informal. But remember the small claims court is still a last resort for dealing with problems. If you can, it’s best to try and resolve the problem before it goes to court.
I hope this helps you; please be aware that the guidance given is limited by the information given and I would strongly advise that you seek further legal advice before obtaining a report or issuing proceedings.
Have you had success in getting a company to take responsibility for damages it has made to your property? Or have you taken a company to the small claims court?