Lack of sleep with
new born baby
AO Silver Member
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: United Kingdom
I wonder how they sell the cars they buy though? sounds like they auction them off?
I came across this, the sunday mirror investigated them, a good read.....................
A dealer for booming online car firm webuyanycar.com has blown the whistle on its outrageous tactics... which have fleeced customers out of hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Car-owners, attracted by the company’s irritatingly catchy TV ad boasting it will buy any car, no matter how old or new, go online for an instant quote of how much their vehicle is worth. But little do they know that before driving to one of its 200 centres to make the deal, the purchaser there is under strict *instructions to offer *the lowest price they can – up to 30 per cent LESS than the website price.
Our whistleblower, who we are not naming to protect his identity, has handed the Sunday Mirror emails from a company executive showing how they *demand that customers are offered the lowest price to maximise webuyanycar.com profits.
One message tells staff that an average mark-down of 16 per cent is “not enough!”.
Another reads: “28 per cent. This is the bare minimum! Guys, you need to pull your fingers out.”
The employee came forward because he was racked with guilt over being forced to con often-vulnerable customers *desperate for cash. He said: “It’s a rip off, plain and simple. Customers think they’re going to get a fair price for their car but they end up being offered *hundreds of pounds less.
"The pressure on vehicle purchasers to lie to *customers is immense *because earnings are based on commission. The whole business is based on *persuading the *customer into thinking their car is worth a lot less than it *actually is. The customer loses out while the company makes massive profits.
“I had a two-day induction course when I joined and was told how to play down a car’s positive features and how to accentuate its *negatives. I was told to sound as if I knew what I was talking about and *people would believe me.”
Adding to the pressure on the more than 150 vehicle purchasers to force the price they pay for cars down, they get just £100 a week basic pay plus commission.
They can earn £3,200 a month *commission if they are in the company’s top 15 performers – but get none if they are in the bottom 10.
The haggling starts when customers enter the registration number of their car into the company’s website. Seconds later, they are offered a cash figure – at the low end of the car *industry’s *recognised valuations – based on the vehicle age, condition and mileage.
The *company is not legally obliged to *actually pay that until after an *inspection at one of the firm’s branches.
In many cases at the inspection, the vehicle purchaser finds reasons to reduce the offer to what is called inside the company the “chip value”.
In some cases, tiny stone-chips and slightly worn tyres result in cars *being *devalued by hundreds of pounds. *
Missing service records or handbooks, not having two keys and dents have led to falls of up to £1,500.
Customers are also charged an “admin” fee between £49.99 and £74.99.
Sales records show that in the first week of this month the firm’s top-*performing purchaser, based at one of its branches on the East Coast, paid *sellers an *average 47 per cent less for their cars than the online quote.
Even the poorest *performer got *reductions averaging 15 per cent, while the average was around 18 per cent.
In one week the firm bought 3,043 cars, paying on *average £590 less for each than their *initial offer. If they were *sold on for the online *valuation, the profit would be nearly *£1.8m.
Despite that, another email to staff from an area manager on March 20 raged: “Most of you have gone backwards on chip! The message is *obviously not *getting through!”
Our whistleblower added “The sad part is that some customers are *desperate because they’ve lost their jobs. That kind of vulnerability is music to the firm’s ears because it knows they will take whatever they are *offered.
"I remember a *really nice guy who brought in his Toyota. His business was about to go bust, his *marriage was in trouble and the car was the last thing he had. He was in tears. I think I offered £750 less than the car was worth. When I got home I couldn’t stop thinking about him.”
The firm’s parent company UK Car Group, owned by Rochdale-based multi-millionaires Noel and Darren McKee, posted a £5.56m pre-tax profit in the year to September 30.
The brothers, both in their 30s, bought the business, which incorporates used car giant Carcraft, from their father after starting work as trainees at 16.
Last night a webuyanycar spokeswoman denied there was a culture of undervaluing customers's cars.
She said: “We *purchase thousands of cars every week from many happy customers. All our staff are fully trained, but you *appear to have highlighted an *example of a vehicle purchaser and area *manager where they are not *following the process.”
The company insisted that their onsite appraisals were carried out *correctly and we hadn’t given full details about the condition of our cars on the website.