A BBC Watchdog investigation has questioned online car retailer Cazoo’s 300-point check on all its vehicles after failing to uncover documentary evidence of such a review.
The consumer protection TV series took up time on last night’s prime time One Show episode on BBC One to highlight the experience of disgruntled customers in the New Stock Exchange listed operation. Expanding York.
His investigation into the experience of three customers, whose newly acquired cars suffered from problems such as faulty brakes, gearbox, broken exhaust, leaky roof and traction control malfunctions, asked why the customers were denied documentary proof of 300-point checks.
Watchdog host Matt Allwright said: ‘If when their cars go bad you can’t provide customers with proof of those inspections, what are they really worth?
Parkers Consumer Car Buying Guide noted that Cazoo’s widely publicized multi-point use of vehicle and provenance checks claims to exceed those of all franchise car retailer-approved vehicle programs, including the 165 checks carried out, as part of the Jaguar Land Rover programme.
Stressing the importance of documentary evidence of these checks, Suzuki GB used car and cost of ownership manager at Suzuki, Ian Banks, told Parkers: “(For mechanical checks) we carry out around 75 checks multipoints, which are filled on a sheet. The customer can be sure that these operations are carried out, because they are necessary to validate the guarantee that we offer. »
Cazoo initially had its stock of used cars prepared by BCA. However, following the launch of a rival online car retailing operation facilitated by BCA’s parent company, Constellation Automotive, Cazoo acquired Smart Fleet Solutions (SFS) as part of a move to integrate the operation internally.
Like many auto retailers struggling to acquire inventory in a market currently grappling with the impact of new car supply shortages and the ripple effect of registration shortfalls resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cazoo sold 20,454 cars in 2021 and claims to buy less than 5% of the vehicles it sees.
However, online car dealership forums have highlighted instances where previously crash-damaged cars appear to have been offered for sale on its website before they were promptly removed after identification.
In 2019, the BBC series Rip Off Britain accused Evans Halshaw of Pendragon, a used car company, and Arnold Clark of selling insurance write-offs without telling buyers the vehicles had been damaged in a accident following a BBC investigation.
A resulting investigation found that retailers were vulnerable to such oversights due to serious shortcomings in the recording of accident damage by insurance companies.
Watchdog found no evidence that the cars of disgruntled Cazoo customers he spoke to were involved in collisions.
Cazoo customer service
A customer bought Ford Ka from Cazoo in March last year which had problems with its gearbox and exhaust. Cazoo bought the car back and issued a £700 goodwill gesture.
A second customer discovered that a BMW purchased from Cazoo had a brake problem after taking the vehicle to a franchise dealership for a health check.
In this case, Cazoo paid to replace the faulty brakes.
The Mazda MX-5 buyer, meanwhile, found that his newly acquired sports car had issues with its traction control system and head restraints.
Cazoo swapped the car for another MX-5 which was later discovered to have a leaky roof.
Cazoo paid for the repairs.
At the heart of Cazoo’s online sales promise is a seven-day, no-compromise policy that allows customers to return their vehicle and receive a full refund.
It also offers a 90-day warranty and free roadside assistance.
In a statement released to AM this morning, a Cazoo spokesperson said: ‘We are sorry that the three customers featured on the BBC One Show did not have an experience that met their expectations.
“We regret this, but we have done everything we can to quickly address these isolated issues and ensure that they are not forgotten financially.
“We have sold over 60,000 cars over the past two years and with 95% of customers rating our service as ‘Excellent’ or ‘Excellent’ on the independent review website, Trustpilot, we believe the how we handle issues is what sets our service apart.