Advice related to complaints about Car sales companies and garages

ORANJESTAD - the Department of Rent and Consumers affairs (DHC) releases complaint data of 2018.

The most received complaints in 2018 were related to cars and garages. However, most of the complaints have been successfully resolved with the mediation of the DHC.

The DHC wants to help minimize complaints specially regarding the purchase of vehicles, repairs or warranty related issues by providing essential tips to give the costumer the upper hand in the event something goes wrong.

Advice is to avoid complaints

In the event of a purchase, the buyer makes the payments and receives the purchased product from the seller. With car repairs, this can be a bit different; payment is done for a repair but needed parts may also be ordered.

Tip 1: Oral and written agreements

Make written agreements with specific details on what exactly needs to be repaired and what specific parts are needed. With parts replacement always demand the old parts to be returned when the repair is completed. Include the completion date of the repair in the written agreement. If possible, ask for a written report of the complete diagnostics. Also, include in the agreement that any additional repairs must be agreed to in writing by both parties. It is not recommended to do any verbal agreements since this can be difficult to prove in the event of disputes.

Tip 2:  Complaint period

Always submit written complaints as soon a problem is noted and send this by postage mail, delivery company or by email. Sometimes it can be a bit difficult to provide an exact repair completion date due to unexpected longer delivery times of ordered parts or out of stock parts. In such cases, it is important for the consumer to know that they cannot make an appeal on the agreement if what they received was not according what was agreed upon, if they have not notified the seller or garage accordingly and in a reasonable time after noticing their noncompliance.

In the event the seller or garage provides certain specifications and properties of the service and or parts, which ultimately proved not be the case, or the seller or garage deliberately withheld valuable information of the service or product and resulted in the non-compliance, the costumer report the non-compliance immediately. In case your car is left at the garage for over two years without a written notification, they ask you to remove the car from their property, and you do not comply, they can charge you a storage fee.

Tip 3:  Receipt

It is always recommended to ask for a receipt for a product or service. In the event of car repair, one most pay extra attention. When repairing a car or ordering car parts, one must make sure the repairs and parts are specified on the receipt.  If the receipt only includes the paid amount and a vague description, this will become unfavorable for the consumer in the event of disputes.

Tip 4:  Warranties

There are four types of warranties:

  • factory warranty;
  • store warranty,
  • legal warranty and
  • extended warranty.

Factory warranties usually provide coverage for 1 to 2 years. This is the warranty the factory gives on their products. According to Aruban laws, if the factory is not established in Aruba, the dealer/importer is responsible for the product’s warranty. Store warranty is provided by the store on to the product. Legal warranty is warranty regulated by local laws. This means that consumers are entitled to a good product. In the event a product fails despite proper handling, it should be repaired or replaced by the store. Extended warranty is mostly available for purchase. This warranty is unnecessary for defect products. The only reason to purchase the extended warranty is in case it provides more coverage than the legal warranty.

One should always pay attention to the warranties when purchasing a new car. A good advice is to use the factory warranty as reference. Reason for this is that in most cases factories will honor their warranties quicker than the legal or store warranties. However, the more quality and value a car or part has, the longer it has to perform well according to the law. If you think that, your car or part dos not comply with the agreement, please contact your garage and try to solve the issue together. In the event you are not sure, have questions or need legal intermediation or advice, please contact the DHCS for assistance.

To report a complaint or register consumer abuse please contact DHC or submit your report personally at the DHC at Wayaca 33, telephone 5829914