NT Car Engine Rebuild and Mechanic Issue

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Frustrated

Member
17 July 2014
4
0
1
I had a total car rebuild in January 2014. Immediately after, the car used excessive oil consumption. I contacted the mechanic prior to 1000km service. At the 1000km service, the 5000km service and 10000km service, he made excuses and then tried to blame me for glazing the bore (which was not warranty). However this was all verbal conversations we had. Good mechanics (after 5 months of dealing with this bloke) did another complete rebuild. They were totally amazed at the disgusting job this guy had done, and said that they have documented and photoed the problems. I am just not sure whether to take this to NT consumer affairs or small claim courts under Australian Consumer Law? The initial works cost $6200.00 (however I have lost his invoice, I can prove payment). I live in the Northern Territory. Just wanted some advice which is the best option. Cheers.
 

John R

Well-Known Member
14 April 2014
689
174
2,394
Sydney
  1. In the absence of the original invoice, do you have a bank statement or other document to proof that you made payment?
  2. Do you have a written quote and/or any SMS, etc. (that is, anything "written" or "non-verbal") to support the conversations?
  3. Do you have a copy of the problems (with photos) that the alternate mechanic identified?
 

Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
1,314
250
2,389
Melbourne, Victoria
Hi,

It is probably worth giving the Northern Territory Consumer Affairs office a call. They are an independent service that offers assistance with dispute resolution between individuals (consumers) and businesses. Lodging a complaint is free, but Consumer Affairs does require you to first contact your original mechanic and attempt to resolve the dispute yourself. You should have all subsequent correspondences between yourself and the mechanic in writing. If it is a verbal conversation (eg. over the telephone), you should subsequently note the conversation down, including dates and times, and if possible, get the mechanic to confirm the substance of the conversation in writing (eg. send the mechanic an email detailing the conversation). Before contacting Consumer Affairs, have a clear idea of what you are seeking from the mechanic, as well as any alternative resolutions, if possible, you would think reasonable.

You can contact Consumer Affairs here: http://www.consumeraffairs.nt.gov.au/ContactUs/Pages/default.aspx
Here is some information about consumers and motor vehicles: http://www.consumeraffairs.nt.gov.au/ForConsumers/MotorVehicles/Pages/default.aspx
 
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Frustrated

Member
17 July 2014
4
0
1
  1. In the absence of the original invoice, do you have a bank statement or other document to proof that you made payment?
  2. Do you have a written quote and/or any SMS, etc. (that is, anything "written" or "non-verbal") to support the conversations?
  3. Do you have a copy of the problems (with photos) that the alternate mechanic identified?
1 Yes I do have confirmation of payment
2 no do not have written quote, however I asked for an engine recon and he quoted me on the phone $5500, when I rang him later he told me that he was unable to source a recon motor and that had done a full rebuild which would now cost me more $6200, but he explained that I now had I absolute new motor in my car. unfortunately this is all verbal conversation on the phone. it happened over Xmas and I was in a hurry to get my car repaired as everyone else was closed.

generally it has been a one way conversation, me ringing the mechanic, him giving excuses, I did send him an email detailing the previous 5 months and my questions and his excuses and that could he please do something to resolve this issues I had, he asked me (by phone) to come down and they would diagnose my car, which I did, then the equipment they needed wasn't there or was not working - total waste of time however they have not charged me for this or the services, they are a backyard mechanic shop. Verbally they told me that they would look at my car (which they clearly said was my fault for the oil useage) have not heard from then since.
That is when after 6 months took it to other mechanics as I feared my car would blow up.
3 The mechanics who have fixed my car have sent me photos and have said they will write up a report. They stated that they have never seen such a bad rebuild as this, missing engine bolts, missing starter motor bolts, rings put in upside down, pistons placed incorrectly, con rod wrong way, crank shaft damaged due to misplacement of parts and so forwarth. They reckoned a 5 year old could do a better job.

I wanted to email the mechanic and give him the info of the crap job he has done and request that he repays me the money before I take it further - is that a good idea?

Also just not sure whether to go to consumer affairs or small courts
Cheers for you help
 

Frustrated

Member
17 July 2014
4
0
1
Hi,

It is probably worth giving the Northern Territory Consumer Affairs office a call. They are an independent service that offers assistance with dispute resolution between individuals (consumers) and businesses. Lodging a complaint is free, but Consumer Affairs does require you to first contact your original mechanic and attempt to resolve the dispute yourself. You should have all subsequent correspondences between yourself and the mechanic in writing. If it is a verbal conversation (eg. over the telephone), you should subsequently note the conversation down, including dates and times, and if possible, get the mechanic to confirm the substance of the conversation in writing (eg. send the mechanic an email detailing the conversation). Before contacting Consumer Affairs, have a clear idea of what you are seeking from the mechanic, as well as any alternative resolutions, if possible, you would think reasonable.

You can contact Consumer Affairs here: http://www.consumeraffairs.nt.gov.au/ContactUs/Pages/default.aspx
Here is some information about consumers and motor vehicles: http://www.consumeraffairs.nt.gov.au/ForConsumers/MotorVehicles/Pages/default.aspx

Thanks for your reply
For over 5 months I verbally spoke to the mechanic to try and understand the oil consumption. He kept giving me excuses. Finally he said it was my fault. However the mechanics who have know fixed my car are totally disgusted with his work. My concern is that although I sent original mechanic an email detailing the 5 month history of what had occured, I have very little written communication from him. Also consumer affairs seem to be more about resolving matters, however it went past this point and the mechanic was not listening to me so I took it elsewhere, for fear that the car was going to blow up. However I have very little written proof from him.
Would small courts be a better option?
 

Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
1,314
250
2,389
Melbourne, Victoria
Hi,

What is it you are seeking from the mechanic?

If it is compensation for the damage, then the Small Claims Court or tribunal would be a better option. In any event, I would suggest giving Consumer Affairs a call and seeing whether what you are seeking as a resolution is within their jurisdiction.

If it is return of monies already paid for services were not properly rendered, then Consumer Affairs may be able to assist.
 

Frustrated

Member
17 July 2014
4
0
1
Hi,

What is it you are seeking from the mechanic?

If it is compensation for the damage, then the Small Claims Court or tribunal would be a better option. In any event, I would suggest giving Consumer Affairs a call and seeing whether what you are seeking as a resolution is within their jurisdiction.

If it is return of monies already paid for services were not properly rendered, then Consumer Affairs may be able to assist.
HI Sarah
am looking at return of monies paid for his work. will give consumer affairs a call and see what they advise. Cheers