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VIC Gumtree Purchase of Used Jet Ski - Can I Get Refund?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by Jeremy, 6 December 2014.

  1. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Hi Team,

    Last Sunday, 30th November, I purchased a Jet Ski from a Private Sale. I requested a Jet Ski Mechanic to assist with identifying if it was a mechanically good ski. From what he could see, it was but couldn't be sure as the ski had just been rebuilt at 75 hrs.

    Seller stated that it had the 10hr run in time and subsequent service for it. He had the receipt for the rebuild which was completed in October 2013.

    I got the ski home, (Seller is from Melbourne, I am from Wodonga), put it in the water and within less than 5 mins. of operation, an alarm went off and the ski shutdown. I attempted to understand and resolve by contacting the seller and the mechanic that assisted with the purchase.

    I identified that the coolant was empty when previously at the sellers house it was full. Topped it up and went out again. Out for a period of 5 mins. before coming in to check the fluid level when noticing it was empty again. I spoke with the mechanic, and it needs to be pressure tested and it could be a head gasket or cracked intercooler which could cost thousands to fix.

    My question is, can I request a refund as I purchased it with the seller stating that it was an "Excellent ski and runs great" when I have only had it operating for 10 mins and it looks to require major repairs.

    Seller stated that he is willing to work with me to take it back to the person who originally rebuilt the engine but I believe that the 12 month warranty has expired.

    All this will come at a cost for me to travel back to Melbourne to drop it off, leave it there for x amount of time and then travel back to get it, test it and if further issues, travel back to Melbourne again to get repaired.

    Am I covered by Australian consumer law to get a refund?

    I require your expert opinions! Thanks in advance :)
     
  2. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    This thread may be helpful (even though the OP was a seller rather than a buyer)
     
  3. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Further to Tim's post, if it is bought from a private seller, basically the principle of "buyers beware" apply. You can obviously try to seek a refund. The seller does not need to agree. If they do not, there is no statutory mandate forcing the seller to provide a refund. Private sellers are not regulated by legislation (e.g. Australian Consumer Law) and therefore, if you want to recover loss, you will need to take them to small claims court and claim misrepresentation, breach of contract or some other action and seek compensation in the form of your original purchase price as damages.
     
  4. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    In practice, it is enough if you merely threaten them with action. Usually, they will be willing to provide a refund or pay for repairs to make up for the misrepresentation.
     
  5. kornchief313

    kornchief313 Member

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    Update on outcome.

    The seller agreed for myself to return the ski and look to get it repaired.

    I returned the ski on the 7th dec 2014 and on the 8th the seller sent a message stating that the mechanic possibly couldnt get it in till next year but to call back in a week adn see what he could do.

    I spoke with my mechanic and he stated that he could get it sorted this week but it would cost possibly between $800 and $1300 depending if it was an oil cooler or intercooler issue.

    I have not mentioned this option to the seller but the seller asked for a reminder today to contact his mechanic and see when it could get in for repairs. The seller stated that he called his mechanic on Friday and the mechanic cannot get it in till the 12th Jan 2015.

    I believe that this is an unreasonable time frame considering that i purchased the item on the 30th Nov 2014.

    The seller is stating that there is nothing that we can do but i have a mechanic that is willing to sort it out this week. The only reason why the seller is wanting to get his mechanic to repair it is so that he doesnt have to pay for it but my mechanic is stating that it will not be covered under a motor rebuild warranty and furthermore, it is past the 12 month warranty period.

    I feel that this could be dragged out for 1 -2 more months at this stage and i want to get it resolved. I think it will be hard to get a refund as the seller has used my money that i gave him to buy a new 2015 ski

    Can i request that it be taken to my mechanic so it will get repaired and then demand that the seller pay the bill for it?
     
  6. kornchief313

    kornchief313 Member

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    How long do I have before I am ineligible to lodge a claim through VCAT?
     
  7. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the update Kornchief313.

    You can start VCAT proceedings at any time. However, I suggest raising the possibility with the seller to repair them with your mechanic and having the seller reimburse you for the costs. It is best to get a few quotes beforehand to eliminate the possibility that the seller thinks you're over-quoting him. You must get this agreement down in writing, an email confirmation should usually do the trick. Ensure you agree on a time frame for the reimbursement (e.g. 14 days) and best to have a method of payment as well. Then, you can just provide the seller with evidence of repair (e.g. invoice) when it's done.
     
  8. kornchief313

    kornchief313 Member

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    Again... thank you Sarah J for you update. It is sincerely appreciated!!

    Further to my last post, when questioning him as to if he could take it to my mechanic, he stated that he would but I would incur the costs of the repair and he also stated that he is wearing thin with my requests as I pushed the fact that waiting a month was not ideal. He stated that he could just wipe his hands of it all and he requested that I pick the jet ski up.

    At the end of that conversation via SMS, it was established that the only option that the seller was going to offer was to wait for the jet ski to get looked at on the 12th Jan by his mechanic who completed the engine rebuild. I stated to the seller that it is possible that the repairer that he is going to take it to could repair it and demand payment as it is not covered under warranty and the seller stated that we will have to deal with it when/if it happens.

    So it looks like I have no option but to wait and see what will happen. The seller has the money that I gave him for the jet ski and now has the jet ski in his possession as well, so hoping in good faith that he does the right thing by me (living on the edge).

    I will keep updating this thread in the new year on further outcomes that arise for anyone that have similar experiences and are after some advice.
     
  9. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Thanks again for the update. If you are able to wait one month, then I would suggest you do this. You have record of your conversation in text message form so at least you have the conversation in writing to rely on it later in the event the seller renege on his promise.
     

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