VIC Service Centre Crashed My Motorcycle - Charges under Australian Consumer Law?

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27 August 2015
Im from NZ. Moved to VIC 2 years ago. I brought a new motorcycle 1 year ago. I took it for its 22000km service new tyeares and a carby tune as it was running a lil rich. They test rode it in the wet in new non scrubbed in tyeares and crashed it. They didn't call me until 2 hours after the crash to tell me.

I enquired after the riders health then the bike. They said it was minor damage and they would get prices and call me back. I got off the phone and spoke to some friends who ride. They told me to ring back and ask for a courtesy vehicle in the meantime.

I rung back and spoke to the manager. He told me they were working on removing the damaged parts as we spoke. So I told him no one is to touch that bike until I had seen it to photograph it and that I required as per my right for him to have his insurance assess it and give me a written list of all damages. He refused to. So I told him I require a courtesy vehicle. He told me he has one there but I cannot have it as I'm governed by restrictions on my Ps. He said there was only minimal damage, that he could have it running without the plastics on it by Monday (they crashed it Thursday), that I will accept that and take it to ride and they will call me back when the rest of the parts arrive.

This to me sounded too dodgy for several reasons. First he's trying to remove my right to having it assessed elsewhere. Secondly he's refusing to include insurance. Thirdly he refused to give me any sort of courtesy vehicle.

The next day I went to see it and filmed it all on go pro. I told him it's filming and he agreed so it's legal. He tried to play off the damage, and tried to depreciate the bike. When I questioned the damage he lied and said there was more damage on a bike that fell over on the showroom floor. That there was only 1200 dollars of damage. I told him if he refused to include his insurance I'll get mine. To which he replied. "If you're going to get nasty then fine, take your photos and get out. We were willing to do something with you but you want the hard way".

My friend and I left and we got in the car. He approached and tried to take a recording of the convo. Basically demanding to know why I was dressed in bike gear, and where the motorcycle I was riding was. I had parked it elsewhere out of his view, he then got abusive because I wouldn't tell him stating he's not paying for what he cannot see.

I rung my motorcycle insurance who contacted him . He lied to them quoting 1200 bucks of damage. I demanded they move my motorcycle and have it assessed as per my right. They told me they would. A few days later they called me back saying I had to move it myself. I had to pay $ 575 to get my motorcycle off of them even then it wasn't until I threatened them with theft of a motorcycle that they would release it.

Two weeks had already gone by. I moved it and had it assessed. The assessor told me it was near write off, as did 2 motorcycle mechanics. It's now being repaired for just shy of $4000. I'm not rich so intend to take him to VCAT.

What am I entitled to take him for under Australian Consumer Law, is my question.

Travel to and from work, to go shopping etc, relocation of my motorcycle to be repaired? I work nights so I have to take a train then taxi as it's not safe to walk home at 2am. The $575 as they stated as they didn't complete the service on the receipt and the tires may be damaged after the crash? The $1000 excess that I've been told I have to pay for insurance? Even though it's a rebuilt bike, do I go for depreciation as its been crashed? My time? E.g. I have to spend 3 hours on trains and buses and taxis now. As opposed to the 45min ride to work.

It's financially draining. And stressful.

I need help.

Tracy B

Well-Known Member
24 December 2014
Hi Kiwiinoz,
I'm sorry to hear about your ordeal. You sound like you may have an action under Australian Consumer Law ("ACL"). You should contact Consumer Affairs Victoria and see if they can help you. They are the department charged with overseeing the ACL in Victoria. However, they do have limited jurisdiction/power and may not be able to hear compensation claims. If they cannot help, you can apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal for compensation.

You sound like you also may have an action in contract law. Victoria is great in that there are many free legal resources around. Most community legal centres will require an appointment and it could take some time getting one. The Fitzroy Community Legal Centre offers free drop-in sessions in the evenings, so you can first go there for some general advice.

Alternatively, you can get connected with a lawyer here: Get Connected with the Right Lawyer for You -