closing tag is in template navbar
Time Factors Watches



TZ-UK Fundraiser
Results 1 to 33 of 33

Thread: Flipping cars- A sad story of people being ripped off by a once legitimate business

  1. #1
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Saudi Arabia
    Posts
    395

    Flipping cars- A sad story of people being ripped off by a once legitimate business

    I dealt with Chris Laing of Flipping cars on a couple of occasions, and found him to be a really charming, affable guy who was also a compulsive liar. The first car I bought from auction through him turned out to have transmission failure, so it was rejected as it was a BCA assured car. He wouldn't give me my money back, making up one excuse after another but I found another car through him, and all went well. He even went as far as getting new front discs and pads put on the front as there was a vibration under braking, which wasn't picked up on the condition report. However, there were numerous delays in getting the car delivered to me, to the point my wife thought I had been conned. I put the delays down to him being unrealistic, and choosing to lie rather than being upfront about when he could deliver, and then making up excuses.
    The 2nd car I bought was a nightmare in terms of getting it delivered, I was told many times that my car would definitely be arriving that day, only for it not to turn up and Chris wouldn't answer his phone. It eventually got delivered, weeks after being promised it got delivered to my old address despite me giving him clear instructions. Regardless, It was a nice car and I got it for a good price, and Chris offered to pay for the cost of me having to hire a car for a week when he missed the last 100% definite delivery date. He never paid me the money for the hire car, but all things considered it turns out I had a lucky escape. If you read the recent reviews on Trustpilot and the like, Chris has been taking money from people, telling them he had won the auction on cars that he wasn't even bidding on. Also, he introduced a new service, where people would pay him the money upfront for him to source them a car at trade price. Many people are out of pocket, the FCA got involved and Flipping cars were banned from buying from BCA and Manheim. Now the website has gone down and he opened a new company, my car broker LTD which was doing the same thing. There's now a facebook group where people who are victims are clubbing together, and from what I've read he seems to owe more than 3/4 of a million pounds. That's a lot of people who paid good, hard earned money for cars that were ripped off, I really feel for them.

    https://www.fca.org.uk/news/news-sto...car-broker-ltd

    Chris had loads of videos on youtube, was featured on TV programs and online articles, and ran the largest independent car sourcing service in the UK. He was FCA registered, and claimed the money sent to him for cars was ring fenced and protected, so essentially there was no way he would or could defraud you. The trustpilot reviews were glowing, and a lot of people saved a lot of money by buying through him, until it all went wrong. The business model was great at first, they had a website showing all cars that were coming up for auction at all of the big auction houses, and you could search for cars that met your specification. I paid a fee for them to bid on car on your behalf, and once they had successfully won the car at auction they sent me an invoice from the auction house, showing how much the car had cost including fees. I then transferred the money to them and they went ahead and paid the auction house, what could possibly go wrong?
    It seems that it essentially turned into one big pyramid type scheme, where he was taking money of the newest people to sign up to settle debts with the business eventually imploding with disastrous consequences. Not long back he bought himself a big house by the coast and a custom SUV and was flaunting his wealth. I really wonder how he can sleep at night. I bought 2 expensive cars through him, and shudder to think what would have happened if I would have been ripped off, like many others have been.

  2. #2
    I have bought private all my life and never been ripped off because i meet them at their house and can see they are tidy family people.

    why people go to dodgy fat bald business men who make several thousand profit on each car is beyond me but there you go.

  3. #3
    Master draftsmann's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Malta and sometimes bits of Brit
    Posts
    4,673
    Arthur Daley meets Ponzi.

    People like that need stringing up by the balls.

  4. #4
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    18,345
    Dodgy used car dealer. Well I never....
    ďThe more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.Ē

  5. #5
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    656

    Thumbs up

    Just a dodgy used car dealer who adapted to the ways of the internet

  6. #6
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    SE England
    Posts
    25,497
    You had a nightmare with your first purchase through him - and you went back for a second go?
    Cheers,
    Neil.

    My Speedmaster website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  7. #7
    Sounds just like Avro Energy, founded and run by Jake Brown, a 27-year-old former non-league footballer.

  8. #8
    Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    6,926
    I definitely feel for you, but I'm struggling to understand the business model.
    They have a website showing all the upcoming car auctions, you pay them a commission to buy the car at auction.
    Why not just buy the car at auction yourself and cut out a pointless and costly middle man? Have I missed something obvious?

  9. #9
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Saudi Arabia
    Posts
    395
    Quote Originally Posted by kevkojak View Post
    I definitely feel for you, but I'm struggling to understand the business model.
    They have a website showing all the upcoming car auctions, you pay them a commission to buy the car at auction.
    Why not just buy the car at auction yourself and cut out a pointless and costly middle man? Have I missed something obvious?
    The auction fees were a lot less using them as an intermediary due to the number of cars they would buy. BCA have tiers with the fees going down depending on what tier the buyer is in. As a private buyer you pay through the nose. So even taking into account their referral fees it was much cheaper to buy through them.

  10. #10
    I had a close escape.

    Found an Audi S8 at BCA last year and instructed him to bid up to a set figure. Unfortunately, the car disappeared from BCAís own site prior to the auction taking place. I had already paid their fees which were circa £300. Under their own terms and conditions, I couldnít get a refund of the fees paid, I could just roll it onto the next suitable car that turned up.

    I managed to negotiate a refund of half of the fee which was promptly paid back into my bank account.

  11. #11
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    London
    Posts
    545
    Well, if he's FCA registered and has been dipping into client money, then I can't imagine he'll be sleeping well for long*


    *Once the FCA eventually wake up from being asleep at the controls.

  12. #12
    Master M1011's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    1,502
    Quote Originally Posted by xellos99 View Post
    I have bought private all my life and never been ripped off because i meet them at their house and can see they are tidy family people.

    why people go to dodgy fat bald business men who make several thousand profit on each car is beyond me but there you go.
    While I agree with the general sentiment, 'fat' and 'bald' seems a bit out of place. Those aren't traits of dishonesty.

  13. #13
    Grand Master Chris_in_the_UK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Norf Yorks
    Posts
    39,007
    Quote Originally Posted by Neil.C View Post
    You had a nightmare with your first purchase through him - and you went back for a second go?
    This.
    When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks long into you.........

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Neil.C View Post
    You had a nightmare with your first purchase through him - and you went back for a second go?
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_in_the_UK View Post
    This.
    https://find-and-update.company-info...mpany/09592739


    https://find-and-update.company-info...mpany/13427724

    R


    Ignorance breeds Fear. Fear breeds Hatred. Hatred breeds Ignorance. Break the chain.

  15. #15
    Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Suffolk
    Posts
    3,305
    Quote Originally Posted by Neil.C View Post
    You had a nightmare with your first purchase through him - and you went back for a second go?
    My first thought having read the OP's post. Burnt once, never again I would have thought


    Sent from my Nokia 3.1 using Tapatalk

  16. #16
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Saudi Arabia
    Posts
    395
    The first time round the main issues were the delays in getting the car delivered, which coincided with the start of the lockdown so the delays were put down to that. The first car that was rejected, according to him heíd paid BCA and was waiting to get his money back but would give me a credit to buy another car if I found one before his money was refunded. I saw some other cars in the trade and asked him for my money back which he was unable to do as he had problems getting the money from BCA according to him. I found a replacement within the BCA network within a couple of weeks which actually turned out to be a better deal for me, and then on the day he delivered it he took it into Halfords or kwick fit (I really canít remember but it was one of the 2) and had new front discs and pads fitted. He comes across as a really genuine, helpful guy and I honestly liked him and never once did I think I was in any danger of getting ripped off. It just seemed that he didnít want to disappoint people so he would try to arrange delivery or say that he had rather than be upfront and say how long it would really be. He was trying but always genuinely seemed to be having problems with drivers and logistics.
    With my second car he waived the delivery fee and offered to pay for a hire car for a week, which he never did. I got a fantastic deal in fairness all things considered. Iíve had it over 6 months now and got it before the second hand prices skyrocketed, and WBAC are offering 4.5k more than I paid for it 7/8 months ago.

  17. #17
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Trinovantum
    Posts
    11,037
    Just reading a few paras of your first post set off alarm bells.

    He's FCA registered so can't defraud anyone?

    Just think that through. Do you think that makes sense? It's like saying someone lives in a country with a police force so they can't commit crime.

  18. #18
    Master
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    London
    Posts
    8,437
    Blog Entries
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by M1011 View Post
    While I agree with the general sentiment, 'fat' and 'bald' seems a bit out of place. Those aren't traits of dishonesty.
    Iím a used car dealer of sorts. Concerned as I am quite fat and my hairline is receding. Should I give up the game once I reach the full Kojak? I donít want to be ripping old ladies off once I pension off my hair brush.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave O'Sullivan View Post
    Iím a used car dealer of sorts. Concerned as I am quite fat and my hairline is receding. Should I give up the game once I reach the full Kojak? I donít want to be ripping old ladies off once I pension off my hair brush.
    Ah, but are you heavily tattooed and wear a TT Sub (as per the person in question)?


    R
    Ignorance breeds Fear. Fear breeds Hatred. Hatred breeds Ignorance. Break the chain.

  20. #20
    Master
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    London
    Posts
    8,437
    Blog Entries
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by ralphy View Post
    Ah, but are you heavily tattooed and wear a TT Sub (as per the person in question)?


    R
    No tattoos but have a full gold Sub. I’m a monster 

  21. #21
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    18,345
    Quote Originally Posted by BritishExpat View Post
    The first time round the main issues were the delays in getting the car delivered, which coincided with the start of the lockdown so the delays were put down to that. The first car that was rejected, according to him heíd paid BCA and was waiting to get his money back but would give me a credit to buy another car if I found one before his money was refunded. I saw some other cars in the trade and asked him for my money back which he was unable to do as he had problems getting the money from BCA according to him. I found a replacement within the BCA network within a couple of weeks which actually turned out to be a better deal for me, and then on the day he delivered it he took it into Halfords or kwick fit (I really canít remember but it was one of the 2) and had new front discs and pads fitted. He comes across as a really genuine, helpful guy and I honestly liked him and never once did I think I was in any danger of getting ripped off. It just seemed that he didnít want to disappoint people so he would try to arrange delivery or say that he had rather than be upfront and say how long it would really be. He was trying but always genuinely seemed to be having problems with drivers and logistics.
    With my second car he waived the delivery fee and offered to pay for a hire car for a week, which he never did. I got a fantastic deal in fairness all things considered. Iíve had it over 6 months now and got it before the second hand prices skyrocketed, and WBAC are offering 4.5k more than I paid for it 7/8 months ago.
    What a palaver to put yourself through, just to buy a car. I think I'd rather just go somewhere, look at the car and buy it or not.
    ďThe more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.Ē

  22. #22
    Grand Master Onelasttime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Everywhere, yet nowhere...
    Posts
    10,113
    Quote Originally Posted by oldoakknives View Post
    What a palaver to put yourself through, just to buy a car. I think I'd rather just go somewhere, look at the car and buy it or not.
    Convenience? Lack of free time? Better deal?

    Traipsing round used car dealers in person is a bit palaver as well, IMO.

  23. #23
    Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Glasgow
    Posts
    5,174
    Give the OP a break
    He's trying to do people a solid here and forewarn people about a shady car dealer.
    Thank you to the OP.

  24. #24
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    18,345
    Quote Originally Posted by Onelasttime View Post
    Convenience? Lack of free time? Better deal?

    Traipsing round used car dealers in person is a bit palaver as well, IMO.
    Convenience? Did you read about what happened? Not very convenient IMO! Doesn't sound like he got much of a better deal either.

    Lack of free time? "I put the delays down to him being unrealistic, and choosing to lie rather than being upfront about when he could deliver, and then making up excuses." Certainly didn't save much time either by all accounts!
    ďThe more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.Ē

  25. #25
    Master
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Leics/Notts border
    Posts
    1,130
    Quote Originally Posted by Neil.C View Post
    You had a nightmare with your first purchase through him - and you went back for a second go?

    Exactly this, need to have a word with yourself?

  26. #26
    Master murkeywaters's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Near the sea
    Posts
    5,655
    I think these type of dealers are on their way out, the likes of Cazoo, Cinch are taking over and trying to control the used market, for your average car sales business I think it will get very tough as they just grow bigger..

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave O'Sullivan View Post
    No tattoos but have a full gold Sub. Iím a monster 
    In that case I don't think you're going to be a complete match, so rest easy.

    Mind you, I'm not entirely sure that 'tidy family people' are incapable of ripping anyone off.

    Quote Originally Posted by xellos99 View Post
    I have bought private all my life and never been ripped off because i meet them at their house and can see they are tidy family people.

    why people go to dodgy fat bald business men who make several thousand profit on each car is beyond me but there you go.
    R
    Ignorance breeds Fear. Fear breeds Hatred. Hatred breeds Ignorance. Break the chain.

  28. #28
    Grand Master Onelasttime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Everywhere, yet nowhere...
    Posts
    10,113
    Quote Originally Posted by oldoakknives View Post
    Convenience? Did you read about what happened? Not very convenient IMO! Doesn't sound like he got much of a better deal either.

    Lack of free time? "I put the delays down to him being unrealistic, and choosing to lie rather than being upfront about when he could deliver, and then making up excuses." Certainly didn't save much time either by all accounts!
    He didn't know the outcome at the time he signed up to the deal did he, Oakey.

    I was explaining why someone might choose to buy a car via that particular method rather than traipse round dealer forecourts.

    What happened afterwards obviously didn't save time and was massively inconvenient, bordering on criminal.

  29. #29
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    18,345
    Quote Originally Posted by Onelasttime View Post
    He didn't know the outcome at the time he signed up to the deal did he, Oakey.

    I was explaining why someone might choose to buy a car via that particular method rather than traipse round dealer forecourts.

    What happened afterwards obviously didn't save time and was massively inconvenient, bordering on criminal.
    True he didn't know the outcome, I accept that. I can see why people might be attracted for the reasons you said, but also as you said the reality doesn't seem to match the expectations. I appreciate also that the OP was trying to warn others who might be tempted, which is a good thing IMO.

    Oakey!
    ďThe more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.Ē

  30. #30
    Master steptoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Putney
    Posts
    1,835
    Dear god. Itís people like the OP that keep this man in business.

  31. #31
    Master
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Edinburgh
    Posts
    2,337
    Blog Entries
    1
    Not sure why anyone buys from auction. When I worked in the motor trade the only cars we sent there were the stuff we couldn't sell ourselves or sell in trade to a few trusted buyers. Invariably because there was no history, or it needed too much work.


    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

  32. #32
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    18,345
    Quote Originally Posted by Scepticalist View Post
    Not sure why anyone buys from auction. When I worked in the motor trade the only cars we sent there were the stuff we couldn't sell ourselves or sell in trade to a few trusted buyers. Invariably because there was no history, or it needed too much work.


    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
    That was my experience years ago. A few traders would buy the trade ins from garages, usually having a deal to take the lot, and punt them out in the local papers. Anything that looked like it might cause them trouble with comebacks went in the auctions. Doubt much has changed.
    ďThe more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.Ē

  33. #33
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Saudi Arabia
    Posts
    395
    WBAC cars go to auction, and are clearly identifiable as UKCGR and a lot of the trade stay well away from them, and generally anything entered as an individual lot isn't worth touching.
    However, a lot of lease companies like Lex autolease hold big sales, as do Mercedes Benz Financial services, & BMW and the VAG. These are all one owner cars with full MDSH and how I bought my current Mercedes and a previous BMW. I would only ever buy someting like that from auction. They have detailed inspection reports, are graded and sold as condition assured. I saw many cars that I was interested in, and that I didn't buy for one reason or another advertised for sale on Autotrader a week or 2 later from established garages with significant mark ups. Yes, they come with waranties, but I was able to extend the Mercedes warranty on my car myself when it turned 3 years old, and I would rather have a manufacturerers approved used warranty than an aftermarket one. I've never leased a car, I've always bought outright and tried to minimise the depreciation. Hence, I try to buy sensibly and not keep any car for too long, and so far it's a strategy thats generally worked out pretty well. Anyway, each to their own.
    Flipping cars bought in excess of £20 million pounds worth of cars last year, and for many years had nothing but positive reviews. Many people were repeat customers, and were happy to keep using them and reccomending them. I think I came accross them on Pistonheads originally, and a lot of guys on there had used them in the past. I read up on his services in BMW car magazine, where they had a big feature on Chris and his company, and was impressed with the business model. I saw that they'd been awarded the Gold customer service award with Feefo, and the trustpilot reviews were excellent. I only paid him after I'd got confirmation that the cars had been purchased. However, I admit that I had a close call, and could easily have ended up massively out of pocket.
    You live and learn, and I certainly have. All's well that ends well in my case, but sadly a lot of people lost a lot of money, and I genuinely feel for them.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Do Not Sell My Personal Information